Liverpool buy back Melwood to provide women’s team with elite training centre

Liverpool have bought back their old Melwood training ground to create an elite training centre for the women’s first team and academy. Melwood was Liverpool’s base for 70 years until sold to the housing developer Torus in 2019, a year before the men’s first team moved to the Axa Training Centre in Kirkby.

The sale, worth about £10m to Liverpool, was controversial with local residents urging the club to retain Melwood for community use.

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No houses were built on the site and in 2021 the former Liverpool players Robbie Fowler and Jamie Carragher opened an academy at Melwood that helps young people gain further education and jobs through sport. In the meantime, Liverpool looked at various options to develop an elite training facility for the women’s first team and professional game academy and decided their old home was best suited. They have been training at Tranmere’s Solar Campus in Wallasey.

The club has bought the site back from Torus and also plans to use Melwood for community outreach facilities as well as continuing the work of the Fowler Education and Football Academy (FEFE). A planning application will be submitted.

Liverpool’s managing director, Andy Hughes, said: “Now is the right time to make this move and we’re absolutely delighted that we’ve managed to take this opportunity to return to Melwood and to see it start a new chapter of Liverpool’s commitment to our women’s first team and academy.

“We also have an opportunity to further develop the use of the site to support the local community by using it as an additional base for LFC Foundation. We are delighted that FEFA will continue to use the site for its college that provides sport and educational opportunities for young people. We would like to thank Robbie Fowler and Jamie Carragher for their work with Torus since we left the site in 2019.”

As part of the move, and to demonstrate the team’s inclusivity, the Liverpool women’s crest will be switched to the official club crest.