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Kirkby not for the 21st century

By Mike Gain :  20/01/2008 :  Comments (42) :
Much has been said about the City of Manchester Stadium, both good and bad. An aspect of the name and location I would like to raise, possibly unoriginally, is how Manchester City have looked to claim the city for themselves, allowing them to be able to, indirectly and globally, ride on the back of their illustrious neighbours as well as Manchester?s general upturn.

Obviously it is debateable if the move from Maine Road has contributed to their recent improvements but those improvements, in themselves, are there to be seen.

The potential ground move for Everton to Kirkby has given me mixed feelings in the past. I see both sides of the argument quite clearly. Yet now I just feel like we will be isolating ourselves in a globally insignificant town, preserving a name only synonymous with football.

With this rapidly increasing global mass media access, we need to think bigger. We should be looking to take advantage of aspects of our region that will raise our profile globally in the wake of the perceived top clubs in our division. Internationally, when people think of Liverpool and Manchester they will automatically think of LFC and Man Utd even if they are only considering the places generally. We need to bring ourselves into this arena in the face of this nauseous consolidation and corporatisation of the top four.

Kirkby and the Chang/Tesco stadium will not do this and will only cement Everton as a club known by international football fanatics and loved by football purists and therefore a club never to reach the heights where we rightly belong.

Back to my point; there is much in our region, not only the city, that is world renowned, popular and successful that lies outside of football that we could use to our advantage in attracting investment and success. Most importantly, especially with the city?s big year, the club needs to stay within the boundary with a town centre location being ideal. The name of the stadium could then (words off the top of my head please don?t be too critical) draw on aspects of our world famous common culture such as (cheesy I know) aspects of the Beatles and their world famous lyrics, or names such as ?Merseyside? ?Mersey? ?Albert Dock? ?Scouse? ?Scouser? and please send further suggestions on a postcard.

All I am saying is that we should milk what we have got going for us. A move to Kirkby will potentially leave the cow fat, wasted, redundant then dead.

How can we acquire these long-term loans yet be so short-sighted with this Kirkby quick-fix solution that will ultimately leave us missing out on many levels?

I know of the problems with financing a new stadium but if there is a will there is a way and if there?s no way then wait till there is.

Reader Comments

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Karl Masters
1   Posted 20/01/2008 at 19:33:49

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You are SO right!

Short term fix, long term loss.
Dave Moore
2   Posted 20/01/2008 at 20:31:47

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Sorry don’t agree, before Kirkby was mentioned as a potential site for our new ground, it was always associated with Liverpool. In my opinion Kirkby is a more globally renowned town than Walton, however now it looks likely to become our new home its suddenly having all ties to the city severed by our own supporters.

The only thing that will put us back where we belong is to win trophies. If we had a brilliant stadium on the waterfront but a shit team what good would that be, apart from us still being the lesser renowned team from Liverpool. We need to win things, to do that we need to compete with the teams above us, to do that we need to continually improve the squad, to do that we need to generate money, to do that we need to find a source of revenue that will fill the coffers.

I’m afraid the Beatles have sod all to do with football, so being associated by location to a mop headed pop group, big clocks with ugly birds on top and a polluted river won’t give us what we need.

The brilliant stadium on the waterfront will never happen now, so unless a more feasible option to Kirkby is presented by LCC then what do we do? People will argue that Goodison can be redeveloped, that the bestway site is a better option, however as knowledgeable as those people may be, I prefer to believe that EFC are putting there trust in people most qualified to make those decisions.

There has been a lot of criticism in the past aimed at the people running our club, how they have continually messed up in the past, Kings Dock, ticket fiasco’s, transfer dealings etc. etc. But I am worried that the ones who will fuck us up for good will be ourselves, the supporters.
Jim Hourigan
3   Posted 20/01/2008 at 20:25:05

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And just how long exactly do you want to wait? till Hell freezes over or just until the ground begins to fall apart and it fails its safety certificate?

There will only be a way when someone coughs up the dough - got any ideas or are you just another one pissing in the wind? We can all talk of if?s maybes and perhaps, but for how long? 3 years? 5 years? 10 years? 25 years? Go and read the article from Matthew Mackey and tell me we should sit around in an out-of-date and totally unacceptable stadium. Kirkby might not be the best option but, putting aside all the bullshit, it's the only realistic offer on the table. Hang around you say, until when? Until a sugar daddy comes along, ?cos we all know we?ve no money and LCC won?t pay a penny. Change is painful but a failure to change is downright negligent.
Mike Gain
4   Posted 20/01/2008 at 20:29:35

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More naff corporate style names for a stadium looking to embrace the americanised way things are panning out;
Blue Submarine

