Stadium boost for City of Liverpool FC

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The planned site in Fazakerley. Pic © Google Maps

The successful non-league startup club, City of Liverpool FC, can celebrate another goal off the pitch, having secured the rights to have a home of their own.

‘The Purps’, formed in 2015 as a response to locals being priced out of watching Liverpool and Everton in the Premier League, have been sharing a ground with Bootle FC, but now they have the green light to build a new facility.

Following a three-year-long process, City of Liverpool FC have announced a deal with Knowsley Council to develop the club’s first stadium, which they are calling Project L10.

Chairman Paul Manning is one of the founding members of the North West Counties League Premier Division club. He told JMU Journalism: “We wanted a non-league team in Liverpool as an alternative to watching Liverpool or Everton, which is difficult from a cost point of view.

“With an average gate of over 400, we have the biggest attendances in our league and even leagues above us, and when people see our plans we expect more to come.”

The earmarked site is the former Fazakerley Playing Fields on Long Lane, and Mr Manning says the club wouldn’t have made the announcement unless they were confident it will run smoothly.

YouTube: Andrew Livingston, JMU Journalism (2017)

He said: “We haven’t made a final decision on architects, but we have plans to make it self-sustainable and we haven’t released them as we don’t want people thinking it’s unrealistic, because it’s not. Phase one will see us build two sides of a stadium, with a 3G pitch and a bar-restaurant for functions.”

The club have only been in operation for 18 months, but have already won four trophies. Currently playing in the fifth tier of non-league football, officials recognise the plans are ambitious for a team at that level, but they very much have eyes on the future.

City of Liverpool FC. Pic © Andrew Livingston JMU Journalism

Media manager Gary Johansen told JMU Journalism: “To be at this stage after only one-and-a-half seasons in phenomenal. Everyone is totally behind the plan and the interest is only going to take off further.

“The club plan to follow in the footsteps of fellow fan-owned club FC United of Manchester. They raised £3.4 million through community shares, where members can purchase a stake in the construction for around £100. We currently have 1,200 shareholders, and it is hoped around £500,000 could be raised by this method.

“An additional £2 million will be generated with help from external agencies, and finally a small mortgage on the land.”

The side currently play their games at the TDP Solicitors stadium in Bootle, and have renewed their lease for a further three seasons to allow for planning, financing and construction of the club’s new home.

YouTube: Ian Pickstock

About Evan Fyfe, JMU Journalism