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Community, Traditions, Values

By Richard Gauld :  04/08/2007 :  Comments (34) :
Economically, the move to Kirkby ticks all the boxes. Everton get a modern, state-of-the-art stadium, with 15,000 extra seats, corporate facilities, transportation links and better retail outlets (shops and catering), all for an extremely modest outlay and only 3-4 miles away from our present site. We also get to work with a local council who actually wants to work with us and has pulled out all of the stops to ensure the planned move is both feasible and beneficial, not forgetting we have enlisted the help of Tesco, a major British retail empire, whose owner happens to be blue. A match made in heaven, or indeed the ?Deal of the Century?.

For long periods of this debate, I?ve been in favour of moving to Kirkby. But then, I remember what Everton stands for — Community, Traditions and Values. Amidst a turbulent sea of foreign corporate intervention and the circus that is Sky and the FA Premier League, Everton remains an island oasis of calm, untouched by the moneymen and offering a unique selling point to its many supporters.

It is these values that are worth protecting for future generations of Liverpool children. Whilst Kirkby may only be a few miles away from Goodison Park and our roots, whilst it?s people are undoubtedly Scousers, whilst it remains a part of Merseyside with a Liverpool postcode, and despite that invisible boundary between Liverpool and Knowsley remaining purely arbitrary, the future children of Liverpool would only know of one club in Liverpool. For them, the boundary is real. Their allegiances will naturally fall with LFC.

Mr Wyness has admitted that after a brief increase in attendances for the first three years of any new stadium, attendances will fall. Add to this the long-term decline of the fanbase in Liverpool itself, any short-term benefits, will soon be outweighed by long-term decline on the pitch, unless we do receive financial investment or David Moyes has us regularly winning trophies and qualifying for the Champions League.

As an outsider (but one who has a vote, after thousands of hours travelling up and down the M6), each time I arrive into Liverpool I sense it is a city on the up. 2008 will see its profile increase further, with more and more tourists and business people visiting the city to see what it has to offer. Against this background, we would be foolish to jump at the first opportunity that has come our way. For every Tesco and Knowsley County Council partnership, there is likely to be at least two Bestway and Liverpool City Council partnerships. We know we have to invest in the future, but let's do it our way.

Whilst I have no axe to grind with the current board, I still think that the exclusivity period signed with Tesco and KCC would have been better spent talking with LCC and potential investors. Even since this timeframe has expired, there is no evidence that the board have spoken to any parties in Liverpool, leaving us with an alternative of Plan A or bust. All I ask is that we have some more time to develop a Plan B, C and D etc, so that we have a real choice. Unfortunately, voting no to Kirkby appears the only way this is likely to happen.

One final point. Next Saturday afternoon when you approach Goodison Park, stop a moment to savour the feeling you get as the Old Lady comes into view. The lump in your throat and the goose bumps on your arms and legs. Bottle this feeling. What you will have felt is pride — a pride that comprises all the things that make supporting Everton special — Community, Traditions, Values.

No doubt when you arrive at Kirkby in 10 years time, you will get that same feeling of pride. Although, it will be much more hollow. The qualities that make Everton what we are will already be distant memories. We will have joined the masses, our allure diminished. So, when your pen hovers over the ballot paper, re-open that bottled pride you kept from your last Goodison visit. Ask yourself if you want to lose that feeling forever, and more importantly, dare you take away the opportunity from potential future generations of Liverpool-born blues?

Reader Comments

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billy sea
1   Posted 05/08/2007 at 08:26:43

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Great article.... changed me mind again think it’s a defo NO !
Peter Mitchell
2   Posted 05/08/2007 at 08:41:04

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Richard - I have already said in a previous post that the real things that determine whether or not future generations of children support Everton are tradition (my Dad was an Everton fan, so am I and so are my two sons, despite the fact that we now live in Enfield, North London, with the competing attraction of Spurs, Arsenal, Chelski etc), success on the field and good community links. I simply do not believe the argument that moving 4 miles across an artificial boundary would stop kids born into Blue families in Liverpool supporting Everton, just because they play in a stadium in Kirkby. Kirkby works for all the reasons you have said in your article - staying at a delapidated Goodison, with no money, no chance of success is, in my view, a sure fire way of ensuring dwindling future support, inside and outside of "Liverpool".
Mark W
3   Posted 05/08/2007 at 08:56:55

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I agree with Peter Mitchell. Although this was a good article and most of it very true, i believe the future children supports whoever there dads, mums, grandads, uncles etc. support. Iam from Birkenhead, and so is my dad, his dad, my uncles etc. We support Everton. Not Tranmere. We have never had a person in our family support Tranmere. Everyone is a blue. I cant see this changing wether were at goodison, the loop, or Kirkby. My kids will support Everton, My brother, sister and cousins kids will support Everton. Not Tranmere or Liverpool. I think this is an irrelevant point in deciding wether to move to Kirkby or not. (p.s. I will still vote NO!!!)
ron leith
4   Posted 05/08/2007 at 09:06:58

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Is this article saying that we stay at Goodison. Very sentimental but totally missing the point. Which Everton supporter really wants to move? Answer none. The issue is do we stagnate falling further and further behind out rich rivals or do we do something about it while we have the chance. The no voters are like people with a very difficult but absolutely essential job to do. Like getting insurance when you live next to a river. Some people do it and when the floods come they are a little upset. The others who put it off are the ones who’s lives have been devastated. Will we look back with hollow pride or wondering why we let ourselves miss this opportunity to save our club.
chris taggart
5   Posted 05/08/2007 at 08:53:46

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My name is Chris Taggart and I have a confession to make I am not an evertonian or should not be, I should not be a season ticket holder but I am

My dad is a Liverpool supporter and my granddad was a die hard red, and he tried to instill the RS way in me, in family photos in the late 70’s early 80’s you can see photos of me proudly wearing my Liverpool kit (like a backwards Steven G me) I remember doing my swimming survival in Liverpool PJ’s so what happened my granddad took me to Goodison cant remember whether I had asked him but as he was a football fan we went any way I can still remember the atmosphere in the lower bullens created by evertonians and I was hooked it was blue all the way from then on

skip forward to late 1998 and I am working with a guy at a firm in lytham st annes with no ties to the city but an evertonian and a season ticket holder not having been to a match for years this ordinary evertonian used to lend me his season ticket when he couldn?t get to the game and again I was hooked and was able to purchase a half season ticket which then turned into a full season ticket

the point I am trying to make is that without any peer pressure I made a decision that everton was right for me, it had nothing to do with where the stadium was located and had a lot to do with the ordinary evertonians contained therein and if it wasn?t for another chosen one from outside the city I may not have been a season ticket holder at all

If we do move outside the "city" then it will be the responsibility of ordinary evertoinians to ensure that they attend matches and introduce and educate their son?s cousin?s brothers friends to the atmosphere generated by ordinary evertonians they will be hooked just like I was and the proud traditions of the greatest fans in the world will continue

Everton needs you are you, up to the challenge or are you gona wave your white flag even before a spade hits the ground at kirkby, the only way we will surrender the city to future generations is if we let them

Oh and by the way my kid brother also an evertonian
6   Posted 05/08/2007 at 09:27:32

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Let’s just give up now.

We have these "Evertonians" who won’t go to the game in Kirkby. Well fuck them. They are selfish and we’re better off elsewhere.

And OBVIOUSLY moving three miles is going to mean that 10 years from now, NO CHILD will support the blues. Yes, that is really obvious.


How dare you suggest that we will have no fan base. It is up to current Evertonians to keep the traditions going.

And any kid without a say a father taking him to the games, will naturally follow the more successful club. That’s Liverpool at the moment. But it could be us. But it won’t be if we stay at Goodison.

