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An Open Letter To Sir Terry Leahy

By Nick Klaassen :  23/08/2007 :  Comments (33) :

Note: This letter was sent to Sir Leahy on 23rd August and a request for its publication was made to Bluekipper the following day. To our knowledge it wasn't posted on that site, but given its high standard and measured tone we felt it deserved to be read, hence its airing on ToffeeWeb, albeit a week late.


Dear Sir Terry,

Today is the final day of the momentous vote to decide where the next chapters of Everton FC?s illustrious history will be written. Your open letter to Evertonians was one of the most compelling I have read on the thorny issue of the proposed ground move, but many questions still remain unanswered. I thought about approaching you at the Crystal Palace pre-season friendly when I saw you leaving with (I presume) your two sons, but I think it better to respond to your open letter with one of my own.

Like you, I have been an Everton fan all my life. Like you, I was first taken to Goodison in the 1960s, when my dad would leave our shop on Ince Avenue, Anfield and take me across the cemetery to the place that holds so many great memories and such history. Also like you I have lived and worked away from my home town for many years, and throughout those years in Southport, London, France, Germany, Edinburgh and Dublin, before moving again to England?s South-East, I maintained my season-ticket and ?lifeline? to Everton in the town where I was born (to quote a line from some of the city?s most famous sons).

But it is not simple nostalgia that made me vote against the move to Kirkby. Indeed, I voted in favour of the King?s Dock stadium along with 86% of those polled, (even becoming so enthusiastic as to submit my suggestion for the new venue?s name...how naïve I was!) and remain convinced that the future lies away from Goodison Park.

Equally, I accept your financial arguments for the merits of the Kirkby scheme; certainly you state your case more clearly and coherently than the club has done. However, I wish to make a few points and raise a few questions of my own.

First of all I have to say I am saddened by the club?s disingenuous attempts to imply that anyone voting against the Kirkby move is somehow conspiring to see the club left behind. It was equally unimpressive that your own organisation had to make a public statement contradicting the Everton CEO?s claims that there was to be a direct financial contribution by Tesco to the stadium costs. Any intelligent observer must realise that your principal concern (notwithstanding your lifelong love of Everton) must be for your shareholders? returns and you make the ?win-win-win? argument for Knowsley, Tesco and Everton very persuasively.

Nevertheless, my concern remains that Everton?s position in the proposed new development would be as a mere ?bit part? player. Indeed, word from the club suggests a dwindling amount of parking spaces within the proposed retail landscape, prompting fears that it will be akin to Bolton?s dreadful Reebok ?experience? or Middlesbrough?s ?popular and well-positioned? Riverside.

To my mind Everton?s business strategy is unquestionably a ?me too? model; chasing the corporate hospitality dream whilst engaging in savage cost-cutting. Virtually all the club?s real estate has been sold off, whilst out-sourcing has been the panacea for addressing most of the other corporate challenges. Whilst I can appreciate the lure of JJB Sports?s advance cheque, for example, can anyone show me any evidence of a higher profile for Everton, either in Liverpool itself, or anywhere else? I listened intently to a presentation by Everton?s catering partners but after six or seven abortive attempts at trying them out for myself last season I have now given up the dubious delights of boosting club coffers through consumerism.

But business success is also about growth, as you know better than most. Yet Everton?s efforts here remain substandard given my sorry experience in trying to treat my oldest two children and a couple of friends to the Marquee hospitality at a League Cup tie last season. Equally depressing was the tawdry recent letter to my 15-year old son about loyalty points for his credit/debit card expenditure. And as for the shameful ?chest beating? when club turnover (boosted by the Rooney sale!) meant ?we have broken into the top twenty most profitable clubs worldwide?, well, the less said, the better. Now the club proposes to ?reward? what has been recognised as the Premier League?s most localised, most public transport-reliant support with a move away from the city?s heart, to an area with vastly inferior transport infrastructure.

As with any organisation, the problem is often a lack of ?joined-up? thinking. Well-intentioned initiatives can often have unintended consequences. Clearly the club wishes to expand its corporate hospitality and business seminar revenues, yet is it realistic to expect this hitherto latent demand to suddenly spring up in Kirkby, rather than closer to the business districts of the city?

