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Chanting outside the MultiPlex?

By Mike  Adamson :  20/01/2008 :  Comments (64) :
The Stadium debate has been much written about here over the last 18 months. There are that many controversies and nuances surrounding the whole issue, that to try to include them all in one article would be nigh on impossible. Today?s away trip to Wigan, however, got me thinking about an issue surrounding the development which, once the questions over the symbolism of leaving the city and the morality of such strong association with a Supermarket die down, may resonate stronger than most if the move goes ahead.

The drive towards the JJB stadium is littered with those brown road signs, pointing you both in the direction of the ground and of the Robins Park retail estate. The cars you see around you contain a mixture of eager football fans, and equally eager Sunday shoppers, after a weekly shop, a DVD player, or maybe just a Whopper meal and a cinema ticket. Such is the multi-purpose nature of the JJB stadium. Approaching the Robin?s Park retail estate from the opposite side, you get presented with the full weekend, suburban entertainment experience. Pizza Hut is in front of you as you drive in, as is the Cinema, which straddles a giant Asda Superstore; away to your left, shoppers pour into Maplin, Curry?s, Argos and others, while directly ahead of you, lurking on the horizon, is the home of Wigan Athletic.

The place is a one-stop shop for anybody looking to fill a Saturday. Go to lunch, do a bit of shopping, and catch a Premier League football match before watching a film and returning home. It?s not only the people of Wigan who have all their entertainment needs catered for by one site. Coventry?s loyal fans could sandwich their trip to the match between some early morning shopping and some food and drink in one of the many on-site bars and, perhaps if the team won and you were feeling lucky, a spin on the roulette table at the nearby, purpose-built casino.

Similarly, the businessmen and factory workers of Derby could this season combine a trip to work at the Business Park with a couple of hours watching The Rams get their arses kicked by whichever team was in attendance that weekend. If the move to Kirkby goes through as suggested, Everton?s name could soon be added to that list of English Football power houses.

This, without getting into any of the other issues surrounding the project, is the thing that concerns me most: the watering down and the commercialisation of the entire matchday experience. In my view, the pleasure of watching Everton at Goodison Park isn?t (and this is a good job considering some of the dross served up their over the last fifteen years) confined to events on the pitch. It?s all of the little things which make the place so special. The walk up Spellow Lane at half-two, the program sellers, that house on Gladwys Street painted Royal Blue, the Dixie Dean picture outside the Wilmslow, chanting outside the Oak, the massive queue at the Barclay?s cash machine, and hundreds of other things I myself probably never notice but that are a huge part of other people?s match day ritual.

More than anything else, the special thing for me about watching Everton at Goodison Park is the over-powering sense of unity. The sense that everybody who you rub shoulders with on matchday is there for exactly the same reason as you, everybody has the same purpose, everybody the same destination and everybody the same sense of nervousness and anticipation. Because, let's face it, if you?re not going the match, and you don?t live round there, what reason have you got to be anywhere near Goodison Park on a match day?

I know there are plenty of other reasons to oppose the move to Kirkby, but in my view, this is the most important, and will I think, be the one felt most keenly. Your future matchday experience will be shared by hoards of people shopping for groceries, popping into a Starbucks and taking the kids out. The matchday experience will be completely impersonal and the new home of Everton Football Club will become just another feature of an out-of-city Leisure Park, the type of which there are scores all over the country. It simply won?t be possible to create the same kind of customs and quirks which are present at Goodison, because the venue will have such little in-built character.

The feeling that you are at the centre of the universe while at Goodison Park and the surrounding areas will be washed away in a sea of High Street insignia which will make you feel as though you could be anywhere in the world. Fierce individuality and an unmistakable aura will be traded for facelessness and cold sterility. We just better hope the football can compensate...

Reader Comments

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Karl Masters
1   Posted 20/01/2008 at 19:20:43

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Agree with that 100%. The pitfalls are there for all to see, but some cannot see it until it’s too late.

Wigan, Derby, Bolton, Boro, Southampton, Reading played in crap stadia ( to call them stadiums in stretching it in some cases! )that were out of the ark and had to be replaced. In those cases, a move to a new location was a price worth paying to replace the dumps they had. They also had very poor teams on the pitch and low attendances.

Everton’s case is different. We have more options than those Clubs and re-building Goodison is still one of them and not likely to cost a great deal more than Kirkby now the true costs of Kirkby are becoming known. We also have big crowds and a very good Team.

Something needs to be done, as witnessed by the posting earlier about the letterbox view of the Lower Bullens seats, but moving to a bland stasium on a Retail Park away from your roots is not the correct solution.
Eric Holland
2   Posted 20/01/2008 at 20:15:08

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Wigan, Derby, Bolton, Boro, Southampton, Reading played in crap stadia
And you think Goodison is a good stadium!
Get real, it’s a dump. crap parking crap facilities dirty toilets obstructed views of the pitch.
We are going to Kirkby so get used to the idea and stop bleating.
Rich Jones
3   Posted 20/01/2008 at 20:22:03

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Eric, you really are one of Kenwright's mugs aren't you? I was at Wigan today and I have to say at half time I was worried for my safety at half-time due to the crush under the stadium. As for getting a drink or something to eat, it took me all my time to fight my way to the loo. If this is what we have to look forward to, you can shove it. And for your info, Eric, the loos were just as dirty as any communal toilet at any event.
Eric Holland
4   Posted 20/01/2008 at 20:33:32

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Kenwright mug. For your information Kenwright has done a great job so far.
Statistics don’t lie 4th in prem, last 32 uefa, semi finals carling cup, Manager of the year twice.
Yes Kenwright is a right fuck up isn’t he.
And if you compare the little Wigan shed to the proposed kirkby stadium it is you sir who is the mug.
Dave Moore
5   Posted 20/01/2008 at 20:33:11

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What about all the people shopping in Walton??
I?d rather buy a whopper from Burger King than a hot dog handled by someone who just took a piss but didn?t wash their hands. We need better facilities full stop. Be it in the city or be it in Kirkby.
Wigan, Derby, Bolton, Boro, Southampton, Reading have never won a thing worth remembering, we are Everton with a bigger history than all those clubs put together, but that history was created on the pitch, not in Argos, Tesco?s. Maplin?s or anywhere else.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
6   Posted 20/01/2008 at 20:41:10

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"For your information Kenwright has done a great job so far. Statistics don?t lie 4th in prem, last 32 uefa, semi finals carling cup, Manager of the year twice."

