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Board Senseless

By Christine Foster :  29/04/2008 :  Comments (100) :
I have tried to sit on my hands and not post any further articles on this subject but there is so much that is left unsaid, unexplained and ignored that any rational person is left with so many questions that demand answering from the club. Before I get into it, I am not after starting another debate or a million threads on the subject; I want the club to answer its critics, not the fans or the hearsay because we are not privy to all the details upon which they have made the call in going to Kirkby.

There are many, so many aspects to this whole debate but clarification of those issues are not all that complex. But as I see it, it's hard to defend the indefensible: The Board, and Board alone are culpable for the present situation and debate:

  1. The actions of the Board have led to the current situation where fans are arguing with each other over what their interpretation of the supplied information, rhetoric and opinion. Their statements have proven to be incorrect at best, dishonest at worst, but no one can deny the incompetence with which they have managed the whole process. It has left many fans with a sense of distrust that has done significant damage not only to the club but also to the integrity of the Board itself. They have lost the battle for the hearts and minds with their glib statements, threats of litigation and lack of financial propriety. I am not calling the Board liars or cheats. They are just simply incompetent at best and in such circumstances people will ask for the hidden agendas. The role of the CEO Mr Keith Wyness in all of this affair is nothing sort of disgraceful, he has been shown to use the same tactics which failed at Aberdeen. The role of the Board for allowing it to happen beggars belief. The Board have a duty of care to the run the club in the best interests for the future.
  2. Kirkby as a location is flawed for so many reasons The location itself will never be adequately serviced. Roll in any transport plan you wish, bring as many Park and rides, trains etc, the fact is no transport plan is feasible that ONLY governs utilisation for resources for 5 hours a fortnight. It?s economically unrealistic and therefore an optimum solution is not more trains, buses or cars. It's finding the right location that operates within an existing network. The site choice appears to have been made prior to any ballot as subsequent facts have appeared. WHP, The loop, Redevelopment of GP. All have been dismissed with the only choice laid on any ballot was Kirkby or bust. I agree the ballot gave a Yes vote the credence that allowed the club to discuss the option of Kirkby (BK Liverpool Echo) and that the Electoral commission oversaw mechanics of the vote. They did not have any say into if the question was accurate, factual, or complete because only the Doard knew of that status. There is NO DOUBT that the Board of Directors of Everton Football Club elected not to tell the fans prior to the vote of the other options on the table. That was deceitful at best and makes the validity of that vote void.
  3. Tesco as a partner stands not to lose from this relationship irrespective if Everton locate to Kirkby or not. Employment in Kirkby stands to gain if Everton locate to Kirkby or not. Knowsley Council get a regeneration project with Everton locating to Kirkby or not. The total risk of relocating to Kirkby is borne by Everton FC not by Tesco or Knowsley Council. In light of the decisions and lack of disclosure to date, how can the Board of directors justify their actions to make such a monumental decision based on an absence of fact, an absence of disclosure and a callous disregard for the need to re-evaluate or call a halt to a juggernaut that, should they get it wrong, will ruin this club for ever more.
  4. The stadium itself will be a mid-range off-the-peg build that calls its home a retail car park in Kirkby. Sorry but that hardly gives credibility to improving the club or its status in attracting quality investment, players or supporters. It never will. Its not just about Kirkby itself, it?s the package it's dressed up in.
  5. The exclusivity agreement, what are the conditions attached to this? Is it publicly available? When companies enter into a period of due diligence or exclusivity its usually to allow both parties to see if they can work together, to see if they both can get what they want. So I ask Everton FC, what are the terms of the exclusivity agreement they entered into that excludes review of all other options? Will the agreement end when the first brick is laid or the contracts signed? That?s not an agreement that?s blackmail.
So, Everton FC, these are real criticisms that have evolved because of the lack of leadership, poor PR, half truths, misinformation and a total lack of accountability to respond, defend or admit that some of their assumptions have been incorrect.

To the Yes voters who voted under the misguided belief that what they voted for was a free ride, deal of the century etc. ? you deserve better than the abuse of many No voters who are even more angry as more facts are disclosed. But unless the club come clean, the bitterness will continue. There is no point in point-scoring from each other. On the basis of the facts given and the situation we are in as of today, there is no way the club can justify its progress into Kirkby without allaying those concerns first. A public inquiry, an independent review of all options and a final vote on all the options by all interested fans can only unite the club and bring back some integrity to the club.

Personally I believe until someone can show me otherwise that WHP, the Loop or the redevelopment of Goodison Park are all better options than Kirkby but in the absence of fact we can only go with common sense. That still doesn?t qualify making the call to Kirkby.

The Board of Directors have a duty of care to the future of this club. They need to show the fans they respect those concerns and act in a manner that befits a wonderful club with a wonderful history. Without respect for that duty of care, we have surrendered to those who have no love of our club, no care for its tradition and no desire to be around in ten years time. They will not spend the lifetime of regret. We will.

Reader Comments

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David Kiely
1   Posted 29/04/2008 at 20:39:41

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Christine - cap doffed, that is a blistering attack on THE fundamental issue that has - after the ballot and the subsequent revelations on cost and quality, and on transportation - come to the forefront: the issue of TRUST in Everton FC?s board of directors.

During the ballot period Terry Leahy, in his now infamous ?open letter?, beseeched us all to "trust the board" of Everton FC. Well, I would say that 8 months on any trust the board do have left is amongst a rump of supporters - the vast majority long since having dispensed with such foolishness.

I echo your thoughts on the need of for ?a public inquiry, and an independent review of all options? - the necessity of which was underlined by today?s report from CABE which has had a widespread airing.
Anthony Newell
2   Posted 29/04/2008 at 21:53:01

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The shareholders should group together and call for a vote of no confidence in the board. Moving to Kirkby will kill Everton Football Club stone dead oin the long term so this is a cause WELL worth fighting for. The Yes voters were duped through a combination of biased voting literature/scaremongering and just plain ill-thought through cart-before-horse thinking that anybody in a high-level business capacity would be shot for. Good to see Sefton Council have thrown in an objection, let's hope this is just the start of it and the whole misguided project collapses like a pack of cards.
Robert Carney
3   Posted 29/04/2008 at 22:19:53

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Wel done, Christne, an eloquent article that gets right to the points we have all tried to contribute to. I really hope the points you make are taken on board, particularly by people of influence.

Sefton Council, as mentioned have objected. Local MP?s seem not to give a shit. Early objections from Sefton and Riverside members seem to have rescinded. Tesco?s lobbying machine is by far the most effective in the country. Is it not alarming how Kilfoyle , Ellerman, Kennedy, etc etc, fail to represent the City they were elected to.

The red herring of ressurection of the tram service is a fine example. Until the Olympic fiasco has passed there will be no infrasucture funding coming from the present goverment or a future one. Remember the Dome project were the next probable goverment agreed to continue come what may .

Old style investigative journalism and a vocal objection from fans and the people of Kirkby seems to be our last chance saloon. I am not sure any strong movement is forthcoming.
Where has letter writing in any form changed society?Thats is what we are basically doing.
The salary of everyone's favorite chairman and the cash used to lobby by Tesco and their ilk seems to mean more in the present climate / society than ever before. Next Thursday will give us a true opinion how the local people think, will it be APATHY or ACTION?

Dave Randles
4   Posted 29/04/2008 at 22:38:03

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Christine,

I’ve been meaning to scribble something similar over the past few weeks but haven’t (i) had the will (ii) Known where to start or (iii) decided whether I could be arsed

You have said exactly what I would have attempted to say. (But far more eloquently!) The main point for me being the sheer incompetence, ignorance and bloody mindedness of the people leading our club.

I have always had BK down as an egotistical, theatrical liar. Your article sums up perfectly why that that should read, ’egotistical, theatrical, incompetent liar’. We all really should have marked his card when he failed to nail down the paltry sum of £30m (less than half the £78m ? which apparently can also be termed as ?virtually free?) for Kirkby.)
Kevin Mitchell
5   Posted 29/04/2008 at 22:28:44

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Spot on Christine, you really couldn’t make it up whats going on in the boardroom.
For a while now I’ve been more focused on the ground move than team matters or finishing 5th. For me and many thousand others there is so much to lose personally if this move goes through. The thought of not going the match with my son and daughter ever again keeps me awake at nights, just like the almost relegation years.
I just wish the crowd would let Kenwright know how we feel, the Newcastle game might be our last opportunity.
Meanwhile I hope you get some answers, but I doubt it.
Brian Donnelly
6   Posted 29/04/2008 at 23:03:59

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The independent shareholders should demand an EGM to find out the actual facts behind the Kirkby project ? as opposed to the spin. The problem is that the shareholders are probably split right down the middle, just as the fan base is.