No doubt Everton?s business leaders have considered this, and probably plan to offset any potential shortfall in corporate revenues with those from hosting concerts. My question, though: Why would major promoters choose a stadium in Kirkby when there will be a much bigger one available in Stanley Park; closer to the city?s transport links and its hotels? Of course, this too, will have figured in the business planning, and it may be that our target market is those bands with a lower profile?unless, of course, they plan to play the King?s Dock?!

Self-evidently the club lacks ?first mover? or ?product excellence? advantage as a foundation for its strategic planning, although David Moyes?s excellent endeavours still give me cause for optimism. Indeed his steady upgrading of personnel and his dedication to coaching and fitness excellence demonstrate commendable focus and purpose. However, ?Everton in the Community? is a shining beacon in what the club does, and even a cursory glance at the Premiership?s top ten youngest goal scorers appears to illustrate another key strength.

One of the reasons that Mr Moyes?s ?People?s club? reference reverberated so strongly within the fan-base was because it connected club and supporter, implicitly acknowledging the symbiotic relationship.

Contrast this with the heavy-handedness of ?Don?t let Everton get left behind?? and the blatant rubbishing of the KEIOC group (concerned supporters voluntarily giving their time with no financial gain or incentive riding on the vote?s outcome) and the recent ?Loop? proposals, whether directly or indirectly, and you begin to comprehend the depth of the schisms which have emerged.

Of course it is right to cite the financial imperatives and to urge that we vote with heads not hearts, but even the best businesses will struggle in the wrong location. As you know better than most, it is essential to give your customers a positive experience and to make it easy for them to get what they want at affordable cost.

Yet, if you were to ask fans which of the newly developed stadia they prefer, what would they say? For me it would be Arsenal?s Emirates stadium and Southampton?s ground at St Mary?s. Part of the reason is that both are very close to the site of their predecessors, with the resultant familiarity and support infrastructure part of the experience. Contrast that with Reading, Derby and the afore-mentioned Middlesbrough and Bolton, and the problems of ?transplanting? football grounds become painfully apparent.

In a recent Sky Sports survey of the away fan experience, Everton was second only to Newcastle in terms of how enjoyable was the whole trip. Since Goodison, particularly the Bullens Road side, is clearly cramped, dilapidated and out-dated, and nobody can enjoy that lung-bursting climb to the pinnacles of St James? Park, there are clearly factors at play other than the mere bricks and mortar. Whilst in the Premiership era away fans are a mere token of the game?s traditional spirit of rivalry and competition (and interestingly, amongst Everton?s ?core? away following the no-voters are an overwhelming majority) football clubs would do well to heed the views of those fans who are likely to be there in the bad times when football?s current cycle of popularity hits a downturn.

Then again, that pre-supposes that the clubs? decision-makers really care about how tortuous the journey to/from the ground may be, or how well-served the area is with transport links, pubs and places to eat. Of course, if the hidden agenda is to force people to congregate and eat and drink at the stadium as a ?Hobson?s choice? then the remote retail site may have its (financial) merits. Leaving aside the (admittedly huge) construction costs though, how can an out-of-town stadium compare with the likely future revenue generation of a more centrally-located arena?

Where will Mr Wyness find his free-spending corporate box-holders? What is the projected demand for meeting rooms during the week in Kirkby? What impact will the extra journey time to and from Kirkby have on the supporters who come to Liverpool for the week-end, let alone for the rest of us who attend all the matches? You mentioned that Tesco looked at over 30 sites, but did not specify in what context these were screened. Were they all for this joint venture with Everton? Mr Wyness went on record to state that Everton looked at ?over 16 sites?, whatever that means. Many of us would like to know more detail regarding where and when.

Similarly, we have been presented with various financial assumptions on behalf of Everton?s Board, many of which appear ill-founded. In particular, the likelihood of raising £50m from the sale of Goodison and new stadium naming rights seems highly optimistic. The CEO has been quick to dismiss Liverpool City Council?s recent statement about the Bestway site, highlighting the potential planning issues and citing inadequacies in the transport infrastructure around Scotland Road (one of the inner city?s main arteries!) whilst avoiding the very real probability that similar delays may yet occur with respect to Kirkby.

From my simple layman?s perspective, Kirkby would not appear to have anything remotely like the necessary infrastructure to cope with the constant influx to one of Europe?s biggest supermarkets, still less to accommodate the doubling of the town?s population whenever Everton play.

Personally, I also have major doubts over the ?Loop? site, but cannot believe that in a city with so much urban decay something closer to your own company?s Great Homer Street project cannot be made available. Mr Wyness asks why the Bestway site should only now emerge as an alternative to Kirkby, but did not Everton and Tesco announce a moratorium in which to study the joint venture with Knowsley council in confidence? Moreover, surely any leading businessman would accept that the property market is a fluid one, with opportunities coming and going all the time?

Sadly it sums up the way in which we Evertonians have been treated during this process. I think Mr Wyness severely underestimates both the passion and the intellect of the fan-base. Perhaps he just fails to appreciate the peculiar mix of affability, cynicism, passion, militancy and creativity that is so evident in the city where we, and Everton, were born.

Sadly, I think a narrow vote will go in favour of this move. I am not among those who will refuse to go; I will always follow my team. Nevertheless, for reasons beyond the simply emotional it will be with a heavy heart. I hope that your acumen and city ?roots? will be brought to bear to ensure that my fears for the future are not realised. Unfortunately I think that the combination of the lack of a clearly-defined strategic blueprint and a woeful misunderstanding of what goes to make up a huge traditional core element of our support will prove to be a major error of judgement in the long-term.

Mr Leahy, you said yourself in your open letter that ?I may not always like it, but I?ve learned to trust the people closest to issues to make the best judgement.? Let?s hope that those Evertonians who live in Kirkby yet deem it an inadequate, unattractive site for our club are wrong. As my good friend Paul Wharton (himself from Kirkby) quipped: ?They promised us a penthouse on the waterfront, now we?re getting a council house in Kirkby.?

Please prove us wrong. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Klaassen

Reader Comments

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Paulo Bassett
1   Posted 30/08/2007 at 13:20:04

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What a brilliant letter. Excellently written and without the venom of so many posts.

It highlights the concerns of all Evertonians even those who voted yes!

Fair play Nick.
Brian Denton
2   Posted 30/08/2007 at 13:32:57

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One of the most compelling articles I’ve ever read on Toffeeweb. Unfortunately I suspect its intended reader will never read it. I voted no, but I do not feel any venom toward those who voted the other way. Kirkby will not be the death of our club, but I do believe it will be a move we come to regret within a very few years.
Andy Drake
3   Posted 30/08/2007 at 13:51:21

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Superb assessment of all the issues around the lack of ?joined up? strategic thinking, the benefits of a new site being in a city that is in revival mode and a very eloquent summary of everything that makes up being an Evertonian.

My major concern is that this particular bus is clearly being driven by Tesco (even with a glass is half full that TL genuinely wants to help Everton too!) and so the only about-turn I see is if Tesco are given a real incentive to find a site within the city. Without them, there is clearly no serious funding on the table.

I think the article merits wider publication so that some of the key issues raised are at the very least in the public domain.
Pete Corcoran
4   Posted 30/08/2007 at 13:53:34

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Am I missing something or has the result of the vote already been announced? Isn?t this letter a week too late? Maybe if you and others had voted on time the result may have been different.

Having said that, it is good to see a letter that raises all of the points that concerned me and probably every other fan. Just because we?ve voted Yes to Kirkby does not mean it is a going to happen. If we continue to properly consider viable opportunities (not "the Loop", which is just a non-starter) then we may get what we all deserve - a wonderful stadium in our city.
Terry O'Brien
5   Posted 30/08/2007 at 14:15:42

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Nic,a brilliant well thought out letter and to be honest I do believe that Sir Terry will read it.
As for me I to have followed our club home and away since my first game back in 1964. I grew up in Anfield, indeed I went to Anfield Road School. However taking the emotion out of all this the economics speak very loud and very clear. Prof Tom Cannon spelt out the facts a few weeks ago. The Kirkby Stadium is the best viable, financial model for Everton Football Club. I do trust Sir Terry and uncle Bill to do what is best for our great clubs future. We all have to now push on and move forward together. Oh and do say hello to Mr Wharton for me! He may have been dragged up in Kirkby but he now resides in Wigan... his journey to the new stadium will be much quicker.
Matt Willey
6   Posted 30/08/2007 at 14:03:46

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Nick, well done for expressing your concern so coherently; I would love to hear a response from the man himself. I respect Sir Terry, the man invariably speaks sense and generally does it with tact and decorum. Tesco itself gets a fair amount of flak but I have always thought that Sir Terry has defended it and its motives admirably. Basically I have nothing at all against the guy and would be delighted to hear him speak candidly on this subject.

However, it does seem increasingly evident that Everton are deal-maker or breaker in this massive retail development... no Everton, no Supermarket, presumably no new jobs in Knowlsley... there is a lot at stake here for everyone.

Should this concern Everton as a business or even Everton’s fans ... well no, I can’t see how it should concern them. We are told that Everton have looked at other sites, we are told that Tesco have too... Are these the same sites with the same people doing the case studies? Have Everton done anything independently here?

Are Everton restricicted in some manner as to only be able to broker a deal with Tesco (and Knowsley)... ?

Before the famous ’exclusivity period’ did Everton approach any other leading retailer (note that Division 2’s MK Don’s new 30000 seater was ’facilitated’ with the aid of Asda and Ikea). It is said that the club can only move with the help of an ’enabling development’ and I think a lot of fans would be interested to hear just how many potential ’enablers’ were approached... perhaps this is ’too commercially sensitive’ to be disclosed but some details surely should be forthcoming as there is potential for a conflict of interest otherwise... we have not heard anything substantial from the club yet.

From it’s inception was this project always just a ’one horse race’? with Everton having to move to exactly where Tesco tells them to move to?

Ryan Crest
7   Posted 30/08/2007 at 14:20:25

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What a pointless exercise. Although I admire the way you skilfully leave a foot in both camps.

If Kirkby goes tits up you can always smugly grin: "I told you so."

If it?s a roaring success you?re covered by the line: "I hope that... my fears for the future are not realised."

What a load of lily-livered, wishy-washy nonsense. And a week late into the bargain.

[This was sent to Sir Terry on 23rd August, see Ed note above — Ed]
Louis Huglin
8   Posted 30/08/2007 at 14:34:48

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Nick, that is a fantastic letter, one which I hope is read by the intended recipient, but also one that is hugely informative to the rest of us. Everton football club must improve Goodison or move, but you are correct, the Kirkby plan as it stands is a disgrace to the heritage of our club. We’ve all got to keep voicing our concerns in whatever way we can as most of us, like myself, did not get a chance to vote on the matter (can I as a student afford a season ticket and thus the right to vote? Course not!)

It was great to see your name on Toffeeweb too, Nick, I haven’t seen you since the West Ham game last november when I got you a parking ticket! Hope you’re well mate.
chris roberts
9   Posted 30/08/2007 at 14:43:13

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Um yeah a week late, nothing new and I’d love to know where the evidence of no voters amongst fans following EFC away came from. Or for that matter Sky survey. I thought it was the Observer review piece of extremely dubious value but hey ho...



*moves on*
Matt Willey
10   Posted 30/08/2007 at 14:54:35

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Ryan Crest, get your head out of your arse... are you Keith Wyness in disguise... the club has won a ’mandate’ to move forward in discussions with Tesco and Knowsley... this should not preclude them speaking to anyone else... or perhaps it does do exactly that... perhaps they have never explored any other options properly at all in which case this whole exersise was a fucking stitch up ! We are just asking for more information about the entire fact-finding process that the club has put into motion here... given a choice of move or die ... 40% still chose die ! Why is this ? Perhaps not all fans are as naive as you (or me) mate.
Blue Robbo
11   Posted 30/08/2007 at 14:45:25

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What does not add up for me about Kirkby at this stage are the proposed transport facilities (or lack of them).

The CEO has placed great emphasis on the increased catchment area provided by Kirkby - @1.4m punters within 45 minutes of the new ground. Given Kirkby’s current transport links, the vast majority of those would expect to get there by car. Even if the road links to Kirkby are improved, to make the journey to and from the ground easier, we are told that there are to be only 1,000 parking spaces to be set aside by Tesco from their proposed 3,500 spaces for supporter use on match days. Even if every car was to carry 5 supporters (unlikely), this still only adds up to parking for 5,000. In the unlikely event that all the 3,500 Tesco spaces were taken up by supporters on match days, which is unlikely, this would still only cater for 17,500 maximum, in practice much less.

Assuming say 5,000 seats are set aside for visiting supporters, the majority of whom would arrive by coach, this still leaves @ 27,000 fans having to do the round trip on foot (if they live local to Kirkby) or by public transport.

Unless the rail links are improved, including a new high-speed tram link from the city centre to Kirkby, and in particular additional match-day buses/coaches are laid on, the whole venture could prove a massive travelling turn-off for most fans. You can see the new ground’s name now - The M57 Turnoff!