I?m sorry, who?s the manager again?

Yes, Bill may have made the appointment, recommended to him by Walter Smith (not that he would have been on the list given his repuation, I?m sure) but we?re not talking about matters on the pitch here, Eric, but significant issues off it and from the Kings Dock to ticketing fiascos to Kirkby, the Kenwright regime has done plenty to shake many fans? faith that it can deliver on a solution to Goodison Park.

And Dave Moore, the bogs at Goodison may be run down but they're dirty principally because blokes are like animals when it comes to public toilets and the bogs aren't cleaned during the time people are at the ground. That's not going to change at a sparkly new stadium, and I'm sure that the catering will be just as crap too because the quality of the service or food isn't dependent on the age or quality of the structure in which they're housed. Have you seen some of the garbage served up in the lounges?

Terry Maddock
7   Posted 20/01/2008 at 20:48:56

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Karl Masters: Wigan, Derby, Bolton, Boro, Southampton, Reading played in crap stadia (to call them stadiums in stretching it in some cases!) that were out of the ark and had to be replaced.

How many of them were built before 1892?Oh ,that will be none of them....

Goodison is the original "Ark".. the first purpose-built football stadium. Unfortunately it's no longer up to standard... but the team now is. Wherever we may go, it will be better than the delapidated old lady..

And as for shoppers. Somerfield, Ethel Austin, KFC, McDonalds... bloody furniture shops 'n' all... Where??? County Rd.
Dave Moore
8   Posted 20/01/2008 at 20:54:13

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Come on Lyndon give credit where credit is due, Kenwright has backed Moyes to the hilt and we are now seeing why. OK he’s made a few cock ups, who hasn’t? Are we more financially stable than we have been for a while and with a better squad of players, please don’t give Moyes all the credit for that. It seems the buck stops at the top but the credit starts in the middle. I would rather be in our situation now than be football’s whore like those across the park - now in the press for all the wrong reasons and all this is at the highest level
Eric Holland
9   Posted 20/01/2008 at 20:58:53

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I?m sorry, who?s the manager again?
Our Manager is David Moyes.
I thought you might have known that.
I know you are anti Kirkby Lyndon,
but like you said it?s on the pitch that matters, Not where the pitch is located.
By the way, the toilets at the Emirates stadium were superb.
Dave Moore
10   Posted 20/01/2008 at 21:07:13

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Lyndon - Sorry mate but I never mentioned the bogs inside Goodison. I was comparing the "refreshment" facilities on the walk up to the ground. eg Hot dog stand or Burger King, shithole chippy or Pizza Hut.

I agree - pigs live in shit but put people in shit and they turn into pigs!!
Rob Hollis
11   Posted 20/01/2008 at 21:08:12

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If the new stadium was built anywhere it will be a bit antiseptic compared to Goodison but it will allow better crowds, better catering, better access and better income generation which translates to more cash which translates to more funds for players.

Kenwright is not perfect but he has done a bloody good job. There have been times in recent years when we have been virtually relegated and virtually bankrupt.

The modern game has lost something, but if we are to compete we will have to sacrifice some tradition. I would like it all, but life is not like that.
Mike Adamson
12   Posted 20/01/2008 at 21:45:32

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Rob Hollis I agree with you, the 21st Century Premier League is a cut-throat business and there isn't much room for sentimentality. Also agree that anywhere other than Goodison will be ?antiseptic,? but there has to be better solution than attaching a ground to the side of a leisure park.

We obviously need a compromise between the need for more corporate money and keeping hold of our tradition, but in my view Kirkby isnt a compromise, its too far the other way.
Jim Lloyd
13   Posted 20/01/2008 at 22:19:49

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Dave, you have said some pretty derogatory comments about the people of Walton. It beats me how you can possibly hold your nose to get to the ground! I?m sorry if I offend but I live 400yds from Goodison and I am extremely pissed off with contributers who give as reasons to moving to Kirkby, that they can?t find a decent car parking speck, or they might get dog poo on there shoes, or that their burger may haqve been sold to them by some callow youth who doesn?t know hygeine basics (could this not also happen in Burger King!!).

Liverpool supporters come from all over the world to Anfield, and I don?t hear them protesting that the place is in such a run down dump of an area that they couldn?t wait to get to Kirkby. So if we are going to have a debate about where we are going to end up, would you mind not denigrating the people of Walton to try and reinforce your argument.

As for the future, I think Kenwright sold us down the river once by cocking up the King?s Dock opportunity. I think he will have done it twice if he gives the go ahead to move to Kirkby ? only if we go, there?s no way back, we?ll be screwed.

Kieran Fitzgerald
14   Posted 20/01/2008 at 22:43:21

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Christ, is this what we?re reduced to? Slagging each other off about washing your hands post piss?

Yes, Kenwright is a clown in many ways but he?s also an honest fan who?s passionate about the club. What would you prefer, the two yanks across the park? Because I tell you, that is the face of modern Premier League club ownership/chairmanship. I don?t know about you but it scare?s the shit out of me.

As for shiny new grounds, I?ve been to Croke Park here in Dublin. The place looks ultra modern and new. It?s so modern that when Arsenal were designing the Emirates they came over for a look. But I tell you, when its full of passionate fans and the players are on the pitch, the place is electric.
Steve Hogan
15   Posted 20/01/2008 at 22:50:12

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For the record, I would prefer to stay within the city bondaries than move to Kirkby, however I don?t agree with the dreamy matchday experiences espoused by some of my co-writers.

