“New stadium is clearly a business opportunity”

Liverpool’s commercial director Ian Ayre has told how the club’s proposed new stadium on Stanley Park will feature 10,000 corportate seats, an increase from 3,000 at the current Anfield stadium.

Ayre, who was appointed by Tom Hicks and George Gillett in July last year, was speaking at a seminar in Johannesburg when he said “The new stadium is clearly a business opportunity. But it will be important to maintain the integrity of the Liverpool brand and fan experience at Anfield.”

Many fans are already angry at the amount of corporate tickets which have been given to the club’s new commercial partner Thomas Cook this season, with fans union Spirit of Shankly having recently arranged a meeting with the company to discuss several issues.

A report by the Reuters news agency states that Ayre said it was estimated more than 50 percent of income on match days will come from the sale of seats in corporate boxes rather than the increased numbers in mainstream seating.

With the new stadium expected to be 60,000 capacity, if and when it first opens, and 7,000 of the extra 16,000 seats being corporate, meaning only around only 9,000 extra seats will be created for supporters.

Meanwhile, plans for a club shop in Dublin have been revealed as the club look to increase their commercial revenue streams further following new partnerships with Pro Evolution Soccer, Thomas Cook and Paddy Power already this year. One thing Hicks and Gillett were correct about was that the club was lacking in the commercial department with chief executive Rick Parry blamed publicly by Hicks.

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Sources: Ayre / Club Shop