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Open Letter to Keith Wyness

By James Asquith :  10/08/2007 :  Comments (48) :
Mr Wyness,

As a Shareholder and Season Ticket holder, an Evertonian, a son of an Evertonian and father of two more Evertonians, I know I, my family and many, many more like me will spend far more time and have a far deeper emotional commitment to any future home of the blues than you or a hundred directors, managers or players can ever conceive of.

If, after all options have been fully considered and investigated, the Kirkby project is the best available, I for one will wholeheartedly support it. With the information currently in the public domain, and considering the questions and lack of clarity in certain areas, I can't currently do that and must request that your make every effort to explore all the alternatives.

I am deeply disappointed with your public response, and general attitude, to the recent initiatives by Liverpool City Council, the Bestway Group Plc and dedicated Evertonians who have endeavoured to present additional options to the club in it's quest to find a new home. I find the general tone of your "Open Letter" published on the club website to be dismissive, negative, condescending and frankly arrogant.

As one of "those who regard this site as a possible location for a new home for Everton Football Club," I assume you will not mind my responding to some of the points you raise, and would be grateful if you could in turn respond to "some highly-pertinent questions" and "some general observations" regarding the proposed stadium in Kirkby.

"Why, if the site is, indeed, both deliverable and suitable, is it only now being touted as a viable possibility? We, as a Club, have been engaged in talks with Knowsley Borough Council and Tesco about the possibility of relocating to Kirkby for the best part of 18 months and yet only now has this site been put forward as a possible alternative.

During what was an exhaustive and lengthy search for a suitable and deliverable site within the Liverpool city boundaries not once was the Scotland Road "option" even mentioned."
I have no "inside-knowledge" nor have I had any direct contact with any member of Liverpool City Council or the Keep Everton In Our City group, or with any director or employee of Bestway Group Plc ? my knowledge of the situation arises solely from media reports and the internet. As I'm sure you're well aware, such sources are not always 100% reliable, but I would argue that you have access to exactly the same if not more reliable sources and that you also have a responsibility as Everton CEO to ensure you are as well-informed as possible on these matters ? especially before releasing such an "open letter". Anyway, for what it's worth, here is my understanding of the situation such as it is:
a) It is only in recent months that Bestway have acquired an alternative site to which they wish to move the current operation located at the Loop. Prior to this, the site could not have been considered to be available.

b) It is only in recent months that the KEIOC group have gained any publicity beyond the confines of the core Everton support.

c) None of the Directors or Senior Management at Bestway are dedicated Evertonians and therefore may not have known of the club's desire to find a new home or, if they did know, may have either not considered their site in that knowledge, or more likely, felt that those in charge of Everton Football Club should take the lead in attempting to identify potential sites.

d) At the same time, Everton FC entered into an "Exclusivity Agreement" with Knowsley Borough Council and Tesco regarding the Kirkby site.
Now put yourself in the shoes of the directors and management of Bestway. Assume you had thought to connect your newly available plot of land with Everton's search for a new home (not a given by the way) and had taken the time to acquaint yourself with the publicly available statements made by the club regarding the Exclusivity Agreement. I think you would agree it is not unreasonable that, until it became clear through the actions and public statements of KEIOC and the leader of Liverpool City Council that other options may be considered, there would (on the surface) be little point in your making either an approach to the club or a public declaration of interest.
"Up until two weeks ago, the City Council was enthusiastically claiming that it had sites in both Speke and Aintree which they believed to be deliverable and which they wished us to seriously consider. Since the announcement of the Scotland Road site there has been no mention of either ? why is this?"
I don't know, but given that the focus of many Evertonians is not to move from our current home, and many more wish to stay as close as possible if we do leave, isn't it possible that once the Loop site (as far as I am aware the closest proposed location for a new home) became an option, all available resources have been focused there? With the fans ballot regarding the Kirkby project very close, indeed now underway, can you understand the parties involved not wishing to spread their efforts in an attempt to gather all the necessary detail for solid proposals on three or four different sites? Would it suit you if they did so and in so trying, failed to produce plans of any substance for any single one?
In order to provide the retail element which is essential to make any new stadium project deliverable, further land adjoining the current site would be required. Is this land available, who currently owns it and what would the purchase cost be?
Firstly, even I am aware from my limited sources that the proposed "enabling developments" at the Loop site are business and residential rather than retail, surely you have heard this as well.

Secondly, it is only you who seems to keep saying a certain area (I believe 500,000 sq ft is the figure you use) of retail space must be included in any stadium scheme. To my knowledge ? and I have read or listened to just about everything publicly available on these matters over the last few years ? you have yet to give any detail or provide any study which supports this figure. If such studies are available, why not publish them? Have you considered what area of business and/or residential space would provide an equivalent enabling development? Again, if so, where are the studies?

