Stadium enabling begins, Rafa denies £50m demand

For the first time this year, a joint statement has been issued by Liverpool co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks, as they announced the commencement of work on the site of the proposed new stadium for the club.

Enabling work begins on New Anfield stadiumWhen planning consent was granted by the council in May there was a waiting period before work of any kind could commence, and it seems that has now passed. The statement on the official club website says the council, “granted full planning permission on June 19 to Liverpool Football Club to build a 60,000 seater stadium and outline planning permission for a mixed use development on the existing Anfield stadium site.”

The 60,000 capacity was a throwback to the plans inherited by the current owners when they took the club over last year. Their decision to scrap those plans was made partly because of a desire for a unique look to the new ground, as opposed the generic-looking bowl appearance of the originals, but mainly because of the need for a larger capacity. The intention is to have the capacity as high as 73,000 by the time the stadium opens – it has room for that capacity – but to do this certain improvements must be made to the infrastructure to enable what is an otherwise residential area to handle an increase of 28,000 visitors to the area on match day. One element of the current plans is an underground car park holding around 1,000 cars, but those cars will have to arrive early and leave late as part of the planning conditions. Proposals to build a new railway station on an existing freight line have been looked at.

As the official statement points out, as well as that car park the new ground would include a club shop, “conference and banqueting facilities” and importantly a Community Partnership centre.

Lang O’Rourke were hired by the club for the project, and they now have the right to carry out “enabling works under a licence issued by the Liverpool City Council. Works started on June 23.”

The work now under way is literally to enable the full construction teams to carry out their work, including creating facilities for the entry and exit of vehicles and equipment, which will include the tons of earth that needs to be excavated. Full construction work is dependent on the end of the bird nesting season, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 making it an offence to disturb the nests of any wild bird when in use or being built. The Act defines the season as ending on August 31st, so work should begin in September.

George Gillett’s words appeared first in the statement, he said this early work was “significant” in that it finally shows “tangible evidence” the new ground will be built: “This is a significant milestone for the club and I am delighted that the design received full planning consent and that we are now on site. We have been working very hard over the last six months to move the details of the design along but this is the first tangible evidence for fans that a New LFC Stadium will be built.

“The stadium design is unique and will be recognised across the world as the Liverpool FC Stadium. It incorporates a Kop stand that will hold 18,000 fans and we hope that the stadium will be as noisy and atmospheric on a matchday as Anfield.”

His partner Tom Hicks was quoted next, referring to the work already underway in the park as part of the wider regeneration project, work being carried out by the council. He said: “We recognise the importance of a new LFC Stadium as part of the wider regeneration of the local area. We have watched the council transform Stanley Park over the last six months and the ongoing refurbishment of houses in the Anfield / Breckfield area.

“I am pleased that now the club has received full planning permission it can join the regeneration process with the commencement of enabling works.”

The statement reaffirms that the stadium is “on programme” for its planned opening in August 2011.

Concerns about the overall funding for the stadium have still not been publicly allayed, despite the start of this work. The owners included a £60m facility in their overall £350m finance package in January purely for stadium work, and this amount will enable the construction work itself to begin in September. However the time that has passed since that package was taken out has been spent with both owners at loggerheads, with DIC fighting to take over the club.

Tom Hicks made it clear, despite early press reports suggesting otherwise, that he had no intention of selling his share of the club, and that he would block any attempts by DIC to take any more than a minority share of the club from George Gillett. Meanwhile Gillett made it clear he was unwilling to sell any of his interest to Tom Hicks, meaning that under the terms of the veto contained in the partnership agreement there was a stalemate.

DIC have hinted via fans group SOS that they don’t believe this veto is enforceable, and that Gillett could sell his stake at any time he wished. Gillett hasn’t denied this is the case, but to be fair hasn’t actually commented on the veto at all since March, when he hinted that Hicks had only “threatened” to apply the veto.

