25 July 2007

Gillett and Hicks and the new stadium

There will be a fair bit of talk about the new stadium, with 3 photos of the new design released today, and many others will cover it far better than I’m able to.

Liverpoolfc.tv main article

Liverpoolfc.tv portal to other articles
Liverpool Echo main article
BBC Sport article
RAWK stadium thread

I’d just like to make one point in regards to Gillett and Hicks.

The new owners said their first priority would be signing current players to new deals. Gerrard, Carragher, Reina, Alonso, Sissoko, and Finnan all now have new deals.

They then said money would be made available for new players, with no set figure, just depending on Rafa’s needs and wants. Well, Torres was signed for ~£20m, Babel for £11.5m, Benayoun for ~£5m, and Lucas for ~£5m, while bringing in Voronin on a free and innumerable youth players, with only £20m or so recouped through the sales of Bellamy, Cisse, Garcia and Pongolle.

Gillett and Hicks also promised a redesign of the new stadium plan, to take into account fans’ desires and the legacy of the Kop, making the new stadium more unique to Liverpool, while leaving room for possible expansion to increase the number of seats from 60,000 (which is what the first planning application approved) to a potential 76,000-78,000. With today’s announcement, it appears they’ve fulfilled that promise as well, although there’s still a good bit of work to be done. But they’ve made all the right steps, including tailoring the new design to make the new planning application as near to the old one as possible in the hopes it will be expedited, and beginning discussions over improving infrastructure to the stadium which would allow in the increase in capacity.

Yes, it’s still early, and yes, I’m still not completely convinced, but honestly, Gillett and Hicks have done everything they’ve promised so far, and that needs to be recognized.

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