Kirkby, whatever else it is, is surely the most divisive project in our history.
Kevin Mitchell
7   Posted 29/04/2008 at 23:01:22

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Chritine, forgot to mention ? send your piece to the Post and Echo, maybe Dave Prentice or Nick Coligan will be interested.
Tommy Gibbons
8   Posted 30/04/2008 at 02:05:25

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What's your point, Christine, and what do you hope to achieve?
So EFC have been mismanaged since 1970, if you want to bring board members to book, you'd better start with the then ailing John Moores for failing to fund the Main Stand to enable it to be cantilevered therefore no obstructed views. Also on the pitch his failure to fund the transfer for Peter Shilton and for sanctioning the sale of Alan Ball.

The present incumbents at Everton are not perfect, but they are now on the verge of bringing us out of obscurity with a brand new stadium, cutting a deal which no other club has done, showing innovation and vision. Please tell me any other institution £millions in debt who have found enabling partners to help rebuild it giving it an opportunity to attract long term investment And help regenerate a run down part of its local catchment area?!..
I?d be asking for an enquiry into Liverpool City Council who have bent over backwards for LFC but given EFC absolutely no help whatsoever! Your diatribe is aimed at the wrong people, the sooner you, your friends on here, KEIOC et al wake up to the fact that EFC have been shafted by its local council, therefore forcing it out of its (council)area, you?ll find it's a blessing in disguise.

Long live the Kirkby project, the only enabled, funded, costed actual real live 100% deal Everton have been offered! Have you anything better to offer?!

Derek Thomas
9   Posted 30/04/2008 at 07:10:27

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Out of the mouth of ’ babes ’..... ( sorry Christine couldn’t resist the pun, no offense intended)
Paul Gladwell
10   Posted 30/04/2008 at 07:44:38

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One of the best letters I have seen on here and despite the fact you are a no voter the letter states FACTS. Take a look at the Daily Post today because this will be the norm over the coming months, we are run by men with so much history in half-truths and failures and that is another FACT, but some people trust them with the biggest decision in 130 years of our history and that is beyond belief.
Anthony Horabin
11   Posted 30/04/2008 at 07:46:52

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Tommy Gibbons - your comments are a shinning light in the darkness.

I didn?t vote Yes under the misguided belief that it would be free, I realised that the new stadium would cost the club something.
Paul Gladwell
12   Posted 30/04/2008 at 07:54:36

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Tommy just because we have been mismanaged since the 70s does not mean we shoul let it continue now? by the way our chairman has been on the board for the majority of the time you state and as for your comments on the city council, they offered us the best possible site in the city and moved dates time and time again for Billybull to get his ringfenced money together but he blew it and spent £1M in doing so.
Christine Foster
13   Posted 30/04/2008 at 08:30:36

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I suggest both the Yes and No camps look at the CABE report in detail not just the headlines. It's quite clear in it's determination that the plan / stadium has fallen well short of what Everton and Kirkby deserve (their words, not mine). So let me ask you, if our proposed Stadium is not even good enough for Kirkby, how can it be perceived as good enough for a top Premier League club, a founder of the league?

As I have stated in my "diatribe", it's not good enough to say it's the only option; its not good enough period.
I am not here to answer the questions I have put because frankly I and you are not in possesion of all the facts. Those we do have to indicate clearly the concerns that many No voters have echoed all through this debacle.

Will Brennan
14   Posted 30/04/2008 at 09:18:55

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Christine, totally agree with Kevin Mitchell, send your letter to the Post & Echo. Tommy Gibbons, sorry to disappoint you, but we no voters are not a bunch of morons. We just want whats best for our club, and dont feel that the current leaders are up to the job. I was going to say nothing positive comes out of GP, but nothing comes out full stop. Read the CABE report !! And also a great article out today with Peter Mckenna, Croke Park stadium manager.
Victor Johnson
15   Posted 30/04/2008 at 09:22:48

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Christine
The structure of your argument is as sound as they come but it is premised way off the mark - basically you are barking up the wrong tree.

EFC (and its supporters) have have no divine right to anything at all, be that a place in the Premiership or a stadium made and located in heaven. Why on earth you think we do is beyond me - romanticism maybe? The Board have to operate within the parameters of the laws of the game, the laws of the industry and, moreover, the laws of nature. As I see it you are merely shouting from one of two well-trodden paths - ’historical right’ or ’return to year zero’. Either way, you are wrong as both angles are reactionary by nature and simply try to rebalance a situation which is quite beyond one’s control. History is resplendent with such examples - see Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, et al.

If you wish to impact the status quo do it not by idle threats and ill-researched facts, but rather by putting a strong enough rational case together to convince the board that they should look elsewhere. Why not start with a detailed financial analysis of such an alternative? -

Please spare us all this aggressive, reactionary rhetoric. In my opinion it is the club and the club alone that truly holds the moral high ground on this issue, not a belligerant minority masquerading as the righteous majority on a romantic crusade.
Christine Foster
16   Posted 30/04/2008 at 09:57:40

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Oh Victor, how quaint, romantic indeed. Such desires are lost on an Everton website!

Is it romantic to want the best for our club? No... are the facts available for all to see? No... can we compare the Everton Kirkby model to ANYTHING else? The answer is No. Why? because NO-ONE has the facts.

So tell me, if its not being romantic, just because the option is the only one we are considering, does that make it right? We have no historic right to be anywhere in the league, that's purely based on performance which is reflected in the ambition, vision and decisions made by the club. BK and Wyness may well deserve Kirkby, Everton FC don?t.

Aggresive, reactionary rhetoric? No; angry that there is no-one with the balls big enough to question the club but concerned supporters, no-one with big enough balls in the club to answer those real concerns and put the record straight. Romantic enough for you?

Joe Ludden
17   Posted 30/04/2008 at 10:35:06

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Victor, strange you should mention Hitler et al in your post. You?ll know all about propoganda, lies and deceit then, and how that can control the masses - "The bigger the lie, the more they will believe it" (Hitler). You?ll also understand how when the masses follow a leadership blindly, and do not question it?s motives, that only good things are delivered? Or wasn?t that what happened in Germany in the 1930?s.........

Additionally, I believe that Christine?s well constructed piece was asking questions and not asking for more of these tit for tat posts between yes and no voters. So one question Victor / Tommy / Anthony: What are the answers?

One last thing, if you want well researched financially planned options other than Kirkby ie. GP redevelopment etc, then READ them. They are on this site and others. Recommend you begin with Tom Hughes? plethora of articles.
Steve William
18   Posted 30/04/2008 at 11:37:17

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Send it to david.conn@gaurdian.com, or andy.hunter@gaurdian.com; go to the nationals with it as well as the Echo. Well done, Christine ? a good read.
Lammy Stent
19   Posted 30/04/2008 at 11:02:23

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I think Tommy Gibbons needs to start reading something else other than the the glossy brochure produced by the club regarding the ground move . Or maybe just get out more. Tommy you have a computer there why dont you use it to look at all the information other than the official everton website it may just open your eyes.
Tom Hughes
20   Posted 30/04/2008 at 11:34:16

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Christine,
Nail hit firmly on head.

Victor, Stick to poetry, eloquence without a point is just nice words. What’s Beligerent...... being unable to counter a single point made by Christine in her original thread, and yet still believing the unbelievable, or as Christine has done simply stated facts? I note you were unable to dispute ANY of them. I suggest you read it again and try to justify your stance!
Eugene Ruane
21   Posted 30/04/2008 at 11:25:13

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Regarding Christin?e post, Victor ? absolutely nothing to do with Michael Kissman? ? Johnson, states..

"Either way, you are wrong as both angles are reactionary by nature and simply try to rebalance a situation which is quite beyond one?s control. History is resplendent with such examples - see Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, et al"

Well, initially I thought Christine?s post was a very fair and honest summing up of the present (and past) situation. However, now that Victor has linked the post with the name of Adolph Hitler, I must change my mind and support the move to Kirkby. I will not support Adolph Hitler!!!!

As I am writing this I am wiping sweat from my brow in a theatrical manner and thinking "Phewww that was a close thing, she nearly had me with her extreme reactionary Hitler tactics.

I think we all owe a huge debt to Hitler....sorry I MEAN Victor!!! (sorry, Freudian clit... I mean tit.. sorry SLIP!!)
Christine Foster
22   Posted 30/04/2008 at 12:10:13

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To those who have suggested I send this to the papers, Thank You for the compliment but I will leave the real writing to the press. They are much better at it than I will ever be. Perhaps just telling them to read the bloody thing would be good!
Mark Gray
23   Posted 30/04/2008 at 12:12:13

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Christine, another fine article.


Victor Johnson
24   Posted 30/04/2008 at 12:11:23

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After wading again through all the emotion of your original piece (plus response to my input) I really see nothing in it other than your being shocked that we are not getting everything for nothing. Sorry to say it but that mentality passed away with Yuri Andropov and Roman Abramovich’s granddad. Nature tells you on a daily basis that ’there ain’t no free lunches girl’. PR could be better I agree but the board are not the beasts you proclaim, and so shouldn’t be hanging from lampposts in the morning. It’s your attitude I don’t get. Right from the start the whole ’free ride’ brigade has been spewing out so much vitriol that the facts are lost. Again, please put forward a reasoned case, for the short, medium and long term growth of Everton Football Club. And remember, don’t conveniently leave out any details. If the numbers add up and it is better for the club (not just the self-congratulating hole-blowers) then I am with you.
Jay Harris
25   Posted 30/04/2008 at 12:56:20

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Victor and others please read these
extracts from the CABE report on KIkrby.

