Anfield Road stand builder on verge of collapse

Full opening of Liverpool FC’s new £80m Anfield Road stand by October may be in doubt with main contractor, the £700m Buckingham Group, on the verge of collapse. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool FC
Liverpool FC’s £80m Anfield Road stand is almost complete. Picture by Liverpool FC


Liverpool FC faces uncertainty on the timetable for the full opening of its new £80m Anfield Road stand with the main contractor on the project on the verge of collapse.

Buckingham Group, a £700m-turnover business, has filed notice of intention to appoint administrators. This is designed to give it 10 days to try to keep its creditors at bay.

Work started on the Anfield Road Stand in September 2021 to increase the stadium’s capacity to 61,000. It will directly create 400 additional jobs, growing the average matchday workforce to 2,800 people, with 95% of those directly employed locally.

However, in July the club announced there would be a delay to the full opening of the stand, possibly to October. The lower tier will be ready in time for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth.

Just two weeks ago Buckingham announced a boardroom shake-up with group managing director Ian McSeveney resigning for long term health reasons after 17 years with the business. Deputy group MD Simon Walkley has stepped up into the role.

Its last reported accounts at Companies House, for 2021, reveal losses of almost £11m. This was partly due to losses on work on another football project, the Riverside Stand at Fulham FC’s Craven Cottage.

Founded in 1987 Buckingham grew thanks to a mixture of rail and stadium work as well as warehouse and logistics projects. It currently employs more than 600 people and said it intends to find a buyer for the all or part of the business.

In statement the company said: “It is with immeasurable regret that the Buckingham Board has to announce that rapidly escalating contract losses and a sharp reduction in liquidity, together mean the company is unable to continue trading at this current time.

“… We emphasise the company is currently not in administration. Our main aim at present is to seek to protect jobs, and to preserve as much of the business as possible.


Anfield Road, LFC
Buckingham Group started work on the stand in 2021


In a statement about the Anfield Road stand, Liverpool FC said: “Buckingham Group has made us aware that it has filed for a notice of intention to appoint administrators.

“This filing does not impact the planned opening of the new Anfield Road Stand’s lower tier on Saturday for the match against AFC Bournemouth.

“Following the successful test events earlier this week, Liverpool City Council’s building control team issued a safety certificate to operate the lower tier of the Anfield Road Stand.

READ MORE: Liverpool FC secures ‘safe standing’ licence

“We look forward to welcoming supporters to Anfield for our first Premier League home game of the season.

We will work with Buckingham Group on the planned phased opening of the remainder of the new stand and will continue to keep supporters updated on arrangements for future games.

“Our intention is to update all supporters who have a ticket for the Aston Villa match at the earliest opportunity.”

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