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A point conceded to the ?Yes? camp

By Greg Murphy :  14/12/2007 :  Comments (42) :
I?m an arch ?No? voter. I only know one ?Yes? man. I don?t say that for any other ulterior motive than to provide this context. And that?s to say that this sole ?Yes? voter just happens to be my main matchday drinking partner.

We have season-tickets right next to each other. Have done for over a decade. On Kirkby, though, we?re split down the middle, so you can guess how colourful our conversations have been this season!

We both decided, for the good of our blood pressures, to cease ?Kirkby seshes? after the Birmingham game in November. Except he broke that rule just prior to the Zenit game. For a very good reason.

And, as much as I?m a ?No? man in the very core of my DNA, I have to say he had a point. Moreover, it gave me an insight into how the mind of a ?Yes? voter has been working.

It all concerns a pub where we do our pre-match drinking. In the interests of legality (although what I say is true), I won?t name the pub. Except to say that it?s one of the major Everton alehouses and if you were asked to mention the ten leading gaffs for Blues then this one would be right up there.

We?ve been bevvying there pre-match for five years now. I should say, that apart from my ?Yes? voting mate, we are part of a regular several-strong crew ranging in age from 70 right down to 6. We?re all there from12.30 on a Saturday. Or 5.30 on a weekday.

Between us all we probably put the thick-end of a ton over the bar for every match. That?s a minimum £1,900 a season from our group alone. And the alehouse is always chocker. So it?s minimum matchday takings are easy to work out.

It?s obviously very welcome dosh for the landlord / lady (keeping it anonymous). And I?m happy about that because I?m one of those ?No? voters who is quite concerned that a whole load of businesses around L4 4EL are gonna be seriously crippled if EFC ships out.

And the particular landlord-lady must be pretty chuffed at the extra income coming their way this season with post-Christmas Uefa and League Cup footy coming their way with at least one FA Cup tie in the mix too. Also the fixture list has been pretty kind too, as Goodison will play host to both of the prime festive fixtures with the Blues at home on both Boxing Day and 29th Dec when it seems those who don?t normally have a pre-match bevvy decide to go all festive (and why not!).

A funny thing happened at 7pm before the Zenit game in this alehouse, though. And it immediately had my pro-Kirkby-voting mate slamming his pint down and exclaming ?you two-faced, hypocritical... (add your own expletive - there were a few)!? It wasn?t directed at me. Or anyone else in our crew. Or any of the other drinkers. No, it was aimed right at the bar staff. Or more pointedly the management who had clearly told the bar-staff what to do. And that was to suddenly don the all-new royal blue KEIOC t-shirts and wear them over their normal threads.

To my ?No? voting eyes it all looked rather impressive. But not to my mate, obviously. And he had a point. He rattled-off a litany of hypocrisy. Namely:

  • that the alehouse in question has been going down the pan steadily for years;
  • that the ale is, er, questionable;
  • that there are two tariffs (as listed) for the price of the ale - i.e. there?s a considerable mark-up on a matchday Saturday or after 6pm on a midweek night; that the boozer in question very rarely has the early Sky kick-off on the TVs (or if it does, it?s only on the far corner one which is hooked-up to the jarg channels - and the management has already conceded that the reason there is no Sky subscription is because of the price);
  • that a small hole appeared in the upholstery of the main bank of seats about two years ago, which then went unrepaired and has now expanded to the point where the padding has totally collapsed rendering four or five seats in one of the main corners of the alehouse totally useless for sitting in.
And there?s a lot more, besides, including a pretty rank odour that?s started to emerge of late. But his general point, if you hadn?t guessed, was that for years this particular boozer has traded-on and taken for granted a steady income from Evertonians. And frankly, it has to be said, that the matchday service on offer is best described as ?no frills?.

Now that it looks like the Blues will be off (I don?t subscribe to the view that it won?t happen ? it?s nailed-on in my view, but I hope not) they?re suddenly flying a big KEIOC banner. And the obvious reason is because the management knows that the pub is gonna take a direct hit ? very probably below the water line.

And I would guess that?s the case for all the other Everton boozers, no doubt including the one that we ironically jibbed five years ago (after drinking there for seven years) because it had, basically, become a dive.

