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We've Got Two Cathedrals

By Anne Anakin :  03/08/2007 :  Comments (12) : either side of Stanley Park!

When I thought about my feelings on Everton leaving Goodison Park, I realised that they were based not only on the fact that Everton have played at that ground for the best part of their existence and of course a natural reaction is to want to stay, but my feelings were deeper than that and the best way for me to explain how I feel is as follows:

If you imagine Goodison Park being one of our city's cathedrals; they sit alongside each other in the same part of the city, one Catholic, one Protestant, one either side of Hope Street. This fact is known throughout the country and further; and their location to each other forms part of our city's cultural heritage in my opinion. All Christians in this city would make a noise louder than the great George bell if it was proposed that one of them had to be re-built alongside Tesco's in Outer Monkirkby.

It may be that I'm too much of a sentimentalist but the Stanley Park area has always been the home of football in our city. If you're a visitor in our city and want to see top flight football you head towards Stanley Park and take your pick (I wouldn't want to guess at who they'd pick!) if you want to visit a cathedral in our city you'd head towards Hope St and take your pick. This fact is also known throughout the country and further; and again their location to each other forms part of our city's footballing heritage

I feel deeply that being close to each other is how it has to stay, and so in my opinion there are only two options; re-develop Goodison Park on it's current famous footprint or go to the nearby Loop site as a compromise.

Everton FC may well be negotiating the best way forward for their 'football business' but unfortunately their 'football business' is one half of a footballing history that is unique to this city.

Tesco might want a football club to sit alongside them in Kirkby but we haven't got one to spare.

To the footballing family of our city whatever the colour, we cannot let this happen. We just have to 'Hope' and pray that the vote is 'No'

Reader Comments

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will mitchell
1   Posted 03/08/2007 at 16:04:56

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I 100% agree with your sentiments Anne. No doubt the economic determinists will lay in to us, but the financial arguments for Kirkby are far from convincing.
I fear the impending ’Yes’ vote will cost us a great deal in terms of our culture, and all in exchange for the possibility of a quite meagre £10mm increase in turnover.
Greg Callaghan
2   Posted 03/08/2007 at 16:49:53

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Lovely stuff Anne and indebted thanks to Will, for I’ve been searching for a better phrase to desribe the (probably justifiably) joyless types who simply will not even concede that there is at least a grain, a mili-grain, even a micro-grain of relevance in a passionate piece like this, and "economic determinists" (love it) suits the job just perfectly. Beware the cryo-cybernauts with their arms outstretched stiffly before them, though, Anne, for they’ll attempt to grind you down by leaden logic, revenue realities and puritanical posturing before the cock crows and seek to resist their droning dalekesque chant that they seem to have on a loop: "Must go to Kirkby, Must go to Kirkby, Must go to Kirkby" Up to you whether you let them seize your arteries. Good on yer.
John Charles
3   Posted 03/08/2007 at 17:43:17

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10m per year every year is not meagre. If Moyes had an extra 10m to spend this post-season we’d have bought Fernandes by now.

Imagine buying x1 10m player every single summer -thats breaking our transfer record by 15%- or two *extra* 5m players every summer.

Note Joleon Lescott and Tim Howard did not cost 10m between them. If moving 6 miles up the road gives us two extra quality players of this ilk every single season the where do I sign up for it?

4   Posted 03/08/2007 at 17:51:54

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Regardless of whether you consider 10m to be meagre or substantial, that’s the most you can expect the Kirkby move to increase turnover by. Every time I’ve seen KW directly quoted, the 10m figure has been preceded by "up to" - I think he’s been very careful about that.

Remember, the board say they are in favour of this move and are urging us to vote yes, so they must be presenting the information in the best light possible right? So if it’s "up to" 10 million a year, what’s a realistic figure? 5m? maybe 7m?

Then factor in the new debt needed to fund the Kirkby build. How much of the 7m goes towards servicing that debt?

Add the fact that we have made an operating loss just about every year since Kenwright took over (and before that when he was on Johnson’s board), so another part of that 7m is needed to take our trading position to the break even point.

What’s left? Two 5m players a year? A net spend of a million or so and a couple of loan players?
John Charles
5   Posted 03/08/2007 at 18:11:08

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"An extra" was I believe the phrase used.