I hope I’m wrong, but the transport maths seem to add up to chaos and may well result in the new ground very rarely being at full capacity. Now what was the reason for moving again?

Tony Mac
12   Posted 30/08/2007 at 14:14:13

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This letter should be given the same front page coverage in the Liverpool Echo, as Sir Terrys letter was a few weeks ago. Excellent letter, I hope he also forwarded a copy to messrs Kenwright, Whyness, and Moyes. Don’t hold your breath for a reply though.
Kevin Sparke
13   Posted 30/08/2007 at 16:06:16

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Excellent letter Nick, and one which echoes many peoples fears re wrong location, marginalisation and questionable infrastructure re transport (public and private).

I’ve been to both the Reebock and Riverside... like watching the match at your Grandma’s wake and getting away from the Reebock... well, you’d be better off on a skateboard than in a car.

Take no notice to some of these the knockers on here lad... methinks either their consciences are playing up or they’re unable to appreciate posts containing words of more than one syllable.
ryan crest
14   Posted 30/08/2007 at 16:08:14

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Matt Willey - At last! The penny has finally dropped.

From the minute Tesco decided on Kirkby there was only going to be one outcome.

Please stop wasting everybody’s time with pointless navel gazing. We’re going to Kirkby. We were always going to Kirkby. Get over it.
middleastblue
15   Posted 30/08/2007 at 15:55:06

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Well written Nick although I was a bit confused by the timing of the script.

Anyway, I am a NO voter with my reasons being solely on a move out of the City being in the long term, a disaster for our great club; but it won’t matter to BK & KW as Sir Terry will have bought them two Dickheads out by then anyway.

I just cannot see how a move to Kirby can work financially or logistically in the long run.

Out of all this voting nonsense there is one area that eats away at me and still gives me sleepless nights; WHO THE FUCK DOESN’T VOTE when the opportunity was handed to them? The 10,000 plant-pots who never voted amaze me; regardless if the vote even gets acknowledged by EFC when you have a chance to put something so important across (Yes or No) please take it.
If you can’t read or write or understand the questions in future life gets someone to help you out!

Really pissed of Blue!
Mike Homfray
16   Posted 30/08/2007 at 16:26:31

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But the vote has happened, and it really wasn’t narrow - 60-40 is convincing enough.

I think its time to look forward not backwards. If there’s something better on offer, well, there has been no indication of its existence, and this would be the opportune time to reveal an alternative.

I also think that Goodison isn’t exactly ideal transport-wise. No local train station, few cross-town buses....and I reckon many supporters either get lifts to the game, or use taxis, unless they live nearby
Blue Peter
17   Posted 30/08/2007 at 16:02:13

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Nick. Terry Leahy is one of the shrewdest and most successful businessmen in the country, an Evertonian and a fellow scouser. The much needed and talked about support and investment which this club needs - he is providing in kind - he doesn’t have to - but you and the other doubters and "heavy heart" brigade continue to look a gift horse in the mouth and act like you’re being robbed. You parade your unsupportive views on all the web sites - and this one in particular has lost its sense of balance for this issue. As for the formulaic and badly chosen metaphor at the end about council houses - puerile and meaningless rhetoric. Geographically Kirkby is ideal as a football, conference and concert venue because of its proximity to the motorway network. That’s today’s reality. Some may long for the days when everyone (inc my grandfather) walked to the ground with their flat cap on, had a pie and came home after the game with change out of sixpence, but those days have gone! The old business model of owning your own ground and relying on gate receipts are also long gone - at least 40 years gone if I’m not mistaken. Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Everton’s success in the 60s financed by the Moores family? Everton’s recent financial history surely indicates that its business model was not working. These very clever and competent people (Moyes, Wyness and Leahy) are building a club with a sporting and business model which will work and be sustainable, and I for one have faith in them.
Strewth
18   Posted 30/08/2007 at 17:13:30