So many plastic Blues - it breaks my heart. But I won’t miss them.
Peter Blennarhassett
7   Posted 05/08/2007 at 09:27:13

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It’s looks like the vote is going to be tight which would mean if we did move to Kirkby a large part of Everton’s support is going to be totally unhappy and many fans may not even go to. Bill Kenwright say’s no other club would have a ballot like Everton but no other big club would contemplate what Everton are planning. They would not have had a ballot to move to the kings dock. Why not look at alternatives to unite the fans rather than saying there is no plan b, we would definitely lose fans not everyone follows there family in which team they support. I am currently trying to get my nephew who lives in walton to support Everton but sadly if we move to Kirkby i think i will be fighting a losing battle.
Peter Manning
8   Posted 05/08/2007 at 09:29:25

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Re- Chris Taggart & Ricahrd Gould.
I to do not believe our fan base will erode away because we have moved a couple of miles. I have a short story to tell about a family in Huyton, no names no pack drill,
Father, mother & 2 sons, the father was (God rest his soul) an old time blue and of an age when most football fans wathched the home games of both clubs (could not afford to travel to away games)but a stuanch blue none the less, speak to a wrinkley and they will tell you how it was 40 years ago, Now the 2 sons grew up in Huyton supporting the RS in the seventies and it was a shame becasue they are nice boys but I could’nt hold it against them as somthing was’nt quite right for these lads, they just did not seem happy. Years pass and the older lad has stopped going the game completely, not money he is loaded, he is just not interested in RS, says there is no passion at Analfield, great I think as I think thier shite as well. " Hows your Kid " I ask "Oh he still goes the game and he takes his lad" .
Ah well I think at least he has done the right thing and taken his lad the game, "Where does he sit in the ground" I ask "The top balcony" he replies. "What !!! he takes his lad to EFC", It transpires that all along becasue thier dad was a blue these RS supporters from the past had always held a little bit of a thing for our beloved team, it seems the influence thier father and grandfather had had over them was to strong and as they grew up into men, got married and had kids they could only do the right thing by thier kids and take them to GP. Once agian this piece screams "History" and I love the old lady like the rest of you but change has to come it’s just that human beings dont really like change so making the most important decission in my EFC life is very hard, but I firmly believe we will all (including our kids) still be in the stands watching the blues, were’ever that might be as the history in our familys will be just as strong in 20 years time as it is today.
Keep the faith
I have not decided yet which way to vote.
Blue In Bolton
9   Posted 05/08/2007 at 10:49:31

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I am getting majorly sick and tired of all these ’unhelpful’ stadium debates.
All for the sake of a few miles. It’d be laughable if it were not so sad. Talk about not being able to see the woods for the trees .
I’m not going to be making any grand statements about ’not going’ whatever happens.
But i do have a strong feeling its ’Goodnight Vienna’ if some of these lunatics get their way and choose stagnation.
Robbie Muldoon
10   Posted 05/08/2007 at 11:17:21

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The move to Kirkby will compound us as an also-ran club forever.
Steve Ryan
11   Posted 05/08/2007 at 11:32:48

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Tommy,what an unpleasant piece of work you are. The point is, there may actually be a viable plan B where Everton could benefit much more by becoming an integral part of Europe’s largest inner city regeneration....nothing to do with boundaries you cretin. Let’s see what Bestway and LCC have to offer next week before committing our club to suburbia for the next 100 years.
Ed Lloyd
12   Posted 05/08/2007 at 14:00:31

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While i do not think that it is true that All of the Children of the future will support liverpool just because we have moved to kirby, i still think that our fan base will diminish a little and that there will be less kids in the future supporting Everton. I am against the move to Kirby for this reason and because i do not want everton to move outside the city boundary. My prefered options would be to redevelop goodison if it is acheivable but i do not think it is likely so i would like the Loop at scotland road to be looked at with more detail and see if that would be a good place for a new stadium.
Malcolm McKay
13   Posted 05/08/2007 at 12:04:37

