SAINTS' commercial director David Thomas has confirmed that the new St Mary's fan zone will open for Liverpool's visit on 17 August.

Having been in discussions with Southampton City Council for over a year, the club has finally been given the green light to build it.

Speaking at the club's fans' forum, Thomas said: “A couple of weeks ago we had our planning permission come through.

“It’s something that we’ve been working with the council on for over a year.

“We are currently building the fan zone off-site as we speak, and it will be in place for the Liverpool match.

“It’s really exciting.

“It’s going to be in the south car park and it will have live music, a big screen, food and drink, and places to sit.

“It’s going to be a really big step forward for us.”

As well as announcing the fan zone, Thomas also admitted the problems behind moving the away supporters to a new area.

He added: “There was definitely an appetite to move the away fans and have the Northam End fully home fans.

“Were we to do that, and it’s a question if we are even allowed to, it’s actually very expensive.

“The key question is whether the police and council will allow it, so we are in that situation now.

“We are still discussing it with them. Depending on the answer from that, we will then have the question of do we want to do it, or is it better to invest the money on another academy player.”