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The Bestway Proposal

By Steve Ryan :  27/07/2007 :  Comments (19) :
Having watched Everton home and away for 45 years in my dad?s and grandad?s footsteps, I moved to Sydney 5 years ago and like many other fanatical, life-long blues, I have been disenfranchised from the Kirkby referendum. I am a member of the Sydney Everton Supporters Club and presently manage the student accommodation at Sydney University where I have converted many of our students (mainly from South East Asia) to the blue cause.

My reason for writing this piece is to urge those pro-Kirkby voters, whose views I totally respect, to view the Bestway initiative with an open mind before casting their vote. For those blues who are under the impression that Bestways are a small concern, I would suggest that you look at their website and you will find that the scale of their UK and international enterprises are huge. They are undoubtedly a major player and their owner is one of the richest Asian entrepreneurs in Britain.

I admit to being biased towards the Scotland Road option as I was born and raised there for 18 years before moving to Walton. When me and my mates attended the opening of the Wallasey Tunnel as scruffy kids back in the mid 1960s, I couldn?t have imagined that my beloved club could one day have the opportunity of relocating only a stone's throw away. For those who aren?t yet aware, the proposed development site doesn?t just include the land inside the loop but also the adjacent plot in St Annes Street currently owned by LCC.

Notwithstanding the historical and emotional reasons for wanting to return to the district baring the name of this great institution, there are major economic reasons for choosing the loop site. The unprecedented wealth creating regeneration of Liverpool?s central business district is to be expanded to the nearby inner city areas of Great Homer Street, Scotland Road, Vauxhall Road, Sandhills and Anfield; furthermore, the infrastructure, after many years of planning, is now in place to facilitate this massive transformation. To possibly have a stadium far superior to that proposed for Kirkby, situated at the epicentre of this regeneration, on the doorstep of an economically vibrant city centre is an opportunity we can?t afford to dismiss offhand without further investigation.

I sometimes wonder whether Kenwright?s benefactors, Green and Earl who are currently propping up his insipid little empire have been promised inexpensive development sites in Kirkby for their own enterprises (Casinos etc) which may not be available in the city centre. However, putting my intense hatred of Kenwright aside, (passionate Evertonian my arse!!), I would urge him to commence 24/7 dialogue with Bestway and LCC for the sake of future generations of Evertonians.

Wyness?s claim, that commercial partners may not be available to jointly fund an iconic inner city stadium when this particular location is awash with heavyweight commercial and property investors and when mediocre football clubs are being courted by billionaires from every corner of the globe, is a bare-faced lie.

As a footnote, can I make a comment to Mr Wyness ? the man who ALLEGEDLY did a runner from Australia following the dubious activities of his company which folded shortly after the Sydney Olympics!!! You have bombarded the army of Evertonians here in Australia and presumably throughout the world with countless emails trying to extract money from us in relation to your numerous commercial activities while informing us how valued we are within the Everton community. Why then, when we are faced with the most important decision in the history of our great club are we not allowed to vote on this issue? You were not born a blue so you would have no idea what it means to be looking in from the outside while a mercenary like you can have such corrupting influence on the direction of Everton Football Club for the next 100 years? it makes me sick to the stomach.

In conclusion, I would urge all Evertonians to apply pressure on the current Board of Directors to thoroughly investigate the Bestway proposal before deciding on the Kirkby option and to give your full support to KEIOC who are steadfastly attempting to identify viable alternatives to Kirkby while trying, against all odds, to protect our heritage. It really does sadden me to see them castigated by so many fellow Evertonians? anyway, good luck and thank you to them.

Reader Comments

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Barry hughes
1   Posted 27/07/2007 at 18:46:28

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In A fucking nutshell steve my friend, summed up perfectly!!
Brian Waring
2   Posted 27/07/2007 at 19:03:20

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Spot on Ryan.One of the problems I have with the pro-Kirkby fans is that after preaching to us about how great the Kirkby deal is,they just dismiss the Bestway intrest out of hand.Quotes like fuck LCC they had their chance,spring to mind.(whats the saying?cut off your nose to spite your face)I just think all avenues need to be explored,and the Bestway intrest needs serious examination and not just ripped to shreds.At the end of the day if it can’t match Tesco,well,that’s it,end of discussions.Thing is,the pro fans don’t even want to give it a chance.They are actually thinking like BK and Wyness now.Its Kirkby or bust.
Chris Matheson
3   Posted 27/07/2007 at 21:36:18

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This is a good article. It deomstrates that there is an alternative to Kirby. However, having cased out the bestway site I can see that it has problems. It sits on an island right above the tunnel head for the wallasey tunnel, which means there would be objections to the site on grounds of traffic impact, and new pedesrian bridges would be required to gain access to the island. However, it is actually in Everton, at the bottom of the hill on Scotland Road so the site is historically appropriate and is pretty central for the city too. Personally I prefer the Long Lane site where there is bags of room and good road access out along the East Lancs Road straight on to the M57 ...but of course no Bestway to help fund the project. Either way, both are better sites than Kirby as this article demonstrates.
David Barks
4   Posted 27/07/2007 at 22:32:29

