Liverpool move step closer to reported £50m deal, Klopp is adamant it is sealed
By Alex Stevens
Liverpool moved a step closer on Wednesday to transforming their Kirkby academy into a £50million state-of-the-art training complex.
The club revealed on their official website that a public consultation into the proposed groundbreaking project will get underway at 2pm.
Liverpool are seeking council approval to redevelop the current academy and bring together the senior and junior teams on one site.
The blueprint for Liverpool to move from their historic Melwood training HQ in west Derby and merge facilities was announced last month.
It would mean demolishing Liverpool’s current training base at Melwood, where the first team has trained since Bill Shankly was manager in the 1960s, and building 160 new homes on the site.
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The media, including the Times, have reported that the cost of redeveloping Kirkby will be approximately £50million.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 8, 2017
Jurgen Klopp has given his public backing to the project, with the separation of first team and academy a continual source of frustration for the Liverpool manager.
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.
“I really love Melwood but football changes,” Klopp said, as quoted by the Times. “Twenty five years ago, Melwood set the level. In those 25 years, a lot of things happened.
“It’s fantastic but we have no space for anything. If we want to have one more office, we don’t know where to go. That’s the situation.
“Bringing the academy and the first team together is one point, but it’s also about improving a lot of things that we can’t improve here. It will only be good for the future of the club. I really believe that infrastructure keeps responsibility up.
“Staying here for the next 25 years wouldn’t be good for the club. In this moment we have the idea and the opportunity to do something so we have to wait to see when we can say ‘yes, take the next step and start’.”
The plans also include new and improved football pitches and sports facilities for the area as well as the redevelopment of local infrastructure.
To enable the redevelopment at Kirkby, Liverpool would need to purchase around 14 acres of land adjacent to the current site.
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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