Liverpool have explained their reasons for delaying their planned expansion of Anfield for at least 12 months amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The Premier League leaders were scheduled to begin work on a £60m expansion of the Anfield Road stand in December, subject to planning permission, but the work will now be delayed for a year with the aim of being completed by 2023.
The Merseyside club have now released a statement explaining the reasons for the delay, on what will be an 18 month project to take Anfield’s capacity to more than 61,000.
“The club began a two-stage consultation with local residents, groups and businesses, and supporters in November last year and aimed to submit its planning application in spring 2020,” a statement on the club website reads.
“LFC said from the outset that for the expansion to go ahead it would need certainty on three key areas – agreement from the local neighbourhood that they will allow the expansion to proceed; a financial and economic model in place to deliver a long-term sustainable Anfield; and our ability to navigate the complex planning landscape.
“The proposed 18-month build schedule for the Anfield Road expansion project is similar to the Main Stand. It is a complex construction process which is highly dependent on a wide range of time-sensitive variables. These include procurement, construction, sub-contractors, supply chain and the football calendar to ensure minimal impact for supporters by having two summer windows to complete the project.
“On reviewing the delays that the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have for the foreseeable future, coupled with the high levels of uncertainty in the construction industry, it is with regret that the club has paused its proposal to expand the Anfield Road stand for at least 12 months. The earliest target date for completion is now summer 2023.”