FSG has been in the throes of a revitalization project essentially from the time they took over as the stewards of Liverpool Football Club. Famously, we know that they came in at a time when the club was on the brink of administration.
Since that nadir in the club’s fortunes, things have decidedly gone in an upward trajectory. First, righting the ship financially. Then, improving the product on the pitch. Eventually, securing a space in the Champions League again and, just this past year, eventually winning the whole damn thing.
It’s been quite a ride for FSG and they’re not quite done yet. On the back of still more news of potential updates/upgrades to Anfield, Liverpool also decided to consolidate their entire training set up from the first team to the academy at Kirkby. What this meant, then, is that Melwood was no longer going to be needed.
Speculation as to the future of that site began pretty immediately and, for the residents that surround the ground, I’m sure it continued long after more far-flung fans put it out of their minds. Yesterday, though, the club announced that they’ve sold the Melwood property to Torus, an affordable housing provider.
This did not come without its own source of controversy. According to some people in the West Derby area, the region is already overcrowded. And a local meeting ahead of the plan showed strong support for using the space as a public use facility instead of for more housing.
It is early yet to sort out what the future will hold for the neighborhood and given my distance and lack of knowledge of the community’s needs, I can’t quite parse if the concerns are rooted in things that go beyond NIMBY-esque politics. Hopefully, the future plans, which Torus indicates will include deep collaboration with people in the community. And, at the very least, one can be relieved at the fact that the group involved is dedicated to ensuring the housing is affordable and not simply just a typical housing development.