Anfield Road capacity fears emerge as Liverpool supporters sent concerning message before Newcastle

Liverpool fear the new Anfield Road stand will be forced to operate at a reduced capacity if persistent standing during games continues.

The stand was officially open to fans for the visit from Manchester United on December 17 when the Reds played host to their biggest crowd at Anfield[1] for 50 years as 57,000 filed into the venue[2] for the goalless draw with Erik ten Hag's side.

Since then, the Reds have beaten West Ham United 5-1 in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals and were held to a 1-1 draw with Arsenal in the Premier League[3] on December 23 and each of the three fixtures have been impacted by persistent standing in a part of the stadium that is not a designated area for it.

Liverpool[4] trialled a safe-standing section on the Kop and in the lower end of the Anfield Road over two years ago with rail seating installed in those parts of the stadium before the green light was given in August to allow 13,000 supporters to be able to stand during matches going forward.

The Reds installed 7,800 rail seats ahead of the 2021/22 campaign and added a further 2,500 during last season's World Cup break between November and December. The most recent installation phase took place earlier this year when an additional 3,000 rail seats were placed on the Kop, in the remainder of blocks 202-208, up to row 33.

However, the newly-expanded stand is not licensed for fans to stand throughout, meaning the club could be hit with sanctions from the relevant authorities should it continue.

It's understood there are concerns from inside the club that the issue puts Anfield at risk of being forced to operate at a reduced capacity, meaning fewer supporters are able to get to the ground at a time when demands for tickets have rarely been higher. The standing also represents a safety risk.

Liverpool have communicated their issues to supporters who have purchased tickets in that area of Anfield ahead of the New Year's Day visit from Newcastle United and are determined to avoid a similar situation that saw a number of match-goers removed from the ground against Arsenal last week.

It's thought a small number of fans were ejected from Anfield for what has been described as '"inexcusable abuse" to stewards trying to limit the number of people standing during the draw with Mikel Arteta's men.

The work to expand the stadium's capacity began with a 'groundbreaking' ceremony featuring Jurgen Klopp[7] in late September 2021 with a plan to increase the capacity from 54,000 to 61,000[8] in total. Anfield is currently operating at around 57,000, however, due to the hospitality areas and a smaller section of the lower tier yet to be completed.

It is hoped Liverpool are able to open their doors to the full 61,000 by late January but persistent standing could yet have an impact on that going forward.

The 7000-seat expansion, which cost around £80m[9], had been slated to open back in August for the visit for Bournemouth but was pushed back until earlier this month after initial contractors Buckingham Group were forced into administration.


  1. ^ Anfield (
  2. ^ 57,000 filed into the venue (
  3. ^ Premier League (
  4. ^ Liverpool (
  5. ^ Pep Guardiola makes blunt Liverpool admission after Man City close gap on leaders (
  6. ^ The Ever-Pool Team of the Year is back - with seven Liverpool and four Everton players (
  7. ^ Jurgen Klopp (
  8. ^ from 54,000 to 61,000 (
  9. ^ cost around £80m (