We only asked!
?The council has bent over backwards for Liverpool but not us...? ? any Evertonian, 2000-2007.
Fact: Everton has never formally requested permission to build on Stanley Park.
Fact: We made a general enquiry to see if it was feasible.
Fact: We were told it was protected under ?Victorian covenant?.
Fact: LFC, at a later date, were indeed told the opposite.
Fact: We never moaned about this when we had the chance.
Fact: The reason we didn?t can be summed-up in two words: King?s Dock.
For anyone who?s forgotten. For anyone who was only 10 at the time and now has a burning sense of injustice. For the record. Here?s what happened, or rather what didn?t, once and for all. I was there and I attest to these facts. Forgive me if some old ground is covered but seemingly it needs doing. The chronological context is important, in my view.
[Point of interest to declare: I was a founder member / treasurer/ minute-taker of Goodison for Ever-ton / GFE. I have no connection whatever with KEIOC.]
- In Dec 1996 Peter Johnson announced he wanted Everton to leave GP. He said he?d explored two options. Option 1: redevelop Goodison Park. Option 2: leave, preferably for a site on the Kirkby Golf Course. He said ?Option 1? (as referred to in the club?s newspaper of the time, The Evertonian) had failed and a feasibility study showed that Goodison could not be redeveloped beyond 47,000.
- In Jan 1997, in the wake of the Kanchelskis sale, and knowing the parlous, generally unappreciated (certainly by manager Joe Royle) state of Everton?s finances (two months earlier we broke our transfer record for Nick Barmby and it was generally assumed the accounts were healthy, when in fact we were already £7m in debt) a group called Goodison for Ever-ton (sic) ? aka GFE ? set itself up with one remit only. Namely, to challenge the assumption that Goodison Park couldn?t be redeveloped. What PJ didn?t know was that the GFE had a club insider and knew that no such feasibility study had been undertaken. The GFE asked PJ to produce it. If he did, and, if it was as stated, the GFE said they would accept the inevitability that Everton had to leave Goodison Park.
- At a meeting with the GFE on the Monday of the re-run Grand National (IRA bomb threat), PJ said he would never release the study. Furthermore, he said, he would undertake a supporters? vote at the last game of that season v Chelsea, to gauge attitudes to a move to Kirkby Golf Course. He told the GFE that the literature accompanying the ballot would be heavily swayed towards the move. He also said that for political reasons he couldn?t say, specifically, that the club was destined for Kirkby Golf Course but that he would be launching a PR campaign across local media to make it clear this was his preferred location (hence the laughably famous ?bus blockade day? as covered by local media at the time). When asked how he could be so confident that the media would be on his side, he simply stated: ?Oh, I?m sure they will.? He refused to allow the GFE to produce any ?counter argument? within the ballot brochure. As he predicted, the GFE went on to be slated vehemently in the local press.
- In May 1997, the club undertook a heavily flawed, unsupervised ballot which revealed that 82% of those who voted (sic) wished to move (implicitly to Kirkby Golf Course). At no point in the lead-up to the ballot had emotions ever touched on the fact that Everton were planning to leave the City of Liverpool. It was a non-issue.
- Four days after the vote, PJ announced that as well as Kirkby Golf Course, the club may also consider sites at: Burtonwood, Cronton and Speke. Generally, although it was clear that (despite the best efforts of the GFE) an undeniable majority of fans were prepared to leave Goodison, most felt duped.
- Having achieved his mandate, PJ proceeded to do precisely nothing about the proposed relocation of Everton during the whole period from May 1997 to his departure as Chairman and majority shareholder in Nov 1998. The reasons chiefly stemmed from the fall-out that reigned across the club as a result of the ?resignation? of Joe Royle in March 1997, the non-capture of a ?world class manager? in spring 1997, the desperate reappointment of Howard Kendall Mk III as late as July 1997, the tumult of the club?s on-field travails culminating in the last day survival versus Coventry in May 1998, the sacking of HK, the appointment in July 1998 of Walter Smith, the spending of £20m (Collins, Dacourt, Materrazzi, Bakayoko et al) which the club didn?t possess and the chaos that led to the sale of Duncan Ferguson in Nov 1998, which inadvertently exposed the true nature of the club?s finances for the first time (some £29m in debt).
- Knowing that the ground issue would resurface again at some point, the GFE utilised the period between May 1997 and Nov 1998 to re-galvanise and, as well as raising its own funds through bucket collections and events, also secured the support of two very well connected Evertonians. One of these was prepared to back the GFE financially in its attempt to secure the services of the Sheffield architects, Ward McHugh Assoc, who had stated that, contrary to PJ?s assertion, GP could indeed be redeveloped to at least a 47,000 unobstructed capacity and possibly 55,000.
