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The Future of History

By David Wharton :  09/08/2007 :  Comments (17) :
I?m what could be described as a ToffeeWeb voyeur in that I log on daily to observe the latest news and events but would never dream of participating.

The arrival of a letter through my door from the Electoral Reform committee (though ignored for 2 days because I thought it was a circular) has now forced me to re-evaluate my voyeuristic status as I am now about to participate in what is rightly billed as the most important decision in our club?s history. The importance should not be underestimated by the fact that despite my strong political views, I have yet to exercise my right to vote. I guess you could say that Everton is more important to me than who is running the country.

For many weeks now I have observed all the arguments both for and against, but maybe when I say ?all the arguments? I should really be saying I have read, re-read and re-read again basically the same argument for, and the same argument against.

The status quo can not continue and the club has no money for an alternative. Fans don?t want to leave ?Liverpool?. Take your pick which variation/expansion of these two you wish to follow and support.

How strange it is though that both sides of the argument have merit and the fact that the decision is so difficult for many of us is because we are unable to see a clear right or wrong choice.

Do we gamble on fading away if we don?t move, or risk fading away if we do?

In deciding how to vote, the questions I have asked myself have been more important to me than the questions posed by others. What does the move mean to me? These are my thoughts and questions, I hope you also have yours.

Our Birthplace

I no longer live in the town I was born. When I?m asked where I?m from, I answer. Where I live now is immaterial to where I?m from, that will never change and will always be who I am. This is very simple for me.

The Players

If I was a non-Everton supporting professional Footballer would I want to play in a gleaming new stadium, or one of the (sadly) most run down grounds in the Premiership? Would it matter to me where a dotted bold line was drawn on a map?

The Finances

Do I realistically think that there could be a better deal out there for Everton? Tesco?s haven?t risen to the top of the Supermarkets without knowing a thing or two about running a business. I can think of worse companies to be in partnership with.

The ?Wow? Factor

OK, accepted that the Stadium design is not in the class of Arsenal and Liverpool but we simply don?t have the money. For what it will cost us to build, the Stadium is actually pretty good. I suspect however that the design is the least of our concerns and there would be minimal debate if the same design was on a site a mile or two the other side of this dotted line. But then again, we are Evertonians?

?If You Know Your History?

My stepson is 9 and I am fortunate enough to have been in his life long enough to ?encourage? what will be his lifelong support towards Everton. My other younger children are already being subliminally brainwashed with duvet covers, mugs, baby grows and the like, they too will learn the way! None of them are aware of Everton?s history, and at the age they are, none of them much care.

I?m aware we won the FA Cup in ?66, and Mike Trebilcock was the hero of the hour, but it was before I was born and I have to say I feel a bit ?so what? about it. However, if you were to humble the importance of our League and European triumph in ?85 and comment that Big Nev did actually get quite big, I?d have to have serious words!

The memories of those days are there for me, even if both competitions have ironically moved on or been consigned to a history of their own. They are my memories. That is my History. My children will have a whole new history of their own, one which has not been written yet, with new legends and I hope new triumphs. For the next generation of Everton fans, History will be about the future, not the past.

Think of the Innocent Children

I?ll take the boys to wherever Everton are playing be it Goodison or Kirkby. Neon lights, a new Stadium and no queues for food will not influence which club I support, but I?m no longer 9 years old. I also can?t see any children (mine or otherwise) complaining about going to Kirkby on the grounds that it?s in the wrong Postcode. It will be Everton?s new Stadium, that in itself will be an exciting attraction for them and influence them far more than (here we go again) this bloody dotted line!

The Loop

I drive through Spaghetti Junction on my way to Goodison. It?s interesting to look at but I wouldn?t want to watch a football match there. Not much else I want to say on that.

I suspect by now you?re probably leaning towards knowing which way I will be voting. I don?t believe that my thoughts on moving to Kirkby make me any less of an Evertonian than those that wish us to stay. If the question was ?Do you want what?s best for Everton?? the vote would be 100% but we struggle because we don?t know what our new History will be. I personally believe we?re Everton and will continue to be Everton wherever we are. I?d just rather it was in a nice stadium.

I know of only one person who knew what the future was going to be and even he passed on these wise words:

?The future is not set. There is no fate but what me make for ourselves?.

Our ?History? is in our hands.