Before the Man City game I dank in a local pub (which shall remain nameless) which was the absolute pits. Apart from the cheap beer, the toilets were an absolute disgrace, the uphostelry ripped and shredded, and the floor a mixture of smelly carpet and broken tiles.

There was no food on sale and the owners had made little or no effort to clean the place up and make the place attractive.

For the record the pavements leading up to the ground were strewn with litter and dog-shit, the former not necessarily the fault of the local residents.

The problem with Kirkby, is that historically it will be never be able to provide the same number of pubs and cafes that Walton can, simply because ?the pub on every corner? syndrome, never applied when planners were developing a new town.

If we move to Kirkby, then everyone?s matchday experience will change dramatically.

But please, don?t wax too lyrical about the ?Goodison Experience?.
Dave Moore
16   Posted 20/01/2008 at 23:15:27

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Jim Lloyd - sorry but there’s no derogatory remarks in my comments about Walton. I’m not even comparing it to Kirkby or anywhere else. If you read the original post by Mike Adamson he refers to the walk up to the match at Wigan being littered with shoppers and implies that Goodison currently doesn’t have that. The point I’m trying to make is that if you approach the ground from Walton Road you will see lot’s of people shopping there.

My other comments are regarding the so called refreshment facilities on the walk up to the ground, again this is not aimed at Walton or anywhere else, its just a fact that they are not the best. Again this was comparing Mike’s experience of Robins Park Retail area.

My reference to pigs & shit is nothing to do with Walton either, its a counter to Lyndon’s opinions on the men who use the toilets in the ground.

I suggest you read the full thread of these posts before you start accusing people of making derogatory remarks. I think there have been enough over the last 12 months or so about Kirkby, don’t you?

For the record I have no problem with Walton or anywhere else in the Liverpool area. I would love Everton to redevelop Goodison but whether you like it or not that redevolment has to spread if the club want’s to generate extra funding. So I suggest that LCC should spread its cash a little further than the city centre. Wait and see what they will do for the Anfield area when the other lot get their new ground, then when that’s done compare it to anything they have offered us.
Jim Lloyd
17   Posted 20/01/2008 at 23:17:32

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Keiran, no it shouldn’t be about slagging each other off. You will notice however that the comments from Dave Moore and Steve Hogan are both to do with (in their eyes) the less than perfect evirons surrounding Goodison Park. I say again,it is no differnt than the walk up to Anfield.
To use this argument about whether we should stay in Liverpool or not (and I can bet you as much as you care to put down, that the reds would never dream of leaving the city) is not logical. The argument is whether moving out of Liverpool will harm the club, or conversly, can we afford not to. I think it will harm the club to move outside of this city. What the area around Goodison Park is like, is not really the main point.
If we leave this city I believe we will just slowly die.
Jim Lloyd
18   Posted 20/01/2008 at 23:37:16

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Dave Moore, this discussion should be about whether Everton will be best served by staying in Liverpool or moving outside the city. I do read the posts.
Your comment about who served you with a hot dog or whatever, implied they are not hygeinic but if you went to Kirkby that would never happen. I didn’t say that you had made all the comments, but an earlier post had said how difficult it was for them to park here, and god knows hw many posts I’ve seen referring to the slums, the dog shit, the poor eating facilities. I didn’t say you’d made them all, you just contributed to them
Dave Moore
19   Posted 20/01/2008 at 23:52:26

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Jim - now your writing things into my posts that don’t exist - where did I say that if you went to Kikby that would never happen? Again I was comparing the facilities - hot dog stand to shop. I’m not questioning someones hygene I’m saying I would like better facilities, maybe the hot dog sellers would like better facilities for there business also.

Your right about the discussion but unfortunately people use it to have a pop at certain areas and unfortunately you think that’s what I’m doing here. Well its not, but I would like to see improved facilities no matter what.
Eric Holland
20   Posted 20/01/2008 at 23:53:04

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I live 400yds from Goodison.
Now thats a good reason for not wanting to move ground!!
PS I would love to stay at a redeveloped Goodison Park, I have been going there for 40 years And was born only 40 yards from Goodison. LCC only recognize one team in Merseyside and don’t give a toss about Everton,
so that just ain’t going to happen.
So we have to keep up or loose out and moving on to somewhere that can and will support and accommodate EFC
is our only option at the moment.
Jay Harris
21   Posted 21/01/2008 at 00:12:37

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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 isn't. And as for listening to the experts' opinion that's 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!!
As for Billy Liar, I can't believe the number of people who think he?s doing a good job because we?re having a good season so far.
Walter Smith recommended Moyes and Kenwright?s other appointments include a CEO who lasted 5 minutes and Wynesss who I wish had followed suit.
I?m sorry to repeat it but we have Kings Dock, NTL Fortress Sports Fund (or lack of), various organisational disasters and plenty more ? which is why a large number of us have no faith or trust in BK or KW.
Dick Fearon
22   Posted 21/01/2008 at 05:51:39

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Is it some kind of mental torture or brain washing? Any lie if repeated often enough takes on the appearance of truth. Whatever it is I am sick sick sick sick to bluddy bluddy bluddy bluddy bluddy death with repeated as nauseum same same same same friggin friggin friggin same things about that bleedin bloomin sodden flogged to death stadium debate.
Has anybody got anything anything anything anything New to say about it?
If you have then lets hear it but if not don’t go on and on and on and on about things we have already heard time and time and time and bluddy time again.
Jim arnold
23   Posted 21/01/2008 at 08:42:14

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One of the reasons we have never had any investment is that any new owner or investor is going to have to pay for a new ground. I live outside Liverpool but would still love to stay inside the city but half the seats inside Goodison you can’t see the goals, there are bits dropping off the ceiling onto your head and the facilities are terrible. The atmosphere is tremendous but whereas it used to be the best stadium in the country , it is now one of the worst in the Premier League. We have an oppurtunity to move to a new ground at a very low price, for me I can’t see any other option. Over half the clubs in the Premier League have alot more money than us, this is the only way we can raise more funds over a period of time. I would love to stay in Liverpool but I want to watch good football and a suucessful team and I will watch Everton anywhere. I think it is easier for someone who doesn’t live in Liverpool to see alot of these things. I have been critical of Bill Kenwright in the past but I honestly think in this case he is doing what he thinks is the only solution and I have to agree with him that I can’t see any other viable option financially. You only have to look at the problems Liverpool are having with two very wealthy investors.
Alex May
24   Posted 21/01/2008 at 09:28:25

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Crap parking at Goodison Eric? I’m in my living room less than 45 minutes after the final whistle having had a nice free park for the afternoon.

