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The Light at the End of the Tunnel?

By Ray Mia :  31/07/2007 :  Comments (67) :

I, like many Evertonians, hugely admire what Lyndon and the team at Toffeeweb do.

They provide us with the vital sounding board that gives us all an opportunity to say what we want, to the people we want to say it to.

It never ceases to surprise me how erudite and literate the Everton fan is in articulating arguments and providing sound discourse on any footballing matter related to Everton FC.

It?s clear we've all got an opinion about the future of Everton's Stadium debate. And I'm grateful that Lyndon has brought the issue out in the open in such sharp relief. Lyndon's article is so well researched, and underlines the very points that we have all suspected for a long time. And the overwhelming response from all the fans that have wanted to have their say has been equally as emphatic.

The thought of Everton playing in the ward of Everton, within very sight of the Castle, and so close to the City Centre has energized the entire KEIOC campaign, which despite being well organized has flagged recently with low tactics that can only suggest the desperation at not having a viable solution to act as a banner. Now with the Loop, is there quite literally light at the end of the tunnel?

Now we all live in the real world. I presume the vast majority of us work hard for a living, have families & homes. We all know that life is not a Hollywood film, that there never seems to be an easy option, and that working hard, believing in goals and striving to better ourselves is all we can do. Almost the reason why we are all born Evertonians is that we can all see that a hard work ethic and a never say die attitude can get you far in life.

What Lyndon has done, is bring into focus the reality of Everton Football Club in the modern world, in the modern game, and under the current ownership.

The Loop may well be a genuine candidate, but one we cannot afford. It is not that the Scotland Road area is as run down as Walton, it is not that money will pour into the area from Government sources, it is not that the site is in the Everton Ward, it is not that the footprint appears to be too small, it is not even that no actual financial planning has been conducted on the site, and it is not that the vote for Kirkby is being made without a viable option, it is simply the fact that Everton FC cannot afford to move anywhere else.

Do all the analysis you want. Conduct all the costing and spreadsheet out the entire floor plan for a move to whichever site you wish. Lyndon?s article brings it all into focus. We all would like us to stay where we are, and better still, we would all want us to move back into the Everton Ward [wait a minute? are you all saying Goodison is in another Ward? Maybe there should have been a KEIOW campaign?] No, it is the fact, the unassailable fact, the truth, the one clear issue that as fans we all seem to collectively ignore, what with Wigan, Man City, Fulham, West Ham etc out spending us, that Everton FC does not have the financial muscle to compete at a level that will even remotely keep up with the top four, let alone the middle ten.

Everton cannot afford to build a stadium in the City of Liverpool. There is no use denying it, and there is no use pointing fingers at BK. I look at how all the other teams are being bought out, and I remember the media money that poured into clubs a decade ago. Then as now, Everton seem to have lost out. Then, as now, clubs seem to have accessed new resources.

But the harsh reality is, we don?t have any new investment. We hear Everton were on a list of a number of the investors now owning other clubs, but BK turned them down. Are you all saying you would rather some millionaire step in and build a stadium in The Loop? When exactly? What are your timelines?

I choose to live in the real world. I also choose to look at the facts, not the dreams, not the wishes, but the facts. Who owns the club, who wants to build a stadium, where is the stadium, what are the alternatives, and what are the objections to the alternatives. The Loop is a phenomenal thought, but that?s all it is, a thought. If you thought the objections to Kirkby was strong, wait until The Loop goes for planning permission at the LCC.

Lyndon?s article says it all. I would more than happily support a delay in the vote so The Loop can get a full costing with plans. I would support it because even if it was all put on a plate, and even though my heart would want me to say yes to The Loop, my mind would look at Kirkby, and I would rather Kirkby and Premiership football and a chance for Moyes to build a top 4 breaking side with silverware, than The Loop after five years of wrangling, spiraling costs, loss of public support, loss of private backing, loss of government revenue, no investment in the team, and still being at Goodison when the Red Dawn finally rises over Stanley Park.

For me, there is No Light at the End of The Wallasey Tunnel. For me Lyndon?s article merely confirms the difference between pipe dreams or tunnel vision, and reality or the inevitable, and we can embrace it as our future and move with the times, or get swept aside on the ash heap of history.

Reader Comments

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1   Posted 01/08/2007 at 01:48:08

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Excellent article, well written and totally on the money. Well done.
Nigel Tilley
2   Posted 01/08/2007 at 02:17:32

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God, I wish I could write like that! Well written, sane, and spot on (IMHO) .... Thank you Ray.
brian sephton
3   Posted 01/08/2007 at 03:58:22

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A very well written ,articulate article but the doubt in my mind is where the move guarantees more money as we will have a bigger debt !
David Barks
4   Posted 01/08/2007 at 04:50:20

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Well said and your point is well made. I think it will be beneficial for Everton’s present and future to make this move. We’re not abandoning anyone, we’re trying to remain competitive.
5   Posted 01/08/2007 at 06:04:26

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Brilliant mate. Well done. Everyone involved with Everton should read this.

Oh, and Brian, the debt from the move will be remarkably minimal thanks to the Tesco impact and the sale of Goodison. Compared to other ground moves recently, ours would truly be the deal of the century in terms of finance. :) And, of course, all debt incurred will be structured.
Patrick Coyle
6   Posted 01/08/2007 at 07:12:28

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Excellent article. At last some logic on the matter! Can you imagine the barriers Everton would have to scale to get the Loop off the ground? Where would the money come from? and what would we get? Would we own the Stadium?
Derek Thomas
7   Posted 01/08/2007 at 07:09:16

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Just coz you say it ain’t so Joe, sorry Ray, (BTW I was a big fan of that piece you wrote a few months ago that upset a lot at toffeeweb towers, just what was that all about again? must check archives). Does not automatically make it true(least I hope not)

Maybe if the vote shows there is an mandate for a move, Bestway (and the council) will come out with some sort of detailed ’plan B’ and the wheel, as Mr. Zimmerman says, will still be in spin. As well, no doubt Bestway(being the well run business they are) will allow us just the same amount of vaseline that Tesco’s are willing to give before we play ’grab ankles’

Slightly better than ’Hobsons choice’ we can then retain the moral/innerish city high ground and get the’ best’ of a bad deal that is going. We arn’t the daddies in these potential relationships, ain’t life (like us??) a bitch.
Dave Thompson
8   Posted 01/08/2007 at 07:45:21

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Can I suggest you attend the KEIOC exhibition on Friday before writing off the loop, or any other project.