Blue Sky of DIamonds

Blueberry Fields

Blue Octopus’s Garden (Blue Garden for short)

Blue on the Hill

Im no advertising man, as you can see, but some of these have got to be better than the ’Stadium of Light’. We can’t be stuck in the past we need to embrace and progress the way things are going to give ourselves a chance of real sustainable success. The Kirkby option is following in the mediocre footsteps of others, to do it properly we need to beat our own path.
Dave Moore
5   Posted 20/01/2008 at 20:48:35

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Mike, what about;

I’m a loser

I should have known better

Bullens road wood

or even

Kirkby its you
Jim Lloyd
6   Posted 20/01/2008 at 21:10:34

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Well, I think we are in the words of Cream "At the Crossroads." There are those of us who strongly believe that the only way for us to go is to see us move to Kirkby and there are those of us who think it will be a fatal move. I’m one of the ones who believe it would be crazy for us to move out of this city.
Dave Moore, where did you get the idea that Kirkby is an internationally renowned town? Walton is only a district of Liverpool, just as Anfield is.
If we move to Kirkby we will not be in Liverpool. Some might not see this as important, some might say Kirkby is in Liverpool. My belief is that they are totally wrong. I believe it is important to keep the identity of our city and for god’s sake don’t tell me Kirkby is in Liverpool. I know lots of scousers live there but lots of scousers live in Skem!
The problem as I see it, is that over the past twenty years we never caitalized on the great side we had in the mid to late eighties. We had a succession of figureheads since Sir John Moores could no longer take an active interest. The last two, Johnson and Kenwright, both wanted to see us move out of Goodison.
There were a couple of proposals but the Golden opportunity we had was the Kings Dock. We can only surmise, but between them Gregg and Kenwright seem to have had a fallout.
My own view is that Kenwright would not, and will not, step down from the Chairmanship of Everton, so Gregg said basically"Sod you."
Now, we have come to such desperate straights as to even consider leaving the city. Bill Kenwright reckons it’s only just "Over the Border." That, to me, is like saying we’re only just giving up our birthright.
Now, about the alternatives to Kirkby. According to Tom Hughes, Goodison could be redeveloped and according to HOK, the "Loop" site could hold a stadium with at least a 55,000 seat capacity. Some say where’s the proof.
Well let Everton get into serious discussions and put both proposals to the test. As far as I am aware, EFC have not yet got into any serious talks with either Bestway or LCC about alternatives.
I can understand people who feel that Kirkby is the answer, wondering why those who oppose the move cannot let it rest.
It’s because we fear the worst for the club, who we all support, wondering off into the wilderness.
What do they say "marry in haste, repent at leisure."
Well, the same goes for this move to Kirkby.
I’d hope that every alternative and every method of raising money, is explored before we take that road. Why hasn’t a share issue been explored. Why hasn’t a long term redevelopment been put to the fans with the costs, the expected difficulties, the revenue streams we could explore, crowd capacities and ttimescale been put to the fans?
Because there is only one option, Mr Kenwright wants?
Kevin Mitchell
7   Posted 20/01/2008 at 22:33:11

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Dave Moore, you say for us to compete with the top teams we need to generate more funds so Kirkby is the answer. You also say what would be the point of being at the Kings Dock with a shit team that wont generate the required funds.
You're assuming then that Kirkby is a far better plan than if we had gone to the Kings Dock, that Kirkby will somehow make us into a top four team.
Dave Moore
8   Posted 20/01/2008 at 23:32:20

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Jim - I don’t give a shit what Tom Hughes says and that is not lack of respect, I found most of what he’s had to say very interesting reading. However when are people going to realize that the club are paying so called experts to look at so called options and its these people who the club are going to listen to. They are not going to take Tom’s advice, your advice or my advice over anything their own people are going to tell them.

Is Kirkby an Internationally renowned town - I think so, but some of the time it was for the wrong reasons. Don’t tell you Kirkby is in Liverpool, why would I do that, it just seems to me people like to get that point over a lot more now that the club may be going there, whereas before it was never questioned.

We didn’t capitalize in the eighties because we stood still. Some people would rather stay standing still than move a couple of miles down the road.

