The barriers to Liverpool FC being able to stay at Anfield
Liverpool FC's stadium saga is a story fans are well accustomed to.
Under the previous ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett it was one of delays and broken promises.
Now under the guidance of John Henry the club is keen not to over promise but is now facing considerable problems. But it is clear that Henry would prefer to stay at Anfield because of its heritage, and because it is cheaper than moving to an all singing all dancing new ground in Stanley Park.
But the club has come up against the city council that wants it to keep to its previous commitment to move to a new ground in Stanley Park.
Not least because the regeneration plans for the area were built around the club's plans to move ground.
For years the community in the area has waited while LFC failed to get its act together. Visiting Anfield it is impossible not to notice the dereliction in nearby streets.
Understandably the council wants the club to make its mind up one way or the other. So it has given the club a short three month extension on an option for a 999-year lease on the Stanley Park site.
The club says it is cheaper to stay at Anfield but that "land/property acquisition, environmental and statutory issues" are creating barriers to the club's ambition.
LFC clearly want the council to change its mind and chief executive Ian Ayre says it will not be pressured into making a decision. Let's break down what the club means.
For land and property acquisition read that the club needs to buy up nearby houses. Without help from the council to issue Compulsory Purchase Orders this could take years or mean the club paying hugely inflated prices for houses.
The environmental and statutory issue refers to a number of issues.
If the club wants to redevelop Anfield it will need to go for yet another planning approval, that too will take time.
It is my understanding that the height the club would like to add to stands could present real problems in achieving planning permission.
There is also the fact £8.2m has already been spent renovating Stanley Park ahead of the planned stadium development.
The money came from a European grant and will be re-payable if the stadium does not go ahead. Liverpool council have an agreement in place which means LFC pick up the tab.
Clearly moving to Stanley Park is the quickest and easiest option, but as ever money is an issue.
The credit crunch and the recession that followed mean that banks are no longer willing to throw money at football clubs in the way they once were.
Hicks and Gillett could not afford to build a new stadium without borrowing, and LFC are currently in talks with various financiers about how it could raise money for a new stadium.
Stadium naming rights would form part of the package, but would not pay for a new ground which would cost somewhere around £400m.
Mr Ayre speaks of the club being a business that can only proceed when it is clear on all the elements and will not be rushed.
But as Mr Ayre knows only too well the longer this drags on the bigger the gap will be between the likes of Manchester United that has been reaping huge rewards from having a 75,000 seater stadium for years.