Possibly the worst thing about Kirkby, more so than where it is and the retail aprk is the transport. In 45 minutes, I probably wouldn’t have got on a bus to take me back to my car.

Look at the transport plan and see how many pissed off supporters will fall by the eayside because of it.
Steve Jones
25   Posted 21/01/2008 at 09:33:00

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The whole point of this thread was one man’s lamenting of the loss of the matchday experience that he is assuming would happen with a move to a multiuse site.

The most important point on the thread is that, barring a rennovation of the Old Lady that all of us want...but none of us can show as financially viable, we will have to go to a multiuse site. Be it the Loops hotel/conference/leisure facilities or Kirkby’s supermarket/shopping site the matchday experience is going to change.

If we had moved to the Kings Dock the matchday experience would be different - possibly even worse as 50,000 fans pile into the city centre on top of everyone already shopping/working etc.

Change is something that is Everton fans we have managed to keep our heads in the sand with remarkable ferocity, but, we are now at the point, with the Old Lady clearly on her last legs, where change has to happen. It is up to us to embrace that change, remembering the past, and do everything we can to make the transition as smooth as possible for the club.
Tim Keen
26   Posted 21/01/2008 at 09:35:46

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Whenever I post on here I always feel like I come across as a patronising know-it-all but it frustrates the hell out of me when Yes voters come out with the same nonsence as they were 6 months ago.

"We haven’t had a new owner as they would have to build a new ground" -

Ignoring examples such as Portsmouth and Liverpool where new owners have got involved before stadium plans have come to fruition or any number of takeovers where new owners have redeveloped existing stadia there seems to be an assumption that the current owners would magnanimously stand aside once the stadium has been built. Do Yes voters really believe if Everton FC were getting a cheap new stadium "worth £200m" then Kenwright et al would give away this £200m asset for free? Any new owner would simply pay in full for the stadium and the money would go to Bill not to the club.

"We have an oppurtunity to move to a new ground at a very low price"

Have you actually followed the debate. The cost in August was a £35m contribution, it is now a minimum of £80m and possibly £100m. When we were voting Goodison was £200m to redevelop, in the planning application the cost is given at £110m.

"Over half the teams in the league have more money that us - this is the only way we can compete"

The MAXIMUM REVENUE this new stadium can generate is £10m based on selling out every game. Tottenham have a turnover of £104m, ours stands at £52m. Every time the club does a deal like the Chang shirt deal worth £8m over 3 years we fall further behind the other clubs we are competing with. That is nothing to do with stadium money it is all to do with how the business is run. But most of the Yes voters seem to think Wyness does a stunningly good job.

And finally IN THE ACTUAL PLANNING APPLICATION TESCO SUBMITTED it spells out the entire rationale behind the move. "A short term boost to the balance sheet"

What this means is the board will be able to remortgage their debt against the stadium and the club will pay the interest, just like the Yanks at Man Utd and the RS are doing. These are facts from the planning application on the KBC website.

Evertonians - naive as f*ck.
Steve Jones
27   Posted 21/01/2008 at 10:08:17

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"Have you actually followed the debate. The cost in August was a £35m contribution, it is now a minimum of £80m and possibly £100m. When we were voting Goodison was £200m to redevelop, in the planning application the cost is given at £110m."

What does that mean though?. Best case it means we can get into a new 50k seater stadium for £80mn. Worst case it means we can no more afford Kirkby than we can redeveloping Goodison so we are royally stuffed in a few years time?.

John Lloyd
28   Posted 21/01/2008 at 10:12:24

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Tim Keen, thank you, thank you very much mate.

I was beginning to despair, I thought the debate had turned into a new one, not about our stadium move but either a slanging match between Walton v Kirkby and thier respective amenities (or lack of) or between clean or dirty toilets??? WTF are you on about???

Please have a brief read of Tims comment, read about the actual debate/facts & maybe talk about the stuff that is going on??

Chris Halliday
29   Posted 21/01/2008 at 12:06:11

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I wish we would put the stadiumn debate to one side for a fucking minute and concentrate our energy on getting behind the team and club when they need it most. We have been crying out for situation for years, so lets enjoy it and stop going on at each other. For the record I am a no voter and feel the same about moving but come on and lets think about Wed and what we can do to make it an atmosphere that will be worth a goal start, cos that is what the team will need.
Paul McCann
30   Posted 21/01/2008 at 13:18:51

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Kieran Fitzgerald,

I think your point about the superb atmosphere and facilities at Croke Park is a bit misleading.

Although the stadium has been radically renovated and extended over the last 15 years, it is still the same piece of land which has been the headquarters of the GAA for well over a century. As you probably know [if you’re from Ireland] Croke Park is almost considered a ’sacred’ place in both Irish sporting and social life [for reasons which are too complex to go into here, but you probably understand where I’m coming from]. This reverence in itself gives Croke Park a ’special’ atmosphere. Add to this the proximity of several pubs [Quinn’s on Drumcondra Road for example], and the whole match day experience becomes an event in itself. I think that the loss of such pubs [and the lack of adueqate replacement at Kirkby] is a major concern for the anti-Kirkby lobby on this site, who fear how their traditional match day experience will be altered.