Kevin - No I’m not assuming Kirkby is a far better plan than the Kings Dock, the King’s Dock went out the window years ago. I don’t even know if Kirkby is the best available option. What I am saying is that unfortunately we have to take what the club tell us as fact, whether we like it or not. If you read what I’ve said you will see that what I am assuming is that what happens on the pitch will make us into a top 4 side, but that will only happen if we can generate the required funds to keep improving the team year after year. That will only happen with a new ground, be it Kirkby or anywhere else.
Jay Harris
9   Posted 20/01/2008 at 23:49:29

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Besides the fact that Kirkby IS outside Liverpool the main problem is lack of infrastructure and transport and parking.
Liverpool is built to accommodate large movements of people Kirkby isnt and as for listening to the experts opinion thats fine except to say that these particular experts are in Tesco?s pocket and have a vested interst in the Kirkby project.
Just remember many people walk to GP and its easy to get to the city centre from there.
Kirkby was built for a tiny overspill community and it shows!!
Dave Moore
10   Posted 21/01/2008 at 00:14:20

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Jay - this is infrastructure that they believe can be changed. Maybe these people are in Tesco?s pocket but like it or not they are the people who will have a massive impact on what happens.

Kirkby was built for a tiny overspill community and it shows!! This comment shows you know nothing of Kirkby. Kirkby at one time had the largest industrial area in Europe, does that sound like a town built for for a tiny overspill?

Many people walk to GP and yes it's know to have the fastest dispersal rate of any ground in the Premier League. But after you walk 2 or 3 miles to where you?ve parked your car you then have to sit in traffic jams on the East Lancs, Queens Drive, Rice Lane etc.
Jay Harris
11   Posted 21/01/2008 at 00:26:38

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Dave, FYI, I used to own a factory in Kirkby which has a population of c. 40,000.
All other points are irrelevant.
Do you think EFC or Tesco can or will provide sufficient food,drink or transport facilities for 60,000 once every 2 weeks.
THAT is why Liverpool is so attractive it was built for a poulation of over 500,000 and already has the food, drink and transport structures in place.
Put your hand on your heart and tell me honestly if the deliverability, costs and returns were the same would you choose the loop GP or Kirkby??
Dave Moore
12   Posted 21/01/2008 at 07:10:05

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Jay - hand on heart it would have to be GP but it’s knackered and now to raise the extra bucks that clubs need for today’s football world, there are other things involved in creating those extra bucks eg. leisure and retail (unfortunately). I’d take Kirkby over the loop any day though, as the loop area IMO "appears" to be far too small.

I don’t see any difference in size of Walon to size of Kirkby. I think the only valid arguement against Kirkby is that it’s out of the city boundaries. All other things as you say are irrelevant.

Transport structures are already partly there, that’s one of the reasons why there are so many businesses in Kirkby’s Industrial area. The only problem is putting in the public transport to cater for the match day - can this be done? As I keep saying on here, the people who will make that decision think it can - it won’t be me or you that decides.
Mike Gain
13   Posted 21/01/2008 at 07:41:20

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Think some of you are missing my point. You talk of Kirkby creating investment but a more aggressive campaign of increasing our profile by making our name synonymous with the region outside of football circles would create a more successful and attractive EFC. More needs to be done to find a site closer to the town centre not further away, whether you call Kirkby part of Liverpool or not. While to call Kirkby internationally renowned is absolutely nonsense and still makes me chuckle.

Yeah the Beatles and what not have nothing to do with football, but neither have pencil boxes, curtains and wallpaper all sold with football logos on to make money. Football is now, unfortunately, big business, we need to be smart, think big and long term, non of these boxes can be ticked with this Kirkby idea.
Stuart Keam
14   Posted 21/01/2008 at 07:34:02

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Hi Guys - How about we put the hat around, I’m sure we’ll come up with the 300 odd mill required. Then go and build a new stadium where ever we want, bequest it to the club, that way we all get what we want. Now lets go to that special place and assume we get the money, all we need to do is come up with a site that all 300 million of us agree on, shouldn’t be too hard should it? sic.
Mike Gain
15   Posted 21/01/2008 at 07:50:10

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Why don’t we all accept mediocrity? While the branding of the big four goes from strength to strength and therefore their successes.

This is 100 years in Kirkby we are talking about, more needs to be done to find alternatives!
Art Greeth
16   Posted 21/01/2008 at 08:15:58

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Interesting thread.

From Mike?s original post, I think the analogy of the Manchester clubs doesn?t apply to our situation. As already argued by the anti-Kirkby lobby, the location of OT, whilst officially outside the city boundary of Manchester, is so marginal as to make no difference.

Furthermore, I don?t see any orchestrated or effective campaign by City to ?claim? exclusive rights of the city of Manchester as you suggest. As you yourself state, it is debateable if their ground move has contributed to their recent improvements. That is solely down to the investment of a disgraced Thai politician.

I then find your post a bit contradictory. On the one hand you say in ?this rapidly increasing global mass media access, we need to think bigger. We should be looking to take advantage of aspects of our region that will raise our profile globally?. You add: ?Internationally, when people think of Liverpool and Manchester they will automatically think of LFC and Man Utd?.