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I would prefer the Loop site, but I worry about the size of the area. But if the adjacent land is also available, this would help. The biggest stumbling block is the financial details of the Kirkby move with Knowsley and Tesco providing funds. Here is my worry, we vote no to the Kirkby move, then LCC goes back to sitting on their hands and nothing develops, leaving us in an old Goodison Park while the other side open up a brand new stadium in Stanley Park. So my question to all those who are going to vote No is this: Will you all stay as passionate and outspoken against LCC to work with Everton towards providing a new ground? I hope that you do, because a move within Liverpool would be ideal.
Archibald Leitch
5   Posted 27/07/2007 at 22:40:42

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The only way to make the Board look at other options, of which this is potentially a very good one, is to Vote No. I simply cannot understand why people think this is the last chance we’ll ever have. You could have said that after Kings Dock, but here we are 4 years later. All options have not been properly looked at...that has become obvious. There’s no going back if we go to Kirkby.
Dave Thompson
6   Posted 27/07/2007 at 23:35:00

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Excellent article, Steve, and one which I back 100%.

A stadium within the loop has the chance to be iconic, and with such close proximity to the city centre the location is perfect.

It’s vital now that LCC and Bestway put forward a deliverable plan prior to the start of the voting period, if only to cast doubt amongst the wavering voters and show that there is an option. The second part would be to get the biased press to give it equal billing to the propaganda from Everton - "Kirkby says Yes to Everton" indeed.

Personally, I don’t know anyone who can vote, who is voting yes, but, still, a ’yes’ outcome would not surprise me.

Everton must stay in the City.

Bob Parrington
7   Posted 28/07/2007 at 00:49:16

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Well put, mate! The BEST WAY forward!
Bob Parrington
8   Posted 28/07/2007 at 01:09:50

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Just another note. Please change the link to Bestway. It comes up as a blank page - should be but link seems to be to
Frank Tucker
9   Posted 28/07/2007 at 01:11:26

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I’m a mate of Steves’ and I too now live in Sydney.I had a season ticket in the Lower Gwaldys for 15 years until we move here last September. So I’m assuming I get a vote. Of course it will be a NO. As has been commented, once we go there’s no way back.We owe it to the fans and the club to explore all avenues to keep our beloved Blues in the City.Good onya mate
Barry Bragg
10   Posted 28/07/2007 at 01:25:09

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So hands up anyone who thinks we will get any kind of facts and figures or even a sketchy idea of what Bestway are offering before the we have to vote on Kirkby.

If LCC and Bestway want to be taken seriously over their offer they have to come up with more than a mention that the site could be available. In my opinion they are just using this as a way of muddying the waters before the vote to put doubt and false hope in desperate peoples minds.

Well what happens when we vote no to kirkby and Bestway turns out to be a red herring. This council don’t care about Everton staying in the city other than to save face. They will be happy to see us sink further into decline and obscurity so long as we do it at Goodison. If they genuinely want us to stay they should make us a firm offer of something concrete.
Untill then I am voting yes to Kirkby.
Steve Jones
11   Posted 28/07/2007 at 03:46:36

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We need to know more about exactly what they can offer, or are willing to offer.

From the website :

These are two email addresses which I suggest could be contacted to find out more - or at least to escalate our enquiries to the board of Bestway for them to provide us with their story.

Business Development - James Hall
+44 (0)20 8453 8352

br />Media Enquiries - Peter Cunard
Cunard Communications Ltd
+44 (0)20 8991 5843

Didnt they say they would like a huge turn of opinion from the Everton fans to progress this ?

I for one want to know more about what could be possible before I vote.
12   Posted 28/07/2007 at 06:33:34

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Terific shout Steve - Barry hughes summed it up perfectly -

The pro Kirby voters are really scaring me.

Barry Brag - unfortunately your far from being alone in this Barry - complains this could be a "another red herring"

I’ve heard this expression so many times from pro kirby voters who are deperately tired of all the all these "red herrings "

There never has been a plan B ! ! !

The only other site we’ve given more than passing glance to was the Kings Dock and who f..ked that up ?

These guys have invested no time at all - more to the point, they are not prepared to - looking at alternatives and their patience is already f..ken exausted !

We should move heaven and earth to stay in this , our city.

Why should we settle for second best ? The only chance we have of Generating the much vaunted extra revenue to compete, is to fill our new home regulary, that will only be done by playing were even the most pro KIrkby voter knows we belong !

Your not watching your misses choose the new f..ken curtains. Barring family, This is the most important thing in our lives

The "that’ll do lets get the f..k ourra here" mentality betrays everything we are, our heritage, our history, our identity

The RS got what they wanted without a fight, were Evertonians things dont come quite so easily we have to make them happen.
Steve Pugh
13   Posted 28/07/2007 at 08:49:45

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Wake up people. Barry Bragg and Steve Jones are talking sense. We need to know what Bestway are really offering before the vote. Maybe they are offering us a piece of land and thats it, so where will the money come from to build the stadium. Here is a an outrageous rumour for you, LCC actually want EFC to go under so they are spreading the Bestway rumour to make us vote no, then they will laugh out loud and say fooled you, now you are stuck at GP but we’re going to close the ground due to health and safety reasons. Surely if Bestway were serious there would be a mention on one of their websites, knowing that we would all visit to show our support.

