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Spinfighting

By Matt Willey :  18/08/2007 :  Comments (34) :

Infighting can't be healthy for the club's fanbase nor the club as a whole yet this is what the 'Kirkby' issue has caused. From one side we have CEO, manager and player endorsed propaganda; the "Deal of the Century", about the fact that Kirkby is only 3.5, 4, 4.5 or 5 (take your pick) miles away from the existing GP site, about attractive financing (but yet no real hard figures) and they are quick to point to the support of a major British retailer... itself headed by a wonderful businessman and even more wonderful Evertonian...

The 'yes' side are quick to rubbish any alternative suggestions (admittedly even if they are no more than embryonic in their development due to the much maligned 'exclusivity agreement') and pour scorn on the 'no' side with arguments such as 'where is the money coming from', 'the loop site is too small', 'you're being too sentimental', 'you are just worried what the RS say'... 'you are holding the club back', 'KEIOC are just a bunch of thugs', 'LCC are wankers and don't deserve us', 'an extra £10 million a year' 'obstructive views in GP'... the list goes on...

Against the proposed move, the 'no' lot, whose arguments against the move can be just as vitriolic...perhaps KEIOC do come across as a bit aggressive? (or is this just another piece of spin?)... They may be clutching at straws at the moment with GP redevelopment or the tunnel loop but I think the general sentiment from this camp is that there needs to be more time to evaluate alternatives to Kirkby ("fools rush in where angels fear to tread"), for the club to look at Bestways and to look at what may happen in terms of a possible future takeover .

The 'no' lot think Kirkby will kill us... a slow death, perhaps, where gates rise initially, but then fall off as the attraction of football in a relative backwater may not survive the hard times as well as a city centre club. They suggest that the deal proffered by Knowsley and Tesco does not add up, implying that Sir Terry is much more interested in the Tesco shareholder than he is in providing Everton with such a philanthropic gesture (is it really win-win-win?) as getting a stadium knocked up for us on the cheap. No voters will ask what Kirkby has got to offer ? "the place is a shithole after all" (like Walton or Everton isn't?); they remind us that it's not in Liverpool (so Stubbsy, Baines etc are wools eh?)... they even worry about where we are going to parade the next trophy (but, if we don't move there may not be a 'next trophy'...).

The 'no' vote even tells us that the chairman has 'form' when it comes to stadium deals and remind us that BK fucked up the Kings Dock; they also cite the incompetence of a CEO who admits to having 'no plan B'..

Well cards on the table... I have been swaying too and fro more than AvdM after a night out on the town... but I have eventually decided that a Yes vote is the best way (no pun intended). I have reservations, some deep ones, but GP is becoming more and more of a embarrassment year on year and, with transfer fees they way they are going, the club are going to need every little bit of extra cash they can muster in order to compete with the Joneses (or Shiniwatra's, Magnusson's or Lerner's).

I think that the Kirkby proposal has merit and is about as pragmatic an option as we are going to get at the moment. Like it or not (even if the figures have been sexed up a bit), Knowsley are offering what LCC can't and, with Tesco's involvement, we are certainly more assured of a professional (and cost controlled) execution of the project than if Everton were going it alone or in partnership with smaller entities. The very last thing that the club needs to be saddled with is a runaway project funded by a huge debt burden. Kirkby might be the last chance we get of a new stadium considering soaring land prices... in a couple of years time this site might have had a warehouse put on it and the whole relocation argument could deteriorate into whether or not to push the club further out into the wider Merseyside area (because its all they can afford) ... relocate to Dublin... or ground share with Marine ? then it really will be 'do or die'! At least we know that Kirkby will be regenerated and that the club will be a focal point to this; which should be seen as a very positive thing...

In saying all this, both 'yes' voters and 'no' voters should, even at this juncture, have a lot of questions; it seems to me that the club have attempted to railroad the general punter into a 'yes' vote ? playing on emotions such as fear or guilt rather than producing balanced literature explaining their reasons in depth and proving to all concerned that they have been open-minded in the process. Getting players on board and sending out a flashy brochure is not really fair game; rubbishing the often reasoned and rational arguments of the other side in the press is not really fair game either (it's their club too), particularly as the club tied themselves into an agreement that precluded the involvement of any other parties.