The most significant reason for the special atmosphere at Croke Park, however, is the composition of the crowd, who, for most matches [except those involving Dublin] are roughly split evenly between the competing teams. In effect, this means approximately 40,000 dupporters of each team going mental for their home county. This situation is not replicated in English football grounds, where there is minimal away support.

Having said all that, I’m pro-Kirkby, simply because there isn’t a deliverable alternative, so I think were all having a bit of an empty debate. What the club should be trying to acheive is to deliver the best stadium possible, whether that be at Kirby, or another location within the city boundaries.
Markus Steinbauer
31   Posted 21/01/2008 at 13:42:19

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So Emirates has nice toilets, great what do i need more...
I am living in Germany and if i could visit one ground in the world it would be Goodison. I saw the Alkmaar ( i think it was ) game on the TV and EMirates just sucked. No atmosphere, you could only hear the Alkmaar fans and people where leaving 20 minutes into the 2nd half.
I have been to Allianz Arena in Munich, too, and while it is a nice stadium it lacks commitment of the attendance. Its out of town and while everybody is there only for the game support is still dire.
Theres just no appeal to me leaving one of the Mekkas of football for some random hut out of town.
I mean what do you get, some more income , massive debt and the risk of loosing your hardcore fans. A new stadium means debt in the first place and income of a modern football club isnt based on atttendance so much anyway.
Ben Jackson
32   Posted 21/01/2008 at 14:03:09

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I’m fairly neutral on the whole ground move, I don’t want to leave the city boundaries but a new ground can only push the club forward. But can we start being realistic with our negative views. Ok, pubs that we have been visiting on the way to a game for years are no longer going to be an option, but do you not think pub landlords just may see an advantage in setting up near the new ground? It’s not rocket science, a football stadium with the invasion of 50,000 fans every other week is inevitably going to attract all the traditional matchday experiences. Ok, it’ll take some getting used to but we won’t be starved of them!
Joseph Bell
33   Posted 21/01/2008 at 13:56:32

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I thought that the "WIgan experience" was an excellent one. Me and my mate went into "The Marquee" which I thought was a great idea. We could get served with out any problems and the beer was cheaper than that warm pish we get served at Goodison.

I love Goodison as much as any Evertonian, but.....we have to face facts, We need to move forward.
Markus Steinbauer
34   Posted 21/01/2008 at 14:21:10

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Well Ben, i wouldnt be too optimistic that there will be loads of nice pubs soon, i can only tell you my experience from Allianz Arena. You can buy drinks and food inside the stadium and outside theres, NOTHING. An Autobahn , an old garbage dump and a parking lot. Thats it. Modern Stadia try to keep you inside the ground and want all rvenue for their own.
Ben Jackson
35   Posted 21/01/2008 at 14:48:38

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If you build it, they will come
Marko Poutiainen
36   Posted 21/01/2008 at 14:59:17

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Kirkby has a population of about 40,000. That’s what the infrastructure and most services will be for. To think that there will be loads of pubs just to serve the football fans for about 20 times a year is complete fantasy land. Would you start such a business? Of course not, there is no way as there would be no customers for the other 330 or so days a year when there’s no match.

The same goes for transportation. No-one is going to pay for an infrastructure needed to move 50,000 people 20 times a year quickly in and out of the area. It’s ridiculous to even suggest that. And the planning application doesn’t - they expect the fans to use parkn’ride and bicycles, for heaven’s sake!
Dave Hollomby
37   Posted 21/01/2008 at 15:31:44

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Tim - well said.
It’s surprised me how fully some Evertonians have fallen for the Kirkby hard-sell. There is something about the heart and soul of the club at risk if we move out of the city, and once it happens it is lost forever. But those of us who argue for Goodison (or somewhere else close to the heart of the city) aren’t just dewy-eyed romantics. As has been pointed out, £10 million per year is good - but nobody in their right mind could imagine it?d be anything like enough to compete with the richest clubs, as the board has suggested. Also, it assumes that our average gate will go up by over 10000. Who will these people be? Are they the sort of people who really want to come to watch Everton, but are put off because the stadium isn?t shiny enough? We need to beware that there?s every chance many fans who currently go will not want to drag themselves all the way out to Kirkby.
And, on a separate issue, even if you think Kirkby is a good idea, do you really think this board is competent enough to deliver? Just cast your mind back to the ballot fiasco (to name just one) ? piss-up and brewery comes to mind.
Tom Hughes
38   Posted 21/01/2008 at 15:30:23

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Marko, you are absolutely correct, there will be no extra facilities and the limited infrastrucure changes are to accommodate shoppers who arrive at the site over a full shopping day, not a 1 or 2 hour window. There are next to no additional facilities at either Reebok or Madjeski, they would be totally unsustainable. They are in Walton because this is an old well established and densely populated community which can support them. (just about). Of course the Loop site would represent a massive increase of amenities closeby with several hundred bars/restaurants/clubs within walking distance. Kirkby has a handful of pubs in total, and even some of them have vanished in recent years.
Robert Carney
39   Posted 21/01/2008 at 16:42:33

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Walking past the dogshite (which so many yes voters qoute) will be a pleasure compared to fast food and shopping outlets.
They all smell similar, dog shite is such a lot smaller.

Thanks Kenwright.
Paul McCann
40   Posted 21/01/2008 at 17:02:35

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Tom Hughes,

You’ve said ’Of course the Loop site would represent a massive increase of amenities closeby with several hundred bars/restaurants/clubs within walking distance’.

Of course. Of course to build a new stadium on the Loop site would superb [or on a larger site nearby which could actually contain a 50-60k seater stadium and the necessary ancilliary facilities required to finance and support such a stadium].

It would also be great if we were to win our remaining 15 league fixtures and claim our tenth championship. The trouble is, neither of these things will happen, unfortunately, and for roughly the same reason. Money.

Kirkby is likely to happen because it is what we can afford [with some help]. I don’t particularly like it either, but I’m a realist. The only way that we are going to build a new stadium in a location as prestigious as the Loop site [or win the championship in the short to medium term] is to attract outside investment in the shape of an Abramovich or the like. Without this type of investment [which given recent events across the Park [or in Edinburgh] may not be a good thing], you, and many others on this site are dreaming a rather damaging dream.

