I don't live in Liverpool. I don't have any romantic attachment with the City. I face a round trip of 6 hours just for home games. But I travel to watch Everton Football club, I don't travel to see Goodison Park.
For those who live in the City, it must be heartbreaking to see the club moving (and I think it?s clear now that they ARE moving) outside of the boundaries.
But for a lot of fans (and judging by the number of cars parked in Stanley Park on matchdays, I'm not the only fan to travel long distances to get to the ground) it isn't about WHERE we play. If it was, we'd support our local teams. I love Everton Football Club, no matter where they play.
Everton is a huge club. We regularly attract over 35,000 fans for home games which is almost twice as much at the attendances at clubs such as Blackburn, Fulham, Wigan etc.
And yet we seem to be falling behind these clubs in terms of spending power. Those clubs have sugar daddy?s capable of investment, whereas we have Bill, who loves the club but is clearly skint. So we need to try something different.
In my opinion, this deal is too good to turn down. We are being given £50M to buy our own stadium. That?s free money!!! And £50M of it! And the land is willingly being offerred to us by Knowsley Council. That?s free land!! How many other clubs in the world, not just the Premiership, would bite Tesco?s hand off for this kind of offer?
And on top of this we could make money from the sale of Goodison, and the potentially lucrative naming rights (although I cringe at the idea of the ?Tesco Value Stadium?).
Goodison was magical. It's hosted wonderful night games, and produces an incredible atmosphere. I?ve seen the highlights and the lowlights - Villareal was fantastic night, despite the result. The last home game against Portsmouth was magnificent. I wasn?t able to experience the famous Bayern Munich game of 85, but I did see them thrash Newport County in 86!!
One of my favourites was a bruising 1-0 victory over Spurs in 97. Dave Watson was in charge, and it was Rideout?s last game for us. Nobody else remembers it except me, but the way that Everton bullied Spurs into submission was an awesome sight. I?ve endured goalless draws against Birmingham and home defeats to Chelsea. But all the time the thrill was in seeing the team, not the stadium.
Goodison is old, with too many restricted views. Even if you have a good view, watching the match can be uncomfortable on wooden seats with cramped leg and arse room. And the obvious lack of corporate facilities (where the real money is to be made) is strangling the club.
I want Everton to move forward, and I just don't see that happenning at Goodison. In 10 or 20 years time, we would be kicking ourselves for not being brave and moving to Kirkby.
We?re part of history, right now. These are important times in the future of Everton Football club. We can take the easy path, stay at Goodison and moan about the lack of money coming into the club and how Kenwright is lying to us all.
Or we can stand up and admit that times change, and a new stadium will provide better facilities and encourage fresh investment.
The longer we stay where we are, the faster we?ll go backwards.
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 18/07/2007 at 18:50:16
The danger here, however, is leaping into a cut-price and potentially sub-standard stadium almost sight unseen just because it’s the only alternative being presented by a Board that is failing this great club when it comes to the largescale issues of investment and assets.
Personally, this issue isn’t about wanting to stay at Goodison as much as it is the unshakeable gut feeling that this Kirkby move is wrong for Everton Football Club.
2 Posted 18/07/2007 at 20:45:48
the club cannot currently manage to sell its (11!) corporate boxes. Yes it may involve eating butties in a tent, but them boxes have great views of the pitch and Goodison itself has a lot of history and a great atmosphere (at times!) that may be attractive to suits.
The fact is Everton are not much cop when it comes to corporate customers, and the only thing that will change that is success on the pitch, not moving even further from the city centre.
Putting the cart before the horse will only produce a soulless experience at an empty stadium that is going to be even less (or certainly no more!) attractive to these businessmen who people hold so dear as the saviours of our club.
Success is the key and that can only be achieved through astute management, commited and skilful play, and of course vociferous support!
3 Posted 18/07/2007 at 21:15:57
We’ve all grown up with GP & we’re bound to have huge reservations about what will replace it.
However, no-one could argue, that the once great Goodison, is now rapidly becoming a millstone around the clubs neck. It’s a shed by modern standards, the facilities are extremely poor, the obstructed views keep attendances down, on all but "must see at any cost" games. The amount of revenue the club can generate from it’s facilities (whether that be the corporates or Joe Public) are greatly limited by the lack of internal space for decent bars, restaurants, even decent snack bars. All of these factors combine to hold us back, compared to other clubs & the situation will only get worse.
We MUST move - simple as. The question is to where? The Kirkby otion, financially at least, is the no-brainer decision. The arguments against are tinged with bigotry in my opinion. The notional City boundary issue being the main NO argument - who cares if it Kirkby is classed as Knowsley? Are the people of Kirkby Wools??? No - they’re scousers - it’s a daft argument - the proposed site is 4 miles from Goodison.