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If Terry Leahy were ever to reply my guess is that on many things you raise he would suggest you have approached the wrong business’s complaints department.
But it would certainly be interesting to see how he might respond to the various assertions you make. One such, the sourcing of free-spending corporate box-holders may provoke the thought that chance would be a fine thing, as would having somewhere to park the limo.
Maybe he would not feel too concerned about backing his track record and reputation as CEO of one of the UK’s leading businesses with access to the all researches by his company about this development against your simple layman?s perspective in determining whether Kirkby could cope with the constant influx to one of Europe?s biggest supermarkets and demands from Everton’s home games.
He might also feel a bit confused by you purporting to represent customer experience - the it may be scruffy but we all love it whilst in same breath talking of the need to move - but just not to Kirkby.
He might also readily dismiss your portrayal of us as so many dorks seemingly incapable of changing our travel patterns, or may even be astonsihed by the assertion that its the majority of we travelling support who might have greatest difficulty or resistance to doing so.
Perhaps too he might wonder, shaking his head, at his supposed myopia to alternatives, as implied in your letter, when he has been involved in considering with the Board other possible sites that might suit all the parties to such a major investment. Or indeed that any other commercial undertaking worth its salt might not insist on an exclusivity period as it expends serious time, effort and resource into researching an option in which they are to invest heavily.
Perhaps too he might feel insulted by another suggestion implied in your letter that he couldn’t justify to his Board and shareholders the proposal that Tesco make such a sizeable contribution to building a stadium as part of the supermarket development or that he was recommending they do so with unsuitable or incapable partners .
In fact, and hardly language he would dare use, being a smarter arse than yourself he would simply rise above the implied insults to his intelligence and integrity not to mention the cheap shots about council houses in Kirkby as presumably he treated with similar disdain ill-judged comments about cow sheds. In fact he would probably not respond at all viewing your letter in much the same vein as you talk of well-intentioned initiatives often having unintended consequences. Bearing in mind that he would be addressing a fellow blue he may simply be mindful of the sensitivities and disappointments that some still feel over the vote and conclude that sometimes least said soonest mended.
danny
19   Posted 30/08/2007 at 18:00:32

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Very good letter, i cannot for the life of me see how you can plant a 50,000 stadium into a town that small, extremely low local dispertion rate compared to GP, inadaquate train station and service (unless meseyrail are planning on buying virgins west coast fleet and keeping them in lime street for match days). I work in taxi licensing, i spoke to the the top guy there, he said a feasability study in 2003 regarding transport in the anfield/goodison area reavealed up to 25% of match goers use taxis to get to and from the games, liverpool has 1500 hackneys knowsley 300, so a massive decrease in number of cabs available massive increase in number of people looking for one! Anyone who thinks this will all add up to a really enjoyable match day experience, wether they build the bernabau there or a cowshed, its going to be a joke. Or put it like this if bill kenwright thinks Kirkby is the dogs bollocks i suggest he builds a 6,000 theatre there, pulls his shows from the west end and empire, and see how he gets on!
Zed-victor-one
20   Posted 30/08/2007 at 18:29:15

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This ought to be renamed the oppose anything EFC ever does or says website. The antipathy is alarming - its as if its been infiltrated by a bunch of reds.
John Crawley
21   Posted 30/08/2007 at 18:48:23

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Nick excllent letter mate, you encapsulate all of the worries I have about Kirkby and the current leadership of Everton.

Blue Robbo - like you one of my biggest concerns is transport links to Kirkby and how that town can accommodate 50,000 people arriving every other week. My fear is that people will spend hours stuck in traffic trying to get away from the stadium.

Mike Homfray - transport to Goodison may not be ideal but we know for a fact that 50,000 people can get to and from Goodison in relative ease. No local train station - wake up! There is one within 10 minutes walk and another within 20 minutes walk or a 5 minute journey on the soccer bus. Goodison has 9 different ’A’ roads in close proximity, that’s why it is one of the fastest grounds in the country for crowd dispersal.
Dave Wilson
22   Posted 30/08/2007 at 19:08:59

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" A woeful misunderstanding of what goes to make up A huge traditional core element of our support "

I can just see all the yes voters scratching their heads in unison, thinking "whats he talking about" ?
Quite simply, they dont get it, its lost on them

Quality article Nick

Chris Roberts
if you were at Reading and or Spurs, you really wouldnt be asking for evidence of the core away support being against the move, if you were’nt ?
well you obviously were’nt so it doesnt matter
Billy Brad
23   Posted 30/08/2007 at 21:35:37

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Fantastic letter Nic, it hits all the buttons.
It does make you wonder why bluekipper wouldnt put it on there site.
Kevin Mitchell
24   Posted 30/08/2007 at 22:25:04

