As Liverpool Football Club prepare to submit plans to to the Liverpool City Council for the redevelopment of Anfield, a potential problem is looming on the horizon.
That's right, bats. The furry, winged, flying mammals that use echolocation to creep out just about everybody not named Bruce Wayne. The problem, you see, is that bats are suspected to roost around Anfield—and that they're protected by domestic and international law.
The Daily Mirror reports:
If ecologists find any bats in areas where redevelopment is imminent then it could mean that a space for the bats would have to be incorporated into any new stand structure.
Law dictates that, as a protected species, bats must not be “adversely affected” by building work and studies will determine what can be done to accommodate bats and building work.
An LFC spokesman said the club was “not aware” that bats roost at the ground. But bats have been seen flying above fans’ heads at several recent matches and a local biodiversity group said sightings do confirm their presence inside the stadium.
Last month, fans were left ducking and finger-pointing when a bat was seen flapping over their heads as Brendan Rodgers’ charges scored one of their four goals in the evening League Cup fixture against Notts County.
The same night, a bat was seen flying in the Kop’s ground-level concourse area as fans headed for exit gates.
That would seem to rule in favour of the presence of bats. So the question is now what's more important—a 60,000-seat Anfield, or the well-being of bats?
The Mirror quotes one Mr. Charlie Liggett, chairman of the Merseyside and West Lancashire Bat Group, as saying: "There is a perception that bats are nothing, but the trouble (is that) it’s not the case. But building something where bats are is not insurmountable."
There you have it, then. Bats: Not nothing. Denizens of the Kop, kindly take note.