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A Review of the Battle

By Colin Fitz :  04/09/2007 :  Comments (99) :

After weeks of debate, accusations and counter accusations the result of the vote was finally announced, the aye?s prevailed and the battle by the no?s has been lost. The vote, conducted by Electoral Reform Services, clearly demonstrated that of those returning their voting slips just over 59% declared a preference to relocate the club to Kirkby and almost 41% declared a preference not to do so.

Complaints? Not from me, maybe some questions and observations, but the fact is ERS has an excellent reputation to uphold; indeed ten years ago Evertonians wanted their first vote to be conducted along their guidelines. Many will endeavour to place a spin on the result, the reality, however unpalatable for some, is that the Everton board have obtained exactly what they wanted. They took a calculated risk in offering the fan base a vote and only the truly naive expected anything other than a yes vote to be returned. I say calculated because they reduced the risk of failure down to a minimum. Prior to the vote the club, understandably, released professionally produced computer generated images of a floodlit Kirkby stadium, they explained that Goodison, for various reasons, could not continue to be our home, they explained that the ?Deal of the Century? was to be obtained through a tripartite collaboration with Tesco and Knowsley Council and finally, and perhaps now most infamously, Keith Wyness, Everton?s chief executive, stated that there was no ?Plan B?. It was, to all intents and purposes, a ?take it or leave it? resolution.

The club paid for the vote, the club decided who was to vote, the club provided the database, the club decided the question, the club decided that a unilateral glossy brochure was to be sent with the voting pack extolling the benefits of Kirkby, the club was provided with regular indications from ERS, the club utilised strategically timed press releases from Mr. Leahy, Mr.Wyness and their stadium designers which reinforced the club?s monologue on Kirkby and derided those daring to offer an alternative. In summary the club conducted a highly professional campaign and ultimately achieved their objective. The only organised opposition was provided by keioc, a group that can be described, at best, as an enthusiastic bunch of amateurs that dared to take on the combined forces of a premiership club?s board, Britain?s biggest supermarket and, in my opinion, a council that thinks it?s won the lottery.  Professional?s v Amateurs, the outcome was as predictable as it was inevitable.

Now that the vote is concluded do Evertonians need dissenting voices or should we all come together for the good of the club? I suppose your answer depends on what your definition of the phrase ?the good of the club? happens to be. I believe most people did heed the warnings from the board and voted with their head and not their heart. Yes voters consisted of those who fully accepted what the board and Mr. Leahy told them and others who, in the absence of a viable alternative, voted on the only deal presented to them. No voters consisted of those who steadfastly wished to remain at Goodison, those that questioned the validity of the information given to them and others who hoped, some may say forlornly, that a future alternative, perhaps in the guise of LCC and Bestway Holdings, would eventually emerge.

Obviously I don?t know who?s right or who?s wrong but I do know that, whichever way Evertonians voted, they?re neither traitors, luddites nor any of the other unfortunate derogatory terms that have been used in recent weeks, they?re merely people expressing an opinion on the information as they see it.

I also know that ultimately I?ll be magnanimous enough to thank all those who voted yes if Everton end up with a fantastic stadium, very little extra debt and overcome all those geodemographic and logistics problems, highlighted by real experts, associated with moving an institution away from a renaissance city to a town. Conversely I?ll thank those who voiced their concerns and banded together in opposition if the Kirkby project turns out not to be the ?deal of the century?, we end up with a second rate stadium, much higher debt than was indicated and have revenue streams which don?t correspond with those projected before the vote. The problem with this second scenario is that unspeakable damage to our football club will have occurred by that time, so in this respect I believe for now and for ?the good of the club? the dissenters that are KEIOC shouldn?t disband, should learn from their mistakes, take stock and in future attempt to promote a more professional voice for the underdogs in this, the fans.

The board may have their wish / majority / mandate, call it what they will, but they shouldn?t be too complacent about what they?ve achieved, a comparison with the previous ballot on the Kings Dock project reveals that whichever way you look at the King?s Dock vote it was an overwhelming endorsement from the people who actually matter most to Everton Football Club, those people who actually attend the games throughout the season, their fans.

Kirkby

King's Dock

 

 

Vote

Poll

Vote

Poll

 

Yes

59.265%

41.542%

86.498%

68.405%

 

No

40.734%

28.553%

13.501%

10.677%

 

DNV

 

29.734%

 

20.864%

 

Void

 

0.172%

 

0.055%

 

The Kirkby vote data demonstrates a clear percentage, over 59%, in favour of the proposed move, it also exhibits, when compared to the King?s Dock vote, a significant increase in opposition and perhaps, when comparing those that did not vote (dnv), a general indifference to the Kirkby project as a whole. More ominously when the poll data of both of these votes are compared a worrying statistic emerges.

Whilst the King?s Dock percentage of poll clearly reinforces the result of that vote the Kirkby data does nothing of the sort, in fact the yes vote now represents just over forty one percent. To the committed yes voter this will be dismissed as a mere statistical aberration as a ?first past the post? situation was clearly proposed, but I would suggest that the board of Everton Football Club dismiss this at their peril as one of the key factors to the future success of any proposed new stadium development is the clubs ability to fill it on a regular basis. I?m reminded of the American correspondent commentating on the fiasco surrounding George W Bush?s first election, after several days with no result he announced, ?The country has spoken, we?re just not sure what they?ve said!?

Many interpretations can be applied to any vote, this one is no exception, and as I stated at the beginning it?s arguably inconsequential as the Everton board will now be moving forward to secure what they see as the only deal on offer to the club. Their contention is that Kirkby offers a deliverable ?win win win? scenario, Kirkby get their town centre redeveloped, Tesco get a massive supermarket and Everton get a £150,000,000 stadium. One of my problems is, what happens if it becomes a ?lose lose lose? scenario? What happens if the residents of Kirkby, the local opposition political parties and other retail developments within a thirty-minute drive of Kirkby force the government to review and ultimately reject this proposal? Some people are under the impression that Tesco are all powerful and will deliver this project and this may well be the case, however, here?s just some of the Tesco projects that have run into considerable trouble in recent years:

Tesco Store

Problem

Action

Bury St Edmunds

Extension built without full planning permission

May be forced to demolish

Andover

Development bigger than Heathrow Terminal 5

95% of locals protest

Slough

Planned to build megastore

Regulator halted project

Yiewsley (London)

Accused by Co-op of misleading planning officials

Plans turned down

Worcester

Move existing school against local wishes

Application rejected after Government review

Stockport

Store built 20% larger than planning permission

Council capitulates

In my opinion Tesco are clearly orchestrating this project. In order to push their plans through, the business strategy adopted for these massive projects appears to be one that promotes regeneration and ?something for the community?. If this eventually fails or they have to significantly reduce their development, perhaps at the expense of the stadium, they?ll at least have the consolation of other development projects to exploit, they have many, one is the proposed massive supermarket in Great Homer Street that?s part of the Project Jennifer regeneration scheme. Everton remember have no back up, no contingency plan, no ?plan b?.

Under these circumstances wouldn?t it make good business sense to at least investigate all potential opportunities no matter how late they appear? This would address two issues; firstly, it may placate those fans who feel that the LCC / Bestway Holdings proposal has been unreasonably derided by the board, prove once and for all that it is or isn?t a red herring and irrespective of cost it may at least offer the possibility of an alternative; it could in fact present the much needed plan b to the Kirkby project. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Everton need to indulge in some meaningful dialogue with LCC, if Kirkby collapses and we definitely have no alternative site, this will potentially be our best source for land for any future development.

At the moment we seem to be involved in little more than a public slanging match with LCC, unfortunately conducted in public through the local press, I cannot understand for one moment how this can be conducive to Everton?s best interests.

Whilst many people have accused LCC of favouring Liverpool FC my view is that the Liverpool board have simply done a better job, they understand a fundamental rule of negotiation, quid pro quo, and have managed to conclude the necessary deals that are required to give their fans a stadium which is worth leaving their current home for, they have a board with a vision and the necessary people skills to realise that vision whilst managing to keep the majority of their fans on board.

It is a sad indictment on our custodians that whilst our neighbours LFC are essentially masters of their own destiny, our club, our great club, has become little more than a pawn in a bid for an out of town retail park development.

This vote has split the match going Everton public like no other issue I can remember and before anyone starts ramming the word "majority" down my throat just remember what the voting figures were, 15,230 v 10,468, that?s a difference of 4,762 meaning that the vote was swayed by the decision of just 2,382 people. Everton?s current average attendance is 36,738.

Can anyone honestly tell me that 2,382 people voted yes on the basis that they truly believed Everton are about to get the deal of the century or that Everton are getting, as stated by Terry Leahy  ?to own a £150 million stadium for around £35 million investment?? No, many will have voted yes for one reason and one reason only, simply there was no other viable alternative on offer. When the prospect of an alternative that had tangible attractions to the fans became something of a fly in the ointment out came the open letters from Keith Wyness and Terry Leahy rubbishing the idea followed by a technical assessment, from an employee of a company involved in the Kirkby project, that was later made to look distinctly lightweight by the joint opinion of HOK and WSP.

Others will have voted yes because the Kirkby project, again in the absence of a viable alternative, was promoted as the most cost effective deliverable solution for a club that has an atrocious balance sheet and poor financial backing. This has been Kirkby?s unique selling point all along, it?s beneficial to the Everton board because they either can?t or won?t borrow hundreds of millions to finance their own stadium build.

After explaining what Tesco is contributing to the project, a specific stadium cost of  £110M is finally mentioned in Terry Leahy?s open letter, this is later confirmed by Keith Wyness as the true net cost of the stadium. Keith Wyness is confident, some would say over confident, that the sale of Goodison, £15M, and naming rights, minimum £25M, will raise a combined £40M in contribution towards that cost, this leaves a figure of £70M which needs to be accounted for through a combination of vague  ?discounts? and some unspecified long term debt taken on by Everton. Perhaps Barr?s new owners (sold in June 2007, a fact conveniently omitted) won't want to build a stadium for nothing. They are, remember, a business who operate in a low-margin industry and whose profits are measured in single million figures. Perhaps the stadium is simply a £75M stadium masquerading as a £110M stadium, then at least the figures would begin to stack up.

So the board can self-congratulate for swaying the decisions of just over two thousand Evertonians in order to secure the decision they needed, but at what cost, or should that be value? Last Saturday I went to the game, I jumped a cab for the five-minute trip to Maghull station, on seeing the badge on my jacket the driver gave me chapter and verse on why Kirkby was a bad decision, it was the same in town, around the ground, even in the match. The guy sitting next to me was obviously a very knowledgeable Evertonian; it?s always great to talk to guys who have been there before my time, eventually the conversation came around to the vote, he turned out to be yet another disillusioned fan. I?m not the sort of person to engage strangers in conversation but I?m always polite and I?ll talk to anyone who talks to me, time and time again on that day I met people who were genuinely upset about the potential move to Kirkby, throughout the day I honestly met only one person who was pleased with the result of the vote and inevitably he turned out to be a red!

Some people I talked to frankly made me look like a part-time Evertonian, they?ve watched Everton home and away all their adult lives and have traveled all over the world watching even the pre-season tournaments, when you hear these people saying that they won?t be going once we?ve moved to Kirkby there?s got to be something seriously wrong. Let?s hope time really is a great healer. I?m not one of those people who won?t go to Kirkby if it happens, I?ll certainly give it a chance, but if it turns out that part of me being an Evertonian was about the ground we play in, its location and atmosphere, whether real or perceived, then I may just consign that part of my life to the same places that Goodison is being consigned to, memories and history.

There?s been lots of talk about white rabbits from hats and red herrings recently, so just to join in, let?s just hope we don?t end up with a white elephant! Maybe everything will pan out and we will get a £150,000,000 stadium development for an investment of just £35,000,000, for the sake of a lot of Evertonians, and indeed for Everton itself, I hope that what has been described is a true representation, if it isn?t I?d at least like to think that we haven?t been led down the garden path by our fellow Evertonians, if we have then their positions may become untenable.

Perhaps we?ve been looking in the wrong direction all along; isn?t that the secret of a good illusion? There?s an old legal principle that?s applied when trying to establish the truth, the question asked is who benefits?  Perhaps in this case it would be more advantageous to ask who benefits most?

If it turns out that we are being led down Tesco?s garden path then on principle I will refuse to spend another penny in any Tesco store. Now, I won?t expect Terry Leahy to lose a nano-second of sleep over my decision, I wouldn?t expect him to lose any if some other Evertonians were minded to do the same, but if 5,000, 10,000 even 20,000 Evertonian families joined in a boycott they may just get the message. People from Liverpool are often accused of many things, being unprincipled is definitely not one of them. How many of you reading this, even after all these years, would touch a copy of the Sun even if offered one free of charge?

The next few months may be extremely interesting, off the pitch we may soon see an agreement between Everton, Tesco and Knowsley Council as a precursor to planning permission being sought, Everton?s accounts are out next month and may prove interesting reading and heaven forbid if LCC and Bestway Holdings produce a deliverable business plan for the loop site. On the pitch we have European football to look forward to, we?re at the top end of the premiership and we?re entertaining the champions next week with possibly our best squad for many years... we?ll be winning a trophy next!

This has simply been my view of recent events; I accept others will view the same events in a different light; we?re all entitled to our opinion. Where perhaps we have common ground is that we all want the best for our great club. At an early age every member of the Evertonian family is taught that famous Latin phrase that will always be associated with Everton Football Club, nil satis nisi optimum, you?re not suggesting that my father was telling me a lie?

To paraphrase De Gaulle, ?A battle was lost, not the war?

Reader Comments

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Simon Thornton
1   Posted 04/09/2007 at 20:07:46

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An interesting article however I do get a bit fed up when I keep being told that everyone who voted for Kirby is a mindless sheep of a fan, who has fallen for the board line. And only the anti - kirby fans truly understand the big picture.

I have looked, read what everyone had to say about it and KEIOC was certainly very vocal on the blogosphere and ran a decent campaign themselves.

After all that it is possible to come to the decision that Kirby was the best or rather least worst option. I may not like it but 60% of Everton fans voted for it and I think you will not find one who voted yes without a lot of soul searching before casting it.

KEOIC and the like should be thanked for offering alternatives but at the end of the day they just werent good enough.
Tom Hughes
2   Posted 04/09/2007 at 20:15:31

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Colin,
As ever............ spot on!
If we could ascertain anything like accurate costs to the club, it would be possible to put together similar cost redevelopment plans for GP. As stated previously, 50k can be achieved by just 1 new stand at the Parkend, you can get a lot of stand for £35m. Over 80% of obstructed views could also be eradicated by a relatively small spend on re-roofing the other stands. In the future a complete rebuild on the Mainstand side could take the capacity upto 60k+ if it was deemed necessary. The result, the preservation of 2 classic Leitch stands... combined with 2 modern contemporary neighbours...... and all still at our historic home, and close to the heart of the city. Put nice photoshopped renderings of this, and a fully developed HOK-designed Loop scheme into a vote and I would be very surprised if Kirkby got more than 5%..... does anyone think it would have beaten the Kings Dock?
Tom Hughes
3   Posted 04/09/2007 at 20:43:22

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Simon,
Weren’t good enough? in what way? Would you really have expected much more after only a few weeks work from a few individuals?
Billy Brad
4   Posted 04/09/2007 at 20:43:38

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Disagree Simon, how do you know the bestway site isnt good enough. We havnt seen the buisness plan yet, so lets see what they can deliver and more importantly, get Everton around the tablbe and come out of this self imposed exclusivity period.
Gerard Madden
5   Posted 04/09/2007 at 20:41:08

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I think it’s a bit pointless comparing the vote to the King’s Dock - different times, different circumstances, I think Evertonians would’ve voted ’no’ to Speke for example even though it’s ’In the city’.

As for Tom bringing up HOK again - sorry but HOK have no history in developing stadium designs for locations and for sports clubs that don’t want or need them - they will not fritter any valuable time and money on projects that can’t and won’t happen. The cash ’n carry will continue to make noises in the background but that’s all it will be.
Eddy Bernard
6   Posted 04/09/2007 at 21:22:48

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Great article Colin

I was in the No camp and i am a bit mystified as to where the Yes voters are. Most Evertonians i talk to were and still are against the move to Kirkby. I honestly dont think it is all over and knowing the Everton Boards capacity to balls things up big time, i fully expect something to go drastically wrong with the Kirkby project.
When this happens the No voters can at least say we told you there should have been a plan B
Sean Rothwell
7   Posted 04/09/2007 at 21:18:49

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Started reading this article thinking it was going to attempt to unify the fanbase and present the facts in an unbiased manner. Unfortunately, every ’fact’ was presented with a negative spin and Colin’s opposition to the Kirkby Project was readily apparent in every paragraph.
Bored to tears of people bitching about the result of the vote and trying to present it in a manner which backs up their particular view. There is one and only one way the vote can be viewed and that is that more people voted ’yes’ than ’no’. Doesn’t matter if the result would be different if 2000-odd fans changed their mind. They didn’t. It would be an even bigger majority of 2000-odd ’no’ voters changed their minds and voted ’yes’. It’s easy to manipulate numbers.
The lack of backup plan is also commented on in the article but I don’t really understand the point Colin is trying to make. The backup plan is surely to stay at Goodison as it is. What kind of backup plan do we need? Colin seems in awe of Liverpool, but what is their backup plan if the yanks pull the plug on Stanley Park? Answer: They don’t have one. What was our backup to Kings Dock? Answer: we didn’t have one. No major Club has another plan on the backburner if the one they want goes west. It would be very pessimistic on the Club’s part to have a backup plan.
Just get over the fact that the vote didn’t go the way you wanted it to and stop treating the people who voted ’yes’ like idiots.
Rupert Sullivan
8   Posted 04/09/2007 at 21:45:49

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Sean - the lack of a ’backup plan’ meant that the options presented to the fans were limited to those that the board wished to present - namely staying in an ’ageing’ Goodison which doesn’t meet their needs, not being able to afford anything else, or going with Kirkby. For the point Colin is trying to make (apologies Colin) is that the information was one sided.
LFC don’t need a back-up because they have the money, the permission and have already decided.

Anyway - great article Colin, and whatever my opinion on the move - I agree that this is divisive and I cannot support the vitriol that has ensued.
Robert Carney
9   Posted 04/09/2007 at 21:29:32

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Colin, very eloquently put.

This brings me to the quote from a Liverpool supporter earlier in the campaign when he describes the quality of the debate as possibly the best fansite anywhere in the world.

I do not feel this is going to go away for many years. Everyone is so passionate.

I know a lot of yes voters want to close the issue, but I ask of them do you really think this is the end.

If we are to end up in Kirkby there is still a lot of lobbying to go on.

Surely by now people realise Tesco are not a charity and they will be looking for the minumum interference from Everton and their supporters. Not to mention the growing concerns of many residents in Kirkby.

I still beleive we have an incompetent board, but I am also hoping they see the light before we are too far down the mines.
Dave Stirrup
10   Posted 04/09/2007 at 21:03:43

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I felt empty, angry, betrayed. I was resigned, but you?ve hit a few nails right on the head there Colin




your right only a battle has been lost, we?re not upping sticks yet

Kirkby ? never, never, never.
Karl Masters
11   Posted 04/09/2007 at 22:05:31

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An interesting article. Whilst Colin (in)famously abstained on the Vote, I voted No. I have accepted the result, although I hadn’t quite realised that only 2,382 people out of over 36,000 had made such a difference. Really, I don’t view it as a mandate to proceed, just one not to stop yet.

Anyway, I will be interesed to see what Bestway and LCC come up with and I hope they come up with something good - that would be very interesting!

I’ve been thinking about going to Kirkby and as a non-resident of the city, I have always enjoyed not just going to Goodison, but coming to the City of Liverpool. We often get there early and go to the City centre, have a look round, whatever. It’s part of the reason we drive a 500 mile round trip to visit a place very different to where we live. Anyone who saw that Britain’s Best Views thing on Telly on Sunday night will realise that something amazing is happening. Liverpool is no longer perceived by the rest of the country as a riot torn haven for layabouts beset by urban decay, but a renaissance City steeped in history. To just pull off the M62, join the M57 and suddenly arrive after a queue off the motorway at a new Stadium won’t be the same. It will be very much like my visit to Reading a couple of weeks ago - a soulless experience. ( oh, and the car park was full and I had to pay £10 to park in some muddy field by the Speedway stadium. Anyone with any land near to Cherryfield Drive should be laughing! )

I am going to give it a go, assuming it goes ahead, but it’s not something I’m looking forward to, as Kirkby will never hold the fascination of Liverpool for me. I’m actually considering giving the Home games a miss and going to the Away games, especially the ones nearer home in the South.

We’ll see, but I think the Club are playing a dangerous game. I too, suspect it’s not over yet.
Neil Pearse
12   Posted 04/09/2007 at 22:26:41

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Not quite sure Colin what you are attempting here. I was a YES voter and like Sean started reading in the expectation that there would be some attempt at bridging the gap between NOs and YESs now the vote is behind us. Or suggesting what now might be done, given that the vote went YES and yet many (obviously) still have serious reservations.

In the end, what we get is admittedly a rather good restatement of the NO case that we know so well. With the added spin that, really, the YESs hardly won the vote anyway.

The Board are criticised for putting their side of the case, Tescos are ritually attacked, YES voters become sheep again, and the Loop proposal is (God help us!) resurrected as a live possibility.

This is a lot of effort to repeat what has already been said many times, even if this time it is said particularly clearly. I’m not sure what it adds to the debate we’ve already had.
Jim Lloyd
13   Posted 04/09/2007 at 22:12:37

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An excellent article Colin. I can’t help feeling that this board will consign our club to the wilderness. A bit strong, I know but that’s how I feel about the proposed move to Kirkby. What I think really makes all my alarm bells ring, is the way this board has presented the choice and, when some alternatives began to be vocalised, our board rubbished them.
Personally, I think the board intended to manipulate a scenario where we all would think "ah well, there’s no alternative, we’d best go to Kirkby." Then Bill Kenwright could come out and say what a wonderful bunch of people we Blues are. He knew he could trust us to make the right decision. Only we all didn’t take the Board’s word that it’s Kirkby or bust.
For a start, no in depth report has been given the light of day by our board about any possible alternatives. When Liverpool City Council and Bestway say that there is a possible alternative, what do our board do?
Instead of saying "let’s have a look at what it would mean for our club", they rubbish it.
Tom’s prodigious efforts to show that our ground could be redeveloped are rubbished, they couldn’t even condescend to see if the concept was viable.
This is the future of Everton Football Club and it bloody frightens me the way we are so cavalierly being led out of this city.
A couple of points I think we still need answers to
1, Why, when our board tell us there is no alternative, do they give us a vote. If they felt this was the only option, I believe they ought to have had the bottle to make the decision and stand or fall by it.
2, If Bill Kenwright doesn’t wan’t to be the man who takes Everton out of Liverpool, why on earth will he not look at any alternatives which might enable us to stay in our city?
Charlie Skinley
14   Posted 04/09/2007 at 22:59:26

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Colin - typical anti kirkby move from yoursely. So much for a healthy debate, we blues are now at war with each other??? Get a grip man. Sorry if by moving 4 miles to kirkby we upset your normal match day
Steve Williams
15   Posted 04/09/2007 at 22:16:51

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In a previous post I argued that for something this momentous - a positive move away - a strong positive vote should be required. Clearly this didn’t happen. Why? Because to rely upon 10,000 abstentions - those that recognised that a move from Goodison may be required, but just couldn’t stomach Kirkby - is no sort of mandate and to suggest otherwise is just lame!

Equally clearly the Board recognises this also, otherwise they wouldn’t continue to peddle lies on the Official Site such as:

?Everton Football Club acknowledges that a majority of those Evertonians who were ELIGIBLE TO VOTE in the ballot do support the Club in its desire to relocate to a new home in Kirkby?

The Board realises that they must keep up the pressure and propaganda otherwise they will start to lose further ground. It is this point that should spur on the NO voters ? after all it is the job of the opposition to keep the ruling group honest and true to their word. Surely the YES voters want the promises delivered, therefore there should be not a single Evertonian who argues against this continued pressure and campaigning from the NO?s

In essence, a really good article.
Neil Pearse
16   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:06:45

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Okay, there is one obvious new thing in all this - the increasingly familiar line that the 10,000 abstentions were really really NO votes after all (they "couldn’t stomach Kirkby" in Steve’s words).

How do you know Steve? See into all their minds? In fact, none of us have any idea why the abstentions didn’t vote (like most of us, I am amazed that so many didn’t), or have any idea how they would have voted if they had been forced to. You could just as easily say they were all "happy to go along with" the Board’s Kirkby recommendation. But who the fuck knows?

Can we stop this nonsense please? We know that 15,000 voted YES, 10,000 NO, and 10,000 who were legible to vote didn’t. That’s it. Cut the mindreading.
Steve Williams
17   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:17:30

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Neil,

So you don’t want the Board challenged to stay true to their word???

Also, just answer the bloody question man - why does the OS still peddle the downright lie???
Neil Pearse
18   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:22:22

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Absolutely Steve we should keep challenging the Board. I think the way forward if, as seems likely, Kirkby it is, is to keep the pressure on the Board to make sure that we get the best possible stadium at the lowest possible cost to the club. We should be asking questions about stadium design, naming, transportation - the lot. Absolutely.

However, I don’t see how (a) pretending that the NOs actually won anyway, or (b) fighting the old YES / NO battles one more time, is really going to help much at this stage.

Actually Colin and others are not so much ’reviewing the battle’ as attempting to refight it. Not very useful right now.
Karl Masters
19   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:22:01

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I think they think they have done the hard part, but in fact, there are enough of our Fans who are yet to be properly convinced, to mean that the job is far from over. 41% are convinced or feel they ahve no option, 28% are totally unconvinced and 31% are undecided. I still think that if ( and I accept it’s a big if ) an alternative proposal with merit comes along, that 41% would plummet to 20% or less.
Steve Williams
20   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:29:23

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Neil

We all agree that we need to keep the Board honest and true. No argument there then. BUT ...

I really don’t see how the YES voters can have any pressure points, let alone the desire to use them. However, clearly the NO’s do. Even though you don’t like the arguments, I can’t see how you don’t feel disposed towards ’using’ the NO’s to get the Board to deliver what the Yes’s want.

Finally, the silence on the lie on the OS is deafening
Jim Lloyd
21   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:23:54

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Neil, not wishing to get personal, I wanted to try and vocalise what is, I believe, the real danger to our club, if we move to Kirkby. There are many who have made really good contributions from both the (for want of a better expression)Yes and No camps. In the end, if the arguments put forward by either can bring us all back together again, we will be what we’ve been for decade upon decade,united supporters of one of the best clubs in England. We haven’t got that at the moment. Many of us believe the Board are committing a fatal mistake in ven contemplating a move out of Liverpool. We might be wrong, I admit. It doesn’t make us any the less Evertonians than you. If someone shows me, categorically, that the loop is a non starter and that Goodison can’t be redeveloped, then fair enough, we leave this city to Liverpool.
Until that day, I won’t stop arguing for our board to try anything to stay in our city. For example, Celtic ran a share option for the fans, as a way of raising money, why don’t we?
What I would hope, is that you recognise that it isn’t nonsense that’s going on here. There are good people who are soul searching about something which is dear to them.
Please give them the respect they deserve as fellow Evertonians, who are deeply concerned about where we are heading.
Pat Domingo
22   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:46:07

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I see Toffeeweb are doing more sterling work for freedom of speech and KEIOC (Keep Evertonians In Our Chippy). Another 5,000 word diatribe of nonsense from Mr Fitz, promoted prominently on the site. Of course the ’No’ voters are all suffering from false consciousness. Just because they won a free and fair democratic vote, doesn’t mean anything does it?
Pravda would be proud of you Toffeeweb. Keep up the fight.
Ed MacDonald
23   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:35:37

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There really is no point telling people to ’move on’ or unite. I honesty believe this issue will never go away. Better get used to it!

Barry Walsh
24   Posted 04/09/2007 at 22:44:49

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So yes voters are nothing more than sheep, delusional or sell-outs? How very democratic of you. As for all these options, what options!? We have no money remember - not to redevelop GP, nor to buy land and build a stadium elsewhere. We need and now have partners who are publicly committed to making real practical contributions. Thats what persuaded many of us in the yes camp that we have to move and with Kirkby the only viable offer we?re likely to get. Nor did many of us want to let our proud history become a millstone. As for those claiming only to know no voters, bollocks. Fans are split and even now many still can?t decide. So we got to vote and the result was clear and decisive enough. Not only are articles like simply rerunning slanted views but are now getting derogatory, of fellow blues. It all smacks of depseration, what next bad mouthing us all to the good citizens of Kirkby? - oh I forgot thats already been tried.
Gerard Madden
25   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:42:58

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Steve Williams - you’re getting unnecessarily hysterical over the ’lie’ on the official site.

I think the club simply assume the 10,000 none voters couldn’t give a hoot/fig wherever we play as they apparantly had more important things to do with their lives than voting, licking an envelope and trotting off to their local Royal Mail postbox. The non-voters together with the ’yes’ voters makes a massive 70-75% of blues who didn’t vote ’no’ - those that did bother to vote voted 60% for Kirkby and 40% against. Simple really - get over it and move on.
Ed MacDonald
26   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:51:48

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Clubs who redeveloped/moved a few hundred yards:

Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, RS, Villa, Newcastle, Celtic, Rangers

Clubs who moved to retail parks:

Boro, Bolton, So’ton, Reading, Wigan, Derby

If it’s any consolation we’ll be the biggest club in the UK playing in a retail park.
Steve Williams
27   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:57:09

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Neil, Gerard,

No hysterics here my friends - just a clear lie from the Club.

I advised them that they could choose to restate the article by making refernce to ’THOSE THAT VOTED’ not ’THOSE THAT WERE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE’ but clearly they declined. Why? Because it suits them to tell lies! Enough said!

By the way - do we really want to deride people who have a different view of the world from you? If so, I suggest you emigrate and start supporting Beijing United.
Jim Lloyd
28   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:52:49

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Pat Domingo, What on earth has got into you? Because there has been a vote, doesn’t stop a lot of people feeling very uneasy about where we are heading.
Roughly, just over 1/3rd of Evertonians voted to agree to go to Kirkby.
Why they voted that way is mere supposition. It could be because they loved the idea of moving out of Liverpool, as one pro Kirkby voter put it "We won’t have to slink between all those slums up to a decrepit old stadium."
They might have voted yes because they liked the look of the new stadium. They might have thought that Kirkby is a really great place to move to, or they might have voted yes because they felt that there was no alternative. Who knows!
The fact is that now we, us Evertonians, Blues; are split three ways. How do we get back together then?
I would go, reluctantly, but would go, if our board would just tell us why ther is no plan B!
Tom Hughes
29   Posted 05/09/2007 at 00:04:53

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Hold on Zed....... We’ve got no money? Then where are we getting £35-70m (depending who you believe) for our contribution to Kirkby? At the begining of the vote we were being sold this as a stadium for nothing. We were then slowly told that we can raise our donation via sale of the ground and sponsorship, yet these figures can’t even be validated. The naming rights seem to exceed anything similar elsewhere, and the sale of the ground doesn’t seem to take into account the fact that our ground is already remortgaged possibly beyond its current value. There are massive discrepencies here, yet we are being peddled figures out of thin air.
Jim Lloyd
30   Posted 05/09/2007 at 00:24:13

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Just a quick comment. There will be an open meeting at the Casa on saturday, run by KEIOC. I understand that representatives from Liverpool City council and Bestway will be there to give a progress report on the possibility of getting a stadium for Everton in Everton! I don’t belong to that group but I would hope all of us would get along there to see what is possible.
Tom Hughes
31   Posted 05/09/2007 at 00:21:55

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Gerard Madden said: "sorry but HOK have no history in developing stadium designs for locations and for sports clubs that don?t want or need them - they will not fritter any valuable time and money on projects that can?t and won?t happen."

HOK designed the Kings Dock stadium...... did you see that get built? They have the resources and experience to drop a stadium template from their vast library on any site. The fact that they produced a bigger infrastructure assessment than anything we have seen from Barr should illustrate their potential input here, it is literally no skin off their nose to throw their name in the hat, they’re involved in stadium designs all over the world.
Charlie Skinley
32   Posted 05/09/2007 at 00:31:07

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The 11,000 none voters mean they don?t support the Kirkby move according to the bo voters - well surely the majority (yes, the majority) can say that 11,000 none voters have not objected to the move.

Tom Hughes you have now become so boring that I don?t even bother reading your comments!
Ed MacDonald
33   Posted 05/09/2007 at 00:37:46

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I think Tom Hughes input has been unbelievable, certainly greater than most.
Colin Riley
34   Posted 04/09/2007 at 23:22:16

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Spot on article, thank god someone inteligent can expose a few truths he puts a whole new slant on a manipulative board for me.

I want to know why Tesco Terry has joined our club when he didn't give a monkeys a few years ago. And is it not a conflict of interest the guy on the board of two companies. Insider dealing is it not?Strange to me.

Also just to let you know i will never step foot in Kirkby and our shiny new stadium. And i will never drink a pint with a yes voter because you were desperate gullable fools and i dont talk to idiots. You doughnuts put me through the worst summer i can remember. The no should have been a 90% job no and jog on to the board.

From a city to to a toy town. Kirkby is cursed, the stadium is cursed and the fans who go there will be cursed in it cos its identity is gone. Most kids growing up will be red cos there is only one club playing in it. Everton was born from a time when liverpool was a booming city with the docks etc. The shite a now part of a new rennaissance and will capitalise on it all. We will be like a poor kid watching the little rich kid with a big bag of sweets.

Who on earth would travel to watch a toy town club,out of the city your born in.Sorry but not me.Thank god for sattelite tv.I watched the bolton game via Albanian tv with english commentry with 40 evertonians.blew the roof off the pub lescots goal.Thats good enough for me.Away games only till the board see sense.

By the way,there were no yes voters in our pub either ? where did they come from? Baffles me, I cant get me head round it at all.
Hope we win this war, change our Board and move by the roundhouse then I'll believe there is a god. I'll even believe in Santa Clause.
God bless the Everton No voters. The yes muppets can fuck right off. Preferably to Skem, Rainhill Jerkinbed, the port and North Wales and any other wooly back hole you came out of. Go support your own local club.

I remember when we only had 11,000 fans at a night match in 83-84 and we had a better laugh having a snowball fight. A year later all these wools turned up out of nowhere and I had to que up for 9 hrs for me cup final ticket. And I know you're the same pricks that have voted yes sitting on your couch in Wallassy or is it scem,sorry.

Anyhow, we should take over the club now put it back in the hands of the fans and put Col Fitz on the board. Couldn't do any worse could he. Then we might get back on top of English football.

One day soon I hope
coyb.
Gerard Madden
35   Posted 05/09/2007 at 01:03:33

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Colin Riley - hilarious!

You’ve just given the perfect example of why many ’yes’ voters (’muppets’, ’can fuck right off’) kept their precious and silent majority vote to themselves.
Rich Jones
36   Posted 05/09/2007 at 00:49:49

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I for one will not accept this vote, there were too many people I know who should have been entitled to vote who didnt get papers, are these the 11000 or so who didnt vote. Just like may things to do with this club the whole thing stinks, the yes voters better consider me and my ilk im a season ticket holder and have been for years, im not from the city and I was pro kings dock(not a ludite)Im not preared to watch my club fade into insignificance, and I will not surrender the city to Liverpool, if Liverpool needed a helping hand to try and get closer to United we?ve just given it to them, I will not support BK and his cronies, if it means walking away I will its the only thing left I have my dignity and ile be waiting to say I told you so.
Gerard Madden
37   Posted 05/09/2007 at 01:42:10

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Colin Fitz - ’Perhaps Barr?s new owners (sold in June 2007, a fact conveniently omitted) won’t want to build a stadium for nothing.’

Absolutely Meaningless - Barr have a longstanding contract with Sir Terry’s Tesco’s and Sir Terry has reiterated recently (long after the takeover of Barr) that Barr will be the construction firm involved with our new stadium - no doubt under the same terms as he expected them to be before the takeover.
John Andrews
38   Posted 05/09/2007 at 06:42:50

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What an absolute mess ! My beloved football club has somehow contrived to split the fanbase to such a degree that they are openly deriding each other on a public forum.
I did not get a vote as I did not qualify for one but was able to sit back and look at the arguments from both sides. It seemed, to me at least, that the question on which to vote was heavily weighted in favour of a positive response. It made sense to vote yes. No doubt about it. However there was no alternative. It was Kirkby or nothing. Given that scenario the result, in my mind, was never in question.
I have to wonder if/why so many people abstained ? There have been many tales of people not receiving their ballot papers. If this is the case then "Dereliction of duty" springs to mind again on the part of the club.
We have to move on but I don’t think that we have heard the end of this sorry tale.
Should anybody care/wonder what I would have voted ? It would have been a resounding "NO".
Derek Thomas
39   Posted 05/09/2007 at 06:32:14

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It’s all about having the will (political or otherwise) to do something and it goes through various stages, be you Husband building a patio(be careful what you ask for wifey, you might end up underneath it); the Board building a stadium; or the Govt. doing some major enterprise. Unless it’s your own idea, people (husbands, boards, govts.) have to be made to do it and then once they are ’made’ then surprise, the money is found and it becomes do-able.

I can only hope that 1) Bestway (or somebody else) come up with something seriously mega viable and it all wasn’t pie in the sky to make the Council look good...2)Bill is made an offer he can’t refuse.

There is/was no will to redevelop or relocate at our own expense and won’t be unless made to. We may be stuck with it (for good or ill).

The ’Yeses’ were quite in favour of the no plan B take it or leave it option and couldn’t, wouldn’t, don’t see the need to, think of anything else.

If needs be, will Bill be big enough to leave Tesco at the Alter, if a better offer comes along.

It’s not over til it’s over.
Steve L
40   Posted 05/09/2007 at 08:09:03

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Started reading this thinking it was an attempt to unite everyone (that’s what the title indicated) but no another no article in disguise.

I read up to the Tesco plans being kicked out etc. and gave up. Those are all in very different areas and circumstances so they can’t possible be used as a comparison.

The site in Kirkby keeps being referred to as green belt - it’s a disused tip that’s been tidied up and give some greenery. This may mean issues in construction but it also means it’s a very different situation to the one’s Colin mentions.

James Byrne
41   Posted 05/09/2007 at 08:41:31

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Well said Rich Jones - I bought two season tickets this year for the Park End; did I get my papers to vote: No! After calling the club and the voting agency several times I gave up and was denied my right to 2 votes on the issue.

My two votes would of been a straight NO; maybe I was put down as one of the people who never voted, or maybe my identity was used to tick against two YES votes.

We will never know, but I will tell you what, what a shambles.
Strewth
42   Posted 05/09/2007 at 08:31:26

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Tom Hughes, so if EFC’s contribution to the Kirkby deal is questionable then on that basis how does this make any other option affordable?
Alan Rodgers
43   Posted 05/09/2007 at 09:15:40

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Agree with a previous poster,I haven’t met a single Evertonian who voted Yes or even has yes tendencies. And I’m talking about Blues who live outside he city.
DAVID FLANAGAN
44   Posted 05/09/2007 at 09:24:09

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This argument /debate will rumble on as long as no information is forthcoming from either the club or by anyother possible alternative.We have little facts to base a vote on which is why we shouldnt have been given it.All we have succeeded in doing is splitting up the fan base.The yes voters are not mindless sheep as has been suggested but more likely concerned supporters who could see no alternative but to move to Kirkby.Similiary some of the no-voters would vote that way whatever and wherever they were offered.I know pleny of blues who have voted both ways but to accuse the board of conspiracies etc is nonsense.We have to let this lie until we know more.
Archie Leitch
45   Posted 05/09/2007 at 09:42:25

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Colin Fitz lost all credibility when, after posting numerous articles "proving" why a no vote was the only way to go, he then announced at the eleventh hour that he was abstaining.

Colin, you seem to have a lot of spare time on your hands - use it to look up the word "integrity".
robert carney
46   Posted 05/09/2007 at 09:37:25

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How about adding a bit of humour.

Is Kenwright going to script a reverse version of Blood Brothers on the back of all this?

If you do not know the story, it is about two brothers seperated at birth.

Two clubs divided from their city is the starting line.

colin fitz
47   Posted 05/09/2007 at 10:12:08

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Archie Leitch, it’s a bit rich taking abuse, with regard to credibility, from someone who can’t even post under their own name, perhaps instead of wallowing in your own ignorance you should look up the meaning of the word abstention in relation to voting. You will find that it’s a classic form of protest when you’re asked to vote on a subject that hasn’t been fully explained.To everyone else thanks for taking time to read the article and observing the various points.
Sean Rothwell
48   Posted 05/09/2007 at 10:28:23

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Why are people still questioning the vailidity of the vote? The ERS is an extremely professional organisation and to question their integrity is quite pathetic. Undoubtedly there was a very small proportion of fans who did not receive their ballot forms but that is not the Club’s fault. Working for a firm who relies on Royal Mail to send thousands of letters/packages per day, I know exactly how bad Royal Mail was during the first week of the vote. However, it is frankly obnoxious to assume that all of the people who did not receive a ballot form would have voted ’no’. Chances are that most would have voted ’yes’ given the result of the vote. I also think it is sheer guesswork to assume that enough fans did not receive a vote for it to matter. I would guess at a few hundred as an absolute maximum.
Also, not knowing anyone who voted ’yes’ is not a valid reason for assuming the vote was flawed. Likes attract likes and all that. For what it’s worth, I know only one person who voted ’no’ (ironically, he is the only Evertonian from outside Merseyside who I know) and about 15 who voted ’yes’.
If you people are really so desperate to sabotage the Kirkby Project stop wasting your time bitching about the vote. It was not flawed and the Club are not under any circumstances going to allow/pay for a revote. Channel your energy into either supporting the move or presenting a viable alternative. Oh, and viable does not mean a crayon drawing of a small stadium on a roundabout. It means a large site with a financial backer. If you can’t do that then stop the name-calling and the threats - nobody really cares whether you will step foot in the Kirkby stadium, there aren’t enough people who are that self-important for these threats to remotely matter.
chris taggart
49   Posted 05/09/2007 at 10:42:40

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i was going to post my view however will a simple bored now suffice?

untill such time as

A) a mega rich shugar dady turns up

B)bestway/LCC do something pretty spectacular

the board are right to further explore the kirkby project in preference to any other









Tom Hughes
50   Posted 05/09/2007 at 11:01:57

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Sean,
I can’t believe you read the points made by Colin as regards the vote and really believe that this vote wasn’t fundamentally flawed. I’m sorry but it makes absolutely no sense at all to conclude that the process we went through was in any way a fair and balanced one. Can you think of any election you have ever taken part in that was so heavily weighted, or so one-sided?

As far as likes attracting likes (I assume this is not a magnetism analogy)I know people who have conducted straw polls on away coaches with zero yes votes, are these really the "likes" we should be losing?

"nobody really cares whether you will step foot in the Kirkby stadium, there aren?t enough people who are that self-important for these threats to remotely matter."

Everton haven’t got thousands or even hundreds waiting to fill anyone’s seat, we have a waiting list of zero. We cannot afford to lose any fans if we’re ever going to make this club profitable, and when you have over 40% unhappy you risk losing a sizeable proportion of your support which we cannot or should not want to sustain.

"Channel your energy into either supporting the move or presenting a viable alternative. Oh, and viable does not mean a crayon drawing of a small stadium on a roundabout. It means a large site with a financial backer."

What crayon drawings? What small stadium on a roundabout? Who is the financial backer for Kirkby? This attempt at a profound statement or put down, has nothing to substantiate it. You have seen nothing of the Kirkby option but a few graphics which could have been created by any artist with no technical content. Yet you criticise the work of a renowned architect, and that of the largest stadium designers in the world?!
phil higgs
51   Posted 05/09/2007 at 11:36:07

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Excellent article...I’ve said it a million times. "Who actually feels this Kirkby deal is truly worthy of our great history?".
Is it really an inspiring, unique, arena where we can re-capture former glories?...or is it just a cheap short term fix because we are led to believe we are doomed in the long term if we dont accept the kirkby move?
How many "Yes" votes were won based the Wyness bullshit that the club will fall apart if we dont take this (the suppossed only) option?"
Gerard Madden
52   Posted 05/09/2007 at 11:43:11

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Can I just say that HOK have NEVER said anything in relation to the ’loop’ - all we rely on for any HOK involvement is quotes from a small cash ’n carry and KEIOC.

Can I also say where is this mythical 18 page cash ’n carry/HOK ’report’ that was so trumpeted - if it existed i’m sure KEIOC would’ve been happy to post the pdf on their website in the crucial final days before the end of the vote - but as yet (a couple of weeks later) still nowt.
Phil Higgs
53   Posted 05/09/2007 at 11:46:55

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...oh and once again to anyone to who believes ?no? voters are just concerned about the 4 miles difference. Just look at those cheap pictures of our Fc Koln replica stadium (with blue seats). Its a cheap stadium with not one ounce of character of inspiration
Tom Hughes
54   Posted 05/09/2007 at 11:52:24

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GM: Sorry mate, you’re wrong. HOK have produced the report, the city planners have it, the city architects have it. Trevor Skempton the consultant architect for Grosvenor has read it all, and says it is much more comprehensive than anything yet produced by the club. An abridged summary of it has appeared, and is also HOK’s work, so how can you say they have said nothing? KEIOC have not got the report, why would they have it?
Sean Rothwell
55   Posted 05/09/2007 at 11:48:53

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re Tom Hughes

It wasn’t an election, ffs! It was a simple answer to a simple question. How on earth can you possibly expect Everton FC to be anything other than one-sided when they were trying to ensure that the fans saw what a desirable proposal the Kirkby Project is? Do you expect a Labour manifesto to say ’these are the benefits of voting for us, but let us also show you the benefits of voting Conservative’. No, of course you don’t. Plus, I don’t remember Everton flying a plane over Goodison or thrusting leaflets in your face on matchdays and insulting you if you refused to take one. KEIOC turned a vote into a battle. They lost the vote and lost the battle. Deal with it.
Gerard Madden
56   Posted 05/09/2007 at 12:03:49

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Sorry Tom Hughes but I refuse to believe it exists.

Why would KEIOC have the ’report’? Do I really have to explain that?

All we hear about HOK involvement in the tiny loop is just heresay and conjecture - I’ve NEVER heard or seen a quote off them regarding the ’loop’ and strangely the ’report’ hasn’t been made public. Hmmmmm.
Richard Watts
57   Posted 05/09/2007 at 12:04:56

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I don’t think Colin should worry about planning permission. Where Tesco have got into trouble it is beacuse they have sought to take on the local council and build a store agains their will.

This clearly isn’t the case in Kirkby as the council (who give planning permission) are behind the scheme.

Planning law is also changing as a result of the Barker Review, which will make this kind of development harder to oppose.

Tom Hughes
58   Posted 05/09/2007 at 12:12:44

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GM:
Nothing from Barr has been made public, why would it? Even the Abridged report by HOK was delivered on HOK letterhead paper. This report was commissioned by Bestway it’s their property. Attend the meeting in the Casa, and you will be able to ask them about it. Meanwhile where have you seen anything similar regarding the Kirkby project? Where are the full plans of the new stadium, where are the full feasibilty studies of the existing stadium, where are the transport studies? These were all fundamantal in allowing people to make an informed decision, and have been worked on for over a year (several years in the case of the supposed feasibility studies for GP). We have seen none of them! Yet you are desperate to see HOK’s initial site assessment? Why? what are your priorities?

Sean: a simple answer to a simple question is correct.... but I think you have to look at that question. Where were the options? It was take this or die..... what’s the point in even having a vote, if the alternative is to die? That’s simply not a fair and balanced question/vote/ballot or whatever you want to call it.

What’s with this telling people to "deal with it"? Deal with what? If you feel that something is unfair or improper why should you have to just "deal with it"?
Gerard Madden
59   Posted 05/09/2007 at 12:28:01

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Correct Richard.

The application won’t get called in as HM Govt has made it clear that big regeneration projects shouldn’t (if at all possible) be stopped by small amounts of people and should be fast-tracked. Don’t forget too that Sir Terry Leahy and Tesco are THE principal and massive backers of HM govt’s ’new deal’ schemes for the long term unemployed of which Kirkby has many unfortunately. As you say Richard Knowsley council are hugely supportive of the ’Kirkby project’.

Tom Hughes - Where’s the report? I’m sure Toffeeweb will be only to willing to post a link - tick tock tick tock
Tom Hughes
60   Posted 05/09/2007 at 12:30:15

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Richard:
Similarly the City planning office are firmly in support of the Loop site. The city planning office is now one of the biggest in the country working on the many city-centre projects, and they see a stadium project as a perfect bridging development between city-centre and Project Jennifer. It is also an inner city brownfield site that has been problematic since the building of the Tunnel. A stadium could be a great development catalyst for the whole of Everton/Vauxhall, as has been seen with several new US stadia based downtown.
Sam Myers
61   Posted 05/09/2007 at 10:05:43

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Tom Hughes comments about redevelopment of GP seem a little wide of the mark.

I sit in the Upper Bullens and have done for the last 10 years. This is a very old WOODEN stand and facilities are basically crap and behind the times. If the club was going to redevelop GP then I would like to see them address more than just the obstructed views! Surely sticking a new roof on would only be a temporary solution so would represent a bit of a waste of money. Granted the Park End is in good nick but the other 3 sides need a total re-build.

I was a ’yes’ voter and I actually went on the stadium tour at the weekend. It is embarrasing seeing how poor our facilities are behind the scenes. The only other tour of this kind I’ve been on is the Nou Camp and, although I appreciate the disparity in class between ourselves and Barcelona (at the moment...!), the facilities there are top notch in a stadium which is older than our Main Stand (granted it has undergone more recent ronovations). We need something drastic and I don’t think that re-development is realistic. I will miss walking through the cemetary on matchdays and everything that goes with having a historic inner-city stadium but I think that the time is right to move on.

As for the vote and the 10,000 abstentions, this still pitches the voter turnout (72%) above that of the 2005 general election (61%). It’s just a quirk of democracy that people have a choice as to whether or not they want to vote and if they do they can choose which way their vote will go.
Matt Coulson
62   Posted 05/09/2007 at 12:42:48

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It seems to me that a lot of the no voters are just trying to justify their vote, stating why they weren’t with the majority. We all knw that the stadium debate will continue, but is there any need to berate yes voters for their vote??? I think not!!!