Reader Comments

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David Freel
1   Posted 09/08/2007 at 01:25:51

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On the issue the players, I’m not so convinced by the power of attraction held by a ’gleaming stadium". You might have assumed that the likes of Barton and Smith would have been chomping at the bit to play European football with Everton next season but massive salaries at St James Park proved more attractive.

Bolton and Wigan have gleaming stadia that they can’t fill and we know for a fact that what endears the likes of Arteta, Johnson and Cahill to Everton is the atmosphere created at Goodison. I’m not saying that can’t or won’t be re-created at the Planet Hollywood Arena but if Mr Wyness misses all his best-case projections for Kirkby and we can’t fill the ground (for whatever reason), the shine on that new stadium is not going to be much comfort for fans or players alike.

Roy coyne
2   Posted 09/08/2007 at 01:50:42

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Nice post but as you said Tesco are a leading company so who do you think they are concerned about I will give you a clue not us you talk about the boundaries ect but miss out on the most important criteria will we be financially better off I doubt it the studies are taken as a business tesco people will go if the prices are right ,but surely you know football comes from the heart not the head sure we might get fellow blues who don’t go now to come.but any fan of other teams will still follow there own to be honest we wont get glory hunters either so corporate boxes why go to a small town on the outskirts of a city when there are corporate boxs in the city then theres the magical £50 million free stadium if we are liable for the budget overspend and we are even Kenwright dose not know the cost
Pete
3   Posted 09/08/2007 at 03:13:18

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Re the size of Tesco: It is relevant to note that while they have a similar profit margin to Bestway, Tesco are a totally different beast in terms of size and have comparatively huge capacity to work with Everton without impacting nearly as significantly. Indeed, Tesco’s profit last year was greater the Bestway’s turnover (i.e. above 2 Billion) Bestway’s profit last year was 73 Million; Tesco are indeed much better placed to help finance a new stadium.
paul
4   Posted 09/08/2007 at 05:50:15

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I agree. If you move house you don’t wipe out all your family history. As for those who suggest that the ’intimidating’ atmosphere of GP will be lost, the place will be full of 40-50000 Evertonians!

vin bleu
5   Posted 09/08/2007 at 07:46:24

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I’ve noticed over the last week or so that we are now getting thoroughly considered contributions coming through on both sides. This is one of them. I also recommend reading Mickey Blue Eyes latest on Blue Kipper. Even the "no" voters (who I disagree with) seem to be putting forward the pros and cons to support their arguement rather than the earlier contributions that were saturated in selfish, indulgent sentimentality and emotion. The "yes" lobby like myself put far too much emphasis on the figures and should have added a balance of the other issues.
It’s now clear to me that not only does the Kirkby scheme add up as the best financial option, the argument is also being won regarding our future history too.
Peter Roberts
6   Posted 09/08/2007 at 09:33:54

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To put a more Machiavellian twist on the stadium debate, maybe it would come down to how successful we are on the pitch as to whether fans will vote yes to Kirkby. Think about it: a team playing regular European football year after year, in a 50000 seater stadium, getting on a level with the top 6 sides in the country. Surely that would be more than convince the children that Everton are the team to support, particularly with Liverpool having gone bankrupt in ten years time when the Americans pull out leaving them with astronomical debt ;) My personal opinion would be to hold off on the vote until the end of the season, when we can properly see if we’re making clear progress and not going round in vicious circles, as this season is crucial for us to kick on from last season and consolidate our position in the top half.
steve
7   Posted 09/08/2007 at 09:47:38

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can someone tell me please where is all this money now comming from for new players?is there going to be a takeover or something?
Danny Mullally
8   Posted 09/08/2007 at 10:10:34

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Steve,

The money is coming from the pot that Moyes has always had. It was only a section of the fans who put 2+2 together and got 71 when we never offered silly money for the richardsons, Koumas, Nugents, Smiths of this world.

Remember the Davies, Kilbane sales last year? Rooney Bonus for the league win? Offloading the high bracket earners this year has also added to the pot, and the well documented Sky / Premier league Money. No one at Everton has ever said we are skint-only a section of the fans.

