Ayre: Anfield redevelopment will help us compete with rivals

Ian Ayre says the redevelopment of Anfield will allow Liverpool to "compete financially" with their major rivals at home and in Europe.

When complete, the renovated stadium will house close to 60,000 spectators and is on course to be ready for the start of the 2016/17 season.

Speaking to Sky Sports the Liverpool chief executive said: "The stadium is vital to the health of the club and we want to compete at the highest level.

"And if you look at revenue at clubs, match day revenues are important, as well as the mix of commercial and media.

"If you look at Arsenal as an example, after building the Emirates, they generate around 40% of revenue on match day and we generate 20%.

"So this new stadium will get us back to that sort of level because we need to be on an equal level with our competitors."

There had been speculation that Liverpool may have to leave Anfield and build a new stadium on another site, but Ayre says they are delighted to remain at a venue that has been their home since 1892.

"Since the new ownership group (Fenway Sports) came in, we took the decision to work hard to find the right solution," he said.

"It's about finding something in keeping with this great stadium, keeps us at our spiritual home and delivers the sort of capacity which the fans and club deserve.

"It's not just about the stadium. It's also the regeneration of the whole area, the council, the housing group – a not-for-profit housing group in the area.

"And it was important to get a stadium design in keeping with the existing Anfield. As well as having excellent modern facilities, it will look like it's always been part of this fantastic stadium.

"Staying here was so important. But also finding the right economic solution for the long term interest of the club and this does that.

"It gets us towards the capacity we want, and at a better cost than building a new stadium."