The bottom line of this stand-off is that progress on obtaining funding for the remainder of the construction project wasn’t being made by the club itself; instead Tom Hicks was looking at various ways of funding both the stadium and a buy-out of George Gillett. Gillett was looking to sell and so wasn’t looking at all at funding for the stadium, and DIC were of course likely to organise their own funding had they been able to force the owners out. Gillett spoke on Canadian radio last week of improvements in communication between his family and the Hicks family.

A meeting between the NWDA chairman Steven Broomhead and representatives of the LFC parent company Kop Holdings was expected to take place two weeks ago, but no meeting has so far been held. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the funding of the stadium, with the NWDA looking for assurances that the wider regeneration of Anfield and Breckfield, which depends on the stadium project, was not going to be held back or impacted.

Rafa denies demanding £50m from owners.

Meanwhile stories in some papers this morning that claimed Rafael Benitez had been having another outburst about transfer funds were slammed by the manager himself. Some of the claims included an old Liverpool target, Daniel Alves, as part of a £50m shopping list the manager had been demanding the owners go out and get for him. The fact Alves has already got an agreement to join Barcelona seemed to have been overlooked. Also on the alleged list were known target Gareth Barry and regularly rumoured targets David Villa and David Silva.

According to today’s Echo Rafa is once again perplexed at the reports, telling them he hadn’t spoken to any reporters, and had no idea where the stories came from.

The two Davids - Silva and VillaHe said: “The stories are ridiculous. Total rubbish. They have me trying to sign Daniel Alves, who already has an agreement with Barcelona, so how could I be trying to sign him? I am working hard with Rick Parry, who is in regular contact with the Americans, and there are no problems. The reports are just unbelievable.” Rafa didn’t deny the links with the two Davids, but even with the full valuations being met on the players he is trying to move out, alongside the reported £20m cash he’s been handed on top, it would take some unprecedented negotiation skills from Liverpool to see both players signed.

The paper confirms that Andrea Dossena’s move is now all done bar the signing, which will be done when the newlywed gets back from his honeymoon.

Reports also this afternoon say that Peter Crouch has been the subject of a £9m bid from Portsmouth, which Liverpool have rejected.

Crouch was valued at a rather high £15m by Rafa at the end of the season, but Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp admitted in the press shortly after that he’d be interested in doing business at £10m. However it now looks like the Pompey manager has smaller funds at his disposal than he realised, and he’s not even started his bidding at the £10m mark he earlier said would be acceptable. “It’s known I like Crouchie, but it doesn’t look like anything is happening there. I think Liverpool want a bit too much money for him. If that’s the case then we’ll move on to the next option.” Perhaps Harry now regrets his original comments on the £10m price.

The south coast side have also been looking at Yossi Benayoun, but the former West Ham star has said he doesn’t want to leave the club. Redknapp admitted his interest, saying: “Of course I’d like to have someone like Yossi Benayoun. He’s a top player. I don’t know what the chances are of getting him out of Liverpool.”

Yossi is one of Rafa’s fringe players, and seems to have accepted that idea, knowing how much appreciation he has had when he has made an impact either from the bench or as an occasional starter. He’s heard some of that appreciation from the Kop he says: “There are three or four clubs in England willing to buy me after the season I have just had, but I want to stay at Liverpool until the end of my career. It really moves me when I go out on to the pitch at Anfield and the crowd start singing.” He actually appeared 47 times last season, and although 21 of those were as a substitute, he wasn’t on Rafa’s list of players surplus to requirements.

Press in the Midlands say that Martin O’Neill was thwarted in a last-minute bid to sign Liverpool left-back John Arne Riise.  The Norwegian star signed a four-year deal with AS Roma last week, netting Liverpool £3.96m when all the instalments are finally paid, along with some extras added if certain milestones are passed.

