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Should we walk alone?

By Gareth Humphreys :  17/04/2008 :  Comments (7) :

From the off let's be perfectly clear ? if we want to ever challenge for the title again, unless a sugar daddy comes along, we are going to need a new stadium. I think everyone can agree on that. We are currently arguing about the 3rd potential ground move since we last won the title and this one looks about as likely to happen as the last two. Even David Moyes has now hinted that redevelopment may be on the agenda within the Goodison boardroom. In a nutshell we have known about the need for a move for over a decade and nothing concrete has happened.

Like pretty much everyone else, I am unable to offer an opinion on where we are at present with the ground move. There are objections left right and centre and the costs seem to be increasing daily. Likewise the redevelopment of Goodison and the famous ?loop?. I have no idea if anything has or is being looked into regarding these but all the noises from the people that make the decisions suggest that they are non starters. Rightly or wrongly Kirkby is the one they are most keen on and the only one they seem to be pursuing with any vigour. Fortunately in my opinion it looks like it is dying a death so what do we do?

I think its cards on the table time. 2 football clubs wanting a new ground. 2 Football clubs who are struggling to finance that new ground. 2 football clubs who are about a mile apart. Sounds like the ideal situation for a ground share to me. There you go I?ve said it.

Putting all feelings from the heart aside, a shared ground removes a lot of the huge obstacles Everton face at present. Obviously it creates problems of its own but surely two large, forward thinking football institutions can swallow a bit of pride and get into bed to make a super stadium. Evertonians want a massive modern stadium that is revered around the world within the city of Liverpool. What we don?t have is a site (apparently) or the cash. Liverpudlians want the same ? they have the site but a debt of £350M to start with. We all know the reasons why we wouldn?t want to share but I?d rather bite the bullet and get on with it than spend another 10 years getting further and further behind. Potentially we can solve each other?s problems and get what we both want out of it into the bargain.

Imagine the buzz around the city if plans were put in place for a jaw droppingly good stadium that was being built. Yes the fans would take the piss out of each other a bit but hey, that?s what we do don?t we? Do I like Liverpool FC? No, but I love Everton far more than I hate Liverpool and it is Everton?s interests we should all have at heart ? not our own parochial feelings. Do I hate Liverpool fans ? As a whole, yes, but individually not really. They have their whoppers and we have ours. We all have lots of close friends and family who all go regularly to the tin mine so let?s not over emphasise the problems we face in. It?s not exactly the Gaza strip on Derby day is it?

So, if you know your history. They have been squatting in our ground for the last 100 years anyway so let?s just formalise the arrangement! Bringing things up to date by giving this city and far more importantly our football club a stadium it deserves should not be dismissed before it is even discussed.

Reader Comments

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Peter Corcoran
1   Posted 18/04/2008 at 15:32:44

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Ignoring all the issues about playing in a ground part owned by the RS - what about the stae of the pitch being played on 2 or 3 times a week?

May be OK in Italy where the weather may be a bit warmer enabling repairs to the picth but here on Merseyside it just will not work.

Now moving on to sharing with RS.

What if one of us want to extend the stadium and the other team can?t afford it? Who pays? Does the team that can afford take a greater share of ownership of the stadium? I could go on but it?s not worth it as I think it is just a non-starter.
Ian Thomas
2   Posted 18/04/2008 at 17:06:39

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Logically its the ideal and obvious solution but the emotions and feelings of fans arnt logical, groundshare is dead and we should all be grateful for that. If anything it makes Kirkby seem like heaven in comparison.
James Harris
3   Posted 18/04/2008 at 17:06:12

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Everton fans would support a groundshare... Liverpool fans on the otherhand would not. They are a huge club unlike us and would want their own ground... We will end up in Kirkby I guarantee it.
Adam Cunliffe
4   Posted 18/04/2008 at 17:15:40

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Theres too much emotion involved for us and the dark side to share a ground. What's it called? What colour would the seats be? What are the stands called? I don't think many Evertonians would be too happy to sit in "The New Kop2" and like wise, I dont thhink many Liverpooll fans would be chuffed sitting in the "New Glawdys". There is just too much passion from both sets of supporters to make it work. And I would be against it, just to be associated with them and their sordid past makes it an obvious no no.
Glen Strachan
5   Posted 18/04/2008 at 17:14:16

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Kirkby will never happen. It?s not my wish or my opinion. There are just too many snags on all sides!

It might be worth suggesting that two very badly under-performing giants in any other business would find a solution a damn sight more controversial than ground sharing.Amalgamation anybody? Think about a Liverpool-Everton team playing in a state-of-the-art stadium in a red and blue strip and actually challenging for the Premier Championship?

As matters stand we will fail together with the Reds and neither of us will be any closer to winning a title in the next ten years than we were 15 years ago.

We might not win it together but on our own both clubs are sinking into the mire. OK............shoot me down but think about why!!!!!

Greg Murphy
6   Posted 19/04/2008 at 00:08:52

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Stripping the emotion out of it all, I’ve surprised myself over the last year by how unhorrified I am at the thought of a shared stadium.

That said, there are two practicalities that dominate the whole issue for me.

The first is a question of the cosmetics: if we were guaranteed that there would be as much EFC livery as LFC and it was unquestionably a 50:50 home then I’d meet them half-way.

The second, though, is a far bigger concern of mine and it’s relating to the capacity.

Obviously they need something around the 65-70,000 mark and would probably fill it with beauts like "Hi Alan, it’s Gav on the M6" every week.

Realistically we’d only be filling 45,000 on a regular basis (and there’s a question mark over that). That means there would be a lot of empty spaces and an atmosphere-sapping look to every home game. I’m often amazed when I look at Sunderland and City and assume the ground is empty because there are vacant seats everywhere; but then I see the attendances in the press and they’re actually quite healthy.

If they could somehow construct three tiers with the top one only being open for LFC games (we’d have to be humble) so as our games felt and looked like full houses that might be solution.

Because if we’re playing in what looks like a sparsely filled stadium every week it could have a really negative vibe affecting everything.

I’m a big believer that one of the reasons Southampton have slumped so drastically since they moved to St Mary’s - after almost three decades in the top flight - is that they discounted the "Dell effect" all too easily. St Mary’s is a nice enough ground, like, and much nicer than the old Dell (which I really liked, though) but it’s lifeless.

As I can’t see Everton being able to find a solution to either of those issues I’d have to say that for those two reasons "I’m out".
Derek Thomas
7   Posted 19/04/2008 at 00:45:19

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Glen, like a lot of things amalgamation is fine in theory.

One two things happen, of the 2 so called equal partners, one, usually the last in the new joint name gets lets off when all and sundry mention the club....eg FA cup final ...Man U. Vs Brighton in the 80’s HOW MANY TIMES DOES HOVE ALBION GET MENTIONED.

Or, when given the choice of a totally unpalatable chalk and cheese, financially forced marriage end up fading into obscurity...Widnes RL and Warrington RL.

In 1985 both Everton and Widnes were on top of the world Ma.

None of which appeal to me

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