Liverpool are poised to quit Anfield, their home for the last 110 years, after being given the go-ahead to build a new stadium in a nearby park.
A poll among local residents produced a narrow majority in favour of building the new stadium, with 59% supporting the proposal.
Anfield, which holds 45,362 has been the home of Liverpool since 1892 but with Manchester United playing at 67,000 capacity Old Trafford,the feeling within the Liverpool hierarchy was a that new, bigger ground should be built, to help the club compete financially with their arch-rivals. The new stadium will have a 55,000 capacity.
“It’s a big day and an exciting day,” said the club’s chief executive Rick Parry.
“We’re absolutely delighted with the outcome.
“The next step from our point of view is to go full steam ahead on the planning application which will go to the city (council) in the early part of the new year.
“Our hope is still to be in a new stadium in time for the start of the 2005-06 season.
“That’s an ambitious programme but we’re still aiming for it. It could mean work starting on the site in the late part of 2003.”