Friday, 8 June 2012
Anfield, a place we call home.
Anfield Stadium, home of Liverpool Football Club.
In footballing terms, it is one of the most historic site in England. Entrenched in the heart of Liverpool for more than 100 years, it was opened in 1884 and since then became the darling of merseyside.
Liverpool used to be a bustling port city where sailors from all over the world had come to work and stay. Infact we can find many Malaysians who once traveled the sea making their living on ships became part of its population and being similar to Detroit USA, Liverpool is a city populated by mostly blue collared worker. It is a tough place to live. Many of the sailors back then were Norwegians and the word "scouse" came from a Norwegian word for stew called "lapskaus". I bet they also have a few negritos from South America around then.
Anyway, from the very beginning football has never been only just a past time sport in England. It is one of the most popular and to some, it is like a religion. In Liverpool, it became their life.
Akin to a synagogue to jews and mosque to muslims, Anfield Stadium became a sacred place for the red half of Liverpool. It is the spot where they would come to socialize, drink and spend time together, cheering their team with unconditional love. Until now, the stadium is filled with friends and the kop end placing their most fiercest.
The English league has now become commercially huge. With that comes the need to make football stadium bigger. Arsenal and Manchester United are some of the big clubs that has made that shift and benefited from it.
With a maximum capacity of only about 45,000 seat compared to 75,000 at Old Trafford and 60,000 at Emirates, Anfield Stadium is at a crossroad.
When Hicks and Gillette took over the team back in 2007, they made plans to build a new stadium in Stanley Park. Visuals on the design have also been published to the public.
Recently, Ian Ayre made a press statement saying that they are making progress on finalizing the future of Anfield. It has been a wide known fact that Fenway Sports Group (FSG) is reluctant to build a new stadium at a cost of 300million pounds with only an additional 15,000 seat. There were also rumours saying that Air China is prepared to invest in building the new stadium subject to them having the rights over its name. Okay, let's not go there.
Contrary to this, a recent article in the Guardian reported that instead of building a new stadium, FSG has opted for the cheaper route, my preferred route. Anfield will be upgraded by demolishing nearby houses to add in new tiers and corporate facilities. The management is in the midst of clearing up issues with the city council especially in the area of "right of light" where residents within the vicinity of the stadium will be guaranteed to have similar "illuminations" or quantity of light even after the stadiums refurbishment.
Whatever the future holds for Anfield Stadium, the fact remains. It will always be the stadium most revered by opponents especially when the home fans starts roaring "You'll never walk alone".
It will always be our home and at home, we can call Evra what ever we want.