This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Liverpool’s start to the season could barely have gone better.
The Reds have won 11 of their first 12 games in the Premier League, and they lead the table by eight points from Leicester City and Chelsea. They are also a further point ahead of champions Manchester City. Not only that, they also top their Champions League group and have progressed to the semi-finals of the League Cup as well.
That success has come in, in part, at their 53,394 seater-stadium, Anfield. It is one of England’s historic grounds, but it is still just the sixth-largest in the country in terms of capacity, behind Old Trafford, the London Stadium, the Emirates Stadium, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the Etihad Stadium. As such, there are plans to increase it to 60,000, with several consultation meetings to be held with fans and local residents.
Increasing the capacity of the stadium makes sense, especially if the Reds want to consolidate their position at the top of the tree. However, they must be careful not to lose their world-famous atmosphere – Pep Guardiola has even said Anfield has something that you will find in no other stadium in the world.
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Whilst they have moved into new stadiums, Arsenal and West Ham have felt the effect of more seats in their grounds, with many complaining about the lack of atmosphere despite there being far more voices.
Liverpool, of course, are a huge team. But so are those two Spanish outfits. At the end of the day, more seats doesn’t make for a better atmosphere. In those kinds of situations, the sound and noise level can often get diluted. Fans around the world want to get a glimpse of the best sides in action. Whilst that is understandable, there is a possibility it could have a dent on those famous European nights.
When a rival like Guardiola says Anfield is good, then it must be. Liverpool must be careful what they wish for.