Now, accepting both statements are true, relocating to Kirkby will not make a ha?penth worth of difference to our global profile on your argument. Whilst the match day takings ARE important, for the remote, dormant, overseas fans (and corporations?) I presume you wish to tap into, the physical location of the stadium will never be an issue. They will never, ever visit it.

I accept, as you state, that ?there is much in our REGION, not ONLY the city, that is world renowned, popular and successful that lies outside of football that we could use to our advantage in attracting investment and success.? (your words, my emphasis). You confuse me Mike because on the one hand you correctly (IMO) say we need to think bigger, more globally, but then your argument is based on parochial smallness ? essentially, ?Kirkby isn?t in Liverpool?.

It is a tricky one. We don?t want to alienate the core, match-going Evertonian which the move to Kirkby can clearly do, but we DO need to tap into the global market and income streams that the interest in English football generates.

Just one more point. Can we all forget about the fact that 2008 is the city?s ?big year? as the European City of Culture? It has no relevance to the debate, IMO, because that will be done and dusted long before the final planning permission is granted and the first divot dug in wherever the new stadium is going to be.
Peter Mitchell
17   Posted 21/01/2008 at 09:54:37

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Following this arguement to its logical conclusion, then the solution is obvious - we should change our name to Liverpool City and move back to Anfield when the RS move. Kills 2 birds with one stone - solves the problem of the ground move inside "the city" and increases our global brand on the back of our "more illustrious neighbours" and the reputation of the city of Liverpool.

What a load of old Tosh - Everton are a football clud after all, not a global brand or a "franchise" like the RS. We can survive a move to a surburb of Liverpool. I am more concerned about making sure that the new stadium, wherever it is, the best that we can afford.
Pete Scofield
18   Posted 21/01/2008 at 10:55:45

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Correct Peter, the issue is most certainly about the QUALITY of the stadium to be built & not about WHERE. Kirkby is undeniably a part of MERSEYSIDE & if the stadium were sufiiciently impressive & commensurate with EFCs proud standing in world football most of us wouldn’t give two fucks (within reason)
What impinges on all of this is money & until it’s clear how much we’ve got to spend then endless debate & speculation is redundant. What is totally obvious,however, is that the peformance of the team on the pitch is pivotal ro everything that follows & THAT is therefore the No1 priority spend
Michael Hunt
19   Posted 21/01/2008 at 11:53:01

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As you’ll appreciate, like many things in the material world we live in, the stadium issue boils down to money.,,2244209,00.html This article (ignoring the references to the RS, however humorous they are) highlights the need for an injection of outside capital a la Randy Lerner-esque. It also highlights how we must avoid the likes of Gillet and Hicks like the plague. Perhaps BK is rightly cautious and only solicits possible partners/investors of the right ilk e.g. Robert Earl?
Dave Moore
20   Posted 21/01/2008 at 12:17:36

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Mike - I do see where your coming from in this but I think your missing the bigger picture yourself. We can’t afford to sit around and wait for a site to become available closer to the city centre, why? because it may never happen.

We already brand items such as those you mentioned but unfortunately these don’t bring in the sort of revenue a new ground would.

Football business has moved on and unfortunately we need to move with it or face being left behind.

People are splitting too many hairs with the Kirkby debate. Forget about its location for 1 minute and ask does it tick all the boxes? If the answer is no then you have a valid point. If the answer is yes then what can we do about the location, we can’t pick it up and move it to somewhere inside the city as there is just nowhere available (so we are told). The point I am trying to make is its not me and its not you ticking those little boxes, so we have to put our trust in the people holding the pencil, like it or not.

Is Kirkby internationally renowned? thats a seperate arguement itself and it depends on what aspect you want to look at it from. But thats all irrelevant, what is relevant is that it has been earmarked as the best site available for a new ground by the people who will make the decisions and again thats not you or I.
Jip Foster
21   Posted 21/01/2008 at 13:28:55

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Would it make a difference if the proposals were for an amazing iconic (I had that word) world class stadium in Kirby? Does the fact that it’s an uninspiring medium class stadium put all the No voters off? What happened to NSNO???
Ajamu Mutumwa
22   Posted 21/01/2008 at 13:41:18

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Another day, another pointless Anti-Kirkby so called argument.

Next we’ll have an article on how moving to Kirkby will force the Devil to come up and eat our first born blue.

Get a grip.

The Blue Herring called the Loop is too small

A boundary is a political boundary. A proposal from the boundary commission can change that in the twink of an eye.

We have no money to put into re-developing Goodison Park, and may have to wait forever for someone to come in. Just look at Liverpools problems.

Kirkby is real, and on the table.