Sadly that it is no more outrageous than some of the conspiarcy c**p that the anti move lot are spouting. By the way Dave the only way we will fill our new stadium is to make it accessible to the out of towners, no more twenty minute walks from the carpark. Believe me after a 4 hour drive my 2 kids don’t want a 20 minute walk. Which means instead of four of us going to the game, it is usually just me.
Phil Smith
14   Posted 28/07/2007 at 09:48:09

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It strikes me that LCC would be more than happy with a yes vote for Kirby as the time-frame for Everton moving away from Goodison would fit in nicely with their plans for the redevelopment of the area for the benefit of LFC. If we vote no to Kirby it might provide an incentive for LCC to get their finger out and find Everton a "deliverable" alternative if only to move us out of the way of the monstrous New Analfield.
Billy Brad
15   Posted 28/07/2007 at 12:17:08

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Load a crap Phil. LCC have tried to talk to EFC on numerous occasions but Wyness keeps referering back to the eclusivity deal they have devised so no other option can be worked up. LCC are in serious negotiations as we speak with Bestway, who are really interested in Delivering a stadium in the heart of EVERTON. Warren Bradley is as frustrated as all of us at the lack of ambition EFC are showing, and wants to deliver but his hands are tied until EFC come out of there SELF IMPOSED EXCLUSIVITY PERIOD THAT IS IN ITS 8TH OR 9TH MONTH.
16   Posted 28/07/2007 at 12:49:45

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Steve pugh

I understand your desire to make the ground more accessible to the out of towners,especially if your trying to relieve the boredom of a lengthy journey for two kids as well
I too travel up the M1 + M6, My job took me south 20 years ago, but be realistic Steve lad, we "out of towners" are in a very tiny minority. Next time Manure or RS play at home try getting up the M6, Its bumper to bumper.
I was born and bread in Kirkdale, I would warmly welcome a wider fan base to fill our new stadium and swell the coffers by purchasing Everton merchandise, but Everton have never enjoyed that level of nationwide support. We are a scouse club,
The only way we will ever fill a 50 thousand ground is by 45 thousand + scousers turning up.

If we had 3-4 years unbroken success we may well attain a bigger nationwide following, but as things stand our club can only ever retain parity or, better still, superiority. by planting ourselves right in the heart of the community that spawned it

Upping sticks and going to Kirkby will not, as the pro kirby voters seem to think, suddenly mobilise the good people of fleetwood + buckingham to descend upon the new luvvie dome in there hoards
Brendan Fox
17   Posted 28/07/2007 at 13:48:59

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To all Evertonians, I work for the company that provided consultation to the EFC board on the Kings Dock Scheme. Speaking to the guy who was the head consultant to the EFC board on the Kings Dock Project he advised them that the stadium as good as it looked was not financialy viable. LCC being the main contributors to the scheme would have been entitled to 90% of all gate receipts to recoup the intial outlay. So even if the board had have found the £35 million needed from EFC’s end of the bargain in the whole deal(probably in the shape of a loan) how the hell would the club have been able to pay back the installments on such a loan? From 10% gate receeipts the club would barely be able to pay the interest on such a loan, nevermind the existing debt at the time, players wages etc etc. So this should help everyone see the deal with LCC for what it was,a sham. If LCC were doing the club a favour then I cannot see it from the above proposals.

I don’t think the club have been run like a business since the days of Sir Carter. The ballot for those of you that can vote is going to involve a decision based by either the head or the heart. It’s your perogative to vote for or against but if you vote for and things go downhill don’t start complaining. Similarily if you vote against and the club stagnates then did you make the decision based on emotion or did you really think it through? I cannot vote and everyone else that cannot vote do not have an opinion that will count for anything, so if you are going to vote do it for what you think is going to be for the good of the club not based on what is conventient for you. Remember everyone business is business it’s not personal. Unite together for we are the fabric of this great club!
18   Posted 28/07/2007 at 15:10:33

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What a spokesman Ste Ryan is.....put him on the board and let him make all the decisions. Well done matey... youre the kind of guy i’d love to marry !
Steve Hogan
19   Posted 29/07/2007 at 09:53:43

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For what it’s worth, I have dealt with Bestway at a senior level for 15 years and they are pure opportunists, nothing more nothing less.

If they were that interested in offering Everton a new location why haven’t they shown their hand before now?

They are simply jumping on the bandwagon spurred on by Bradley’s ill-advised and tasteless remarks.

They can smell an ’easy buck’ and have an even less affinity with football than Tesco’s.

Also, do you think the local residents in that area are going to welcome Everton with open arms?

The whole process could easily be deayed 10 years as resident groups challenge the notion of a football club outside their front door.

Forget this Bestway nonsense.

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