- Thanks to the financial backing of this noted supporter (who I won?t name), the GFE/Ward McHugh study was duly published after the departure of PJ. At this time, the GFE was informed by club secretary Michael Dunford that the feasibility study PJ said he?d undertaken into the redevelopment of Goodison had (as was known) never existed. The GFE stressed that not only had this wasted two and half years of the club?s valuable time but that, given spiralling construction costs, time was fast running out to start a phased project of rebuilding GP (similar to those underway at many grounds around the Premiership at that time).
- Basically the GFE/ Ward McHugh report produced two chief alternatives for redeveloping GP. The first was a ?same footprint? option. The second ? which could have delivered a stadium of some 55,000 ? depended on the club securing permission to encroach onto Stanley Park (roughly the area in front of the megastore and alongside the Marie Curie daffodil field) with a consequent reconfiguration of Walton Lane to snake around the new perimeter.
- Whilst these options were being considered by Everton, it was known that LFC were searching sites as far afield as Kirkby or Speke in order to relocate their club. A further option was to redevelop Anfield ? on its current site ? but it was felt that this was too restrictive as it would be impossible to achieve a desired 60,000 capacity.
- At some stage in 1999, Liverpool City Council approached LFC about the possibility of the the club taking up residence at a proposed new stadium at King?s Dock. Sure that LFC would leap at the chance to expand its Liver Bird culture on the banks of the Mersey, LCC was stunned to hear LFC reject the idea out-of-hand based on the fact that the capacity would only be 50,000.
- In early 2000 (Bill Kenwright only assumed control at the millennium), Everton, by now keen on the idea of the slight encroachment onto Stanley Park, approached LCC to ask how feasible it would be. LCC rejected the idea, citing, among other things, the Victorian covenant that existed. In fact, the then CEO of LCC was at pains to publicly reassert Council leader, Mike Storey?s prior assertion (1998) that the city?s parks were ?safe forever? (Google "Liverpool city parks safe forever").
- At Easter 2000, LCC was approached by Rick Parry to enquire about the possibility of LFC building a completely new 70,000 capacity stadium on Stanley Park. If this was not possible, said Parry, then LFC may have to go beyond the city.
- It is purely a matter of conjecture as to whether LFC had got wind of Everton?s Stanley Park query. It is further conjecture as to the extent of the role (if any) Parry played in solving LCC?s subsequent dilemma but nevertheless, by June of 2000, several cards slotted neatly into various slots. All within weeks.
- LCC?s dilemma was: they could not risk losing LFC but they couldn?t very well agree to them building on / decimating Stanley Park having informally told Everton, weeks earlier, that it was impossible. It is also known ? fact ? that LCC had never previously considered Everton as Kings Dock tenants.
- Curiously, though, just after Easter 2000, not long after Rick Parry had enquired about Stanley Park, the first Everton for Kings Dock media stories emerged. Suddenly Everton ceased interest in Stanley Park. Unable to believe LFC had spurned it, BK leapt at the chance to bring the ?Banks of the Royal Blue Mersey? to reality. Postcard heaven. Having given financial assurances to all parties (not forgetting LCC?s willingness to co-fund) Everton announced publicly that they would seriously explore the Kings Dock (hence the eventual arrival of Paul Gregg).
- Amazingly, just weeks later in June 2000, to everyone?s surprise, Parry announced that LFC had finally solved its stadium dilemma and that a solution had been ?under our noses all along? (verbatim quote): namely a new stadium on Stanley Park. In fact, the tone of Parry?s PR at the time was ?stupid us, we just didn?t notice.? Very, very un-Rick Parry.
- However, even more amazing than LCC?s apparent u-turn on its ?parks safe forever? policy, was Everton?s complete silence on the clear double standards at work. By now, though, Everton was in full Kings Dock mode (incidentally dismissed by the GFE as a financial non-starter ? Liverpool Echo, November 2000 ? and therefore another waste of valuable time) and no longer cared about Stanley Park ?inner city? trivia. Instead Everton foolishly believed it had gained the upper-hand over LFC.
- The GFE urged Kenwright to complain to LCC about the dual standards. He was reluctant to do so. The GFE has never had any purposeful involvement with Everton since.