If the reports are to be believed, O’Neill seems to have lost out due to his tactics in the Gareth Barry transfer negotiations. After Liverpool’s original £10m bid was leaked – not by Liverpool – O’Neill slammed the offer due to it including the option of including certain Liverpool players in part-exchange. Over time Gareth Barry made it clear he wanted to leave Villa for Anfield, and eventually O’Neill slapped an £18m fee on the player. Already having made it clear he no longer wished to pay the £10m fee for Scott Carson that was agreed a year ago as giving Villa first option on the keeper, O’Neill was also trying to play down the valuation Liverpool had on the other players they were making available.

By the time O’Neill let Riise know of his interest, the Norwegian had no interest in Villa any more, and went ahead with the move to Italy.

O’Neill is not longer dealing directly with Rafa in the Barry transfer, and is looking increasingly likely to be facing a choice between losing a player for far less than he would like, and trying to persuade that player and the fans that he still has a future at Villa. The player has decided to step out of the firing line and has left his current club and Liverpool to fight it out with each other. Villa expected another bid last week, but Liverpool chose not to make one.

Xabi Alonso’s move to Italy is likely to be finalised when his involvement in Euro 2008 is over, Spain now through to the semi-finals.

44 thoughts on “Stadium enabling begins, Rafa denies £50m demand”

  1. Hopefully this is the start of our new stadium and not some publicity stunt to keep us quiet for the summer.

    It just goes to show how badly us fans have been treated and how many promises they have broken that I bet this news of putting up a fence and access roads will be treated with suspicion by many. Shame on H&G.

    But hopefully this is the start finally of a new beginning. I will always hate the f*ckers but if they don’t build this stadium after all the debt they have a made the club pay for then it will be us who will be the biggest losers. Unfortunately, we need this stadium to survive as much as they do to make their obscene profits.

    If they didn’t want to use the bird issue as an excuse then the birds should have been moved long before nesting season. However, we are where we are and they have their excuse. On September 1st i want to see every single tree removed and line of diggers ready to go. We have waited way too long for this.

  2. ” If they didn’t want to use the bird issue as an excuse then the birds should have been moved long before nesting season. However, we are where we are and they have their excuse. On September 1st i want to see every single tree removed and line of diggers ready to go. We have waited way too long for this. ”

    @Stephen you cannot just remove trees in a public area with out permission. You need to have a kind of planning permision to remove trees as they are all protected by preservation orders. The only organisation that can over ride a preservation order is network rail, they have a right to cut down any tree’s that need to be cleared if they are going to cause problems on railway tracks. I think they still cannot remove nesting birds though.

  3. If they cut down the trees before nesting season nobody would have said anything as we have had planning permission for that site for years now.

    Even if we didn’t the fine would have been miniscule compared to the millions a 3 month delay costs.

    They are supposed to be efficient businessmen. The bird issue is just an excuse to give them time over the summer.

    Lets get real here.

  4. Just a slight interjection, but felling a tree protected under a TPO is a criminal offence as well as a civil offence.

  5. If they are so protected why did we get planning permission 3 years ago and again 2 years ago and again this year to knock them down?

    It either the trees are protected or the birds nesting? Which is it?

    Are you telling me if the owners cut the trees down once they received planning permission last year to build the stadium it would have been a criminal offence. If thats the case how are they able to do it now? (after nesting season)

  6. It’s all well and good saying the fine would be minuscule – but do you actually know how much it would be.

    Also, with it being part of the planning consent, what would breaking that law do to the attempts to increase capacity to 73k?

    From what we’ve read, the enablement work started last week had to wait for a licence from the council, which was waiting on full planning consent being given, which was presumably ensuring no judicial review was required. How long does that work take to complete? The only delay the bird nesting season is causing then is the gap from the end of this enablement work until September 1st.

    It’s 10 weeks or so until September 1st, so the gap isn’t exactly massive.

    Even though it isn’t 3 months, how relevant would that kind of delay be anyway? The construction companies hired knew from January when they were announced as contractors exactly what the timescales were to start work, and their deadline to complete work. The deadline is the start of the 2011/2012 season. In fact the deadline will be slightly before that, because they’ll have to stage test fixtures there and so on. The delay has actually been 12 months when you think about it, because the plans first unveiled in July were earmarked for 2010/2011.