Despite the scare-mongering, Goodison is not falling down. There is no urgency, and as for "the red dawn rising over Stanley Park", so what?

Because Kirkby is the only deal on offer, doesn’t make it the right deal. This is a move forever. When the King’s Dock fell through, thee was no prospect of anything else on the horizon, but a few years on and here we are.

When the right deal really comes along, there won’t be any need for a vote, because it will be the right deal.
Harry Meek
9   Posted 01/08/2007 at 08:21:37

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As I have already posted in answer to another letter,noone should imagine that a ’Yes ’vote by Evertonians will guarantee a new ground can be built in Kirkby.Tesco have much ’previous’with grandiose plans to ’re-generate’fading neighbourhoods.
In recent years they have pursued a scheme which would have seen a new school,sports centre and all manner of facilities alongside a store in the St.John’s area of my City,Worcester,only for it to founder and disappear(five years later!) in a whelter of planning objections from all and sundry including central government.I understand that there are many more similar instances on record which is the reason that they can boast a muti-million landbank on their balance sheet each year.
Like many others,I am convinced that Kirkby is just not right for New Goodison but have a strident belief that whatever the outcome of the vote,it will never happen!
King’s Dock a cock-up?We ain’t seen nothing yet!
10   Posted 01/08/2007 at 09:00:54

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Just a thought fella’s but we are £25-30million in debt now. We are talking of adding a further £15-20million to that debt. It may be minimal in the terms of the stdium build but the debt we already have won’t just go away. What ever debt we incur from the new stadium you have to remember that it will be added to the existing debt. Just keep that in mind.
Tom Hughes
11   Posted 01/08/2007 at 09:22:15

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It is not just a pleasant thought or dream at all. A dedicated task force has been put together to make it a reality. These include the same consultant architects and planners that are bringing the biggest redevelopment scheme in Europe to reality in the city centre. The method for generating the finances are no different than those used in the Kirkby proposal...... Tesco are not funding our stadium, they say so themselves. The methods of planning gain/land release are being used all over the city centre to far greater and to far more lucrative effect than they ever could be in Kirkby. The loop site is an important one because it sits right in the area that would make up the next phase of the city centre redevelopment Everton/vauxhall/scotland road corridor. The planners are very excited at the prospect of having an iconic stadium to act as a catalyst/building block that bridges the Gap caused by the Tunnel cutting. The inner city stadium has been used to great effect in this way in the US. Project Jennifer would then be directly linked to the city-centres in a unified plan. Not a pipe dream at all but normal planning strategy..... and one that has some big backers.
12   Posted 01/08/2007 at 09:31:41

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Excellent article which has changed my mind on how to vote. Hold on, didn’t i say that after Lyndon Lloyd’s article ysterday? buggadifino.
13   Posted 01/08/2007 at 09:25:57

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There is one thing that I don’t quite understand about the Kirby deal, and it’s been bugging me for a while now. I just don’t see what’s in this for Tesco.
Apparently the Kirby stadium would be worth about £150m, at an outlay of £15m from the club. That’s a lot of money that Tesco will invest on Everton’s behalf. But, they could go ahead and just build a shop on the Kirby site without the stadium for a LOT less money.
Why are they so keen to spend money on our club?? Ultimately, as a business the responsibility of the Tesco board is to their shareholders and nobody else. So what’s in it for them?? It seems a bit fishy to me.
Andy Rannard
14   Posted 01/08/2007 at 09:43:49

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Whats in it for them? don’t be surprised if the hallowed land currently occupied by Goodison ends up as a shiny new land in an area lacking in large conglomerate supermarkets (somerfield and Kwiky aren’t in the same league really are they?) is what they will get.
Neil Pearse
15   Posted 01/08/2007 at 10:10:34

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Great article Ray!

We don’t have the money to build in Liverpool ourselves, and haven’t found the investors after all these years.

Tom: would you mind telling us who "the big backers" are who are going to pump tens of millions of pounds into the Loop? Or even perhaps giving us a clue? Otherwise I for one will consider to treat the Loop as utterly irrelevant (no funding = no option).

Kirkby is the only option without funding. Kirkby has funding from Tesco and Knowsley council. And the Loop.....???
Gerard Madden
16   Posted 01/08/2007 at 10:26:11

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Excellent article Ray.

The bottom line is money and always will be, any site other than Kirkby has a huge financial question mark against it while Kirkby is costed, deliverable and raring to go.

I would hate there to be a ’no’ vote - thankfully in my opinion getting more distant by the day due in no small part by the brilliant decision of the club to allow us to vote calmly in the comfort of our own homes with all the relevent info in front of us. If we voted ’no’ only for then to likely be told that the loop site is simply too small and too landlocked (no bigger than Goodison, less than half the size of the reds new site) and too expensive anyway, then you can be sure next on the location list will include the likes of Speke, Gillmoss etc options that are no better than Kirkby.