In fact, this whole charade has been awash with propaganda, mostly Keith Wyness's propaganda. I am sure that many would like to be assured of really careful consideration by the Board in this project ? the same board, presented with all the facts, might support the idea of Kirkby (now) but surely it is in the club's interests (if not their personal ones) to listen to alternatives and to give those alternatives some breathing space in which to be nurtured, rather than attempt to pull the carpet from beneath the 'no' camp's feet.

What is the point in rubbishing the Loop proposal at this early stage? We all know it will probably fall flat on its arse, but why disenfranchise your own supporters to make 'a point'... because, in the off-chance that it is feasible, deliverable and financable with the necessary 'enabling development', there might be a remote possibility that it could prove better (for the club) than Kirkby. These 'no' voters are the club's fans; they pay your wages just as much as any 'yes' voter does, and they deserve the chance to present a case!

The British public were sold a similar ocean of spin in the lead up to the Iraq war; guys like Robin Cook were trampled all over by similar tactics to those which the KW PR machine is employing to rubbish non-Kirkby options. What I am asking, in fact pleading for, is that the Board treat Evertonians as the intelligent, thoughtful individuals they (in general) are.. The club should be promoting Kirkby on its many virtues, offering detailed tangible evidence as to the positive effect that such a move would have on the club, by providing proper business analysis with forecasts and best/worse scenario's for the fans to base an educated decision.

I would also expect such evidence to be vetted by some impartial body because, much like an 'independent enquiry'; it would hold a lot more resonance with those in both camps and be a lot less divisive to the fanbase ? like having a mediator ? instead of just hearing from people with a vested interest all the time!

So far we have seen nothing from the club that really demonstrates how Everton will benefit in the long term or how painstaking the process of identifying Kirkby (as their only option) really was (ie, independent feasibility studies for alternative locations, discussions with business leaders, discussions with politicians etc) ? why hasn't this documentation been put in the public domain? Details have been, at best, imprecise and answers have only been provided on the clubs terms, save for an interview on Bluekipper (fair-play to MBE for getting that far) but was hardly Paxman-like in its incisiveness...

It seems that other genuine fears from supporters have been knocked back with complete incredulity or just disregarded entirely. The only noises from the club in respect of Kirkby, both official and leaked, have been positive ? Kirkby is great, really fantastic, etc!!! It's the same shit you get trained at PR school and I am pretty fucked off with it, largely because I think Kirkby should have enough legs to do its own running ? if it hasn't, we should panic !

The unwillingness of KW and the rest of the Board to even engage in meaningful dialogue with other parties holding an alternative viewpoint means that sections of the club's support will distrust them; like a whispering little gang in the playground, some people will jump to the conclusion that they must be up to no good. If the club had been open and transparent through the whole process (they tied their own hands instead), I believe the infighting between fans could have been largely avoided.

What supporters needed was a 100- / 200- / 300-page prospectus detailing the selection process and outcomes of investigations into the proposed site move (the most important decision in the club's history), assured that the club had covered every blade of grass in Merseyside before deciding on Knowsley. What they got instead was a 'move' or 'die' campaign.

I for one would have liked to see the real evidence (the real "Weapon of Mass Destruction") before all the bullshit rhetoric: 'no plan B'... 'Deal of the Century' ... 'win win win' stuff was excreted into the media. It's too late now anyway, the die has already been cast and I am resigned to the fact that, through our own making, Kirkby was probably the only REAL option all along...

Reader Comments

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Dave Moorcroft
1   Posted 18/08/2007 at 22:48:42

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Matt,You have just wrote the most fantastic article,You have read the minds of every no voter.I have said all along that this is the most important decision that Everton will ever make,So i cannot understand why the club had this exclusivity thing in the first place,No buisnessman shuts out all offers of investment or even dialogue which could lead to a better deal for himself or shareholders in this way and then tells the main backers(supporters)to vote yes to the option that is within the exclusivity period.(no plan B).I think regardless of the outcome of the vote we are going to Kirkby.This has been a PR disaster by the club.As you say they rubbish anyone and everyone who even talks about another option.I have said before on this site maybe Kirkby is the best option but i dont beleive we have even considered anywhere else nevermind studied any other site.They have succeeded in dividing our fantastic people like no other club could.Again great piece.
Jim Lloyd
2   Posted 19/08/2007 at 00:05:28