Thirdly, and again this is from my limited sources, I'm aware that Bestway own other parcels of land adjacent to the Loop island and that in addition, there are some green areas and derelict areas adjacent to or close by. As it is your full time job to consider and investigate issues of concern to Everton Football Club, I assume that your sources are at least as good as mine, perhaps you can confirm the above information? If not, why are you asking the question in such a negative way?

"Would any compulsory purchase orders be required in order that we could attain the size of site we require? If CPOs are required, is it not the case that they could take up to 12 months to attain?"
Given that the plans are not complete yet, I don't see that anyone could possibly answer this question at this stage; however, related planning/legal issues could yet beset the Kirkby project (of which more later) and yet I can find no mention of them from you in any statements made concerning that plan. Again, I fail to see why you seem to be looking for as many negatives as possible in this proposal when it may (and I stress "may") yet provide a better option for the club? Surely your job is to find solutions ? anticipate potential issues by all means, but evaluate them evenly and fairly.
"Liverpool City Council would be required to demonstrate what is know as "best consideration" in any land transactions ? they would have to show that any deal was in the best interests of the people of the city. This, we are told, can prove to be a very lengthy process. Is that correct and is there cross-party support for the Scotland Road site within Liverpool City Council?"
Given that both the local ward councillor and the leader of the City Council are backing the Loop site, both of whom have a democratic responsibility to their constituents, I would argue that they must feel the proposal is in the "best interests of the people of the city". Surely you should be helping them to persuade any members of the council who are not in currently favour rather than trying to find some put obstacles in the way. It's called "lobbying". If you're not already familiar with this presumably you didn't attempt it with Knowsley Borough Council concerning Kirkby? Perhaps if you had, you could have got a better deal from them and groups like KEIOC would not have as many brickbats to throw at you?
"Is the site actually suitable? Would a 50,000-seater stadium fit on the available land whilst guaranteeing the required circulation space for supporters and vehicles?"
The current footprint of Goodison Park, which has been demonstrated to be able to support a 50,000- or 60,000-seater stadium at least 3 times in recent years, fits comfortably within the site. You must have seen this demonstrated a number of times, as I have, by contributors to various Everton Fan sites on the internet. If so, you know the answer to this question and frankly it smacks of scaremongering to influence a "Yes" vote in the Kirkby ballot. If not, take five minutes to surf the internet instead of once more looking for a negative when your job is to find solutions for your employer.
"We do not believe that the existing transport infrastructure in the Scotland Road area would be able to cope with the volume of traffic generated on matchdays. It does seem inevitable that several bridges would have to be constructed. What would be the cost of upgrading the infrastructure and who will foot the bill?"
Given the lack of clarity evinced so far in the Kirkby project statements, I'd say it's a little rich to be questioning where funding for particular aspects of any rival proposal are coming from, but that is a minor issue. My own belief is that the traffic & transport infrastructure is far superior to that available now, or potentially available at reasonable cost in the future, at Kirkby. This is not just a guess, along with many other Evertonians, I have attended away matches at the likes of Bolton and Reading. These clubs have grounds with similar infrastructure links to the proposed Kirkby site and it can take up to 2 hours to get away from them by car after the game.

The Loop site is very close to Liverpool city centre and as such is at the heart of the transport infrastructure for the entire Merseyside area. Roads, rail lines and bus routes radiate from this locality. I would ask how many people travel to work in the centre of Liverpool on any given weekday? This must far exceed 50,000, perfectly demonstrating the ability of the infrastructure to support this number.

"Would the construction of a development which would also include a large retail element not dramatically undermine ? and anger ? those behind the Grosvenor and Project Jennifer schemes? Is there not a very real possibility of a legal challenge from these other developers?"
As stated earlier, I am well aware (and so should you be) that the proposal is for enabling developments of residential and commercial property. How can you repeat that a "large retail development" would be required when this it is common knowledge that it would not?
"What is the proposed timeline for any development on this site? We believe it would take between six and nine months to complete a comprehensive feasibility study, a further six to nine months to prepare a planning application and then an additional four to six months to receive a formal planning decision. In addition, if the scheme was to be "called in" by central government, the entire project could be subjected to a delay of anything up to a year."
Isn't it far more likely that the Kirkby project will be "called in" by central government? The Kirkby scheme would demolish existing public sports facilities and green areas ? particularly that area of the development where the proposed stadium would be located. The planning guidelines state that where such facilities are being removed, they must be replaced with alternative facilities.

What is the current state of planning application for Kirkby? If detailed plans have already been submitted, why have we as Evertonians who are being asked to vote on the move only been shown computer generated artists impressions of what the stadium may look like? And that at night I might add and with the surrounding development mysteriously invisible.

