Liverpool sell naming rights to new £50m training ground to insurance firm Axa

Chris Bascombe
·2 min read
Liverpool's academy training ground at Kirkby - Liverpool sell naming rights to new £50m training ground to insurance firm Axa - GETTY IMAGES
Liverpool's academy training ground at Kirkby - Liverpool sell naming rights to new £50m training ground to insurance firm Axa - GETTY IMAGES

Liverpool have sold the naming rights to the club’s new £50 million training facility in Kirkby to insurance firm Axa.

The club has named the site, which is already home to Liverpool’s Academy, as the ‘Axa Training Centre’.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are expecting to complete their move from current HQ Melwood within the next month. They were originally intending to make the switch last summer, but were delayed as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic as building work was temporarily halted.

Axa have an established relationship with the Premier League champions having already become training kit sponsors in 2019. Liverpool have not revealed the financial details of the expansion of their partnership.

Commenting on the announcement, Billy Hogan, Liverpool’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The expansion of Axa’s partnership to include the naming rights of the club’s new Training Centre makes perfect sense. We have already seen their emphasis on driving health, wellbeing, confidence, and self-belief and so deepening their relationship in the field of training makes this partnership a great fit.”

Liverpool have been based at Melwood for 70 years, but committed themselves to relocate after consultation with manager Jurgen Klopp.

The new training ground in Arbour Lane, Kirkby, means the club will merge its senior and junior levels for the first time since the late 1990s.

Chris Bascombe's Liverpool briefing
Chris Bascombe's Liverpool briefing

Liverpool’s centre of excellence was based with the first team at Melwood until then, but the evolution of youth development meant it was not sustainable to retain all staff on the site.

There were discussions to move youth and senior staff to Kirkby when the original facility was designed ahead of its opening in 1999, but instead Liverpool’s first-team players remained and a multi-million Melwood development began in 2001.

In the 19 years since, a succession of managers felt the separation of youth and senior players coaching staff was detrimental.

Shortly after taking over, Klopp spoke of his wish to bring all elements back together, enabling an easier promotion of youth players into the senior ranks.

As a result of those observations, owners Fenways Sports Group committed to the expansion, ending an era at Melwood but ushering in a new one with what is anticipated to be one of the finest training HQ’s in world football.