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Matt,

A really well written article. I notice you have decided to vote for Kirkby and have no problem whatsoever with your choice.
I voted no because of a lot reasons, primarilly because I fear what will happen to our club, if we move out of the city. I don?t believe Mr Kenwright is giving us the vote out of the goodness of his heart. I just think it is a way of him getting out of having to make a difficult decision.
Whatever happens, I just hope Everton Football Club survives and flourishes. I realy do have my doubts though and I don?t see why we cannot wait to see if Bestway can come upwith detailed proposals to put before us.. and then decide.
Stuart Duncan
3   Posted 19/08/2007 at 00:35:04

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The exclusivity period in a deal like this is typical. Tesco are most likely paying the fees for the feasibility study. If the deal goes ahead, then the fees will be paid by Tesco; If EFC pull out, then some or all the fees have to be paid by the Club. I read somewhere that if we pull out of Kirkby, it will cost EFC £0.5m.

Exclusivity gives the partner some security that you mean business. If you want to run 2 or three deals in parallel to see which is the best one, then you (i.e. EFC) have to stump up the cash yourself. (Say £500,000 per study).
Mike Hunt
4   Posted 19/08/2007 at 03:01:02

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Great article Matt, you’ve called it dead right I believe. I like the idea of a 100 page plus prospectus, perhaps then we could have had a more informed debate with much inflighting avoided. Really looking forward to this vote being out the way and hopefully all members of yes and no camps will re-unite and with 100% focus on backing the boys in the Royal Blue Jerseys....COYB!
Brian Finnigan
5   Posted 19/08/2007 at 07:09:46

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How people with reservations about Kirkby can vote yes is a mystery to me. How long do you think it will take for a yes-majority vote to be converted into a binding agreement from which Everton will only be able to extract themselves (if at all) by paying massive punitive damages to Tesco. What happens next if a yes-majority vote results from the ballot has been shrouded in secrecy. Why?

Our partners in this venture have a reputation of playing hard ball. Do you really think that they will allow Everton a lengthy period of navel-gazing or time to consider other options? A yes vote is an irrevocable decision on the electorates part to move to Kirkby. To dress it up as anything else is fraudulent.
Colin Potter
6   Posted 19/08/2007 at 08:56:16

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Very good reply Brian Finnigan.Stuart Duncan,surely it’s better to pay the 500k than see the ultimate demise of the club!
Neil Pearse
7   Posted 19/08/2007 at 10:16:41

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I do wonder how much experience of the business world many of you have here. Fortunately or unfortunately, I’ve been involved in consulting with global businesses on big decisions for the past twenty or so years.

I have news for you: even for organisations a lot bigger and wealthier than Everton, important decisions are usually not based on the kind of exhaustive analysis and weighing of options that you guys talk about. It’s too expensive, there’s usually not time - and, most importantly, most business people have learnt that exhaustive analysis is usually inconclusive (’you can prove anything with numbers’), and you end up going with your ’informed gut feelings’ anyhow.

That’s reality. The main reason being that, however much investigation and analysis you do, you still can’t predict the future and eliminate uncertainty.

There is also a very common tendency to make decisions based on people rather than plans - i.e. you bet on the management of the organisation you are taking over or you are partnering with.

By the standards of most big business decisions I’ve seen made, the information provided on Kirkby would easily pass muster to make such a choice.

And it would be considered completely rational to be powerfully swayed by having a partner such as Tesco, and a strong supporter such at Knowsley Council - and strongly preferring them over, for example, Bestway and the LCC.
Kevin Mitchell
8   Posted 19/08/2007 at 10:35:05

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Matt, I’m obviously missing something here. Your well written piece explains everything we need to know to vote no, yet you say vote yes to Kirkby. I don’t understand how you, or anybody else can vote yes with reservations about the move. I’m not sure if the bestway site would be the answer but I am 100% sure that Kirkby is not the answer.
Brian Finnigan
9   Posted 19/08/2007 at 10:45:53

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Neil Pearse....I couldn’t give a fig if you have more experience of the business world than many of us poor sods who oppose the Kirkby project. Some of us oppose it because (in our opinion) it is in the wrong place. As for the exhaustive analysis that you mention in your piece, who amongst the fans (the bloody infantry in all this) have had the luxury of being allowed the chance to make valid comparisons let alone detailed anlalyses of various alternatives.