Having resided at Goodison park for 115 years, I would expect any new stadium to last at least 75 years. This decision can only be made once in that time, surely for the long term benefit of the club as a business and as part of the fabric of a community, it is critical that the right choice be made. We can afford to wait and get this right. We cannot afford to get it wrong.

"Without wishing, in any way, to call into question the integrity and professionalism of those who have pulled the Scotland Road "rabbit" out of a hitherto cunningly-concealed hat, we do find it curious that it is being portrayed as a genuine, realistic and deliverable scheme at the precise moment our supporters are being invited to participate in a ballot about our proposed relocation to Kirkby."
If you don't wish to call anyone's integrity or professionalism into question, that's very strange language to use. However, I'm sure some of my statements above are none-too diplomatic, so let's put that to one side for the moment. Incidentally if anything I've said has caused offense, I apologise ? I'm sure you understand the passions which are raised by these issues.

I find it incredibly curious that in this immensely important debate regarding the future of Everton Football Club, you as Chief Executive Officer are seemingly unwilling to consider a "Plan B" or even a "Plan C". I would go as far as to say it is slightly suspicious that you are being so aggressively negative to the alternative options being put forward.

You repeatedly raise associated retail developments at the Loop site as an obstacle when you must, or at least should, know that none are being proposed. You seem to be searching for the slightest potential problem with the Loop while ignoring, or at least not fully informing Evertonians about, similar potential issues with Kirkby. Although ostensibly asking for further information about the Loop proposal, from the tone of your letter you are clearly attempting to knock holes in it and therefore influence the Kirkby ballot in the "Yes" direction.

In closing I'd like to repeat what I said at the start of this letter:

As a Shareholder and Season Ticket holder, an Evertonian, a son of an Evertonian and father of 2 more Evertonians, I know I, my family and many, many more like me will spend far more time and have a far deeper emotional commitment to any future home of the blues than you or a hundred directors, managers or players can ever conceive of. If after all options have been fully considered and investigated, the Kirkby project is the best available, I for one will wholeheartedly support it. With the information currently in the public domain, and considering the questions and lack of clarity in certain areas, I can't currently do that and must request that your make every effort to explore all the alternatives.

Yours,
James Asquith

Reader Comments

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Art
1   Posted 10/08/2007 at 07:54:32

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A very good article James and pretty much reflects my own views . What our CEO has seemed to fail to understand is the nature of Evertonians and scousers in general , i.e . we don’t take kindly to being bullied or treated as fools . Just because he tells us there are no other options doesn’t mean I for one and many others also accept this as gospel . And when an option is put in front of him and he tries to shoot it down in flames before even making a serious analysis of the proposal then he shouldn’t be surprised when his motives are questioned and his response is taken apart and every nuance studied
Mike Hughes
2   Posted 10/08/2007 at 08:16:54

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Out of all the articles I’ve read on the subject both on Toffeeweb and Bluekipper, this most reflects my own views and concerns. Why the big rush to vote within the next 2 weeks when this other site has become available? Cards on the table: I hate the idea of leaving Goodison but am a realist and want the best for EFC. I’d love the "Loop" to be deliverable. If all alternatives are thoroughly explored (Plan B and C) and it transpires that Kirkby is still the best option, I would support the move 100%. Let’s at least explore the option of an alternative to Kirkby. That’s it on the stadium issue for me before I vote. Now COME ON YOU BLUES!!!!!!
Steve Sweeney
3   Posted 10/08/2007 at 08:45:47

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Great Comments, I think this is a view that a lot of Everton Fans have.
It would seem that LCC are behind this option and the everton board should do all in thier power to at least examine the feasability.
The crux of the matter is that there would appear to be hidden agendas with Tesco that are not being disclosed.
McKinney
4   Posted 10/08/2007 at 08:26:13

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Finally someone who has managed to encapsulate my feelings in a constructive article!

Well done James!

I am undecided on the YES/NO debate, and this is mainly down to the following.

I do think Everton need to move at some point, having accepted that Goodison is falling to pieces, and I am certainly not going to turn my nose up at any move just because it might not officially be within the Liverpool City boundary.

My Issue is with the lack of concrete information and alternatives. I appreciate that finance is the main factor and that the Kirkby/Tesco option would appear, on face value, to be viable financially for a club that has no cash. How can fans vote on an issue that appears to be clouded and reading the chat rooms and websites only serves to confuse me more.

Why do we have to say yes to Kirkby right this minute. You’re right Art, I feel bullied too!

Unfortunately, I do not have the vote. However, if I did, I think I would have to abstain as, despite trawling the web for info, I still don’t feel informed enough to make a decision.



However, I was at least relieved to finally read a well thought out article on this site that did not somehow alienate other Evertonians just because they might have a different opinion. The debate has proved one thing to me, some fans seem more bothered about proving they are more of a blue than others. I find this attitude pathetic and I can only hope that those making the vote are more responsible.

