The Turning Point: Liverpool FC Takes the Helm of Anfield Road Stand Project
A New Chapter in Anfield’s Expansion Saga
In a significant development, Liverpool FC has assumed control of the Anfield Road Stand construction site. This move comes in the wake of Buckingham Group’s unfortunate descent into administration. The Buckingham Group, previously responsible for the £80m redevelopment of the Anfield Road End, had to halt operations due to financial difficulties.
The Buckingham Group’s Unravelling
On 17th August, Buckingham Group filed a notice to appoint administrators, marking the end of their involvement in several football stadium projects, including those with Birmingham City and Fulham. Grant Thornton has since been appointed as the administrators. While the rail division found a new home with the Kier Group for £9.6m, the remaining sectors, including building and sport and leisure operations, were not so fortunate. This led to a staggering loss of 446 jobs.
Liverpool’s Revised Timeline
Liverpool FC had to navigate the first two home games of the Premier League season with a reduced capacity, facing off against Bournemouth and Aston Villa. The club had initially aimed for a full opening of the new stand in October, adding 7,000 more seats to Anfield’s existing capacity, raising it to 61,000. However, this timeline is subject to various factors.
FSG’s Proactive Measures
Following Buckingham Group’s administrative collapse, FSG has been quick to take charge of the construction site. This means that work could, theoretically, resume as soon as a new contractor is secured. Sources close to the club indicate that Liverpool is actively seeking a replacement contractor to ensure the stand’s phased opening. The stand has remained operational during the redevelopment, and the club expects no interruptions in its continued use.
CEO Billy Hogan’s Assurance
Billy Hogan, Liverpool’s CEO, expressed the club’s commitment to retaining as many of Buckingham’s existing subcontractors and personnel as possible. Hogan acknowledged the ripple effect of Buckingham’s collapse on various stakeholders, including employees and suppliers. He emphasised that the club is doing everything in its power to ensure the stand’s completion while working with multiple stakeholders behind the scenes.
The Road Ahead
While the club still aims for an October opening, Hogan admits that the timeline is fluid, depending on several factors. The club is working diligently to minimise the impact on the original schedule, especially in light of Buckingham’s administration and its implications on existing contracts.