“We would love to expand Anfield, but there are enough local and regulatory issues to keep that avenue stalled for years with no assurances that once begun it would bear any fruit. If Anfield cannot be expanded, a new stadium is wonderful choice. But the fact is we already have 45,000 seats. If a new stadium is constructed with 60,000 seats you’ve spent an incredible sum of money to add just 15,000 seats. If the cost is £300m for an extra 15,000 seats, that doesn’t make any sense at all. Liverpool isn’t London, you can’t charge £1 million for a long-term club seat. And concession revenues per seat aren’t that much different at Emirates from Anfield. That’s why the search is on currently for a naming-rights partner. And that could very well happen.”
The most obvious fact to be taken from this interview is that redeveloping Anfield looks dead in the water. The years of delay that Henry is talking about on this front is not realistic for FSG and Henry mentions in the same interview that one of the biggest aims for FSG at Liverpool is to “need to build our revenues” in light of the UEFA Financial Fair Play which comes into effect next summer. One of the biggest ways to build revenues of course, is to improve the stadium, meaning this will need to be done as quickly as possible, necessitating a move to Stanley Park.
It looks as if Henry and FSG have followed through this thought process and are now actively seeking naming rights for a new stadium. So if this decision as to where Liverpool play has seemingly been decided upon, the next question for FSG is what to build.
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