?There isn?t a single business round here that treats the Evertonians with any respect,? said my mate.

?They?ve taken us for granted for years. You lot wanna open yer eyes. The pubs are all crap. Most of the chippies are rank. None of the businesses go that little bit further to recognise how lucky they are to have all of us pitching up 20-odd times a year.

?For years they?ve been quite happy to give us second-class service and take our money because they?ve known they?ve got us by the nads and we?ll keep coming back time after time.

?They should be bending over backwards to please us ? instead they couldn?t give a toss... Until now when it looks like we?re getting off and they?re panickin'.

?Tell yer, this was one of the reasons I voted 'Yes'. And youse lot have the cheek to keep calling me a mug! Other way round, the joke?s on you!?

Like I said, he had a point.

While I still stand by my ?No? view, I have to say this: if by some chance we do end up staying at Goodison (or indeed shift elsewhere) things have got to change. For the better. And collectively we?ve got to use our ?buying power? to demand better standards. It is true that for far too long we have been taken for granted.

Reader Comments

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Jimmy Fearns
1   Posted 14/12/2007 at 17:24:47

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What the fuck is this, the good pub guide ?
Steve Taylor
2   Posted 14/12/2007 at 17:53:05

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I hope the club has the foresight to build proper bars as into the new stadium (by proper bars - I don’t mean a concrete concourse - I mean "pub style" venues) then you & your mates £1900 would be bolstering the clubs coffers & not a back street alehouse......

Benji Learman
3   Posted 14/12/2007 at 18:20:12

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thats a shout and a half that jimmy

to be honest with you, i like the boozers we have got now, and also, i LOVE the ground that were at! i dont want to move, goodison park is apart of everton football club, movin away from goodison is well, killing the soul of the club!
Tom Hughes
4   Posted 14/12/2007 at 18:08:58

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There are loads of pubs around GP, you can find several good ones. It has to be said that pubs generally are struggling at the moment. There are more boarded up in Liverpool than there has ever been, but Walton with relatively high density population can sustain a far greater number and variety than Kirkby ever will. How many are there in the whole of Kirkby? We have changed our drinking habits several times, because it’s easy to in Walton. To suggest that the club kits out the proposed stadium with pub style bars for once a fortnight events is asking a lot to be honest. There will be the lounges for the well healed but beyond that will be what we have now. If the stadium was on the Loop it could be conceivable for it to act as an extension of the city-centres amenities, and therefore warrant more extensive bar provision, maybe! The other thing with GP though, is it’s only a few mins by taxi into Town and endless alehouses to choose from..... Kirkby can never be that! That said, I find it perculiar your mate only felt agrieved after they had donned KEIOC t-shirts.
Ray Mia
5   Posted 14/12/2007 at 17:58:57

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Darwinism, survival of the fittest. Businesses exist by continually changing themselves to react to the market. That goes for crap pubs as it does for football teams.

But the idea Everton owe something to the bad businesses making a killing of committed blues is not very astute for Everton.

Good article, well written. I appreciate the open mind, and respect your view on not moving. The fact is I disagree, but the fact my opinion was asked of by the club, I’m thankful for, but ultimately it is the club’s decision and it would not suprise me if the decision in part was based on quality of life/service that could be offered to fans on Matchday, and those services going directly to the club, and not some random local businesses that take the fans for granted.

Good response Jimmy. Good to see you’re keeping an open mind.
Greg Murphy
6   Posted 14/12/2007 at 18:32:13

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In truth, Tom, he’d been griping for ages. I was in denial so to speak. But when they donned to KEIOC t-shirts (to a rapturous round of applause it has to be said) it was a stage too far for my mate. And as much as I fundamentally disagree with him on so much, I had to concede that he had a point.
I take your point about the pubs struggling but I have to be honest, if I was the owner of that pub my basic pride (never mind any business savvy) would have seen me court my clientele a bit more.
Chris Jones (Wakefield)
7   Posted 14/12/2007 at 18:41:31

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Keep Evertoniancash In Our Coffers
Dave Wilson
8   Posted 14/12/2007 at 19:03:04