    When you say the bird nesting is an excuse (as many have) what exactly is it an excuse from? When it hits September 1st (give or take a few days) they’ve either got to start work or own up to not having the money. It all seems a little elaborate as an excuse, and I still don’t see what they get out of using it as an excuse. I also wonder what Laings will think, given that they’re now in a contract with us to build the ground.

    Like it or not, the Americans are getting the stadium built, by the looks of it. This bit of work getting under way is another prediction proved wrong, and we’ve had a few of those.

  7. ” Stephen // Jun 24, 2008 at 6:14 pm
    If they are so protected why did we get planning permission 3 years ago and again 2 years ago and again this year to knock them down?

    It either the trees are protected or the birds nesting? Which is it?

    Are you telling me if the owners cut the trees down once they received planning permission last year to build the stadium it would have been a criminal offence. If thats the case how are they able to do it now? (after nesting season) ”

    @Stephen you also have to realise that it would be a criminal offence so who ever said cut them down would have a criminal record or could go to prison.

  8. “If they are so protected why did we get planning permission 3 years ago and again 2 years ago and again this year to knock them down? ”

    @Stephen they are not protected like a listed building they are just protected from people knocking them down as they see fit. Some trees recieve more protection than others. If Stanley park was full of mature oaks then they would never have been given permsision to cut them down. The next time you go walking around a public park or a leafy suberb look for a little plastic tag just above head height with a few numbers on it and that is a record of the tree that the council uses as a preservation order.

  9. You are missing the point here. We have received full planning permission on several occasions to build a stadium on that site. If we started to build the Parry Bowl last year as we were entitled to as we had full planning permission to do so (and the council were hoping we would) would we have been committing a criminal offence? Would chopping the trees down as per the full planning permission received from the council resulted in the contracters going to prison.

    This isn’t just going into a park and chopping down trees willy nilly. We have full permission from the council and the government to build a stadium on that site for a number of years. So I don’t get it that these trees are only now protected??

    As for the owners – it obviously gives them time to sort out the finance where as if they had removed the trees initially as covered under the full planning permission we would have a full summer of good weather to really get started on the stadium. It just seems to me to be a very ineffecient use of time considering the stadium is their number 1 objective.

  10. I like the idea of letting the birds build their nests and do their singing and stuff for the summer. Besides the symbol for the city and emblem of the club is a bird. I bet if G&G had f*cked with the birds there would have been war. Sometimes you can’t win, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  11. @Stephen maybe they could have chopped down the tree’s, but all you would have done then is give the people who are already against LFC moving to the park more ammunition to fire at the club. It wouldn’t look good if LFC just went into the park and chopped the tree’s down and made a mess of the park without then starting the stadium. In reality it has only added a few weeks to the time scale aas there was a time limit from when planning permision was granted to when building could commence in which the government could call in the plans in order to have a public enquiry.

  12. I am the egg man
    I agree with what you are saying on this matter, however (much like you’re accusations of Jim weeks back) are you now a Hicks (& Gillett) apologist????
    😉

  13. @Stephen.

    Thers a difference between planning permission and enabling works under licence. The latter only being rubber stamped last week. Therefore anyone walking into a public park with a chainsaw cutting trees down willynilly would have ended up in jail…I think

  14. ” Is this a discussion about trees or Liverpool Football Club? ”

    @mr.anon its a discussion about both. I voted for the green party during the last local election, now St Micheals has the only green councelors in Liverpool, there ar now 2.

    SAVE THE TREE’S !!!!!!!!!

    The tree’s have not stopped the stadium being built it has been the time waiting for plans to be drawn up and the time taken for us to get planning permission. In reality the tree’s have only put an extra few weeks on the timetable, so I feel that the birds and the tree’s are getting a bed press unfairly here.