This is the group that advises the government on large scale development.

"We are concerned that the stadium design is being delivered by a Design and Build contractor. It is our view that Design and Build contracts can produce successful outcomes only when high quality design is embedded in the process; we do not feel that this has been achieved in this case.
"We are not convinced by this masterplan that there is a clear understanding of the space required for managing large crowds converging on the stadium. Also, we do not feel that an inspiring sense of arrival, as one would expect to have upon approaching a stadium of this size and significance, has been achieved. This stadium will be a prominent figure in the landscape in all directions, however, the pedestrian approaches to the stadium lack coherence, meandering from the railway station or drifting across car parks. On match days, the continued to operation of all uses appears likely to be controlled by crude boundary treatments."

.... and the closing paragraph:

"Whilst we welcome the development of the proposed uses on this site we feel that this scheme is, at best, a lost opportunity. The scheme proposed will have a detrimental impact on the town and is not of a standard that Kirkby deserves. This scheme does not meet the criteria in terms of design quality set out in PPS1 and we do not think that it should receive planning permission."

"World class stadium"

"Virtually free"

"The deal of the century"

Would you buy a used car from this man?

Christine Foster
26   Posted 30/04/2008 at 12:45:51

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Ok Victor, rationaly I will put it in clearer terms for you.

1. I am not expecting to get something for nothing, a free stadium. or a deal of the century. I, unlike the board expect that it will cost us dear. Where did you make the assumption that I was demanding as such?

2. The board have made various claims regarding the cost and quality of the stadium. All have been seen to be inaccurate, or plain untruths. Thats a fact. Read it for yourself I have done the reading over many hours.

3. My post is NOT an attack on Kirkby, its an attack on the logic that takes us there and the incompetance in the decision making process that has not responded to concerns as the bullet points upon which they built their case are taken apart by fact.

4. Cost an alternative. It may have escaped your notice but the current exclusivity clause excludes the club from divulging any information to any party with respect to the stadium. A feasibility study undertaken by EFC and Tesco will most likely have cost a seven figure sum. So tell me where anyone who would tender for a site without facts supplied or criteria from the club? The truth is if the development was put up for tender you would see several costings in teh tender process. In the present period of exclusitivity you would not have a fair comparison.

Lastly, and I mean lastly, I pass the ball back to you, the club and Tesco have ringfenced the whole project. I challenge you to tell me in detail how Kirkby Stadium will meet the expectations of the people of Kirkby the expectation of Matchday fans and be of a stature to attract players, fans and investment alike? Or perhaps the board have already succesfully done that?

Please don?t assume as you did in your post that I am against improvement. I am just against what we have been offered so far. I find it incredulous that so many people still believe what the board say when they have niether had the decency to say..got that wrong.. or answer some of the concerns of a growing number of fans.

Chad Schofield
27   Posted 30/04/2008 at 11:59:22

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Eugene Ruane - brilliant!

Christine, fantastic piece.

Those who are blindly backing Kirkby seem to be getting less and less able to put forward a valid argument. "Provide a viable and costed alterantive" having had articulate and well reasoned sites detailed now seem to simply be writing "get over it" or trying their hand at amatuer poetry.

I would like a new stadium, but equally if it does transpire that we could redevlop Goodison [various costings plans described], then why move? I just can?t understand why anyone would be so vehmently against looking further than Kirkby... unless they had an ulterior motive.

I hope that you do manage to get a response and that we might acutally get some answers rather than sound bites which when examined turn out to be "untruths" to put it nicely.
Tommy Gibbons
28   Posted 30/04/2008 at 13:04:22

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Lammy Stent.. if I get out anymore than I do already I think a divorce would be in the offing!! As for reading the rest of the trite rubbish that is CABE, Sefton MBC, Liverpool CC etc... they all hate Tesco! ... because they are more powerful than the rest put together.

And when has anybody ever listened to or read anything an architect or city planner has to say!! FFS have you seen the state of Merseyside due to large-scale urban squalor caused by ....caused by... (drum roll)... fucking city planners!!!

So listen one and all, the owners of our club are the only ones that matter ? not you, not I, not planners or councils. I happen to believe they have the best deal they?re ever likely to get and two of the best enabling parties any company could wish for.... Have any of you got a viable alternative?! ie planned, funded, backing of local council, SOMEBODY WITH MONEY!!...

Oh yeah, and as for the glossy brochure, I didn?t take much notice of it mate, because it was only pictures, not the real thing.... It?s the fundamental principle behnd the move that I backed because whatever stadium we build or even modernising GP, will not be the Goodison I and you know. And believe me, it's the supporters who make a stadium great, a stadium does not make fans great.

Ciarán McGlone
29   Posted 30/04/2008 at 10:38:29

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Tommy Gibbons,

When your response starts from an point of error, then I suppose we can’t expect much more than that.

To state categorically that we have found an ’enabling partner’ and to continue this erroneous claims of Wyness & CO, is just ignorance of the current raft of information available, including the DTZ statement.

The is absolutely no suggestion or evidence that the enabling development and its ’shortfall’ we be anybody else’s responsibility other than EVERTONS!

Any chance you could stop promoting the bullshit that Tesco will be contributing?
Paul Gladwell
30   Posted 30/04/2008 at 13:42:48

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It seems to me these people are seriously now struggling to find answers when questioned about FACTS that have been mentioned in this thread.

Tommy, I will say it again: LCC bent over backwards waiting for Old Luvvie to get his ringfenced money, they did try to help us, but no doubt got seriously pissed off by the totally inept way he handled the KIngs Dock debacle and probably never wanted to deal with him again. And let's face it, do you blame them when looking at his history? How can you possibly believe this is the best deal for the club when numerous other great deals he set up either went pear-shaped or we got fleeced (Rooney deal anyone).

Victor Johnson
31   Posted 30/04/2008 at 13:19:57

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Jay Harris
Hole blowing is not my fetish mate. Can?t really take up your challenge save to say that any serious concerns regarding plausibility should be taken on board by the interested parties (EFC, Tesco, Council). I am sure they have.

Christine

I liked your piece but simply disagreed with certain embedded assumptions (Board is bad, we are the People, etc).

1. I am not expecting to get something for nothing, a free stadium. or a deal of the century. I, unlike the board expect that it will cost us dear..

Then how and by whom? Look we are not (and shouldn?t be unless you change the club?s constitution) privy to the full financial picture, so you are speculating at best - why scream blue murder at this point?

2. The board have made various claims regarding the cost and quality of the stadium. All have been seen to be inaccurate, or plain untruths. Thats a fact. Read it for yourself I have done the reading over many hours

I would hazard a guess that in Britain only the new Wembley arena would fall into the ?top-range? bracket - perhaps mid-range in stadium nomenclature may not be as bad as you fear. Doesn?t the Emirates fall into mid-range as well?
.
3. My post is NOT an attack on Kirkby, its an attack on the logic that takes us there and the incompetance in the decision making process

Which processes are you referring to exactly? - this is what I mean by rhetoric.

4. Cost an alternative. It may have escaped your notice but the current exclusivity clause excludes the club from divulging any information to any party with respect to the stadium. A feasibility study undertaken by EFC and Tesco will most likely have cost a seven-figure sum. So tell me where anyone who would tender for a site without facts supplied or criteria from the club?

Why all this distrust? You really sound bitter here. I really don?t get it. EFC is a business. Tesco is a business. Both are protected by, and adhere to, a commercial code of practice enshrined in law. What is your point? Are they breaking the law, or misleading shareholders?

Lastly, and I mean lastly, I pass the ball back to you, the club and Tesco have ringfenced the whole project. I challenge you to tell me in detail how Kirkby Stadium will meet the expectations of the people of Kirkby the expectation of Matchday fans and be of a stature to attract players, fans and investment alike? Or perhaps the board have already succesfully done that?

Yes, now I get it. Be me the fool for believing the bad guys in the first place. How dare we as fans place trust in the money-grabbing conspirators that is the board of EFC.

Do me a favour Christine, go back to my original point, read it carefully and think long and hard. The real world can be a nasty place and I am not going to turn my back on 3 millenia of recorded history and knowledge to buy some half-baked conspiracy theory about the club I love just as much as you do.
Ciarán McGlone
32   Posted 30/04/2008 at 14:18:23

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Victor,

Any chance of getting to the point mate?

We’ve all read your original point and it was a futile and dispensible adventure in self-indulgent semantics, prententious wordplay and spurious juxtapositioning.

If you got anything tangible in response to Christine then please get to the point...as we’d all love to hear it.
David Thompson
33   Posted 30/04/2008 at 14:11:11

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Victor, can I just point out that the only people in all of this who claimed to be getting something for free were Everton.

Every NO voter I know said from the first day that it would cost Everton a lot of money.