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I dont get your point, a couple of weeks ago I was in what all my mates described as the worst fucken dump they’ve ever been in - Portsmouth
Tomorrow, as every season, we’ll have a few bevies with mates we grew up with who moved to the east end years ago , trust me compared to the two boozers we’ll be drinking in, every alehouse around goodison is a palace, look at the fucken shitholes in Manchester, go to sunderland, you must have sampled the delights around Villa Park, Try RS alehouses.
The point I’m making is that this standard of pub isnt exclusive to the Evertonian, football fans in general are given this shite service, the thing is, generally they accept it, its great fun roughing it before the match with your mates
Derby, Coventry, Bolton, Boro dont have these delapidated pubs, know why ? coz they dont have any pubs at all
Tell your mate to stop whining
Greg Murphy
9   Posted 14/12/2007 at 19:26:13

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Agreed Dave, and for instance I did the Millers Well on Wednesday night (Beggar tomorrow) and again it struck me that a really decent boozer has been allowed to go a little ropey over the last few years. You’re right, it probably is a pan-footy thing.
Tom Hughes
10   Posted 14/12/2007 at 19:27:55

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I can’t help think the gripe is more linked to his vote than any genuine complaint. There is plenty of competition in Walton you can always move on to any one of dozens, this will never be the case in Kirkby. One particular alehouse we used to frequent had noticeably deteriorated since it was taken over a few years ago..... we just moved next door and rediscovered an old favourite. We have since added a more distant pub to our list of faves, and to be able to discover new places after all these years says a lot about what’s on offer. Anyone who thinks that lots of new pubs will be incorporated into the site for a 20 event/yr venue is kidding themselves. How many are there at any of the new out of town stadia? I think there is a couple near the Reebok, can’t remember any at Reading at all. Kirkby itself can only sustain a handful of spread out pubs in the whole place, and they’re no great shakes. This will leave us with the one option of a pint in the ground, which since far more will be driving will mean we wont be able to have a drink anyway...... and if anyone wants to sample poor quality, and high prices it will be when there’s no competition. On that count I wouldn’t say we’re spoilt inside the ground as it is..... you can’t even get a pint of guinness, and what you can get is surely a bigger rip off than what you’re mate is complaining about.
Keith Glazzard
11   Posted 14/12/2007 at 21:35:44

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Definitely not a good pub guide.

It is unfortunate but true - EFC has to be a successful business. I don’t know how this can be achieved. The club did ’ask the fans’ about a move, however imperfect that whole thing might have been. In the end, the owners will decide what happens next.

The terrible thing which Greg’s piece shows up so well - thank you - is just how much cash the fans put into the pockets of people selling crap. Not just in pubs. Millions of pounds each year. Neither you, me nor Richard Branson (I joke) is going to solve this. But if you have a really good idea, please contact me.
Bob Fletcher
12   Posted 14/12/2007 at 22:25:00

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Tom Hughes there are 5 pubs along Whitefield Drive/Glovers Brow in Kirkby apart from the multitude of pubs and clubs in Kirkby Town Centre, all within 5 minutes of the proposed new stadium. Try visiting Kirkby and go to the pubs and clubs. I bet if you had 1 pint in each you would not be sober for 6 months.
Tom Hughes
13   Posted 14/12/2007 at 22:53:17

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I worked in Kirkby for 6 years up to last year, and also have a few relatives there. Only ever sampled a couple to be honest but knew there was only a handful. I’m sure there are far more places just on or off County/Walton Rd than in the whole of Kirkby by a margin, and that’s even with quite a few having shut down in recent years. Kirkby is a predominently low density spread out place..... for the same size area around Goodison, there would be scores of pubs to choose from. Then of course The whole of Bootle/Walton Vale and the city centre down the road. People really can’t complain about the choice, nor make a comparison. It’s a bit like me arguing the case for Speke because it has half a dozen cheap pubs and a few social clubs. County/Walton Rds is one of the last few intact Victorian High Streets in the city. There used to be loads of these "pub on every corner" neighbourhoods. For me it’s got more character and atmosphere than all the edge of city new towns put together. You can’t beat the feeling of walking along a vibrant County Rd on matchday..... it could never be replicated in the towny.
Kevin Mitchell
14   Posted 14/12/2007 at 23:01:33

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Gregg Murphy, if your mate voted for Kirkby because he dosn’t like the service in a Walton boozer then he needs some serious help. I wonder what he would be like waiting a couple of hours in Kirkby for his park and ride back into town after a winter night game. Mind you thinking about that last statement he would be on his own.
Gerard Madden
15   Posted 14/12/2007 at 23:26:38

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All the pubs and chippies round about Goodison are...generally...shite, they won’t be missed and they’ll be only too happy to paint their premises red when the RS get a bit nearer to them when they build their big new stadium on the park.