- In October 2000, Everton duly lodged its Kings Dock bid and one month later a second fans? ballot was taken, with largely the same results as 1997. Thereafter the GFE effectively wound up. Incidentally, despite very public accusations to the contrary, the remainder of funds collected for that Ward McHugh feasibility study (paid for, remember, by that GFE supporting, ahem, well-connected Evertonian) have remained in the organisation?s bank account in Manchester. **
- When the KD dream unsurprisingly collapsed in 2003, it was then far too late for Kenwright to complain to LCC about double-standards. He knew it. LCC, which had given Everton more time, some more time, and then even more time (as well as the promise of co-funding) knew it too. And Rick Parry knew it also. Meanwhile seven years (now 10) had elapsed since Everton should have ?bitten the bullet? and start a phased redevelopment of GP which, in all likelihood, would have been completed by 2002 (the financial backing was there, if it wanted, as Everton well knows ? but that?s another story) probably around the time a certain Wayne Rooney was emerging.
So, to set the record straight, Everton has very little room for complaint with LCC. However, we did ask about Stanley Park. We never made it formal. We were told there was little point. The fact remains, though, that LFC got a very different answer. We should have screamed Blue murder while we had the chance. We didn?t. And despite my GFE past, I now believe, for financial reasons, we must sadly leave GP (but not for Kirkby). We missed the boat, basically.
** To anyone in a long line who still wishes to accuse me/the GFE of ?being glad we got our way in 1997 and have subsequently held the club back for generations?, I?m always available for a pint after the game in the Sloop Inn, St Ives (honest, I?ll turn up!). About the £1,200 of supporters? cash raised: the one and only (non-signatory) account holder is me ? Mr G Murphy ? and I have Allied Irish Bank statements showing an untouched, since the millennium, (sadly non-interest) account with all monies still intact. And there they shall remain until such day that they are no longer needed whereupon the GFE will release the funds to a worthy Everton cause.
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1 Posted 24/07/2007 at 05:38:34
As for the GFE?s mystery benefactor, he?s already been unmasked on these pages in the past few weeks so I doubt he?ll come as a big surprise to many!
2 Posted 24/07/2007 at 06:46:56
You very quickly gloss over the Kings Dock failure. Many believe that to have been acheivable and a missed opportunity(amongst many). Care to comment further.
3 Posted 24/07/2007 at 06:46:51
4 Posted 24/07/2007 at 07:27:42
1)Why were LFC given the nod by LCC for Stanley Park? A more credible set of proposals/plans for redevelopment of the area?
2)Or LCC simple preference for LFC - given the "majority of LCC are season-ticket holders" rumour?
3) If a shared stadium was offered now - would you take it to stay in the city?
5 Posted 24/07/2007 at 08:33:12
One positive thing to note though. Evertong have existed for nearly 130 years. 10 years of bad management will not kill the club off. Moving to Kirkby would though. Where would the next generation of Evertonians come from. All Scousers would automatically be LFC fans.
6 Posted 24/07/2007 at 08:35:24
7 Posted 24/07/2007 at 08:23:41
8 Posted 24/07/2007 at 09:17:09
Also, I was under the impression that all Liverpool public parks were given by weathly benefactors from the Victorian era on the understanding (the convenant) that they would never be built upon. If that’s the case then giving planning permission sounds slightly dodgy.
I was told we were given the option of Kings Dock to keep us quiet over LFC getting Stanley Park because the original proposal had no chance of susceeding. Not sure how true this is.
Finally, they’re going to re-build the glasshouse so everything is OK.
9 Posted 24/07/2007 at 09:32:44
10 Posted 24/07/2007 at 11:27:52
In the interests of balance it should be noted that LFC have by no means enjoyed a smooth passage from LCC.
In addition to the demands placed on the club in terms of regeneration payments and provision of community facilities there’s been repeated attempts by LCC to impose Groundsharing on the Stanley Park project. That’s something which the majority of Reds and many Blues feel would’ve been damaging to both clubs.
In answer to Steve L above, perhaps one of the reasons why the Everton proposal would’ve caused problems for the planners would be that the area of the park they wanted to expand into was the area with the Victorian features which were worth preserving. LFC on the other had are knocking down a hideous 60’s sports centre, a large carpark and a couple of football pitches.
LFC will pay for the other areas of the park to be renovated. Plus under the LFC plan the land where Anfield is currently situated will be returned to public use as the Anfield Plaza. Under the Goodison expansion that wouldn’t have been the case.
