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Jul 11, 2011

Liverpool 'unlikely' to redevelop Anfield

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre feels it is "increasingly unlikely" that the club will be able to redevelop Anfield.

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Liverpool are keen to expand their home ground's capacity, currently 45,522, in order to compete with the matchday revenues of the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal.

The Reds would prefer to remain at the present home, which is steeped in history, but logistically Ayre has admitted they may have to start afresh at Stanley Park.

Ayre told the club's official website: "In the nine months since the new ownership, an enormous amount of work has been undertaken ... to explore the building of a new stadium as well as exploring a refurbishment solution that could deliver the necessary growth in capacity, whilst maintaining the heritage and atmosphere that make Anfield uniquely Liverpool FC.

"However, with land/property acquisition, environmental and statutory issues creating barriers to our ambition, it looks increasingly unlikely there is any way we can move forward on a refurbishment of Anfield unless there are significant changes in those areas.

"We are mindful that supporters have been promised a solution in the past and have been disappointed, and also that local residents would like to know what direction we are headed in.

"However, just like any other business, we can only proceed as and when we are clear on all elements and we will not be forced to make a decision that is not in the best long-term interests of our club and we will not make any promises to our fans that we cannot keep."

Earlier this month, Ayre slammed previous owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, saying that their failure to deliver on their promise of a new stadium had "set the club back several years".

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