If as a fan I am to be balloted (and sadly as neither a season ticket holder nor a shareholder, just a subscriber to Everton TV I am not and therefore I am not privy to the level of information which may have been provided to ?voters? beyond that which is already in the public domain) on what am I going to base my decision? As a ?voter? so to speak, I can only form an opinion based on two things ? information and emotion. Now I consider that the information which is available publicly concerning the stadium move is limited at best (although please bear with me if I have missed something in the press). So far we know:
King?s Dock is dead
Goodison cannot be redeveloped
Tesco will aid financially if the move is made to Kirkby
So, together with the above information, the ?voters? will have only emotion on which to base their decision. Now, I appreciate that a football club is a very emotional entity, but in this current market and in this league it also needs to be a business ? and quite frankly only a fucking dickhead would make a multi-million pound decision based solely on emotion.
So what should we (sorry ? the voters) know?
Everton FC are currently in an ?exclusivity? deal with Tesco and Knowsley Council concerning the potential move of a stadium, which will mean amongst other things that the club are not formally considering any other options. This would suggest to me that an awful lot of money and time will have been spent on examining the potential for Kirkby and not a lot (if any at all) on any alternative options. Not only does this mean that EFC may not have adequate comparison figures for the alternatives to a move outside of Liverpool, but it also suggests to me that they have a strong vested interest in moving ? since otherwise all this has been an enormous waste of time and effort.
How then will the option of moving to Kirkby be able to be compared to any other options? Is this one financially better ? better than what, what are the alternatives ? have EFC been looking at alternatives? I am aware that the fans have been told that redeveloping Goodison is not a financially viable option ? but on what this is based? It strikes me that this ballot is similar to a choice between all and nothing.
Yes, I am aware that if the club do not move to Kirkby then Goodison Park will still exist and so the choice is not all or nothing, but where are the real alternatives? Everton Football club have indicated that a move to a new stadium is required for the financial side of the business to improve, so that they may capitalise of corporate investment and non-football related revenue streams. Therefore, the option not to move can only hurt the club and therefore is not an option.
Now, I suspect that it is unfair to expect full transparency of information, especially if you are not a shareholder; and would any of the fans actually have the time to trawl through the information anyway? Probably not either, but surely anyone who is to make a decision requires more that that information which is currently publicly available ? which leads me onto my second point?
My experience leads me to believe that before making a decision about where and how a business intends to spend several million pounds, a little bit more would be needed. Without listing a full business case here, I will cover some of the areas which would need to be covered such as:
Scope of Work
- Detailed plan of what assets will be delivered
- Asset ownership
- Costs of work
- Value of end asset
- Yearly maintenance costs of asset
- Expected revenue streams and forecasts
- Effect on business of move away from Goodison
- Anticipated additional revenue streams
- Footfall in Kirkby ? growth plans etc
- Anticipated growth/ fall in fan base overall
Product/ Asset Life Cycle
- Projected life of stadium
- Non-football opportunities
- Effect on EFC image
- Effect on EFC fans
- Opportunity Cost
Obviously this list is but a glimpse of the information which would be needed, however I mention it here solely to illustrate just how lacking in this information the fans/ voters are currently. Therefore, given that the alternative options may not have been fully investigated, and the information available to the fans is (severely) limited, I would like to raise my 3rd point which is, what is the?
Point of the Vote?
EFCs CEO Mr Wyness has stated on the Liverpool Echo website that the point is to ?ascertain the level of support? for the Kirkby move. Nevertheless, it would be incredibly difficult for me to trust a decision made based upon no information at all and emotion ? as I said in my introduction, only a dickhead would; so how can EFC? Either the Everton board are absolute idiots and they truly believe that 33,000 Everton fans can show them the way, or? (add cynical argument of your own choice here).