The time to move is now not in 5, 10 or 15 years.
17   Posted 01/08/2007 at 10:43:46

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Well I haven/t lived in Liverpool for a long time and so I’m not in the debate that’s no doubt raging across the city.
But some observations........most of the investors of other clubs including Gillette and Hicks are not investing they’re simply borrowing money on the clubs L’pool FC end up with a new stadium and 300 million in debt. I don’t think I want that....why are these investors investing...........make money that’s what investing’s all about, so what happens if the investment isn’t what they thought, or they overextend etc.........Leeds United that’s what!
As far as the move is concerned, who’s the winner, and who’s the loser.........So a founder member of the league ups and moves...we take our history with us, Kirkby becomes richer Liverpool becomes poorer, the city ultimately will ache for its loss of a great club.
Empires don’t last forever, neither will LFC, seems to me the city needs to consider a poorer future without us, as we certainly have a future without it!
patrick duffy
18   Posted 01/08/2007 at 11:23:57

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No No No No....Ray sorry mate, disagree. Look at Dave Thompsons comments...he hits the nailo on the head. Why are we panicking ? Everton Football Club have a real alternative option to Kirkby. They need to listen to the fans. If this club want to be big and successful, get the location right (and the Loop is spot on for that), get the ticket prices right...and youll be getting alot more then 10,000 extra people (as long as Moyes gets it right). Lets continue to make this club a real big part of the City of Liverpool....the ’Loop’ will I believe be the real catalyst for Everton to turn a corner..not Kirkby...sorry fellas.
David Chait
19   Posted 01/08/2007 at 11:31:08

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I was very much a ’NO’ voter in this regard - simply because I don’t feel the club have put together any argument why we can’t stay in Liverpool. They have said we can’t afford it, but give us more detail. We are expected to vote based on heresay basically. We have no real evidence of the long inspection for a new stadium in the city. I do have emotional reasons but have tried putting these aside and would like to base it purely on the financials. But this is impossible without any real info.

Saying all that, it appears that the ’yes’ voters are talking more now... and this article, brilliantly written, has gone some way to sway me. Sure it doesn’t back up its message with proof, but I am inclined to believe it none the less. I jsut wish KW would come out with specifics on sites within the city. Then I would say ’YES’ - and in 20 years time anyway Kirky will probably be in the heart of the city.
20   Posted 01/08/2007 at 11:32:05

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i dont understand why people think moving to this stadium is gonna bring us silverware and success....

an extra 10million a year? woopdie fuckin dooo. you wont get jack shit for that by the time the stadiums done. also we struggle to fill our 40,000+ stadium week in week out with averages a bit less than this.

so how on earth do they expect to fill a 50,000 seater in the middle of fuckin no where? we gonna draft in a few woolie backs to add to the ’atmosphere’?

club stinks, kirkby project stinks.. same old everton
Colin Harken
21   Posted 01/08/2007 at 12:01:22

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AG.. Surely new supporters would be welcome even if they were ?wooliebacks? as you call them.? And if you think the club ?stinks? as you also state, then maybe you should reconsider your belief that you are an Everton Football Club supporter.
Negativity stinks in my opinion
John S
22   Posted 01/08/2007 at 11:58:27

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Many thanks for your fantastic article. You have captured the essence of the argument in favour of the ’Yes’ vote. We have no money therefore there is no current viable Plan B that will meaningfully move us forward and help us further challenge for honours.
John Charles
23   Posted 01/08/2007 at 12:23:06

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John : the kirkby debt would not be addded to our existing debt in exact terms. It would be mortgaged against future earnings and the value of the new asset (stadium) - hence it would be a very cheap and servicable debt.

It is like buying a 1m pound house but only having a mortgage for 150 grand.

Personally, I think if we moved to kirkby all of a sudden you might see your rich investor appear over the hill. Thats my own feeling - Everton becomes a much much stronger business with the Kirkby solution.
will mitchell
24   Posted 01/08/2007 at 12:14:30

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Economic determinism knows no bounds it seems... but the financial arguments for the move don’t stack-up. Even with a substantial increase in average attendances and corporate hospitality business Kirkby will net the club an extra £5mm to £10mm a year. And for that we will sacrifice cultural and primordial bonds with our great city in favour of a hinterland retail park. Call me a Luddite; call me a sentimentalist. But we will all be sorry out in Kirkby.
25   Posted 01/08/2007 at 12:43:27

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Sod it lets and move to anfield, put dixie at the gates and paint the seats blue.
Steve Ryan
26   Posted 01/08/2007 at 12:36:39

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Tom Hughes - excellent response mate. The phrase, ’location, location, location’ comes to mind. If the Bestway proposal is a viable option, then Everton Football club must remain close to the hub of our great city.
Rob Penlington
27   Posted 01/08/2007 at 12:50:14

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I’m sure all Evertonians agree we need more revenue to move the club forward,whether or not this comes from increased capacity at a new stadium or a redeveloped Goodison Park.After reading Joe Beardwood’s excellent Financial Review I am now asking myself the question would the club be any better off once this extra revenue reaches the grubby hands of the clubs current custodians?
28   Posted 01/08/2007 at 13:08:27

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Blue in Bolton - letting the club bend u over and taking it up the arse ’’stinks’’ in my opinion.

reconsider whether im a blue?

the reason this topic is gettin me so irrate is coz im blue thru and thru and want the best for the club. im not willin to settle for some cheapskate option just coz kenwright knows he can keep control of the club this way.

pushed out of our own city..its a disgrace
Simon Reason
29   Posted 01/08/2007 at 13:30:29

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Excellent article

Some of the views expressed on this site in the past couple of days have been really encouraging. We all want whats best for the club. I dont 100% know what that is - nodoby does as nobody can be sure of the future. We have an important decision in our hands, lets make it on grounds of reason and probability, rather than wishful thinking
Colin Harken
30   Posted 01/08/2007 at 13:38:54

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A.G The club are not bending you over and giving it you up the arse as you so charmingly put it.
What they are doing, is presenting you with the facts,as they see them.. and then letting the eligible voters decide upon the issue,.
If Everton move to Kirby, it will not be the case that we have been ?pushed out of the city?..we will have chosen to go, by the evidence of the vote.
I keep hearing the club are offering no other option. Not the case..The option is to stay at Goodison. They have merely presented the case of why that is not a viable option.
I did not ask you to reconsider whether or not you were a blue, i asked you to consider if you were an Everton Football Club supporter.
Saying the Club Stinks does not sound supportive to me.
Barry Lightfoot
31   Posted 01/08/2007 at 13:52:43

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2 thoughts on the loop, what if in future we need to expand as it’s totally landlocked (it may happen) and also who is going to pay for it certainly not Bestway & LCC.
32   Posted 01/08/2007 at 13:47:59

