Liverpool's Melwood training ground sold to property developers
Liverpool have sold the site of their Melwood training ground to a property developer.
The plot in West Derby has been bought by Torus, a company committed to the construction of affordable housing.
The deal will reportedly earn the European champions £10million, which will be put towards a brand new training site.
Work began on the new facilities for the first team and academy sides in Kirkby last year and is expected to be completed in 2020, with Liverpool to start using them in the 2020-21 season.
According to a club statement, Torus "will be consulting with the local community to gain feedback from residents and local businesses" as they develop their plans for Melwood.
Andy Hughes, executive vice president of operations and finance at Liverpool, said: "Today marks another significant milestone in this hugely important and ambitious project.
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sale of the Melwood site having played such a significant role in the club's history. But the site is limited in terms of space and is unable to accommodate the club's ambitions for a new first-class combined training facility.
"It's over two years since we started this journey and we'd like to thank everyone who has been involved, particularly local residents in West Derby for their feedback and patience during this tender process.
"All funds from the sale of the Melwood site will be reinvested back into the first-team squad and the state-of-the-art training centre at the new Kirkby site."
Liverpool's statement added that the club and Torus "recognise that Melwood has played an important role in the club's history and will be working together with local residents to ensure the Melwood legacy lives on as part of the future plans".
Chris Bowen, managing director of Torus Developments, said: "With more than 1,600 homes in the area, we're already a long-standing part of the West Derby community, so being selected to develop this site at the heart of the neighbourhood means a great deal to us.
"Consultation with local residents is very important to us and we look forward to meeting with the community in due course. We will also be working closely with LFC to ensure the legacy of this incredibly historical site is a theme throughout.
"Our plans are still at an early stage but will be driven by providing quality affordable homes that address local need, including specialist housing provision where older people and those with additional care needs can lead sociable, fulfilling and independent lives."