We were told it was ?unfeasible? to develop Goodison ? before a feasibility study had been made, by the way ? and that the effectively free, 'very little debt' Kirkby was the only option.

How many people would have voted differently if the ballot paper had said that we would borrow £60M+ towards a new ?design and build? stadium in Kirkby?

How many people would have voted differently had ?borrow £60M and start redeveloping Goodison? been one of the options?

I think either option would have been enough to sway the 2,500 or so who swung the vote, or to encourage some of the abstainers to send it their ballot papers.

Ian Naylor
34   Posted 30/04/2008 at 14:00:39

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It would be great to have a "world class stadium" but at some point those for and against Kirkby need to get one thing - we don’t have any money!.
Christine wants the best for the club and in that I think she and Kenwright are the same, but neither has the money to do anything about it.
Cabe, can write what they like, but all we can afford, if we can afford it all, is a design and build. End of story, no point going on any futher with talk of iconic buildings, impressive walk ups etc.
Our club has no money and has been mismanaged since the latter days of John Moores and now it all comes together in a plan of a new ground that will be so so, not great but I suspect not too bad either, just functional and it has to be in Kirkby, because there we have a council and a company who are willing to get into bed with us. In the same way that we can’t compete with teh top 4 we can’t have a ground like them either. If you want to point fingers, Christine you should spread your net a little wider.
A

As for plans changing, I would say two things the club should have been honest and said this is all we can afford from the start and secondly the international landscape for projects such as this has changed massivley since the vote. After all how is the building going at Stanley Park. I also think that the pictures on the "glossy brouchure and come on who is going to make their decision based on a cartoon, did show an average stadium.
After we missed the true once in a lifetime chance of Kings Dock, and you can see the apathy of our fans in their response to that, it was always going to come down to this. Why because we have no money, and all the internet chat in the world, or cash and carry compnaies or budget hotels tagged on to the parkend will not change that.
Mark Gray
35   Posted 30/04/2008 at 14:19:33

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Christine,

I wouldn?t bother answering Victor Johnson; he is clearly just here to annoy and deflect the debate from the real issues.

Frankly, Vic (probably not his real name) is not interested in the problems associated with Kirkby and the board, his agenda is clear. It is Kirkby at ANY cost... Why?

I don?t believe any genuine blues would continue with this view unless they were unaware of the FACTS. I?m sure Vic, Simon or whatever his name is today is fully aware of the facts and this raises the question what is he trying to achieve?

I think Vic is best ignored.
Eugene Ruane
36   Posted 30/04/2008 at 14:08:08

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Christine, I think you made yourself and your position more than clear.

Victor Johnson gives himself away with his primary school teacher ?I-can?t-be-wrong-because-I?m-me?, tone and his two-bob debating society ?point?-scoring manner. He?d ?argue? black was white just to hear the sound of his own... um... finger (tappin? like!)

However, no amount of smokescreens or bullshitting all around the houses about Pol Pot, can change the following:

It is an indisputable fact that over the past few months, a lot has been revealed which wasn?t known when the vote was taken. hat has been revealed, indicates those who voted ?Yes? were made mugs of. And those who voted ?No? should have been listened to.

I have never met one single person who enjoyed being wrong (proved wrong!) so I don?t expect anyone ?least of all the ironically named Victor ? to admit it. However, If you vote for a politician who says "Free Beer!" and it turns out the beer costs you money, you don?t say "well it?s not a bad price", you say "fuckin? LIAR!"

An adult would accept this line of argument as logical, obvious and rational. A petulant child wouldn?t.
Barry Scott
38   Posted 30/04/2008 at 15:51:06

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Did anyone read the Croke Park Stadium Director interview on the keioc website?

It’s a fascinating read:

http://www.keioc.net/index.php?page=croke-park
Simon Hughes
39   Posted 30/04/2008 at 16:20:39

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Christine

Just wanted to say thanks for a cracking summary that captures mine and many others frustrations with this whole process. The lack of information from EFC is a key factor in this, but at some point I’m sure we will get to find the truth. There is another agenda here, which is not about benefiting Everton in the long-term.

Please send your letter out far and wide - it deserves an audience and might just help make a difference.

All the best
Jay Harris
40   Posted 30/04/2008 at 16:03:25

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Chad Schofield
excellent links but makes me want to weep after reading CABE report on the amateurs who are involved in "Desecration "Kirkby.
Paul Gladwell
41   Posted 30/04/2008 at 17:13:19

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Victor ,why all the distrust you say?

Ringfenced
Fortress
Ntl
£50M Rooney price tag
Endless ticket fiascos
Trevor Birch
False bids (£8M for Owen just one)
Virtually debt free stadium
One vote per household
Sydney olympic allegations
The Aberdeen relocation farce
Goodison is falling down
All assets sold

These are just off the top of my head too.

Victor Johnson
42   Posted 30/04/2008 at 17:59:50

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Well... if you don?t like what I say kids, tough. I am not in it for a hearty slap on the back. I do however stand by what I said in that you all seem like rabid dogs at the leash, just gagging for a big, juicy chunk of the Board?s arse. Keep blowing those holes as much as you can, and dream on. In the meantime the serious guys will get the job done according to what is at our disposal in a complicated world.

Eugene, on the point of free beer, the issue is simply in the way you interpret ?deal of the century?. You may have expected/hoped it to mean (...........insert any figure you wish), but others more versed in what represents value see £78M for a 55,000 seat stadium as a 'very good deal indeed?.

I hereby pledge my full allegiance to the Board of EFC, I trust in its integrity, and ability to deliver shareholder value, as well as demonstrable goodwill to a loyal fanbase. On top of that I have absolutely no problem with their handling of the stadium issue other than an poor PR machine. And that?s a misdemeanor to be redeemed, not a crime.
Ron Leith
43   Posted 30/04/2008 at 18:57:28

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Well we have got an awful lot of people getting at EFC. CABE who voted for them answer to nobody. Sefton Council have they had a vote to object to our new ground, No I don?t think so. KEIOC who voted for these guys? I think the answer is nobody.

Well then we have our board who are the blame for everything. They could be blamed for a lot but they did actaully have a vote. More than Middlesboro did. More than Sunderland did, Arsenal did and Liverpool. So let's just think on a bit before we start with all this lies business. Have you seen the KEIOC survey with its leading questions and lack of options? Highly scientific I think not. Just a bunch of liars too me thinks.

Colin Jones
44   Posted 30/04/2008 at 18:52:55

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Great piece, articulates concerns over Kirkby excellently! But everyone, can we refrain from ad hominem arguments, these are hampering the debate.
Paul Gladwell
45   Posted 30/04/2008 at 19:25:19

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Victor that is a fair comment and they are your views and that is what this site is all about, it's just people have been stating theirs and the facts that are not lies, just plain and simple facts, and people are finding it harder by the day to argue them.
Paul Lally
46   Posted 30/04/2008 at 19:24:28

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Christine - excellent.
Like you I have tried to take a step back but cannot.
The Croke Park interview sums eveything up very well.
Add this to all other information that is freely available if you look and it becomes a lot more clearer and a lot more frustrating why our board simply cannot be open and honest.
Redeveloping is viable and should be the first priority. We have already handed Stanley Park over to LFC
Here is the link again re Croke Park -
http://www.keioc.net/index.php?page=croke-park
Says it all really if you have vision and common sense.
BK should go over to Ireland on his own (leave Bully behind) and have a chat with Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna.
What would he have to lose?

One last point: please do not call KEIOC a bunch of liars. They may have their faults but at least they care and are putting more effort into finding alternatives than Everton FC at the moment.

Christine - I have sent on articles I have written for TW to Brian Viner, Liverpool Echo, Andy Burnham etc.
It only takes a minute so please keep on fighting.
Power to the people of ?The People?s Club.?
Mark Gray
47   Posted 30/04/2008 at 19:43:28

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Paul, here?s a few more complaints I?d levevl at Kenwright

Signing Alex Nyarko on a 5-year deal and a 4-year work permit
Denying investment through a rights issue
Writing off £500k owed for Michael Ball the day before Rangers announced a £45m rights issue
The sale of Finch Farm before it was even built and taking plaudits when we don?t even own it.
The failure to secure the Kings Dock for just £30m when first mooted
The false bid for Alan Smith, his determination to pair Smith with Rooney, weeks later they were together in Man Utd colours
Failure of Wyness?s 3 year business plan
Agreeing to sponsorship deal of a lesser value than achieved by Fulham
Splitting the Shareholders Association and the Fanbase
Massive increase in debt
Allowing Walter Smith to spend £millions weeks before sacking him
Contemptuos manipulation of the media
Allowing the CEO to use precious club finances to take legal action against fans groups
Saving us from Peter Johnson when actually making the finances much worse
Poor backing of David Moyes with a net spend of just £4m a year in the transfer market
Allowing the stadium issue to drag on whilst letting Goodison fall into disrepair
Telling half truths to Evertonians

That should give people a few things to think about....
Tom Hughes
48   Posted 30/04/2008 at 19:02:06

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Victor,
How far can you stretch a lie before it nearly becomes plausible?