Finally, I hope Evertonians don’t seek to undermine our project because of dissatisfaction with their own board. The LFC plan will serve as the engine for a much needed regeneration in a deprived area. My Grandad watched the Blues at Goodison and I hope you get to stay and redevelop,but whatever happens I think if you put what’s best for the area ahead of partisan rivalry you’ll let the Stanley Park project go ahead.
11 Posted 24/07/2007 at 11:45:19
"At no point in the lead-up to the ballot had emotions ever touched on the fact that Everton were planning to leave the City of Liverpool. It was a non-issue."
So why is it an issue now?
12 Posted 24/07/2007 at 11:39:13
13 Posted 24/07/2007 at 11:22:01
Michael - my own belief is that LCC were caught like rabbits in the headlights and never for one moment thought LFC would ever consider leaving the city. Whether RP was playing supreme brinksmanship is another matter. The fact is that RP stunned many people (hence his quite curious quotes) by asking for SP. My own belief is that he knew damn well what EFC had asked and I wouldn?t be surprised if, when LFC turned KD down (which will always be denied by LCC/LFC), he sowed a seed along the lines of ?too small for us, but maybe Everton...??
Simon O?Keefe - yes, that?s pretty much my understanding of exactly how the top bods at LCC (especially Henshaw) felt at the time. But it remains the case that LCC gave LFC a different answer to us regarding initial SP queries. Incidentally, it has been suggested to me (conjecture only, though) that one reason BK was able to get away with repeated ?can we have more time, please?? requests was that he?d earned some brownie points by not bleating in spring 2000. Swings and roundabouts. Possibly, to an extent, LCC felt as though they owed EFC one...but there came a limit.
Richard Hindley - that?s sort of what I was trying to achieve by laying things down as I recall them to be (and from the minutes I took from those meetings). But I felt too many Blues, unwittingly, especially younger ones, were falling into the trap of accusing LCC of being the total architects of our predicament. Maybe the Echo bods are reading and they can shout for us. Ahem.
Steve L - yes, shades of that are true from what I learned. Although it would have been hard work (very) and we?d all have had to grin and bear it (including residents and commuters) EFC?s ?encroach onto SP? option was certainly deliverable. It will be interesting to see how chaotic things get down Arkles Lane / Priory Road later this year.
14 Posted 24/07/2007 at 11:38:39
15 Posted 24/07/2007 at 12:12:52
I don’t like the idea of Kirkby but I’m not against going out of the city, provided its not too far out. Although that Bestbuy site looks ace, a shame its not free/already funded like the Kirby deal.
Just out of interest how big is the new super stevie g laa stadium going to be as the capacity seems to go up with each passing month?
16 Posted 24/07/2007 at 13:03:04
17 Posted 24/07/2007 at 13:09:42
18 Posted 24/07/2007 at 13:22:27
Many thanks to you and GFE for putting up a fight for the cause of staying at Goodison.I cling to the hope the it could still be done.After all back in ’66 when Wednesday went 2-0 up Mr Wolstenholme was heard to say in his TV commentary " 2-0 that’s it it’s Wednesday’s cup"
And 2-0 down at home to Wimbledon we were looking down and out.So comebacks are a part of our history !! Here’s hoping for another !!
19 Posted 24/07/2007 at 13:35:58
However I reckon that’s a brilliant piece.
I’ve often wondered about a lot of those things; in what order it all evolved until we got to the situation we are today. I’ll cut out and keep.
I also thought the remarks of Matt Owen were interesting.<
20 Posted 24/07/2007 at 15:59:13
21 Posted 24/07/2007 at 16:07:30
22 Posted 24/07/2007 at 16:20:09
23 Posted 24/07/2007 at 17:19:50
Who was the mystery benefactor?
Im missing something here!
24 Posted 24/07/2007 at 18:16:24
25 Posted 24/07/2007 at 17:09:10
I am a Kirkby lad and would love us to get the Scotland Rd site as this is closer to our roots than we will ever get to be again.
Tradition is EVERYTHING to our club and if enough people make waves then the board will have no option but to listen
26 Posted 24/07/2007 at 19:23:07
27 Posted 24/07/2007 at 19:03:47
Tom Hughes - yes, I?ve often wondered about how informal any so-called ?informal? enquiries are. I can honestly say, from my notes, that I?ve no record of what manner the ?informal? query about SP was made in. Safe to say that we were informed very quickly that LCC had sadly dismissed the SP query immediately. Ironically we seemed to accept this and for a few weeks we filed it under the ?pity, but worth a punt? heading. Fast forward two months, though...
