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AFL's new Anfield throws off problems and 'will almost certainly' kick-off

AFL Architects' new Anfield Stadium will be going ahead, Liverpool Football Club has confirmed, with construction hoped to begin by early 2007.

The club admitted to the AJ today that it is hugely confident that city politicians will lease a section of Stanley Park to allow construction to begin on the new stadium.

A Liverpool Football Club spokesman said: 'Although it is not all done and dusted, we are in the very final stages of approval and are very confident the first bricks will be laid early next year.'

It was generally thought the Merseyside club was in danger of losing its battle to build a new stadium, following the removal of £9 million guaranteed European funding.

But despite this the club has stated its intent to carry on with the project.

The spokesman added: 'Rather than try and secure the European funding at the expense of other projects in Liverpool losing out, we decided it would be better for the money to go back into the pot.

'We had a back-up plan in place, just in case, and now with these Government approvals likely to be granted, we should be in the clear.'

The project has had a long and tortured history, but the news will be welcomed by AFL, which has stuck by the scheme throughout.

by Richard Vaughan

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