I can draw a symbolism by saying that all those no voters are just like women shoppers! They go into one shop try something on and then spend an eternity going to every damn shop in the world before returning to the original shop after deducing that that was the best value, best option, Lets hope you got more spine than the lady shoppers guys! Or maybe you should admit that although not necesarily the most palletable it is the only viable financial option out there!
Tom Hughes
63   Posted 05/09/2007 at 12:36:55

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GM: Tick tock...... are you serious? Why would I have the report? You have stated categorically that HOK have NEVER produced a report, yet it was reported in every paper. You cannot back this up at all. Ask Bestway, ask HOK..... it’s easy really! Can I conclude from your stance that if HOK release this report in its entirety that you will now request for your vote to be changed. Is this all that you are waiting for? Why don’t you want all the other reports?
Tom Hughes
64   Posted 05/09/2007 at 12:49:25

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Sam,
A lot can be done with these old structures. If you have been to Ibrox you will see what they have done with their old Leitch stand. The wooden content is not structural and can all be replaced. There is real value in these old classic stands that we will miss when they are gone. I too have sat in both older stands for over 35 years, and understand their limitations but much of these can be addressed for far less than our possible outlay for Kirkby. That said, there are also schemes to completely replace these old stands which negates your concerns completely if that wsa the path we took.
Phil Higgs
65   Posted 05/09/2007 at 12:49:24

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re. Matt Coulson, you are a prime example of an idiot who offers nothing to the debate... Your ?symbolism? did not even make sense.

To use another example: Would you vote Labour, simply because Labour told you there was no other alternative? Or would you think about things and wait for other alternatives (still in the pipeline) to be developed. So you can make a well balanced opinion.
Tom Hughes
66   Posted 05/09/2007 at 12:58:13

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Matt...... spineless women shoppers?

It’s only the biggest decision in the history of the club, and you compare it to women shopping..... but why spineless? Can I turn the analogy around and say you fell for the biggest hardsell in our history? Do you need any double-glazing, or have you already been had?

Lets stick to the issues, facts and figures and leave the metaphors and analogies out of it.
Archie Leitch
67   Posted 05/09/2007 at 15:46:41

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Colin,

Your abstention was a bit of a joke really - using the envelope to send a letter of abstention.

Don’t you realise that the only way it would register as an abstention - which was what you requested - was if you included the ballot paper as proof of your entitlement to vote - which you didn’t.

And "Abuse" is a bit strong!
Thomas David
68   Posted 05/09/2007 at 15:18:35

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Well I’m going to vote No.
Rob Penlington
69   Posted 05/09/2007 at 15:02:39

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Eddy Bernard
’knowing the Everton boards capacity to balls things up big time, I fully expect something to go drastically wrong with the Kirkby project’
Unfortunately Eddy not this time mate.The Kirkby project is being totally orchestrated by Terry Leahy and Tesco.They’re obviously aware of Kenwrights previous, and wouldn’t let him within a million miles of it.
Great article Colin.
robert carney
70   Posted 05/09/2007 at 17:44:14

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Tom.H;
Even after the vote there is still no-one in the yes camp can give a detailed answer to your concerns.

I look forward to the Casa on Saturday. I think the venue may be a bit small though.

To the person who says women are spineless. Say it to your missus if you have one. The only spineless people in this debate have come from the yes camp.

Strewth
71   Posted 05/09/2007 at 17:02:39

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Tom (Hughes) For those wanting to get behind some of these exchanges I return to my earlier point to you. Its not any attempt to be clever or try to trip you up. Its this. You said in response to soemone called Zed that you doubt EFC’s ability to make its financial contribution to the Kirkby proposal. If so then surely that would be true about any development. If you have good reason to believe this why aren’t you making more of it in your arguments ie we daren’t move anywhere for fear of a repeat of KD and that make do and mend at GP is the only true option?
karl masters
72   Posted 05/09/2007 at 18:43:08

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It’s clear from this little exchange that opinions are hardening, not softening.

In years to come, I fear we will look back on this time as a watershed where we lost around 25% of our original matchday fans who will either be replaced by empty seats in Kirkby or new breed Sky buffoons wearing face paints, blue wigs and residing in Wyness’ utopian ’Liverpool-Manchester corridor’. Billy - you’ve done it again....
Tom Hughes
73   Posted 05/09/2007 at 18:33:54

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Strewth: Sorry I missed your first post, with just checking back every now and then. The point I was trying to make.... probably not very well, was that we were slowly drip fed the Kirkby option over several weeks/months on the original premise that it was a freeby, or practically a freeby. This was purposely and almost subliminally fed to the voters via various media and speeches by KW. This was supposedly why no other option was deliverable, we are skint and simply cannot afford to fund anything anything etc etc. However, after much questioning of the limited figures that were being revealed and that didn’t stack up, it has eventually come out that we may have considerable outlay afterall. Therefore surely reinstating the redevelopment options as being as deliverable as Kirkby since it would appear that we do actually have funds or are prepared to incur debt which was the major barrier for redevelopment before the vote. This of course was all revealed too late to affect the vote.... and of course ridicules the whole notion of a no plan B, and surely questions the validity/purpose of the vote in the first place. The issue I was making about funding was that KW stated that the main contributions of the club to the costs come via naming rights and selling GP. Most people think that the figures offered are totally unrealistic. Naming rights in excess of those for Arsenal’s stadium? and a valuation of GP that doesn’t take into account the remortgaging? If you add these to the already expected expenditure..... the costs become even more substantial (much in excess of the original freeby), and certainly within the realms of a full redevelopment of GP. The major difference being of course that a redevelopment can take place over several seasons and in bitesize stages.
Neil Pearse
74   Posted 05/09/2007 at 19:32:58

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Colin, I wonder whether you are pleased that you have now predictably opened all the old wounds without adding anything new to the debate? Except for the inflammatory insinuation that the vote wasn’t really ’fair’ after all, and that the NO vote really won. Thank you for restarting the war. (Not.)
Steve Williams
75   Posted 05/09/2007 at 19:49:05

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Neil, I really don’t think you can accuse Colin or any of the NO voters of ’opening old wounds’. Although you clearly disagree with the arguments put forward by the No’s (and of course that’s your prerogative, and I for one wouldn’t deny you that) surely you can’t fail to recognise that this issue has caused divisions so cavernous that they may never be bridged?

If that is the case, and a move to Kirkby actually happens (of which I have to say that I am sceptical) then only delivery of a world class package at negligible cost to the club, with no loss of fan base, could bring those dissenters back to the mainstream fold.

Over to the Board - deliver or hang your heads in shame.
Dave Wilson
76   Posted 05/09/2007 at 19:27:18

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If Kirkby is such a great idea why dont the yes men just go,They are clearly not Evertonians, Everton is a club Born and developed in the inner city of Liverpool thats who we are, thats what we stand for and the people who wont go to Kirkby, are the people the founders of this club intended to represent.


So go, your not Evertonians your Anti Everton, why else do you want the club to change its identity and represent someone other than the comunity from which it sprung
Leave Everton where it belongs, of course you wont, you wont because you are gutless, support a scouse Everton, or go and create your own club, but please no more claims of "we are Evertonians too" when your so hell bent on distroying us
Gerard Madden
77   Posted 05/09/2007 at 20:16:00

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Dave Wilson - the REAL Everton are moving to Kirkby, feel free to start up a plastiky ’St.Domingo’s FC’ or ’FC Everton of Liverpool’ or whatever.

REMEMBER: Those that didn’t come with us in 1892 became the RS - don’t ever forget that.

I for one will follow us to the ends of the Earth if I had to. I dunno - I suppose that makes me a different kind of blue to some others it seems...
Neil Pearse
78   Posted 05/09/2007 at 20:23:29

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Steve, of course the vote has shown that there are very big differences of opinion amongst the fanbase. And of course this is not just going to go away. All I am asking for is that we simply don’t rehash old arguments.

A vote did happen, the majority of those who voted did vote YES, and we have to start from there. Again, I am absolutely all in favour of us all challenging the Board so that, if Kirkby it is, they deliver the best possible stadium at the lowest possible cost to the club.
Dave Wilson
79   Posted 05/09/2007 at 20:27:09

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Gerrard Madden

Trust me, the real Everton will never move to Kirkby

I wont make stupid statements about following Everton to the ends of the Earth.
In fifty years of watching The boys, people who know me, know my actions speak so much louder than hollow words
different blue to some others ?
I’ll go along with that, A REAL BLUE WOULD NEVER SELL OUT

Mind how you go, dont get too lonely in Kirby, wrap up well . . .
John T
80   Posted 05/09/2007 at 20:27:55

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Bored move on COYB
Dave Roberts
81   Posted 05/09/2007 at 21:17:41

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I agree with John T. This is getting SO boring. It reminds me of the USA losing the Vietnam war and then spent 30 years tryng to convince us they won it in Hollywood!

The vote is over. You lost. Move on.
Dave Roberts
82   Posted 05/09/2007 at 21:27:55

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Dave Wilson.

What gives you the right to think you know what (or who) the REAL Everton is?

Who told you what a REAL Blue is?

And why do you believe you are one of them?

To me you sound like a f...... dickhead. Do us all a favour mate. DON’T COME TO KIRKBY! WE COULD DO WITHOUT YOU.