Joanne Tilt, Franny Porter, Robin Dickson - I seem to have unwittingly stirred a hornet?s nest on this one. I genuinely didn?t intend to do this and if I could have skirted around the fact that the GFE / Ward McHugh study was paid for by a well-connected Blue I would have. Unfortunately, the question of GFE finances became the subject of some mucky accusations several years ago, with yours truly being asked (indirectly) ?if the study was paid for, where did all the money from the buckets go?? So, in writing this bullet-point overview (and there?s indeed a lot I?ve left out, including a truly jaw-dropping meeting in July 98 with PJ, Dunford, and, bizarrely, Walter Smith, just 10 days after he arrived, who was effectively asked by PJ to sit, listen and not speak - I kid you not) I knew I had to cover the issue of the Ward/McHugh payment with (relative) transparency. Unfortunately (and I do hate this) I really don?t think I?m personally at liberty to disclose the name of the benefactor (although I think it?s an open secret, as per Lyndon?s comment) as he asked at the time for his identity to remain anonymous. I?ve kept to that since. It?s an indicator, though, of how fraught things were at the time and I?ve put it on record in WSAG before now that I found the whole GFE episode and its aftermath to be the most bruising Evertonian experience I?ve ever known since I first pitched up at GP on April Fools Day 1972. Which is why I?ve total admiration for any fans group, fanzine, website etc that?s existent in the Evertonian arena today. I hate the whole ?who appointed you?? mentality from some. The more fans who stick their heads above the parapet the better IMO.
28 Posted 24/07/2007 at 19:23:38
29 Posted 24/07/2007 at 19:28:44
One other question, for you or anyone else reading this: isn’t Kirkby really part of Liverpool? Would there be the same kerfuffle about being in the city boundary if we were going to Bootle?
30 Posted 24/07/2007 at 20:32:56
31 Posted 24/07/2007 at 20:08:34
32 Posted 24/07/2007 at 20:15:48
About Bootle. Well, again IMHO only, I think there would be a kerfuffle to a degree but nowhere near the extent of Kirkby (although, as I said in my main piece, the Kirkby boundary question was ironically a non-issue in 97). If I can clarify my stance for what it?s worth: whilst I am against Kirkby on a geographical (as well as many others) basis, it?s actually nothing to do with the boundary, as such. It?s more to do with the visibility and profile of Kirkby as far as I?m concerned (i.e. it?s a place that gets bypassed and Scousers and visitors to the city just don?t happen upon it in their comings and goings). Bootle, though, is a different kettle of fish for me. Yep it?s over the boundary (and let?s face it, would any kopite accept that Carragher isn?t a Scouser, and for that matter what about ?steviegeelar? the ?Whiston Wonder??). For example, I?m sure that Sefton actually stretches a good way down Derby Rd towards the Old Hall Street/ Costco approaches to Liverpool. And I?d have no problems with EFC playing anywhere around there. If they built on ?The Mons? plateau I?d be fine too. My own case illustrates how it?s impossible to pigeonhole fans on the whole move issue. Yeah, you can be pro or anti, but for many different reasons. Another oddity about me is that for all that I?m vehemently opposed to Kirkby (and then some) I?m still actually pro-BK, despite, well, despite, well...yeah, I know.
33 Posted 24/07/2007 at 21:19:23
34 Posted 24/07/2007 at 20:41:11
35 Posted 24/07/2007 at 22:20:00
Let’s see if he has any answer to the above. Perhaps someone could ask him which way he intends to vote, he is a season ticket holder after all, or would he be excluded under some sort of conflict of interest.
36 Posted 24/07/2007 at 23:37:09
I got no reply.
Luckily I do live in the city center and thus get to vote him and his useless council out of power.
"Warren Bradley - the man who let Everton leave Liverpool". On your head son - forever.
37 Posted 25/07/2007 at 02:32:58
Maybe Bradley is finally waking up to the legacy LCC will have generated in failing to try and keep Everton in the city.
Or, if I may be a little more cynical, it’s because Everton in the Community do so many good things which LCC don’t have to pay for!!
38 Posted 25/07/2007 at 07:40:33
P.S we will never move to Kirkby because once anything appears in the Liverpool Echo cartoon strip(sorry "artists impression")we all know it just will not happen!!!
39 Posted 25/07/2007 at 09:24:53
40 Posted 25/07/2007 at 10:43:44
41 Posted 25/07/2007 at 13:32:01
42 Posted 25/07/2007 at 14:14:48
43 Posted 25/07/2007 at 15:49:18
44 Posted 25/07/2007 at 18:37:27
KW is no Evertonion, and will do what he sees fit to further and feather his own...