The truth is that our own version of Pontius Pilate is trying to wash his hands of the decision making so that when the Kirkby dream turns into a nightmare he will convince himself that he is blameless (as usual). When I go to watch football, I do so as a lover of sport and my appreciation is not based on my business credentials. The fact that E.F.C. is more than just a business is the reason why Kirkby is not suitable for me (and thousands like me) though I imagine that it is an ideal location for Tesco (purely a business).

The fact that Everton are planning to build their new stadium in a place that better suits our business partner than ourselves is a measure of the weakness and desperation of our Board. Patience is a virtue. We have waited many years to decide about our new stadium and further time is needed now because Kirkby is the wrong location.
Neil Pearse
10   Posted 19/08/2007 at 11:40:55

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Brian - Like you, I certainly love Everton as a sport and not a business!

My major point is this: if we got ALL the analysis and data that you and others want, the overwhelming probability is still that you would vote NO (and I would vote YES).

Because - like most decisions in business and indeed life - they are primarily based on such things as personal values and predictions on overall probabilities. You believe that Kirkby is just the wrong location, and don’t much appreciate Tesco as a partner; and I differ from you on both these things. Not much data going to change that!

Personally, I think now is a fine time to take a decision on whether we move to Kirkby or not, and waiting months would make little difference. We all know the issues, and we have made up our minds. That’s the way decisions are usually made.
Bootle Blue
11   Posted 19/08/2007 at 11:37:32

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Matt,

Excellent article, although after reading it I wonder why you voted ’Yes’.

However, the onus has been on the club to make Kirby a rock solid case and I just don’t think they have done that - so I voted ’No’.

There is real benefit to be seen to be part of Liverpool (World heritage site etc.) and ok, the loop may not be a goer but until we see some plans we can’t make that judgement.

I don’t beleive that Wyness has, or is prepared to, investigate alternatives to Kirby. His ’no-plan-B’ smacks of desperation because, rather than produce the prospectus you mention, he has spun for Kirby and spun against alternatives.


If you all vote ’Yes’ and Bestway/LCC DOES come up with something; what do you think will happen? Do you think Wyness will ditch Kirby and work with others to keep EFC in the city?
Paddy Connors
12   Posted 19/08/2007 at 11:50:28

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Why does the club even need to ask the fans anything? Its a massive busienss with its own board of Directors who have invested major money to sit in the seats of power. Our only contribution is £3 for a pint of piss and for the real fans a season ticket. Its like regular cinema goers campaigning to take the Switch Island Odeon to Speke because you fele it should be there - where do you get all this "I buy my pop corn so Im important". The days of flat caps, whippet racing followed by a swift half of brown mix in the Harlech are over. Its 2007 and its big, corporate business. Buy your ticket and enjoy the ride!!!! The club knows that they have 40k+ people who are blinded by a religious like faith. They will get us to Kirkby and take more of our pound - thats their job.
Tony Marsh
13   Posted 19/08/2007 at 11:47:20

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There are many reasons for the NO voters to decide against moving to Kirkby. The best reason of all not to vote Yes is we dont know what we are voting for. The plans and the details of this move are so vague. Its a joke. I have yet to speak to or hear from any yes voter who can actually give me any real facts and figures or has any real idea who will give what to whom. How can you vote yes for something you know nothing about? Tescos and Knowsley council are involved and thats all we truely know about the deal. Is that enough information on which to base a move out of the city and in to eternal darkness? I dont think it is. Glossy floodlite pictures and Wyness double speak should not be enough for Evertonians to be conned in to this move. Vote NO then we can have look at other options. Tescos wont go anywhere as they need us to get thier foot in the door in Kirkby. Let them wait a while longer. You all know the saying:Fools rush in. Lets not be fools.
Neil Pearse
14   Posted 19/08/2007 at 12:46:40

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Even though I am a YES voter, I actually agree with Brian and Marc: voting YES is voting for Kirkby. BK and KW are clear in their minds that this is the best course for Everton, and that there aren’t any other viable options. If the vote goes YES, I would be amazed if all attention is not on making Kirkby happen.
Karl Masters
15   Posted 19/08/2007 at 13:31:03

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Neil Pearse: I don’t think that BK is as clear in his mind as you think. If he was he would have popped up a good few times in the media in the last few weeks telling us so. I am inclined to believe he is taking out ’ You voted for it,so you must have thought it was right too’ insurance for the future.