So Kirkby isn’t exactly the Kings Dock - REALITY check - WE CAN’T AFFORD a site within the dock area or any other site close to the City centre. I doubt we could afford to even buy the land, let alone build a stadium on it.
I don’t care about travelling an extra couple of mile to get to the ground, I don’t care that it’s in Kirkby, I don’t care that I won’t be able to have a couple of pints in the Royal Oak before the match. What I do care about is that the club ends up with a stadium it can be proud of, a stadium capable of generating the income we so desperately need & a satdium that in a few years (it will be tough!) we’ll be able to call home.
I hope enough Blues vote with their heads - there is no Plan B - simply because we can’t afford a Plan B. If we spurn this opportunity - we’ll be stuck at GP falling further & further behind the pack, in the vain hope that our "Abramovich" is over the horizon.....
4 Posted 18/07/2007 at 21:31:22
EFC are also not being given any land, a 199 year lease deal is not the same thing since EFC will not own the land.
5 Posted 18/07/2007 at 22:11:58
6 Posted 18/07/2007 at 22:37:02
Also I’m totally tired about Premiership in these days. Who is next billionaire to buy a club from there or getting in Championsleague are almost only ways to survive or get any success (I’not sure is finishin sixth place that).
So far Everton has done this mutch traditional and better way (I don’t want american billionaire to buy the club and it’s soul).
I think that keep our traditions and roots and keep other ways to build a new stadium or rebuilt Goodison.
Bully says that it takes 500000 every year to ground maintenances, does he think that new retail park would be zero costs?
What about rebuilt one stand a year. See how Old Trafford looks these days.
Keep the soul of the club.
No retail park!
7 Posted 19/07/2007 at 03:15:07
8 Posted 19/07/2007 at 07:06:02
Having said that, the closest team to us in terms of longevity in the top flight is Arsenal. Was Highbury not a famous ground? I assume that their supporters must have voiced a similar sense of loss when they moved from their historic ground to the Emirates Stadium? However it seems that they have gotten over it.
As someone who does not live in the City you must forgive the fact that, until this debate started, I thought Kirby was part of Liverpool, and I am not sure that was alone in my naivety.
I understand that if a deal is too good to be true then it probably is, but there is no viable option. Let us move on together. After all, nostalgia is not what it used to be!
9 Posted 19/07/2007 at 09:20:59
10 Posted 19/07/2007 at 11:11:38
11 Posted 19/07/2007 at 10:00:54
Call me a sceptic but I believe the vote is irrelevent as the decision has already been made, Everton will move to Kirby, just listen to our ’honourable’ custodian Mr Wynross talk, to know it will happen. I for one have accepted the inevitable.
What worries me is what will we get for the optimistic £150M figure being bandied about? Think what the Emirates cost? Think what the New Analfield is supposed to be costing? Will our’s be an ’off the peg’ St Mary’s, Walkers, Pride Park, Riverside et al or will it be a decent, proud to have ’taylored’ stadium, of steepling stands with fans on top of the players, creating an intimidating atmospheric home for Everton to play in? This is what the Evertonians need to concentrate on, a stadium fit for our team, because for me the decision has been made.
12 Posted 19/07/2007 at 11:36:06
I was born and bred in Liverpool and have watched Everton FC since I was 6 years - at that age from my Dad’s shoulders. I am now a young [I hope] 67 and I breathe, live and die Everton. I have lived away from Liverpool for 30 years and I face an 8 hour round trip to see a home game, but Liverpool is "my roots" as is Everton and I wanted them to stand firm and remain in Liverpool and not be ousted by the Red Shite, but your article has, in actual fact, made me see sense and has changed my mind about the move to Kirkby.
13 Posted 19/07/2007 at 11:43:45
BUT. Everton should not go to the first (and only) offering and pledge alligence to Tesco in Kirby. Why? Because if you believe that tradition, the school of science, (Don’t scoff or scorn at an old term) and in the fact that Everton FC has more right to belong in Liverpool than any other team then what can and should we be content with?
The fact that Liverpool FC are able to just move into the park with no problems is as much a testiment to the bias and preference of LCC. I wonder how it would have been if Everton had been the most successful club for the last thirty years?? Would Liverpool FC go to Kirby with a deal? Yeah sure, I can see that happening.. Welcome to Kwik Save Stadium!!
