Liverpool have revealed long-awaited plans to expand Anfield, which would increase the capacity to almost 54,000 for the start of 2016-17.
The Premier League leaders released detailed images of their proposals on Wednesday, which would initially see the stadium’s Main Stand expanded to include an additional 8,500 seats.
The club said they expect to submit planning permission for that part of the redevelopment in the coming months, with a view to construction work beginning in early 2015.
They also published outline plans for 4,800 additional seats to be added to the Anfield Road Stand in a second phase of rebuilding, which would take place at a later date.
Should the proposals be approved, Anfield’s capacity would eventually increase to around 59,000.
Ian Ayre, Liverpool’s managing director, told the club’s official website the “ambitious” plans would be discussed with the local community prior to a planning application being submitted to Liverpool City Council.
“In order to move forward with our expansion plans, we need to have certainty that we can navigate the complex planning process and secure the support of the community, local home owners, businesses and other key stakeholders,” he said.
“This consultation exercise is an important part of this process.
“We started this journey just over 18 months ago and a lot of good work has already been done. There is still an incredible amount to do, but good progress has been made so far and we are proud to be able to unveil our plans.”
Liverpool City Council, meanwhile, confirmed that negotiations with property owners around the stadium are “progressing well and all parties are close to agreement”, Liverpool’s club statement continued.
Anfield currently holds just over 45,000 spectators, with Liverpool keen to expand the ground to help make their commercial revenues competitive against the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal, whose stadium capacities are close to 75,000 and 60,000 respectively.
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