As Liverpool close in on the completion of the new Anfield Road Stand, a report has suggested that further redevelopment of the Reds’ home could actually see a reduction in the stadium’s capacity.
Phase two of Liverpool’s Anfield expansion plan, which was first announced in 2014, will be completed this summer with the Anfield Road Stand taking capacity to just over the 61,000 figure.
It will mark a fulfilment of a key promise that FSG made upon purchasing the club, to provide a 60,000-seater stadium for Liverpool FC.
However, as is the case with modern life, some supporters are eager for further expansion after the completion of the Anfield Road End.
This is an extremely difficult and complicated issue – although, it ultimately boils down to the fact that people live in homes directly behind the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand.
It’s there where the potential next development could take place, with a new report on Sunday claiming that “FSG will look to improve the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand, which has a current capacity of 12,000. And if they do — and no final decision has been made — then reconfiguring the areas in the lower tier to give fans more room, would actually see capacity drop.”
The report comes from Alex Miller in the Mail on Sunday, a reporter who has been well briefed on stadium matters throughout FSG’s tenure.
It is important to note, though, that it is very early days and far from anything confirmed or in the works.
The Sir Kenny Dalglish Lower Stand is the oldest in the stadium and by far the smallest legroom and least facilities for supporters.
The stand itself was renovated back in the early 1990s, adding the upper tier to become the Centenary Stand. But the lower stand, The Kemlyn Road Stand as it was prior to 1992, didn’t actually change its layout.
So the current Lower Kenny Dalglish Stand dates back to well before the 1990s, while the Upper tier is now over 30 years old too.
The lower tier has a capacity of 6,814, with the upper 4,600. The overall capacity of 11,762 (including executive boxes), makes it the smallest in the stadium after the renovation of the Anfield Road Stand.
Any fantastical ideas of adding a new tier or redeveloping the Sir Kenny Stand in the same manner as the Main Stand are exactly that; fantasy.
The Main Stand renovation required the demolition of three rows of houses, removing an entire street. But those houses were largely disused and derelict.
The homes directly behind the Sir Kenny Stand are fully occupied and are just that, homes. Liverpool Football Club, rightly, won’t be looking to demolish homes on Skerries Road.
However, development of the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand would be wise for the aforementioned reasons of providing modern facilities, with wider internal concourses, in all areas of the stadium.
What is pleasing is that it shows FSG’s continued commitment to the club and desire to improve. It’s wise to look into it, but we wouldn’t expect anything major any time soon.