Liverpool 'Speed Up' Anfield Expansion Plans and Seeking 'Big Sponsor'

Alex Keble@alexkebleFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2018

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: General view of a Liverpool emblem at Anfield, the home stadium of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Watford at Anfield on March 17, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Liverpool are reportedly set to "speed up plans" to redevelop the Anfield Road End of their stadium with a view to adding between 6,000 and 8,000 seats to the stand, per Mike Keegan for the Daily Mail

The club were given permission to expand Anfield at the same time as the Main Stand, which was completed in September 2016, and they have moved onto the next part of the rebuilding project quicker than originally anticipated.

Once work was finished on the Main Stand, Anfield's capacity was increased by 8,500 and has brought an extra £12 million in matchday income, which has prompted the owners to focus on adding a tier to the Anfield Road End.

The new tier will take it to the same height as the Main Stand and give Liverpool a new capacity of 60,000. However, the Mail reported the club "could push for 8,000 seats," which would make Anfield the second-biggest stadium in the Premier League.

Liverpool have reportedly contacted "a number of high-profile companies" in the hope of attracting sponsorship for the revamped Anfield Road End. None of the stands at Anfield carry the name of a sponsor.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: General view during the opening event of the Anfield Home of Liverpool Main Stand, at Anfield on September 9, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Barrington Coombs/Getty Images)
Barrington Coombs/Getty Images

Plans for an expansion, and a potential new sponsor, can only be good news for the club. Liverpool's latest accounts, from the 2015-16 season, show a matchday income of £62 million, which has reportedly since risen to £74 million following the Main Stand's expansion. However, this figure is still well below Manchester United's £107 million matchday income or the £100 million Arsenal raked in in 2015-16.

Given that Jurgen Klopp has spent a lot of money on new players over the last 12 months, including the £75 million capture of Virgil van Dijk in January and the £48 million acquisition of Naby Keita (to be completed this summer), it is no surprise Liverpool are looking to increase the capacity of Anfield.

The club have until September 2019 to submit detailed plans for the new Anfield Road End, which means it could be some time before fans are given more information on what the renovated stadium will look like. But with Liverpool seven points clear in the Premier League race for the top four and enjoying life under Klopp, news of financial investment in the ground comes at a good time.

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