  15. Im all for presevation of trees and things….But we do need to drop this thread, otherwise we’ll bring it to the attention of tree huggers from all over the uk…remenber Newbury byepass….Oh lord we’ll ave that smelly f*”k burrowing himself into umderground worm holes all over the park…ahhhhhhh.

    I just wanna see it go up…with no more delays :-)

  16. well i expected a discussion about the stadium and got 15 posts about trees. when the birds are done nesting we move on, the birds will find there are no trees where there were trees and they will also move on!they wont give a toss,they will just find another tree next year, its quite simple nature really

  17. @Robb

    I can see where ya goin fella….But the end game is rules are fookin rules…..let the club be as sympathetic /resectful to building regs as it should be to the urban regeneration around the ground……remember the club & the fans should always be a part of the surrounding neiboughood(spell check)

  18. Time will show if the owners were stalling as people keep trying to claim, but even if someone turned up now and donated £300m to the club for the stadium they couldn’t start any quicker.

    Whatever you think of the owners, there is probably nothing more important to their plans than the building of this stadium.

    They’ve got the £60m to start it, that’s 20% of the total £300m cost. Some of it will be funded by a mortgage-style long-term loan, some will come from naming rights or other sponsorship tie-ins. All the banks will look at is the evidence of how the stadium can bring money in, the season ticket waiting list will be part of that. As the work progresses they’ll get sign-ups from corporates who want a box for 5 or 10 years, and so on.

    I still find it ironic when I see comments around the net from people who call Hicks a cowboy, but are now demanding he bring cowboy builders in to do a cowboy job on the trees! Thankfully they’ve resisted those demands so far, otherwise we might find our planning permission revoked, not to mention some serious charges against the club. Increasing the capacity would be off, and if there was one thing that might persuade the banks not to lend it would be the signs that the project managers were willing to break the law and so jeopardise the whole project.

  19. @ModusOperandi: Sorry this comment took so long to appear – it was held up waiting for moderation, no idea why.

  20. @Jim Boardman // Jun 26, 2008 at 8:31 am.

    Everything you say is true Jim but its all, (and I mean all), done with borrowed money which is not what David Moores envisaged when he sold his shares. He’ll be kicking himself for the rest of his life.

  21. @Jofrad, I hear what you are saying but Man U was bought with borrowed money and they still win the prem every year and still do well when they venture into the transfere market. I do not like the idea that the fans will have to pay of the loans that GG & TH used to buy the club, but did you really believe that someone was going to come along and be the savior for LFC like Abromovic was to Chavski? I think this is just grasping at straws this attitude and I think we will have to live with it. The sad fact is it’s not just Liverpool fans who are being shafted it’s all football fans in the prem and even in the Championship. Football fans will get shafted it’s not right but that is just the way it is. If it wasn’t TH who was doing it to the club it would just be someone else. I think all this they have used money borrowed money to buy the club and they are out of order, well I think that in the cold light of day it was the only way it was going to happen. It’s not right but that is life.

  22. ” I am the egg man
    I agree with what you are saying on this matter, however (much like you’re accusations of Jim weeks back) are you now a Hicks (& Gillett) apologist???? ”

    @ModusOperandi, if the truth be known I was never really against their way of doing things, if you see my above post you will see my reasoning for why I haven’t really been against them, although I do not necessarily agree with them but thats is the unfortunate face of football nowadays. I do not recall ever making accusations against Jim I always felt he was being a reasonable guy with his thinking. The only reason I wanted DIC in charge of the club instead of TH & GG was because they have deeper pockets. The way I see it a lot of people just turned af]gainst TH & GG when the idea resurfaced about DIC coming back on board. I felt that people where being led by a big fat juicy carrot by DIC and if they hadn’t reappeared then the protests against the two wouldn’t have been so bad. I even went on local radio and compared the actions of the fans the Russian Revolution, as I didn’t see any reason for their actions apart from DIC offering a better deal. So in this I felt TH & GG to be innocent victims just like the czars and DIC to be Lennin and the fans the people of Russia about to murder their leader for it to blow up in their face’s.