They’ve been taking Evertonians for granted for donkeys years now and i’m glad their watery pissy ales will soon be enthusiastically serving up some Norwegian Reds.
Rob Hollis
16   Posted 15/12/2007 at 00:08:19

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The team is OK now lads and there is no need to get pissed in order to enjoy the visit.
Dave Wilson
17   Posted 15/12/2007 at 05:22:11

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Your on your PC until its too late to get to the game in time for the kick off, then your home in time to watch strictly come dancing, but you still find time to visit all these alehouses ?
Like the ground itself, you probably never go to the pubs your bad mouthing
Steve Wolfe
18   Posted 15/12/2007 at 07:24:31

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It's about choice ? if your mate doesn't like the Spellow then drink elsewhere. there are loads of other places in Walton Town etc....
Darren Dempsey
19   Posted 15/12/2007 at 11:18:57

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Now, now girls lets take a step back. why do we go to Goodison? Its for the love of OUR team not the ale! I don't want to leave GP but something needs to be done with some serious investment and i dont mean like the cowboys across the park. It looks like there stadium plans are going up in smoke ha,ha,ha! Lets steam in and get OUR club to find out if we can get planning permission for our end of Stanley Park then see were we stand on extpanding GOODISON PARK for the PEOPLE of the city that's right the PEOPLE'S CLUB!!
Gerard Madden
20   Posted 15/12/2007 at 17:06:04

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Dave Wilson - you’re a bitter so-and-so, just because most of the fans ’out there’ in the real world don’t share your minority obsessions against the board and Kirkby and are seemingly happy with things on ’n off the pitch.

Another win today - lovely jubbly. :lol:
Vincent Lysaght
21   Posted 15/12/2007 at 18:31:08

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My son is 15 and is EFC through and through. He loves watching Everton and is so proud of their performances this season. However he hates the pubs, the chippies, the dog muck strewn streets and most of all he detests Goodison. He cannot believe that in 2007 that an entertainment based business, in one of the richest countries in the world, in one of the richest sports leagues in the world, is housed in such a run down outdated stadium in such a derelict, under invested area of Merseyside. He is totally embarrassed by the place. I try to remind him of it?s history and atmosphere but he comes back with "that was then,this is now". Let us see that the new generation of EFC supporters get a 21st Century stadium as part of a 21st Century development. Let the "no" voters wallow in the decay and filth of a previous century. We need to move on and the sooner the better. I give up at this point of the conversation because I know he?s right. To even contemplate rebuilding Goodison is madness. LFC are about to make a huge mistake - 600 million on a stadium in Anfield - no wonder the scheme is now in doubt.
Bilbo Brad
22   Posted 15/12/2007 at 18:45:21

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GM, I would love to see you local chippy and pub, I bet you have to get a taxi to both ???
Jimmy Fearns
23   Posted 15/12/2007 at 19:01:39

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NO VOTER DOG SHIT ALERT Vincent, if your son detests goodison he's is not a true blue . Gerrard Madden, you're probably barred from all these boozers for talking utter shite as usual.
Tom Hughes
24   Posted 15/12/2007 at 20:30:53

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Will your son enjoy the 2 mile walk to and from your car, or the Queues of thousands for the buses/trains? When he’s old enough will he be able to get a direct bus/train from where you live with his mates? What can he possibly know about pubs? How come you haven’t managed to find him a decent one from the many good ones on offer? Does he know the dog’s also shit in Kirkby? Does he know that for the price of Kirkby, GP would be 21st Century?
I have noticed one thing from all those deriding the "No-voters" as if they are another breed. They can never really take issue with the fundamentals of the subject, and regularly stray from the thread with little objectivity. I mean...... "Decay" and "dog shit", please take your son for a tour of your utopia.
Nick Gordon
25   Posted 15/12/2007 at 21:40:18

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Next please. The fact is, we are moving to a new stadium in Kirkby - the sooner the better in my view. I’m a blue through and through and Goodison is a dump. Forget tradition and history, move on and start a new chapter. That’s what we did in 1892 - incidentally, moving out of the (then) city boundary at the same time.

