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The Reds reveal their plans to extend their stadium’s capacity to 58,800 for consultation from fans and locals, with completion by the start of 2016-17 a plausible target

Liverpool have unveiled details of their plans to redevelop Anfield and expand it to a capacity of around 58,800.

With an official planning application intended to be submitted in the close-season, the Reds are seeking consultation from fans, residents and local businesses on the proposed work.

The plans would see the stadium’s Main Stand have 8,500 seats added and redeveloped to open into a large concourse, better accessible to the ground’s surroundings. The Hillsborough Memorial would also be moved to a dedicated cloister in the stand.

“As part of our proposed stadium redevelopment project, we have unveiled the detail of our ambitious plans for an expanded Main Stand and Anfield Road stand and are embarking on a consultation process which will shape and inform our planning application,” the club’s managing director, Ian Ayre, said in a statement.

“In order to move forward with our expansion plans we need to have certainty that we can navigate the complex planning process and secure the support of the community, local homeowners, businesses and other key stakeholders. This consultation exercise is an important part of this process.

“We started this journey just over 18 months ago and a lot of work has already been done. There is still an incredible amount to do but good progress has been made so far and we are proud to be able to unveil our plans.”

In conjunction with the City Council, Liverpool are still negotiating to buy up the last of the vacant housing around the stadium to go ahead with the redevelopment but the club say that they are optimistic of finally securing agreements to that effect.

If the application for planning permission is submitted on schedule and granted, the Reds hope to begin work in early 2015, with completion in time for the 2016-17 season a possibility.

Brendan Rodgers has revealed the Reds owners are already mapping out their hopes for the future, while hinting at a potentially busy summer ahead of a return to Europe’s top table

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says the club’s owners are already making plans to build on this season’s success.

The Anfield outfit are on course to win their first English title since 1990, holding a five-point advantage over second-placed Chelsea with three matches to play.

Owners Fenway Sports Group recently visited Merseyside to take in a 3-2 home triumph over Manchester City – a game that has potentially decided the title.

And Rodgers says the owners are delighted with the development at Liverpool before stating long-term success was their aim.

Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo: “It was great to have the owners over.

“It was nice for them because it was such a huge game and obviously it was an emotional time around the Hillsborough anniversary.

“I think they saw the development of the club and of the team and they were very complimentary. It’s important for them to see that progress across the football club.

“They are absolutely delighted with what they’ve seen over the past 20 months and we talked about how we can keep the club moving forward because that’s vitally important.

“It’s been an ongoing process since I arrived here. We don’t want it to be just for this season, we want to sustain it over a longer period.

“That’s something that was pretty clear for us all in the discussions we had when I came in. We wanted to establish something that would be in place for a long time.”

Rodgers also hinted at a busy close-season in the transfer market as Liverpool prepare for a return to the Champions League.

Liverpool’s campaign has been aided by a lack of European football and Rodgers knows additions are necessary to cope with the demands it will bring next term.

“If you want to be challenging on all fronts then you need depth in all departments,” he added.

Brendan Rodgers has revealed the Reds owners are already mapping out their hopes for the future, while hinting at a potentially busy summer ahead of a return to Europe’s top table

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says the club’s owners are already making plans to build on this season’s success.

The Anfield outfit are on course to win their first English title since 1990, holding a five-point advantage over second-placed Chelsea with three matches to play.

Owners Fenway Sports Group recently visited Merseyside to take in a 3-2 home triumph over Manchester City – a game that has potentially decided the title.

And Rodgers says the owners are delighted with the development at Liverpool before stating long-term success was their aim.

Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo: “It was great to have the owners over.

“It was nice for them because it was such a huge game and obviously it was an emotional time around the Hillsborough anniversary.

“I think they saw the development of the club and of the team and they were very complimentary. It’s important for them to see that progress across the football club.

“They are absolutely delighted with what they’ve seen over the past 20 months and we talked about how we can keep the club moving forward because that’s vitally important.

“It’s been an ongoing process since I arrived here. We don’t want it to be just for this season, we want to sustain it over a longer period.

“That’s something that was pretty clear for us all in the discussions we had when I came in. We wanted to establish something that would be in place for a long time.”

Rodgers also hinted at a busy close-season in the transfer market as Liverpool prepare for a return to the Champions League.

Liverpool’s campaign has been aided by a lack of European football and Rodgers knows additions are necessary to cope with the demands it will bring next term.

“If you want to be challenging on all fronts then you need depth in all departments,” he added.

The Chilean still believes his side can win the Premier League and does not feel Liverpool’s clash with Chelsea will prove decisive

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini does not feel the Premier League title will be decided by Liverpool’s clash with Chelsea.

Pellegrini is still holding out hope his side can win the league, a prospect that has become increasingly unlikely in recent weeks.

City – six points behind table-toppers Liverpool and with a game in hand – need Chelsea to win at Anfield on Sunday but will be anxious after manager Jose Mourinho hinted at fielding a weakened side to help the Blues’ Champions League push.

If Chelsea do beat Liverpool, and City succeed in all their remaining games, they can win the Premier League and Pellegrini told the Manchester Evening News: “I don’t think Sunday will be decisive.

“There are a lot of examples in football to say not. If you remember the last title City won, against United, in the last few minutes, football is never finished.

“Liverpool could win on Sunday and then maybe the other two games will be very difficult for them.

“In the end, if you have a mathematical chance to win, football will never say it is final. They are two important games on Sunday, but both teams have to win their other games as well.”

Pellegrini feels the club have been hard done by with their fixture list, with runs in the League Cup – which they won – and FA Cup as well as inclement weather giving them multiple games in hand.

“For us all season it has been very difficult to get to the top of the league,” he added.

“If you look at the 34 games we have played, only once or twice were we top of the table.

“With three games being postponed, you don’t have nine points, you still have to win them, so it has been very difficult for our team in motivation, to think we were at the top of the table.

“Since we lost against Liverpool, our future hasn’t depended on what we do, but have a duty to try and win our games.”

Pellegrini also said City “recovered” their early season style on Monday, as goals from Pablo Zabaleta, Sergio Aguero and Martin Demichelis gave them a 3-1 home win over West Brom.

Sunday’s win over Norwich saw the league leaders confirm a return to the competition for the first time since 2009, and the managing director is delighted with the club’s progress

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre says the club’s qualification for the Champions League will prove a huge boost in the transfer market.

Sunday’s 3-2 win over Norwich City saw the Reds confirm a top-three finish, marking a return to the competition for the first time since 2009, with a first Premier League crown now in their sights.

Ayre admitted being unable to offer Champions League football in the past has made negotiations with players harder – name-checking previous wantaway striker Luis Suarez – and hinted at summer signings.

“It has always been tougher in the transfer market when you are not competing at the highest level,” Ayre is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

“We had the issue with Luis [Suarez] last summer because he wanted to play in the best games against the best players.

“That is always a factor. We have always been fortunate to be able to bring great players here despite that but there is no question [the Champions League] opens up a few doors for us and makes it a little bit easier.

“There is no question we always expected that the squad we need for next season will be very different to the squad that we have needed for this year when we were not playing in Europe.”

Goals from Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez held off a spirited display from relegation-threatened Norwich to see the club move five points clear at the top of the table and Ayre is delighted with the club’s progress.

“What we achieved on Sunday was massive,” said Ayre. “This isn’t just about getting in the qualifiers.

“We are guaranteed Champions League football. It is an unbelievable achievement from where we were.

“It is what we set out for but if you were taking bets at the start of the season, you would have said fourth place would be a great achievement. Now we are guaranteed third and we are determined to push on.”

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