‘Anfield expansion not smart investment’

12 Oct

Anfield's Main Stand

Liverpool’s first match in front of the new Main Stand was a 4-1 win against Leicester on 10 September

The cost of redeveloping the Anfield Road end of Liverpool’s stadium “is not a smart investment”, says chief executive Ian Ayre.

Liverpool opened the redeveloped Main Stand last month, raising capacity to 54,074, and have planning permission to extend Anfield Road by a further 4,800.

But Ayre said: “A stand behind a goal doesn’t have the benefit of hospitality that would go a long way to meet the redevelopment costs.”

The upgrade would cost about £60-70m.

Club owner John Henry has previously played down the prospect of the work going ahead on the basis ticket prices would have to rise to cover the cost.

Liverpool are worried how fans would react after thousands of protested against plans to charge £77 for some tickets in the club’s new Main Stand back in February.

The £100m expansion of the Main Stand is expected to be paid off in six years because of the lucrative income generated by hospitality seating – but that is not the case with the Anfield Road end.

“From a purely general admission perspective, building, say, 6,000 extra seats to take the capacity up to 60,000 would cost somewhere between £60m and £70m,” said Ayre, speaking at a meeting of the Liverpool Supporters’ Committee (LSC).

“At £12,000 to £13,000 per seat, it would take approximately 15 years to pay back, which is not a smart investment for the business.”

Ayre told the meeting the club was open to fan investment to help fund further redevelopment of the ground and said conversations should take place.

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