  23. If the stadium was my number one priority from the minute I took over the club 16 months ago I would have

    1). Put the plans together for the new stadium (which they did)
    2). Apply for planning permission on that stadium
    3). Ask the council to allow enabling works to begin at the site subject to the previous planning permission in and in advance of new permission being rubber stamped.
    4). Have all financing put in place (subject to receiving planning permission)
    5). Got the site ready with the full approval of the council.
    6). On confirmation of the approval start work with little delay.

    Unless I didn’t have the means to build the stadium and was stalling for time. Then I would use excuses re trees and bird nesting to play for a much time as possible.

    Don’t forget we are building a 71,000 seater stadium despite the fact that we have only got planning permission for 60,000. This shows the way work can begin while planning permission is sought for changes.

    Its just good management on their part. And don’t forget the council is extremely interested in getting this stadium built so approval for enabling works to proceed on the basis of a previous approval would be an absolute formality.

    But I guess as Jim says we’ll find out in September. Fingers crossed the bulldozers are waiting at the gates early on the 1st Sept. We can’t afford anymore delays.

    Anyway enough said about bloody trees – another farce of their ownership!!

  24. @Stephen the trees are not being used as an excuse they had to wait for the time to pass from when they where given planning permission to when the gevernment could call in the plans for a public enquiry. The tree’s are not the only problem it is also the time that the government has got to call in the plans.

  25. @I am The Egg Man,
    I hear what you say but I also recall David Moores saying 2 years ago that he would love to develop the club himself but he could not afford to do so and therefore was looking for someone who could. The sad fact is that the club was undervalued and bought with borrowed money with further borrowings for the stadium. I am 100% certain that if DM had his time over again he would sell to DIC. And before anyone points out that DIC are in business to make money; I fully realise that but I cannot see how DIC would have to borrow 1 penny to develop Liverpool neither would they have made the club the laughing stock of English football that it is now.

  26. ” 3). Ask the council to allow enabling works to begin at the site subject to the previous planning permission in and in advance of new permission being rubber stamped. ”

    @Stephen there is a group of peoplein Anfield that do not want LFC to:

    1. Build a new stadium by there houses.
    2. Build a new stadium in a public park.
    Do you not agree that it would look very bad if LFC went into the park cut down all the tree’s and then put a big fence around a large area of the park only for nothing else to happen for 12 months or whatever the time would be. Even the people who do not mind LFC moving into the park would have something to say about that. It would be a public park that no body could use as it had a fence around it. At the moment there is a tennis tournament going on in a public park in Liverpool which happens every year and is organised by Bjorn Borg. A lot of old pro’s go there to play, one year they had quad bikes going onto the courts of a night when every one had gone home, but there wasn’t anything they could do as it was a public park. I do not even think they would have been allowed to start work on the park unless they where in a position to start building work iminently.

  27. @Jofrad I am not going to disagree with you because you are correct, and I also think that DIC would be alot better than TH & GG at owners of the club but like I said in the cold light of day that is the way it is and there is very little we can do about it. Like I said I wasn’t expecting anything other than what we ended up with, bar the public humiliation and thats why I am prepared to let whatever happens happen, as we are not the only people who are being shafted.

  28. To Stephen:
    I’ve read all the comments and I can’t understand the fuss people are making over trees and the bird nesting season. As indicated in the report, trees can not be disturbed during the nesting season ends on 31st Aug and it seems to be covered under the terms and conditions of the planning agreement. If the owners have commissioned Laing O’Rourke to carry out work and are paying up front or making stage payments, why would they want to delay things. If anything, delaying would cost more should there be any increase in interest rates in the intervening period and thereby increasing repayments on the loans. In short, there is no advantage to delay the start of works over trivial issues like trees and may even be a disadvantage.

