Liverpool close to buying back historic Melwood training ground

Four years after the club sold their historic Melwood training ground to a housing company, Liverpool are close to landing a deal to buy it back.

Liverpool sold their Melwood site and its surrounding land to housing developer Torus in 2019, with the club receiving around £10 million.

That came with the Reds moving into the new purpose-built AXA Training Centre in Kirkby, allowing the first team and academy sides to all work at the same facility.

However, Robbie Fowler and Jamie Carragher then secured a long-term deal with Torus to lease the existing buildings for The Fowler-Carragher Academy in 2021.

Torus had looked to build 162 affordable houses and apartments on the remaining land, but after receiving planning permission last year, those plans have now been scrapped.

The Athletic‘s James Pearce reports that Liverpool are now closing on a deal to repurchase Melwood for “more than they sold it for.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, March 24, 2023: Liverpool's Katie Stengel (C) celebrates scoring her sides first goal with team-mates during the FA Women’s Super League match between Everton FC Women and Liverpool FC Women, the Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

It will then be used as a base for the club’s women’s team, who retained their place in the Women’s Super League for next season after finishing seventh this term.

“The final price Liverpool will pay is unclear at this stage,” Pearce writes, but the rise beyond £10 million reflects “an increase in the value of the land and Torus’ costs in terms of the planning process and running the site.”

Fowler and Carragher will keep their lease, with their youth groups sharing the facility with Liverpool FC Women.

Pearce explains: “With plenty of work needed to be done to get all three outdoor pitches up to scratch, it’s unlikely that Matt Beard’s squad will move in until September.”

The new Women’s Super League campaign kicks off at the end of September, but pre-season will begin weeks before that – meaning the women’s side may not be able to begin their preparations at Melwood.