Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Henry: Good progress on stadium

John W Henry says Liverpool are making good progress in redeveloping Anfield

Liverpool principal owner John W Henry has offered reassurances that the finance is in place for the club to push on with their stadium redevelopment once the planning authorities give the go-ahead.

Henry's Fenway Sports Group has been looking for some time to increase Anfield's capacity - reportedly at a cost of around £154million - and the American says Liverpool City Council has made "good progress" in purchasing the few remaining privately owned properties around the stadium in order to enable the Main Stand to be expanded.

Planning permission will only be sought once all deals are finalised, and Henry believes that - rather than the financing - remains the biggest hurdle.

Quoted in the Liverpool Echo, he said: "We are making good progress.

"There are a lot of different groups working very well together and that's the key to a big project like this happening, when everybody is on the same page. When everybody is on the same page, we move forward.

"I think we were clear at one point that what made financial sense was going in this direction - and this is the direction that makes financial sense for the club for a long time.

"Obstacles are being overcome.

"We have always said you have to have certainty with regard to the properties because of the height of the stand and all of the issues regarding that. So that's been the biggest issue."

He added: "The previous regime (Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr) were talking about going out and borrowing an enormous amount of money to build an enormous new facility. That's not what we're doing.

"One of their problems was that they weren't able to get financing. When this (project) happens, financing won't be the problem.

"We just need certainty with regard to these properties and the number of properties that are in question keeps getting reduced."