I hope you get the answers you are searching for James. COYB
Peter Laing
5   Posted 10/08/2007 at 09:10:27

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I’ve seen it written a thousand or more times "whats in it for Tesco", can the same question therefore be asked of the Bestway group ? The financial package on the table for the Kirkby project has been engineered through a collaborative process between Knowsley Council (acting in response to the ambivilence and impotence of LCC as it continues to fawn over LFC), Tesco Plc who incidentally is headed up by and Evertonian CEO, and Everton who without major financial support cannot go it alone. As far as I’m concerned the whole Loop project is too little too late, smacks of desperation from innefectual Council moguls (Matthew St festival anyone ?) and a speculative pie in the sky publicity stunt from Bestway. Onwards Evertonians, we shall not be moved.
Meilyr Harris
6   Posted 10/08/2007 at 09:00:47

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A message or plea to all Everton Fans:

Please can we all unite as fans tomorrow and back the team as we know for the opening game of the season. I know we all have wide and varied views about the stadium debate which looks set to run and run and run, and I for one am fed up with all the articles and talk of who wants best for what! I don?t even think that a winning margin for Kirkby will even prove anything the way things are going

Yes I like and enjoy going to Goodison due to its unique atmosphere and I think the fact that its an ageing crumbling stadium compared to all the rest adds charisma that will never be seen again, but I support the football team MORE and I for one will go and watch them whether it be at Goodison, Bestway, Kirkby, Speake or Timbuktu.

So come 3 o?clock tomorrow, would it be too much to ask to set aside our feelings for 90 mins and back the team to a winning 3 point start without mention of the ?S? word?

I?m just dreading seeing banners and chants and pitch protestors calling and saying all sorts which will no doubt affect the team in the middle!
McKinney
7   Posted 10/08/2007 at 09:34:39

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Well said Meilyr!

Don’t know about the crumbling state of Goodison giving it character, but a call for unity is much needed following the division over this debate.

As Meilyr says, we support the team not the stadium, so lets all get behind the lads tomorrow.

COYB
Dan Mckie
8   Posted 10/08/2007 at 09:33:32

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Has anyone actually thought that Wyness may actually be telling the truth? He may well have looked into these sites just like he says he has! We already know that Bestway cannot offer the same package as Knowsley and Tesco,and that what the deal is all about! Everton need the minimum initial outlay possible to them and at the moment this appears to be the Tesco deal! As for planning applications,does anyone think that Knowsley council would have risked time and money whilst also coming out publicly with the plans if they were just going to be rejected? I personally do not think so! The LCC and Bestway need to stop saying that they have an alternative and instead try SHOWING that they have an alternative,if it isnt now too late!
Alan
9   Posted 10/08/2007 at 10:24:40

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Earl, if you are willing to plough some of that Billion Pounds or so you have into "Only now" giving us some transfer kitty, why don’t you plough some cash into the stadium project and allow us to move to "The Loop"... the home EFC deserve to be and not Kirkby.

VOTE NO TO KIRKBY AND GIVE OUR BELOVED EFC A REAL FUTURE IN THE CITY
Andrew Mackenzie
10   Posted 10/08/2007 at 10:22:51

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Good balanced article James. I don’t think I’m alone in saying I am becoming tired of the backbiting debate going on but I am concious as many of you comment that we are Everton, not the current players and board, they are in effect honoured guests. Tiredness aside I do believe we have a duty to ask questions to at least give us the confidence to vote in a positive way for leaving Goodison, unfortunately I just don’t think that has been achieved by KW and the club, which is why I full understand the unwilingness of many fans to vote YES. I am also further disturbed by the language and tone of KW, not quite the "Everton way" BK harped on about a few weeks back!
Good luck to DM and the boys tomorrow, get behind the team for 90 mins and use your right to vouce your opinion before and after the game!
Dean
11   Posted 10/08/2007 at 10:47:08

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"I?m a better Evertonian than you"
Not a balanced article at all
McKinney
12   Posted 10/08/2007 at 10:57:56

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Dean

"I’m a better Evertonian than you"

Who are you quoting?