Debt Service at Kirkby would have to be under or around 3.5m per season as opposed to 8-15m per season debt service in taking out a loan to rebuild goodison.

I understand the emotive issue’s behind Goodison, but no one can seriously argue as a business and financial proposition Kirkby is a fabulous fabulous deal for Everton. It iss dillusional and discredits the real reasons for not wanting to leave if people are throwing that argument around.

And so what if Kirkby does ’only’ give us an extra 5m for players each summer. Thats Alan Smith, 2.5 Tim Cahills, a Tim Howard and Mikel Arteta or One a bit Per Kroldrups!!
gaz daniels
6   Posted 03/08/2007 at 18:59:15

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everyones missing one major vital point here. In ten years time goodison will be beyond repair. what happens if will still have no money to biuld our own stadium????
Do we expect LCC to bail us out, well they wont.
Or as a second option we find a new chairman willing to invest(lose) large amounts of money.
If we dont have moneyfor a stadium where will be play, beg liverpool to ground share for a while?? maybe move to prenton park??
We are in big trouble without an investor. Taking the kirkby option is the only option.
its live or die ,simple as, vote yes
Wayne Francis
7   Posted 03/08/2007 at 20:58:06

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I?ve not decided which way to vote yet. But that is a silly, silly argument which, I?m afraid, does not carry any weight.
Peter Singer
8   Posted 03/08/2007 at 22:41:47

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10 million is a good sum even in today’s football. But how much will it worth in 4 years time?

We’re in the middle of a "premier league bubble" which inflates prices wildly until the whole thing collapses and buries all who were foolish enough to sell all their property apart from their players (who, with their mind-boggling salaries will quickly turn from valuable assets into money-draining black holes) : namely their ground and their fans.

Nobody can tell yet how far away this bursting point is. But we know from previous cases (1929 and the dotcom bubble, to name but two) that the collapse is inevitable.

Whee will we be then? A tough one but the board has to consider this when deciding to commit our club to one direction or other.
David Maher
9   Posted 04/08/2007 at 11:04:22

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To all those considering voting yes, please take a trip to Kirkby.

Speak to people who live there and ask them why Asda left the town or why M&S allegedly willnever open a store in the place.

If 2 such major retailers do not consider Kirkby to be economically viable to trade then what happens in a few years when (not if) Tesco come to the same conclusion?

Also have a drive around a few estates and observe the CCTV cameras monitoring what happens in those streets. Would you want to leave your car parked in such an area.

After my trip to view our proposed new stadium and its evironment, I honestly do not think that a major investment in Kirkby is sustainable.

robert carney
10   Posted 04/08/2007 at 11:24:49

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Well putAnn:

If we were all to use our heads as well as our hearts there will be a resounding NO vote.

Please, please do not let this present ownership destroy Everton Football Club.

Remember what Kenwright said himself, I do not want to be the chairman who moves Everton from Goodison Park.Has he already made plans to sell? Only time will tell.

A resounding NO Vote will give us all a lot more answers.
ged bates
11   Posted 04/08/2007 at 22:33:42

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I definitely get the feeling that I’m being deliberately misinformed by the efc suits. Equally I can’t trust that shower who represent us at LCC. So what to do?
/>Vote No to Kirkby!
/>Because a) I’m being told to vote yes and b) i know this is sad but i’d rather efc became a club like most others outside the big 4/5 and admitted it can’t ever expect to compete to win the league again.

We, the people, must not hand over the city to any other club. We must stay even if it means we are just nuisances to those who seek to extend Americas sphere of influence in this country.
Dick Fearon
12   Posted 05/08/2007 at 00:54:40

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Anne Anakin, apart from the two cathedrals mentioned in your article a third contender in the cathedral stakes is the Cunard Building. It was entered into a cathedral design competition but lost out to that of the original Catholic cathedral.

Cunard liked the design and used it for their headquarters at the Pier Head. The city has only one 'holy' ground and that is Goodison. It got that nickname in the 1950s when a large slab of the Gwladys St. stand was chocka with priests. Most players were Catholic Irish and each made the sign of the cross when running onto the field.

In those days and before Johnnie Todd/Z cars became popular our theme tune actually was 'The Holy Ground', earlier the tune was 'Stars and Stripes' I suppose it all goes to show that change is not something to fear.

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