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The failure lies with the board - they haven’t been straight with us.
The exclusivity period meant that other options were not considered; this was ill-advised as now who really thinks that all possibilities have been investigated? I don’t, hence my switch to a ’NO’ vote.
It’s a reasonable example of the failure of the board to carry the confidence of the supporters. In theory the Kirby move should be a no-brainer, but they even managed to screw that up.
Bill says he doesn’t want to be the man to take Everton out of Liverpool, well I don’t want to be one of the supporters to give him the mandate to do it.
14   Posted 05/08/2007 at 15:38:52

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Tommy, you are a fucking idiot, you knnow fuck all about being an Evertonian,have you thought what this move will do to the club,long term?You sound as if you haven’t.You are just one of those quick fix fools.After all the lies and deceit from Billy Liar,you are still incapable of thinking for yourself!
15   Posted 05/08/2007 at 16:54:52

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Good article and one I have to agree with. Having sat firmly on the side of KEIOC, I do sometimes veer towards the temptations of new stadium for relatively low cost.
However, I cannot get beyond the negatives of leaving the city. To be honest, having been brought up in Aintree, I didn’t even consider that Kirkby was not part of Liverpool. Despite the fact that both kirkby and Aintree come under Knowsley, they are as much a part of Liverpool as Walton. BUT at the end of day, it is not officially in Liverpool and that for me is the deciding point.
It is not so much my perception but other peoples and much will be made of the fact that there is only one team in Liverpool and we cannot let that happen. Children are fickle when it comes to determining who they support. Their parents are one important influence but then so are the peers and if they are teased about not supporting a team in Liverpool, some would easily change their allegence.
If they changed the boundaries tomorrow, I would change my mind! Until then I am sad to say we do have to keep Everton in our city.
16   Posted 05/08/2007 at 17:05:56

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I am rapidly getting to the point where I don’t give a shit about all of this tedious stadium debate. We can theorise for forever and a day and while its good to read some un-emotional detached views on the whys and wherefores it achieves nothing. However surely history has proved with plenty of other clubs that when a football club moves the geography of their stadium, all future generations of supporters don’t suddenly and immediately decide to support their fiercest rivals in preference.

I honestly don’t know I read this section of the website anymore, it just frustrates me and if it were a newspaper I wouldn’t be buying it anymore. So this will be my last post until the decision is made ...
17   Posted 05/08/2007 at 20:01:39

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So Tommy, you won’t miss these "Evertonains" who, unlike you, are unwilling to sell their soul inorder for a quick buck or two. Infact, i almost did not write a reply as i’m convinced you’re a kopite trying to stir things up.
BK and KW are making a mockery(and a few quid) out of Everton and the grand city we are proudly from. We are a Liverpool based football club and no money in the world should stop us being so.
As for my opinion, i think we’re fighting a losing battle and people like YOURSELF will get your way and Everton will move. God help us if we do. KEIOC, keep up the good work
18   Posted 05/08/2007 at 19:41:20

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All you Evertonians who are so eager to toss away our heritage and identity make me sick. Its a disgrace.

You know why BK & KW want this stadium built in Kirby? Cause it will cost them fuck all to build then 12 months down the line the can sell the club for well more than they could now... Wyness will get a nice big fat bonus and Kenwright will be quids in, laughing all the way to the bank.

While where at it, why dont we take the Everton tower off our badge and swop it for the pigeon house on whitfield drive Kirby?


Might as well, doesn’t matter to us our history does it? or where we come from...

I was born and bred in everton. My school was on the bottom of everton brow and we could look up from the playground and see the everton tower. We were proud to be evertonians because we lived there and it was our team from our area...

Gonna break my heart if everton go to kirby... Mine and many more who the heritage means something to...
robert carney
19   Posted 05/08/2007 at 20:21:06

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Well said Richard and all you other great people who have seen what a shit deal this really is.
Sorry for the people who have not seen the light, but hopefully you will be the minority.