"the issue is simply in the way you interpret ?deal of the century?. You may have expected/hoped it to mean (...........insert any figure you wish),"


You know full well that interpretation isn’t/wasn’t required. KW stated that this would be "practically nothing." There was no ambiguity. Initial figures were anything from zero to £10m in the pre-vote Kirkby campaign, £20m+ after the vote rising with South american style inflation to the latest figure. Until very recently Colin Laphlan, the self-appointed pro-kirkby spokesman reiterated categorically on this forum that the nett costs to EFC would be next to nothing or even nothing, since it was a ridiculous notion for anyone to think that EFC would be funding this. He’s saying absolutely "nothing" now. KEIOC, myself and various others stated months ago that the cost would be around this figure, and were slated repeatedly on here. No yes-voters were saying that our predictions were acceptable then because they knew it would mean that "no plan B," that other monumental vote-winning statement would then also be a lie. £78m is not "practically nothing" in anyone’s book (least of all EFC’s), and even that figure is totally dependent on a full enabling development that is looking less and less viable every day. Sefton’s formal objections will be followed by the same from ALL surrounding council’s, and the multiple violations of Knowsley’s UDP and other legislation will be acknowledged.


"but others more versed in what represents value see 78mln for a 55000 seat stadium as a very good deal indeed?."

Who are these others who are more versed? Are CABE more versed, or don’t they count? Please reference your source or is this just your opinion (again)? Where is the independent report telling us what that amount would get us in terms of redevelopment of GP? The club should have this at their fingertips if they were so readily able to state that "all options had been exhausted" (KW), or similar in terms of our contribution to the Loop, WHP or any other site? None of these exist, therefore how have the club come to their decision?

£78m given the basic format of the Kirkby design means that we are expected to pay for approx 3 of the 4 stands. Why then can’t we just spend a fraction of that to build one full new stand at GP, extend at least one other and re-roof the rest? This could be done over a number of seasons (which it never can for a new build) giving the club the chance to team build/stadium build in manageable increments (that’s why most clubs do redevelop rather than relocate by the way). Then you wouldn’t even have to find more colourfully arranged though meaningless prose to try to explain away the woeful transport plan, nor the loss of heritage/history and identity that Kirkby entails, since that costs nothing at GP!
Jay Campbell
49   Posted 30/04/2008 at 20:17:49

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Victor I have never heard so much codswollop in all my life.

You have got to be one on Kenwright’s actors on his show’s.

Victor Johnson
50   Posted 30/04/2008 at 20:33:42

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Well guys, you?ve got my head well and truly on the pole. A couple of responses before I bid all you self-congratulating fossils a fond farewell:

Jay, the emotional diatribes of your crusade would do Dickie Attenborough proud.

Tom
Get real mate. As was mentioned on the club site, future naming-rights income was, and rightly so, factored into the figures. What the hell is going on here? I see it as merely bad PR and you are all baying for blood, screaming conspiracy. The whole package surely ain?t that bad.
Tom Hughes
51   Posted 30/04/2008 at 22:02:56

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Victor,
Get real? Are you serious?
Find out what is the value of the biggest stadium naming-rights in the UK.......... then come back to us with what you realistically feel EFC could command. Then, you can tell us how this wouldn’t apply to a stadium at the Loop on top of the biggest city-centre redevelopment site in Europe.... or perhaps to a lesser extent to WHP or even GP. (Even a league that is older than GP has been rebranded and sponsored, so why not?) Bottom line though there’ll still be plenty of that £78m for you to find.
Victor Johnson
52   Posted 30/04/2008 at 22:36:51

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Tom
So as I thought, it’s about Kirby after all. Tell me one thing and one thing alone please - why are you so confident in (and smug about) the fact that the current Board and its advisors are so dumb, whilst you and your cohort have all the right answers? Naming rights et al - give it to me Tom, tell me how much the club is really cheating us. Better still, tell us why the Board are misleading every one of us and slowly setting the club for ruin. What is their motivation? Pls spare me the Loop line unless you state who all the enabling partners are and what they hope to get out of it and what it means to EFC’s bottom line. For all I know it could be your uncle’s mate’s brother with all the cash in a bestway bag. My point all along has been simple and I have no shame in stating it again. The majority of what is masquerading as intelligent debate on this thread is merely nauseating, self-righteous, self-congratulating trash from group who feel they are fighting a crusade against the Dark Side. You don’t speak for me and that’s why I am here now. EFC, whether you get it or not, is one of the most respected clubs in Europe because of people like Kenwright, not despite them. You are in fact hole-blowing junkies without a clearly stated idea as to how to solve this problem. Shame on the lot of you for dragging the good name of our club through such murky waters. Complacent? Maybe. Conspiracy? My arse!
David O'Keefe
53   Posted 30/04/2008 at 23:16:14

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"EFC, whether you get it or not, is one of the most respected clubs in Europe because of people like Kenwright, not despite them. You are in fact hole-blowing junkies without a clearly stated idea as to how to solve this problem."

There is a Monty Python sketch in here, I wonder which one?

What has Bill Kenwright ever done for EFC?
Tom Hughes
54   Posted 30/04/2008 at 23:31:01

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Victor,
Who is/are my cohort? I’m an individual, a concerned blue, a season ticket holder and a shareholder and as such I am allowed to voice my concerns. You have hopped around the questions quite enough without countering any to now start demanding answers from little old me.

After dodging every point made.... and after much meandering, you finally whittled down your defence of Kirkby finances to "naming rights"..... They are factored in..... They will save the day etc. But, you then couldn’t tell me what they are and what that would leave as the final cost, nor could you even accept how that could apply to ANY other site.

But regardless, let’s all go to Kirkby because we can at least get a few bob for naming the stadium.... pure genius! Let’s drop everything History/tradition/continuity, let’s risk everything identity/transpot nightmare etc etc because we can get a few million a year for the Tesco non-descript stadium. There is nothing of any substance in your postings other than an undying loyalty to EFC’s board, and admission of being totally unprepared to question any of the decision making to date despite the almost endless list of serious issues, some damning that have come out of the whole process. Fair enough I suppose, but personally I support EFC not the board, and quite frankly I’m not prepared to follow blindly because you say so.
Neil Pearse
55   Posted 01/05/2008 at 01:42:39

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Just want to say that the best comment on this thread by far is Ian Naylor’s above. It seems to me very revealing that no responses at all have been made to his basic point: WE HAVE NO MONEY.

Unless you start with this position, we just get a lot of hot air and posturing. The reason for Kirkby rather than the city, the reason we have to get into bed with Tescos, the reason why the stadium will be so so... All come down to this basic fact: WE HAVE NO MONEY.

Start there, or basically be irrelevant.
Christine Foster
56   Posted 01/05/2008 at 02:11:54

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Neil. in response to your point re No Money. The reason we have limited finances (not no money) and cannot attract new or singular investors is quite simple. BK and the board have stated on more than one occasion that they are unwilling to give / sell any of their shares to bring that investment in.

Despite having No Money.. we are still having to find the not insignificant amount of $78m for Kirkby. Which, if my arithmatic is still functional, is over twice the amount we were asked to find for the Kings Dock.

Tesco are not giving Everton FC a brass farthing but if suddenly we are able to find $78m for a stadium that was "practically nothing" Doesn?t that change the ball game? ie, suddenly if we can find $78m for Kirkby, (just where is all that money coming from??) but if we can find that much then is it not right that we should evaluate the other options as Kirkby is no longer the gift horse we were sold? Is that $78m better used elsewhere?

Its rather telling that Wyness has come out on EFC TV stating how critical it is that Everton qualify for Europe. I suspect he is a worried man because if we are that broke then we won?t be going to Kirkby or anywhere else with as you say, No Money. His fear is that European income will not eventuate and so the gift horse crumbles ...

Jay Harris
57   Posted 01/05/2008 at 03:07:01

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Neil and Ian,
If you have no money, which the Board haven't, do you go out and borrow £78 million plus to build a high-risk stadium in some backwater location on contaminated land?

Or do you stay put and develop over time as you can afford to borrow the way that most of the better grounds in the Prem have been developed.

You could always consider diluting your shareholding to attract investment... oh but then I forgot: The Luvvie and his pals have already gone on record to state that they are not prepared to do that ? True Blues my arse.
Neil Pearse
58   Posted 01/05/2008 at 03:31:57

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Christine and Jay - your points about Bill not diluting his shareholding are not relevant. The way Everton are going to get substantial new investment is not by somebody buying a minority stake in the club. If they did that, anyway they would be simply giving money to Bill, not to the club.

They only way the club will get substantial new investment is by someone coming in and buying a majority position - and then investing additional funds on top of their share purchase. I.e. a new owner.

The brutal reality here, like the brutal reality that we are poor, is that no-one has seriously approached Everton to buy the club. If they had, and they were serious, and they were turned away by Bill, they would have simply gone public to express their interest. This has happened in a whole host of other Premiership clubs, is happening right now of course with our neighbours, and would have happened with us.

The reason we have not got major new investment is because a major new owner has not appeared. It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether Bill wants or doesn’t want to sell his shares.

Jay, on being poor and therefore better spending what little money we have at Goodison. You may well be right. Of course, if you are, it is a stone cold certainty that we cannot afford any other new build options in the City of Liverpool. They couldn’t possibly be cheaper than a Tesco enabled mid-level site out of the city. So, if you are right, at least now we can all stop talking about all these other fantasy options, since they obviously don’t exist anywhere but in our dreams.

You cannot have it both ways. If we can’t afford even a relatively cheap stadium out of the city, then obviously we can’t afford a much grander one in the city. The No slogan of ’KIrkby is cheap and nasty and we can’t afford it - so let’s build something much better and more expensive in the city’ is a straightforward contradiction. The debate goes nowhere useful so long as it continues to be stated.
Neil Adderley
59   Posted 01/05/2008 at 09:24:58

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Neil - "WE HAVE NO MONEY. Start there, or basically be irrelevant."

I?d say it is vital to the debate to put into context why "we have no money."

One of the absurd twists in this whole issue is that Kenwright/Wyness have seemingly taken the opportunity, on the back of this "partnership" with Tesco, to wipe their past incompetence away and many Evertonians refuse to question it or refer to that same past as irrelevant.

(Even more absurd than the absolvence through Tesco, of Kenwright/Wyness is that a company already saddled with £50m worth of debt and needing to find at least another £78m has found itself ?enabling? a company that posted yearly profits of £3 billion, to build 80,000 sq m of retail floor space in Kirkby.)

One man is responsible for where Everton Football Club finds itself today. His failure to address and find a solution that has not caused a rift in the fanbase, to the most crucial issue in the club's history is relevant in the context of this debate - simply because he is still the major shareholder.

Phil Martin
60   Posted 01/05/2008 at 11:50:39

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I can?t believe some of the opinions posted here. Its almost like BK and KW are posting themselves.

BK is totally responsibe for this mess. We haven?t moved on financially since the days of Agent Johnson. BK hired KW to improve our finances and all he has done is asset-strip the entire club. We flirted with being a top 20 rich club (simply because we sold our greatest talent for a generation **and not even for half the price BK said he was worth**).

Since BK appointed KW then BK takes the blame. We have secured debt aginst more debt and now KW wants us to trade our history and heritage for a "mid-range", cheap, out-of-city stadium, ? oh and another £80M debt.

Thanks but no thanks. Kirkby is the final nail in the coffin. The stupidity of the logic behind the move is astounding and yet some people think it's in our best interests. If KW wasn?t on a massive bonus for getting us a new Stadium (anywhere) then this avenue wouldnt have been pursued.

Is moving to Kirkby (to a cheap, out-of-the-box, Reebok Stadium) in our best interests?

You can't polish a turd. We move out of the capital of culture, we then scrimp on the stadium build and design. Yet KW thinks we can attract investment comparible with Arsenal?s Emirates stadium. Despite the fact it?s IN London, is much bigger, grander AND Arsenal FC have been winning trophies for the last 10 years.

Fucking Joke. I?m tired, bored and fed up. This is our best squad for 20 years and I?m so bored with Everton FC. Simply because the board have done nothing put our our long-term future on the line.

How can i get passionate about the stadium plans at Kirkby? How can that attract world class players? I care so much, but really I?m getting to that point were I have to hold my hands up and say "I just dont care anymore". All the Bullshit, lies, fake transfer bids, and half truths ? this isn't the club I grew to love.

Chris Briddon
61   Posted 01/05/2008 at 13:02:22

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Interesting that this starts ?I am not after starting another debate or a million threads on the subject?

Well if that?s the case why did you post ti then?
All you have done is re-write the same arguements in a different way, the same as all stadium move arguements do.

Nobody has said anything new on this subject for months, yet week after week, somebody comes on and writes pages of text to re-ignite the fire.

The only people stirring up disagreement between supporters are people who won?t let the arguement lie and insisit on going over the same ground all the time.

All that happens is the same people post positive comments, the odd Yes voter gets shot down in flames for daring to disagree and we all start the process again next week!
Mick Bebington
62   Posted 01/05/2008 at 12:24:10

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Just a quick note, slightly off the above post but just feel I need to say this.

Firstly, I am a Yes voter. Everyone can see that there is info that has come out since the vote that might of or might not have changed people's votes. Possibly either way. You would have to be a fool not to admitt this.

I do not believe the Kirkby stadium will go ahead. Whether again this is a good or a bad thing for the club we will have to see. I don't think anyone truly wants to leave Goodison Park. We all just want what is best for the club,The board included. Even if people believe KW doesn't.

Anyway my reason for posting is because I think it is fucking ridiculous the way people behave on this site. This is both Yes and No camps. How old are we all? For christ sake the name calling is pathetic.

I am all for a reasonable debate, but most of the time it is just childish, tit for tat, point scoring.

Both points of view have been put across quiet well at times. but other times they have let them self down.

Christine I thought your post was an interesting read.

COYB
Tony Williams
63   Posted 01/05/2008 at 13:40:13

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Good comment Chris.

Someone said that "you can’t polish a turd" but apparantly we are fine to completely redevelop our antiquated and beloved Old Lady though.
Neil Adderley
64   Posted 01/05/2008 at 13:57:23

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Chris - Should your view on "re-cycled arguements" also be aimed at whether Moyes has taken us as far as he can, or if Phil Neville is better at right back or is Fernandes worth a contract or the pros and cons of offering Lee Carsley a new one year deal etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

If that is the case that Lyndon and Michael and the rest should shut down TW now. Why stop there? Let’s close down every independant Everton website/forum and all give each other a virtual pat on the back as we blindly praise the board and pretend everything is rosy in the Blue Room. Be they ’for’ or ’against’ If there are people who find this debate important and informative they will continue to post and read.

You should check out the local press which has in the last few weeks began to shine new light on "Destination Kirkby." Most of it highlighting the problems ’the deal of the century’ is facing.

On the other hand simply don’t click on any article with the word ’stadium’ in.
Phil Martin
65   Posted 01/05/2008 at 14:24:22

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I said "you can?t polish a turd". I didnt mention GP in anything that I said. Other than our history is being part-ex?d for a mid-range cheap arena.
AT least GP could be renevated for less than the price of Kirkby (with a bigger capacity) without sacrificing our traditions.

Personally, I would?ve loved to have seen plans for Walton Park but I guess BK and KW dont want anything to get in the way of their baby...
Terry Holland
66   Posted 01/05/2008 at 14:41:06

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Phil, BK and KW had nothing to do with Walton Park ? it was LCC that kicked that in to touch.
Tom Hughes
67   Posted 01/05/2008 at 14:54:24

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Terry,
If by "kicking into touch", you mean offering an adjacent site, then yes LCC did do that. EFC just ignored both, and made no mention of it in their pro-kirkby campaign.
Terry Holland
68   Posted 01/05/2008 at 15:17:50

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Why should they mention it Tom when Bradley threw it out because it was Parkland.

Did they even get asked about it in the first place.

This is what I don't understand, LCC knocked us back for a possible stadium in a park that is used less than Stanley Park is, which they give to the RS. They offered us a shitty spot on an Industrial /Trading estate, whose closest train station is further away than the one Kirkby has planned. to the best of my knoweldge there is only one Bus that runs past it and it is only serviced by one main road that is busy at the best of times.

But it is the board that you are against. How do you know they ignored both.

Don't get me wrong it would be perfect for me because I only live round the corner. Easier to get to than Kirkby for me. So I would be all for this option.

Not trying to argue with anyone. Just trying to understand why you hold the club solely responsible.
Phil Hammer
69   Posted 01/05/2008 at 15:44:09

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Terry,

"Not trying to argue with anyone. Just trying to understand why you hold the club solely responsible "

Who else is to blame for EFC?s state of affairs?

Just consider the below list of lies, half truthes and wool pulling;

£50M Rooney price tag
Endless ticket fiascos
Trevor Birch
Lack of investment (Despite every other premiership club being courted by someone)
False bids (£8M for Owen just one)
Virtually debt free stadium
One vote per household
Sydney olympic allegations
The Aberdeen relocation farce
"Goodison is not safe"
All assets sold

Who else other than BK and KW are to blame?
Terry Holland
70   Posted 01/05/2008 at 15:55:28

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Sorry Phil, should have made myself clearer. I was just taking about the Walton Hall Park thing.
Neil Adderley
71   Posted 01/05/2008 at 16:29:50

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Terry - "Having known Bill Kenwright since a struggling actor in the 60?s John (Seddon) made Bill aware of his developing (WHP) project and at a meeting on 29th March 2003, in Liverpool?s Marriott Hotel, he explained the progress made to date. Bill asked him to keep him informed and personally went to see the prospective site. Unfortunately during one of these updates Bill informed John ?the Tesco train to Kirkby is in the station? and all dialogue ceased."

http://www.keioc.net/index.php?page=walton-hall-park
Art Greeth
72   Posted 02/05/2008 at 08:17:00

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(NOTE: Had to break this up to get it posted)

Part 1 - Another very interesting thread which I?ve been reflecting on overnight. And I?m going to make a bold statement here which will no doubt offend a few people:

Unless there is a dramatic change to how they are conducting their campaign, the anti-Kirkby lobby is destined to fail.

