Liverpool FC issued a lengthy but ultimately vague statement over the weekend about the "frustration at the obstacles facing the potential re-development of Anfield."
The club says it is working with architects and potential lenders over a new ground in Stanley Park as well as looking at refurbishment, both of which have been discussed for many years.
The statement reads: "The club has been comprehensively exploring all options open to it in terms of new stadium development or expansion, which has included a study into the refurbishment of both its Main and Anfield Road Stands to increase capacity beyond 60,000 seats."
Ian Ayre, managing director of LFC, said: "In the nine months since the new ownership, an enormous amount of work has been undertaken in conjunction with leading architects, consultants, other industry experts and with Liverpool City Council to explore the building of a new stadium as well as exploring a refurbishment solution that could deliver the necessary growth in capacity, whilst maintaining the heritage and atmosphere that make Anfield uniquely Liverpool FC. However, with land/property acquisition, environmental and statutory issues creating barriers to our ambition, it looks increasingly unlikely there is any way we can move forward on a refurbishment of Anfield unless there are significant changes in those areas."
Ayre went on: "In terms of a Stanley Park stadium versus redevelopment, there is absolutely no question that a refurbishment of Anfield would come at a significantly lower cost than a new build. A new stadium of course also has its merits, being modern, more functional, and easier to construct. However, a new 60,000 capacity ground also comes at a significantly higher price, while at the same time only delivering roughly the same amount of revenue as a refurbishment of Anfield – with both options offering an uplift of approximately 16,000 seats each."
Added Ayre: "It's disappointing that based on where we are at the moment, we seem to be unable to press on with the more viable economic option of a refurbishment, but we remain committed to finding the best possible long-term solution. We already have a very healthy dialogue in place with several leading brands regarding naming rights for a new stadium, but like every major deal we have ever done, that just takes time to explore in full. We also have ongoing discussions with various parties around the financing of either facility. Our challenge now is to try to find a way to bring all of those elements together in a solution that is in the best interests of Liverpool Football Club and its fans.
"We are mindful that supporters have been promised a solution in the past and have been disappointed, and also that local residents would like to know what direction we are headed in. However, just like any other business, we can only proceed as and when we are clear on all elements and we will not be forced to make a decision that is not in the best long-term interests of our club and we will not make any promises to our fans that we cannot keep. We will continue to work diligently on this project and keep our fans informed of any progress."
Labour council leader Cllr Joe Anderson said: "We recognise that Liverpool FC need to make the right decision on the stadium options, and it is crucial that it is not only the right one for the club but also for local residents.
"We fully appreciate that the new owners have made real progress over the past nine months since they took over, and we will continue to support what they are trying to deliver. However, it is unfortunately the reality that the debate and discussions over a new stadium have gone on for many years, causing a great deal of frustration and uncertainty within the local community.
"Although we are fully supportive of the club, we can't ignore the fact that the clock is and has been ticking, and people need certainty about the development.
"We will do what we can to continue to help the club, and I can reassure people that we will be pressing for a decision as soon as is practically possible that will benefit Liverpool FC and deliver the much needed regeneration that the area so badly needs."