Liverpool decide on extending Anfield 'spiritual home'

American owners reject new stadium in favour of £150m development to reach 60,000 capacity

Liverpool yesterday confirmed their plans to redevelop Anfield rather than build a new stadium. Managing director Ian Ayre said the club's American owners would expand the stadium and revamp the surrounding area in a partnership with Liverpool City Council.

On the second anniversary of Liverpool's acquisition by the Fenway Sports Group, Ayre officially stated their commitment to Anfield rather than a new ground in Stanley Park.

"LFC celebrated its 120th year in 2012 at Anfield and there is no doubt Anfield is the spiritual home of the club," he said yesterday morning. "Our preference was always to remain at Anfield. This is a major step forward for the football club, but more importantly the residents."

Ayre recalled when Liverpool's owner, John W Henry, first saw Anfield. "I was the person who showed John around Anfield the first time they ever came to Liverpool. We were in the tunnel area at Anfield and I remember him saying to me, 'Why would we want to build a new stadium? This is like Fenway. This is the home of Liverpool Football Club.'" Henry also owns the Boston Red Sox, who have stayed at their traditional home of Fenway Park rather than building a new ground.

The hope at Liverpool is to extend Anfield's capacity from 45,276 to 60,000, with extensions to the Main Stand and Anfield Road end, depending on planning permission. Liverpool are not likely to make a planning application until next summer, and will have to clear some of the streets around Anfield as part of the work.

Ayre believes that the club will save money by avoiding building a new stadium. The work on Anfield is expected to cost approximately £150m, while a new ground would have cost over £400m to build.

"Over the last two years one of the things that we've had to do, and was important to do, was analyse the detail of what works, what doesn't work, what the economical situation is for either solution," he explained. "If you build a new stadium, for example, one of the big challenges is that you don't get 60,000 new seats in a new stadium, you only get the difference. That makes it very difficult to make it viable because the cost of building such a big new stadium doesn't work economically, particularly in this market."

"The work we've done on that showed us that as long as we could find the right solution to stay at Anfield, and get through the barriers and hurdles that we needed, we would have to find the best long-term solution for the club."

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

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific