Anfield exit ajar as Liverpool revisit Stanley Park plans

 

Liverpool's decision to revert to their original plans for a new stadium does not mean the club have dismissed the prospect of remaining at a redeveloped Anfield.

Their owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), have ditched designs by the Dallas-based architects HKS, commissioned by the club's former co-owner Tom Hicks, in favour of the earlier proposals of Manchester company AFL, which were granted planning permission in 2004. The futuristic HKS stadium plans entailed an estimated cost of £400m, £100m more than those proposed by AFL.

As nearly nine years have passed since AFL drew up its plans there is some scope for modification, but building a new 60,000-seater stadium in Stanley Park is dependent on the club securing naming rights. Liverpool have been carrying out a year-long, worldwide search to assess the viability of finding sponsorship that would bring in about £150m.

The club's managing director, Ian Ayre, has admitted previously that building a new stadium with a capacity only 15,000 more than Anfield makes no financial sense without huge external investment. Although FSG has decided on how the new stadium should look, it is not committed to it being the definitive solution.

Very soon after FSG took over in October 2010 it began looking at how Anfield could be redeveloped. It is not an easy option because the ground is in a residential area, which would require the purchase of numerous properties as well as complicated planning consent. However, the idea has not been ruled out entirely and sources say both options are still being looked at and the situation is ongoing.

Across Stanley Park, the defender John Heitinga believes Everton would be priced out of any attempts to bring Steven Pienaar back to the club. The South Africa international was sold to Tottenham for £3m a year ago but injuries have restricted his progress and the 29-year-old has made only 16 appearances. Pienaar has been linked with a return to Goodison Park but his former Everton and Ajax team-mate believes that is unlikely, with manager David Moyes working to a restricted transfer budget.

"I'd take him back but I don't think it's realistic," the Dutch international said. "They would ask for more money to sell him than they paid us for him and we don't have much more. It's up to the manager and the board whether a few players come or not but Pienaar is unrealistic."

Heitinga did not criticise Pienaar for his decision to leave, but had expected the midfielder to have had more game time. "I played with him at Ajax and he's got a lot of quality," the defender added. "It surprises me that he's not playing more regularly for them. He was injured but he did very well for Everton in the past.

"Everton is a nice club to play for and Steven made the decision to go to another club. You'd need to ask Steven if he regrets [leaving]. I heard in the newspaper he was going to leave and go to another team, so you never know what's going to happen."

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
PROMOTED VIDEO
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
and  

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

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'