If we bring Fernandes back this year and Yakubu, for mew the summer has been exceptional for us. (Except the big ground debate of course)


Stuart
9   Posted 09/08/2007 at 10:32:11

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Thanks for a great composition. You have convinced me not to feel guilty in voting "YES".
Dont get me wrong I just love Goodison and the walk from the Elm Tree to the ground just fills me with anticipation and joy as I pass through the turnstyle at the Park End. I guess I will still feel that way walking into KIRKBY as it does when I walk into any ground that EVERTON play. My business head says "YES" but my heart says "MAYBE" now. My vote will be posted today.
concernedblue
10   Posted 09/08/2007 at 10:55:31

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Excellent post, and as I read it I felt that this is the conclusion that (hopefully) most evertonians will be thinking...Our history is made up by what we as a club do on the pitch, Everton will always be everton no matter where we end up.
steve
11   Posted 09/08/2007 at 11:10:18

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why did it say in the paper this morning investors are intrested in everton????
Sandy Brown
12   Posted 09/08/2007 at 12:52:49

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Those who disparage the "no" voters for acting emotionally or self-indulgently are missing the point. Following a football club is an emotional business. If a move doesn’t work on that level, it doesn’t work at all.

We are in danger of missing all the recent lessons of ground-change. The fashion now, one approved by fans of all clubs, is to re-locate (if relocation is essential) to an urban setting, close to your historical base - like Arsenal and the RS. Out of town, faceless supermarket compexes are old news and bad news, like the tower blocks of the sixties. Stadium architecture has moved on, and we shouldn’t even be considering a move to a wind-swept new town out past the edge of Liverpool.

The vast majority of those voting "yes" are doing it with a heavy heart. How can we expect to attract corporate clients when 95% of the fans are reluctant to move to Kirkby? How can we expect to survive if we rip the heart out of the club, just as our city rivals are putting new heart into theirs?

Stay at Goodison until we find a solution that enthuses the fans, rather than depresses them. If we’ve got £20m to spend on Manny and the Yak, then we can afford to spend the odd half a million keeping Goodison up to scratch til we come up with something better than Kirkby.
John McKie
13   Posted 09/08/2007 at 13:26:17

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Yes or No.

Seems simple enough but my god its given me a headache.

My vote has gone, its in the post and sitting in a bag somewhere while the postmen take a well earned break from dogs biting their arse. Ha

I voted "YES" to the move but I cant help but question my own judgement now. Its the most important thins Ive ever voted on and I just hope I voted correctly... only time will tell!

IDEAL SITUATION IS... We get a brand new ground, paid for, within the city boundaries. When voting, I asked myself - is this a possibility??? I think it is but certainly not in the near future and the fact of the matter is football is a cruel game. It only takes one season to hit a financial crisis and be relegated. I think we move now or we face risking it all... think Leeds, differnt circunstances but similar concept.

I dread the stick we will get from the Red Shite... but my fears were eased last night while listening to the "Century FM Legends Football Phone In". While listening... the legend that is Mr Graham Sharp said the following... "Liverpool pride themselves on their home grown talent and in particular on the one they call Stevie G... yet, isnt he from Huyton? And isnt that outside the boundaries too." Good point Sharpy.

When you think of Alan Stubbs or Leighton Baines do you think Scouser??? I know I do!!!

Vote Kirkby... Move the club we all love onto the next level and secure our long term future. Forget about the postcode!!!

Cheers
nick
14   Posted 09/08/2007 at 14:13:37

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well done David , thats was an excellent posting.

wether the vote is a yes or a no one thing is for certain.
in the next couple of years one of the greatest stadiums in the world will see its last match on its historical pitch and then the old lady will be torn down.

that certainly will be one of the saddest days in efc history.
BlueBoy
15   Posted 09/08/2007 at 14:35:59

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Regardless of which way the vote goes, i’m greatly concerned about the reliability of the voting process. If members of Evertonia get the vote, does this include the Man Utd and L’Pool supporters, amongst other away support, who joined Evertonia inorder to have an advantage when applying for tickets when their team visits Goodison? This has already been suggested and if true, the ballot should immediately been considered void, as non-Evertonians voting on the matter would be a travesty, along with the fact that they would have their own motives in voting. Surely this matter should be investigated by the club
John Charles
16   Posted 09/08/2007 at 17:24:32

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Excellent article.

For or against it you have to see the other side’s point of view and up to a point you have to agree both are right.

My decision is also yes. I’m prepared to trade off 4 miles in return to have more money and a better team and more chance of winning again.

I’m voting for future history! Infact, fuck it, im posting it now., im done.
parky
17   Posted 09/08/2007 at 23:34:52

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Nick.

The thought of that last match at Goodison brings tears to my eyes.

The thought of a new stadium in Kirkby makes me cringe.

Vote No and wait for a better option and a better stadium.

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