Liverpool prepare for new home

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The Independent Online

Liverpool could have a new £150m stadium in three years' time only a matter of yards from their current Anfield home.

Liverpool could have a new £150m stadium in three years' time only a matter of yards from their current Anfield home.

The Merseyside club, working with Liverpool City Council, will meet local residents tonight to discuss the plans, which would mean Anfield being demolished. Both the club and the council stress that nothing will be done without the agreement of local residents, some of whom have been upset by previous Liverpool expansion plans. The latest scheme would involve major regeneration of the Anfield area.

The scheme, broached with the local council by the club just a few weeks ago, would involve a stunning 70,000 all-seat stadium being built on land next to nearby Stanley Park. The large car park there plus further land close by, all owned by the council and currently housing a sports centre, would be used for the scheme.

Liverpool have played at Anfield since 1892, and it has become one of the most famous and emotional stadiums in the world. But its capacity of 45,000 compares unfavourably with Old Trafford, where Liverpool's bitter rivals Manchester United will soon have room for 67,400.

Liverpool, seeking to match United's gate receipts in order to compete with them, have been unable to enlarge Anfield further. The latest revolutionary scheme would give them the biggest club ground in England.

It is believed that, when the scheme was first discussed, Liverpool's neighbours, Everton, were offered the chance to become involved, but that idea seems to have fallen away.

Liverpool issued a statement last night saying: "We are committed to staying at Anfield and are equally determined that any future expansion of the club will play a positive role in the planned regeneration of the district. In recent weeks we have been involved in a positive dialogue with the local community about that regeneration process and as far as we are concerned that consultation will continue.

"We have said consistently that if Liverpool is to continue to compete at the very top level of the game then future expansion is an absolute necessity.

"Having listened to comments made during the consultation process, we have recently begun to explore the idea of a move of literally a few yards to the car park presently situated in Stanley Park. Any such move, of course, would also give Liverpool and its supporters the advantage of a brand new purpose-built stadium instead of the piecemeal expansion of the current ground.

"We will continue to be both open and transparent in the way that we explore any possibility, but there is still a great deal of work to be done by us, the local community and the City Council before any idea can be finalised."

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