Liverpool have announced a delay of ‘at least 12 months’ on the expansion project of the Anfield Road stand as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The earliest the proposed work can now be finished is the summer of 2023, in time for the 2023/24 season.
Having completed the consultation stage, Liverpool were aiming to submit planning permission for the expansion work this spring, with the intention of work beginning in summer.
#LFC update on proposed expansion of Anfield Road stand.
— Liverpool FC (at ?) (@LFC) April 27, 2020
Aside from the problems with procurement, sub-contracting and construction that the coronavirus lockdown has thrown up, Liverpool will not be able to go ahead as soon as intended as a result of necessary ‘two clear summer closed season windows’ for the complicated 18-month build.
Given the delayed end to the 2019/20 season, which could leave a very short gap of less than a month between the end of this campaign and the start of the next, that time frame isn’t available.
As such, the build project cannot now begin until 2021 at the earliest and will not be completed any sooner than the summer of 2023. The delay does, however, now mean that there is no immediate time pressure on submitting the planning application.
“We have experienced a number of delays to the planned project as a direct result of the COVID-19 lockdown,” Liverpool chief operating officer Andy Hughes said in a club statement.
“Given the challenges that many sectors are facing right now, including the construction, procurement and public sectors, we are taking a responsible approach to pause the project for at least 12 months.
“The complex build programme for Anfield Road is an 18-month process and needs two clear summer closed season windows in order for it to be successful.
“This is why we are pausing on the project for at least 12 months so the earliest we could complete the programme is summer 2023 rather than summer 2022 as originally planned.
“Given the planning application is no longer time-critical, it is our intention to submit our planning application at some stage during the next 12 months.”
Liverpool also took the opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to the ‘health and wellbeing of our people, the local community and supporters at this challenging time’.