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AFL's Liverpool stadium plans placed on hold

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Atherden Fuller Leng Architects' (AFL) designs for Liverpool FC's new stadium are understood to have been put on hold while a comprehensive review of the scheme is made by the club's new owners.

The Manchester and Liverpool-based practice has been involved in the project for several years, but it looks likely that it will have to wait a little longer as Liverpool's new billionaire American owners look at ways to expand the stadium.

AFL's designs are for a 60,000-seat stadium, which will be located in Stanley Park, a stone's throw from the site of Liverpool's current Anfield stadium (pictured.

However, it is understood that Liverpool FC's new owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillette, have requested the development be suspended to find out ways of expanding the stadium, with some sources quoting an extra 25,000 seats, although the real number is likely to be around 5,000.

Both Liverpool FC and AFL refused to comment on the speculation, but it is widely known that both Hicks and Gillette, who have just secured the club for about £250 million, want to keep up with Liverpool's arch rivals Manchester United, who pack nearly 75,000 into Old Trafford each week.

Earlier this week site preparation work was taking place for the new stadium, which the club still hopes will be ready by 2009.

by Richard Vaughan

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