    As I understand it, a licence was issued by LCC for the enabling works which expires 1/9/08 and a full licence including the 999 year lease has yet to be finalised between LCC and LFC. No work can be contemplated before full planning is granted and a council will never give permission to starting works ‘in lieu’ of full planning being granted. I think we need to appreciate the complicated arrangements needed for this project and the coordination required. If I am not mistaken Laing O’Rourke have opened an office locally and so have surveyors who are the project managers and who have moved people up from London.

    I agree with Jim Boardman that the complicated nature of a project like this is hardly likely to be delayed over birds especially if such delays will cost money. We’re not talking about renovating a house here and we should try to understand the project scope and size before we even try to grapple with contractural issues. I am no expert in planning law but I would ask the council to see the plans (if still available) to get an understanding of what’s required in a project like this before I jump to judgments and conclusions.

    As Jim also indicated, the prophets of doom (SOS etc) have been blown away in their predictions that work would never start. Work HAS started and we should acknowledge that rather than firing blanks. The increase in capacity from 60k to 73k is a separate planning application and is subject to negotiations between the owners and LCC about infrastructure upgrades.

    We should also bear in mind Hicks has hired Philip Nash to oversee the new stadium as Nash oversaw The Emirates project and has experience in projects of this size. We should give credit where credit is due and stop blaming the owners for everything with the bird nesting season the latest ludicrous installment!

  29. Pete, Wheres the money to complete the stadium? I actually believe they don’t have it yet.

    Hence they are now using the bird nesting as cover to bide them more time. As you say time is money hence if they had all the financing in place they could easily have gotten themselves into a position where they were ready to go the second planning permission was fully completed. As it stands we have to wait until September before we can clear the site ready for building. It is an inefficient way of doing things and it says to me that they haven’t got the finance to do it yet. If you have evidence of the finance being in place then I will happily stand corrected. I want this stadium but I just don’t understand they way they have gone about it. They have wasted months and months and months and now once they get permission to start we have to wait more months.

    Lets wait until they actually start building before we make any more comments. Enabling works mean very little until the finance is actually in place to build the stadium.

  30. From what I have seen yesterday I think Torres is better when he is playing alone up front, as soon as Villa went out Torres was more active, makes me wonder if a 4 4 2 formation is a good option for as.

  31. LFC Malta // Jun 27, 2008 at 9:20 am
    From what I have seen yesterday I think Torres is better when he is playing alone up front, as soon as Villa went out Torres was more active, makes me wonder if a 4 4 2 formation is a good option for as.
    ———-
    excuse me, but what does this have to do with trees exactly?!?!?
    😉

  32. Just a point,

    How is Harry Redknapp allowed to tap up players blatantly every week in the press?

    He’s doing it currently with Crouch, Benayoun and Wright-Phillips.

    I hate the man!

  33. Well Jim,According to a poster on the forums of the official site this all just a charade.HE has links to Laings and they have told him that no enabling works are being carried out just fencing up of the area and some machinery being put on site.He said enabling works were already completed some time ago.Also said that unless a guarantee of funds is made by sept 23 then Laings will move off site and crack on with other projects.

    If true it presents a very different picture to the one the Yanks tried to impose this week.

    Don’t know where the post is on lfc tv but I found it here:-

    http://www.est1892.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=52184&page=2

  34. @Graham: I’ve seen that post elsewhere, and found it pretty laughable to be honest. It’s full of holes. The kindest thing I can say is that original poster, whoever he is, has been lied to. And I think I’m being a little too kind there.

    Enabling works had started last spring, but were called off as soon as the owners decided they’d be ditching the Parry Bowl. Had they not scrapped the version that they unveiled last summer, the enabling works would have gone ahead sometime after the government agreed not to carry out a judicial review.

    Fencing up the site, creating some kind of facility to store machinery and equipment, laying down roadways if needed, adding in temporary accomodation, providing any necessary power or otherwise – all of these types of activity come under the heading “enabling works” – and different contractors will no doubt have different ideas on what they feel they require before starting their main work. Architects’ access to the site has nothing to do with enabling work – or if it has, they’d need to go back anyway to deal with the fact their plans aren’t the same as they drew up last summer.

