Following the statement from Liverpool FC about the ongoing stadium situation, Spirit Of Shankly would like to reaffirm its position.
Under a period of new management and direction the current owners, FSG, and Managing Director, Ian Ayre, should be afforded the time and opportunity to make the right decision for the Club, its supporters and the local community.
While the issue of a new stadium or redeveloped Anfield has been in discussion for over two decades, the lack of recent progress lies with the previous owners. Neither, Liverpool FC, nor Liverpool City Council, however, can afford to get this decision wrong at a time when the Club should be looking to move forward and find a solution not just for the present but for the next century. We would hope the correct, but lengthy processes are allowed to run their course to prevent mistakes that could hinder future generations being able to watch their team firsthand.
These processes must be full and thorough. They must be transparent and those responsible, accountable. With this in mind we call on the Club and the Council to actively engage with each other as well as with the other stakeholders in this debate – the supporters and local community. Given recent experiences with past owners, our involvement in the Football Quarter and the importance of any stadium decision, we feel it is necessary and right that the views, opinions and feelings of those directly affected, are heard.
The options should be explained in detail, and plans for refurbishment and a new stadium should be published, allowing for open dialogue and consultation to take place where the true custodians of the Club and local community, the supporters and the residents, are able to have their say.
For too long, those directly affected have been ignored, or the process for engagement has been haphazard, with no clear plan on who to engage or how to move forward. Honest and open debate is needed to allow a solution to be found that suits all parties and allows everyone to work together for the greater benefit of the Club, the community and the city.