You'll never watch us train; Reds get approval for 'privacy screen' at Melwood pitch.
Byline: HELEN DAVIES ECHO Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org helenafdavies @
LIVERPOOL FC has been granted approval to install a privacy screen at its Melwood training ground to prevent confidential team details leaking out before matches.
Plans for the 4.5-metre high privacy screen were approved by Liverpool council's planning committee yesterday . The club will put up the screen around one of their training pitches next to Melwood Drive and Crown Road.
A spokesman for Liverpool FC told a meeting that the club had been having problems with people filming training sessions. He said: "The modern game of football is a tactical sport.
"The screen can be closed around the training pitch during tactical training sessions."
He said most of the time the screen would remain open to allow for grass growth and reduce the impact on residents.
It follows a string of leaks on social media sites from people observing training in the run-up to games.
Fans have got the information from peering over the walls of the West Derby training complex and watching the manager work on the team's shape.
They are known to use bins, cars or ladders to peer over the Melwood walls. The pitch is also overlooked by a number of houses.
Resident Thomas Jones spoke in objection and raised several problems those living nearby have because of the training ground.
He said fans take bins out of residents' paths to stand on.
He added that last week a coach of Japanese tourists arrived at the ground and asked where they could go to watch the team train.
Mr Jones said the club needs to provide somewhere for visitors to watch the players train and that this should be a priority rather than a privacy screen. Planning officer John Hayes said that, while he sympathised with residents: "Unfortunately, the overall management of this facility is not something being considered this morning".
A council spokesman said they have regular meetings with LFC and will raise the concerns mentioned.
The four councillors at the meeting then voted to approve the plans.
Building higher walls around Melwood isn't an option for the club because of the proximity of the surrounding houses.
The plans are described as a curtain track on supporting posts, which means that it can be adjusted and will only be in place when closed practice sessions are taking place.
Young fans stand on wheelie bins to watch Liverpool players training at Melwood