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What now for KEIOC?

By Charlie Skinley :  27/08/2007 :  Comments (8) :
The last couple of months have been quite traumatic for us Evertonians. Not because of the usual and expected inactivity in the transfer market or the lack of some billionaire investor but because of the........ dare I say it 'stadium debate'.

What started out as a healthy and passionate debate amongst us blues graduated into a fierce, personalised and at times aggressive experience. Civil war not quite, but an intense exchange none the less. With the final result now in and having time to gauge fellow supporters views it has led me to question the future direction of KEIOC.

I admit I have not been one of KEIOC's biggest fans as I have witnessed first hand the intimidating tactics they have at times adopted. However I acknowledge that they are a group of dedicated blues who have put in a lot of time, effort and money into what they believe is in the best interests of our beloved club. Many of the No voters now, despite their disappointment, appear to be saying they will reluctantly unite behind the Kirkby move, so where does this leave KEIOC. I have come to three simplistic options:

Option 1 - KEIOC say 'the majority have spoken' and disband

Option 2 - KEIOC feel as 41% voted No they continue exploring options within LCC boundaries

Option 3 - KEIOC take a more aggressive stance and try to sabotage the Kirkby project

Option 1
In the past the Goodison for Ever-ton (GFE) campaign met an overwhelming majority in favour for moving away from Goodison Park, in both Peter Johnson's proposals and the ill-fated Kings Dock debacle. As a result, GFE faded very quickly, but will that happen to KEIOC? I think not. Why? two reasons: one being they are better organised than GFE; and two, the ballot result this time was closer. So I feel KEIOC will continue to exist and will continue to have a following, even though probably somewhat reduced since the ballot result.

Option 2
If, as I suspect, KEIOC stay around then their priority is to continue their search of finding both a viable and deliverable (I know, horrible words) option within the LCC boundary. Whatever your views on KEIOC, these guys have given Liverpool City Council a huge kick up the arse, too little too late maybe, but a kicking certainly. Unfortunately the re-development of Goodison and the Bestway Loop looked and still feel like a desperate an unrealistic effort by KEIOC and LCC to prevent a Yes vote, so other options need to be identified and identified quickly.

Option 3
KEIOC decide the failure to convince fans there is a Plan B and decide to actively get involved in protest marches etc, in effect attempt to sabotage Kirkby by joining forces with the Kirkby Residents Action Group. They also plan demonstrations at matches and continue to distance itself from the verbal insults at those who support the move and club officials.

As previously stated, I feel that KEIOC will not adopt Option 1 and in all fairness, due to the lack of a overwhelming Yes majority, I would understand their decision to continue. So that leaves Option 2 or Option 3 ? let?s start with the option that scares me most: Option 3.

Why does Option 3 scare me? ? simply because that?s the option that could lead the club to the brink of civil war. KEIOC started out stating they want to prove there are viable alternatives to Kirkby, I don't mean this as a criticism but the Yes result proves they didn't succeed. Any attempts to purely sabotage Kirkby for me would mean they are putting two fingers up to the majority of supporters who voted Yes, a 'take my ball home' reaction to not getting their own way.

This would then surely provoke a reaction from the Yes voters and the in-fighting on ToffeeWeb and other forums starts all again. The Editor of ToffeeWeb (Michael) has made what must be a difficult decision over the last couple of days in an attempt to stop supporters tearing each other apart and I applaud him for that. I just hope KEIOC don't go down what I feel would be a destructive route. Plus, as a Kirkby resident the debate as now moved on ? it's the turn of the people of Kirkby to express their views without the biased influence of a group that doesn't have Kirkby's best interests at heart. I feel also that if KEIOC was to get involved it could even have the opposite effect.

So that leaves me with Options 2; I hope that this is the route KEIOC take. Not only does it mean they continue with their original objective of looking for a site within Liverpool but it also shows respect to ALL Everton supporters ? Yes and No voters alike. We must remember nothing has been signed and Kirkby is not yet a done deal (despite what some people say) ? we?ve just witnessed over the Fernandes signing Everton have a habit of failing to deliver at the last hurdle. So if there is a genuine site which can deliver a similar financial package then KEIOC probably only have a couple of weeks before a planning application is submitted.

After the result was announced, KEIOC called for all supporters to unite behind the team and I commend them for that; however, I feel KEIOC's next step could have a huge influence on how long that unity lasts.

Reader Comments

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Danny Mullally
1   Posted 28/08/2007 at 09:30:59

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KEIOC have done a sterling job in most instances on attempting to keep Everton in the city. As a "no" voter I for one will still be very interested in what they have to say. The result o the ballot only means that everton have enough of a majority to proceed with the vital "detailed" discussions with Tesco and Knowsley. As we know the Everton board do not cover themselves in glory when it comes to these type of discussions and I only hope they stay true to form for the sake of the future of our fanbase.
If we move to Kirkby I will still follow the blues out in the sticks, but I doubt future generations will. But hey there is my own opinion creeping again there.
Back to subject I think that the KEIOC action group must have taken a big positive from the result of the ballot vote, namly the number of us who voted against the proposal, and if they refine some of the rough edges about their approach to the debate I think that they will still have a pretty big role to play before this move is concluded.
2   Posted 28/08/2007 at 13:11:41

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Danny, although I was a yes voter I aggree, whether its Goodison, Speak or Kirkby I’ll follow the boys. Although I still doubt it would affect future generations as I support the blues cos of my dad not cos of were it is - but hey, lets not start that debate off again mate! ha
Billy Bradshaw
3   Posted 28/08/2007 at 15:05:34

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To all Evertonians young and old KEIOC will not be dispanding, infact KEIOC is getting bigger and stronger Charlie.
If you believe in something so strongly you will put up a fight, and yes it easy to for the group to disapear, but the support and encouragement they have recieved since the vote has been overwhelming.
So watch this space Charlie boy, as you rightly say EFC have a knack of fucking things up and cant wait to see Wyness and co grovelling to see the bestway proposal.
4   Posted 28/08/2007 at 21:29:54

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5   Posted 28/08/2007 at 21:53:12

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Sorry Charlie, forgot to mention, one other thing, you say the vote was a overwhelming yes. Nearly 11,000 fans didnt vote, why do you think that was ?
So out of 38,000 people elgible to vote (evertons figures)10,000 against and 15,000 for were have the other 2,000 votes disapeared too. Something isnt right Charles ?
6   Posted 29/08/2007 at 09:51:46

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I actually said in the lack of an overwhelming Yes, so maybe you should re-read what I said
7   Posted 29/08/2007 at 11:54:44

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k.e.i.o.c is getting stronger closed count no third parties present but still leaked out to sky on thursday before everton released result FULL SUPPORT FOR K.E.I.O.C WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED
Gerard Madden
8   Posted 29/08/2007 at 12:45:37

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I think they’ll continue but the ’no’ voters are split themselves now between those who accept the result and move on - I’ve met a few of these, and those that want to ’battle on’ - I’ve met one or two of these plus they can’t hide from the fact only a quarter of blues were bothered enough to vote ’no’.

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