So, with no alternatives offered why are we content to just accept that.. guess what guys its the best offer because its the only offer on the table. Solution? Get another table!! I agree we do have to move if the remodelling of Goodison Park is impractical / impossible. But I am not sure that one has been put to bed. So we have to consider that if we bide our time over the next three years to FIND a better location IN Liverpool I believe we will find a better solution One that matches our ambition, our pride, our capability and our financial ability to fund with the right partnership. The Kings dock detractors must now be hiding under a rock when they see what they have done. Kirby.. exciting venue for a second division club. Tell me.. Honestly could you ever see Manchester United with Old trafford in the second division?? Its never going to happen. They have status, we have Tesco. Its wrong guys.. its really wrong, its not JUST about a gut feeling.. In life you know when something will never sit right. Everton in Kirby doesn’t sit right because we are settling for second best. Someone tell me that we are not... ? If ANYONE believes we are not
14 Posted 19/07/2007 at 12:13:29
15 Posted 19/07/2007 at 12:37:19
16 Posted 19/07/2007 at 16:00:03
I’ve see it described elsewhere as ’probably breezeblock and whitewash’ and have to agree that it can’t be much more for that money.
I’m not against moving per-se, but the presentation of this as the only offer, and the ’deal of the century’ has me very concerned.
We have all been asking why no investors appear to be interested in Everton, when they are looking at clubs like Birmingham, Reading, etc but maybe they are being turned away by our majority shareholders. However, with a shiny new stadium, at little cost, regardless of the long-term impact of the club, it would be a different proposition.
Mr Kenwright could easily expect a return of over £20M for his initial £1.5M investment. With that kind of deal on the table, wouldn’t you be deaf to the concerns expressed over the move.
There are so many lies and inconsistencies that have emerged over the past few years - the £10.4M "Sky advance", the Fortress Sports Fund, the new £14M mortgage (for what?) - that it amazes me that anyone can take anything the club says at face value.
Say NO to Kirkby, and let’s see what else is out there.
17 Posted 19/07/2007 at 16:05:08
Everton FC home must remain in Liverpool!
Those banging on FOR the move are not real Everton fans, and you can save your retoric on that score.
This move will be the real end of Everton FC, we belong in Liverpool, not some second rate town outside of the city.
Am sorry but the argument that the OP made is totally invalid. Who in their right mind in a suit would travel to Kirby? (sorry to those who live in Kirby, but even you know I am right)
Wyness is a complete corporate idiot, his gloom and doom prophecy if we stay blah blah. Id be happy to see him and billy BS gone, for people with money, the sort of money that can afford a stadium of such dreams and ambition of our club, who can pull in corporate sponsors and fill corporate boxes. The sorts of people who can build new liverpool city academys for the youngsters, and a new first team training ground. Don’t think it could happen? Think again, these collections of egg heads we have running the club have turned down huge offers from folks from the US and even in the UK. We must stay true to Everton FC they say. (no they actually mean screw you, we want all your money, and if someone else is running the shizzle we get non). We the people demand that the club listen to those people who make the offers to buy the club, and I mean listen (not necessarily act on the first offer) and to remain in liverpool!
We are a premiership club we are in fact worth a lot of money to any business wanting to buy a club in the best league in the world, and I fail for a single moment to believe there is no one willing to make a big offer for us, and for us to stay true to our history and our roots.
18 Posted 19/07/2007 at 16:32:51
19 Posted 19/07/2007 at 18:21:16
And so on to BK and KW,what they have managed to tell us so clearly this week under there magnificent stewardship of this club, is that if Tescos never came along we were fuked, if tesco’s pull out we are fuked, there is no plan b, well on that statement alone Wyness should resign and Kenwright put the club up for sale with immediate effect!
20 Posted 19/07/2007 at 19:47:33
21 Posted 19/07/2007 at 19:34:27
I must admit that Kirby would make it easier for me to travel to games but the thought of giving the city over to the red shite makes me angry and disappointed. We were here first and we should be here last
22 Posted 19/07/2007 at 21:09:17
This move is necessary and will be hard to take, but once the new ground has its own history and memories, we will love it in the same way as Goodison..
23 Posted 20/07/2007 at 02:17:46
seater? beacause they know within ten years they can mop up the the rest of the city. Their vision is that Everton will become a feeder club for Liverpool. Wake up Evertonians this is the end.
24 Posted 20/07/2007 at 09:19:16
I don’t buy any of this ’moving outside the city’ nonsense. Is Bootle not part of Liverpool because its in Sefton - er, no.
Technically we should be playing in Everton and we moved from there in 1892. I’m sure people had a good moan then too...
25 Posted 20/07/2007 at 10:24:45
26 Posted 20/07/2007 at 10:17:40
Our masters signed a deal of exclusivity with Tesco to keep plans B, C, D away.
The premeirship is bringing investors in thick and thin at the moment. Any respect I has for Bil Kenwright is evaporting very quickly. His next musical come tragedy is devoloping in front of our very eyes. It is imperative that the bandwagon should stop rolling. We are losing the earth on which Everton F.C. was founded. Kirkby will never be right. We should hire some coaches and go around the type of stadiums these people areadvocating. I bet all you pro Kirkby people would have a diferent attitude to the move.