I have not read this in the article.
Tony Marsh
13   Posted 10/08/2007 at 11:07:58

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Ialways have my doubts when something looks to good to be true
and this Kirkby option is no exception.The Yes voters keep telling us not to look a gift horse in the mouth.I say Be wary of Greeks baring gifts.Something some where is just not right about this whole deal and trusting in Wyness or Kenwright is asking for trouble.I am getting
well pissed off with all this crap now and hope it gets resolved fairly quickly so we all know where we stand.Please vote no
and give Fathead and Billy Bull a kick in the balls.Get the message
across that we have had enough of their shit.
Gezz
14   Posted 10/08/2007 at 11:14:20

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I’ve already sent my vote "NO" in. Reason is I believe all options have not been fully explored. The Loop to me seems a great option if possible and this should be explored before any decision is made. I will be flying into Liverpool tonight for the Wigan game. I know Evertonians will be fantastic as always to the team I do hope the protests are if any dignified. COYB Ger
Jim
15   Posted 10/08/2007 at 11:14:42

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Best article I’ve read on the whole thing. I’ve already voted no as it is a poor reflection that there is no plan B. If there is a ’no’ vote then at least we will get to see what plan B looks like. Also the infrastructure situation, I don’t want to spend 2 hours queing to get on the M57 to get back to the Rocket. The city centre handles significantly more people every day than we have as match traffic, and hey you never know some of the people gonig into town might actually visit the ground.
Dean
16   Posted 10/08/2007 at 12:09:13

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McKinney

I was taking the whole passage and putting it into one concise statement so everyone wouldn’t have to read it all.
"I’m a better Evertonian than the board and anyone else voting yes" is pretty much exactly what it says, don’t you think?
Steve
17   Posted 10/08/2007 at 12:13:47

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Great article. It reflects the views of many Evertonians I know.

This is a major decision to make and I don’t think all the answers have been provided to all the questions.

I know we need to move away from Goodison but is Kirkby the right site and the best design for future generations of Evertonians?

I personally would have liked the ballot to be deferred for 6 months to allow the alternative options to be examined in more detail. The end result may still be Kirkby but at least we can say to our children and grandchildren that ALL options were considered.

So at the present time, I’ll be voting No .... I think!
Tom Davies
18   Posted 10/08/2007 at 12:31:52

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How is it that the CEO of a premiership football club can only come up with 1 solution and nothing else to fall back on, despite having a team of people who are payed to do just that?

The answer is simple and probarbly the same answer most Evertonians have come up with, MONEY! (in his pocket)
Peter Roberts
19   Posted 10/08/2007 at 12:36:21

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Top article James. I felt similar emotions when reading the CEO’s letter yesterday.

Not wanting to spark a conspiracy theory, but it really would not surprise me if, after 2 weeks of immense lobbying for a No vote, our board rig the ballot for a Yes vote to Kirkby. The more I see stadium articles being written, and the furthering of developments regarding the Loop side, the more I’m confident that the vote will be a resounding No.

However, I wish to see detailed plans of the Bestway redevelopment including pictures of a stadium inside that loop that can further us as a club. Until then, my mind is still in the balance.
McKinney
20   Posted 10/08/2007 at 12:17:03

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Dean

I sort of see where you’re coming from, only when you put it in quotation marks, it suggested that you are directly quoting him.

I think you are reading between the lines too much. It does, however, imply that he cares more about EFC than the various members of the board and that may or may not be true. I don’t think he is aiming the statement at Yes voters though, as he has stated that he is not completely averse to the Kirkby proposal, only that he feels there has been minimal effort to examine other options, with this ’take it or leave it’ deal.

I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says, but I do feel that out of all the articles I have read on this site, and the subsequent comments below, this is the least antagonistic, best thought out, constructive article/open letter yet. At least he is asking questions rather than some who just rubbish the other arguments, and imply that people who disagree are not true fans.

At the end of the day it is almost impossible for a passionate fan to write a completely unbiased article on a subject so important to them, but I think he kept his emotions in check for the most part.

Didn’t mean to have a go by the way. I was just a little confused as to what you were referring to in your original post.

COYB
Steve Ryan
21   Posted 10/08/2007 at 12:32:19

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Excellent article James.
Wyness must be a very worried CEO to submit such a pathetic letter on the fans website. Vote NO to Kirkby and let’s at least investigate the Loop option.
Rob McFawn
22   Posted 10/08/2007 at 12:25:30

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Dan McKie - if Bestway and LCC can come up with a package that confirms The Loop site is, ahem, "deliverable", but Everton cannot afford it - then surely don?t you think it would be fair for Kenwright to put the Club up for sale and see if there is anybody out there with the finance to take Everton on? We are being railroaded into Kirkby because Kenwright & Wyness have failed spectacularly to attract any kind of solid investment. You have to question the integrity of a man who sees fit to query how the city centre would support 50,000 football supporters, when a decade has not elapsed since the fabled Kings Dock - er, city centre anyone?

Also - regarding Knowsley - firstly they have done very little so far in terms of time & money and secondly even if they had spent a lot of time and money, of course they would do this, they are absolutely desperate for this project to go ahead. As has been said many times, Everton could find other enabling partners, but could the respective councils and Tesco/Bestway find another club to build a 50,000 seater football stadium to help their projects? Of course the answer is no, which is why Everton hold all the aces. There is simply no need to rush this deal through, unless there are hidden agendas.
Lee
23   Posted 10/08/2007 at 12:38:07

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Re: Dean’s Comments

As someone without a vote (another reason you really don’t want to live in Great Yarmouth, as if there wasn’t enough!), and someone who doesn’t get to many games, I feel I can offer quite an unbiased view, and in fact i’m glad I don’t have a vote, because it is a responsibilty I could do without.

In my humble opinion this article has to be one of the most "balanced" pieces of writing I have read on this whole subject. All James is doing is asking the questions that any sensible Evertonian would like to know the answers too, questions that neither Mr Wyness or any other club official seems to want to answer.

I very rarely contribute to these online discussions but after reading your views I felt I must. With remarks such as yours you only make yourself look rather foolish, surely you can come up with something a bit more constructive?

Cheers

Lee (Yarmouth Blue)
John Lloyd
24   Posted 10/08/2007 at 13:34:05

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The best compliment I can pay this post is that I am now decided which way my vote is going.
Like hundreds (probably thousands) of other blues I have been swinging between yes & no due to finding or hearing something new, after hearing a passionate, intelligent counter argument to the daft, drafted by a 9 year old open letter from the man in charge the business side of our club, I will be voting NO. Not until, at least, these other sites are fully looked into with fully public results will I consider moving. And you can tell that fat twat Wyness he can stop getting current players to blackmail us into a yes vote. I was here before them & I’ll be here after them, concentrate on doing the biz on the pitch lads and we’ll form our own opinions. Cant fucking WAIT for tomorrow. ITS A GRAND OLD TEAM TO PLAY FOR.........
James Asquith
25   Posted 10/08/2007 at 13:05:38

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Dean

I see where you got the impression, but I certainly wouldn’t claim to be a better Evertonian than anyone voting Yes.

I did point out that I and other Evertonians like me (& it may have been unsaid, but I certainly included in that many who will vote Yes) will have a greater emotional investment over a longer period of time than most of the directors, managers and players at the club now or in the future. This is not to criticise any individual, and most definitely not David Moyes or any of the players I have worshipped over the years, but I think it is a plain fact that most professional footballers are not fans of the club they play for. Over time, they may develop an affection for one particular club they have played for, but with the exception of the likes of Derek Mountfield, who was a fan before he was a player, I would certainly lay claim to having invested more emotionally over a longer time than them.

Whether that makes me a better Evertonian or not is a matter for debate. The reason for making the point within the article was that we (Evertonians whether in the Yes, No or undecided camp) will have to live with the new stadium for the rest of our lives, and our children for the rest of theirs. Many of the current squad, and Keith Wyness himself, may leave the club before we even move. For that reason I felt that Keith owed us answers to the questions I posed.
Bernie
26   Posted 10/08/2007 at 15:41:54

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I am sick and tired of so called scousers referring to out of towners as wooly backs. Thousands of us have left the City over the years for work, housing and other reasons. We still travel every week or so back to Goodison to follow the team. The so called locals who don’t want to leave the Windsor( Not Goodison), can then stay there and we will go wherever the team plays. Kirkby is too far for them to travel obviously.
owen
27   Posted 10/08/2007 at 16:42:32

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Wyness is trying to derail any opposition to the Kirkby site to the extent where this is starting to look like something out of a John Grisham book.
Dean
28   Posted 10/08/2007 at 17:22:10

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Look guys, unlike others, I couldn’t care less what you think of me. All I care about is the future of our club, just like you do, but I have yet to see a balanced article that doesn’t sway one way or the other.

No voters are trying to be balanced but they just doing a very good job of it. Yes voters, I feel are somewhat ostracised by claims of "betraying their heritage" and the like.

There is no fence for people to sit on and the 2 sides seem to be polar opposites. It’s amazing that we all support the same club isn’t it?

But for me, it’s no different than a debate about religion. Some prefer logic to their beliefs, others don’t and both sides are right in their passionate responses, but just grinding out the same old tripe doesn’t make it true.
McKinney
29   Posted 10/08/2007 at 19:22:33

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Dean

Ok mate, fair point. Like I said before, it’s very difficult to be balanced when you are passionate about something.

Let’s face it, whether the vote is yes or no I’m sure we all just want the club to do well over the next ten years. Although, as you will know from reading some of the posts on previous articles, some people seem more fixated on proving they’re right than worrying about the future!

I bet those same people won’t rejoice in saying "I told you so" if the vote goes against them and the toffees end up going backwards. Nobody wants that!

Let’s hope a firm thumping of Wigan at GP tomorrow unites us all again!