Having visited Reading yesterday, I can see arguments for and against an out of town Stadium. However, I cannot shake the belief that we are moving away from the action by going to Kirkby and ultimately we will regret that for reasons already stated hundreds of times on here. Nobody else has been daring/silly enough to do it apart from the Readings and Boltons of this world ( and the crowd at Reading was well down on last year’s against us even though we played last Saturday before Christmas then ) and no other big city club has or will even contemplate it.

Therefore, the Kirkby argument is not convincing enough and I have today posted a No vote after lots of thought. In some ways it saddens me, but it’s a short term fix and I just think we can do better.
Brian Finnigan
16   Posted 19/08/2007 at 13:15:47

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Neil...you say "we all know the issues" and my response to that is that we do not know the issues and that is the fault of the Board. For such a momentous decision, basic detail is missing from their prospectus. You also say "waiting months would make little difference"....I agree but in another context. Delay, on this occasion, is the minimum that is required if the split in the fan base has any hope of being repaired.

If a friend of mine was asking my opinion about a new-build house that he/she was intending to buy, I would be only too happy to help. I would expect my friend to be in possession of more than an artists impression of the house and a vague idea as to the cost.

In order for me to help my friend make a rational decision, I would point out that I needed more information. A description of the setting of the house in relation to neighbours (a plan view of the proposed estate) and details of whether the location of the new property ticks all the boxes for my friend and all the members of his/her family (in terms of amenities, transport issues, etc.). Similarly, I would ask if my friend had collected information on other potential properties/locations.

Should my friend say that the estate agent had advised that the property in question represented the "sale of the century" and had advised the need to move quickly as otherwise an opportunity would be lost, I would have to tell my friend to think again. If the estate agent offered a financial inducement to opt for the "sale of the century" house, this would make me suspicious. I might go as far as to say that if it were my new home I would be prepared to spend more time and, if necessary be prepared to spend more money, to obtain a property that would bring contentment to all the family.

Everton’s new stadium is just as important as a family home.....more so because it has a prospective lifespan of 100 years. The details required by a family before deciding on a house move are not really that different and I would be aghast if my friend went ahead with the purchase in a climate of ignorance and I would tell them so. My friend would not think ill of me for giving such advice and I certainly would not be castigated as some sort of killjoy and scaremonger. I am confident that my friend would be mature enough to at least listen to my concerns. Why cannot E.F.C. show similar wisdom and maturity?
Neil Pearse
17   Posted 19/08/2007 at 14:45:10

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Seriously, Brian, I do not think anything we could find out in the next, say, four months would change anybody’s minds. So we would just be delaying a decision which we need to take. We have actually be looking for a new ground since about the year 2000, since this can hardly be represented as some sort of ’panic move’.

I have to say, if I made decisions about where I lived on your advice, I might still be living in the same place as when I left home! But we may just be different about these things.
Brian Finnigan
18   Posted 19/08/2007 at 15:39:06

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Neil....I come from a big family and there are no tyrants in the house....hence my circumspection, consideration and caution when house hunting.
Brian Finnigan
19   Posted 19/08/2007 at 15:53:59

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Neil.....I forgot to say "caveat emptor."
John Charles
20   Posted 19/08/2007 at 17:05:24

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Tony Marsh: 500,000 sq ft of retail will fund the project. Tesco will pay Knowsley £50M which Knowsley will pay Barr Constuction to build the stadium shell. Tesco have used their buying power with Barr to negotiate this down from a standard price of £75M

Everton will pay fit-out costs which could range between £25M and £50M. This will be funded by the sale of Goodison Park, estimated at £10M-£15M and sponsorship estimated at £10M/£2M per season.

Any shortfall in fit-out costs not met by Goodison sale / sponsorship & naming rights will be funded by a secured loan of potentially £15M by the club. Repayments on this would be roughly £1M per season.

Once the whole development is finished, the worthless land will then have a value being in a new retail center of about £50m for a total stadium value of £150M. Final figures in such projects can never be given accurately as building materials, labor, energy and lots of other things are variable factors.

I think we have been given the facts. I would have voted No if there had been even rough facts on the Loop or Goodison, but there aren't any and I do not see how either could be even remotely close to Kirkby?s funding package ? which is what it's all about.
Rachael Esther
21   Posted 19/08/2007 at 16:52:52

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Mr.Pearse with your 20 years of global business experience you should then see straight through the utter flimsyness of the pro-Kirkby proposals being propagated by wyness as they have not been backed up by any concrete facts or figures.As for Mr.Kenwright his sudden disappearance at a time when the club is at a crossroads that could potentially sentence the club to years of debt ridden obscurity is nothing short of a dereliction of duty,he was asked a question recently about the ballot and replied "when is the ballot?" nuff said.As for making a decision on the future of Everton FC on a gut decision well i tend to think we require a bit more thought than that.DIAGNOSIS for gut problems try andrews Tesco sell it.
Barry Lightfoot
22   Posted 19/08/2007 at 18:45:59

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Don’t think it matters now anyway I should think most people have voted by now.
I still think if the vote is no then someone else will take over the club and just drive it through anyway as I don’t think we can go on losing money for much longer. Whoever lent the club this 18 million has surely done it on the strength of this deal going through.
Steve Williams
23   Posted 19/08/2007 at 19:05:39

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I have posted many times about the paucity of information at our disposal in order to make an informed decision on which way to vote.

As an Accountant, every day I deal with decision making on corporate finance issues. Every week my city-centre firm is commissioned to perform Due Diligence exercises by some of the largest banks, private equity houses and funders around. Whilst not dismissing Tesco as a major player (which clearly they are), many of our contacts are with organisations significantly bigger than them. So believe me, I know what I’m talking about.

Talking with those contacts over the last few weeks, many of whom are Evertonians, we always come back to the same point; how can we make an informed decision with so little information. The answer is simple; we can’t.

If I took the same level of superficial propaganda offered by the Board to those funders when trying to do a deal or offer them comfort of DD, then I would not even be able to drag them out of bed, never find to the negotiating table. They would laugh at me.

When I am formulating my thoughts on which way I should vote, I refuse to set aside this professional expertise and experience and vote with NO meaningful information.

The shame in all this is; if the right level of balanced information was provided by the Board, then we may vote YES anyway. However, in its absence there appears no alternative to voting NO. This should in no way close the Kirkby option but instead should be seen as a way of forcing the Board to open up and provide the information that we need.

Although I take the point that many of our Everton family have probably already voted blindly with no understanding of what the long term commercial consequences may be.
Richard Smith
24   Posted 19/08/2007 at 19:28:36

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One thing I wonder is why people think voting no means that we have an opportunity to consider all options as if they will still continue to exist.

In my view if the vote is no it is the end of the kirkby option. The board have been clear on this and it would be very unlikely that our potential partners would just wait while we came to a view.

So, in my view a vote no means that we do not move and have to find a plan b of some sort - and there is nothing on the table of any credibility with any finance behind it.

That would be very unwise and would leave us back at square one. And if we do that would we not be a tarnished potential partner; would you put your money behind an organisation that could not deliver the plans it had agreed with other previous partners.

If you trust LCC to find a viable alternative and to lump up the thick end of £100m vote no.

Otherwise a yes is the only sensible option.

Tom Hughes
25   Posted 19/08/2007 at 17:22:06

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JC says: "I think we have been given the I would have voted No if there had been even rough facts on the loop or goodison, but there arent any and I do not see even how either could be even remorely close to Kirkby?s funding package - which is that its allabout."

