Is this the year Liverpool return to greatness? The Rafa Benitez era ended with such a depressing tone, continued by ultra depressing months with Roy Hodgson that Kenny Dalglish’s return and results made it feel like the team were in the run for the title. They were far from it, but a certain attitude and intimidation factor returned to the team. Anfield, the team’s mythical stadium, opened back in 1884, has always been and still is a big part of it.
The 45,276 seater is one of the more famous grounds in the world, mostly known for the Kop Stand and the fans, which are usually at their best on European nights. With Liverpool’s relatively new American owners, the NESV, proving their willingness to spend tons of cash on the team, the always existing need for more revenues in order to compete financially with Manchester United, Arsenal and the never ending cash stream of Manchester City and Chelsea, the Stanley Park project is back on the table again.
The new stadium has been in plans since the beginning of this millennium. The 999-year lease was given, but then the 2008 recession happened. The Hicks & Gillette duo turned out to be owning Liverpool with borrowed money and the plans for Stanley Park slowly dimmed away.
After watching a game in Anfield this year, John Henry said that he preferred the club remained at Anfield, stating that the “Kop is unrivalled” and it would “be hard to replicate that feeling anywhere else.”
Today, Liverpool’s managing director had a different tone in regards to the options of staying at Anfield and expanding the legendary stadium.
With land/property acquisition, environmental and statutory issues creating barriers to our ambition, it looks increasingly unlikely there is any way we can move forward on a refurbishment of Anfield unless there are significant changes in those areas.
Back to the Stanley Park option it seems. The new owners promised no to make any promises to fans that they couldn’t keep. Unlike Hicks and Gillette, which have set the club back several years according to Ian Ayre, the managing director. I wonder what’ll come sooner – A Premier League title or the new Stanley Park Stadium. Liverpool’s actions in the transfer market, showing ambition which has been kind of missing with the Reds in recent years, might suggest that the title thing might finally be edging closer.