Liverpool Managing Director Ian Ayre explained today why there has been so little said over the new stadium in the last few months:
“The new stadium in the park comes down to the economics; how do we pay it back? It needs a big naming partner. Until you get the answer to those questions it would be wrong and unprofessional for us to make a statement about what we are doing.”
John W Henry also stated on twitter that a great deal was going on behind the scenes saying:
“An incredible amount of work has been underway on this issue. It would be helpful for fans to get an official update.”
Hopefully we will be getting an update soon but for the time being, it looks as if the main area of enquiry at the moment is over whether the Reds can get a big naming rights partner if they moved to the new stadium at Stanley Park.
The research into this area must be pretty extensive, and it says a lot about Fenway Sports Group business acumen that they are trying to cover all bases before they make a decision either way.
Of course, if the Reds can’t find a big naming partner to help fund the cost of building at Stanley Park then the only option will be to redevelop Anfield . Ian Ayre however has stated in recent months that talks with companies over possible naming rights were pretty positive, and I would expect that just like Arsenal who managed to get Emirates on side that Liverpool will surely find an equally, if not bigger sponsor for the stadium. Thinking about FSG ’s business connections in the United States, you would have to assume that an American company would be a prime candidate.
At this stage of course, everything is conjecture until FSG decide to update the fans on progress but I am not one of those who would be opposed to having a sponsored stadium. If building a new stadium just makes more financial sense than redeveloping Anfield, I think it would be good financial sense too, to sell naming rights. It would be in the best interests of the club financially to ensure some of the cost of the build comes from other sources.
I have mentioned in other articles in the past about myself favouring a new stadium, and I won’t go into the reasons here. Suffice to say there are good arguments for and against, and I expect FSG, with their experience of both redevelopment and new builds, to come up with the right decision after all aspects of the issue, including naming rights, are considered thoroughly.
Read more of David’s articles at Live4Liverpool