COYB
Dave Moorcroft
30   Posted 10/08/2007 at 20:31:36

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Just say NO. This idiot wyness is making things up as he is feeling the pressure. How can you give answers to questions when you have not even asked the fucking question in the first place? As i said a couple of weeks ago they will try and rig the vote,Now i am certain with the extra ballot papers going to season ticket holders and shareholders.When we vote NO we should keep the pressure on the fucking lot of them to piss off. They're just self centered money grabbing idiots who dont give a fuck for our club.If they did they would explore every avenue,Which is all we want them to do.Great article James but they have already got it boxed of.
Blue meanie
31   Posted 10/08/2007 at 22:25:43

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"Wyness is trying to derail any opposition to the Kirkby site to the extent where this is starting to look like something out of a John Grisham book"

The only derailing I see is by LCC and KEIOC. I love the way everyone presumes Wyness to be money grabbing, and in it for himself. How absurd. The fact is that Wyness is correct in his open letter. What did he say that was wrong, or is it merely that you happen to not like the truth. Why did LCC come up with these at the 11th hour? Why the late involvement? I am voting YES, as I for one want to see financial success at Everton. We cannot get that staying at GP. Bestway is so late in the game it is unfunny, and reeks to high heaven on desperation. I trust Wyness, and Kenwright. I suppose tyou all bemoan our improvement on the pitch as well?
Dave Moorcroft
32   Posted 10/08/2007 at 22:47:15

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With something so important as this,Why don,t the club call LCC and Bestways bluff,They have nothing to lose and credability to gain.Late in the game,Through the exclusivity thing everything was going to be late in the game.Until Everton talk to everyone we dont know what the Best deal for our club is.
Andy McMahon
33   Posted 10/08/2007 at 23:43:54

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what a load of rubbish.
The ’new’goodison is just like a kids drawing. I could do better with some felt tips and crayola crayons. No thought given to planning permission, knocking down neighbouring housing etc..
As for the loop.. could you think of a worse place to build a football stadium ? maybe Baghdad.
How can you build a ground near a dual carriageway near the tunnel entrance, in the middle of a fucking roundabout ?. How do the crowd disperse after a game ? Block the road, and the tunnel entrance ?
Get real you idiots. Kirkby or stagnate.
dublin blue
34   Posted 10/08/2007 at 23:56:26

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can anyone enlighten me as to when we will know the outcome of the ballot
Ann Adlington
35   Posted 10/08/2007 at 23:18:41

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James,I’m proud of you son.You’re a credit to your parents and your children. People who don’t have the inherited, Evertonian blood will never understand why we oppose the Kirkby move. It’s not something that we can articulate - it’s just something that we feel.
Blue Meanie
36   Posted 11/08/2007 at 02:07:27

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Interesting link... Seems LLC had dismissed other site previously, and Bradley is ressurecting them. Seems like Wyness was right all along!

http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/0400evertonfc/0150kingsdock/tm_headline=city-sites-for-everton-fc-were-rejected-a-year-ago%26method=full%26objectid=19605280%26siteid=50061-name_page.html
Michael Lang
37   Posted 11/08/2007 at 06:01:06

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Good article with a lot of salient points but the bottom line is it suits BK to take the Kirkby site because he maintains control of the club, the reason that he has not drawn in iny investors is that he treats the club as his own personal toy and does not want to lose this control.
I do not doubt his passion as an Evertonian but if he truly wants whats best for EFC he should forget about Kirkby and look to people with real money to take over the club (as at LFC).
The statement by KW that there is no alternative to the Kirkby site is correct with the present management in place, that is why BK needs to sell as soon as possible to someone who can inject the required funds for Everton to finance a move at a later date when all possibilities have been explored, but we all know that is not going to happen because EFC is BK ball and if he can’t play then he is taking his ball home. The rush to hold this ballot is indecent and if this great club moves to Kirkby I suspect that all Evertonians will not only regret it but I am sure it will lead to the downfall of this club.
I don’t have a vote but I beg all those who do please VOTE NO TO KIRKBY.
Steve Pugh
38   Posted 11/08/2007 at 06:55:53

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Well done James, you have actually managed to write an article that hasn’t made me swear. One point that appears to have been forgotten. When the ballot was announced a section of Everton fans made a prediction that the club would suddenly find a transfer fund around the time of the ballot to create a feel good factor and increase the YES vote. Apparantly they were right. If any thing points towards underhanded activities by those in charge this does. Don’t vote NO to Kirkby vote NO to the fact we are being treated like a bunch of brain dead sheep being led to the slaughter.

