Football

Liverpool to leave Melwood for Kirkby

English Premier League side Liverpool announced plans yesterday that will see the first team leave their long-time training base in Melwood and move to a redeveloped site in Kirkby, where their youth academy is located.

Melwood, the training ground of some of the biggest names in English football since the late 1950s, including Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, John Barnes and Steven Gerrard, has also been earmarked for redevelopment.

Redeveloping Melwood, elevated to Liverpool's first-team training centre under former manager Bill Shankly in 1959, could provide about 160 houses in West Derby, Liverpool said on their website.

Shankly transformed Melwood into a top-class training facility, but incumbent Juergen Klopp has been a keen advocate of using a larger facility to accommodate the first team and the academy.

RICH HISTORY

"We recognise that Melwood has played a significant role in the club's success and forms an important part of our history," Liverpool's chief operating officer Andy Hughes said on the website.

"However, the Melwood site is limited in space and is unable to accommodate our longer-term ambitions, which is why we are exploring options on the Academy site."

Liverpool plan to spend £50 million (S$88m) on the combined training centre, redeveloping the existing facilities at the academy and converting the main pitch into an indoor one.

The club said that a public consultation would be held on March 8 for residents and businesses to discuss the proposed plans in more detail.

The club did not offer any timeline for the building work, but the Liverpool Echo newspaper reported that it would begin in early 2018 and be completed by the summer of 2019 if the project is given approval. 
- REUTERS

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