Premier League rivals could have built bizarre ‘Siamese-style’ stadium but abandoned idea
Liverpool and Everton share a historic rivalry that goes back generations.
The two clubs are less than a mile apart and for many years there had been talks about the two clubs collaborating on a new stadium project.
Anfield and Goodison Park are both historic stadiums, but as the years went by it was evident that both needed serious upgrades.
Getting enough funding together for these projects proved to be the biggest barrier, and that led to talks about the possibility of groundshares or collaborations.
Liverpool had plans approved in 2003 for an all-new 60,000 seater stadium in Stanley Park, that would have opened in 2006, but a lack of funds saw the project never get off the ground.
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Under the ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, new plans were unveiled for a futuristic stadium that would hold 60,000 people and be expandable to 73,000 in the future.
Hicks and Gillette again struggled to get the money together for this project, which led to talk of a possible groundshare with rivals Everton.
In 2010, it was reported that a new stadium would be co-financed between both clubs. The Toffees themselves saw plans for a new ground in Kirkby rejected.
Both clubs strenuously denied that there had been talk of collaboration, but it received support from Liverpool City Council who urged them to do so.
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This was because it would have boosted the city’s chances of hosting matches at the 2018 World Cup, but that tournament ended up going to Russia anyway.
To tackle these issues over funding, one consortium, the Mersey Stadia-Connex Group, proposed a radical ‘Siamese-style’ stadium that it said would save the clubs between £180m to £200m.
The idea was that both grounds would be built side-by-side but would share a central spine, thus maintaining their independence, but reducing the overall cost.
The unique design had a 60,000-seater stadium for the Reds, while Everton’s would be 50,000.
The plans also included a 300-bed hotel, with many that would face the pitch, as well as 150 executive boxes and a 1,350-space underground car park.
The Liverpool Echo reported in 2010 that the group had held conversations with Everton over the proposals, but had publicly dismissed the idea.
Liverpool were said to have been sent the plans, but did not respond to Mersey Stadia-Connex Group.
“We remain committed to building our new stadium in Stanley Park,” a spokesman for the club said.
A Mersey Stadia-Connex group spokesman said at the time: “We need to reach the prospective new owners of Liverpool FC to inform them about this sensational investment opportunity.
“Most fans will understand the many advantages and financial implications.
“This scheme differs from all previous concepts during the last decade in that we believe it manages to achieve all the clubs’ objectives.
“Primarily they seem to be, in the absence of it being practical to rebuild Anfield and Goodison, to offer state-of-the-art, 21st century facilities to their faithful supporters, increased capacity and transformed hospitality, whilst retaining the strongest link to their heritage, all in a way which delivers the very best value for money in order to ultimately enhance their on field performances and successes.
“As important as any of those just mentioned is the passionate desire to retain independence from each other.
“We are protecting that requirement through a brilliant design concept formulated by Merseysiders for Merseysiders where what is required is an open mindedness and a degree of co-operation.”
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Any plans for a new Liverpool stadium were quashed in 2012 when new owners, the Fenway Sports Group, announced plans to redevelop Anfield to increase its capacity.
Meanwhile, Everton proceeded with plans for its new Bramley-Moore Dock stadium, that will be ready for the 2024/25 season and will be one of the grounds used at Euro 2028.
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