Let me explain why. I have repeated many times that the club?s own PR in the stadium debate has been hapless, at best. Given their size, status and the importance (as they see it) of a ground move, you would think that the club would hire professional advisors to conduct and co-ordinate their campaign. That doesn?t appear to be the case. In contrast, Tesco are old hands at this and would have encountered local opposition to their projects before. They have the budget, the clout and the mechanisms to achieve their objectives.

Now take the anti-Kirkby lobby, epitomised by KEIOC. I regularly visit the site, but beyond that I have absolutely no idea who are its officers and how they are co-ordinating their campaign, but I can make some educated guesses based on what is in the public domain. At the core, I imagine they are well-meaning and concerned Evertonians. They are normal Joes, like you and me, who have families, homes and jobs to maintain. Circumstances dictate that they cannot dedicate their time 24/7 to the KEIOC campaign. I further imagine that the website and their actions are maintained by volunteers and whatever contributions they can scrap together. As such, they probably constitute a loose alliance of like-minded people. The very nature of such a membership, I would suggest, makes it difficult to formulate an effective policy and campaign to promote and advance their cause.

What results is a mish-mash of very, VERY potent material which COULD advance their cause and give people pause for thought (for example, the interview with Croke Park Stadium Director is, for me, the single best article I have seen on the KEIOC site); mixed with speculative scare-mongering based on irrelevant facts or personal opinion and outrageous personal attacks on club officers AND ?yes? voters, based on presumptions and urban myths.

Now, because of the lack of genuine leadership and an obedient membership (and in saying that, I am not trying to be provocative, dismissive or derogatory to KEIOC and its members ? just stating the structure as I see it?) and a clearly defined action policy which is rigorously imposed on its members, KEIOC is unable to promote an effective, well-co-ordinated campaign that could seriously challenge the direction the club wishes to take.

The net result is that its 500 signed up members (based on KEIOC?s forum membership) represents a minority, closed community. They have come together because they are of a like mind. All well and good. However, the danger of residing in such a small, closed community is that you only accept the prevailing attitude within the group and that you are immediately abusive and dismissive of alternative opinions.

And that for me is what too often happens with supporters of the anti-Kirkby lobby. And in doing so, they are making a fundamental mistake. Because rather than ridiculing and berating supporters in the yes camp they should be engaging with them in reasoned debate. Some do, but far, far too many, far, far too quickly resort to personal insults. Now such angry rhetoric may be cathartic for the author, but? it is damaging to their cause.
Art Greeth
73   Posted 02/05/2008 at 08:20:18

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Part 2 - I?m sorry to repeat the cold, hard fact, but the anti-Kirkby camp ? based on the club ballot ? is in the minority. It is a wasteful exercise to continue to question the legitimacy or otherwise of that vote. It is a wasted exercise to launch personal attacks on the likes of BK and KW. It is counter-productive to be abusive to those who do not share your opinions ? AT PRESENT!!

Why do I add ?at present??? Because rather than abuse and be dismissive of people who do not share you view on all things Everton, you should be seeking to persuade them and recruit them to your cause. And that for me is the singular failure of the KEIOC campaign and its supporters.

KEIOC and its supporters call attention to what they see as ?bad? news and naively conclude that they have scored a decisive point in the debate, whilst completely ignoring stories which possibly undermine their position. For example, in the last week, the CABE report and Sefton Council objection does not constitute a knock-down argument as to why we SHOULDN?T move to Kirkby, IMO... whilst the news that Tesco has bought out Development Securities interests in the town and that George Howarth now doesn?t intend to call in the scheme should cause the anti-lobby some genuine concern as to just how the project is advancing.

KEIOC has been in existence for more than a year now. In all that time, ask yourself the following:
* Has their membership grown significantly?
* Have they been able to stage effective lobbying or mass protests?
* Has their status and reputation grown to such an extent that they are consulted directly on developments, be it by the club or Tesco?s?

If the answer to those three questions, as I believe it is, is ?no?, then KEIOC and its supporters perhaps need to consider that however much they believe in their cause, what they are trying to achieve is not being successful. If they can accept that, then they need to further consider ? ?what do we need to do to turn this around?? But as I said at the head of my piece, given the voluntary nature of KEIOC, that is not going to be easily achieved.
Gavin Ramejkis
74   Posted 02/05/2008 at 08:32:17

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Neil Pearse I am disappointed in your money responses in this thread as your arguments are usually well thought out. Correct me if you feel I am wrong but a new major shareholder just buys existing shares from the previous owner - e.g. the buyout of Paul Gregg; the money simply went from our new director to Paul Gregg whereas a new share issue would provide new income to the club itself, new shares owned by the club sold to the masses or few who want to buy en masse with all proceeds going into club coffers. As has been stated by documentation the current majority shareholders are unwilling to sell or dilute their shareholdings. Several other clubs including Spurs have generated significant amounts of investment. Sorry but your argument in this instance doesn’t add up.
Eugene Ruane
75   Posted 02/05/2008 at 10:36:47

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Everything (that?s EVERYTHING!) ?Art Greeth? accuses KEIOC of, pro-Kirkby lobbyists and posters are equally guilty of. It?s like Benny Hill accusing the Carry On team of trying to get cheap laughs.

A couple of examples?
?Personal abuse? - Fact: Anyone reading TW posts on this subject has seen ?abuse? both ways. To accuse one side is desperate, bogus and deceitful.

Another example?
He states "KEIOC and its supporters call attention to what they see as ?bad? news and naively conclude that they have scored a decisive point in the debate, whilst completely ignoring stories which possibly undermine their position".

I have two responses to this.

1) DUUUR!!! What else does he expect them to do?

2) I have NEVER seen such a capacity for "ignoring stories which possibly undermine their position" than from those posting in support of the move.

Example?
As well as ignoring the fact that a free ground will cost £78 million, they have, as Phil Hammer says, ignored...

£50M Rooney price tag
Endless ticket fiascos
Trevor Birch
Lack of investment (Despite every other Premiership club being courted by someone)
False bids (£8M for Owen just one)
Virtually debt free stadium
One vote per household
Sydney olympic allegations
The Aberdeen relocation farce
"Goodison is not safe"
All assets sold

I support KEIOC and their aims and will support them in any way I can; however, I might have bitten the bullet on this issue, long ago, if not for two things.

1) I KNOW that the board of Everton FC are incompetent (see Phil Hammers post) so the chances of them actually achieving this move (or anything else!) are far from certain

2) Desperate posts like the above from (artless) Art, far from persuading me all is lost, actually have the opposite effect.

Why?
Because I ask myself why would someone so confident in the club?s position and so convinced in the hopeless position of ?the enemy? (and we ARE enemies ? don?t give me all that ?Blues together? shlte) produce a War and Peace-sized post on how hopeless KEIOC?s position is?

Speaking for myself, as long as I keep reading "it?s all over for KEIOC" posts, I?ll believe someone, somewhere is nervous and continue to write/fight to keep Everton FC in Liverpool.
Christine Foster
76   Posted 02/05/2008 at 11:39:17

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Art, Parts 1 or 2.. you tend to assume in error that only those who belong to KEIOC as a member are the only supporters who have issue with Kirkby, the board or anything else. Secondly, I agree, I am passionate, but I never decend into name calling, of the board, yes supporters or anyone else so I would appreciate if you don;t assume that because some do, all of us are tarred with the same brush.
Thridly, I am tired of those stating that because we had a yes vote we should trust the board and leave it all to them. Because even the most ardent Yes supporter must have a sense of disquiet when hearing the club officials state "facts" which actually are not the case, when costs of $78m are quoted and lets be honest, do we really believe it will be that much? given that projects of this kind are much more likely to over run?

Its not all passion and wind Art, the problem any supporter has, yes or no.. is that the only facts we have been given by the club have been contested and eventually reveled as being vastly incorrect or untrue. Its not all PR, even the best PR can’t sell something that is without any real substance to begin with. Thats why the PR is struggling to put a positive spin on all the knock backs. It can’t. How do you dress up a cost of $78m when you have already stated as part of the Yes argument, that it will be virtually free?

