The World’s most famous football stand, our ‘Kop’, has been through many changes in its illustrious history. It celebrated it’s 100 year anniversary last August and with the new stadium on the horizon, Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry insisted that the essence of the stadium, and possibly the name, will live on in the new stadium.
Plans for the new stadium aim to incorporate a single-tier stand like the current Anfield.
In an interview with the Liverpool Echo, Rick said: “The plan is to have a single tier Kop. There’s no question of that. That’s one of the priorities we don’t want to change.”
“In terms of whether one stand will be bigger than others, that’s difficult. When you’re designing a new stadium that’s not particularly logical. But all of us at the club know that making The Kop distinctive is very important. George and Tom absolutely understand that. There are a variety of different ways we can do that, but we don’t have any specifics to discuss at the moment.”
Liverpool will be looking at improving the pre-match experience for supporters, in an attempt to get people into the ground earlier.
“We can certainly improve facilities and if we do that well, perhaps we can encourage more people to congregate in the stadium earlier.
“But changing habits is difficult,” he said.
“If we can provide more football related pre-match entertainment which isn’t marching bands or dancing girls, there must be ways of doing it. But that has to come from the fans. We want to listen to them and hear ways of making that difference.
“We have a dialogue with the fans involved with the Reclaim The Kop camapaign, but we know they’re not an exclusive voice on these issues and don’t necessarily speak for everyone.
“But with the Reclaim The Kop campaign we respect that someone is trying to take the initiative and take positive action. That should be applauded and we’re always keen to hear more ideas.”
Parry added: “With American sports, the whole event is much longer. In all their sports there are more time-outs and breaks, so for an hour long ice hockey match you’re there three hours. Baseball is even longer, so there’s a lot of stop-starting which couldn’t be the case here.
“You also have car parking for 12,000 people so there’s more picnic areas and the like. It’s completely different here. The reason people went to the ground earlier in football grounds in the old days is because you didn’t always have a seat and needed to queue up to get in.
“Nowadays people have their seat in advance.”