What is it that people don’t get?
Tom Hughes
23   Posted 21/01/2008 at 14:24:18

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Dave Moore says:
"Is Kirkby internationally renowned? thats a seperate arguement itself and it depends on what aspect you want to look at it from. But thats all irrelevant, what is relevant is that it has been earmarked as the best site available for a new ground by the people who will make the decisions and again thats not you or I."

It’s not EFC either though Dave, it’s Tesco!
Location is absolutely paramount. Get that wrong, and it could be the San Siro and it still might not work for us. The whole transport minefield has been muddled to the extreme to make it look viable. The fact is, the consultants couldn’t make the numbers work for feeding the site from the Liverpool side of the M57 nevermind accommodating us while we’re there, hence the provision for the massive Park and ride scheme that no-one has any idea if it is sustainable.

Tom Hughes
24   Posted 21/01/2008 at 14:35:19

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"The Blue Herring called the Loop is too small"

The Loop can accommodate the emirates and even the proposed Kirkby stadium, so how is it too small? It is surrounded by prime development sites that for enablers and would form part of the city-centre’s current renaisance. This area will be developed in the coming years regardless. A stadium could form the catayst for this as has happened in several US cities in the last decade.

"A boundary is a political boundary. A proposal from the boundary commission can change that in the twink of an eye."

Not sure what a twink is, nor am I sure this is as simple as you suggest, or that the people of Knowsley would want to come under LCC with its higher council tax. Regardless, it would still be the edge of the city and therefore less attractive demographically and logistically.

"We have no money to put into re-developing Goodison Park, and may have to wait forever for someone to come in. Just look at Liverpools problems."

We have no money for redevelopment, yet we can find £80-100m for Kirkby. That makes no sense!
Jay Campbell
25   Posted 21/01/2008 at 15:17:24

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Kenwright is a dictator end ov.

They’ll put a statue of him outside Anfield when we move to Kirkby.
Jay Campbell
26   Posted 21/01/2008 at 15:17:24

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Kenwright is a dictator end ov.

They’ll put a statue of him outside Anfield when we move to Kirkby.
Dave Moore
27   Posted 21/01/2008 at 15:30:01

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Tom if I’m honest I’ll agree with some of what you say, however, the point I keep trying to make is that its not us who will make that decision and we have to hope that the people who are going to make all the decisions will make the right ones.

You forget (or maybe ignored) the fact that the Kirkby project includes the Tesco partnership (or ownership ;-). Does the loop site come with any partner willing to input massive amounts of cash into the project.

Everton/Tesco tell us the loop isn’t feasible whilst you and others tell us it is. Who do be put our trust in Tom?

No disrespect - you obviously no something about the subject but I think the majority of supporters would have to be guided by what comes out of the club.

Musleh Izzett
28   Posted 21/01/2008 at 15:54:24

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Ataturk stadium in Turkey is an example of a world class stadium, but painfully let down with terrible foresight by developers-who knew nothing about football. Originally contrived to be the focal point of a regional commercial development, it stands alone in an arid desert like place with developers unwilling to support the venture due to poor location.

Tom Hughes
29   Posted 21/01/2008 at 16:09:09

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we don’t really have to hope for anything. We are not homeless yet, and GP, contrary to some people’s insistance is not falling down. It is massively over engineered and could last for generations not just years. The 80 year old Bullens did not flex when the Rushians did the pogo all over it..... funnily the few year old Anfield road upper did, not all things new are really progress it would seem.

Regardless of whether Tesco are involved or not we are still expected to pay £80-100m+. This is not costing us nothing. We could do big things at GP for a fraction of that amount, and we wouldn’t need to do it all in one go. Also, Bestway are major developers in their own right..... they were involved in Cheshire Oaks and various other developments down south. The Loop would probably involve commercial /residential developments similar to those going up all over the city-centre at the moment. The city-planners also see this areas as key to bridging the gap between the City-centre and project Jennifer, and the stadium idea could be a real catalyst for enabling schemes, as has happened all over the US. These are all solid and substantial developments which dwarf anything planned for Kirkby. If this was properly opened up the investors currently turning Liverpool city-centre into a tower crane jungle would swarm on it. However, it would take the current custodians to at least show some interest. This hasn’t been forthcoming, with only Tesco’s consultants employed to rubbish all the alternatives..... it’s like a closed shop!
Robert Carney
30   Posted 21/01/2008 at 16:57:52

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Dave Moore, you say we cannot hang around and wait. What the fuck as Kenwright done for the last seven years. Leahy approached him in 2000 and since then all he has done is deflect any further interested parties. Look at what we are left with.
With regard to the people who know best. A bunch of fans in their spare time put up better proposals than all the professionals Kenwright and Wyness threw the clubs money at.

Dave Moore
31   Posted 21/01/2008 at 17:26:29

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Robert Carney - Are we discussing a ground move or are we discussing the chairman. Obviously you don’t like him so I won’t win any debate there.

Ground moves don’t come around that often, sites don’t pop up every day, can we afford to wait? You tell me.

With regards to the proposals by a bunch of fans - that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it as I am mine. I haven’t been that impressed with anything that’s been put forward opposing the Kirkby option, but believe me I wish I could say I had.

Robert Carney
32   Posted 21/01/2008 at 17:58:24

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Dave, I dislike the moveto Kirkby far more than the devious mis-leading un-economical with the facts Kenwright. We can debate until we are purple ( I am already blue) in the face.

I was one of the first peple screaming for the debate to start on this site, and I will have to wholeheartily disagree with you.

The amateurs are winning hands down.
Have another look at the details in KEIOC documents.
The Bestway site and the redevolpment of Goodison have been looked over by leading architectural people in stadia devoloment. When asked by shareholders to Evertons response. Their expert whilst dismissing them admitted to not reading all details.
The real problem we face economically is that Bill Kenwright has closed his eyes and ears to all and sundry.
Jay Harris
33   Posted 21/01/2008 at 18:19:13

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Well put Robert.If only the "Kirkby?s the only option brigade" would open their eyes and minds we wouldnt be having such heated debates nor certain peoples blind faith in Kenwright and Wyness who between them have served up more cock-ups than in the previous 100 years of tenure.
FACT - the loop is a highly desirable location where world class engineers have reported that a 55,000-seater stadium could be built.Wyness smart ass response "It needs to hold 75000!"
FACT Kirkby is the deal of the Century EFC will have to make a small finishing contribution covered by selling GP claimed Wyness. It now turns out to be £80 to £100 million plus.
Don't even think about Sportress Funds(the money will be in the bank tomorrow Kenwright, NTL cock-ups, Kings Dock, the £20 million to pay Johnson off etc.
Why people trust this board with the most important decision in EFC?s history is beyond me!!!
Ed Fitzgerald
34   Posted 21/01/2008 at 21:01:29

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This debate that is meant to be dead is not going to go away because both location and the stadium do not meet the expectations that most Evertonians rightly have. I don?t live in Kirkby but have to visit the town regularly in a business capacity. I have nothing against Kirkby or the people who live in it, it is what it is, an aging new town in need of regeneration. The principal factors taking place appear to be

? Knocking down Cherryfield Drive and building some new shopping and food outlets
? Building a multi storey Car park on the site of the old Kirkby Sports Centre
? Enlarging Kirkby Station and joining it to the Wigan line and adding a station at Tower Hill
? Constructing a slip road to ease congestion off the M57
? Oh and moving a major football club there

If people know the area well and are therefore making an informed decision that?s fine but a reasonable degree of the posts demonstrate the following features

? A appalling lack of knowledge of the area and its infrastructure aligned to an arrogance that compels them to portray no voters as being afraid or unwilling to change
? An alarming trust in the business acumen and honesty of Bill Kenwright

Somehow many posts do not connect the huge potential of what is happening in the City (serious economic, business and leisure regeneration) and the place of EFC within it. The driver for the move is of course TESCO who have already been criticised for using community sports projects as the sweetener to gain control of retail development (see the Shopping the Bullies report for a detailed examination of their tactics). Deal of the century has a somewhat hollow ring to it as the true costs of the move have been revealed. I am saddened that some people suggest that people who object to the move (not just those who voted no, all those other no voters
who were considered ineligible) are incapable of dealing with change; it is the nature of the change that they object to.

Paul Wilson in his column in the Observer articulates my fears more eloquently than my poor grammar will allow

yet because Everton are on the cusp of a move and because most of their supporters oppose it (whatever club surveys may say), Bill Kenwright and his board have a chance to stand up for the soul of English football. If financial imperatives insist the club must relocate to a Kirkby trading estate, then so be it. They will move in the full knowledge that such grounds are unpopular with fans and players and they will be leaving behind at Goodison much of what is distinctively Everton

I don?t know if this guy is a Blue (Somebody tell me?) but they mirror my thoughts exactly
Dave Moore
35   Posted 21/01/2008 at 20:57:43

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Robert - I tried, as you suggested, to look at the Bestway details on the KEIOC website, but didn’t find a sausage. I did read however some info on the shareholders/architectural expert you referred to, seems to me all that was about was making him look stupid, I didn’t see any mention or record of anything he had to say about the Kirkby move, a bit surprising that. If you have a link to the info please post it on the site so I can have a look.

