LFC's new owners are told to speed up their new ground

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Anfield street
Image caption,
Boarded up homes and closed shops line the streets in Anfield

Liverpool FC's new owners have been urged to make a swift decision on its plans to replace the club's current stadium

It is still unclear whether John Henry and his NESV group will build a new stadium or revamp the old one.

City council leader Joe Anderson met NESV'S Tom Werner on Sunday and explained the urgency felt by local residents in Anfield.

Mr Anderson said the talks "went really well."

The council wants the club to decide quickly on whether to build a new, redeveloped or shared stadium.

Council and club officials are due to have further talks in two weeks time.

Residents living in the derelict streets surrounding Anfield Road have been waiting years for the regeneration.

Huge billboards declaring the area a "regeneration zone" were erected some time ago, but many residents feel the only sign of a revamp so far has been the installation of a plastic cow in Walton Breck Road.

John Page owns a barber shop on the same road, which cuts through the heart of Anfield.

He said: "Luckily enough I'm old and I'm nearing the end of it all anyway. But it is just so sad, everything is just going and disappearing, I'm just watching it all disappear."

'Important to fans'

Houses are boarded up, pubs can no longer afford to open during daylight hours because of the lack of business, shops are closing and many are moving out of the area.

A house in Anfield can cost as little as £31,000 compared to the average price of a property in Liverpool being £132,000.

When Tom Hicks and George Gillett took the club over in 2007, there had been promises of a new £60m stadium which would lead to much of the area being regenerated which would attract new shopping plazas, restaurants and cafes.

None of this has happened. Now, with new owners, the area once again seems on the brink of something new.

Image caption,
John Henry has pledged to listen to what the "fans want"

However, Mr Anderson has pledged to revamp the area whether the owners build a new stadium or not.

"The regeneration can go ahead without the involvement of Liverpool but we need to get to the bottom of what the owners are planning to do," he said.

"We want to reassure the people of Anfield that from the council's point of view we will not be sitting idly back waiting.

"We are not going to allow what happened with Hicks and Gillett who wanted to wait until the economic situation in the country to change."

He indicated between £20m and £30m would be spent to revamp homes and build new ones. If Liverpool FC get involved, he said, many more millions could be spent on the area.

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