It doesn’t look like FSG have any immediate plans to expand the Anfield Road end, because it’s simply not financially viable, CEO Ian Ayre has explained.
Ayre, who’s leaving to join 1860 Munich as a Director of Football at the end of the season, told a meeting of the Liverpool Supporters’ Committee (cited in the Echo) that it would take the club 15 years to repay an expansion of 6,000-odd seats, which would bring the ground to a 60,000 capacity.
“If you consider the redevelopment of Anfield Road from a purely General Admission perspective, building, say, 6,000 extra seats to take the capacity up to 60,000 would cost somewhere between £60m and £70m.
“At £12,000 to £13,000 per seat, it would take approximately 15 years to pay back, which is not a smart investment for the business. Therefore the Club needs to find a rounded solution that’s in the best interests of the football club.
“As with the Main Stand, the Club has to find the right economic model, and only then will it be the right time to move forward,” he said.
Unimpressed, the supporters presented a rebuttal, claiming there were options including investors and supporter payment.
Graham Smith, a representative for Merseyside based supporters on the committee, said: “There are people who would think a 15-year return would make sense, and that’s the supporters. The supporters would fund such a development upfront if the Club made an appeal for financial support.”
Ayre’s response was that he couldn’t speak for the owners but that it sounded like an interesting proposal…
Last month, John W. Henry annoyed fans by his comments over in New York, which insinuated that an inability to charge ridiculous ticket prices make further Anfield expansion unviable.
Speaking to AP in New York, he said; “I don’t know if there is a next step because ticket prices are an issue in England. That may foreclose further expansion. We’ll have to see.”