Liverpool chief Billy Hogan attempts to allay fears over stadium delay as he insists ‘we are still aiming for October’… but admits he ‘doesn’t want to set false expectations’ after contractors were plunged into administration
- Buckingham Group filed for a notice of intention to appoint administrators
- Liverpool are still aiming for October to have the £80m project completed
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Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan has attempted to allay fears after the contractors behind their £80m Anfield Road redevelopment filed for administration.
Workers left the site last Thursday, the morning after news broke that Buckingham Group Contractors had filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.
The project, which will see Anfield increase to a capacity of 61,000, had already suffered a setback after it was announced last month that the new tier would not be open for the club’s first home game against Bournemouth.
They then set the goal of having the work completed by October and, despite their contractors going into administration, Hogan says the Reds still aim to have the work completed by then.
He told Liverpool’s official website: ‘Obviously we talked about having the stand fully open in October, clearly we have discussed the uncertainty that this announcement (regarding the contractors) creates.
The contractors for Liverpool’s Anfield Road redevelopment filed for administration, with the Reds hoping to get the stand fully open by October
The top tier of Anfield Road was closed for their first home game of the season at the weekend
Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan (left) still hopes the project will be completed by October
‘We are still aiming for October but what we’re working through now is to put a plan in place. As I said, [there is] an unbelievable amount of work going on in the background, literally since we were made aware of Buckingham’s intentions, to make sure that we have as little impact on that timeline as possible.
‘So, again, I don’t want to set false expectations but we do have to have, obviously, a schedule that we need to work towards.
‘It’s hard to set that schedule based on what is happening immediately, but we are working through it having digested the announcement on Thursday and working over the course of the last several days and then any subsequent administration of Buckingham and what that means with regards to our contract with them and then the strategy and programme that we put forward.’
Liverpool’s next home game is on September 3, against Aston Villa, and Hogan expects there to be a similar capacity for that game as there was against Bournemouth – at about 50,000.
Similar to the 3-1 win over the Cherries, just the lower tier of the Anfield Road stand will be open against Villa.
They hoped to have the stand ready for the Bournemouth game but announced last month that there was still vital work to do to comply with Liverpool City Council’s requirements.
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Hogan said that would also mean some ‘reductions in allocations across the stadium’ but they will look to make the impact minimal. All season-ticket holders and those with 13+ credits will be accommodated for.
In a message to fans, Hogan added: ‘We’re really disappointed with the news that we received last week and since that moment I can assure you that internally we have been working as hard as possible to get everything as well as possible planned for whatever the eventuality might be.
‘We are in a bit of the unknown right now so we certainly are sorry for any inconvenience that this delay has had on people, we recognise that it hasn’t been easy for our supporters as well.
‘But please be assured that we are doing everything we can, as I said, in the background. I know there are frustrations, we share them, which is why we have got a great team of people here at the club working on solutions.’
Worked started on the development in September 2021 with the original target of being ready for the start of this season.
The target to open in time for this season was always an ambitious goal for the £80million investment and fans will recall that the revamped Main Stand opened in phases in 2016, having played the first three games of the season away from home.
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