First of all, how could they be nearly as ready as The kirkby proposals in only a few weeks. Despite having had 18 months the Tesco figures are still not available. The ones you have given have already been disproven and were never intended as definitive in anycase. I used to work for Balfour Beatty, one of the biggest construction companies in the world. I can assure you we could give very close to final figures on even the most complex jobs. We had to, since the margins in construction are very tight. What we have seen with the stadium cost figures from the club has been nothing short of farcical. As far as not thinking the loop proposals could not be remotely close in terms of the financial package.... that is your opinion, but what are you basing it on? Firstly you cannot compare because you know the details of neither. Secondly you are totally dismissive of Bestway.... a private company who own a bank!? How many PLC’s have taken over a football club? How many private companies have? Personally I don’t believe finance is what it’s all about at all...... get your planning permission in place, and the finance will follow. Keith Wyness Knows it and so does Tesco...... that’s why this is being pushed through before Bestway even have a chance to put something together.... KW has invested his whole reputation in No plan B, and Tesco desperately want this location, hence the biggest hard-sell in our history.
Billy Bradshaw
26   Posted 19/08/2007 at 20:27:17

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Here here Tom Hughes.

You are the only person who seems to have any comon sense. For an organisation not explore other alternatives shows a lack of buisness sense. Bestway if we didnt already know are a very big and profitable organisation who are willing to do buisness yet the morons we have in power at EFC cant swallow a bit of pride and give them and LCC the oportunity to demonstrate what they are proposing. How the hell have we let BK and KW get to this stage the pair of them shoulkd have been challenged long before they have got us arguing amongst ourselves. Kirkby must be NO and hopefully BK and KW will have some appologiesing to do after slurring the names of Bestway and LCC openly in the press.
Paul Columb
27   Posted 19/08/2007 at 22:23:32

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Quick question...and sorry if it’s already been asked. Who is going to pay 15-20 million for an ~8 acre site in Walton and then assume the cost of deconstructing Goodison for whatever retail purpose. I’m sure the estimate of its worth is including the infrastructure (ie a stadium) which is of future use to whom??
Ian Macdonald
28   Posted 19/08/2007 at 22:09:40

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We all should respect Tom Hughes and the likes for their commitment to show a plan B. Many many hours were sacrificed working on his re-developement of Goodison. He should have been called into the club and his project discussed but no what happened. Our club rubbished his article publically and got their preferred architects to do it. Shameful.

There are many low tactics the hierachy have used in this PR war to get the Yes vote and still many of our fans trust this lot with our future. Have a word with yourselves for endorsing our custodians who hide behind Wyness. Where?s our chairmen giving his views on the most historic subject to Evertonians in a hundred yearts, a few lines in a pro-vote pamphlet. No leadership at all yet again when crucial. This move is a selfish one for them, the Arcadia group and Tesco?s.

The ERS will let fans witness the counting of the votes and the database supplied but the club won?t allow it ? why? Muliple voters and worse still no votes for fans who should have qualified. Matt, I value your opinion but still puzzled how you voted Yes after exploring in more dtail this proposed move than most. It looked likes you too have fell into the panic camp mate. Where are the facts to base your vote on from our buisness plans?

What next from our lovely hierarchy? The San Andrean fault-line has been found to run through directly under Goodison?The division of our fans is alarming to anyone with a customer-based buisness, but not Everton why? They even carted out Terry Leahy to get the heads turned in the biggest conflict of interest I have ever seen.

We will get the new ground we deserve, end of. The buck has been passed by our Chairmen in the bunker. If this deal was so good why then the vote? Ian
PS The vote was do you want to move to Kirkby why no other options? Oh I know, there are never going to be any other options to us again ever!!! Hand on heart do you really believe there is no other way out for Everton in the coming years. Because there is nothing else to sell or our custodians refuse to sell up or put their hands in their pockets for the very first time. We will not grow in Kirkby nor will we play Marine in a few seasons if we stay a bit longer. This move is for the hierarchy now ? not Evertonians long term.

John Charles
29   Posted 19/08/2007 at 23:36:57

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Tom Hughes:

so what exactly does Wyness have to gain by moving us ’cunningly’ to kirkby over liverpool?

also you say that goodison or loop finance was impossible to prepare in weeks. Thats the whole point, theyve had 5 years yet spring it on the eve of the vote.

I’ve got a lot of respect for you and I am sure your a talented guy, but where is the funding package for the loop or goodison?

