Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) have decided to go ahead with plans to build a new stadium in Stanley Park, according to a report in The Telegraph.
Above: AFL’s revised design from 2008.
The report, by former Liverpool Echo reporter Chris Bascombe, claims plans from architects AFL will now be modernised and put in place, with the plans by Dallas firm HKS which former owner Tom Hicks had put in place being shelved.
It has been widely reported that principal owner John Henry’s preferred option was to remain at Anfield and redevelop the historic stadium in a similar manner as they did with the Boston Red Sox’s historic Fenway Park.
But planning constraints and the associated costs have been a huge stumbling back, Bascombe explains;
Since buying the club, John W Henry has worked through a variety of options to establish how to solve Liverpool’s enduring stadium problem.
Henry originally wanted to redevelop Anfield, but after a year of toil working through the planning issues, and the cost of buying nearby residential properties, it was accepted this was not feasible.
FSG has also explored whether to commission new stadium plans, but the time and cost restraint also made that a non-starter.
As Liverpool already have planning permission from both AFL and HKS, the AFK plans will now be used to avoid pushing the process back up to another three years if new planning permission was sought for new plans.
It is now expected that once a naming right’s partner has been found the club will announce their decision to move to Stanley Park.
Hopefully it is these revised plans from 2008 that will now be used, rather than the original 2003 plans which drew large criticism from supporters for it’s lack of originality and was nicknamed ‘The Parry Bowl’ after former chief executive Rick Parry.
This is AFL’s original design from 2003.
More images of the 2008 design: