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The '40%'

By Thomas Butler :  22/04/2008 :  Comments (68) :
For longer than I can remember now I have been screaming into some sort of abyss which would obviously have nobody at the other end to hear my cries and concerns over this Kirkby move.

Some people ? maybe by that I mean some of our fans; maybe I don?t (I?m confused) ? really are lazy and ignorant. They don?t bother to truly investigate the matter and weigh up the pros and cons of all the possible options. The majority of people I have asked who have voted ?Yes? to Kirkby either have never heard of the Bestaway or Walton Hall Park options before, don?t really use the internet and confine their reading to The Echo, which usually means the annoyingly obstinate reply of "There is no plan B, lad"; "Everton will always be Everton"; and most annoyingly "We don?t have to pay for nothing lad".

A simple look at the facts would tell them the real answers are to the contrary. I find it amazing that all these ?facts? they have taken on board have come from the mouth from a man who has been under investigation and threatened with civil proceedings for his business conduct and (these facts have been NOT proven ? a fact I must make very clear).

Moreover, to trust a person who is directing you towards the biggest change in our club since 1892, a man who (it is said) oversaw the sale of Finch Farm before we even moved in, the sale of our own club shop to a retail company that stocked our merchandise in some little corner, and has considered selling Goodison, which menat we could?ve ended up not owning our own training ground, stadium or club shops. Some would argue they trust his ability to keep businesses in the blue but personally I don?t believe the spin; I just think corners are cut, after all, we sold Wayne Rooney, if we were financially sound where?s the money gone?

Now in some way this tells you about the words of the man; it also tells you in paradox to my argument that we couldn?t afford to move to Kirkby without a retail partner. But this fact alone points to whether we can trust him or not, with his ?Deal of the Century? quote reffering to Tesco?s contribution towards the move, when in actual fact figures for OUR contribution would be as high as £ 35 million pounds.

The fans who voted for Kirkby also seem to forget that some fans simply don?t have accesss to a car. All this "it's only right up the motorway lad"... Well that?s fine for them but if you live in Larkhill or West Derby, try finding a train station, never mind a bus to Kirkby.

Just before the ballot, we were promised top-notch transport facilities. After the ballot, Bill Kenwright conceded that the whole transport thing was a ?work in progress?. It's a case of what's said before and after the ballot here. It?s a trend that runs on and on. Some members of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport have looked over the planned transport scheme for Kirkby and were not impressed. As written in this KEIOC article, the whole thing's a mess. Let's not forget by the way the Evertonians hold the highest numbers of supports in the league who walk to the stadium, and Kirkby isn?t exactly rambler friendly, particularly if you remember that a lot of our support comes from the areas nearest and easily linked to Walton/Kirkdale, for example West Derby, Bootle, etc.

Then we have the whole Tesco ?thing?. Some of the rhetoric emanating out of their CEO Terry Leahy?s mouth has really perturbed me beyond belief. His dismissive arrogance and unsupported claims that there is ?no plan B? do my head in, but even more infuriating was his emotionally blackmailing claim that was an attempt to hurry us along with a move whilst there was only one option in site. He said/told us, and I?m paraphrasing here, that if we didn?t move now and stayed at Goodison we would be looking across the park at a glittering new Anfield whilst Goodison was ?falling down?. Rubbish and emotional blackmail.

A lot has also been said about Goodison. We "can't redevlop", the ignorant and simple proletariat fans say when asked about staying at Goodison, and the odd "it can?t get a safety certificate". I do not hear any Building authority doubting Goodison could get another safety certificate, something Keith Wyness evidently has ignored with his persistent mentioning of the ?safety certificate? point. As a matter of fact (wished I?d've bookmarked the link) I?ve read a few articles saying Goodison would fit the criteria for more safety certifcates.

After this we have the claim that redeveloping Goodison is ?non-feasible? (or so the club say) . They say (or should I say, said), or did before the vote, that its impossible. Funny how its STILL plan B on Kenwright's list of options. I have spoken to the Structural Engineer KEIOC liaise with who compiled a huge analysis and investigation into whether Goodison could be redeveloped and at what cost; his conclusion was Yes, it could and at good value. He sent off his findings to Everton and guess what? He awaits a response.

Still. The only conclusion I can make goes in tandem with the allegations thrown at Wyness drawing the Q&A at Crofts, that it?s a ?done deal? and they simply just don?t care and are relentlessly steamrolling to a project appropriately named ?Destination Kirkby?. Heed the warnings...

The best way I can describe how the Board are at fault in all this is through this analogy, which I explained to Mr Wyness at the Q&A at Crofts and received a round of applause. The American?s went to war in Iraq SAYING it was for the good of the Iraqi people and not for Oil; well, I see parallels to that with Everton saying they're going to Kirkby for the good of Evertonians when I think it IS for Tesco?s money. Even then there is doubts on their contribution. The ?deal? has gone from a freebie to astronomical costs.

Then we have the whole business of the identity of Everton. For me Everton cease to be Everton if we move to Kirkby. Knowsley Borough Council are already planning on a money-spinning sign scheme upon entry into the borough with embarrassing signs of ?KNOWSLEY - THE HOME OF EVERTON FC?. Everton in my own personal opinion have absolutely no business at all in Kirkby. Never mind it not being in the boundaries of Liverpool, we simply don?t belong there.

What's even more annoying is that Liverpool are going to be staying on our old patch and kids who did have the choice of two teams will now probably go for the only one notwithstanding when asking daddy "Where?s Liverpool?"
Dad:"Just over there, son"
Son: "Where's Everton?"
Dad: "Way back in Kazakhstan, son... er sorry, Kirkby".

We?d be so far out from the city we?d almost be out of sight, out of mind. Don?t people care about what a move to Kirkby would do to damage our image? Didn?t they see that horrible banner from the kopites with ?One City, One Club, One Love? which basically made up my mind that over my dead body would I see the club I love move from where it belongs. Chants of "You're not scousers any more; the city's all ours" further did my head in particularly with Liverpool?s dominant out-of-town support. Like the lady cites in this article Everton cease to be Everton outside of Walton.

Then we have the actual vote issue. Was it conducted fairly and properly? In my opinion, No, it certainly was not. I?m with KEIOC here. My thanks for not missing a game home/away/abroad for 4 years? The non-receipt of a ballot form??but then others received multiple forms and even some Man Utd fans I know, who have a fan card to cut corners to watch United play at Goodison, got one. Against all fair practice in the ballot form there was a very biased leaflet with pictures of the Kirkby project urging the person to vote Yes, something I thought was not allowed in terms of impartiality and not directing the voter where and how to vote.

By far the most annoying thing about the whole Kikrby argument comes in this area and one simple comment endlessly spieled out of our CEO?s mouth that he has a ?clear mandate?. I wish Keith Wyness would spend 5 minutes with my Politics lecturer in University who would waste no time in telling him that 40% is a LOT of what he would call ?wasted? votes. I?m sure he?d tell him to picture getting all those people who are part of the 40% into a room so he?d see just how many people (and that would be a lot percentage-wise turned into numbers of people) are against his plans.

He still has just under HALF of Evertonians' concerns to allay. What annoys me is if you read the Official Site we are treated like we don?t exist. Us ?40%? don?t matter. Despite the fact that as opposed (so I?ve observed) to the 60% a massive amount of ?the 40%? go every game. They are alienating the bulk of its best support. They are not listening to them. No wonder some are considering throwing their Season Cards away.

Then we have the actual Kirkby Dome, sorry stadium itself. The place really does look like either a piece of tin or some sort of miniature feature from an old Subbuteo set. It was supposed to be a world-class stadium but in the planning application it was termed as a ?mid-level? arena. When Keith Wyness moved to clarify why it was termed as this he more or less moved the goalposts by saying what is world class is also mid-level, despite the fact that planning applications can be classed one higher than mid-level.

We have endless enthusiastic rhetoric usually from the direction of Tesco about the whole match day experience. The experience they?ve been pedalling for a football match turns my stomach to almost vomit. Can you seriously imagine going to a match, rucksack on back, off to Tesco?s to buy some Chunky Chips for the kids and some fish fingers for tea, a quick look in JJB then off to a rather oversized and empty (with no evidence that we?d fill it) stadium devoid of pubs? The people who dispute this are almost always people who?ve never been to away stadiums like Wigan, Bolton, Boro or Blackburn which testify to how dull and drab moving out of town can be.

Equally annoying is many fans wrongly assume that Tesco Terry is the only person willing to fund a stadium project for us and that the Loop site on Scotland Road in Walton Hall Park has no funding. How wrong. Mr Bestaway has the largest cash and carry business in Pakistan with a turnover DOUBLE to that of those two yanks doing our unruly neighbours bother across the park. The fans then ask ?what about retail??, well the council and Everton did quite a good job of keeping Saninsbury?s quite about that??

Basically I just think many fans, particularly the ?Yes? voters, have been misled. Many of them I?ve heard from if they?ve known what they know now would not have voted Yes. Look at the comments before and after the vote and see how far away they go with not coinciding with what Keith Wyness says in this interview with the Official website.

Despite my display of sentiments of pity and understanding to those ?Yes? voters who were misled in voting Yes, I still hold them responsible for not investigating the pros and cons properly, for not being shrewder, and for signing away our heritage and letting one of the most important things in our history pass them by without proper thought. I ask these ?Yes? voters to look at the pictures of the proposed Kirkby stadium and ask whether its standard fit?s the motto ?Nil Satis Nisi Optiminum????

But then again, I doubt anyone care?s. I am merely somebody in the ?40%?.

Reader Comments

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Gary Kruger
1   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:20:37

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Unfortunately I did not get a chance to vote, but if I did, I would have voted no. I get the impression this Kirkby project is gaining pace, whilst fans are starting to realise how far-fetching their "yes" votes will go.

I really don?t want to be negative or backward, but I really hope that Kirkby does not happen. If it does I really do fear for my club

Paul Murphy
2   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:23:03

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Absolutely spot on.
Albert Dock
3   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:44:29

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I come from the posh part of Wilmslow.

What are ?Chunky Chips??
4   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:54:42

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What a waste of time, effort and money. Bring on the redevelopment of goodison. Eat your words Kenwright.
Put your spade in stanley park Wyness.
Brian Waring
5   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:44:07

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Say?s it all for me..


Here lie?s Everton FC,
born 1878 - died...?
David Kiely
6   Posted 22/04/2008 at 18:57:29

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If the club had a poll tomorrow and gave us all a choice between attending that Kirkby stadium and putting your hand into a nest of venomous snakes, we?d get 40% against Kirkby now.

The club know they?ve lost this support on the issue. Without wishing to promote a false sense of security, their plan is as good as dead. The jig is well and truly up when the errand boys at the Echo and Post start questioning the level of debt and quality of stadium we?ll be inheriting from this masterplan.
Greg Murphy
7   Posted 22/04/2008 at 19:21:13

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David Kiely - dead right. There have been a few subtle shifts in tone and rhetoric down OHS way in the last week. I think we have the likes of Greg O’Keefe and Neil Hodgson to thank for adding some well needed balance and perspective to what, certainly last summer, was a very partial party pro-Kirkby party line right across the LDP&E titles.
Chris Perry
8   Posted 22/04/2008 at 19:28:56

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Never heard or read so much crap in my life. Whats the big deal about another 4 miles. The shithouses at LCC never do anything for Everton so why go on about the move. I can only assume those of you who think its a bad move were / are luddites. Grow up you moaning bunch.
Matt Willey
9   Posted 22/04/2008 at 19:53:36

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And herein lies the problem; Chris Perry ... Chris, explain just how, when Warren Bradley was crying out to talk to EFC that he couldn’t talk to them ... was it .....

A) because him and the LCC are shithouses ?
B) because of an exclusivity deal between Tesco and Everton ?

Maybe the LCC wouldn’t offer us anything after being let down by Kenwright so badly on Kings Dock ..but to not engage with them properly on the proposed move is just criminal...imho

Helen Pull
10   Posted 22/04/2008 at 20:22:47

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All those who love Moyes; all those who ask for realism i.e. we?re not the big Sky4; all those who patronize dissent -luddites indeed - - please take note. If you want reality - here it is LARGE
Jeff Spiers
11   Posted 22/04/2008 at 20:24:01

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Tom, boss article. This debate will rage on, with blues well divided. I firmly believe the Tesco deal is well & truly wrapped up with backhanders aplenty.
Stewart Marsland
12   Posted 22/04/2008 at 20:42:01

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When are you gonna wake up and smell the coffee? We don't have any money to redevelop Goodison, even £78 million won't do anything because of the timescale. The facilities are medieval, I?m embarrased when visiiting supporters complain. It's a brand new stadium at Kirkby, and by the way why don?t the redshite plans get called in when they are building on Stanley Park but ours may when it?s somewhere else. Liverpool CC do not want us I say "fuck 'em"!
Greg Murphy
13   Posted 22/04/2008 at 21:00:54

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Wooo - a "luddites", a "grow-up" and a "moaning bunch" - all in one post! Hatriiiiiccccccccckkk!

Keeper had no chance on any of ’em. To be fair.
Peter Fearon
14   Posted 22/04/2008 at 21:05:19

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I have been an opponent of the plan to leave Liverpool for a third-rate stadium in a blighted neourban wasteland from the beginning. It is however, living in a fantasy world to believe the club now realizes it has lost the fans? support. The club does not give an infinitesimal rat?s arse whether the fans want this stadium or not. Our only hope is that government red tape and the notorious business incompetence of the Everton board kills the project or perhaps Wyness will leave to become general manager of some US baseball club and some of the unseemly enthusiasm for eliminating Everton?s historic connection to this city will wane.
John Owens
15   Posted 22/04/2008 at 21:32:23

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I mistakenly voted Yes for Kirkby. The club MUST remain in the city or it will die. Kenwright must do whatever it takes to ensure that we have a new stadium that will help the club compete with the top 3. Even if this means selling out to somebody with the finances to fund the top quality stadium our club deserves. I don?t accept that there aren?t investors out there who are prepared to take the club forward and challange for trophies as we have done in the past. I will, however, support my club wherever they play.
Colin Wordsworth
16   Posted 22/04/2008 at 21:42:38

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Actually I am of the understanding that 60 percent voted yes.......funny that!

I and many fellow fans are actually looking forward to the new stadium. As for it being third rate as mentioned by Peter..... how can he say?

Have a look at the German stadia the new one is based on...they look pretty good to me! and a huge improvement on what we have. Surely we are taking many steps in the right direction, Who is to say that moving to Kirkby is not the right thing to do, it is a total modernisation of the club almost a rebranding, we have to look to the future and not be Ye Olde Everton Football Club with their characterful but decaying stadium!

I cannot believe that Bill Kenwright will sell us short!
Peter Smith
17   Posted 22/04/2008 at 21:54:34

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The only thing the "no" voters are really arsed about is travelling the extra couple of miles.
Neville Wellings
18   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:16:17

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Lets play in our old ground while Goodison is re-developed..... why not? (season ticket holder since 1963)
Steve Williams
19   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:16:03

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Actually Colin, only 41.54% voted YES, the other 58.46% either voted NO or did not vote. Why they didn’t vote we shall never know, but at this point they do appear to be quite enlightened people.

Either way 41% is the correct number. One could only guess how many would vote yes now - but it would be safe to conclude that the Directors wouldn’t even dare to test it!
Colin Wordsworth
20   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:35:31

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Steve, quite pedantic!

At the end of the day it doesn?t matter how you put it.... the yes vote won.

It?s about time we looked forward and stopped moaning.
Mark Billing
21   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:28:20

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Stewart Marsland - redevelopment doesn’t need £78m at once, therefore more manageble use of debt - get the new facilties to start earning money before committing to more debt

Colin Wordsworth - Kirkby design is NOT based on a German Stadium - check the facts, look at the more recent published details (by the Club!). Keep up fella!

Peter Smith - wrong or as they say on other forums, Miles! (times 4.3 possibly). Not bothered, and no one that I know is bothered, by the 4.3 miles; all are bothered by a very risky financial proposition and the inaccessibility of the stadium, amongst other issues.
Steve Williams
22   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:48:39

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So that’s the meaning of pedantic - completely ballsed up on facts, can’t argue your own point. Thanks for that - I really must note that for the future. I never thought that viewing TW would be so educational.

BTW it wasn’t my way - you said 60%!

God I hope you don’t play on Saturday - own goals all over the show.
Ben McCann
23   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:28:23

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I?ve so far managed to resist posting on the stadium subject as by now the arguments are just going round and round. Personally I voted ?no? and it really didn?t take me very long to get to that decision. But there?s an argument I?ve read a few times from supporters of a move to Kirkby and it really blows my mind....?but LCC don?t want us in the city, so fuck em?. I simply can?t understand why any fan cares what the fuck LCC really want or think. Surely all that matters is what is best for Everton. And in my view it is to take the £78m needed for Kirkby and invest in our heritage as suggested so eloquently by Tom Hughes. And if LCC are not supportive, then the Board should use all their wit and wisdom (!?) to engineer a solution in the same way the RS got around the Grade II issues with the SP site. And let?s not forget, this is the same council which did solve our problem with the King?s Dock site. But we fucked that one up, didn?t we...

I was deflated when I read that Tesco had bought the Development Securities land, but then up again with rumours that the project is bound to be called in. And if it is, then the extra costs which would be incurred might just be enough to make the Board finally realise that this really isn?t the ?deal of the century?. I won?t get started on how I think KW has gone about this project, but I think Thomas has put it perfectly.

Colin Wordsworth
24   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:46:35

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I know that Everton representatives visited the German stadia initially and were most impressed with the Shalke (if that is how you spell it!) stadium, which is supposed to have the best atmosphere in German football.

I have been told that this is what the plan is based on!

As regards the cost...... we can only afford buttons anyway, again I have been informed it really is a great deal.
Colin Smyth
25   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:07:40

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Peter Smith - I was a No voter and the move to Kirkby will lessen my journey by a couple of miles. What I, and I suspect many thousands of other Evertonians are really arsed about is whether or not this move will benefit Everton in the long term. Given that the voters were not provided information on any alternative to Kirkby in a series of one-sided disclosures by the club, I have profound reservations about the wisdom of such a move.
Greg Murphy
26   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:54:04

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Nope! BK travelled to Schalke with Paul Gregg to model the King’s Dock stadium on that one. Back in 2002.

That was project No. 2.

We’re on to Project No. 3 now. Time does move so fast, though.

Not quite a John Arne Riise, there, Col, but another OG all the same.

We’re getting a "mid-level" stadium. None of the stadia for World Cup 06 was "mid-level". And certainly not Schalke’s with its "roll out pitch". ’member that?
Colin Wordsworth
27   Posted 22/04/2008 at 23:06:39

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Greg, I have it on good authority they did!

What is a mid level stadia?......not as good as Wembley! good as the Stadium of Light perhaps! certainly looks impressive on the drawings!

Mark, what is the article called?... I take it that isn?t accurate either!.... pedantic!

.....and as the No voters appear more vehement I am sure all those entitled would have voted No!......or is it all a conspiracy ll!

The count has finished, live with it!

That own goal was precious though!

Greg Murphy
28   Posted 22/04/2008 at 23:17:39

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Ok, Col.

I’ll bite. What’s your ’good authority’?

The only German stadia that has been remotely linked with "Destination Kirkby" has been the Rhein Energie jobby in Cologne (and it’s clear we ain’t even gonna get that now).

Schalke and all things slidey-out-pitchy was definitely only for the King’s Dock and there’s a famous photo of BK and PG drooling and looking out over the playing surface.

Tellin yer, Schalke has never come into the equation concerning Kirkby.

Kevin Mitchell
29   Posted 22/04/2008 at 22:44:45

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As a no voter who will not renew my two season tickets if we move to Kirkby, I am appalled with Kenwright for even considering this move ? this man, in my opinion, is a traitor to EFC. The way the board and tescos are railroading it through ? despite, I reckon, at least 75% of match going fans not wanting it ? is nothing short of a scandal.
I wish supporters in the front rows of stands would display banners that Kenwright could see and get the message. We need to be more vocal against this impending disaster.
Colin Wordsworth
30   Posted 22/04/2008 at 23:24:10

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Apparently looking at the acoustics there and how to bring it here as well as parts of the design.

But it really is supposed to be a fantastic deal for us!

I am as nervous as everybody else with regards to this propsed move and I really do love Goodison but surely this is the way forward.

And I also have been told that many sites were visited in Liverpool..... but we need a partner to help the finance and this is why we can?t do it unilaterally and none of the other sites were apparently suitable.

I do agree however that the PR from the club has left a lot to be desired.

The info is from somebody who works within!........
Neil Pearse
31   Posted 22/04/2008 at 23:40:02

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Thomas, I do appreciate the sentiment here, but this does not add anything to the debate about what we might actually do in the real world.

The reality is that - absent a MAJOR new owner - we cannot afford very much in the way of a new stadium. All the other ’options’ you mention are either undeliverable in any reasonable timeframe or would result in us borrowing much more than would be the case with Kirkby (i.e. less money for players).

There is one other other viable option that actually exists in somewhere else than our collective fantasies - redeveloping Goodison. This is a perfectly plausible and realistic option. This is hard to prove, but it is a reasonable argument that in the long-term this will generate less additional revenue (i.e. for players) than having a brand new stadium. Reasonable people can disagree about this.

What you want however is a world class stadium in Liverpool without borrowing more money than we can afford. Let’s call it Stanley Park without the £200M plus the RS are going to have to borrow to build it (and which we most certainly do not have). I would like that stadium too (we all would), but this is a fantasy which simply doesn’t exist for us. It is not helpful at this stage to read yet another long post pretending that it does.
Mark Billing
32   Posted 22/04/2008 at 23:58:03

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Don’t pick on me with your ’what’s the article called’ and ’the vote’s finished’ comments!!! You’re thrashing about now! Was it actually Steve that you were accusing? Apology accepted. Hope that Greg ’s given you sufficient to clarify that the stadium has as much thought behind it as Everton’s 1995 Cup Final ticket allocation arrangements.
David Thompson
33   Posted 22/04/2008 at 23:41:39

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I went to the Cologne stadium for the 2006 World Cup, and the latest drawings/visuals for the Kirkby disaster bear absolutely no relation to it, except to say they both have a pitch and 4 stands. Here’s what the the FIFA website has to say about Schalke’s stadium:

Stadium Overview:
Opening next to its previous incarnation, the Parkstadion, in 2001, the AufShalke Arena is one of the the finest in Europe let alone Germany. The stadium is used by Shalke 04 for home fixtures. Features of the stadium include a removable pitch, retractable roof and an electronic chip card payment system.

If you think that bears any relation to Kirkby, you’re in cloud cuckoo land. Wyness did mention the Cologne stadium pre-vote, but most observers seem to have discounted that now.

In terms of a partner, we now see that the shortfall of £52M is to be funded from rental income of the retail units. What is not clear is a) how the money will be paid upfront to build the stadium b) if rents fall or the units are not let, who makes up the difference (it appears to be Everton, but it’s not clearly stated)

The board are pushing the club to the very limit here. Even the DTZ financial statement - supposed to be in support of the application - states that any increase in costs will render the project unviable and that £78M is the limit of Everton’s borrowing potential. Let’s be clear here - whatever is achieved in naming rights has to be borrowed to fund the building of the stadium. Any naming rights deal is payable over the period of the contract - 15 years at the Emirates - and interest payments on that borrowing reduce the value of it considerably.

If the projected attendances are not attained - let’s remember that NO survey has been undertaken to find out who will attend - the club could be in very serious trouble. To all those who suggest moving will move the club forward financially, where is the evidence?

Building a new stadium does not guarantee anything, and in most previous cases, it was widely supported by the fans. I’m sure even the most ardent yes voter would not argue against the fact that there is considerable, passionate oppostion here, which is threatening to disenfranchise a whole section of long standing and loyal supporters.

The club seem to think that people’’s loyalty will know no bounds, but they could be very much mistaken. Following a team like Everton is partly habit. It’s what you do on Saturdays. It’s been better in the last few years, but who amongst us was not bored by the Walter Smith years? I know many top fans who were seriously contemplating giving up at that time, and even though they had season tickets, were missing home games. For many, all it needs is something to break the habit, and moving to Kirkby might just be it.
Neil Pearse
34   Posted 23/04/2008 at 00:21:17

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David, what you’ve said in a nutshell is: we are so poor that we can’t even afford a second-rate stadium in Kirkby. You may well be right. What that means, if you are right, is that it would be totally ridiculous to criticize the club for not building any of the much more expensive options than Kirkby (for example, a top notch Schalke stadium). Since Kirkby is "pushing us to the very limit" we obviously cannot afford them.

So what ARE you proposing? You can’t have it both ways. We can’t afford Kirkby. But we should build something more expensive. Which is it? If the first, your only option is the incremental improvement of Goodison. Fine. But it might be a bit more honest to come out and say it, and stop lambasting the club for not giving us the Emirates. If the second, how are we going to afford it?
William Turner
35   Posted 23/04/2008 at 00:51:43

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What can we do now? Is it too late?
Neil Pearse
36   Posted 23/04/2008 at 01:10:09

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William, probably the best realistic hope for the club now, being financially so far behind the Big Four, and indeed Spurs, Newcastle, Villa, Portsmouth... is to get a deal in place for a reasonably priced new stadium which will bring in additional revenues (such as Kirkby), and then hope that a major new owner will come in and invest on the pitch to give us a chance.

Despite all the complete rubbish written about Kenwright turning big money away, the harsh truth is that no new owner has seriously approached Everton to buy us out (we would obviously have heard if they had). It is probably the case that no new owner wants to take on an uncertain financial burden of building a new stadium. Once this is known and settled, it is more probable that a major new owner will emerge. Let’s hope they are not like the other crooks, idiots and charlatans who have taken over most Premiership clubs recently.

This is probably our best bet. I doubt that staying in Goodison will attract a new owner. And of course the idea that somehow we can build a more expensive stadium than Kirkby in Liverpool on our own - and still have the money necessary to invest on the pitch - is a complete fantasy.
Peter Howard
37   Posted 22/04/2008 at 16:02:58

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Just a thought- wasn't Z-Cars based in Kirkby? I recall it also had a catchy theme tune!
David Thompson
38   Posted 23/04/2008 at 07:16:51

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I am certainly advocating phased re-development of Goodison. It is the ONLY option. As I stated above, the financial case for Kirkby is based upon supposition that ’people will come’. Who are they? Where were they v Chelsea last week?

The club are pissing off a huge portion of the fanbase, and at the same time, basing the costing for Kirkby on attendances of 45,000+.

The only science which seems to have been applied is Kenwright’s ’Uncle Alan and Cousin Tommy who don’t come now because they can’t sit together with the rest of the family’ bollocks.

The Park End can be demolished and rebuilt as a double decker at fairly low cost, increasing capapcity by around 7,000 to 8,000.

If we fill that, they can start to look at the other stands, given the additional income those seats will generate (don’t forget, that’s would make the capacity just 2,000 below the projected Kirkby figure, and above Wyness’s 45,000. If the executive facilities they put in that stand are sold out, the case is made for further expansion.

LIke I said: Show me the financial case for Kirkby. The amount of borrowing - at least £60M - negates any projected increase in revenue and contributes nothing to team development. Even Moyes is now starting to mention stadium re-development.

In terms of a new stadium, I think only a prime City Centre location could justify the borrowing, as the income streams are far more certain to materialise, the fans would be far more likely to be behind it, and the transport issues which beset Kirkby would be non-existent.

Despite what Wyness says, Goodison is not falling down. He put out the same scare stories at Aberdeen, and they are still playing European football at Pittodrie.

It’s time to stop the madness.
Greg Murphy
39   Posted 23/04/2008 at 07:37:38

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For Colin: Links to the King’s Dock related fact-finding, hopeless dreaming, time-wasting, blind-to-realities mission visits to Schalke 04:

For anyone else still banging the "what have LCC ever done for us drum?" here’s a link (though there could be hundreds) which aptly illustrates just how much Everton FC managed to royally piss-off an entire city some five years ago. There’s a reason why BK started to cosy-up to Knowsley: because, frankly, he was too embarrassed after the whole KD fiasco to even darken LCC’s doors.

Anyone else recall squirming on an almost daily basis when these stories (below) used to come out?

Bren Connor
40   Posted 23/04/2008 at 08:19:50

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I can’t wait for my first twip to Kirby. My daddy said we can go by bicycle and park at Mr Whynose’s bike stands. Then we’re going to have a Macdonalds and then we’re going to look at the big shiney lights on the woof of the stadiumm. Then we’re going to buy some popcorn at the Big Big Shop and then we’re going to watch the big blackpool buses bring all the people from the twian station and then we’re going to get our paper baseball caps from the Sky woman outside and then we’re going to .... be sick.
Terry Holland
41   Posted 23/04/2008 at 08:16:32

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Just wondering,

If an Abramovich type sugar daddy had come in and and said "I will buy you a stadium in Kirkby, that is the same as the Emirates."

How many no voters would have changed their vote and if the whole "it's not in the City" arguement would still have gone ahead.
Ciarán McGlone
42   Posted 23/04/2008 at 09:20:23

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The interesting caveat on the latest DTZ report is that BK and Wyness have lost so much face in this whole charade that they have to commit to some serious PR in order to get Kirkby back on track...

And what?s the best PR for football fans...PLAYERS!

I would be willing to bet a barrel of hats that I will eat...that we get at least £30mill for transfers this season to paper over the spin that we were sold before the Kirkby ballot...

Unfortunately if this happens I can see Kirkby proceeding..
Bill Green
43   Posted 23/04/2008 at 10:29:37

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If we are building a new stadium to generate income, why are there so few corp boxes? This stadium looks very basic, apart from a few blue neon posts. It also looks like there is less seating at the goal ends (Gwladys Street) than the cologne stadium, which does not promote atmosphere.
David Collins
44   Posted 23/04/2008 at 11:50:07

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How can anyone say they are embarrassed about Goodison? How? I love the place. I tell yer what, how come no-one ever tries to sell yer the move to Kirkby? Is it because people have let the penny drop and realise we are getting stiched up?
JL Slap
45   Posted 23/04/2008 at 15:08:09

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Great article and the debate beneath has been unquestionably won by the ’No’ camp who have answered questions and posted links and genuine facts to back up thier opinions, yet more than a couple of ’yes’ voters have threw in the old ’luddites’, get over it, we won shout........mature!
I never got a chance to vote, in my mid twenties held a season ticket for 6 years before giving it up just on 4/5 yrs ago to play myself, yet I still manage between 10/15 home games at £27/35 a pop. Plus a couple of aways an thier not cheap so..
Wheres my fucking vote? Use a bit of tecnology, the club have all our names and address on a database cos you cant buy a ticket without them on it. Give everyone who has been the match in the last 5 years a vote and see what the result is.
I come on here and I dont understand some evertoninans, every blue & every fucking red I know is saying this is a bad move, they’re laughing they’re arses off at us.

If you had a vote and you didnt look at all the facts and permatations then I believe you are responsible for genuinly hurting this club of ours.
Terry Holland
46   Posted 23/04/2008 at 15:44:42

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Talk about mature.

The first thing you say when you post is " The No voters have won the Arguement"

Well played.

But if we are going down that road. The yes voters won the voter.

Move on!!!
Steve Lyth
47   Posted 23/04/2008 at 15:52:59

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Terry Holland, are you " Madden " in disguise ? Dont talk about maturity when alls you do is wind people up on various threads, far from mature that.
I do believe Michael warned ( 0wned ) you over your attitude, please heed good advice and in your own words "move on" !!!!
Terry Holland
48   Posted 23/04/2008 at 17:27:29

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Steve, Move on from what.

I am not trying to wind anyone up. i am just commenting on the posts that have been input.

Again he was questioning the maturity of posters. But started his post with a very petty comment. I merely pointed out that if this is the case and it is the level of arguement that he is putting forward. Then the yes voters did win the vote so he should get over it.
Thomas Butler
49   Posted 23/04/2008 at 18:04:30

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Tar lads. Funny how all that just came out in the middle of me doing a University History Essay!

It annoys me that many of our fans votes where disenfranchised.

It annoys me that Wyness has again and again been asked by people like Radio City’s Steve Hathersall and KEIOC’s Dave Kelly to have a public or ’on air’ debate with the fans but it has been met with a wall of silence. Why is this?Why?

I still see the usual ’other options are unfeasible’ crap. Even though structural engineers see no problems with the loop site.

Basically I think by the time I’m 21 (19 now), Everton will caese to be Everton if carry on with this move to the Kirkby dome.

Ed Fitzgerald
50   Posted 23/04/2008 at 18:20:43

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I like reading your posts; they are reasoned and non-confrontational even though I disagree with the sentiment of them. Whether Kenwright has turned away investors is something we don?t really know. What we do know is that any major investor would want control ? something Kenwright seems loathe to hand over. Whatever you think about Paul Gregg, he had a lot more financial clout than Billy Boy, but BK wanted to retain control.

Your comment about other Premier League owners is interesting. Would you call idiots and charlatans the type of people who would mislead people to ensure they get a result they want?? Billy is not a crook ? he does not have the nous.

If Kenwright publicly stated that he wanted to relinquish control of the Blues to ensure the club got the best possible financial deal, how do we know we would not get investment that could transform our club on and off the pitch? I think you are letting him off a little lightly Neil.

I would love to stay at Goodison but I am not against changing grounds or even sharing a ground with Liverpool. (Surely if Lazio and Roma can share then we could.) I am against change that weakens our club for some very dubious short-term benefits and condemns us to a bleaker long-term future.

For mid-level stadium read middle-of-the-table team. Wyness and Kenwright remind me of Thatcher?s statement in the 1980s ?there is no alternative? because that?s the way the vote was managed by the club. It was either move or Goodison rots into the ground and we would never attract any future investment; I think this is a fantasy.

Now of course we cannot build a stadium without major investment from external sources whether it be in Kirkby or in Liverpool but in my opinion the move to Kirkby is a profoundly dangerous move for the club. I believe we are ?giving up? our ambitions to ever compete at the top of English Football. That does not even begin to consider the issue of our abandoning our heritage and traditions and the place of the club within the community.

Some of the posts on the website appear to think these factors are unimportant but I believe they are ? to use the marketing jargon ? part of the "branding" that attracts average gates of 37,000. It seems the stadium move is being touted as a way to attract a new breed of supporter who has no allegiance with the City of Liverpool, who are these people and where are they going to come from?

When a company effectively pisses off a considerable proportion of its customers, it is likely to lose some of that business. From a commercial perspective this is fine if those customers are replaced by new ones but somehow I don?t see this happening.

If or when we go to Kirkby I will sadly go no more, for the simple reason we will be Everton no longer but some bastardised chimera that would be as well being called Knowsley Tesco Warriors or whatever.

For those that will come on the site and condemn me for saying that I am unrepentant. It is a shameless sell-out. I am proud to have been born in the City of Liverpool and it is where our team belongs ? not on a soulless retail park outside the City.

I am not anti-progress, I just don?t believe it is progress. I walk around Liverpool City Centre and I see a City transforming itself, reinventing itself at the same time one of the City?s foremost cultural institutions is sold out by those who are entrusted to run it. It is tragic... I suspect we all know it is (even yes voters); sadly some of us believe (or have been manipulated to believe) that there is no alternative, but of course there always is if you choose to think more expansively than the short term.

Jay Harris
51   Posted 23/04/2008 at 18:32:29

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Let's consider the reasons for moving from Goodison

1. We need a "world class" stadium to attract the best players and generate more income and attract more fans and sell more corporate facilities.

2.GP facilities in some ways are inadequate and there are restricted views and not enough corporate boxes.

3. We have no money (At least the board have no money and nobody willing to invest in them) so we need a "FREE" stadium.

Does KIrkby satisfy any of these criteria:

1. It is certainly NOT "world class" and IMO will not attract more fans nor corporate income because of its location (on a Tesco car park in an undesirable out-of-town location with very poor transport links and infrastructure.)

2. The facilities will undoubtedly be better with less restrictive views and empty corporate boxes although the transport and infrastructure is only suitable for 40,000 residents not for 55,000 fans every matchday(As outlined by Everton's own transport advisors).

3.Kirkby is NOT FREE! ? it will cost between £80 and £135 million.

Now there is very little to secure it on or contribute to it as all our assets including GP are currently mortgaged and we are currently making operating losses although i WOULD EXPECT BETTER THIS YEAR AS THE SKY MONEY HAS GONE UP.

Now looking at future projections, let's say we start with a £10 million per year interest bill before signing new players and higher wages etc. and let's say we still average the same gates at Kirkby (we will win some lose some and there are a lot of Evertonians who will NOT go to Kirkby so let's say theoretically we make them up although I don't know where from), and let's say gate receipts go up by £2 million a year because of increased prices. I cannot for the life of me see us getting more corporate events in KIrkby but let's say we do and that adds another £1 million a year. Let's assume naming rights generate another £2.5 million a year..... That leaves a shortfall of £4.5 million a year ? hardly the ?Deal of the Century and very high risk.

So logically why were the board pushing it so hard and what has changed since?

There is no doubt some strange goings on behind the scenes as EFC have been totally silent on this one for months and you would have expected them to be singing from the rafters about the"Deal of the Century". My personal opinion is that I have no problem with a mid-class stadium if that is all we can afford but I have major problems with the board who I don't consider able enough to run a small store let alone an institution like Everton and I don't trust them because of the continuing stream of lies coming out of GP. I also have major problems with the location but more from its lack of transport and infrastructure than its distance from the city although I think that is an issue too for a number of longstanding supporters.

And please don't come on with tripe like "we?re moving get on with it" because that adds nothing to the discussion and only shows you up as a narrow-minded sheep.
Arthur jones
52   Posted 23/04/2008 at 21:31:18

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I agree with all you’ve said Thomas , well written article and I see by the reaction from some of the contributors here that they don’t actually realise fully what they are supporting and IF the Kirkby ’cowshed’ does become our new home they are in for a massive shock . I live in Fazakerley and I’m in a position to be aware how bad the traffic problems will be , it’s bad enough now from 3.30pm when the kids are collected from school and the buses are full...., Saturday/Sunday afternoon on a match day ... it won’t be worth trying to get down Valley Road . I truly hope in a few years time there are some of us on all the forums repeating TOLD YOU SO !
Ian Macdonald
53   Posted 23/04/2008 at 21:50:55

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Those last two posts have re-engergised my faith in Evertonians well said and with good reason .In a nutshell the vote pr was VERY misleading and a do or die situation painted at the time .
Still can’t believe though that 11,000 Blues could not be bothered to vote on the most inportant change on our future with pre-paid ennvelopes ,very puzzeled with this.I’ll move on from the result of the vote but to those who voted yes at the time with the information at hand now on the vital issues shown up ,would you still vote yes ? Or do you feel you were misinformed even conned by people who you trusted as our custodians?Always said short term gain long term pain with this proposed move .I wrote lengthy articles on the subject at the time I’;m not Nostrdamus but much of what I said at the time has come to pass with the real costs ,transport and loss of fans .
Is it worth it still this deal of the century ,a fan base torn apart and basically a big big gamble with our clubs future.May I remind you we are not one horse town we need to fight back and in our true corner .Stop wasting more time and re-develope piece meal it’s the lowest price option we have now and will heal the rifts of our fan base .We need to be as one again .
Ian Macdonald
54   Posted 23/04/2008 at 22:19:57

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Correct that ,last three posts and many more in the thread.Arthur I really hope non of us say "I told you so" for obvious reasons mate.
alex pat
55   Posted 23/04/2008 at 22:28:34

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Never read so much tripe by the NO voters.
Fanbase torn apart?! Maybe in your world mate..not in the real world though.. Nobody is listening, you came 3rd in a 2 horse race, this site perpetuates the myth that you can actually do something about the move..It is you who are being manipulated by those who seek to destroy Everton Football Club...
Support your club..not a stadium .
Greg Murphy
56   Posted 23/04/2008 at 22:45:40

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Class Alex. 69 words and not a fact among em. Just spout. Really robust stuff.