Somethines you can’t always get what you want.
Tom Hughes
41   Posted 21/01/2008 at 18:01:00

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I know I am repeating myself, but Kirkby is going to cost us £80-100m+ according to the club themselves. That is after all the help in the world from Tesco, Therefore, we are essentially paying for upto 3 of the 4 stands, them sales are never as good as they make out (in August we were getting the lot for nothing in the great Tesco giveaway). Don’t you think that could be potentially damaging? £100m debt for just 10,000 new seats, Especially if the fans don’t turn up after they’ve suffered the park and ride fiascos. Incidentally as an aside, Arsenal won all their premierships in a smaller ground than GP. £20-30m to build a new15,000 seater stand at the Park end would give us the same capacity as the kirkby proposal, plus say lose the pillars at the front of the mainstand/upper Bullens/Upper Gwladys, would dramatically improve GP. This all for far less than Kirkby and that’s before you take into account fanciful transport studies that have been truly "dreamt up" following the club’s own original one that was damning and had the club instantly pestering Merseytravel to resurrect Merseytram. That’s also before you take into account the splitting of our fanbase, the damage to identity and heritage, lack of continuity and other out-of-town negatives that must follow in this (for the moment) 2 team city. As far as the Loop site is concerned the surrounding substantial pockets of land are substantial, nearly all council owned and suitable for a multitude of development types including high-rise high-return commercial and residential. No one wants a skyscraper/5* hotel/penthouse apartments in Kirkby. This is not fanciful at all since it is happening all over the surrounding areas with many more planned. Meanwhile, the kirkby proposals are being objected to by all surrounding councils, and violate Knowsley’s own UDP, hardly the solid ground you’re intimating.
Eric Holland
42   Posted 21/01/2008 at 19:03:27

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When it comes down to it all the NO NO voters are bothered about is were are we going to get are ale before the match. Get pissed on county rd £5 to Kirkby in a taxi your laughing. End of debate. Thank christ that is all sorted, now lets support the team.
Evertonian forever wherever whenever.
Lee McCarthy
43   Posted 21/01/2008 at 19:35:38

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Eric Holland your intereptation of the NO voter is pathetic.

Only interested in ale!!! What the fuck kind of shout is that. This is the most serious issue in the clubs entire history and all you can do is come out with an idiotic response like that.

To all the smug YES voters I really hope that if the move does go ahead the whole project falls flat on it arse and it turns out to be the most damaging and disasterous situation in the clubs history because your’s and Kenwright’s ignorance deserves nothing less. They won’t be getting my support or help when they realise this move was a mistake coz I would have ended my association with Everton Football Club if this move goes ahead.

Kenwright is worse than Peter Johnson ever was coz the man is supposed to be one of US(yeah right). At least you knew what a total gobshite Johnson was but Kenwright mask’s his lies and bullshit behind this true blue image and you idiots let him get away with it. Well off you’s all go to Kirkby and follow this clowns vision(delusions more like) for the club because there is no way i will.
Eric Holland
44   Posted 21/01/2008 at 20:09:26

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oops! looks like I hit a sore note there,
All Evertonians will follow the blues wherever they
end up. The ones that dont.
Your words Lee "PATHETIC"
Paul McCann
45   Posted 21/01/2008 at 20:00:00

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I appreciate your point of view on the subject, but I just can’t agree. The main problem with GP isn’t the capacity [Iagree that there is little evidence that we could fill a 50-60k seater stadium], but the state of repair, particularly Bullens Road and Gwladys Street. In reality, these areas of the ground would be refurbished before the capacity of the Park End was ever increased. The Main Stand is also in need of refurbishment as you know, but to a lesser extent. In my opinion, the refurbishment [or more likely rebuilding] of both the Bullens Road and Gwladts Street Stand would be prohibitively expensive for the club.

As for the amount of money that the club is likely to contribute to a new stadium in Kirkby, I have given up trying to second guess KW such has been the amount of contradictory information [disinformation?] eminating from the club.

To my eye it seems that there is little stomach within LCC to donate tranches of land to a private company [EFC], which would have to happen for the additional developments at or around Scotland Road to make the Loop site a viable alternative [I believe that the Loop site can accommodate a only a 50-60k stadium]. As has been pointed out by many others, this is very different to the support that LFC have received from LCC.

As a result, I feel that Kirkby is, for the moment, the best deliverable option. I share your comcerns regarding the frankly laughable transport strategy. I’m an architect, like you I think, and this ’transport strategy’, along with a list of difficulties with the current proposals the length of both my arms wil have to be overcome for planning permission to be granted. This, as you know, could lead to stalemate a la Brighton and Hove Albion.

As you can see, I’m not saying that it will be easy [or pain free], but I feel that it can be delivered, and that the ’alternatives’ aren’t deliverable at the moment.
Tom Hughes
46   Posted 21/01/2008 at 21:12:44

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Evertonians following the blue "wherever"? Would you then be so supportive of a move to Cronton, (no serious planning constraints several motorways converging etc) and only a few miles away in reality? A bit closer to home maybe..... how about Speke? Actually within the boundary, but have you seen the gridlock down at the Mersey retail park lately with just a few thousand shoppers. It is true we have a strong support and many who follow our team home and away. Does that mean we can just up sticks and go anywhere? How about Runcorn or Warrington? full of exiled scouser/blues with no local footy competition and again lots of motorways to suck in the floating vote from far and wide. The fact is: for every die hard who goes "wherever" we play, there are dozens who only go to home games, and probably hundreds who only go occasionally. You’re basing our relocation strategy on a few thousand diehard blues who wouldn’t fill one tier of one side of the Kirkbydome. If we want to maximise our support we have to produce better facilities at GP or seize the middle-ground at the likes of the Loop, so that all blues will find it easier to attend. Kirkby and any edge of city location can never be the ideal..... even if it was free which it certainly isn’t.
Eric Holland
47   Posted 21/01/2008 at 21:47:27

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The only one of your relocation areas mentioned
that have A LIVERPOOL POSTCODE Speke would be ok by me. As would any other area in the Liverpool boundary, ie; postcode starts with L.
I’m no planing genius or top business adviser, unlike lots off other so called experts on here.
Leave planning to the planners, design to the designers and business to the businessmen.

