A view of the new stand at the Anfield Road end of the ground during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest at Anfield O

Earlier this week it was revealed that Liverpool had made a request to the Premier League to begin their 2023/24 campaign away from home.

As the Anfield Road redevelopment project approaches its final stages this summer, Liverpool asked for special dispensation from the League to play their first game of the season on the road so that the final touches could be applied to the £80m project.

Work on the redevelopment of the stand began in 2021, the work being the second major revamp of Anfield seen since Fenway Sports Group acquired the club in 2010, having overseen the major redevelopment of the Main Stand, which opened in 2016.

The latest work will add 7,000 more seats at Anfield, taking the capacity of the stadium to 61,000, a rise of 15,500 since before the Main Stand work was completed seven years ago.

One of the major decisions that FSG had to make when they took over Liverpool was whether or not to remain at Anfield or seek a new purpose built stadium elsewhere in the city. Options were explored but the eventual decision was taken to remain at the club’s spiritual home and redevelop the stadium to bring it in line with the kind of revenue potential that the owners had envisaged.

When FSG acquired the club 13 years ago, matchday revenues sat at £40.9m at the 2010/11 financial year end. Fast forward to the most recent set of accounts, for the year ending May 2022, and the club were pulling in £86.8m. Matchday revenue has more than doubled over the last 10 years against a capacity increase of around 18 per cent.

In 2016 the £114m Main Stand redevelopment was completed, the capacity increasing by 8,500 seats and a new matchday experience and significantly enhanced corporate offering helped Liverpool grow revenues considerably.

In the 2015/16 set of financial accounts published by Liverpool, matchday revenue stood at £62.4m. The following accounting period, 2016/17, saw matchday revenues at £73.5m, an increase of almost 18 per cent year on year. The increase in matchday revenues since the completion of the Main Stand has been 39 per cent.

At present in the Premier League, only Manchester United (£110.5m) and Tottenham Hotspur (£106.1m) have been able to break the £100m mark for matchday revenue. But Liverpool, upon completion of the Anfield Road End expansion, will likely join that club by the time 2025 arrives and the stadium has had the benefit of more than a year of being in full swing at increased capacity. There will also be an increase in the revenue potential through greater food and beverage sales, delivered through greater demand for tickets being satisfied.

Last summer saw the likes of the Eagles, the Rolling Stones and Elton John perform at Anfield in the summer, aiding revenue generation. This summer, given the need to accelerate the final stages of the development, no concerts will be held, although they are expected to return for the summer of 2023, providing the Reds with further chances to make the most of the world-class venue that is Anfield.

Speaking at the Sportico Invest in Sports conference in New York in October, where the ECHO were present, one of FSG’s most senior leaders and partners, Sam Kennedy said: “We found an unbelievable facility, a venue that means so much more than football to the community. It is literally a place where generations have shared memories and made connections and bonds unlike anywhere else in sport if you think about what Anfield means in Liverpool.

“”That said, when we arrived it needed some significant investment. There was no premium offering to speak of, not a lot of focus on food and beverage, and gameday experience to say the least.

“There had been talk of maybe a dual build with Everton and maybe building one venue for both clubs. I can assure you that was a bad idea, it would have been a bad idea for us to come out in support of it for reasons that may seem obvious now to people who understand global football.

“We made the decision to do exactly what we did at Fenway Park, preserve Anfield, protect it and expand it. We have invested several hundred million pounds into the facility, we have created a new main stand, an Anfield Road stand that is coming online, all inside the venue to bring people to the games earlier and to enhance the experience that they have there.