And that line about "this site perpetuates the myth that you can do something about the move"...lovely one that. Democracy eh? Who needs it? That, and free speech! Vote Zef Stalin!

I note most other Blue sites have to apologise, meekly, for even daring to air the ground move! Coz it’s not like it’s the most important issue facing EFC this side of 1892 is it?

Know the worst thing about your post, though? It ain’t even your full name is it? What’s to hide?

And you accuse us of being "manipulated"?

alex pat
57   Posted 23/04/2008 at 23:02:10

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and you where christened Greg then? and you choose a common surname to hide who you really are!
you see Greg, what you fail to realise is all the facts are there in the public domain for Kirkby, it may well get ’called in’ by the government, it’ll only mean a delay of the inevtiable and of course a delay in the next part of this club rising again.. But hey.. the no luddites don’t want that do they..
The no voters have no aubstance, just rhetoric and bluff and above all no financial backing/investment for any other proposal. Hows that for a fact!
Arthur jones
58   Posted 23/04/2008 at 23:14:47

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Ian , sorry , it was a typo , i honestly meant I hope we aren’t ... I hope circumstances dictate that we don’t have to ...!!!
GregORY Murphy
59   Posted 23/04/2008 at 23:31:54

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Yep, Gregory Murphy as I live and breathe, Pat, I mean, Alex.

And as for me hiding behind the surname "Murphy".


Er, this is Liverpool, there are one or two of us about. Think it’s something to do with Ireland.

Anyway, see you successfully managed to dodge any substance again.

Nice crack-out of "luddite", though.

Dead original.
Ed Fitzgerald
60   Posted 23/04/2008 at 23:52:48

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It is that greedy get Wyness who is in the process of destroying our club. What does he care about future generations of kids growing up in Liverpool a one city team? 129 years of heritage, tradition community tossed aside for a rather cheap looking stadium in a soulless retail park. It is not progress it is a form of regression that will bracket us at best with the rest of all the mediocre clubs.

Your Luddite jibes really amuse me, as though the TESCO TOWN STADIUM is state of the art. I am happy to move to something that is apposite for our club of our standing. Yes I am unhappy to leave the City and particularly for that uninspiring, bland creation.
61   Posted 24/04/2008 at 02:04:48

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Ed and Greg
I wouldnt even bother to reply to him.

He’s only coming on here calling us luddites because he hasnt got the intelligence or understanding to contribute to a debate on the most important decision in Everton’s history.
This is a common rhetoric in a lot of yes voters.
62   Posted 24/04/2008 at 02:25:30

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good to see you on here mate.
I dont believe 11000 couldnt bother to vote.
I know a number of people who were eligible and either didnt get their papers or got them too late.
Also I am led to believe a number of "other" supporters such as Man U,Liverpool and Man City are in Evertonia (so they can get tickets) and also received papers to vote.
A large number also probably couldnt make their minds up so it was easier not to vote and I dont condemn them for that as it was a tough decision for some.
However the nub of it is out of 36000 suppporters
a small minority c.2400 could have swung the vote to no if they had voted differently.

I firmly believe that with the information thats come out since i.e. :

1.Kenwright refusing to speak to Bestway

2.Choosing to totally ignore Sainsbury/ Walton Hall Park and not even mention that at the time of the vote.

3. A truly " World class" stadium thats not.

4. A virtually free stadium thats not and we wont even own the land its built on

5. The "Deal of the Century" which its not.

6. "GP is about to fall down or be closed down" which its not.

7. There is no plan B which obviously there is.

that many of those people would now not trust this regime to take us out of GP to the NOT promised Land.

I actually think the vote was irrelevant anyway and the real agenda is to borrow 100 million plus to enable some very creative accounting but thats another story.
Steve Lyth
63   Posted 24/04/2008 at 11:28:30

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Ed and Jay absolutely spot on posts, the only luddites on here are the ones that fail to understand them, how you can call into question pure logic is beyond me .
Rob C Terry Holland is " Madden" mate, I am sure of it.
Michael K, please put this topic back up on the headline board where it belongs, thank you
Steven William
64   Posted 24/04/2008 at 15:40:12

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We have to get our voices heard, otherwise we will be stuck in a dead-end stadium for the rest of our existance, that's if we're not in administration by then.
Mick Gallagher
65   Posted 24/04/2008 at 16:53:15

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Has anyone still got the original paperwork that come with the vote. I was one of the many people who goes often and wasn?t allowed a vote. As the club has all my details and still sends me junk mail. I would have voted NO but never got the chance
John Beesley
66   Posted 25/04/2008 at 07:45:25

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I know all about the argument that Kirkby is only 4 miles away.
but if Everton had been from Kirkby I would never have been a blue in the first place.

back in the days when my grandad first supported Everton (round 1918) it was the norm to support youir local team there was none of this ’they’ve won loads I’ll support them’.

Ergo my dad would not have been a blue, I would not be a blue and neither would my son.

I feel so strongly about the move to Kirkby that I won’t be going there (season ticket since 1967) because I will feel no affilaition with whatever manifestation of Everton F.C. MOVES THERE.
NIck Flack
67   Posted 25/04/2008 at 14:28:15

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Isn?t it funny how quotes from "good authority" come from people who can never be named... It?s usually a bloke at the end of the bar in all reality.

Am I the only one who isn?t actually that bothered where we play? It?s a team I support, have done for over 30 years, and will do for as long as I live, but I find it amazing how so many people seem to be so upset by the goings on at a football club!!! In all honesty, why are people so bothered???

I stopped getting so worked up about football a long time ago, but i still support the side. I remember it was the same back in the 90s, a lot of my mates were saying they?d burn their season tickets if we signed Amokachi.....

Never happened though.
Stan Howard
68   Posted 26/04/2008 at 19:44:55

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Chris Perry, LCC gave EC the real Deal of the Century at the Kings Dock even to the point of LCC being partners but the masterminds in charge of EFC managed to scupper it and turn victory into defeat.

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