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At the risk of repeating myself time and time again , what harm can be done in at least listening to what Bestway can come up with re ’ the loop ’ ? I am a no voter for Kirkby but if this new proposal is not ’ deliverable ’ I’ll personally campaign against it myself , as I’m sure many fellow blues will , but if it is a viable alternative , economically and supporter friendly , then I can’t see anyone wanting to oppose it
Phil Smith
33   Posted 01/08/2007 at 14:03:23

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Money is the problem for Everton affording a site in the city. However there is no way that the board has explored all the options for securing finance. I don’t earn enough a year to go to half the matches I would like to and I don’t have a season ticket but I would willingly pledge £1,000 to a fund to build a stadium on the docks or the loop. I wouldn’t pay a penny towards a stadium in Kirkby or Speke for that matter. If 39,999 other Evertonians did likewise that is £40,000,000 towards a new stadium with no added debt to the club.
toffee rapper
34   Posted 01/08/2007 at 14:27:21

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As per usual KEOIC spot a post that says what we all know deep down to be true and come out of the woodwork to shout it down. Well done Roy, absolute top drawer stuff from you, as for the KEIOC and Tom Hughes, why don’t you pool your resources and form another club in the city? You can buy Goodison for 15 mill in 3 years!
Its been done before, out of Spite,
We know them best as the Red Shite.
toffee rapper
35   Posted 01/08/2007 at 14:35:21

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Whoops my apologies i meant RAY no roy. Also if people want to see what KEIOC’s Saviour Tom Hughes considers modern Stadium Design, check out this:

Nuff said.
36   Posted 01/08/2007 at 14:51:10

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That was a class article.

Well written and conveys most of the feelings that vast majority of us have when it comes to the move.

On the point of debt though, Something just isn’t right! Infact, something stinks... REEKS!

How can we still have debt of that amount on the back of Moyes taking charge. The champions league, increased TV revenue, the balancing of the books he has done with his buying and selling. We were 1 of the richest clubs in the world a year ago!

Where the fuck has the money from Kilbane and Davies gone? Where has the prize money from our 6th place finish gone? and 4th place and 7th place in the last 5 years. Where has the extra £30m from TV revenue gone from this season alone? We have only spent £3m net on Jagielka, so by my reckoning, a shit load of cash has vanished??

Maybe we have stashed it for our contribution towards Kirby? Maybe Moyes and the board have something in the pipe line regarding transfers?

I dont know, but while we, the fans and life blood of this team, remain in the dark....and.... while all these questions remain un answered, that stench will still woft up my Nostrels!

Tom Hughes
37   Posted 01/08/2007 at 15:33:06

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TR: Why don’t you check it out on Friday at St Georges Hall..... I think you will find its not glossy images with floodlights, not the 10 year old sketches, and old letters you have probably linked to there. Have an open mind. Oh, sorry I forgot, you have already made your mind up..... It’s Kirkby or bust for you!

Neil: By backers I mean the city planners. They feel that a few developers will be attracted and are already showing interest according at this speculative stage..... These fellas have been generating development after development on and around our waterfront, and they snigg a goodun here, so much so that a task force of their top people are on this now.....but first of all check out Bestway. They alone are a big outfit, the owner is extremely wealthy much more so than any of our board members, and they also smell a good investment. But, the main point I was making was the fact that this process whereby land is released to generate funding is far more lucrative in the centre at the moment due to the scale of the developments taking place there, and the demand for space. This is a key site that has limited uses. However, the stadium option could really bridge the gap created by the Mersey Tunnel cutting that has limited the city-centre’s expansion northwards since it was dug.
38   Posted 01/08/2007 at 15:52:02

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Just reading the comments made by Dave Thompson.

You say
’When the King?s Dock fell through, thee was no prospect of anything else on the horizon, but a few years on and here we are’!! as if your talking about a deal that fell through a few months ago!!!
This is like you say... a few years on and we are back at the very early stages of getting a new stadium! How long do you want to wait for this to happen?
Everyone on here moaning that we cant move to Kirkby need to face facts! We have to move! Many of you thinking we don’t, probably also sit in the stand?s(if you go to games), slagging off Moyes and Kenwright moaning that we haven?t spent any money on signings!! At the same time, you want to prevent the club from moving to a home, at minimal cost, where we have the potential of generating the extra cash to make these signings we all want!!
Toffee?..Im pretty sure the extra money TV money doesn?t get paid until the end of the season! Hence why most other clubs in the premiership haven?t had a fortune to spend! Also, although it sounds good?we were listed as the 21st richest club, with 7 other English clubs ahead of us!! Im sure I remember reading somewhere the sale of Rooney was still contributing to this value aswell!!
will mitchell
39   Posted 01/08/2007 at 15:54:54

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Thanks for your continued input Tom. It means a lot to those of us who want to keep Everton where we belong and are keen to demonstrate that there are pragmatic, achievable alternatives to the nightmare scenario of a move to the hinterland.
40   Posted 01/08/2007 at 16:06:41

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I will(try to) keep it short. Been an everton supporter since 1979. been to Goodison on several occasions and every time its a different experience. Born in Baltimore but moved to Plymouth at a young age. At the time (circa 1975) Southampton had a good side and it I was all set on following them. But my neighbor back them was born and raise in Wavertree and was an evertonian through and through. He suggested that if I was going to follow a Soccer (sorry, football) team then there was only one. As a young boy at the time I was not really interested in any sports but football caught my attention. Soon I was aware of great players such as King, Latchford, Lyons and Mckenzie. The team I turned town won the FA CUP soon after, but the one i choose would themselves reach league cup finals and Fa Cup semi finals themselves in the subsequent years. (before Gordon Lee went) What I mean by all this that around about this time I decided that I would follow the club through thick and thin and whatever may come our our way. Which brings me to the stadium debate - I for one am for moving to the new site in Kirkby. Goodison is in a state of disrepair and staying where we are we lose out on revenue and added finances that would strengthen the side for future prosperity if we did indeed move. With the shit we share this city with having their lovely new stadium towering over a shabby goodison is just not good enough or is not what is needed. I ask every supporter to not let sentiment rule their heads as a move away is the only viable alternative.
chris roberts
41   Posted 01/08/2007 at 16:46:47

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More amusing and emotive posts about not moving but that’s all they are amusing, emotive, angry. (hinterland, middle of nowhere, woolies). The spirit of scully lives on.