Or maybe just don’t post when you’re pissed!
Steve Williams
83   Posted 05/09/2007 at 21:28:22

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I truly believe that those of you who urge others to accept the vote, move on or whatever else, are missing the point.

It is this - the divisions are there and are real. Ignore them at your peril. By all means put your head in the sand, but the divisions will not just go away. We must all recognise the validity of each other’s point of view (even when we disagree with it) and then try to work to keep the true power broker, the Board, honest and true. Only then can we all legitimatly claim that we have all done our best for the club and each other.

However, if the Board can’t deliver the vision that the majority of positive voters think they had voted for, then we ALL must be in position to bring them to task and consider any other alternatives that may come along in due course.

It is for this reason that NO-ONE should just accept matters and move on!
dave roberts
84   Posted 05/09/2007 at 22:06:17

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Steve Williams,

’Move on’ does not mean that we now accept anything that the club proposes. It means leave old arguments that have been lost behind and move on to another argument over what will be provided for us at Kirkby if that is where we go. If anybody is burying their heads in the sand it is those who refuse to take that step and continue to believe that by carrying on with old arguments they can positively affect the future of the club.
Gerard Madden
85   Posted 05/09/2007 at 22:09:43

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Is this the last of these long boring anti-Kirkby articles now - and misleading articles like this that hides its real aims in a rather harmless title, or can we expect a ’Review of the review of the battle’ in a week to ten days time?

The vote ended almost two weeks ago. :yawns:
Steve Williams
86   Posted 05/09/2007 at 22:26:20

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Dave Roberts:

Notwithstanding you are a YES and I’m a NO, I’m not terribly sure that your and my visions and wishes for the future are that different.

However equally, I’m not sure how calling someone who has different ideas to you:-
- a f dickhead,
- or not a true blue, or
- telling him not to bother supporting the blues,

is conducive to unity. Also equally, particular NO voters do their (and my) case no good by being equally abusive.

Incidentally, at the last count, there were 85 comments to the article - this just proves that this issue is so huge that to expect it just to be left alone in the hope it will just go away is naive in the extreme. The only way to get some closure to this is, perversely, to keep the profile high enough to ensure the Board deliver what the YES voters wanted. At least then the NO voters may have the consolation of a world class arena for our world class club, even if it is in a location that they wouldn’t (didn’t) vote for.

However in the meantime, can all please show respect. Is that too much to ask? After all, we are Evertonians and we should be better than that.
Kevin Mitchell
87   Posted 05/09/2007 at 21:45:43

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Dave Roberts
You sound like a spoilt brat who wants to see us move to a new stadium no matter where it is or what it looks like. You slag off Dave Wilson because he’s desperatly trying to hang on to what everton is all about which obviously goes right over your head. May no mistake moving to Kirkby will be forming a NEW football club, it wont be everton.
Karl Masters
88   Posted 05/09/2007 at 22:38:10

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Gerard Madden: You tit! If you are really dumb enough to think that this vote has decided everything and it will all be forgotten like a bad home defeat in a couple of weeks you are dreaming or just plain stupid.

Sorry to lower the tone, but what some complacent people fail to realise is that this move will have effects spreading far into the future. The Everton of 30 years time will be far,far removed from what it is today and moving to another town / district/ whatever you like to call it will have brought about a massive identity change. A change you may well come to wish had not happened.

By all means gloat about a hollow victory and deride anybody who dares to think further into the future, but don’t spend all day posting on this subject and then tell us it’s all boring - hypocrite.
Steve Sweeney
89   Posted 05/09/2007 at 23:05:27

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THis will run and run, Billy Boy has really messed up this time.
To leave the CITY, A CITY THAT IS NOW ONE OF THE FASDTEST DEVELOPING CITIES IN THE COUNTRY- For a newtown called Kirkby just to me anyway does not make sense.
The club must be transparent and tell us all the whole truth and the whole story, if they do I believe that a lot of those that voted for the move would be very angry at how they had been misled.
I have posted before and my views are known and sometimes ridiculled but I believe that this move to Kirkby is like a cancer that will destroy Everton as a premier club.
10 years after the move anyone born in this city will be a RS supporter. Then it will be too late.
Well done Billy boy,
rich jones
90   Posted 05/09/2007 at 23:40:33

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Yes voter realy do miss the point dont they, the only thing they can be sure about is 15000 of them will be there in Kirkby, a for me personally I will carry on saying no until its done and if goes ahead I won go anymore as I will not be part of what I believe will ruin EFC. And furthermore and this is the gutwrenching thing I feel even now that by going each week im supporting not only the club but this half wit Kenwright, if he takes us to Kirkby that will be the final straw, im feeling that the only way I can protest is to stop turning up now unless anyone else has any ideas.
Gerard Madden
91   Posted 06/09/2007 at 00:32:40

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Nonesense - these last few posts.

The fact of the matter is that Kirkby is only 4 miles away from Goodison and is a heavily scouse area. The fact that 60% of blues agree with this view and voted for the move is a sore point for some poor losers.

Onwards to Kirkby I say - and upwards we go!
Chris Owens
92   Posted 06/09/2007 at 00:34:40

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The fans have voted for the move to Kirkby. Stop complaining. Let’s go.
Alisdair Denny
93   Posted 06/09/2007 at 05:42:40

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Clubs who redeveloped/moved a few hundred yards:
Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, RS, Villa, Newcastle, Celtic, Rangers

Clubs who moved to retail parks:
Boro, Bolton, So?ton, Reading, Wigan, Derby


Ed, you’ve convinced me.
Arsenal - won nothing since they started their move, Newcastle& Villa from regular top 4 to bottom half, Rangers - always winning the league, now second fiddle

Boro - yoyo club now EPL regular (and UEFA cup final), Bolton - regular Europe challengers, Reading, Derby, Wigan - from obscurity to the premiership.

You’re right Ed, we do need to move several miles.
Dave Wilson
94   Posted 06/09/2007 at 06:11:28

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Dave Roberts

Just finished work, if you knew where I worked or what I did you’d know I hadnt been drinking

Your a fool to think your a true blue

Your a fool for thinking you can intimidate with your bratish rhetoric

Your a fool if you think for one minute the club will risk going to Kirkby with so much dissent in the ranks

its over ? Trust me its only just begun

Proper Everertonians - not gullible fools - are against leaving our city.

My problem isnt with Kirkby, I have good friends there, but I would advise you not to be in such a hurry to get there . . .
they dont suffer fools gladly
Dave wilson
95   Posted 06/09/2007 at 06:36:53

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Sorry Guys

I just saw Mr Roberts comments and reacted
My last post - however true - has no relevence
tried to withdraw it,but dont know how to
Steve Sweeney
96   Posted 06/09/2007 at 08:50:39

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Mr Madden, 60% of Blues do not agree with the move, less than 15,000 voted yes, this debate will not be over untill Kenwright takes the club to Kirkby if he has the balls to do
it, which based on his past record is very much doubtful.
All the crap from Wyness about corridors and catchement areas,drive times etc are the reasons Tesco want to be there, do you really believe that if Tesco could get planning permission to build the retail park without EFC you are beyond reason.
The land has a covenant which prohibits it’s use except for sport /leisure and unlike LCC, knowsley council are unwilling to break this covenant. Just ask yourself this question Why won’t Tesco including Mr Leahy consider a stadium within project Jennifer?
There is land available to do this
but that would not be in the best interest of TESCO. Tesco need Everton in order to get their store in Kirkby, don’t forget that fact.
eds weds
97   Posted 06/09/2007 at 12:09:31

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Exactly right Steve...Tesco need Everton to build their store in Tesco.
If we have to move to Kirkby can we not go there in style???

Lets build a 55,000-60,000 allseater beast of a stadium with character and atmosphere. Why should we accept plans for a Villa rehash? The plans are just not good enough. Can any of the YES voters see that???
Forget location, our potential future home looks like a bag of shite
Michael McKinney
98   Posted 06/09/2007 at 08:41:14

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I have read all of Mr Fitz?s articles and most have been well reasoned and researched, whilst Colin would probably admit that bias often leaked in to some of them. However, I struggle to see the point of this. The posts on this article are almost a carbon copy of posts to previous articles. Nobody is going to turn anybody to the other point of view with these arguments.

If you are lobbying then lobby the people who need lobbying, not other fans. It always just descends into a slagging match about peoples? integrity as Everton fans, which is disgraceful. If you cannot debate without this pathetic attitude that those who disagree are not real fans, then do us all a favour and don?t bother debating at all!

That is to YES and NO voters alike who have called into question another fan?s loyalty.
Michael Kenrick
99   Posted 06/09/2007 at 14:50:28

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And with that very sensible comment from Micaheal McKinney, I think it’s high time we closed comments on this particulaer thread. Thank you all for participating.

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