The three steps to Liverpool becoming a football superpower

Anfield Pitch

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has revealed the club are making good progress in their quest to redevelop Anfield.

It should be a main priority for the club in the same way moving into the Emirates was hugely significant for Arsenal, as it allowed them to increase their capacity and increase the revenue coming into the club.

The problem Liverpool seem to have at the moment is acquiring the property which would allow them to begin the next step in their journey towards turning Anfield into a 60,000 capacity stadium.

Ayre told Sports Illustrated: "In order to extend Anfield, we need to acquire a bunch of privately owned property around the stadium. We’re making really good progress with that."

That is step one, which is not going to happen quickly so the fans better get used to the financial restraints which are starting to appear around Liverpool’s neck as they continue to adjust to the financial restrictions about to come into the English game.

Once the necessary properties have been snapped up by the club, the next step is going to be the planning situation which again, is not going to happen quickly.

Planning is an essential part of any plans to redevelop Anfield because it has knock on effects to the local community and not everyone who lives nearby is mad for football, but they have to be considered.

Once those first two steps have been completed it’s then a case of finding the funding to actually pay for the work, which will turn Anfield into a stadium which can rival others around England.

That process should be quicker once the funding is in place but where that funding comes from is going to be another pressing issue, as Liverpool may be forced to borrow it which means stadium debts which will have to be paid off.

It’s a process of steps that Liverpool have to take on and endure if they want to get back to being one of the financial and football superpowers in the English game, rivalling the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

The benefit of having a bigger stadium is not just the increase in gate receipts. It allows Liverpool room to justify asking for bigger fees in terms of sponsorship and ad deals which increases the legitimate revenue of the club.

It all adds up to providing the club with extra cash which can be used to pump money back into the infrastructure of the club as well as providing funds for the manager at the time to improve the team.

It should also help strengthen the ideology of Liverpool amongst the local community because more fans will be able to go and see matches, whereas at the moment thousands of fans around Merseyside are restricted from watching games or confined to waiting lists to get tickets.

It’s a move Liverpool have to make if they want to return to the days before United’s dominance of English football where it was an odds on bet that Liverpool would be challenging strongly for every piece of silverware they were involved in.

Can the club pull it off?

image: © Ben Sutherland

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