As to the loop Jarty, and I respect what you are saying, but it appears little more than a diversion to screw up the Kirkby vote. It’s too small, on a roundabout and we’ve no money. Will be very suprised if it goes any further if the Kirkby vote is no.
toffee rapper
42   Posted 01/08/2007 at 17:18:20

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when will the KEIOC learn? the only power you have here is to try to influence people to vote no, no one at everton will care about toms drawings cos he has no expertise in the Real World regarding stadium design, as he says himself he was given a hypothetical project to re-design goodison as a mature-age student about 10 years ago, he sent them to everton and never heard back, not even to say well done! poor tom... no all the KEIOC is undo EFC through getting the move to Kirkby stopped, unless on friday the KEIOC announce they are gonna buy out Everton! And i have a sneaking suspicion that aint gonna happen...
will mitchell
43   Posted 01/08/2007 at 18:33:09

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emotive - of course; angry - perhaps; amusing?
you may ridicule and patronise us anti-kirkbyites, chris roberts, but my reference to the hinterland was a simple geographical fact. there are those of us who are not limited in our analysis to economic determinism. particularly when the economic analysis in itself is far from convincing.
44   Posted 01/08/2007 at 18:25:08

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You seem to address a couple points youself with the so called ’tunnel vision’. Remember when Kenwright told us he had signed Steven Hughes only for the player to return to loan as we had loaned him. Do you remember the NTL, the Fortress Fund, The Kings Dock, Do you remember us bidding £7 million for Alan Smth, never to see that money again when the bid failed??? Why should anyone believe a word that comes out of the board room at Everton FC. Only viable option, I’m sorry but if a CEO of a multi million pound ’Business’ does not have a plan B, then the level of experience and pedigree of who runs our club speaks for itself. There are other viable options. I think you’d be good to come to St Georges Hall on Friday to have a look at plan B. Bestway and LCC have confirmed they are willing and ready to help EFC. So why no response from the Everton board? Simple, because the board could not care less about us. The ballot will be a shambles. IF the board cared and thought the fans vote was important, then why not do a ballot prior to signing an exclusivity deal for 6 months which excluded them from talking to other partners and potential investors??. The regeneration project and a site identified within the district of Everton, backed by a partner who is willing to help is something that needs to be explored and proved an unviable option before EFC come out and say there is no plan B. Seems to me its not the people who are against Kirkby with the tunnel vision, but people like you and the board at Everton FC who are FOR the Kirkby move. Nil satis nisi optimum, nothing but the best is good enough. Kirkby is not the best for Everton.
North Sea Blue
45   Posted 01/08/2007 at 18:42:26

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Why the need to rush in to a decision now Ray..? I just don’t get the logic that staying at Goodison means decline. We have been around for 125 years and if we have to stay at Goodison for another 10 until an investor comes along ( and he will ) then we should. One things for sure, BK doesn’t have the funds to give us a stadium that we deserve, in the same way that David Moores didn’t have the funds to finance a new stadium for the shite. Did Moores opt for a substandard arena out of the city boundary or did he wait until the right man came along..? Of course he waited and ultimately made the right decision for his club. If we the fans decide to move, there is no going back as we will have set our stall out for the next 100 years. I hope you can sleep at night at the thought of us occupying a cowshed in Kirkby - give me a rundown Goodison any day

Vote no if NIL SATIS NISI OPTIMUM means anything to you.
46   Posted 01/08/2007 at 18:54:10

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I have been a season ticket holder since 1973 and have to agree that the ground desparatley needs to be imprved or we need to move but KIRKBY IS NOT THE ANSWER. If we move to kirkby we will just become another Watford or Luton, a small team just outside a big city.
If we improve goodison although that will mean smaller attendances and loss of revenue while the work is done in the long run it wont lose as much as moving to kirkby. Who would drive out to kirkby site seeing just to visit a football stadium.if we stay were we are we will still be central to the city for tourists.
If we have to move then speke is the best choice. Surely the council can lease the land at a reasonable rate to keep everton in the city. Just think as people leave the airport our ground would be one of the first things theyd see. Speke has rail links behind it. it is on one of the main link roads into the city has three motorways close by and the new south link railway station is only 1.5 miles away.
Finally it is nothing short of disgraceful for everton to say their is no plan b. What happens if 100% of the people want to move and a planning problem stops the ground from being built. Dowe just wait 10 years for the end of efc.
A very worried and disappointed blue looking at our furure.
47   Posted 01/08/2007 at 18:56:30

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Gentlemen let me end this debate once and for all... Based on the fact we have less money than a mid tabled championship outfit we simply cannot finance our own new home, unless as previously stated we cripple ourselves with debt.. we could have been "given" so called unlimited funds by russia, america or china but fact remains these guys want a hell of a lot more back than the premiership crown or the champions league.. Put simply, when (not if) Mr Chelski gets bored Chelsea are up the creek and the yanks from accross the way will probably try and build a L***rpool FC in every profitable location known to man.. Our case is far different.. at least we are in bed with a friend, Tesco CEO is an "advisor" to Everton FC whatever that may mean but atleast he has a love for the game and an aledged love for the club.. I fully agree all he/they are trying to do is line there own pockets but at least they are prepared to 90% finance what would be a cracking stadium.
With regard to all the other premiership takeovers of late, who really knows the state of there finances cause i would be prepare to bet that they have borrowed big time to finance what they are doing, at least with Tesco we know they have the cash.
simon templeman
48   Posted 01/08/2007 at 19:07:08

