Liverpool are set to finalise a £50 million plan to regenerate the club’s Kirkby academy complex in a new first-team and youth training facility.
- Work to begin in 2018
- Expected to be complete in time for 2019/20
- Part of FSG and Klopp’s long-term vision
There have long been suggestions that the Reds could leave Melwood in order to merge their senior and academy setups, to ensure a smoother passage to the first team.
This was magnified following the appointment of Jurgen Klopp, with the German taking a heavy focus on the development of young players.
Now, the Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce reports that an agreement has been made with Knowsley Council to begin work on transforming the Kirkby facility.
Planning in tandem with KSS, the architects responsible for the redevelopment of Anfield’s Main Stand, Fenway Sports Group have provided the funding required to see the project through.
Work is expected to begin at the start of 2018, and be ready for pre-season training ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, which will be Klopp’s fifth as manager of Liverpool.
The club’s academy facilities will also be upgraded, as well as the area surrounding Kirkby, while Melwood will be sold to provide further housing for the city.
Kirkby’s regeneration is described as “state-of-the-art,” and is believed to set the club back £50 million.
Liverpool have been looking into the possibility of merging their first-team and youth facilities from since 2013, with FSG believed to be strong advocates of the move.
Ian Ayre used Everton‘s Finch Farm as an example, saying the Reds needed “a situation where you have those young players coming in in the morning, seeing Steven Gerrard turning right while they turn left and hoping one day that they take the same route.”
And in July, Klopp underlined the merger as fundamental to the club enjoying long-term success in the future.
“We need to develop the club, we need to develop a lot of things,” he said.
“We’re already building a new stand, we’re thinking about bringing the Academy and Melwood together, things like this.
“We think about everything at the club and this is much longer-term than my contract.
“So it’s really important that we do the right things so this wonderful club can be successful.”