Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Redevelopment to 'increase' revenue

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre feels building a new stadium was not economically sound

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre insists a multi-million redevelopment of Anfield will enhance the club's transfer market spending power and not diminish it.

On the second anniversary of Fenway Sports Group's purchase of the Reds, Ayre formally confirmed their intention to remain at their current home and not pursue a new build project in Stanley Park. In addition, plans are afoot for a redevelopment of the Main Stand and Anfield Road at an estimated cost of £150million.

"As we've said, the right solution is the right economic solution," Ayre told liverpoolfc.com. "More so from it detracting from our spending in the transfer market, the whole point of doing this is to actually increase our revenues."

The decision to not move out of Anfield was made on the back of Liverpool City Council announcing extensive plans for a regeneration of the Anfield area with a housing association set to also invest heavily.

Ayre added. "This whole initiative is designed to generate additional revenues so the ultimate solution has to be one that increases the overall output through the process rather than decreasing it. We'll find the right financing solution, the right return on investment to deliver the right amount of additional revenue to support the long-term future of the football club."

Match-day revenues will be significantly increased by bigger crowds and the financial reality was that it could be achieved more cheaply on the current site - Liverpool's home since 1892.

"We need a much-increased capacity and it has to be one that is right for the club going forward," Ayre told the Liverpool Echo. "We could have achieved that in a new stadium but the cost of doing so would have been at least double what we expect to spend by staying put.

"We would have been making very big payments - servicing the loans involved in building a brand new stadium - for very many years into the future.

"That would have hampered our ability to spend money where we, and the supporters, want to see it spent: in buying and developing top players to allow us to continue to compete successfully at the very highest levels in Britain and Europe.

"This option gives us much more chance of generating the revenues we need in a sensible and practical way - and of course of accommodating many more fans who want to come and watch us play."

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