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North Sea Blue,
I understand where you’re coming from but you must also realise that the new investors at both MUFC and the RS are intending to make the Woolyback (to coin a term already used) , pay for their borrowing via increased prices.
It seems to me that it is that very support (and their willingness to pay to watch premiership football) that is driving the latest takeover bids.
It is well known that our core support cannot compete financially with the likes of Arsenal and Spurs,( at least at the moment) therefore for that reason I will be voting Yes.
But the new stadium had better look at least as good as the website shows!
Jim Lloyd
49   Posted 01/08/2007 at 19:36:35

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The debate is getting increasingly fraught as the debate gets nearer but rememeber that we’re all equally concerned about getting the best for our club.
I am going to vote no to the Board’s proposal for a number of reasons. Chief among them is my belief that if we leave the city, then the future generations in this city will more and more support Liverpool. They will be the team of the city, we will belong to Kirkby. I know Kirkby is full of Liverpool people but it has it’s own council, it is not in Liverpool.
Then there are other issues that worry me and the way that the board have presented us with a Kirkby or die decision is an absolute disgrace.
We have had no information about this until the last few weeks, the exclusivity agreement has meant that no other option could have been developed. For any organisation to have just this one option and to then ask us to vote on the premise "Well, it’s in Kirkby but it won’t cost us much" seams typical of Kenwright’s approach to taking the biggest decision since we left Anfield.
Anyone who has to decide on their future would, I would have thought, would have looked at every possible way to take their preferred option.

We are being asked to vote, in a matter of weeks, without having seen any other option. It strikes me as wrong to leave this city, it sickensn me but, if we are given all the options to look at and that was the only way forward, then its Hobsons Choice, we would have to go.

Before that though, I’d want to leave no stone unturned to see if it offered us the chance to stay. How can we deride or reject potential alternatives when we haven’t seen the details yet.
I don’t believe in Kenwright but that is just me, what I do think though is that I want to see all the facts, then we can decide. We should not be having to decide the future of EVERTON FOOTBALL CLUB in a few short weeks and without knowing what the alternatives are.
Anthony Newell
50   Posted 01/08/2007 at 20:32:56

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What a sycophantic load of old cobblers. It’s the same old, same old - because there’s nothing else on the table we have to choose this with scant regard for it’s long term consequences

Tom Hughes, you have articulated your response very well and I wouldn’t waste any more energy trying to justify it.

’When the right deal really comes along, there won?t be any need for a vote, because it will be the right deal’ - It can’t be summed up any better than that
Dan Masters
51   Posted 01/08/2007 at 20:53:03

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Well written Ray, but your tone is defeatist... full of can’ts and not viables etc. Any intelligent Evertonian, and that’s most of us by the way, knows that moving is necessary, but it is not necessary just yet. We also know that moving will cost money and will be difficult. However, what we all want at the end is something that will enhance not only our prospects, but our status.

Kirkby does not tick the boxes and increased income is likely but is it as much as we could get in the City centre?

To take this offer now without seriously looking at the options is crazy. As has been pointed out, the Loop is a stepping stone out of the City centre towards North Liverpool. I think you’ll find this makes it a key location and one that will attract investment from people other than Tesco. From there you can see the cranes down by the waterfront and those developers show no sign of stopping there. Go to Kirkby and lose all other options. Is that really a risk worth taking? Do you defeatedly accept second best, which I am afraid is what Kirkby is or do you fight for your future, have some vision like the Club’s founders did and reach as high as you can?

I spent years coming to Liverpool when it was a run down national joke. Now it’s turning the corner we’re proposing to bugger off out to the suburbs. Are we Terry and June going round in ever decreasing circles or are we Bruce Willis in Die Hard in where the action is? :)
Steve Taylor
52   Posted 01/08/2007 at 22:34:45

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?When the right deal really comes along, there won?t be any need for a vote, because it will be the right deal?

The right deal has apparently come along & there should be no no need for a vote. The whole "referendum" on the Kirkby project is a farce. What kind of a business ballots it’s customers on a huge strategic decision like this?

BK, Wyness et al - like it or not, are the Chairman, CEO & leaders of the EFC business. They should have had the courage of their convictions & made a decision on this move without this ballot. The only people who had a RIGHT to be consulted as to their opinion are the shareholders - who have a stakeholding in the business.

As "customers" we had no right to expect or demand a ballot - which has created some good debate, but is also potentially devisive & a large proportion of the voters (whichever way it goes) will be left disgruntled.

But BK’s desire to hang on to the "People’s Club" soundbite - may ultimately end up with the WRONG business decision being made by punters like us - who are not in possession of all the facts & are therefore not best placed to make this fundamental business decision.

A Chairman & CEO should always be in control of their business & it’s long term strategic aims - by allowing this crucial decision to be made by Joe Public, BK has shown a lack of leadership & if, as he maintains, he firmly believes the project IS the best we could possibly hope for - he should have balloted Shareholders (with their vote being equal to their shareholding) & got on with it.
Kevin Mitchell
53   Posted 01/08/2007 at 22:32:42

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What makes you think that a move to Kirkby will generate the extra funds to allow us to mount a challenge on the top four places? If the vote goes say, 51%-49% in favour of Kirkby, what percentage of those 49% will rufuse to renew their season tickets? I for one will not renew for me and my son, which is nothing to do with the extra few miles on my journey. I believe a move to Kirkby will eventually destroy the fanbase within 20 years. We must vote no to save the long term future of our club. The city of Liverpool is on the verge of massive investment and were trying to move out! My message to Kenwright is think of another option.
Colin Riley
54   Posted 01/08/2007 at 22:27:56

