Uncertainty remains over Liverpool stadium 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, Press Association Sport understands.

Owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) have ditched designs by Dallas-based architects HKS, commissioned by former co-owner Tom Hicks, in favour of the earlier proposals of Manchester company AFL, which were granted planning permission in 2004.

However, it is believed the decision does not mean FSG have totally abandoned hopes of staying at Anfield.

But the futuristic HKS stadium plans, with an estimated cost of £400million - £100million more than those proposed by AFL - have now been consigned to the waste bin.

As nearly nine years have passed since AFL drew up their 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 will bring in about £150million.

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.

And although FSG have decided on how the new stadium should look, they have not committed to it being the definitive solution.

Very soon after FSG took over in October 2010 they began looking at how Anfield could be redeveloped. It is not an easy option as the ground 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.

PA

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