By the way, Lee, at least you have the sea in Yarmouth, try living in Kings Lynn.
Paul English
39   Posted 11/08/2007 at 08:32:54

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Lets vote today v Wigan chant Scotland Rd or Kirkby, let your voice be heard.My vote Scotland Rd
Blue meanie
40   Posted 11/08/2007 at 08:53:58

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Again, lots of talk, yet nothing substantiating any of it. Lots of people said there would be money around vote time. You know why that was? Something to do with TV money, and the 1st of August. Everton actually waited until they had money in the bank before splashing cash, rather than going down the loan route.
Yes, lets shout for what stadium we want. Especially as there is NOTHING substantiating any of the other cases. Where is the investment coming from? Unfortunately you have been fed a big fat herring designed by Mr Bradley to stall the Kirkby move.
So, rather than chant for your stadium, how about chanting for the team, rather than turning our first match into a polotical maelstrom!
Tommy
41   Posted 11/08/2007 at 09:50:12

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>Get behind the TEAM today against Wigan. Support the TEAM and the players.

Call yourself a fan?
Jason Hagarth
42   Posted 11/08/2007 at 17:43:43

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This debate is now firmly won by the Yes campaign. Other than luddite no voters surely Sir Terry Leahy?s open letter spells out clearly the irrefutable facts as to why the Kirkby stadium is an absolute ?no brainer?, all things considered. I say all things because success of the team is about 100 million quid worth more likely and at the end of the day success on the pitch is what counts...everything else flows from that and this move, due to the quality of the stadium and overall package, gives best chance of success in everyway.
It is better even than the Kings Dock stadium from the perspective that the stadium will be owned by Everton FC! Relatively speaking, this truly is a priceless opportunity which, for the sake of Everton both now and in future, must be given a MASSIVE THUMBS UP! If there are any doubters to this, wake up please, if your brain aint up to it then you should abstain...this really is a total non brainer (unless, in my opinion, you are mostly just fearful of banter from the shite (in which case shame on you!) or it is due to wanting a cheap pie and pint in the shadow of ageing GP). Please look at the picture and then make an informed choice!
Dave Moorcroft
43   Posted 11/08/2007 at 23:43:29

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Ask the same man,When the Kings Dock project collapsed.1 month later Terry Leahy,s head popped up.Beleive me theres more to this than meets the eye.People from this city are not soft,Tell them to FUCK OFF with the lies and inuendo.
ste
44   Posted 12/08/2007 at 08:39:01

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If the vote goes against a move to Kirby, then that will be the death-sentence of our club. The ’Tesco’ open letter just points out what Keith Wyness has been trying to say for weeks. All other options are pointless. We dont have an extra £100M just to throw about, so wake up if you think we do !!
Pete C
45   Posted 12/08/2007 at 11:23:22

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Have you read the "open letter" from Terry Leahy on the official Everton website.

This seems to answer most fans concerns that other sites have not been considered, including my own. Tesco has looked at 30 sites. Everton need a financial partner. Kirkby seems the only and now probably the right option - this is from someone who has sat on the fence, changed to a no and back again several times. For the first time my head is telling me that I know I should be a yes vote, but my heart is still telling me something different. It is all about money and EFC don’t have enough to go it alone so it looks like the head wins over the heart and I am sure that in years to come we will be equally as proud of our club and our new stadium as we have in the past. But I will hold my vote back until the last possible moment.
Bob
46   Posted 12/08/2007 at 11:48:54

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Look on the Liverpool City Council website and see who owns Kirkby golf course!!! Kirkby

1) Why were there no protests at the ground yesterday if ALL BLUES are so opposed to the move????

2) Get used to the fact that we are moving to Kirkby - if you don’t like it, don’t go the match! Simply as!!

Graham
47   Posted 12/08/2007 at 13:26:52

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The reason that people dont trust Mr wyness is that he keeps putting a positive spin on the kirkby Stadium whilst making totally inacurate negative statements about the bestway site.The best example of this is the picture that was released by him to the echo showing a stadium superimposed onto the tunnel loop. This showed the pitch running on a north west to south east access and therfore appaering not to fit in. Anybody that has seen the site will no that the obvious pitch allignment would be on a south west to north east access and would then fit in easily.As already mentioned access to and parking in the financial district and adjacent to the northern line is not a problem with lots of exit points (we dont play matches when people are in the office), and there are plenty of places to park coaches adjacent to Everton Park.I like others will move to kirkby when the inner city has been ruled out once and for all but i am not yet convinced.We need more time. We need to do what we can to create a matchday experience like ST James Park not the Reebock,Please dont be scared into the kirkby move Graham (The Paddock)
Blue meanie
48   Posted 13/08/2007 at 00:52:34

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The problem with the Loop is the emergency evac situation. 40,000 people moving out onto a main road? Bridges would have to be constructed, and the fact it would be on a roundabout would make the traffic situation something that would need huge improvement. lets not beat a dead horse. Kirkby, as Everton has said, is the only option availablke at the moment. it is Kirkby, or stay at GP, as we DO NOT have the finance to go it our own, or to take a great deal of the expense.

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