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Do me a favour Everton board, Show all our fans the books please cos i want to know where all our money is going ,where it has gone and how much has BK taken out to put his shows on in Broadway etc from his dividends.Transparency thanks Bill.
Tescos my arse.every little helps does it,well thats funny cos i thought they only wanted to help themselves.By making money out of mugs.Force small shops out of buisness ,giant retail monstrosities on the horizon of any bit of land it can grab.Give penny’s to farmers and blackmail them or they go bust.The legal mafiosa of food distribution.
I for one am not destperate for their contrabution to Evertons future are you?.Fuckem.
Wait,wait,wait.Only fools rush in and are we looking like desperado fools at the minute.
Funny how we panic cos the gobshites accross the park have got a new trainset.Or is it an art deco spaceship.I havent worked it out yet.Well they only have 2 scousers at thier club or are the cos they come from Huyton last time i looked.Liverpool outskirts to most scousers.Yankee doodle dandy owners.Spanish players etc.fuckem.We were here first.won the title first(at anfield).Some of the best strikers ever to bang a ball in the back of a goal net.Is that gonna stop is it.All if we dont move.Jog on fools.130m yrs of history .Some one tell bill to get his coat his train leaves for London in half an hour.,and take tesco Terry with you and go destoy someone elses landscape.
Anyone would think Goodison parks gonna fall down if someone slams a door too hard.Its older then all of us you madmen.
The Park ends got room too expand one year,re-do the bullens the next ond so on.
If we have to move it can be done at the loop and fair enough ill buy int that cos its by the roundhouse and connects sound with our history of the area of Everton and St Domingo.But not Kirkby cos thats where L,POOLS conection is,Terry MAC ,PHIL Tom.Their accademys there for gods sake.Them bums have been playin on our ground for a hundred years.Stanley park was oursThey should have given it back out of principle and pissed off to Kirkby themselves.
Hope friday at st georges hall brings some hope eh cos i cant handle any more of this carry on .me heads done right in.goin for a lie down now me heads gonna pop.coyb do the right thing eh !.
Ann Adlington
55   Posted 01/08/2007 at 23:41:51

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Thanks for a well written article Ray although I disagree with you. Hate to repeat myself, but here’s what I’ve posted elsewhere on Toffeeweb tonight.

"What a banal response from one of the highest paid chief executives in the premiership. At least he?s given some thought to green issues but personally, I?m disappointed that at present there are no plans for a wind turbine.

One thing is does do though is kill the myth that we?re getting a free stadium. Now we?re getting somewhere - we have to contribute £50 million pounds - almost double the amount we couldn?t find for Kings Dock at a time when our debts were much lower. Where is this going to come from at a time when we can?t afford to sign Baines?

I agree with Peter Newall - this proposal will be called in, delaying the matter for a couple of years at least. In the meantime, Everton?s present contribution will probably double.
It?s a pity that EFC didn?t do a bit more homework before jumping into bed with Tesco. The majority of their proposed developments are met with huge local opposition. They have the luxury of being able to land bank and sit around for a few years. Can Everton afford to do this?"

I can also confirm that Bestway are big hitters and genuinely interested. I endorse everything written by Tom Hughes above. Thanks Tom. Like all Evertonians who oppose the move, you’ve actually got off your arse to do something positive. Unlike the pro-Kirkby minority who have simply one string to their bow. Their recurring response is - "We’re on a freebie to Kirkby so we gotta go." Disgraceful
robert carney
56   Posted 02/08/2007 at 00:10:16

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After nine days without news and views about the stadium (been away)I am glad to see a real hot topic going stong(we have been very complacant upto the last couple of weeks).
A good articulate article Ray, but that does not mean you have the answers we are looking for.
You and your ilk keep saying there is no other money or plans out there. If that is the case why have Kenwright and Wyness signed the exclusivity deal with Tesco.
Money is swilling around the premeirship at this moment,with investors looking from all quaters of the globe.

Open your eyes,go to the exhibition on friday then ask how much did the indviduals or Everton recieve in advance of the Kirkby proposals.

Something has always stunk about these proposals.
Ray Mia
57   Posted 02/08/2007 at 00:43:21

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The one point I personally do not agree with, a point that has been raised a number of times above, is the notion that we can delay the decision. That we can wait a little longer until another investor comes along, and that, we are being told, will happen eventually.

How many opportunities have there been for investors? Real or imagined? It appears quite certain to me that the only reason why an investor would come along and purchase the club, for certain, would be when BK sells up and possibly out.

The Red Horde will be building the McKop-a-Hut soon, and the longer the delay, the more the cost for Everton FC.

So investment has to come, and it has to come yesterday. BK is not going to sell up and out. Everton have not been able to compete in the market this close season, fact. How much longer do my fellow Evertonians want to wait until some mythical figure waltzes along and ploughs significant cash into the club?

Until there is a fully costed alternative, we are left with one choice, and that is Kirkby. The alternative is a slow slide into oblivion, which could also ironically speed up a new investor...

I think it’s safe to say that every fan that can make it needs to go along to the exhibition on Friday. I think what this website has done is at least allow Evertonians to debate the issues, and the decision will at least, we all hope, be an informed one.

Of course I’m in the Yes camp. But I won’t be casting my vote until I’ve seen The Loop Plans for myself. What we all need to remember is that we all, Yes and No campers, genuinely care about the future of the club. Of course we want the team to succeed, and whatever decision is made, I’ll go with it.

I do find it interesting that the debate seems to have shifted firmly into the realm of leaving Goodison Park, and that people seem to believe the time has come for Everton to move on.
58   Posted 02/08/2007 at 06:09:59

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An excellent article, however I am becoming confused with people stating that we should wait for an big money investor or they are around the corner. I believe that Tesco’s are a massive organisation and are significantly going to invest in the building of a stadium. We can wait and wait for a big investor, however will we be having another debate if we have some sugar daddy come in and take over the club, look at the glazier issue when they bought manure and and the thai guy who owns mancity, what happens when your sugar daddy leaves you for something better, or gets jailed for dodgy dealings. I understand the concern for the move, however the longer we dealy the further we fall behind. Show me the same investment in the loop and a clear timeline and I may be converted, however as I see it Tesco are a massive company making millions per hour and it can only be good to be linked to that kind of money.

Oh and a reply to someone earlier as to what is in it for Tesco, upto 50,000 customers on a game day, tourists on a regular basis, quick and easy planning permission with Knowsley council and local custom. There initial outlay I am sure will be covered in a long term business plan.
Derek Thomas
59   Posted 02/08/2007 at 06:48:21

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Steve Taylor: Good point there!

