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Must Try Harder!

By Karl Masters :  20/07/2007 :  Comments (6) :
Whilst personally having grave reservations about moving to Kirkby ( I have nothing against the place, but believe it to be too far out of the city to be a good long term location ) I have been carefully considering both viewpoints this week.

Like most Evertonians, I have come to realise that Goodison as it stands will hold us back in the future. However, as the stadium is instantly recognisable to all fans of all clubs due to its totally unique layout, not only is where we move to important, but WHAT we move to.

Last night I looked at umpteen pictures of Cologne's stadium on their website. It has grown on me, I admit, although certain details like the tunnels in all 4 corners broke up the flow of seats. I like the 4 towers and I thought, ' you know what, if they replace them with maybe 4 Prince Rupert bridewell towers in the corners and maybe put some Archibald Leitch crosses on the upper tier balcony I could maybe accept this. Maybe. I also particularly liked the way the top 4 tiers meet in the corners creating a very enclosed atmosphere.

So, knowing, like most of us, that this was to be the blueprint, I looked with interest on the Official site today and I must say I was very disappointed. The stands barely meet in the corners thus the enclosed look will give way to walls of glass. What they have done is shrink the length of each stand to presumably save costs, but lose in the process the one real plus of Cologne's design.

Other than that, I liked the main entrance facade, but why finish it short of the top exposing the underside of the upper tier? The 'Peoples club' branding is truly cringeworthy and quite frankly the ultimate irony! I know how much that People's club stuff irks other Clubs' fans as all Clubs are of the people in one sense, but owned by the few in another.

Suffice to say, the bad outweighs the good on the design.

When I make up my mind on this one, I have to consider 6 things. The use of scores out of 10 for each category gives me some way of comparing and assessing this proposal.

  1. Do I like the design? Answer: No, not really. It's simply not good enough whoever is paying for it. Score 6/10
  2. Is it in the right location? Answer: No, not really. Southern tip of Liverpool is about 12 miles away so I can't see many young fans of the future from that area going to Kirkby when shiny new Anfield is built. It's also too far out to benefit from the regeneration planned for the City centre fanning gradually outwards. The area also has little intrinsic character and will not enhance the matchday experience. Score 4/10
  3. Is access good? Answer: In theory yes, but only in a car and only if the M57 has no hold ups and roadworks. Public transport options are very limited. it's nearly 7 miles from Lime Street on a bus compared to Anfield which is under 3. Wyness alludes to improvements, but doesn't actually give any detail on who, when, how or where. Not everybody can, or wishes, to drive there. Even Liverpool have little chance of getting a step up in capacity from 60,000 unless they get an old rail line reopened or the tram thing ever becomes reality. In short, probably no better than a lot of other possible sites. Score 6/10
  4. Is it deliverable? Answer: it would seem that Yes is the answer. Even allowing for Everton's ability to mess up off the pitch, this seems like a good deal. Score 9/10
  5. Do I believe we have been given all the real facts about our options past, present and future? Answer: Definitely a No. There is a lack of trust in my mind, I question the motives, I question the need for an exclusivity period that seems to shoot ourselves in the foot. On past performance BK cannot be trusted. Sorry, but it's true.

    Even yesterday he pulled out of a meeting with KEIOC at the last minute with a right wimp-out of an excuse. Saying he shouldn't now be talking to an anti-move group is ridiculous when he planned the meeting weeks ago. Why announce this stuff on Tuesday when it could have waited a few more days till after the meeting? Very wrong in my opinion and I have no link with KEIOC. It smacks of being scared he'll be found out. Score 2/10

  6. Finally, do Everton have other options? Answer: Despite claiming they have no Plan B, it appears that LCC may have B, C, D & E including possible commercial partners. They may have done sod-all since Kings Dock (but that's probably because BK led the world and his wife including us right up that garden path before confessing we didn't have any money), but it seems now, late in the day, there are possibilities. Goodison is not about to collapse and the Club simply must check out the options. Until this is put to bed one way or another, I don't even think we should be voting. On that basis I can only score Kirkby 1/10.

