Liverpool’s hopes of beginning further work on the expansion of Anfield have been thrown into doubt after the UK government’s announcement of tighter restrictions to halt the spread of coronavirus, according to reports.
The club had moved onto the second stage of public consultation regarding plans to add 7,000 seats to the Anfield Road end of the stadium, taking its overall capacity to 61,000.
The proposed move follows the expansion of the main stand, which increased Anfield’s maximum attendance to 54,000.
The Times says that the club were expecting to begin the further work on the stadium – worth £60million – by the end of 2020, with the expansion to be finished in time for the start of the 2022/23 season.
However, the newspaper claims that Liverpool’s hopes of expanding their ground have now been thrown into doubt due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson effectively put the UK into lockdown on Monday by restricting the ability for people to leave their homes to four key reasons, including for exercise and to purchase medical supplies.
The government also announced that all non-essential workers were to work from home if possible, which is having a knock-on effect on the construction industry.
Indeed, the stringent restrictions have already affected Liverpool‘s work on their state-of-the-art Kirkby training facility which was scheduled to become the club’s training base from next season.
Contractors McLaughlin and Harvey were forced to put a stop to work on Monday with the government’s announcement.
The coronavirus pandemic has halted football across Europe’s five major leagues, with the Premier League postponing action until April 30 at the earliest.
Liverpool headed into the postponement needing just two wins to secure their first league title in 30 years, having won 27 of their 29 games in the top flight so far.
In other news, Sky Sports and BT Sport are reportedly considering showing all Saturday 3pm fixtures in a bid to prevent the season from being voided.
The UK has enjoyed a ‘3pm blackout’ on such games for decades, but emergency plans could see that rule scrapped in a bid to finish the season.