The management must have the right to manage,is a point that is accepted even by the most die hard unionist and not only that they must be SEEN to manage, the whole business world runs on confidence and the rumour sell the fact is the stock exchange motto and any namby pamby shilley shalling is a free fall waiting to happen.

If this deal is so good why don’t they come out and lay it all before us, so we can go into it with eyes wide open, we may repent at leasure, but we can’t say we weren’t told.

Yes Davy’s tranfer kitty for this season is in the pot, it’s a short term loss for a long term gain.

As for these revenue stream gains from the new ground...They might come for the novelty and a small-ish price increase is not the end of the world, BUT THEY WILL ONLY STAY FOR THE FOOTBALL!!.

40% of the EPL turn over now comes from Sky...scource Deloites(sorry not big on spelling))that comes from prize money; the better the team the higher you finish and appearence money ie games televised per season, again the better the team etc etc. You can only sell so much merchandise, again the better the team the more you sell.You can only put up prices so much for a poor team.

So to sum up, where is it AN AUTOMATIC GIVEN that new stadium equals more money.

More money (spent) CAN EQUAL A BETTER TEAM, but not always, Newcastle anybody??

But a better team does equal more money

The Scottish verdict of ’ not proven ’ is the best that can be applied here.
dave scott
60   Posted 02/08/2007 at 08:59:57

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We have to move - Goodison is our only realistic option and that is a drain on resources rather than a revenue building asset that a new stadium is. New stadium woudl be more atractive to future investors than a dilapidated Goodison.

My heart says stay. My mind says we cant afford anything else and Kirkby is actually a good move financially and for the future of EFC.

Remember our history will be the same wherever we go and the most important thing is what happens on the pitch. What happens on the pitch is influenced by our finances and Kirkby is financially very good.

For me it is now a business decision as i dont want our club to die by standing still for another 4 or 5 years.
Gareth Humphreys
61   Posted 02/08/2007 at 13:33:07

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Kirkby seems a great deal moneywise but is that due to the spin coming from BK/KW ??? Either way we are in debt now and will be deper in debt when we move into the new ground - a new ground which alot of blues do not want to go to. If we are going to go deeper into debt lets do it for a good reason and an outstanding stadium. At the moment Kirkby looks like an average stadium which we are getting on the cheap - I think the board need to readjust their sights and bring to the table something that doesn’t need a fans ballot. NSNO anyone ?
Tony Wainwright
62   Posted 02/08/2007 at 13:38:44

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AG,your comments regarding "wooliebacks" are an insult to the many thousands of us who travel from outside the city to support Everton.
In my case I started in 1969. How much revenue do we generate for the club every year?
Just because we don’t live in Liverpool does that make us any less a supporter than you?
Many fans travel great distances to watch the Blues at home. How far do you have to travel to watch a home game?

Kevin Mitchell
"I for one will not renew for me and my son, which is nothing to do with the extra few miles on my journey. I believe a move to Kirkby will eventually destroy the fanbase within 20 years."

Even sooner if fans like you spit their dummies out because they don’t get their own way.
dave longworth
63   Posted 03/08/2007 at 01:35:28

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fantastic to hear some one living in the real world ,i seem to remember ,the same people who now slag off BK were the same people who turned against him once before ans backed JONHSON ,the man whon distroyed our club , yes i reapeat our club ,hold your hands up boys ,u lot did this to us ,true everton boys know our history ,that is what makes us different ,i want us to stay were we are but instead of shouting about moving to kirby or any were else ,start asking the real question ,why when we first asked to move there was no were for us to go exept for the docks , but now the shite can build a ground in stanley park .should some one remind the red council of liverpool ,we r the founder members ,we once stayed at the shite ground .without us there is no shite .sorry boys as u can probably quess i am getting more pissed and more pissed off as i go on ,yes i dont want us to move ,no one does ,but stop the crap come up with the money ,and let us still be THE PEOPLES CLUB,only the best is good enough
64   Posted 03/08/2007 at 03:10:08

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I left Liverpool many years ago so I cant consider myself part of the ’great debate’ However, changes will and do take place as they should, did we not occupy Analfield before the unmentionables.
In 100 years from now the debate will have ceased and a whole new bunch of Toffees will carry the banner on.And, because ’a Hollywood movie’was mentioned I will coin an appropriate movie phrase regarding the Kirby move..
"If you build it, they will come.."
65   Posted 03/08/2007 at 05:04:11

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well....Everton Football Club doesn’t even have to have a vote...they could just move. So lets be grateful of that!
robert carney
66   Posted 03/08/2007 at 17:37:34

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I have been down to Georges Hall, and I am even further of the opinion that there are alternatives to the Kirkby propoals.

Whilst Tesco is the leading supermarket retailer in the British Isles they have a lot to learn from their silence when it comes to public relations.

More than anyone they are in the position to give us some hard facts, both monetary and plans on the ground, alas, they deem not too.

It has taken a dedicated group of fellow Evertonians to come up with some solid and reasoned alternatives.

They are early sketches but the presentation proves that Wyness is economical with the truth when h says there is no plan B.

Many of you have called this group amateurs, an opinion after today that does not hold.

Also, through Bestway and possible banking links further away, this proves that money is also around, willing and waiting for the right oppurtunity to come on board.

A vote of NO will give us the option to really find out what level of interest is truly out there.

I have said on this and many other topics that the exclusive deal is the real burden to us going forward.
If this was a public company we would see a lot more clarity.

A no vote will not put us further behind in our quest to be up there with the best in the next few years.

Scaremongers and apologist’s for Wyness and supposedly Blue Bill hang your head in shame.
67   Posted 03/08/2007 at 20:27:10

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For those who don’t think our proposed new stadium will be in Liverpool, look up an address on Royal Mail’s website for postal addresses - -

For example, you will see Kirkby Sports Centre’s address is -

Kirkby Sports Centre
Valley Road
L32 4UP

If it’s good enough for Postman Pat it’s good enough for me.

That’s it then. Sorted!


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