PS RS 2 Villa 2 still in 4th place.
Dave Wilson
48   Posted 21/01/2008 at 22:33:57

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So its just the No voters who go on the piss in County Rd then? That explains why you can't find a Yes voter in any of the alehouses there...
Thanks for putting me straight, that one's puzzled me since the stadium debate started.
Just one thing though, were do the Yes voters drink?
Eric Holland
49   Posted 21/01/2008 at 22:57:19

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Maybe they just don?t drink as much.
Tom Hughes
50   Posted 21/01/2008 at 22:46:40

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Unfortunately I have had a bit to do with planners and designers of various descriptions.... it often depends on which business is asking their opinion, In this case Tesco. I live in South Liverpool and could walk to the proposed Speke site and still wouldn’t advocate a move there. A reasonably sized retail park has caused a major congestion bottle-neck on its own right next to the earmarked site. I doubt this would ever receive planning permission..... of course "experts" designed the infrastructure that is regularly crippled now. Incidentally this area is fed by more major artorial routes than Kirkby and a mainline/Northern line train station and it still suffers gridlock.

Simon Inglis is a real expert on stadia design/planning/history he had this to say regarding a move to Kirkby:

Simon Inglis is a world renowned expert on Stadium Architecture History and Design. He has decades of experience and has written many well known publications on the subject, with the history and development of Goodison Park featuring strongly in several of his books. He is also editor for the current edition of the "Green Guide" (Guide to safety at sports grounds). When asked today to give his opinion regarding Everton FC’s proposed move to Kirkby, despite an extremely busy workload he felt strongly enough to give this response:

"By leaving the city of Liverpool, the directors of Everton FC will forever
break the duopoly that has characterised professional football in Liverpool
since 1892.
This will not only permanently alter the character of Everton, but also of
the city as a whole.
The proximity of Goodison and Anfield is a defining part of the city’s
heritage, and a symbol of how allegiances to both clubs are rooted in
cultural factors rather than geographical ones.
If I were an Everton fan, before signing up to the Kirkby proposals I would
want to see clearly defined evidence that Goodison Park is no longer viable,
and that all possible alternative sites within the city have been studied.
If such evidence is not made publicly available then no supporter can hope
to make a properly informed judgement.
Many clubs that have relocated in recent years, such as Bolton, Derby,
Southampton and Sunderland, have not suffered from an acute loss of local
identity, simply because they have no immediate neighbours.
The case of Manchester City cannot be compared with Everton because City’s
new stadium was publicly funded. Similarly, Arsenal’s new stadium is within
the same London borough, and involved a move of less than one mile.
It is my belief that by relocating to Kirkby, the character and constituency
of Everton would undoubtedly be forever changed.
Everton fans must decide whether that is an eventuality that they embrace,
or one they dread.
Put it like this, if a similar proposal were put forward for my club, Aston
Villa, I would be extremely worried."
(Simon Inglis 23/07/2007)

Anyone who has ever read his work will know that he chooses his words carefully. The written word and stadia are his bread and butter. With this in mind I hope the full gravity of all his comments and particularly his final sentence is felt by all discerning Evertonians. He has no axe to grind and no ulterior motives..... just a completely independent opinion based on vast experience in this subject area.
Dave Wilson
51   Posted 21/01/2008 at 23:02:45

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Maybe the should, a couple of famous snooker players have been known to claim it improves their judgement
Jimmy Fearns
52   Posted 21/01/2008 at 22:55:23

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Dave Its obvious, they are all tea total.
Tony Williams
53   Posted 21/01/2008 at 23:35:13

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I drink in Orry’s, so that’s your comment proved wrong.
Eric Holland
54   Posted 21/01/2008 at 23:39:57

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I think Phil McNulty BBC Hit the Nail on the head.

All the noises coming out of Everton suggest the Kirkby deal offers a fantastic opportunity, both from a financial and football perspective.

The involvement of the council and Tesco reduces the financial burden - and finally gives Everton the opportunity to cash in fully on their potential.

The only murmurs have come from traditionalist fans unhappy that Everton may end in a home outside the city boundaries - surely a minor consideration in the grand scheme.

Kirkby is barely outside Liverpool, but in situations such as this some doom and gloom merchants who follow the club would complain even if Everton announced they were building a golden footballing palace slap in the city centre.

The vast majority of Everton fans are likely to embrace the scheme with open arms, especially when they see their neighbours and rivals on the move to new premises as well.

Liverpool City Council is keen to keep Everton within its boundaries, but their interest looks to have come too late.

Everton have somehow missed out on the new investment in the Premiership - despite owner Kenwright claiming he is constantly searching.

This leaves a ground move as their best bet. Put your money on Everton moving to Kirkby.
Tom Hughes
55   Posted 21/01/2008 at 23:22:31

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Paul McCann,
Somehow I missed your response.....

Firstly I don’t believe it is necessarily imperative to address the old stands first After all, their cost of maintenace is tiny compared to what we will be paying for Kirkby. However, a new larger park end to fully exploit the space at this end will provide extra capacity and facilities in an instant. Trevor Skempton has done some work on an enabling project at the rear of this stand. The City planners like the idea. This initial additional capacity will then offset any subsequent loss of capacity due to redevelopment of whichever stand, meaning that capacity will be maintained at or above the current level throughout redevlopment phases. In my opinion the old Leitch stands are not beyond redemption, much can be done to eradicate obstructions in the upper tiers, and remodel lower tiers to reduce the effects of the supporting structure. This may be an option to preserve these classic iconic stands, and perhaps combine with contemporary versions on the other 2 sides. Or, the mainstand side is also able to absorb large and comparatively cheap remodelling in its current format.