Tom, you are forgetting that that there is no money for the redevelopment of Goodison, so your argument is invalid.
Tom Hughes
26   Posted 15/12/2007 at 22:27:53

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There is no money for redevelopment yet the club can find £80m+ for Kirkby..... sorry that makes no sense at all. That amount of money would completely transform Goodison. Kirkby is nothing like fact...... They haven’t even submitted for planning permission yet, and it will almost certainly be called in regardless. Even if Goodison was only given 1 or 2 new stands it could become the best combination of new and iconic/historic in club football..... I suggest you read about Fenway, the home of Boston red sox. GP can be all that and more. For the amounts Kirkby is going to cost it could even be brand new!!
Rob Hollis
27   Posted 16/12/2007 at 00:59:25

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Tom Hughes..I am impressed. You are both a planner and an accountant. Why has BK paid a fortune for consultants when the answers were to be found right here on the site!
Dave Wilson
28   Posted 16/12/2007 at 06:51:40

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I was 100% against Kirkby, but I now believe it wont happen, I just want the divisions healed - God knows the boys are doing their part - I was out in the "real world" at upton park yesterday and when AJ sealed it I didnt know, or care if it was a yes or no voter I was hugging, I just knew as blues, we were sharing special times, you on the other hand have spent the past few months winding up sensitive and tense situations which has put you in a minority of err 1
I hope the Mancs hammer you today
By the way, did you enjoy strictly come dancing ?
Tom Hughes
29   Posted 16/12/2007 at 11:00:21

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Rob Hollis,
You don’t have to be anything to quote the people concerned. I have only ever used the club’s own figures and the transport consultant’s figures in these threads. I think you will find that Tesco have funded most of the consultants, this is their party, we are their enabler, without us they do not get their biggest store in the country. They have convinced the club that they are the only way forward for us, and a few inside the club have staked their reputations on it. As was seen at the recent AGM it doesn’t hold up to any scrutiny, no questions were fully answered, no solid figures given, and no comparisons to those for redevelopment or the loop. The one consultant produced by the club at the AGM hadn’t even familiarised himself with the HOK report for the Loop which he was commenting on. NO feasibility studies for redevelopment or ANY other site has ever been produced.
Steve Taylor
30   Posted 16/12/2007 at 18:26:36

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Tom - I know you’re dead against Kirkby, fair enough - but the Loop site is just not big enough. It’s location is gash & the feasibility study that would end up coming to the same conclusion would delay us another year. It’s a glorifed roundabout FFS!

No parking, no pedestrian access (who’d pay for the access?). It was never on the agenda when LCC where supposed to be assisting the club to find a site within the city boundary - & then it appeared at the 11th hour - the alternative! Do me a favour - you may not want Kirkby - but the loop is not deliverable as a viable alternative.

Cue abuse
Rob Hollis
31   Posted 16/12/2007 at 20:39:54

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Well if this is Tesco’s party Tom I believe their value range of sausage rolls and cider is the cheapest in the UK.

Tom, Everton have stretched themselves with the purchase of players over the last couple of seasons. The Tesco deal is the only one that will provide a substantial subsidy for a new stadium. It is all we can afford. Liverpool are in terrible debt with the club purchase, never mind the stadium.
Liverpool City Council are not going to subsidise us (and I don’t believe any public money should subsidise a Premier League Club) so what is the alternative?

Would you rather not see the cash spent on the players? We need a stadium but surely it is sensible to build it at the least possible risk. These things always seem to have a tendency to go over budget anyway.