We now hear that under 18’s will not be able to vote...thats is it in my book...you will cut off the life blood that EFC has with the City , now cut of the life support that was young supporters...
EVERTOINION’S HAVE TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST THIS, ONE WAY , RAIL ROAD PLAN TO OBLIVION...!!!
45 Posted 25/07/2007 at 19:35:11
Your article is very good, but if it just ends up being for information, and a catalyst for people to vent their unhappiness then I think we will have missed an opportunity. We’re battling uphill, but for the sake of doing something rather than nothing, can Toffeeweb/WSAG/bluekipper any media savvy Blues provide some help?
Anything needs to be properly publicized of course, and made easy for people to take part in. By the time a list of posts is as long as this one is, there’s probably only me and you left reading it, so we really do need the help of TW et al. Otherwise it’s Kirkby without even a whimper.
What’s your take?
P.S. Do you really think that Loop site is logistically feasible? Looks badly inaccessible to me, but I’ve never tried to go there.
46 Posted 25/07/2007 at 22:08:41
As to what we can do about it all, well I?m unsure that even the most orchestrated campaign at this pre-vote stage would change anything. If you?re anti-Kirkby (and I agree with you, it?s not about the boundary per se, it?s just that it?s so obviously the wrong profile-location for us) all that you can hope for is that a good 10pc or so have had their minds changed over the last week or so as more information has trickled out.
If a ?no? vote was secured, and we only need 51 per cent (they say) then obviously things would be different and we could use the ?back to square one, extra time? period to re-examine why there hasn?t been a Plan B; why no-one other than Tesco has been forthcoming (notwithstanding the Bestway news).
My own take is that I really do think there are other potential investors out there waiting for EFC (of course there are, this is Premiership we?re talking about, it?s shown around the world: and we?re all up-for-grabs to an extent).
However, I don?t think any savvy investor would have been prepared to declare their hand whilst the situation regarding the ridiculous groundshare confusion was still dragging on (I mean how many times did we need to hear Parry say no?). Likewise, why would any of them have even considered EFC whilst the whole LFC saga was in flux (until February just gone). Remember it?s only a year ago that the likes of Steve Morgan was trying to get them on the (comparative) cheap. It may seem odd to some, but I genuinely believe the uncertainty over the park was effectively keeping us on an amber light. I may be wrong, though.
Another hampering factor, now that the LFC saga has been clarified, has been the fact that we?ve been locked into exclusivity with KMBC/Tesco since last December which has basically sent a signal to any would-be investor ?not to bother...well not just yet?. And now here we are with the exclusivity period (presumably) over but we?re falling headlong into a ballot which could dictate our future for ever.
For my own part, I can only hope we can record a ?no? vote and then, if we get that crucial ?extra time?, we don?t waste a second (inside and outside the club - we?re all stakeholders, after all) in examining every option open to us, fully, rationally, honestly and openly.
Regarding the ?loop?. Well, logistically I can?t really pass an opinion except to re-iterate my earlier view that Bestway are no fools and the amount of boxes that the property director managed to tick in one wide-ranging opening statement, to my mind, was very significant. If he?d come out with a tired-old corporate communications style ?we?d be very interested to speak to Everton? type statement, then I?d have just rolled my eyes. But he was very detailed in his overview, I thought. I can?t imagine they?d stick around forever, though. It really is over to EFC in my opinion and at the moment I?m 50-50 between thinking that the silence over Bestway is encouraging / deeply worrying. Ever thus.
47 Posted 26/07/2007 at 10:21:46
I haven’t trusted an Everton director since December 22nd. 1971. I’m certainly not disposed to trust their rather bumbling spokesman /KW. But, as Richard notes, there is a sense of lack of direction in the no campaign, if such can be said to exist.
Surely people can rally round the Scotty Rd. scheme?
As to the 18 year old bar, good! Those with little sense of the past and lack of caution in moving into the future tend to be younger.
I hope the bruising encounters and vile personal abuse you’ve suffered in the past won’t limit your efforts now and in the future.
48 Posted 26/07/2007 at 11:58:26
Am aghast at the news that about our tentative SP question being shot down essentially because we’re not Liverpool.
Can’t really reconcile my feelings at the moment having read that to be honest, am a bit numb.
