One of Fenway Sports Group’s concerns when looking at taking on a club with the history of Liverpool was sorting out how to be a good steward of that history, while keeping an eye on the modern realities of the game. Namely, of course, money.
And one of the supposed obstacles to ensuring that Liverpool would remain competitive was that Anfield was a bit of a relic. Now, that wasn’t meant to mean that it did not have sentimental value, just that its general size in terms of overall seating capacity for the venue was much smaller than its competitors. Because of that, many reasoned that Liverpool might have to move out of Anfield in order to remain financially competitive.
The owners who shall not be named prior to FSG did look at constructing a new stadium at Stanley Park but FSG quickly abandoned that, opting instead to do as they did with their American baseball team - the Boston Red Sox - and stay at their historically significant stadium. In 2015, FSG completed a renovation of the main stand which was re-named to the Sir Kenny Dalglish stand.
That renovation moved Anfield closer in line with other stadiums (such as Manchester City’s Etihad) by taking their capacity seating up to just over 54,000 seats. They do still lag behind other clubs - like Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur - but the proposed expansion of the Anfield Road end would see the stadium’s capacity expand to nearly 60,000 seats, bringing them closer to the two London clubs.
As such, FSG and the club have prepared their plans for expansion and have, per the official site, begun inviting local members of the community to view the plans and submit comment. The club position themselves as being knitted into the local community, so this step makes a lot of sense.
Even with the proposed expansion, though, the club will lag rather far behind the capacity of the London Stadium - home to West Ham - and, of course, Old Trafford, home to rivals Manchester United. Still, the expansion would provide some benefit in ensuring that Liverpool can continue to produce a team that the local fans can be proud of.
Here’s hoping FSG honor the voice and wishes of the local groups as they seek to also protect Liverpool’s ability to remain financially competitive into the future.