Moving on, Bill Kenwright claims to be a persoal freind of David Dein the formal Arsenal front man. If so sack Wyness and try and bring him up here.You will soon see a plan B with some great footballers following plus a plant to get us to the top inthe next decade.
27 Posted 20/07/2007 at 13:09:09
Its not as if the new ground is a million miles away from our home now!!! Yes we would all love to stay in Goodison but you only have to look around the stadium to realise we can?t.
We have one of the best grounds for atmosphere and history, but one off the worst grounds in terms of facilites, views, seating and general maintenance. Our home is literally too old now to compete with the new stadiums that are being built today.
If we want to move forward in the team, attracting top new players, investors etc we have to have a state of the art football stadium.
My heart says stay where we are but the head says we have to look at this new proposal and not just discard it because of our strong emotions for our home.
28 Posted 20/07/2007 at 15:00:03
My views are nothing to do with what ’bully’ or anyone else has said. Show me the people with a personal fortune of more than £50 million (a minimum requirement I would have thought) who are willing to invest in Everton. Where are the businesses (other than Tesco) who can fund a new stadium? They don’t exist and the fact is, no-one in their right mind would invest in Everton in its current state.
Even if there was a plan B - it wouldn’t be as good an offer as the Kirkby option so let’s just get on with it.
Like us all, I will be sad to leave Goodison but I am a realist.
29 Posted 20/07/2007 at 15:24:03
Unfortunately it would be "what is the last chance saloon for EFC". And although the club does its best to cock everything up (what other outfit sponsored by a beer company would be incapable of serving a cold pint to 20000 or so thirsty people before a game)it’s really vital that we the fans don’t cock up our last chance to stay in the premiership game.
Like everyone I have fantastic memories of Goodison. (And before we get too rosy eyed, some not so good ones, dull games with nil atmosphere, not being able to get in for the 1970 WBA game etc etc.) Taking "my" seat at Goodison gives me a huge kick every couple of weeks. But, I’ll be voting to move. We have to face facts, we have to modernise and free or virtually free is too good an offer to refuse, we’re not going to get a better one unless Bill Gates rather than Bill Kenwright buys the club.
Plenty of reservations of course: will the so-called corporates want to risk driving through the streets of Dodge City any more than through Walton? Will the rest of us be able to park? Are there any alehouses within a hatchets throw? Will there really be any better public transport?
Perhaps the simplest and cheapest solution for LCC and Everton would be to move this arbitary border 2 miles North West. If Arsenal had had to move to say Finsbury Park rather than Highbury, would that have stopped them building the Emirates?
Let’s forget all the Ferry Cross The Mersey stuff and focus on what it will take to keep Everton alive in the future.
Just as a random comment, to the lady who said she could not imagine Man Utd taking Old Trafford into the 2nd Division, I was a student in Manchester when they were in Div 2 and it was wonderful just to see the advertising posters for matches against Brentford etc. Presumably though they made a clear decision after that that "this cannot happen again", (words which echoed at EFC after the Wimbledon game). We must follow their lead.
30 Posted 20/07/2007 at 15:46:12
31 Posted 20/07/2007 at 17:46:50
32 Posted 20/07/2007 at 19:23:19
There are so many different issues locked up in this very, very big one. I’m for the next hundred years - and I’ll do my best to be there.
Year 2107, in the Supermetro area between Salford and Litherland, EFC - The People’s Club, in New Goodison (what does that mean grandad?) - will shine like a beacon of world football while they play baseball on what was Stanley Park in the good old days, and some place called New Trafford, now part of Greater Stalybridge.
I will never forget the first time I walked into Goodison. And I don’t have to. But EFC is bigger than my memories and its second stadium.
33 Posted 20/07/2007 at 23:52:32
34 Posted 21/07/2007 at 07:02:25
35 Posted 21/07/2007 at 14:31:44
36 Posted 21/07/2007 at 16:01:15
37 Posted 21/07/2007 at 23:12:58
The club is being stretched as far as it can possibly go at the moment, and while some are quick to jump on the back of Moyes, the board, or whoever with regard to our limited transfer activity-we simply cannot compete with others at the moment BECAUSE Goodison does not generate the revenue Kirkby could.
Leaving Goodison will be really tough, and very sad, but too many times at this club we are guilty of constantly looking back at the past rather than forward to the future.
Gaining a new stadium (we are practically getting a free stadium) will also most likely give us the chance of securing that much needed investment we also need-who on earth would invest in us while we are still at our tired, dated stadium, compared to where we could be in 5 years time?
I’ll miss Goodison, we all will. But this our chance to move forward, rather than be left behind.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment to Column articles, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.