Friday, 16 March 2012

Rivals weigh up stadium options

Managing director Ian Ayre has stressed Liverpool will be patient before making a decision on how best to solve the club's stadium issues.
The Reds are looking to increase their capacity to boost their revenue from gate receipts and put them in line with Manchester United and Arsenal - the only Premier League clubs with stadiums that hold over 60,000.
Liverpool are mulling over building a new stadium in Stanley Park or redeveloping Anfield, which currently has a capacity of 46,000.
A naming-rights deal would also swell their income and is a realistic possibility, but Ayre admits the club's hierarchy face a balancing act between spending money on the squad and a new stadium/redevelopment.
"It is about finding the right solution that keeps the great heritage experience and atmosphere, and finding the right thing for the future. It's not so easy a challenge," he said.
Economic model
"We have to have the right economic model. Our sweet spot is around 60,000 to 65,000 because we don't want empty seats.
"We already have 46,000 seats and those extra 20,000 seats are not going to generate hundreds of millions.
"People are more interested in what happens on the pitch [but] it's not to say that the other things are not important.
"If it meant we were writing cheques for that rather than the team, people will ask why."
Speaking at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress being held in the city, Ayre accepted Liverpool must act "in a responsible way".
He was joined at the event by Everton's chief executive Robert Elstone, who reiterated that redevelopment of Goodison Park is unrealistic.
The Toffees have had stadium issues of their own on the other side of Stanley Park, with a joint proposal with Tesco for a site at Kirkby having already been rejected.
"We have to look for a new site and use the Kirkby funding model which involved 40% to 45% of the capital cost coming from retail uplift subsidy," he said.
"I don't think there is a shortage of sites, I believe there is a shortage of funding."