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How Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium influenced Liverpool’s £60m Anfield decision

Former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton has revealed how he arranged for Reds owner John W. Henry to attend a match at the Emirates Stadium to show why the club must not leave Anfield.

Prior to Henry’s arrival in 2010, the previous Liverpool owners, Tom Hicks and George Gilette, planned to move Liverpool to a new stadium in Stanley Park.

However, serious funding was not secured and the plans were shelved until the economic climate improved and the project never got off the ground.

Just over two years later, the pair were forced to sell and Henry’s Fenway Sports Group took charge, with another development following a further two years down the line as it was announced Anfield would be redeveloped instead of moving the club to a new home.

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Liverpool announced in August that they are to pursue ambitious new plans to redevelop the Anfield Road End and increase the capacity beyond 60,000, which could cost £60million.

Now, it has been revealed how Arsenal’s decision to leave Highbury for the Emirates Stadium impacted the decision, with Broughton telling The Telegraph about the trip.

“That was the most important decision – to do that rather than go for an Emirates style stadium in Stanley Park. We organised a trip for John (Henry) to the Emirates for a game and the feedback was always how everyone loved the stadium except the Arsenal fans.

“They could instantly see why would you throw away ‘This is Anfield’? The Emirates in Stanley Park just did not feel right.

“If he had had to build another stadium he would have, but his determination was to do everything to stay at Anfield which was important.

“Fenway had proven they could do it with the Red Sox as previous owners had bought land next door to build a new arena. Fenway said: ‘Why would you throw away all the tradition of the Green Monster?’ The similarities were clear. They got it through and returned it to former glories. Now they have done the same at Anfield.”