Anfield Road stand revamp halted for a year



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Liverpool FC update April 2020 Image: Liverpool FC/KSS

Liverpool Football Club – the professional football club in Liverpool, England –has updated supporters on its proposed expansion of the Anfield Road stand which has got halted due to the police-enforced lockdown in UK due to coronavirus.

Liverpool Football Club is a professional football club in Liverpool, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. Anfield is a football stadium in Anfield, Liverpool, Merseyside, England, which has a seating capacity of 54,074, making it the seventh largest football stadium in England. It has been the home of Liverpool F.C. since their formation in 1892.

The Anfield Road stand, on the left side of the Main Stand, houses the away fans during matches.

A statement on ‘The Reds’ website read, “The project has been put on pause mode due to COVID-19 lockdown delays which is having an effect on the construction and build program. The complex build must be completed between seasons and therefore the impact is at least a 12-month pause. The earliest target for project completion is summer 2023 (original target was summer 2022).”

The statement further read, “The club began a two-stage consultation with local residents, groups and businesses, and supporters in November last year and aimed to submit its planning application in Spring 2020.”

The Liverpool Football Club has stated from the outset that for the expansion to go ahead it would need assurance on three key areas – agreement from the local neighborhood that they will allow the expansion to proceed; a financial and economic model in place to deliver a long-term sustainable Anfield; and the football club’s ability to navigate the complex planning landscape.

The statement added, “The proposed 18-month build schedule for the Anfield Road expansion project is similar to the Main Stand. It is a complex construction process which is highly dependent on a wide range of time-sensitive variables. These include procurement, construction, sub-contractors, supply chain and the football calendar to ensure minimal impact for supporters by having two summer windows to complete the project. On reviewing the delays that the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have in the foreseeable future, coupled with the high levels of uncertainty in the construction industry, it is with regret that the club has put a pause on its proposal to expand the Anfield Road stand for at least 12 months. The earliest target date for completion is now summer 2023.”

Liverpool Football Club’s Chief Operating Officer, Andy Hughes, explained, “We have experienced a number of delays to the planned project as a direct result of the COVID-19 lockdown. Given the challenges that many sectors are facing right now, including the construction, procurement and public sectors, we are taking a responsible approach to pause the project for at least 12 months.”

“The complex build program for Anfield Road is an 18-month process and needs two clear summer closed season windows in order for it to be successful. This is why we are pausing on the project for at least 12 months so the earliest we could complete the program is summer 2023 rather than summer 2022 as originally planned. Given the planning application is no longer time-critical, it is our intention to submit our planning application at some stage during the next 12 months. We will use this period to review and consider options. When the football calendar and the wider delays to the construction and supply chain industries begin to plateau, we will provide further updates,” the club’s statement on the website further read.

“We understand this is disappointing for many, as it is for us, but would like to thank all our key stakeholders, including local neighbors in Anfield, our supporters, the City Council and others for their great cooperation in the pre-planning stages. Our priority remains on the health and well-being of our people, the local community and supporters at this challenging time. Our thoughts are with all those affected by COVID-19.”

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