So really, Kirkby only ticks one box from six although I admit I'd probably never tick question 5 so 5/6 is the maximum score! Kirkby scores 28/60 for me. Not enough for a Yes vote at present ( 40 minimum ) and the ' ultimate veto' is the last question as I just cannot believe we have thoroughly explored all options. If it's so good that Tesco and Knowsley will help that much, then Tesco and Knowsley will wait. Not forever, but hopefully long enough for us to be happier that the reasons for this move are not tainted and that it really is best for Everton FC and us.

Reader Comments

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John Breen
1   Posted 21/07/2007 at 06:19:04

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Nice one Karl

I totally agree especially regarding your comments about other avenues of investigation in regards to other proposed sights that have been mentioned by LCC, I would really like these sights to be named to give Evertonians the chance to tick other boxes on this proposed ballot being run by the club ,I know its not a simple matter but surely the club could be more fourth coming and be a tad more transparent when it comes to such a sensitive issue as a new home for the blues I like most would just like to see this resolved as early as possible so we can get things moving forward before Goodison turns to dust ,I just fear it wont be resolved and this move to Kirkby will be forced upon us. Whether we vote for or against the move.
Steve McBride
2   Posted 21/07/2007 at 09:40:44

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I second that ’emotion’.
As I said in my post, it is about knowing all the facts and being able to judge options on merit not blindly believing and following the ’salesman’s’ patter.
3   Posted 21/07/2007 at 11:42:10

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While a lot of the points mentioned are quite succinct, it would appear to myself that on every debate about the stadium move (and Kirkby in particular)a lot of the negatives given surround the lack of information given to the fans by the club..
BUT.!! all those using this as the main bastion of there argument also constantly bring up the "other options " that LCC apparently have in mind...So I would appreciate ,amongst all this openess , if anybody can tell me
A) Where any of these sites are.
B) How much will the cost to the club be?
C) Who are the mysterious investors?
D) And of course, if they have been there all the time why were we not told...
Also dont forget, EFC did ask LCC.." May we build a new stadium in Stanley park"? long before the shite considered it..and we were given a definate "NO, cant be done..public land BLah , if the eyebrow of suspicion is to be raised ..raise it at LCC
Brian Waring
4   Posted 21/07/2007 at 13:04:12

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Jesus christ Terrymarsbar.Bradley only released the statement yesterday,because of the exclusivity period with Tesco.Now,all it needs is the 2 of them to get togethor and see what is on the table.If the council can’t offer us a deal that could rival the Kirkby option,thats it,end of discussions.How hard can it be?All Kenwright needs to do is ask "Can you do better than that?No,well I,m off then".Also how you can say "if the eyebrow of suspicion is to be raised,raise it at the council"What about Kenwright?230 a man who has blatantly lied about investors just to get what he wants.
5   Posted 21/07/2007 at 14:02:37

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And what does he want Brian..short memories you have...Think back before BK was chairman..dark days
John Patrick McFarlane
6   Posted 21/07/2007 at 17:59:44

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Another point to consider if we move, is will Mr. Wyness and Mr. Kenwright remain in their positions for any length of time after the deal is sealed. BK might, but Mr. Wyness may say ’Mission Accomplished’ and leave for pastures new. This is the problem once the deal is rubber stamped nobody will be able to find an escape clause, if unpalatable truths are found hidden in the smallprint. There is no such thing as a free lunch and there is certainly no such thing as a £50M free lunch. If you look at buy-one-get-one-free items, it seems like a bargain but more often than not you end up wasting most of the product while some other sap pays through the nose for a differnet item. What happens if Kirkby residents say no! What is our fallback position? having already declared Goodison as unfit for purpose. What if the City Council decide that some of our current stands are ’unsafe’ right now and close sections of the ground. It wouldn’t be Everton if everything was ’hunky-dory’ so stand by for some fun and games in the coming months.

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