Vote NO, the message is simple.
Ann Adlington
20   Posted 05/08/2007 at 22:38:05

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You’re dead right Robert - Kirkby is a shit deal. Unfortunately, some of the morons here don’t have the intelligence to see through the Wyness spin. EFC’s latest contribution to the Tesco deal is now £50 million and rising. Wyness has now been forced to concede that EFC will have to increase borrowings. It seems that everytime a relevant question is asked,the deal changes. Look elsewhere on this site for evidence of this. Keep asking those questions folks as this is a defining moment in the history of EFC. Will we see out the 21st century? Not if we uproot from the City of our birth.
Joel Grates
21   Posted 05/08/2007 at 23:25:25

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Duncan Ferguson, 04/04/07:

"During my time at Everton, Goodison Park came to feel like a second home, with the supporters of the club, and the people of the city becoming a second family to me. If you were to take Everton out of the City, I firmly believe the club could no longer call itself the ?People?s Club? and I give my whole-hearted support to the campaign to keep Everton in the City."

The Club should listen to it’s heroes.
Dave Moorcroft
22   Posted 05/08/2007 at 23:45:30

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Suspend the vote till the end of the season and talk to anyone who wants to do biusness with Everton,The board gave 12 months to tesco and knowsley council.As i said on the loop link on this site.Let us know why the other sites cannot work.While the players and manager concentrate on football(Dont get them into the politics).This will shape every Evertonians lives.
Gary D
23   Posted 06/08/2007 at 03:10:31

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Stick with what is in our hearts goodison park nothing beats the goodison roar.True evertonians will say NO!! KEEP EVERTON IN OUR CITY!!!!!! OR WE RIOT
24   Posted 06/08/2007 at 12:33:14

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I agree with Dave Moorcroft. The ballot should be delayed until February 2008 to allow the Board to see if the City Council truly want to keep the club within the City.
The 6 month period will enable sufficient time to determine whether there is a viable alternative to Kirkby.
There are good arguments for and against the move. I’m edging towards a NO vote but would like to pose one question - how many people outside Liverpool realise that the World famous Aintree is not in the City but actually in Sefton?
25   Posted 06/08/2007 at 19:00:45

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Let me look into my crystal ball as I’m coming over all Mystic Meg for a second. Everton fans vote NO and no commercial partners come forward to purchase Bestways (who they?) bag of cement land deal, the Council keep talking about potential commercial partners to keep voters sweet. Meanwhile Anfield Terminal Two takes shape in Stanley Park and the Council leaders are re-elected in a grateful Reds landslide. As council leader Warren offers another car park but no cash, desperate KEIOC action group launch a news statement that they have rediscovered a Swiss Trust Fund Manager who can’t name the 66 cup team but says he has some wealthy widows who have some spends left. And the end of the story is we turn down the top UK retailer as a partner for Sweet FA. It could only happen to emotion sodden, trapped in a sixties time-warp Everton.
robert carney
26   Posted 06/08/2007 at 23:18:36

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All, this debate eventually will cement most of us to our feelings for Everton Football Club. At the heart of the debate is true feelings for the club. The yes vote genuinly beleived there was no other option, but time is fading that illusion away.

There are always exceptions and blue from Bolton you are particulary thick. Do not normally do personal attacks but I cannot apologise for the likes of you.

Stick to abusive one liners the NO Vote needs you.
Blue In Bolton
27   Posted 07/08/2007 at 02:06:36

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R.E Robert Carney

The No Vote ain;t getting they have nothing for me to vote for. Except wishful thinking.
Russ Quinlan
28   Posted 07/08/2007 at 08:46:09

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Although i don’t live in Merseyside any more, having supported EFC since 1963 means it is in my blood as much as anyone (ask the wife on a Saturday if we get beat!).

I feel we’ve been railroaded into picking Kirkby by a board who couldn’t go out to the marketplace and find a big invester to help pay for a stadium IN Everton.

When we got into the CL a couple of years ago, before a ball was even kicked in that campaign they should have been out scouring the planet for someone to take us forward.

Instead they sat on the arses and basked in the glory that went pear shaped and left us with nowhere to go.