The only question I can think of in my current frame of mind, which is entirely of a cold and logical (ie. unemotional) nature, is; Have Liverpool already lined up buyers of Anfield? I’m imagining it might suffer the same development feasibility problems as GP, but if the footprint is bigger than GP and ultimately we’re aiming for a smaller capacity than them anyway is it remotely an option - for the sake of keeping us local?
- concede it might be a highly emotive subject, but given we’re spitting distance apart and have been for years, and our board seem utterly convinced that our only options are miles away...
Desperate times etc.
49 Posted 26/07/2007 at 13:44:35
As you say, though, it?s desperate times and, in that light, I simply can?t understand why the (now five days old) news about Bestway is drowning under a media silence or is being dismissed by admittedly jaundiced Blues as a non-starter. It may well indeed prove to be. But surely it?s worth investigating even a little further? I mean, given where we are, what have we to lose?
To anyone with even a passing curiosity about the ?loop plan? (and there?s many who think that phrase needs a ?y" placing on the end) I?d say just two things.
First, have a look again at the candidness of the quotes that Bestway Holding?s property director, Malcolm Carter, released last weekend. A senior executive like that just simply doesn?t trot out that type of overview detail unless there?s some substance to what he?s saying. He?s laying himself open to potential ridicule and I doubt he?d take a risk like that unless he was sure of his ground.
Sure, to a layman, that site looks way too restrictive (you be surprised though if you do the Google Earth, Tools, Ruler, Straight line facility comparison between that site and the current EFC and LFC footprints... i.e. it?s bigger than it looks) but frankly I?d be inclined to have a little more faith than some have (somewhat rudely IMO) shown in Carter?s words.
Secondly, have a good scout round the Bestway Group website (that?s the corporate site ? not the transactional retail site ? go to www.bestwaygroup.co.uk) and tell me that these guys sound like the type of cats who like to mess around for a laugh. You?ll see Malcolm Carter listed under the ?key contacts?. His statement was that the Bestway plan depended on an ?enormous groundswell? of support developing, and pretty quickly too, across Evertonia (particularly us fans) and the wider city. I?ve never read a clearer ?gauntlet laying? statement.
And yet, judging by the perceived silence, we seem to be blithely ignoring the situation (certainly an incurious local media is ? but you don?t have to be Sherlock to work that one out). Put it this way, Mr Carter is certainly getting a ?thanks? e-mail from me. At least out of courtesy for taking time to show interest in EFC. The least the club should do is talk to these guys.
And the least the fanbase should do is insist that the club should be seen to do so. I don?t see how a potentially binding Kirkby vote can be activated until the club has spoken to Bestway and informed us of the outcome. Yeah, it may turn out to be another false lead (we?ve a thick skin)... but it may turn out to be exactly what we all want.
50 Posted 26/07/2007 at 18:08:28
The "Bestway" site at the "Loop" junction off Scotland Road leading to the Wallasey Tunnel now gets my backing! Everton must not surrender Liverpool to LFC!
51 Posted 26/07/2007 at 19:40:37
52 Posted 26/07/2007 at 20:32:51
53 Posted 26/07/2007 at 21:29:51
Liverpools plans, are part of a much bigger plan, to redevelop the whole area. The parkland lost will be given back by turning the current anfield into anfield plaza, and liverpool will enter into a partnership with LCC to ensure the park is adequately restored to its victorian glory and maintained, therefore securing its future. This will act as a cataylst for the regeneration of the anfield/breckfield area as a whole, yet evertons scheme involved no such regeneration of the walton area.
Everton missed the boat with the Kings Dock scheme when it couldnt come up with its share of approx 50m, so unless another supermarket, or benefactor is willing to build a stadium within the boundaries of the city like the Kirkby scheme, a liverpool based stadium a non starter straight away. Everton just do not have the money, investors or banks who would be willing to borrow them the money to fund their own stadium.
The 50000 Kirkby stadium will cost everton a grand total of an estimated 10m, and lets face it, there are no other options with the current financial straight jacket everton is in.
As sad as it may seem, Everton have to embrace the kirkby scheme or risk falling yet further behind the team from across the park.
Staying at an antiquated goodison, or hanging about for someone who is basically willing to build us a stadium and give us it in liverpool, is not going to happen.
54 Posted 26/07/2007 at 22:29:12
Anyone else agree with me? Kirkby is a no-brainer scheme by KW and we should all say NO...
55 Posted 26/07/2007 at 22:44:54
Liverpool have a turnover of approx 110m with a 45000 seat ground, evertons is less than half that with a 40000 seater ground. Liverpools top paid player is on over 100k a wk, and have several players on 60k plus evertons wage cap is around 35k. Everton have spent 4m on 1 player, and couldnt even compete with the mighty portsmouth for Nugent, because they cant shift beattie off the wage bill. liverpool have spent over 40m and are willing to spend more.