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Great letter Nic. In a nutshell the location is so wrong it dosn’t matter how cheep the deal is for efc. If everton had started out in Kirkby then the chances are that most of us would support the rs, and thats the problem in 10,20,30 years from now. I’m confused by certain posts above worrying about how to move 50,000 people to and from Kirkby. I believe everton will only need a 30,000 stadium with provisions to decrease it by 5000 every 10 years. God I wish I was joking.
Can someone please explain to me why the pro Kirkby voters can’t see this.997725
Matt Willey
25   Posted 30/08/2007 at 22:55:46

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"Or indeed that any other commercial undertaking worth its salt might not insist on an exclusivity period as it expends serious time, effort and resource into researching an option in which they are to invest heavily."

Strewth mate lets be honest here; Kirkby is Tesco’s choice...the choice is presumably made based on the retail market that they can exploit (crucially NOT whether the area can properly sustain a premiership football club... who is telling us it can? Terry Leahy and his best mates Bill and Keith), I am sure that Tesco could afford the few thousand pounds it took to do the research. They need Everton to do this deal in Kirkby - no club - no shop - full stop! This is surely the real reason why they insisted on an exclusivity period... and the real reason why the ’deal of the century’ has been stuffed down everyones throats.

I agree that we can’t keep waiting... we have to go now and there is no choice - there never was because the board never allowed there to be... it is plain to see that this deal was sewn up before the fans ever heard wind of it... The whole vote thing was manufactured from the outset to try and get some level of buy-in from the fans (which the club desperately needed); it worked perfectly as well... as if was all conducted by someone with real business savvy.

chris roberts
26   Posted 31/08/2007 at 09:48:39

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I was at Spurs and saw no evidence of away support being against Kirkby. There was a 75% yes vote amongst people I was with at the Palace friendly but so what?

Pure speculative rubbish the vote was yes. Please move on.
chris roberts
27   Posted 31/08/2007 at 10:15:19

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What I said above.

I meant to say no evidence of being largely against or for.

*promises not to post on this topic again*
Bob C
28   Posted 31/08/2007 at 10:07:01

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I’ve always been in favour of the Yes vote, and in actual fact for some of the reasons that Nic derides where I hold diameterically opposed views.

The club has not handled this question well to say the least, but then the unedifying sight of Liverpool City Council scrambling around to palm off sub-standard sites when their bluff was called, (having rejected the Kings Dock because we didn’t have Liverpool in our name) leaves an equally bad taste.

That said it is a pleasure at last to see measured, reasoned argument for a No vote instead of all the ranting abuse or blinkered traditionalism that has typified the majority of the ’discussion’.

If more views had been expressed in this way, I think the vote might have been a lot closer.

One final point. Our city is not defined by an arbritary notional line drawn on a map. Those boundaries could never contain it.
dingleblue
29   Posted 31/08/2007 at 12:08:16

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bob c, u make an incorrect statement. It was not the fault of LCC that EFC did not get kings dock, it was quite simply that the chairman of the time, erm bill kenwright i think, could not find the 30 million to hold a 50% stake in a 250 million pound stadium. That sounds like deal of the century to me, and im not even clever like our genius CEO!
Rodger Armstrong
30   Posted 31/08/2007 at 13:21:44

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Nick,
Quality letter mate. Sums up, I think, quite brilliantly how many of us feel. I have followed a fairly similar route to yourself from Liverpool and am now in the South East. The point you make about Wyness "Perhaps failing to appreciate the peculiar mix of affability, cynicism, passion, militancy and creativity that is so evident in the city where we, and Everton, were born" is spot on. Sadly, though, I supsect like many others you will not receive any response from Siry Terry (or the club) to the excellent points you make.
Dave Wilson
31   Posted 31/08/2007 at 20:44:37

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Chris it was even more obvious against palace, you must have been with the palace fans if you were’nt surrounded with no voters

Leave you blindfold and your ear plugs in the house tomorrow
Sandy Brown
32   Posted 01/09/2007 at 15:23:43

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Excellent letter. Asks all the right questions in the right way.

Saint Domingo
33   Posted 02/09/2007 at 21:22:50

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Quality piece Nick. The summing up appeared when you quoted; "We were promised a penthouse on the waterfront, now we?re getting a council house in Kirkby" Says it all. Thankfully, my vote wont take us there..... Onward Evertonia

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