LCC planning Dept were concentrating on the Loop project, and cooperating with Bestway and HOK. However, the club was not even receptive, and even went to the trouble of letting Tesco’s consultants rubbish it. (Later revealing at the AGM that they hadn’t even read the report by HOK).
You say yourself, you have doubts about Wyness, and the misinformation and wildly inflating costs..... unfortunately, it’s not just him that’s saying it...... and the fact that this was sold to voters as "practically nothing" is disturbing. Combined with the Transport issue is surely enough for you to question the deliverability, and more importantly the desirabilty of Kirkby. What businessmakes it more inconvenient for the bulk of its customers?
BTW, I’m not an Architect. I studied stadium design as part of my Engineering design degree, and have been involved in structural analysis, but mainly mechanical design.
Tom Hughes
56   Posted 22/01/2008 at 00:28:20

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I give you Simon Inglis’ opinion..... a world Authority.
You quote Phil McNulty ....ex Echo, Kopite(?).

Find one part of the whole thing that is accurate.... About the norm for this fella. I couldn’t have found a better example of a journalistic reason to reject Kirkby if I’d tried. So cheers for that!
Tom Hughes
57   Posted 22/01/2008 at 12:30:32

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We all look forward to hearing the Goodison Roar..... that’s the whole point, some of us don’t want to have to look back on it.
Tom Davies
58   Posted 22/01/2008 at 12:44:22

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I agree with that article completely, it scares me to think of what type of atmosphere a stadium on a retail park would create, next to none I reckon.
Martin Stewart
59   Posted 22/01/2008 at 13:18:59

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What a load of jingoistic tripe !!! people really will spout any old paranoid rubbish if you think it helps the case against Kirkby.

As someone else has already pointed out, you’ve conveniently forgotten in your article to mention the shoppers who currently use County Road on a matchday for something other than a thoroughfare on the way to Goodison Park.

Also if you honestly believe that everyone within half a mile of the stadium on a matchday is an Evertonian, then you’ve clearly never been pestered by RS kids from the surrounding houses that think its hilarious to tell you how rubbish your team is as you make your way from your car to the ground.
Neil McKinney
60   Posted 22/01/2008 at 13:50:36

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Whether you are for or against Kirkby this article has no substance.

All the little things? Those little things don’t mean shit until you have been doing them religiously for years!! That’s where the romance comes from, the fucking history of the place. As commercial as it may be, "souless" some have said, Kirkby cannot have that romance or history because it would be brand new. Give it 50 years and some success on the pitch and it may just get that history and romance. Maybe it won’t, but is that a reason not to move?

IMHO the JJB is quite a nice stadium for what it is. It only has a 25,135 capacity so what bearing does that have on the 50,000 extendable stadium at Kirkby? As mentioned above by many posters, the teams that have been mentioned, Bolton, Wigan etc, cannot be compared to EFC. Their new stadiums didn’t destroy their history, they never fuking had one!

There are many issues to debate on Kirkby, this is not one of them.

Eddie Smith
61   Posted 22/01/2008 at 14:05:02

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I believe the arguements here have completely moved away from Mike’s point and it really is a fantastic point.

Going for the weekly shop with the missus and kids in tow pre or post game does not generate the kind of excitment I want before a game. It makes the whole process feel like a convenience rather than a pilgramige.

The unity of the gathering masses that travel for miles around will be lost amongst the other masses travelling to pick up a tesco ready meal. Which will be a sad day for such a great club.

However the ground does need up-dating and sooner gather than later a found farewell will be given to Goodison and a new era in the club will be bought in.

What needs to be remember tho is to try and create an atmosphere as special and keep the godison spirit alive for the next generations instead of it getting lost in between the tesco cafe and fruit and veg section.
Gary Williams
62   Posted 22/01/2008 at 15:18:51

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We could argue all day about the bogs, crap food etc.

I see no change wherever the ground is as for 35 years I have been all over the country and football fans are treated like second class citizens.

We put up with it because we love our team and the greedy bastards know we will pay inflated prices and put up with shit service.

For me though the ground move puts us in the bracket of Sunderland, Boro etc.

Why ? because it shows a lack of ambition.

it will be a cheap ground because that is all we can afford at present and the true figures are now showing the real costs.

It is certainly not the "bargain" Wyness would have us believe.

I laugh at the Geordies and lets face it they are laughable but I tell you what I would kill for a ground bang in the city centre with 50,000 each week.

yes thet are tits but they had people on the board with ambition

Goodison can be rebuilt we just need the ambition and some money to do it.

If it costs £150 million that would be £30 a year ober 5 years plus interest

A hefty sum but not impossible.

I would rather have 3- 5 years of reduced crowds whilst the work is done one side at a time than end up with a lifetime of regret in Kirkby.

Roll on tommorrow when Goodison will be shown once again for what it is one of the last great real football stadiums.



Eric Holland
63   Posted 22/01/2008 at 18:12:32

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Tom Davies,
I take it you didn’t go to the away match in Alkmar!
Any Evertonians reading this will tell you the atmosphere at there little stadium was fantastic.
Its the fans that create the atmosphere not the bricks and mortar.
Simon Inglis? opinion. Who the fuck is he?
Not local I take it!
Another one of these outside expert knowitalls
that only knows about Everton what he reads in a fucking history book.

Get all the opinions you like and keep trying
But your just pissing in the wind like all the other
minority no voters.
Tom Hughes
64   Posted 22/01/2008 at 19:01:43

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"Simon Inglis? opinion. Who the fuck is he?"

Keep digging mate you’re doing a great job. I’ll give you a clue.....Try Google, then try the same with McNulty.

We don’t appear to be the minority on here, nor in any of the pubs I frequent around the ground. Feel free to come and discuss in the Brick tomorrow, you can conduct your own straw poll.

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