I think the ’new’ stadium at Kirkby looks like a poor mans excuse for a stadium, done on the cheap. Even if we do move there, we will be playing in a non descript lump of concrete that has no soul.

A new Goodison should be an iconic building, I hate to say it looking at the sketch for the RS new ground, that looks impressive, thats what we should be aiming for.

If we have to move then make it to a stadium worth moving to, not something that will just ’do’.

I still feel the board (who are only employees and will probably move jobs as soon as it goes wrong) have used all true Blues and BK is guilty of letting it happen, despite his so called love of the blues.

They are making in sound like all doom and gloom if we don’t move, right now, to Kirkby, but if the vote goes against them, will they honestly not move. Looking at the EFC website, it says somewhere that the board will have the final decision on the move ’guided’ by the vote, only GUIDED !!!

Looks like its all cut and dried to me

It also looks like this vote is being pushed as the be all and end all of it, WHY ?

Why can’t we say NO then go though a proper look at alternatives, I’m sure anohther year or so at Goodison won’t break the bank and it would give us the chance to stay in Everton, not Liverpool or any other suburb, EVERTON !
Blue In Bolton
29   Posted 07/08/2007 at 09:56:20

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Russ, i have just a couple of comments to make, and they are my personal opinion, and not an attack on yourself..or your beliefs.
My first is the use of the word ’Railroaded’.
This is not the case. You have two options,,yes or no. Vote the way you feel will be best for the club.
Secondly, i have seen the drawings for the New Anfield, and in my opinion , it looks like a monstrosity, ugly, horribly Red, and well worth getting the hell away from. What an eyesore that is going to be.
Tom Davies
30   Posted 07/08/2007 at 10:45:01

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Even if you do want to go to Kirkby, vote no so we can fully investigate all possibilities.

If we go to kirkby we WILL become another Bolton. I’m sorry but I’m not a Bolton fan I’m an Evertonian.
31   Posted 07/08/2007 at 10:53:10

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Blue, I know everyone has their own opinions, even me ! However what I meant by the RS Stadium was that it looks different, we should be getting a stadimu design that people will have strong opinions about, not another Reebok, Riverside, etc. Why not a real bold design with a Roundhouse theme so it looks like something special instead of just an annex to a Tesco Store ?

And like I said, the Club has already said the Board have the final decision and that they are only going to be ’guided’ by the public vote, so that leaves the door open for them to just deside YES even if the vote is NO because they are only being guided and if they want to do it anyway, thats all the excuse they need.
Just my opinion !
Blue In Bolton
32   Posted 07/08/2007 at 11:10:40

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I hear all you say, and repeat, i respect your opinion.
But i do wish people would stop Citing Bolton as an eyesore, and make out as if The Wanderers new Stadium has somehow been detrimental to Wanderers fans, and the people of Bolton.
Sure, many traditionalists hated the idea of moving to Horwich, but even some of those diehards, who i live and work alongside, will tell you themselves the positive effect the move had for Bolton Wanderers after the initial dust had settled.
Also my information is, and please correct me if i’m wrong. Both Keith Wyness and Bill Kenwright have both said that that if 51% vote no.. then Everton will not be going to Kirby.
Its in the hands of the voters.. I don’t particularly like the aspersions being cast that these two people are liars and cheats, and are delibrately setting out to ruin the club, which is why i suppose, i reply to some of the posters on here with the respect that they mete out to other people.
Have faith in the democratic process, and i will say this, if it turns out to be the case that 51% vote no, and then the club go ahead to Kirby anyway,,i will be out on the streets protesting with the rest of you, even if i do feel Kirby is the right move.
That is my stance..and one i am comfortable with.
Keith Chegwin
33   Posted 08/08/2007 at 10:40:23

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Gosh!Gary D im game for the riot! And lets get Manny back! Wooohooo 3more days!
Blue In Bolton
34   Posted 08/08/2007 at 11:21:33

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Gary D and Keith Chegwin
Yes.. Riot why don’t you..?
Disgrace the club and Evertonians everywhere..thats a really good idea.

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