Liverpool FC's plans of expanding Anfield stadium moved a step closer following the publication of a consultation document.

The city council launched proposals for a £260 million regeneration project around the area which includes expanding the football ground to a 55,000 capacity. The plans could be approved as early as April allowing the club to look at submitting a stadium expansion planning application later in the year.

Despite being regular contenders at the top of Premier League, Liverpool have fallen behind their rivals somewhat in terms of stadia. The likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City all boast much larger stadium with City looking to expand the size of the Etihad Stadium to 62,170. Even the likes of Newcastle United and Sunderland have biggest grounds than the Reds.

By increasing capacity at Anfield it will allow for more money to be generated through match day ticket sales and allow the club to compete financially with teams all across Europe. Plans to expand the ground revolve around the Main Stand and Anfield Road but this would affect a number of properties around the area.

Ian Ayre, managing director of Liverpool, confirmed that 67 of the 71 houses involved in the work had been acquired by the club but there were still a select few that had not be purchased. The final four properties are owned by two different owners and talks are ongoing but the council has stated that it will pursue a compulsory purchase order if a deal is not struck.

"Any final decision regarding a future stadium expansion continues to be based on certainty – certainty that we can obtain the necessary land around the stadium to facilitate any expansion; certainty that there is demand for any future expansion; certainty that we have home owners’ support; and certainty that we will be able to navigate the complex planning landscape," Mr Ayre added.

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