Liverpool chairman says £100m renovation of Anfield is a 'monumental moment' for the club

Plans are now in place to extend the capacity of the stadium to 58,000

The Liverpool chairman, Tom Werner, says that the £100m renovation of Anfield will ensure Fenway Sports Group's permanent legacy on Merseyside.

Agreements have been signed with all the homeowners in the area around the stadium and a planning application for the new Main Stand, which will increase the capacity of Anfield to an initial 53,250, was put in place this week. Liverpool hope to eventually take the capacity to 58,000 with a second phase expansion of the Anfield Road stand.

Extending the capacity of Anfield has been an issue that took two previous owners to sell because they did not have the finances to complete the deal. FSG, who also own US baseball team the Boston Red Sox, will start building as soon as they get the go-ahead from city planners.

“I have to agree with the idea this is a monumental moment for us as a club,” said Werner.

“This will be our legacy at Liverpool, resolving the stadium issue. I am as proud of protecting and preserving Fenway Park in Boston as I am the three World Series we have won and will feel exactly the same way about repeating this at Anfield. It will be the most exciting day at Anfield in 2016 when we can welcome the additional supporters to the stadium.

“I think this will change the future of the club. What has been hanging over the club’s head is we simply could not accept the status quo. We did not want to make any promises that could not be delivered so we wanted a solution, but a solution was not as simple because of cost and time issues. We could have built a new stadium but we always felt the fans have an emotional attachment to Anfield, just like the Boston Red Sox with Fenway Park.


“It’s been a process with a lot of twists and turns in part because we were dealing with property owners and neighbourhood in addition to the conception issues, deciding the right scheme and the cost. Everything is expensive. In addition to normal discussions about renovation there have been a lot of discussions about property acquisitions.

“A solution is a modern stadium but if you solve problems such as seat comfort and ease of access getting to and from the park and all those things related to the surround infrastructure – we thought we could redevelop and this would be the best solution. I also like the idea of a phased approach so we will develop in stages.”

FSG's original plan was to build a new stadium nearby at Stanley Park, but there was too much of a financial risk.

“A question we had to ask was could Liverpool sustain a 65,000 seater stadium on Stanley Park?” said Werner.

“It was an issue in itself. If you can guarantee Champions League football every season than absolutely, the answer is yes, but I’m not sure anyone can be certain of that. That makes our approach much more sensible, allowing for further expansion of the Anfield Road.

“We have been working on Fenway in stages since 2004. We have taken the capacity from 32,000 to 36,000 but there is more to it than an extra 4,000 seats. We spent £250 million of our own money to improve the ballpark and enhance the quality of the whole experience for those who watch the games.

“We were well aware of the disappointments the fans had felt for such a long time. Now we have exciting, real plans we can put into place, not just by expanding Anfield with 9,000 seats, but so everybody will see and feel the benefits. Just walking to the stadium and seeing the landscape will be an improvement.

“There is an emotional connection with Anfield which is similar to that at Fenway Park. When we bought the Red Sox we had an informal poll and there was a 50-50 split between those who wanted to stay at Fenway and those who wanted a new ballpark near the river. Really, you had to ask the right question and say to those who wanted to leave, what if we show you what we can do? Today, if you had the same poll I am sure 94 per cent would agree we made the right decision. It was not so much Anfield versus Stanley Park as have we really done all we can to establish what can be done at Anfield?

“We believe we can fill the corporate areas. Some of that is dictated by success on the pitch and we are certainly confident we are making a sound business decision.

“It has to make sense from a financial point of view. The improvements will eventually pay for themselves. Liverpool and Boston have a lot in common. They are not the capital city, or in the case of our rivals in New York the financial capital of the US.”

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games