3010: Stadium decision may take some time
2510: LFC owners meet council
          over Anfield regeneration

0810: Council throws stadium plans into doubt
1005: New Siamese stadium plan for Liverpool
          and Everton football clubs unveiled

1301: Liverpool set to sell naming rights to new stadium



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Stadium decision
may take some time

This is Anfield

Since NESV’s takeover of Liverpool earlier this month there has been much discussion on whether they will continue with the club’s current plans to build a new stadium at Stanley Park, or instead redevelop Anfield.

It is a situation they inherited when they took over at the Boston Red Sox, where they – eventually – chose redevelopment of the famous ballpark. Therefore some have assumed John Henry and his partners will choose a similar route for Liverpool.

However, Red Sox chief operating officer Sam Kennedy insists no decision has been made and that NESV will take their time to make a calculated decision for the long term future of the football club.

“The idea that any decision has been made about Anfield is inaccurate,” Kennedy says in an interview with the Daily Mail’s Des Kelly. “Henry has built his businesses on having the benefit of all of the information before he makes a call.”

“Nothing is going to be done in a rush. I understand why people draw a link but, frankly, when NESV took over the Red Sox at the end of 2001, we didn’t know what to do — build a new facility or redevelop here?”

“It wasn’t until 2005 that we gave the commitment to stay at Fenway for the next generation. We’ll do the same at Liverpool, listening and learning about what the employees, the council and supporters want before making any move, for however long it takes.”

“At Fenway we wanted to preserve one of the most important ball parks in the country,” Kennedy explains. ‘But if we didn’t think it could work economically we would not have pursued it. We have the expertise for building new and renovating old, and both options are definitely still on the table.”

LFC owners meet council
over Anfield regeneration

BBC Merseyside

Liverpool FC's new owners have met the city's council leader to discuss regeneration plans for Anfield.

Councillor Joe Anderson described the talks, which were held at the weekend, as "positive".

Residents living in the derelict streets surrounding Anfield Road have been waiting years for the signs of regeneration to touch their lives.

It is still unclear whether John Henry and his NESV group will build a new stadium or revamp the old one.

Huge billboards declaring the area a "regeneration zone" were erected some time ago, but many residents feel the only sign of a revamp so far has been the installation of a plastic cow in Walton Breck Road.

John Page owns a barber shop on the same road, which cuts through the heart of Anfield.

He said: "Luckily enough I'm old and I'm nearing the end of it all anyway. But it is just so sad, everything is just going and disappearing, I'm just watching it all disappear."

'Important to fans'
Houses are boarded up, pubs can no longer afford to open during daylight hours because of the lack of business, shops are closing and many are moving out of the area.

A house in Anfield can cost as little as £31,000 compared to the average price of a property in Liverpool being £132,000.

When Tom Hicks and George Gillett took the club over in 2007, there had been promises of a new £60m stadium which would lead to much of the area being regenerated which would attract new shopping plazas, restaurants and cafes.

None of this has happened. Now, with new owners, the area once again seems on the brink of something new.

John Henry has pledged to listen to what the "fans want" However, Mr Anderson has pledged to revamp the area whether the owners build a new stadium or not.

"The regeneration can go ahead without the involvement of Liverpool but we need to get to the bottom of that the owners are planning to do," he said.

"We want to reassure the people of Anfield that from the council's point of view we will not be sitting idly back waiting.

"We are not going to allow what happened with Hicks and Gillett who wanted to wait until the economic situation in the country to change."

He indicated between £20m and £30m would be spent to revamp homes and build new ones. If Liverpool FC get involved, he said, many more millions could be spent on the area.

The amount of money, therefore, rests firmly with the decision of John Henry and his group, New England Sports Ventures.

He recently said: "This ownership spends a lot of time thinking like the fans and supporters we really need to understand what motivates Liverpool supporters, what's important to them and not make promises or commit to anything that we are not prepared to honour."

Council throws stadium
plans into doubt

This is Anfield

Liverpool City Council has hinted that they would make plans to develop Anfield difficult for Liverpool Football Club and its new owners.

Should the pending deal from New England Sports Ventures go through next week in the High Court – where current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are contesting the sale – the new American owners want to spend £100million on increasing capacity at the club’s current stadium.

This is a change of plan to the idea of building an entirely new stadium at nearby Stanley Park, an idea that would also involve a much needed regeneration of the L4 area of the city.

But councilor Joe Anderson, who has welcomed NESV’s £300million purchase of the club, says the city would favour a new stadium over redevelopments.

“I would discourage them [NESV] from redeveloping Anfield and would encourage them to stick to the commitment that is already in place because I think that is the best solution for everyone – for the club and the city,” he told the Guardian newspaper.

“Those plans haven’t been held up entirely by the stadium situation and it would be wrong to say that they have.

“But they have had an impact and we just want to be in a position where we have a clear sign that the stadium issue will be resolved one way or another, something Hicks and Gillett failed to do despite the string of promises they made.”

The club hope to start work on either increasing Anfield’s capacity to 60,000 or a new stadium very shortly after the sale is completed.