Sorry about the previous post by the way, seems a bit snotty reading it again.
Tom Hughes
32   Posted 16/12/2007 at 19:54:33

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Check everything I have posted.... I never give abuse!
Did you know that the emirates sits in the apex formed by two rail lines, with access via bridges? That its it’s construction plan area would fit inside the Loop comfortably, or that the Millenium stadium practically overhangs the river along one side, and tight city blocks on all others? Did you know covering of the cutting the tunnel access road already sits in would be a fraction of that of the total stadium build to give full access on South and East sides at minimum? Meanwhile access to the Kirkby site is so restricted that the consultants are proposing the biggest park and ride scheme in Britain. There can never be any comaprison between Kirkby and the Loop. The city centre’s transport hubs have the capacity for 200,000+ passengers per hr, presently 100,000 use them every rush hr. Kirkby is 4-5,000 per hour at an absolute stretch, and presumably some of them will be taken up by local residents and customers of the new retail park. As far as parking is concerned the local area has easy access to the largest group of car parks in the city-region in the city-centre, and the surrounding area is practically unoccupied nowadays. HOK are the world leaders in stadium design they have confirmed that the site is viable, they have fit larger stadia into tighter spaces many times. In terms of Deliverability Bestway have stated that they envisage that their project would require a club contribution of £60m with enabling developments for all the surrounding sites, which are prime sites in the current climate. Tesco don’t own the copyright on this type of development, the City-centre’s developments dwarf the proposals at Kirkby.
Tom Hughes
33   Posted 16/12/2007 at 21:19:48

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I was not offended at all..... I agree that the club is stretched to do anything. However, the costs to the club for Kirkby are rising all the time as more detail is revealed. Latest admission by the club was in the region of £80m direct cost to EFC, but for even that the figures don’t now add up. Regardless, if we can find that amount of money for Kirkby we can find it for Goodison, the Loop or elsewhere. Goodison is the only site that doesn’t need this amount up front. The Park end can be completely transformed with a 15,000 seater, increasing our capacity to 50,000 in one close season at a cost of £20-30m, and an enabling project at its rear could partly fund it. Following seasons could lead to any number of variations of redevelopment of the old stands and aquisition of planning permission for expansion should it be required. Straight away we have saved at least £50m on what we need for Kirkby for the same capacity. BK practically admitted the roots of the Kirkby proposals were a simple conversation with Terry Leahy..... it’s almost a gentleman’s agreement based on what is good for Tescos first and foremost, and rightly so. Personally, I don’t believe it is mutually beneficial to EFC, we get a stadium at halfish price in a poorly served location, and away from our history/heritage and with potential damage to our identity, and dividing our fanbase. Or we could stay at Goodison, and completely renovate it for the same amount (significantly less to start with) over several years if necessary, and ensure that we preserve everything else at the same time. Conversely, if the financial model for moving is proven, then why not apply that to a more central site with all the ensuing benefits in terms of local amenities and public transport infrastructure? Ceasing the middle ground, not running for the hills. Kirkby is NOT going to cost us nothing, and I’m not just talking money!!
Tom Hughes
34   Posted 16/12/2007 at 22:03:50

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Of course I meant seizing the middle ground.... haha, ceasing the middle is going to Kirkby!!!
Gerard Madden
35   Posted 16/12/2007 at 23:32:26

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Tom you’re talking utter nonesense regarding the loop.

The whole loop site is just 10 acres, the whole Kirkby development site (retail and stadium) is a massive 80 (EIGHTY) acres. Now of course its possible some extra land could be released next door to the loop - but how much? 3/4/5 acres? It certainly won’t be 10/20/30/40/50/60 or 70 acres that’s for sure! 10 loop acres add say 5 acres is nowhere near the kind of space to attract the kind of enabling funds that Kirkbys 80 acres can provide. I’m sorry but no amount of spinning from you or anyone else can make the loop appear ’big’.
Rob Hollis
36   Posted 16/12/2007 at 23:54:39

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I think without any significant partner then any newbuild is out of the question. If Goodison was redeveloped (and I do believe that would be feasible with three tiers all round) then what would happen to us with the loss of gate money and supporters getting out of the habit because they can’t get in for a season whilst the rebuild happened?

Tesco are our best bet unless we get a major investor but judging by the others I would prefer the way we are. United and Liverpool have big debt. By the way some of my friends who support United have been priced out of going. For all the rivalry it really is sad to see genuine supporters pushed to one side, they are treated like crap!
Who wants an Abromivich or that freak who owns City? Arsenal are good whilst they resist the takeover but they are probably the only beacon in the supposed ’success’ of the Premier league.
Kirby is not perfect but I think the pragmatic choice.

Tom Hughes
37   Posted 17/12/2007 at 10:46:50

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My argument wasn’t that it was comparable in size to the Kirkby site generally. Just that it was physically possible to fit the stadium into that site, based on just the 2 examples I gave and the access difficulties there, which is what was being disputed if you read above my posting. I could offer several more similar examples. I also think that the amount of land available in the vicinity of the Loop is deceptive. The council own substantial pockets of land including Everton Park next door, and this whole area is seen as essential bridging corridor between the city-centre, and the already agreed project Jenifer, and other developments around Shaw Street/Islington down to Leeds Street/Grt Howard Street across the Loop itself. These are major brownfield sites in between two or three investment hotspots, and cover far more than the Loop’s 10 acres alone. There is greater potential for major high rise/residentail/commercial developments in these areas, as is evident by the number already taking place, no-one wants a skyscraper or Penthouse apartment in Kirkby. Making the return per acre substantially greater than the low rise Kirkby developments, not to mention the intrinsic attractiveness of the location. Bestway, have done an outline plan, they are confident they can make it work. I believe they were the principal developers for Cheshire Oaks which is similar scale to the Kirkby retail development....... So, why isn’t it wise for us to see what can be offered there? They will be developing their site regardless, and have several options.
Dave Wilson
38   Posted 17/12/2007 at 11:13:19

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Kirkby’s not happening, it will be called in, Toms right to look for plan B/C or even D
Your are right about genuine supporters being treated like crap but, thats football everywhere, you refer to Arsenal being the Beacon but their price hyke was greater than anyones, thousands of genuine Gooners have been priced out and replaced by the newer wealthier breed,
Tom Hughes
39   Posted 17/12/2007 at 11:23:06

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Redevelopment needn’t mean substantial loss of capacity. It’s been done elsewhere without losses, and has been shown to be possible at Goodison. Ipswich redeveloped their end stand whilst maintaining the existing capacity give or take a few hundred. We could do similar at the Park end just to start that process. We’re hardly packing them in at present despite the good form.

Make no mistake about Bestway. They are a substantial private company, they can invest whatever they want into the Loop development or even EFC itself, unlike Tesco who are a PLC and therefore beholdent to the shareholders. They own their own bank, and a massive concrete company, and the owner’s personal fortune is many times the value of EFC. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating going down that route, but they certainly have the resources...... I don’t know about the inclination though.

Whether or not Kirkby is a better choice than GP/loop is dependent on lots of things, not just whether or not they have had all the time an resources in the world to put a scheme together compared to the options. Your personal choice is also dependent on how much value you put on the practical logistical benefits of staying central, and/or preserving our heritage at our historic home. Personally I can’t see Kirkby ticking any of those boxes, and to move for what is essentially the cost of 2 new stands will be a false economy, and most importantly is not the package people voted for!
Frank Hargreaves
40   Posted 17/12/2007 at 11:42:48

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Agree wholeheartedly with that.

Some pubs seem to treat their customers with contempt. Surely it is a matter of choice though ?

Nobody forces me to drink pub has EVER "had me by the nads" I either go...or I don?t.

It?s far from a "captive audience" you either go, or you don?t. You can?t compare it to the match...Everton play on one pitch...if you want to watch Everton you HAVE to go to Goodison Park. If I want to watch Everyton on Sky I can pick any pub in the country.

I?m also a bit confused as to why a pub on County Road wouldn?t want to keep Everton at Goodison..."please move, I don?t need the business" The fact is Walton and whatever commerce there is there basically revolves around Everton. Witness it?s decline should Everton choose to move...similar to the decline of Rice Lane when Dunlops shut up shop.

The pub game by and large is on it?s arse. I love the myths that surround it some of the stuff has me laughing out loud.

I?ll nail one for you here and now the "matchday tarrif"... what is it 10p or 20p on a pint ? Marvellous....

