Liverpool plan to push through £50m deal after reported Klopp frustration
By Alex Stevens
Liverpool have announced plans to transform their Kirkby academy into a £50million state-of-the-art training complex.
The club revealed on their official website they are seeking council approval to redevelop the current academy and bring together the senior and junior teams on one site.
It would mean demolishing Liverpool’s current training base at Melwood, where the first team has trained since the days of Bill Shankly in the 1960s, and building 160 new homes on the site.
The Guardian report that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been a driving force in getting the wheels in motion for the project, with the separation of first team and academy a source of frustration for the German.
Klopp revealed last summer that he hoped to bring the academy closer to the first team – Melwood and the Kirkby are five miles apart – and the consultation process for the proposed redevelopment has now begun.
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The plans also include new and improved football pitches and sports facilities for the area as well as the redevelopment of local infrastructure. A public consultation is being held next month for local residents and businesses to discuss the plans.
To enable the redevelopment at Kirkby, Liverpool would need to purchase around 14 acres of land adjacent to the current site.
“Our proposed plans to bring the first team and young players together in one location is a really exciting proposition,” the club’s chief operating officer Andy Hughes said, as quoted by the Liverpool website.
“The scheme includes state-of-the-art facilities, which will be used to support the development of our players and provides all-weather training options. We are also working closely with Knowsley Council on plans to make substantial improvements for the local community.
“We recognise that Melwood has played a significant role in the club’s success and forms an important part of our history. However, the Melwood site is limited in space and is unable to accommodate our longer-term ambitions.”
The revamped complex will be designed by KSS, a London-based architects who worked on the Olympic Stadium, Twickenham, Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge and Tottenham’s new training complex.
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