The gap is only going to increase once Liverpool move to a stadium which will hold 76000 eventually. Probably about 5m a game more in revenue at least.
Goodison has next to nothing in the way of corporate facilities, which in order to compete, everton needs desperately. The corporate facilities in the kirkby stadium alone will generate more than the whole of the current stadium does now in revenue if arsenals new ground is anything to go by, so I really feel that everton have no choice but to bit the bullet and move out the city.
Show me a viable alternative?
56 Posted 26/07/2007 at 23:27:23
After being turned down for Stanley Park and at the time of Peter Johnson’s vote for moving to the Kirkby Golf Course site the people of Aintree started jumping up and down.
Meetings were organised, petitions started and the clamour from the area brought a statement from LCC I seenm to recall carried in the (Red) Echo saying,"The City owned a part of the site and there was no way it would be sold for the development."
Not dissimilar to the present with opposition from the Walton area, ’not to move’ and from Kirkby ’not wanted here.’ Suddenly noises are heard from LCC who have jumped on the bandwagon to ’stay in Liverpool’ but what have they to offer? Is the Council in agreement? Is Warren Bradley speaking on their behalf?
Questions from all sides to all sides but don’t expect to be given the truth from any of them.
Just one huge question to answer -’what’s the best for EFC given the position we’re in?"
57 Posted 27/07/2007 at 10:48:27
As much as it would be fantastic for Kirkby to have this move I have to agree with some of the comments I have read regarding visibility...not the comments on the corporate/hospitality side of things as Kirkby has one of the biggest industrial estates in europe (many businesses!).
Our club needs this Scottie Rd site more than you can imagine, this is a place where visitors to the city will see a (hopefully) fantastic looking stadium as they are walking around and want to visit out of curiousity..I cannot tell you how important this is. The links to the loop are fantastic by train/road and we would be returning to our spiritual home.
The electorate (I am not one) must vote NO to Kirkby and they all fans must put pressure on LCC by whatever means to grant us the loop site..many voices united can make a difference...lets get this Kirkby thing out of the way and make our voices heard. And by the way I am not part of the KEIOC, just a very very concerned Blue.
58 Posted 27/07/2007 at 14:24:20
BK Needs to understand 2 things about EFC and fast. 1. We need a new investor. 2. Everton need to stay in Liverpool.
59 Posted 27/07/2007 at 15:55:28
60 Posted 28/07/2007 at 00:06:17
Liverpool has enjoyed more commercial success than Everton over the last 40 years.
They carry the name of the city.
That will never change!
So what makes us love Everton?
I will tell you!
It’s the true spirit of scouseness.
The hard done to!
The fight till the end.
It’s easy supporting Liverpool FC. Like going to the toilet for a pee, it’s easy. If anyone has seen the film ’Braveheart’ then thats what it means to be a blue. It’s our freedom of choice. We will not fall in with the masses. We will not be conditioned to follow the easy route.
We are passionate to the end, because we believe in the course. As Labby put it,’One Blue is worth 20 reds,.’. If our ground is on the moon, we will still fight, fight, fight on the banks of the Royal Blue Mersey!
61 Posted 28/07/2007 at 17:51:06
The quality of the debate is very high indeed in all but literally one or two contributions.
I am a Red but I genuinely feel for my Blue brothers. As scousers we have a city to be proud of and Everton and Liverpool play a major part in that heritage.
I genuinely hope that Everton will prosper.
Reading the whole sorry saga about how Everton Football Club has been grossly mis-managed for generations is heart-rending. Everton fans do not deserve to be treated like this. They are "lions led by donkeys".
Good luck Everton and Blues everywhere.
62 Posted 28/07/2007 at 19:23:11
first of all alan i’d like you to look at the results from the previous 5 or so seasons before posting. secondly, well done for realising you finished above us by a few points in the league, the year that we won the champions league and you won nothing. finally, "more loyal fanbase" please, Everton must resort to begging ’fans’ over the radio to buy the season tickets, even half season tickets- how desperate. we fill a stadium for carling cup first rounds. stay at Goodison cos you’ll never fill the new supermarket, sorry stadium.
63 Posted 29/07/2007 at 17:46:19
64 Posted 29/07/2007 at 21:44:29
65 Posted 31/07/2007 at 10:30:22
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