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Tom Werner: Anfield Is More Than Just a Building

Liverpool's chairman emphasised the legacy and spirit of Anfield at the official unveiling of the new Main Stand.

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Anfield home of Liverpool Main Stand Opening Event Photo by Barrington Coombs/Getty Images

Liverpool finally have an expanded stadium that will help the club become more competitive financially as well as provide an extra 8,500 seats for visitors. The issue has been a long and thorny one with concerns over regeneration in the area, investment, naming rights, and ticket prices.

Tom Werner, Liverpool's chairman, drew on Liverpool's history in part of his speech at the official opening of the new Main Stand.

We fell in love with Anfield the first time we set foot here, how could you not? We felt it was more than just a building. It was a collection of shared memories and experiences, a place where generations have shared glory, and passion and tension, and of course sorrow and pain as well.

The people of Liverpool have celebrated here together in good times and comforted each other in tragedy. We stand here on the shoulders of players like Billy Liddell, Emlyn Hughes and Roger Hunt, Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard. And we feel the presence of managers such as Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan.

So for us this project is not just about improving our home. We want all of the supporters to feel what we feel, which is future success on the pitch. Because Anfield isn't just where we play our matches, it's home and is as much a part of the identity of the club as the Liver Bird on the crest of the shirt.

FSG delivered on a promise to provide Liverpool with a stadium capacity that befits the club's reputation, completing phase one of the expansion with phase two a possibility in the future. Work on changing rooms and other areas inside the stadium will be undertaken with a view to completing them in January, but now more supporters can enter Anfield.

Anfield's capacity is now the sixth-biggest in English football although it's still some 20,000 short of Old Trafford—England's biggest club stadium and home to fierce rivals Manchester United. Anfield is extremely close to Manchester City's Etihad Stadium and not far off the 60,00-odd Emirates and Olympic stadiums. Liverpool, in short, should be more competitive in the years ahead.

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