As for bestway vs tesco. Tesco’s profit last year was more than Bestways whole turnover. But regardless im sure they are a very good company.

It really doesnt matter to me who the development partner is.. and like ive said, id love to go the loop over kirkby, but i wont vote no on the basis of such vagueness. me personally like. 5 years theyve had.
Stephen Ryan
30   Posted 19/08/2007 at 23:46:25

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Matt,you accurately highlight the many pitfalls of the Kirkby option but are still prepared to vote yes...I despair!!!!!! Vote NO to Kirkby and let’s await the financial plan and more detailed stadium sketches for the Bestway option
Tom Hughes
31   Posted 20/08/2007 at 10:29:19

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John Charles: Wyness is in danger of losing his whole reputation (and job) if the Kirkby plan flops. I’d say that’s quite a lot to lose wouldn’t you? That alone has generated the propaganda fest to date. Regardless of Tesco’s wealth compared to that of Bestway, it is of little relevance here. If it were, then why can’t they pay for the whole development.....? This is after all only very small change to their orginisation, how much of that wealth is really available to EFC. They can’t because they are a PLC, which has to justify its investments to shareholders. They can dress it up to release funds to minimise costs for EFC, but without their shareholders they cannot directly pay our way. Bestway on the otherhand, as a private company can do whatever they want. If sufficient enabling funds can be released, and they feel their investment will be beneficial to them then they will do it, and will not be beholden to anyone. They have done their initial sums, as have the city planners.... and they think it’s a goer. Similarly, with the redevelopment of GP. There is scope for a development partner to generate sufficient finance to completely remodel the parkend and bring it’s capacity upto that of the Kirkby proposals. City planners and Trevor Skempton are adamant about this, and if the Bestway opportunity hadn’t turned up a full business plan for that whole process would probably be in place now. Further relatively small investment by the club could minimise obstructed views on the other 3 sides, and increase executive provision. To probably produce the most historic football venue in the world. The overall costs to the club would be less than that of Kirkby which are a minimum of £35m according to Prof. Tom Canon, perhaps as high as £100m if you look at other independent studies.

Finally, I don’t know where you get "5 years" from. Bestway have only recently been approached (the last few weeks). This was prompted by an Evertonian’s ideas regarding their site. Trevor Skempton put together a list of potential sites, and put them to the club. He was fobbed off with no real explanation, why? So I’m not sure where your 5 years come from. If you are inferring LCC’s lack of involvement, I would firstly say that they are not really obliged to do the club’s work for them, especially as they have been overseeing the biggest city-centre development in Europe during that period. Secondly I wouldn’t really blame them if they hadn’t been involved given the club’s record with the King’s Dock debacle..... our club was probably thought off as a basket case to be left well alone after dropping that absolute gift from LCC.
Matt Geraghty
32   Posted 20/08/2007 at 12:07:57

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I’ve read the pro’s and the con’s for the Kirkby project umpteen times and for me it boils down to x number of points.

Goodison is a dump - We’ve got no money upgrade it.

We need a new stadium - But we’ve go no money to build one.

We need a big plot of land in the middle of town - But we’ve got no money to buy it.

As far as I can see, the YES voters don’t desire Kirkby, but they are pragmatic enough to see that there are NO OTHER ALTERNATIVES!
Roy P Warne
33   Posted 20/08/2007 at 13:07:55

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John Charles - the biggest load of nonsense I have read on this entire issue is the statement from the club/Tesco you have quoted that Tesco have negotiated with their contractors, Barr Construction, to drop the price from £75m to £50m. That would mean that Barr Construction operate at +50% profit margins. COMPLETE NONSENSE. Large contractors operate at less than 10% profit, usually around 5%. The construction of a stadium is dominated by steel costs, specialist sub-contractor costs, etc. Are these suppliers going to slash a 3rd off their costs as well? They must think we were born yesterday to believe this...
Dave Moorcroft
34   Posted 21/08/2007 at 02:53:06

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As i said on another link on this site,The club and tescos seem to be sayin to us they can do this new stadium for next to nothing.It sounds like (HEYSEL REVISITED, CHEAP MATERIALS)Knowsley council has a history for expensive mistakes,(SKI SLOPE)And other big mistakes.

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