Extras for a staff, door security, plastic bottles/glasses....I can only speak about the pub I know but the cost of RUNNING the pub on a matchday increases. I can?t speak for any other pubs but I know one that pays decent wages, looks after it?s staff and has gone a long way in trying to improve. Like I say though, it?s all a matter of choice. Nobody has EVER forced me to drink anywhere I didn?t want to.

I don?t think you will find any licencee crying poverty on a match day, why would they...thats what they are in it for, unless of course pubs should just give free ale away to Evertonians...Those that take their customers for granted should quite rightly be slated, I think you will find that not all of them do. Averaged out over a week there are many pubs on County Road who I know for a fact struggle to break even. I?m not saying they deserve sympathy I?m just pointing out a fact. Take a walk down County Road on a Monday or Tuesday night and you would be hard pushed to find 50 people drinking on the entire length of the road. Matchdays make up for this, but not nearly as much as the myth makers would have you believe.

I also don?t understand why people who have a pop at the trade and who think it?s such a breeze...why don?t they just get into it themselves. There are at least two pubs on County Road up for lease...perhaps this lads mate should take one up and show everybody else how it should be done.

It all boils down to choice...if you don?t exercise your right to drink somewhere else....more fool you.
Greg Murphy
41   Posted 17/12/2007 at 16:10:32

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Take your points almost entirely Frank (could ping-pong all day, though, about the micro-economics of "match day tarriffs"). As I mentioned earlier, it has actually been me (probably coz I’m easily pleased) that’s kept us in the boozer in question. I’m well aware there are some quality gaffs around Goodison that go a bit further for their clientele (because they’ve sussed two things: how handily they’re placed; and how to treat their regulars).

I’ve stuck around in said boozer for five years chiefly because it’s in a great location. Five years ago it was a quality house. And by quality, I simply mean well-run, well-kept, with decent ale at going-rates...I don’t belong to the gentrified "new fan" brigade (not that Everton has many) demanding to be served pronto in a glitzy lounge replete with sarnies on wholemeal and a Lavazzo machine in the corner.

But, just using the upholstery example I provided; you have to wonder what signal the management sends when they ignore a hole that started out about the size of a 50p a few seasons ago and is now about three seats wide and has led to the collapse of a main seating area.

Surely it’s saying "I don’t give a toss." Isn’t it?

And there are other examples I could have used but didn’t.

Rather than it being my mate who flipped before the Zenit match, it should actually have been me. Because for all the fine Goodison gaffs like the Brick, Orry’s, Elmhouse and others that really respect their Blue clients, there are many that treat us with contempt.

And sadly, I suspect many of the "Yes" voters bore this in mind, even to the smallest degree, when casting their ballot. That vote only needed a 5.01pc swing the other way for it to have been a "No" result. I wonder how many "Yes" voters might have been swayed by better standards in more of the Goodison pubs.

That was the point of my article really. Yeah, course I can gib the aler in question (probably will, in fact - as I did 5 years ago for much the same reasons) but it was chiefly to highlight that it shouldn’t have to be so.

I still stand by the fact that considering the amount of dosh we Blues fork out around Goodison each season we should expect half-decent (not cut class or even NSNO quality) basic standards.
Frank Hargreaves
42   Posted 17/12/2007 at 17:10:23

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Greg: We basically agree.

I have seen EXACTLY the scenario you describe on a massive scale in a simiar pub.

I?m really not here to cry poverty on behalf of the pubs of county road, but by teh same token I do know that MANY people think it;s a gold mine with a rich seam of blue gold waiting to be tappped every fortnight. What they forget is there is absolutely nothing in between. It kills off any, if not all of the joy the job could bring because, in actual fact it?s a shit job.

Gone are the days when a Licenscee was one step down from a magistrate or postmaster.

Many other "managers" are simply on a wage employed by a national company who happen to own maybe 2 or 3,000 pubs around the country.

I simply refuse to believe that anybody who voted yes was swayed by the state of the seats in any given alehouse on County Road.

Vote with your feet, your drinking arm and your neck...go somewhere else !

If Everton do move to Kirkby I guarantee your mate will one day pine for that shitty corner, with a hole the size of Kirkdale in the cushion and the jarg telly, rank chippy and everything else that kind of sort of just makes Walton what it is...

....HOME !


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