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75,000? Yeah Right

By Greg Murphy :  22/11/2007 :  Comments (76) :
Course we need it. Here's proof.

? Season 1927/28. Home v Arsenal. Everton have been crowned champions. In the last game of the season, the club?s local centre-forward, Dixie-someone, needs to score three goals to break the record for the most league goals scored in a season - a staggering 60. Goodison Park, by far and away the most majestic stadium in English football at the time and able to accommodate at least 65,729 fans (as shown by the fixture versus Liverpool the previous October), is heaving with an attendance of...48,715. And its average attendance that season was...37,440.

Probable mitigating factors: Fans skint. Global financial panic. Looming depression.

Re-adjusted average attendance, taking into account circumstances, using special ?Wyness? re-jigging computer software: 75,000 minimum.

? Season 1931/32. On course for the club?s fourth championship, an Everton side with Dixie Dean still at the peak of his powers treated the club?s followers to some of the most thrilling home games ever witnessed in a single season at Goodison Park - 5.1 v Sheff Utd, 9.3 v Sheff Weds, 8.1 v Newcastle United, 7.2 v Chelsea, 9.2 v Leicester City, 5.1 v Boro, 6.1 v West Ham Utd - was cheered to the rafters by an average attendance of...36,438.

Probable mitigating factors: Fans still skint. Global finances still haven?t settled. Fans unsure about Everton after having only been promoted a season earlier. Mutterings about some muzzied beaut making political headway in Germany.

Re-adjusted average attendance using the Wyness application: 75,000 minimum.

? Season 1938/39. Fearing this could be the last full season for a while, Evertonians sensed that the club - now with Tommy Lawton having assumed Dixie?s mantle - were on course for a 5th league title. And so it proved and aside from a bumper attendance of 64,977 at home versus Liverpool (natch) - in a stadium that could hold more than 75,000 but very rarely did - Everton record a thumping average attendance of...36,598.

Probable mitigating factors: ?That Lawton?s crap - never as good as Dixie?. Muzzied beaut in Germany has really gone and done it now. Fans still skint. Everyone wants to concentrate on potential armageddon instead of watching the Blues win the league as a welcome distraction.

Re-adjusted ?Wyness-App? average attendance: 75,000 and more. Bloody Hitler!

? Season 1962-63. Home v Fulham. It?s the last game of the season and not only are the Blues looking to clinch the club?s sixth title but it?s the first in 24 years. After a season witnessing arguably the most stylish football in Everton?s history, Goodison Park, which accommodated 72,488 the previous September against (guess who) is bursting at the seams with...60,578. However jubilant Blues record the club?s best ever average attendance of...50,950.

Probable mitigating factors: Fans still as skint as they were in the 20s. Looming nuclear threat as Kruschev and the new pretty boy in the White House really start to crank-up the stakes. Tories have been in charge for 12 years.

Re-adjusted ?Whine-ess? average attendance: At least 80,000. No sweat.

? Season 1969/70. It?s April Fools? Day (eh, Keith?) and the Blues need to clinch the League against WBA at home. Not only that but it?s a night game and we all know what a magical place Goodison is ?under the lights?. Not only that, the silkiest footy that Evertonians have ever seen means the team is on course to break the League points record. Bring it all on. And bring on...58,523 giving us an average attendance of...49,150.

Probable mitigating factors: Beatles have split. Gutted.

Re-adjusted ?Why, why, why Keith Wyness?? average attendance: At least 85,000 (and the Walrus was Whittle).

? Season 1984-85. It?s the club?s greatest ever season. The Blues are on course for a thrilling treble with a first title in 15 years and European glory beckoning too. 50,514 packed Goodison two days earlier to see the Blues clinch the league v QPR on a glorious Bank Holiday Monday (but it would have been over 100,000 had we been playing in Kirkby) and now everyone flocks back to the ground for an evening game v West Ham ?under the lights? again to see us lift the trophy; and as Rats went-up to get the golden cup so did the roar from a huge crowd of...32,657, which actually beat the average of...31,691.

Mitigating factors: That gold Canon League trophy was crap. Thatcher. Everyone saving for Rotterdam and Wembley. Fans felt fenced in.

Re-adjusted ?Bye, bye, bye Keith Wyness? average: a best ever 90,000.

? Season 1986-87

It?s May 2nd and a win at home would take the Blues to within a point of the club?s ninth championship. A scintillating ?out of the Blue? run of 10 wins in the last 12 games has taken the club to the brink of the title. A home fixture against a desperate Manchester City side who bring a full Park End with them in the hope of witnessing an unlikely win to help them avoid relegation bumps-up a mega Goodison attendance to...37,541. However, a week later, with the title then in the bag, Evertonians flock back to Goodison to see the Silver Lady title lifted aloft for the first time in 17 years before an even mega-rer crowd of...44,092. On the up-side, though, this gate smashed the average attendance of...30,581.

Mitigating factors: Heysel. What else?

Re-adjusted ?So, before you go to walk out the door? Wyness attendance: 89,000 (a thousand less then the best ever 90,000 - concession to the Heysel factor).

Upshot: We?ll need Dixie, Lawton, Young, Vernon, Ball, Harvey, Kendall, the whole of the 84-85 side, titles every season, Liverpool in every home game, global political stability, the Beatles to reform and much, much more if we?re ever to need a 75,000 stadium in Liverpool. We?ll need all the above, plus clones of Maradona, Pele, Cruyff and Platini if we?re ever to need it in Kirkby.

Note to Keith Wyness: don?t release a club stats site the week before you tell us that suddenly we need a 75,000 seater stadium either at Goodison, the Loop, Kirkby or the moon (now there?s a thought...is there an enabling partner?)

?...forgive me Keith Wyness I can?t stand your fat lies no more.?

Reader Comments

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Chris Taggart
1   Posted 23/11/2007 at 07:48:36

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As we?re playing time machines,Ask any man u fan in 1992 if they thought they would ever see old trafford expand to their current capacity, i would bet you would get some funny looks,

Locating to a site where future expansion is not limited is good planning,

moving to a land locked site is bad planning in my oppinion.



Erik Dols
2   Posted 23/11/2007 at 08:01:50

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I really do not know what to think of this 75000-expansion-story.

On one hand, I actually for once feel something for the idea of Wyness. Now don’t start shooting! It’s not a bad idea to plan for the future, to have some space to grow even further, how unrealistic it may seem right now. I do not see us fill a 75000-seater stadium week in week out right now, but I actually do see us fill it if all the factors are right. If we’re winning trophies again, and the stadium is state-of-the-art at a good location and you’re not waiting three hours in your car just to leave the ground after the game etc etc. In my honest opinion, the current Kirkby plans doesn’t fit that bill, but let’s not get into that discussion for the 1001st time. I do like the vision forward, the planning so we can act relatively swiftly if succes would come our way.

On the other hand, it’s suspicious that Wyness is only mentioning this possible expansion now, with the growing support for the Loop-site. He gives the impression he’s only re-acting without really having this plan for expansion in the far future. And the room for expansion may be available now, but what if in a few years the whole Kirkby-site is filled with retail? Wouldn’t the same logic that applies to the Loop-site now apply to the Kirkby-site at that time? And why is it that the club never ever gives the impression they are giving any alternative to Kirkby a chance?

If only I had £300 million lying around...
Neil Millichip
3   Posted 23/11/2007 at 08:26:17

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I don?t see a problem with forward thinking. . Arsenal were only getting an average gate of 36,686 at Highbury . Their average gate at The Emirates stadium is 60,140 with the highest gate of 61,839. Imagine if the Emirates only had a 55,000 capacity how much money Arsenal would be losing each home game. Why should?nt Everton think bigger, long term ?
Neil Miller
4   Posted 23/11/2007 at 08:57:52

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The point with Arsenal is that they had 24 000 season tickets holders + another 24 000 waiting for season tickets, we cant compare our situation with Arsenal one.
Dave Lynch
5   Posted 23/11/2007 at 09:09:04

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Neil.
The only reason the Arse got average attendaces of 36,668 was that was the capacity of Highbury.
It was sold out every game, as for Man Utd. They are global and always have been. Face reality we will never be as big a brand as them or the red s**** for that matter, it may hurt some to accept that fact but accept it you must.
We have been mismanaged for decades and have missed the boat in that respect.
Anyone thinking a lego stadium in Kirkby will change that needs to take a huge reality check.
We have to stay in the city, it’s part of our identity and history and to surrender that will not only alienate a lot of current blues, but also future ones as well.
Phil Higgs
6   Posted 23/11/2007 at 09:18:54

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This isnt forward planning!!!!
Yes Attendances grow with continued success but this has nothing to do with the real argument.
Wyness has never mentioned any expansion plans before. He has discredited the Loop as being too small all along . However now that HOK have confirmed it isnt (for 55-60,000 capacity).
He then moves the goal posts by saying "Well actually we may need room for 75,000 seats".
How would this fit in a supermarket car park? Do you think Crowd and traffic congestion have been accounted for 75,000 people? No they certainly haven?t. He?s just said it to pull the wool over your eyes AGAIN!
How do you believe this guy? He says whatever he needs to - to get support for his easy option. Kirkby is his big fat bonus and when EFC becomes Retail Park FC he?ll be off with a shit load of money. While we pick up the pieces of a fragmented club sharing a car Park with Tesco.

How would we even fit 75,000 into that Kirkby site? I cant really see the Tesco store reducing in size to allow our stadium to increase.

In summary: Dont believe a word this guy says. He has ulterior motives and to his credit he knows just what to say to manipulate the minds of some fans
Marcus Dawson
7   Posted 23/11/2007 at 09:27:39

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It goes on and on, the naivity of a block of our supporters who can?t see beyond the end of their noses. Stop and ask yourselves why now? Why all of a sudden has Wyness played his 75000 seater card, has he been keeping it up his sleeve all this time for no good reason? He is clearly fighting tooth and nail to push through Kirkby and is resorting to ever more desperate arguments to fend off any possible counter proposal, there is clearly another agenda and a worrying proportion of us just don?t see it.

The club, headed by Wyness are not prepared to even countenance the thought of going anywhere else than Kirkby and they will feed us any old bollocks to scare us into accepting the inevitable. Those of you still nodding with Keith need to consider why the club is developing a policy on the hoof.
Chris Taggart
8   Posted 23/11/2007 at 10:06:09

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I can recall that there was confirmation that the corners of the stadium could be filled in to provide extra capacity, prior to this anouncement

but dont let that get in the way of a good witch hunt , sharpen those pitch forks and light those torches
Steve Williams
9   Posted 23/11/2007 at 10:20:43

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Chris,

Filling in the corners was to take the capacity from 55k to 60k, not from 55k to 75k.

Source: Keith Wyness.

We can’t even flog the season ticket availability we have (hence half season tickets advertising on Radio City every half hour) - to realistically expect us to move up to 75k is just fanciful nonsense.
Phil Higgs
10   Posted 23/11/2007 at 10:32:46

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Chris,

C?mon fella use your head. As Steve says. How does filling in the corners increase the overall capacity by 50% of the current stadium?s capacity. If we filled in the two remaining corners (removing the church hypothetically) at Goodison would we have a 60,000 capacity?
Chris Taggart
11   Posted 23/11/2007 at 10:54:58

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I dont think i said anywhere filling in the corners would lead to a capacity of 75k

if the corners were filled in to 60k, then the stadium could be built upwards (think st james park)

it seems to me that the club cant win, build a tricky smaller stadium on the loop and everyone would be happy in the short term,

Build a staduim for the potential for expansion elswhere and bullys dreaming, pocket lining etc,



Phil Higgs
12   Posted 23/11/2007 at 11:12:32

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If this is a genuine point Wyness has raised- why has he not mentioned it before? Why did he wait till he was proven catergorically wrong about the Loop being big enough until popping out this chestnut?
If all along this was the case (and we need to expansion capacity to be a potential 75,000). Why did he not say this at the beginning when trying to sell the Kirkby ground move? Because if he did then it wouldve blown a big hole in the whoe Loop argument right from the start.

Going back to what you said about filliing in the corners. You cant just add another tier on top of another and not build the Ground outwards. Unless we demolish and recontruct the original stand. Either way this causes problems in itself.

As for the Loop, HOk have stated roads can be tunnelled and bridged to expand the exisiting footprint to a larger area. This has all been said before
Neil Millichip
13   Posted 23/11/2007 at 11:04:57

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Dave Lynch.. Why can?t Everton be a global brand?. Granted Everton would have to win a few major trophies and get massive investment. Before Abramovich got hold of Chelsea they weren?t global , and they didn?t have the history We have at Everton. So never say never. I do agree that Wynass should stop picking figures out of thin air just to dismiss the bestway plan. I want Everton to remain in the City ,but we have to move or redevelop Goodison. I think 75,000 is over the top but 60.000 should be a target capacity of any new ground just in case the unthinkable happens and we are bought by a ambitious investor.
Chris Taggart
14   Posted 23/11/2007 at 11:48:10

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Phil Higgs

you dont have to be a brain surgeon to realise that the loop couldnt support any expansion after building, unless we want to call it the salvador dali stadium,

talk of tunnels, walk ways, bridges is rediculous, why not change that tower in the HOK sketch into a big helter skelter
Graham Eaves
15   Posted 23/11/2007 at 11:30:27

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"Hi, my names Keith Wyness and I’m looking for you Dragon’s to invest in my new 75,000 seater stadium at a cost of £200,000 for a 10% stake in the business...."
Graham Eaves
16   Posted 23/11/2007 at 11:55:45

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They’d rip him to shreads!
Jon Dean
17   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:08:21

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Chris..you’d better sit down for his:
Your mam & dad lied about Father Christmas and there isn’t a tooth fairy. Sorry.
And did you know they’ve taken the word gullible out of the dictionary?
Lee Spargo
18   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:24:41

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I’m confused Jon. What’s your point?

We’re all beleiving somebody else aren’t we? Either the Club, or the alliance of KEIOC/LCC/Bestway.

It’s a question of where you place your faith isn’t it? And on the subject of faith, weren’t we formed from a church?
Gerard Madden
19   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:22:50

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75,000 is not a fanciful aspiration for our club - we have actually had a higher attendences than that before and if the club is serious about not wanting us to be left behind for good we must (putting Kirkby aside for a moment) have a site capable of holding that sort of capacity, in the meantime a 50,000 (Extendable to 60,000) stadium is about right but the important thing is the Kirkby site is not landlocked like GP or other similar small sites capable of only 50-55,000.

Other clubs like Utd/LFC have existing grounds or will have grounds capable of holding these higher amounts and I believe the Emirates is capable of 70,000 within its design structure. It’s good the club is thinkin’ BIG thinkin’ BOLD and thinkin’ of the children and grandchildren. :)
Ray Robinson
20   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:23:34

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Whilst not disagreeing with the sentiment that we’d find it impossible to fill a ground of 75,000, I think the clever numbers game played by Greg doesn’t actually prove anything.

I’ve just picked up a Leeds vs Everton programme from 1975 and the top average home attendances were as follows:

1. Liverpool 46,576
2. Everton 38,717
3. Newcastle 38,717
4. Leeds 34,044
5. man City 33,939
6. Birmingham 30,651
West Ham 29,606
Arsenal 29,328
Middlesborough 28,297
Chelsea 27,479

Man Utd were in the First Division at the time before anyone asks.

The point is would Arsenal have had a case for the Emirates, would Newcastle have expanded St. James, would City have moved to Eastlands, would Liverpool have contemplated their new ground?

I agree 75,000 is far-fetched but surely the last thing that we want now is a land-locked site that can never be expanded?

Doesn’t that rule out the Loop despite its great central location?
David Marsden
21   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:32:19

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Its simply we ain’t popular enough for 75,000 never have been never will be. Everton FC has always been for Evertonians. Man U have always been massive. Arsenal are in London!! The shite have glory hunters! 75,000 is a joke. Frankly if we do get to the stage of needing 75000 then I think we’ll be successful enough to buy another ground.
Lee Spargo
22   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:41:18

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isn’t our record attendance about 78,000?

contingency plans to expand in the future are sensible. that’s why Liverpool have just re-designed their own project.
Chris Taggart
23   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:43:15

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Jon

thanks for offering absoulutly nothing to the debate, your definatley on santas naughty list now,

Ray,

glad to see someone else gets it great post,

Roy Johnstone
24   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:44:03

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Notice how liverpool didnt change their plans until they realised that their main competition for fans was moving to Kirkby. Heres a contingency plan. 50000 stadium on the loop with the possibility of expansion to 60000. more than enough to meet our needs for the forseeable future and beyond.
Phil Bellis
25   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:44:12

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Lee, like David marsden says, if we ever get that popular that we need to house 75000, we’d be rich enough to build a new ground (maybe even move back home). As for our record attendance - it was a different world then, standing was the norm and the admission cost was less than a pint of bitter. I was in with 60000+ crowds in the early 60s, Milan, derby games etc, standing, don’t forget. Looking back, I don’t how we all survived. It could be terrifying at times on the St End terraces then.
John-Paul Foster
26   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:46:21

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Well thank-you Keith Wyness, now that you have publicly stated the club’s ambition to be able to expand the stadium to 75,000 - you must now include a scenario of a 75,000 stadium in your transport assessment that you will be submitting with your planning application. Considering the troule you’re going to have with at 50,000 seater stadium, I think you have just shot yourself in the foot, either my showing the traffic is going to be too much for the network, or just added a few million (yes million) to the Section 106 contributions for highway improvements to cope with the extra future projected traffic growth. Good news for all those "No to Kirkby" supporters.
Greg Murphy
27   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:39:27

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Take your point Ray and I knew someone would say something like you have.

But it’s hardly a "clever numbers game". All’s I did was pick some of the biggest games, episodes, periods in the club’s history to see whether a century’s worth of empirical evidence supports the belief that at any stage in the future we’ll need 75,000 either in Liverpool or Kirkby.

We’ve had a stadium in the past that could accommodate 75,000 and we rarely filled it. There’s a reason why we hear so much about our record gate of 78,000 (v Liverpool again, yawn) because it stood out like a beacon.

My underlying point is that if the success that I’ve outlined above didn’t attract 75,000 then what will?

Yep, you and I can massage stats however we want - I mean Charlton used to get 60,000-odd for some games - but when those figures play out over a century you really have to start to think that a reliable pattern is emerging.

And anyway, if I’m right, the programme you have there is from 15th March 1975 (yes?) when Everton were closing in on the title (as eventually proved by the fact that we would actually have won it had we not have stupidly lost home and away to the eventually relegated Carlisle). Yeah?

And as you say, we were averaging 38,000 in a stadium that could fit 57,000-plus (shown by the gate v Liverpool - yawn - earlier that season).

So where were the other 19,000 fans as we chased the title in 1975?

And where will the other 37,000 fans come from if we’re in with a shout of the title at Kirkby, the Loop, the moon etc?

C’mon Ray, you know as well as I do that there’s only one reason why we’re talking about 75,000 as a putative capacity for Everton...and it all stems from Keith Wyness’ transparent politicking.

He’s dressing it up as ambition (I seem to recall Leeds Utd having that) when it’s nothing but gerrymandering.
Jon Dean
28   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:56:20

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Sorry to attempt sarcasm chris but all you appear to contribute is a rehash of the club’s official spin. The Echo do it much better. Let’s be grown up and not be dragged into a childish game of verbal tennis. And, anyway, my dad’s a policeman.
Lee Spargo
29   Posted 23/11/2007 at 13:02:38

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Phil, but how can we if we’re limited to 50,000 paying match-goers? Where does the money come from to but ANOTHER new stadium in say 20 years? (optimistic, maybe).

A 50-55k stadium now with the ability to expand at that site makes the most sense, doesn’t it - regardless of whether that site is in Kirkby or not? Isn’t the inability to expand the main reason why we are seeking to move now?
Neil Millichip
30   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:45:55

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I agree with Ray Robinson. Even West Ham are talking of moving to a 60,000 + stadium. or moving into the Olympic stadium (80,000capacity if needed) in 2012. It is no good moving somewhere that you cannot develop and increase capacity if it is needed. 60,000 is about right for now but who knows what will happen in the future.

Chris Briddon
31   Posted 23/11/2007 at 13:09:34

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In all honesty, past attendances from the 70s mean nothing to the future of football crowds.

Football is so mcuh more popular now than in 1975 generally, as the introduction of the PL, the reduction in crowd trouble etc have made it a much more trendy game to watch.

People go on about Liverpool having glory hunting supporters hence the need for a bigger stadium. Well, the point is, that if we ever become succesful again, then we get glory hunters as well. You don?t think that if Man Utd or Liverpool were in the 2nd division they?d still get as many supporters do you - of course not. But on the other hand, if we were PL contenders and playing regular CL football, then we would get a substantial increase in supporters as a result.

Ray Robinson
32   Posted 23/11/2007 at 13:03:20

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Greg, I’m not disputing your point about Wyness whose motives I mistrust. I accept that Everton will find it impossible to fill a 75,000 stadium unless they have success along the lines of Liverpool or Man Utd over a very prolonged period. My point was that statistics from a bygone era could prove that Liverpool do not need a 75,000 stadium or that Arsenal don’t need the Emirates stadium.

I also think that previously recorded attendances were also in some way massaged to deceive the VAT and Tax man but that’s worthy of a completely different thread!

No the point I was making is that football has changed. Who would have anticipated the Geordies getting 50,000 for each home match when their average gate was once sub 20,000? We should not commit to a 50,000 stadium that is not expandable.

Given some success, a fair economy, good marketing, a fan-friendly stadium and good public transport, I could see us filling a 50,000 stadium regularly. Whether that’s at Kirkby or not is another question!

And by the way, you were right about the programme. 0-0 and I was there.
Damien McKay
33   Posted 23/11/2007 at 12:57:32

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Why did Barcelona build the Camp Nau or Nau Camp then? why didnt they just sit back and say "ohh well there won’t be many people wanting to watch us in the FUTURE lets just stick with a stadium that holds only 30,000 supports" yer know why because they have AMBITION and a great history and tradition. Isnt this something that all us Evertonians should strive for? who knows what will/may happen in the FUTURE maybe we will be doing the wright thing in future proofing our stadium within the CITY though.
Ian Tunny
34   Posted 23/11/2007 at 13:05:37

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Its good thinking to my mind by wyness. With football becoming ever more popular, and the world becoming a smaller place whose to say Everton wont be successful again and attract more fans. Man U are a prime example. Everton must be prepared for it even if it never happens but we must try to match the top sides and their holding capacities to compete in the hopefully successful future. Even if it does mean having a stadium full of glory seekers from foreign countries like Man U and Liverpool.
Phil Bellis
35   Posted 23/11/2007 at 13:19:08

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Lee, so much appears to have changed or been lost in translation from the early days but I I thought the official reasons for needing to move are
1.Goodison is falling down and we will soon be unable to get a safety certicate to continue its use
2.We will get up to £10m extra a year to spend on the team via increased corporate business
3. We will only have to pay for fittings in a new stadium to which we suffer no outlay for its build
Mind you, as I often am, I could be wrong; or we may not have been told the whole truth
Brian Waring
36   Posted 23/11/2007 at 13:13:47

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You can’t blame people for not trusting Wyness.The problem is not with the idea of a ground that could hold 75,000,it is more to do with the timing of this latest snippet being released from Wyness.Why has he just decided to come up with this figure now?He could have printed it in the brochure,it might have swayed more fans behind the club.I just can’t believe that some fans actually believe everything the guy spouts.
Are you saying that this has nothing to do with the statement that a stadium for 50-60,000 fans would be feasible on the loop site?
Greg Murphy
37   Posted 23/11/2007 at 13:34:24

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Ray, oh no doubt about our legendary "VAT gates" - none whatsoever. In fact, I’ve always been dubious about that 86/87 game that I cited versus City. I recall hearing the gate that night and I was astonished.
Phil Bellis
38   Posted 23/11/2007 at 13:37:19

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Greg, Ray...the ’VAT gate’ comments made be chuckle. I remember a mate sat in the Winslow after one particular well-attended night match saying despondantly ’first time I’ve lost a shoe in a 30000 gate’ Happy days!
Ray Robinson
39   Posted 23/11/2007 at 13:41:29

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Brian, I don’t know whether it was directed at me but I’d be astonsihed if the loop could site a ground capable of exceeding 50,000. Could be wrong ....

As for the VAT fiddles, we and Liverpool were investigated weren’t we?

The game that makes me laugh is the 4-1 versus Sunderland in the 84-85 season when Andy Gray scored twice with brilliant headers at the Gwladys St. End. Have a look at the packed crowd and convince me that there was only 36,000 in attendance!

Which sort of brings me back to the unreliability of crowd comparisons from bygone eras. Not only are the figures unreliable but also the audience at matches has changed. More season ticketholders, better grounds, improved transport (well motorways, anyway!), more disposable income (thank God for credit cards), less hooliganism and generally better standard of football.

With success, we could fill a 50,000 stadium every home match. Even if we could never get to 75,000 let’s have a contingency that would allow us to do it if it ever did become feasible. Surely not another ground move instead?

And yes, I do suspect Wyness’s motives for only coming up with the figure now. He IS trying to discredit the Loop but perhaps the Loop isn’t the answer anyway.
Phil Higgs
40   Posted 23/11/2007 at 14:54:03

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Look I totally wish we could fill a 75,000 stadium. And with continued Success over a matter of 10 years it is possible we may push towards that. I dont agree that Lpool Arse or Manu are inherintly bigger clubs and always will be.
They?ve become bigger only over the last 20 years while we stagnated.

If we built a stadium with 60,000 seats in the first place (in the now HOK endorsed Loop) for example we wouldnt need to expand.
Have you seen the German Stadiums with small areas of standing sections? Schalke 04?s stadium is amazing! They?re perfectly safe (well maintained and closely monitored) and allow the capacity of a stadium to increase without any building work. Maybe in 10 years or so we may get them over here. Because Health and Safey is so much better now than in the 80s. Please dont say it will never happen because i believe it?s inevitable at some point.

Wishful thinking but lets say in 10 years time (hypotheically) we have a City centre stadium (in the Loop or not) and we are filling its 60,000 seats and we need to expand. If these small standing areas are introduced we could easily push the capacity towards the 65-70,000 mark. That would be more than big enough.

There?s a lot of ifs and buts. However Arsenal?s Emirates stadium is 60,000 and its expansion policy is based on replacing the exisitng seats with smaller ones. Thats a fact!
They proved you dont need a large footprint to accomodate a very big superb ground
Mike Kay
41   Posted 23/11/2007 at 16:52:22

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Damned for forward thinking damned if he doesn’t. The anti move minority will look to pick holes in anything. Get over it, we are going to Kirkby, gerrinn!!!!
Terry Knowles
42   Posted 23/11/2007 at 16:40:27

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When my Dad started taking me to Goodison in the 70?s he used to say wait for the official attendance figure - and when it was announced he used to laugh about fiddling the vat man!
Unfortunately Cheslki, Arsenal and Man U gain so such from the corporate and big city sports fans. Can?t see too many of them tramping out to Kirkby to swell our attendances. Potentially 75,000 fans for our home games? You?re shittin? me.
Lee Spargo
43   Posted 23/11/2007 at 18:16:10

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Yes but Phil, it’s not legal in this country to have a stading area. That would require a change in the law.

Aside from fact that I find it hard to beleive that a 50-55k stadium could fit on that site, and I may be wrong on that, who knows?, but hasn’t anybody thought of the safety concerns of having 50,000 people bottle-neck over a few bridges, or worse just legging it over Scotland Road to sit in the middle of a roundabout? What happens if there’s a fire? or a riot?

Given the new alternative proposals for regenerating Kirkby that have just come out today, it woul be sensible if EFC at least started to look at alternatives in case Kirkby falls through. I have a feeling however, that if that happens, all will go quiet from LCC, KEIOC and Bestway, and we’ll still be playing at a crumbling GP in 15 years. I hope i’m wrong.

Joey Madden
44   Posted 24/11/2007 at 01:10:39

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What is the point in planning for 75,000 though? By the time we need that kind of capacity, Manchester United and Liverpool will have expanded beyond 80,000. If we believe we can match the best, we need a site that can compete with the possible expansions of the aforementioned two. It has been confirmed that the Kirkby site cannot accommodate a stadium of that size. Therefore, I think Everton should continue to look for a site that could house a stadium greater than 75,000.

Having said that, United and Liverpool have played to full houses for 40 years whereas Everton haven’t. 60,000 would be ample for Everton.
lee rogers
45   Posted 24/11/2007 at 03:48:16

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wasn’t there a women’s match years ago at goodison that produced a crowd of a hundred thousand.also i’m sick of the negativety why can’t we think big and who’s to say we don’t overtake the shit,manuare and the arse keep the faith coyb
Gerry Morrison
46   Posted 24/11/2007 at 03:58:57

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I don’t think it was only the tax man who was fiddled in the past. Many atime I slipped the fella on the turnstile a few bob to remain silent while I jumped over. I can’t believe I was the only person getting in that way. They can’t have paid those fellas much. I just assumed that they were all on the take.
Derek Thomas
47   Posted 24/11/2007 at 06:20:47

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Greg Murphy, abso-fucking-lutely spot on.

Given, 1) that the population of Liverpool has been on the decline for years.

BUT, 2) the ease of transport from the surrounds has improved and that.

3) someone will come up with the average of averages since WW2 for attendences.

4)This 75K is pie in the sky.

5)Those who think NO don’t need telling.

6)Those who think YES, CAN’T, WON’T LISTEN
Steve Pugh
48   Posted 24/11/2007 at 06:40:33

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lee spargo - it is a law that is currently under review and is likely to be overturned.

Mike Kay - Do I assume from your attitude that you would choose a move to Kirkby even if a cheaper better option was offered in the city. I know some of the "no" voters can be a bit dismissive of the Kirkby project but comments like yours just give them ammunition to criticise the "yes" voters.

Everton probably will never again reach attendances of 75,000 because we are not attractive to the southern fan base. Man Utd have the worldwide appeal going back for over 40 years and have a massive number of season ticket holders in the south east, Chelsea went from small club to massive club because they are in London and have immediate access to a huge fan base of glory hunters. Everton are a true North Western team with a largely North Western fan base which will not grow, especially if we move to a ground with traffic problems. Work made me move to Norfolk - a 6 hour drive to Goodison, move to Kirkby and add 2 hours to get out of the carpark and I wont be getting home until 1am. How many southern glory hunters will choose that?
Tom Hughes
49   Posted 24/11/2007 at 06:59:40

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It’s all just yet another smokescreen from the Wyness pro-Kirkby spin machine. Yet another anti-option effort to detract from the increasingly obvious misgivings of the Kirkby proposals. KW has staked is whole reputation on the pre-vote assertions that this would be a stadium for nothing, and that nothing else was deliverable.

All that said there is absolutely no reason why the potential to expand any new stadium cannot be planned for several phases in advance. The Loop site can comfortably accommodate the emirates. The cut and cover process will release further footprint to enable practically any capacity to be achieved, similarly at GP, expansion is possible with high 50’s attainable within the existing footprint, and only moderate landtake to increase this substantially. Meanwhile, he seems to have conveniently forgotten, that his own transport studies have shown that 50,000 at Kirkby requires massive additional public transport already.
Patrick Whitty
50   Posted 24/11/2007 at 07:27:20

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Perhaps I can add another spin on this.Lets talk about SKY. Does anybody think if there where no live football, attendances would be up or not? Does anybody think we all get a fair deal from the FA and SKY?I think this is a subject that needs serious debate wether you are for or against kirkby. Anybody?
Luca Benetotti
51   Posted 24/11/2007 at 14:55:06

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Niell Millichips comments sum up how the yes vote won. Its all about bonuses for Fat Keith and a get-out for Bill Kenwrong. Shame on you yes-voters
Bill Goodall
52   Posted 24/11/2007 at 15:38:25

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It would take a great deal of improved attendance to get to 75k given that we are now at 37k. even a 55k stadium at the moment is bigger than we need but gives us room to grow. add in to this a move away from our heartland and a 75k stadium is someone speaking from a sunless place. We are a great club with a great history an we still get 37k every week. find the other 18k let alone the other 38k. yea that is more than twice what we get now
John Hegsby
53   Posted 24/11/2007 at 20:14:00

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Personally I?m getting a bit sick of all this "Yes voters should be ashamed of themselves" type of attitude.

Let?s put it pure and simply....it was put to the vote - the majority voted "Yes". End of.

If you don?t like it and you?d consider boycotting the Kirkby site in protest - you?re not a true blue and should be ashamed of yourself.

Bottom line - we need a new stadium. We need Tesco?s money to get it. Tesco want to build in Kirkby. Forget Bestway and the loop - Bestway are small fry and simply cannot give as much financial support. The site is too small and if you think the Kirkby site would lead to traffic chaos - the Loop would be even worse on a Saturday afternoon.
Mark Schofield
54   Posted 24/11/2007 at 20:30:08

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This sudden claim by Wyness smacks of clutching at straws to undermine any possibility of us getting a stadium on the Loop site. I might be wrong on some of the following points but hasn?t wyness until recently been claiming there was no way a stadium could be fitted into the Loop site desite the architect?s report and images of how one could look. Is this claim in response to the north west development agency investigation into keeping EFC in the city and the architect's report getting more press?

The claim seems to me to be a change of stance as his original claims about the Loop might not stand up. Its like he realising there may be a chance of fitting a stadium on the Loop but not for 75000 so he?s come up with this. He seems very reluctant to consider anything other than Kirkby and this smacks of Kirkby being a big money spinner for him. Further to this, Kenwright seems to be displaying similar signals... Are his motives for Kirkby solely for the good of EFC?
Lee Baines
55   Posted 24/11/2007 at 22:24:54

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Dave Marsden

How can you possibly say Everton will "never" get 75000 supporters in a week? That’s just a ridiculous statement, unless you happen to have one of those fancy crystal balls, or you’re the new Nostradamus.

It’s impossible to predict the future, and using the line; "oh well, we’ll just buy a new ground if we’re that successful" is just plain stupid. Just because we’d have the cash to do so, doesn’t mean we should be backward-thinking! Having to fork out ANOTHER £3m would seriously impinge upon: transfer funds; wage structure; club facilities etc; as it has done at Arsenal, which would only be to the detriment of the club.

And I thought Wyness’s business acumen was questionable - thank Christ you’re not in charge of the club!

The club should be (as far as possible) planning for every eventuality. Why not dare to dream? Why not be bold and brazen? When all’s said and done, planning for the possibility of 75k fans a week isn’t going to destroy the club. It may, however, be of vast financial benefit.
Tom Hughes
56   Posted 25/11/2007 at 00:47:59

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John Hegsby said:
"Bottom line - we need a new stadium. We need Tesco?s money to get it. Tesco want to build in Kirkby. Forget Bestway and the loop - Bestway are small fry and simply cannot give as much financial support. The site is too small and if you think the Kirkby site would lead to traffic chaos - the Loop would be even worse on a Saturday afternoon"

Apparently we need £50-80m of our own money for Kirkby too, and for that much we could either redevelop GP, or contribute to the Loop.
As Far as Bestway being small fry, they are a privately owned company whose owner is worth several hundred million alone. They also own their own bank and a large concrete company..... they can contribute as much as they wish unlike Tesco, who are PLC and therefore need the consent of shareholders. they have delivered some major projects too. The city centre copes with far bigger crowds and influxes than those proposed for a stadium every working day. In the rush hr alone over 100,000 people arrive in the city, and similar on some evenings. Everyone can get a bus/ train/ ferry to the city centre. There are several thousand parking places with more planned. People movement in this area dwarfs anything in the outskirts, so please stop talking about the logistics when Kirkby would so clearly be a nightmare in this respect..... hence the damning transport study.

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Nathan Butler
57   Posted 25/11/2007 at 09:48:01

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From an outsiders perspective looking in (yes we do follow football down under!) we have a similiar situation going on with our national Rugby League competition whereby multiple teams are moving to massive stadiums and mutli-using, yet simply cannot fill them.
I love watching Everton now because of Aussie Tim Cahill but if you asked me for a ’ known global player’ outside of this, I would struggle. What I am trying to get at is, yes, planning for the future is excellent and in Everton’s case paramount, but silverware - Carling and FA Cups, even UEFA, 1 or 2 more marquee players like Tim and then challenging top four will bring you your crowds and 60,000 should be expected. 75,000 + week in, week out, wow, that is global in a big way and you need to winning the league and the big cups mentioned to fill the coffers there. Go the ’ Toffees’, keep your success going!
Nathan Butler
58   Posted 25/11/2007 at 10:10:24

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Sorry, one more thing, I skimmed one of the comments earlier mentioning about St James Park. Surely, and somebody please tell me that a feasability study has been done by the club to extend upwards and increase to 60,000 on-site at Goodison? I wouldn’t think in 2007 that it’s that difficuilt to extend and improve on an existing great, traditional English ground would it?
Brian Towers
59   Posted 25/11/2007 at 13:20:53

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The frequent references to our record attendance - against Liverpool at 79,002 - was in the days when football supporters paid relatively small sums to see their teams. Admittedly they mostly had to endure low cost, primitive facilities but regular attendance was financially possible even on low wages or unemployment benefit. The average age of supporters is now approaching 50 and many can only genuinely afford the ticket prices as an occasional treat. Liverpool also remains an area with many on low or minimum pay despite the glitter and success of city centre development. It is also likely that the Board will attempt to recoup some of the investment with higher ticket prices. 75,000 has been shown to be viable in viable in Greater Manchester and amidst the vast wealth and resources of North London. Liverpool is, and was, to use a phrase ’a different ball game. ’
To establish my credentials, my first match at Goodison Park was for the visit of Newcastle in 1948. I was very young!
Kevin Mitchell
60   Posted 25/11/2007 at 16:35:33

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As an Evertonian who wouldn?t set foot in any stadium built in Kirkby for a "new Everton", I despair at the pro-Kirkby people who obviously want to see us move to a new stadium no matter what it looks like or where it?s built.

Please explain to me what the attraction of Kirkby is, knowing it?s going to cost the club £50 to 80 million when we also know we could redevelop Goodison for the same amount?

As for the 'needing 75,000 seats' comment from Wyness to try to put off any potential other options, this confirms that this man is on a mission to line his own pockets. This man is the enemy of Everton FC.

If Kenwright is the Evertonian he keeps on telling us he is, he needs to step in and put a stop to this madman.
The real worry is there are Evertonians who fall for every bit of bullshit coming out of his mouth.
Lee Spargo
61   Posted 25/11/2007 at 18:21:53

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Kevin, the attraction of Kirkby is the same as the attraction of any new stadium, on any site. Better view, better facilities, more comfort. The reason why Kirkby is head and shoulders above anything else that is on the table, is because there is absolutely nothing else on the table! I wish that the ’no’ voters could see that. I voted ’yes’, not because I want to move the club to Kirkby at all costs, but because it’s either that, or stay at a crumbling Goodison. Like I’ve said before on here, if Kirkby falls through - and it might - then i’d bet it all goes quiet on the Loop.
Brian Towers
62   Posted 25/11/2007 at 18:29:27

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One small consolation for leaving Goodison park to the developers, destroying an important part of the people’s cultural heritage (I have just seen St Pancras Station as an example of what could be done with a decision in the European Year of Culture) would be in the name. Will it be called after the main sponsors, as elsewhere, that is the ’Tesco Stadium’? ’New Goodison’ would have fond memory some grace. Incidentally, will the Reds new stadium be ’Stanley Park’ or even ’New Anfield’? The scruffy old park is still a ’green lung’ where many of us dreamed our childish dreams (at least half Evertonians, including me) as we kicked a ball between shabby coats on worn turf. Football then was not all business. Now it is just unashamed greed. Pigs with noses snuffling in the trough is an image which comes easily to mind.
Steve Taylor
63   Posted 25/11/2007 at 19:17:56

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I don’t see the point in this article?

I assume you’re trying to say that Wyness is using the lack of additional expansion possibilities of the Loop site - as another reason why Kirkby is the better option?

In which case he’s right - 75,000 maybe unrealsitic in 2007, but the new stadium will be the home of EFC for probably the next 75-100 years - so who knows what’ll happen in that time?

Anyway, the Loop site is shyte IMO - a gloryfied roundabout is not my idea of the way forward for EFC.
Kevin Mitchell
64   Posted 25/11/2007 at 19:19:11

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Lee Spargo, Why are you so gullible to believe there are no other options because keith Wyness tells you so?
When we last had a vote on the Kings Dock project some 6-7 years back options 2 and 3 was to redevelop Goodison Park.( I still have the brochure).
What has changed since?
Steve Taylor
65   Posted 25/11/2007 at 19:40:19

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The revelopement of Goodison debate has been done to death. Move on FFS!

Andy McNabb
66   Posted 25/11/2007 at 21:46:20

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Great article, Greg. Had me chuckling over what is actually a very sad jumble of lies and half truths from the ’leader’ of our great club.
Tom Hughes
67   Posted 26/11/2007 at 00:33:28

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Steve Taylor says:
"The revelopement of Goodison debate has been done to death. Move on FFS!"

Done to death you say, you should have no problem then in telling us precisely how much this will cost the club in comparison to the Kirkby option currently sitting at £50-80m. You should also be able to tell us about the images of a redeveloped GP that the club have produced so that we can make a valid comparison...... Fact is only the Kirkby option was done to death, and even that hasn’t held up to much scrutiny!
Paul Sherlock
68   Posted 26/11/2007 at 14:51:54

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Wyness has the moralls of a dead cat
Anthony Doran
69   Posted 26/11/2007 at 20:48:22

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Lets just get one thing right. It’s nowt to do with leaving options open for a 75,000 seater what’s got everybody nose out of joint, it’s the fact hampster cheeks has only just remembered it. If it was suggested this could be achieved else where he’d then say we have to be sure of the power supply in order to make them all heated seats with room for rocket burners under them to take us for our pies and a pxss at half time. I mean honestly can’t you see through it all.
Peter Singer
70   Posted 26/11/2007 at 21:26:09

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If you’re still not convinced that 75000 is an utter lie, just consider this: wouldn’t the option to expand the stadium have made a nice argument backing up the move prior to the ballot? Was Wyness so stupid he couldn’t see how he could possibly use it to justify the move?

Anthony Doran
71   Posted 27/11/2007 at 23:16:28

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Oh yes and as regards the mancs and arsenal achieving the large crowds. The mancs could easily sell 100,000 for every game, which puts their ground at 75% of what they could go up to. Just suppose Everton where to build a 75,000 seater because success and finances enabled it, what would happen if the gates ever went down to a meager average of 45,000 the ground would be almost half empty, the atmosphere would be lost and the revenue would be affected. Please don’t think i’m not wanting Everton to have a sell out 75,000 every week but upside down head wyness is just taking the piss or else all this would have come out a long time before the vote to give more backing to the kirby move. Why can’t Goodison be redeveloped, the way were going i’m sure that investment can be found for this greatest of clubs. Do you believe the club is even looking anymore? Good luck to the team and may all you blue’s have a nice xmas. PS wouldn’t it be nice to help Alan Irving with some loans, good luck Alan.
Evelyn Mason
72   Posted 28/11/2007 at 15:04:25

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Cant see for the life of me filling a 75000 capacity stadium with our supporters.

It was not so long ago when we struggling to attract 25000 to the old lady with more or less the same capacity as today.

And as for attendances, lets not forget that we still have, and will for sometime, the honour of participating in the lowest top flight attendance of all time. (Wimbledon 1993)

On a more serious note, so sad to hear of Mr Hicksons ill health. A everton great and although too young to have seen him play, archive footage and older generations tell me what a player he was.

Get well soon Dave.
Dawn Dawson
73   Posted 28/11/2007 at 22:12:47

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Lets face it, Everton need a new ground but they also need new investment. The "Big 4 " don’t just rely on revenue from the turnsiles but also from other avenues. We will never become a "global brand" as a small club from Kirkby. I doubt that we will need to worry about expanding our capacity to 75,000 - our debts will have increased and our only means of fending off the debt collectors will be to sell off our only assets i.e. our players
Andy Mac
74   Posted 29/11/2007 at 05:08:59

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Seems to me that some people out there in internet land feel that if they happen to disagree with anything the board say, it is their responsibility spout, and make as many attacks as possibsle on the club. The only thing I kow for a fact is happenning is that the people that insist on behaving like this are putting a wedge between the fans. Division is not good. There is no excuse for it. The board are there to make their decisions. They are business people, and I, for 1, trust them implicitly. Look what they have done in the last few years. The turn around is unbelievable. Yet people think despite this, the board cannot be trusted, etc. it?s pathetic.
Peter Getkahn
75   Posted 29/11/2007 at 08:48:23

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This is from the Wembley web site: What is the capacity and how many general admission and corporate seats? Seat capacity. There are 71,200 general admittance seats, which is approximately the same as the entire capacity of the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Tim Keen
76   Posted 01/12/2007 at 12:50:19

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Andy Mac - "They are business people, and I, for 1, trust them implicitly. Look what they have done in the last few years. The turn around is unbelievable. Yet people think despite this, the board cannot be trusted, etc. it?s pathetic. "

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.......funniest thing I?ve read all week. Thank you.

They have turned around a club £25m in debt into a club £70m in debt whilst selling off all the things we owned and making a £10m loss for the last 2 years in a row.

They?ve taken the word "gullible" out the dictionary by the way.....

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