    There won’t be any removal of trees or shrubbery yet either, unless they’ve gone through a rather painstaking method of monitoring those trees and shrubs to ensure there is no possibility whatsoever of them being used by birds.

    The poster also seems to fluctuate between knowing one of the top people at Laings to knowing someone who just seems to know the gossip going around the general Laings workforce. Why would someone in the general workforce say “no silver has been exchanged” – repeatedly – anyway? What kind of people talk like that in real life?

    “The cowboys have not complied with any guarantees regarding construction contracts…” Hang on a minute, maybe it’s not worded well, but you don’t guarantee a contract, you offer one, it’s signed, you’re all subject to it then. A guarantee is a contract.

    If the boarding up of plant is nothing to do with excavation work, yet the first real part of construction is the excavation, then why are they providing facilities for plant?

    The owners have £60m, a fifth, of the construction costs to one side already, it’s in black and white in the accounts and so can no longer be laughed off by their critics as not actually being in existence. So they can do this excavation, just as soon as the council give them the paperwork to start it. They’ll do that in September.

    He’s then convinced that they are only trying to start the work on the stadium to make their valuation somehow more realistic, before clearing off prior to competion. That’s a line that’s been peddled by the usual suspects for a while now, back when they were peddling 90-day time limits and impending foreclosure by US banks before the end of the season.

    All in all it’s a typical summer silly season story someone spent a while making up, except instead of Martin O’Neill lodging with Zinedine Zidane until Sol Campbell’s house is sold, it’s all about the ownership and the finances.

  35. If it is a rumor coming from thwe contractors then I would take it with a pinch of salt. I was watching that documentry on HMS Illustirious on 5 the other week. When they realised that there was a problem with the drive shaft that turns the propelar and it becaem clear that the ship was not sea worthy as a result, the higher ranks took great fun in starting rumors such as:-

    A tow truck was coming down from Portsmouth and the ship was going to be put on the back and taken back to Pompy for repairs.

    So it may just be a rumor that has been started by some one from Lang as a laugh. I would also like to point out that anyone who works for a company like that is bound by the Data Protection Act, so they would not dare tell anybody else about the contract as TH & GG as well as LFC could sue them for a fortune.

  36. @ Jim

    It did seem bit funny given that if enabling works had taken place before now then surely places would have been boarded up,plant on site etc which I’m sure would’ve been noticed by someone!

    I’m hoping it isn’t just a charade and it really is the start,American owners or not,we need it built asap

  37. who are the contracters that are meant to be carrying out these works ?
    if its Laing O’rourke, why does it say CASEY contractors on the hi-vis and machinery of the workers in the propaganda photos released by the club ????

    Could it be that CASEY are carrying out work on park regeneration and have eff all to do with the stadium work ??

  38. “Ste Leftley, June 25th 2008
    Steve Leftley today meet with Peter Brian from Ayrefield Plant LTD who have been given the job again of Enabling Works on the newanfield project.
    Diggers Move In newanfield.co.ukPeter Brian Ayrefield Plant Ltd newanfield.co.uk
    Also working with Peter at Anfield is Carl Kinsella who you may have seen pictured on this site some time ago. When work first started on the site.
    Newanfield.co.uk also met up with Mr Graham Lang B Eng(Hons), Project Manager from P. Casey Ltd who have been responsible for the Stanley Park Regeneration.
    The stadium will incorporate a club shop, conference and banqueting facilities, parking for almost 1,000 vehicles and a Community Partnership centre.
    Its design is ultimately capable of accommodating up to 73,000 people subject to further planning permission.
    LFC has instructed Laing O’Rourke to commence enabling works under a licence issued by the Liverpool City Council. Works started on June 23.
    Here are the latest pictures of the work so far… “

    http://www.newanfield.co.uk/stanleyparkimages.html

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