MAY 10
New Siamese stadium plan for Liverpool
and Everton football clubs unveiled

By Luke Traynor - Liverpool Daily Post

A local business consortium today unveiled a “Siamese stadium” to house both Liverpool and Everton football clubs.

The proposals show two grounds standing side by side in Stanley Park sharing one “central spine” wall.

The Mersey Stadia-Connex group, which is behind the idea, believes the “Siamese-style” blueprint could save the clubs between £180m and £220m.

They argue it would allow both Liverpool and Everton to maintain separate stadiums – but the unique design will hugely reduce overall costs.

Images reveal a two-sided, ten-level central hub, with a 60,000 ground capacity for Liverpool and 50,000 for Everton.

Both stadia, the consortium say, could be extended to accommodate an extra 10,000 fans with work completed by 2013.

The scheme includes a 300-bed hotel, complete corporate and hospitality facilities, 150 executive boxes, and an underground car park with 1,350 spaces.

The central spine entrance features an atrium and hotel tower extending four storeys above the stadium roof.

Around 200 of the 300 hotel bedrooms face the pitch, and also twin as executive boxes with balconies.

Representatives from Mersey Stadia-Connex are understood to have communicated on a number of occasions, once face-to-face, with senior Everton FC bosses.

However, publicly, the Blues dismissed the plan, denying any contact with the group and describing the scheme as “unworkable, unaffordable and undeliverable”.

Liverpool FC were sent copies of the plans but have made no contact with Mersey Stadia-Connex.

An LFC spokesman said: “We remain committed to building our new stadium in Stanley Park.”

The Connex group is made up of architects, structural, civil and services engineers and a construction and cost consultant.

The National Football Museum, currently relocating their main base from Preston to Manchester, has expressed interest in the project.

The Northwest Development Agency (NWDA) was shown the proposals but appear to have distanced themselves, advising the Connex group it was the clubs’ prerogative to put forward new proposals.

The project, which has taken eight months to design, is said to have reached “outline planning design stage and initial project construction cost status”.

The group has based its plan on Stanley Park.

But they said the scheme could still be “transferable” to alternative sites, and would allow each club to put together its own stadium-naming rights package.

A spokesperson for the Mersey Stadia-Connex group said: “We need to reach the prospective new owners of Liverpool FC to inform them about this sensational investment opportunity.

“Most fans will understand the many advantages and financial implications.

“This scheme differs from all previous concepts during the last decade in that we believe it manages to achieve all the clubs’ objectives.

“Primarily they seem to be, in the absence of it being practical to rebuild Anfield and Goodison, to offer state-of-the-art, 21st-century facilities to their faithful supporters, increased capacity and transformed hospitality, while retaining the strongest link to their heritage, all in a way which delivers the very best value for money in order to ultimately enhance their on-field performances and successes.

“As important as any of those just mentioned is the passionate desire to retain independence from each other, and we are protecting that requirement through a brilliant design concept formulated by Merseysiders for Merseysiders, where what is required is an open-mindedness and a degree of cooperation.”

Mersey Stadia-Connex also wished to clarify they do not represent or act with authority for either Liverpool or Everton FC.

Liverpool set to sell
naming rights to new stadium

By Soccernet staff

Liverpool will sell off the naming rights to their new stadium at Stanley Park, the club's commercial director has revealed.

The stadium is not due to start being built until April, but Ian Ayre has admitted that he has already spoken with several companies over the possible branding of the new arena.

Liverpool are looking to raise new revenue streams and will seek a deal that tops the £100 million that Arsenal got for changing their stadium name to 'Emirates Stadium' and Ayre said: "Naming rights is now an accepted part of building any new footballing venue in the world. And as one of only a few global football brands, it would be crazy of us not to tap into that opportunity.

"It is an area that some of our competitors have dabbled - Arsenal for example - and it is an opportunity for us to step forward. But what is important again is to find the right partner, who offers the right cultural fit. Who knows who that would be for Liverpool, but we have had some interest certainly."

Having successfully agreed a deal with banking giant Standard Chartered to sponsor their shirts, Liverpool are now searching for new partners.

"Liverpool is a club which attracts partners like few others, simply because of its history, and the way it acts culturally,'' Ayre said. ''They are great things for any commercial brand to use around the world, to get their own message out there. I would say there will definitely be more partners in the future.

"In all honesty, it is easy to find a brand who will write you a big cheque in football but what is not as easy is finding somebody who genuinely fits together with you, and has similar aspirations in similar markets. We have found that [with Standard Chartered] and I am sure they will be an amazing sponsor for Liverpool Football Club - in fact, they already are."

However, the move has not gone down well with the Liverpool fans. Graham Agg, secretary of the German Reds official supporters' club, told the Daily Mail: ''The whole idea of leaving Anfield and knocking it down is the biggest act of self-destruction the club could ever consider.

''Can you imagine the Nou Camp or Bernabeu being bulldozed by Barcelona or Real Madrid, or Inter Milan leaving the San Siro? You're talking about football's cathedrals, and Anfield is one of them. There is too much heritage, history and tradition for it all to be thrown away.

''I just can't imagine going to somewhere like the Budweiser Stadium to support Liverpool, and I'm sure there are plenty who feel the same way.''

Thor Zakariassen ©