In my opinion the only valid reason to stay in the city is to maintain our link to the city (historical reasons etc). If that can’t be achieved then what do we do? Can you answer that and honestly say that it will be the best solution for Everton FC. I’m not asking for your opinion on this, I’m asking you now to make that decision and convince me and 40,000 other people its the right decision. I suspect half may agree with you and half may not.

Jay - Fact - Kenwright, Wyness and Co are running the club. Why do people trust this board? you asked, well maybe they don’t, but maybe they have to hope that whatever this board decides is the right decision.

Fact - I’m not part of the "Kirkby?s the only option brigade", I believe I’m a realist. I believe LCC council shit the bed with Everton a long long time ago. I have my own conspiracy theories about the Kings Dock cock up but I think that LCC didn’t do us any favours there either.

Fact - LCC have made as many fuck ups in the last couple of years as Kenwright has in his time at Everton, so I’m not over enthusiastic about anything they can offer us.

Fact - I’m not a fan of KEIOC but have respect for them for standing up for what they want, I respect your views, but I don’t respect the aggressive manner in which some "No to Kirkby" people try to get their point across.

Fact - Knowsley Council invited Tesco and Everton to Kirkby, the people of Kirkby didn’t

Fact - If there was a better offer on the table from Hatty Town I’d look at it twice before I considered anything LCC tried to palm us off with.
Dave Moore
36   Posted 21/01/2008 at 22:30:37

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Tom - thanks for your response and I take on board all that you say but I have a few questions:

1) You mentioned the Bullens Rd - I was in the stand at the time and nearly shit myself. But more seriously, how long will the Bullens road comply with safety issues?

2) Will redeveloping GP bring in the extra revenue that we are told a ground move will bring?

3) How will rebuilding GP affect the closely surrounding houses, will noise pollution be a problem? You could be talking 2 or 3 years of staggered development

4) Will closing down parts of the ground cost us mega bucks in lost revenue - our average gates are much bigger now than they were 10 years ago

5) I read one time that project Jennifer was being run by Grovesnor who were believed to be ready to oppose a stadium and its bolt-ons if a planning application was submitted for the Bestway Loop

I am sure some of these points have been raised before so apologies for going over old ground, but hey this is a debate
Kevin Mitchell
37   Posted 21/01/2008 at 22:04:00

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Dave Moore, I can’t believe your blinkered trust in whatever Kenwright and Wyness comes out with. Why can’t you take in the facts that people are putting to you about stadium cost to everton, transport, loss of identity, leaving the the city to the other team. These are all facts explained in great detail over and over again by people like Tom and Ed above.
It’s your stubborn view of everything Kirkby that’s hard to swallow.
Dave, we don’t want medeocrity, we want better than whats on offer at Kirkby.
Tom Hughes
38   Posted 21/01/2008 at 23:51:33

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"1) You mentioned the Bullens Rd - I was in the stand at the time and nearly shit myself. But more seriously, how long will the Bullens road comply with safety issues?"

Did you go to Nuremberg? the upper tier was jumping all over the place. Simon Inglis is the editor of the current Green Guide. He believes the revised edition will not affect our old stands as it is firstly only a guide and not legislation, and secondly it is primarily about design of new structures.

"2) Will redeveloping GP bring in the extra revenue that we are told a ground move will bring?"

Why not? I put a scheme together that involved the creation of more executive, premium level seating than is on offer at Kirkby. Some would suggest that being closer to the city-centre and business district is also beneficial on this score. Kirkby is as distant from the centre as can be.

"3) How will rebuilding GP affect the closely surrounding houses, will noise pollution be a problem? You could be talking 2 or 3 years of staggered development"

Noise? No. How it effects the environs depends on the format chosen, and the landtake required. Kirkby is set to displace over 80 homes, a care home and an entire school, and then put a football ground where there has never been one. GP wont do any of that, with 50,000 achieveable with minimal expansion contrary to their fundamentally flawed report.

"4) Will closing down parts of the ground cost us mega bucks in lost revenue - our average gates are much bigger now than they were 10 years ago"

I think our gates are about the same as 10 years ago (mid to high 30’s average). It is now possible to redevelop and maintain capacity to a certain degree. Ipswich managed it when they redeveloped their end stands, by replacing the single tiered efforts with new double-deckers. We certainly needn’t fall below our current capacity for any great period if at all. (dependent on the size of the initial phase which would be the replacement of the smallest section first, the Park end)Furthermore, redevelopment means that you don’t need to find funds in their entirety as you would with moving. Redevelopment could be achieved in stages as and when success/demand/funds meritted it.

"5) I read one time that project Jennifer was being run by Grovesnor who were believed to be ready to oppose a stadium and its bolt-ons if a planning application was submitted for the Bestway Loop"

Trevor Skempton is the consultant Architect for the Grosvenor Project, and a big blue. The Loop scheme is his brainchild which should put that rumour to bed. The enabling developments for the Loop wouldn’t be retail

Michael Parkes
39   Posted 22/01/2008 at 00:04:22

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The thing that worries me most about moving to Kirkby, are we going to fill a 50,000-seat stadium? I?m afraid the answer is no ? not for every game.

When I see Man City play on the tv I always notice the big patches of seats not sold yet their attendences are always over 43/44,000. How can any type of atmosphere be generated?

I would like to see EFC (if Kirkby goes ahead) sell tickets from the front of the stands to the back against lesser sides so that it keeps the empty seats off the TV screens, and by keeping the fans sitting together gives a chance for an atmosphere to be generated. If this does not happen it will take away our home advantage and this seems to be overlooked when the stadium debate is brought up.
Ajamu Mutumwa
40   Posted 22/01/2008 at 06:39:25

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Tom Hughes:

Not to get into a personal dialogue, but just to respond to a few points that you have come back to me on.

"The Blue Herring called the Loop"

Since the Everton statement I’ve not heard the obligitory statement from Bestway or Cllr Bradley. No public refuting of the claim. It maybe that calmer heads have prevailed, and we won’t see a Wyness style public rebuke. If so, I am glad for the silence, but its a big claim to make with no response. Its not you I want to hear refute it, its Bradley and Bestway.

"A Boundaries is a political boundary" unless of course its a natural boundary. Kirkby isn’t out of space though you would think it was with some of the more strident comments on previous discussions.

What I am saying is that the Boundary Commission can change a boundary, and nearly did with Knowsley. It can still happen in the future moving Kirkby into the Liverpool boundary. We never know so I am really not going to hitch my wagon on that hobby horse.

If the no campaigners had talked more about the city centre, or transport links, I’d be more impressed and inclined to support them, but nonsense like "our" city doesn’t impress me.

Finallyl finances. I can only think that financial institutions will have more faith in lending money if Everton are associated with a successful company rather than if they went alone. Look at our neighbours and their problem with getting finances for their shiny new toy. But you make a good point.
Dave Moore
41   Posted 22/01/2008 at 10:30:44

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Kevin Mitchell - I don’t have blinkered trust in Kenwright and Wynness, there’s not many people I do trust. The point I am trying to make is that the decision has been taken by the board of directors to go with the Kirkby proposal. What you are confusing with trust is actually hope - they are two very different things. I hope that the board have got it right and only time will tell. Maybe the Kirkby deal will fall through - if it does I hope there is another feasible option.

I also have no stubborn view of everything that is Kirkby - I do have a view that there are some very good reasons not to move to Kirkby which have been put forward by those you mention and others. However there are some very stupid reasons been put forward also by other people.

I certainly don’t have any trust in LCC to provide us with anything good enough for our club, for the record my preferences for everything that has been proposed in order of preference are

1) Stay at a redeveloped Goodison - if feasible

2) Move to Kirkby - we are told this is feasible

3) Move to the Loop - personally I didn’t like the design of that stadium

That’s just my preference for my reasons - it doesn’t in any way mean those are the best choices.

With regards to the transport - I think that is something that can’t yet be measured until we see what transport facilities will be put in place. I certainly don’t see the road network being insufficient and I don’t know how they plan to improve / extend the public transport facilities.

Loss of identity - if you read what I’ve written, I have said this is the main reason not to leave the city but I am asking the question is there anywhere in the city other than the Loop site available to us? Are LCC doing enough to keep us there?

In a nutshell Kevin the members of the board are the people in charge and the club will live or die by their decisions. I don’t trust LCC, I am not stubborn towards Kirkby and I won’t settle for mediocrity. I also won’t allow anti Kirkby gobshites to sway my opinions by producing stupid fucking excuses. Having said that, there are people who do produce valid arguments against the move and I take that on board.
Tom Davies
42   Posted 22/01/2008 at 12:57:48

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The way I see it is that there are 2 sights that would bring us this potential of making the most of our growing city, Stay at Goodison Park or move to the Bestway sight on Scottie road.

At Goodison we could rebuild and modernise an already well established stadium which is a very famous and traditional stadium.

At the Bestway sight we could build a stadium which would be part of Liverpools world famous skyline, could you imagine the publicity and how massive a club we would look? A club on the edge of the city center, the only football ground to be seen, believe it or not after a few years of settling in to this new stadium on Scotland road we could be more associated with Liverpool than LFC.

Now I don’t know about anyone reading my comment but I’m watering at the mouth with wide eyes and a huge smile thinking of how we would look in "The City of Liverpool Stadium" or "The Stadium of The Royal Blue Mersey"

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