The impression that I have from reading this website and Blue Kipper is that the majority of fans do not wish to leave Liverpool ? but that of those, many are resigned to it as the only viable option. Either way, the way you as a fan feel will colour your beliefs as to why this ballot will be held. My personal opinion is that the board no longer wish to proceed with the move and now want to ?blame? the fans for a pull out so that neither Tesco, nor Knowsley, nor the Fans will be upset (see what I mean about cynical!!).
When all is said and done, this move, this planned ballot has achieved something which I have been bemoaning the lack of for a long time ? a high profile, positive media story about Everton FC. It also shows an inclusive attitude towards the fans and stops them moaning about poor transfer rumours ? it is well and truly a positive step, but please do not think that it will in any way decide the future of Everton Football Club ? of course, that doesn?t mean that you shouldn?t vote. It does however mean we should question further the way Everton are doing business? hang on, isn?t that Wyness? job?
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1 Posted 17/07/2007 at 06:45:24
So, to my somewhat devious mind, unless the process of actual counting the vote is purer than Bambi’s mother. The result will reflect what ever the Board want it to, be it yea or nay.
This ’ask the audience’ will not change anything, you the voters and me and others, the dis-enfranchised of many different stripes will get what we are given.
Christ! you can’t even trust ’Blue Peter’ on a vote nowadays , so what chance Blue Bill???
2 Posted 17/07/2007 at 07:35:52
All this "inclusive" bollocks has been qualified by Wyness in that the board will not be "bound by any outcome", and will ultimately make the final decision.
Therefore even if we return a 100% stay vote, they can/will move us anyway!
This is a smokescreen to deflect criticism from the boards’ decision to not invest in the transfer market to strengthen a team qualified for Europe, AGAIN!!
Did they not learn their lesson last time?, obviously not.
I have a season ticket and will vote not to go to Kirkby(if that is the question, as it may just be "Would you move away from Goodison" - without naming an alternative)
I will not re-invest in a season ticket in Kirkby, but will pick and choose when to go, as there will be plenty of seats.
And before anyone starts the "You should watch the Blues anywhere or your not a real fan" mantra, I have followed this club through thick and mostly thin for over 40 years and I definately KNOW MY HISTORY!
3 Posted 17/07/2007 at 08:20:05
4 Posted 17/07/2007 at 09:47:19
Why have a ballot for 30,000 people when there are 5 million supporters?
5 Posted 17/07/2007 at 10:04:40
6 Posted 17/07/2007 at 10:44:47
1) If the new stadium can be ready by 2010 and Goodison may not get a safety certificate in ten years time, surely we still have 7 years of scouting opportunities for a new site and hopefully one that may be found in the city. So is there a rush to move forward?
2) When Everton win the league and cup double in 2012 will the open top bus be driving 3 or 4 times around Kirkby, or will we be allowed in the city of Liverpool?
3) What will happen in say 25 years time when Tesco may be in danger of going into liquidation or administration and decide that they need to claim back some of the money they have spent of the stadium in Kirkby?
Honestly, I really don?t know what I should do when I receive my ballot paper. My first thought is ? if the fans don?t want to go to Kirkby it will mean that Bill, Keith and the board will have to work 26 hours a day, 8 days a week to seek out new investment. This isn?t a bad thing, and if they are not capable of finding investment for a stadium inside the city boundary, maybe they are the wrong people to be looking for it and we need to get rid.
However, where will Evertonfc be in 6/7/8 years time if we don?t move as soon as possible?
I have yet to hear a really good argument for going to Kirkby, but I am really hoping that the intelligence of the Everton board know exactly what they are talking about.
7 Posted 17/07/2007 at 14:55:36
8 Posted 17/07/2007 at 17:14:30
9 Posted 18/07/2007 at 10:53:32
10 Posted 18/07/2007 at 11:05:19
Why the hell should I? This ballot should be seen for what it is - a referendum of our hardcore support on a move to Kirkby. A new stadium will draw in the casual fan - but the club needs to know how many of the 33000 they can expect to lose as hardcore support. These are the people paying the bills remember!
11 Posted 18/07/2007 at 16:51:54
12 Posted 18/07/2007 at 17:20:46
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