I could go on Art, but I am tired of a select band of people who argue a point and shift goalposts. It becomes pointless. We have moved from a Yes vote for all the things they promised to a Yes vote despite the miscalculations and a belief (NO FACT!!!) in that the board know what they are doing.
Sorry Art good try but as I said before, you can’t defend the indefensible.
Olli Grange
77   Posted 02/05/2008 at 12:20:15

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The only costed real deal on the table that would deliver us a stadium within the next 5 years is Kirkby. Maybe it isn?t the deal of the century; maybe I?m not completely over the moon about a 55,000-seater when liverpool are apparently building a 75,000-seater; maybe I?d prefer it to be within the city limits. Unfortunately the only alternative I can see to Kirkby is to stay at Goodison and save some cash until we can afford something more expensive or perhaps when some rich foreigner owner comes calling. I don?t like the idea of staying at Goodison, however, as it shows a lack of ambition that I fear would result in losing Moyes and any of our players capable of being part of a top 4 side.
Eugene Ruane
78   Posted 02/05/2008 at 12:36:07

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Olli, you say: "The only costed real deal on the table that would deliver us a stadium within the next 5 years is Kirby"

This is true and this is the problem - one table, one deal. Instead of accepting this, you and EVERY Evertonian should be asking the following two questions:

Why?
How?

Brian Donnelly
79   Posted 02/05/2008 at 12:58:09

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Art, I am passionately against moving to Kirkby, but I have never joined KEIOC. To my mind, I don?t particularly like the name ? it implies that if Kirkby becomes part of Liverpool tomorrow, then everyone would be happy. Not me ?it?s still too far out!

There are many varied reasons for people not wanting to go to Kirkby, but in general we are completely unorganised. We should be organising mass demonstrations, but nobody has brought it all together (I am as guilty as anybody else). Until we get some real planning and advertise demonstrations in the local press, well in advance, then the number of objectors to Kirkby is always going to appear a lot less than it actually is ? particularly amongst the match going supporters.

As for dismissing most of the no-brigade by saying ?they are abusive and dismissive of alternative opinions? - a bit of a sweeping statement that. In fact, I would say the majority of no voters have tried to back-up their opinions by hard-facts as far as possible. Often these facts are ignored and an opposite opinion is put forward, which seems to be based on nothing whatsoever, except wishful thinking.


Art Greeth
80   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:07:15

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EJ Ruane ? I totally agree abuse flies both ways, and as such only detracts from the debate, not adds to it. My piece, I believe, is sympathetic to the anti-Kirkby movement. The point I was making is that the onus is greater on them to convince supporters currently NOT in their camp to change sides because ? like it or not ? the anti-lobby is in the minority and very powerful forces are intent on pushing through ?Destination Kirkby?. To continue to abuse and ridicule the very people KEIOC and the like need onside is counter-productive to its cause.

I gave the example of four different news stories in the last week to highlight the innocence, if you like, of anti-Kirkby followers in believing the CABE and Sefton stories means the tide is turning in their favour. It doesn?t follow at all. But headlining the George Howarth story on the KEIOC website as ?MP Prostitutes himself to big business? is hardly likely to convince wavering fans from aligning themselves to the anti-Kirkby cause because of the sensationalist, subjective slant that story was given. It doesn?t add to KEIOC?s credibility. It shows them up as reactionary.

As for the list you offer by Phil Hammer? what point are you or he making? It isn?t necessarily true, it certainly adds nothing to the debate and it only serves, IMO, to show up the infantile thinking of some anti-Kirkby followers. Why not add that BK and KW are responsible for global warming and my lukewarm coffee I paid for this morning? It?s tedious and again detracts from the REAL debate.

Christine, I do not make any assumption AT ALL that only KEIOC members are the only supporters who have issue with Kirkby, the board or anything else. Of course there will be others ? hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands? Who knows? ? who are opposed but not necessarily subscribed to KEIOC.

That said, would you agree that KEIOC represents the flag ship of the anti-Kirkby movement? If you do, and further, that you clearly believe there are more anti-Kirkby supporters out there than are currently subscribed to KEIOC, then surely it follows that it is in the anti-Kirkby camp?s interest to gather more members to its cause to make it a more effective movement. Exorcising your personal rage on an Internet forum may be cathartic for the individual, but? it ain?t gonna advance the cause that drove you to write in the first place one jot.

At no time in this debate have I said ?the vote was yes ? we should trust the board and leave it all to them?. Rather, I have stated the opposite, saying it is only right and proper that this issue continues to be aired. So I?m NOT dismissing the anti-Kirkby lobby as ?all passion and wind? ? your words, not mine. THAT said also, Christine? I think I have shown every courtesy and respect for the eloquence of your posts on TW and on the stadium issue in particular, I do not resort to petty insults. I genuinely try to engage with people, but now, I?m going to be blunt with you:

For all your fine rhetoric what ACTION are you taking, what are YOU doing personally to ensure what you believe in is defended? And that, in essence, is the crux of my original post in this thread. KEIOC and its sympathisers have simply not galvanised enough supporters to really make the club, Tesco and Knowsley council to sit up and take notice of them. Tom Hughes clearly has made a HUGE, concrete contribution to the anti-Kirkby movement with his plans for a redeveloped GP? how many others who regularly vent their spleen on here about the issue can say the same?
Art Greeth
81   Posted 02/05/2008 at 13:08:45

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Brian, I?m glad you recognize one of the points I was trying to make. Namely, that the anti-Kirkby camp IS disorganised and needs to be better co-ordinated and led if it is to make any sort of impact and difference. I disagree with you TOTALLY that I dismiss the no-brigade as being ?abusive and dismissive of alternative opinions?. I don?t say that AT ALL. I highlight the DANGER of ?residing in such a small, closed community is that you only accept the prevailing attitude within the group and that you are immediately abusive and dismissive of alternative opinions?. A legitimate observation, IMHO.
Terry Holland
82   Posted 02/05/2008 at 12:52:42

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Some of the posts on this thread are just stupid. From both sides, Yes and No.

Jesus Christ, We are all enemies now.

What is with all the childish insults that get thrown about by both camps.

I am a yes voter. But fair play to the KEIOC guys, they are standing up for what they believe in. Whether or not they have made mistakes, told lies or simply left things out to support there cause so what.

I will argue against any Yes voter that says the board have not done the same. Because it is blatantly clear they have done this too.


Each and everyone one of us has an opinion, either for or against. Hate to break it to some people but everyone is enttiled to an opinion. no one should be slated for it. Because to that person their opinion is right, as yours is to you.

I am all for a good debate over something but all the name calling and tit for tat shite is just. Pathetic.

Rant over

We all have one thing in common after all.

THE TEAM!!!!!
EJ Ruane
83   Posted 02/05/2008 at 14:10:46

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Art you say..

"As for the list you offer by Phil Hammer? what point are you or he making? It isn?t necessarily true"

Er....EH!!??

’What POINT am I making?

’It isn’t NECECESSARILY true’!??

Actually, your response is a PERFECT example of ’the point’ I am making.

The point that - in the face of irrefutable evidence, that condemns the board as incompitent and untrusworthy, you choose to simply deny it and unsuccessfully try to distract attention elsewhere.

Well, as they say on Opra, "Denial is not just a river in Egypt!"

Look let’s try once again, one last time.

I’ll make it simple.

Here is Phil’s list (once a-bleedin-gain, JUST for you).

Now read them (slowly!!) and come back with the ones that are not true.

£50M Rooney price tag.
Endless ticket fiascos.
Trevor Birch.
Lack of investment (Despite every other premiership club being courted by someone).
False bids (£8M for Owen just one).
Virtually debt free stadium.
One vote per household.
Sydney olympic allegations.
The Aberdeen relocation farce.
"Goodison is not safe".
All assets sold.

Ready? - go!

Or...would you prefer to side-step all this and instead, point out that KEIOC are not infallible and this is NOT acceptable (even though they’re an unpaid, voluntary organization answerable to nobody - AT ALL).
Phil Hammer
84   Posted 02/05/2008 at 16:54:17

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Art,

How can you say that the list I presented detracts from the "REAL" debate????

When you then talk about luke warm coffee...you are contradicting yourself.

You accuse KEIOC of being passionless because they haven?t steam rolled BK and KW into submission yet about the ground move. Yet you believe we should switch off our collective feelings and follow BK and KW blindly through this absolute mess of a situation.

I?m sick and tired of repeating what I say. We have one of the biggest followings in Britain, one of the biggest histories in Britiain, yet we lag behind the likes of City, Villa, and even Portsmouth when it coms to financial power and player investment.

Who?s fault is that? Does the buck not stop with the Chairman and his CEO?
Who has the final say in all this?
Who lodges fake transfer bids?
Who has not attracted significant investment in over 5 years?

Is it not BK and KW?

And you accuse me of stirring anti-Kirkby sentiment! Art, you are doing it all yourself.

I?m sorry if it offends you, but the Kirkby move is just the final piece of the jigsaw of cock-ups and incomptencies that have plagued KW?s reign.
Christine Foster
85   Posted 02/05/2008 at 22:51:44

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Art, I could use the word exasperation at some of your comments, not all for you have made your view clear. The fact that I do not agree with you on most of the points is the reason for a fans forum. It's opinion and I guess mine and yours may never align. But thats ok because it does raise the profile of the issues. So let's not forget what they are, I asked that the club should answer the concerns of myself and many fans. Why? Because as paying public / fans / customers whatever we actually care about what our club is doing and the decisions that will effect the club and its fans for many years to come.

You rather pointedly ask what I have done to forward the No cause, I am not a member of KEIOC nor any other group and I do not have to justify to you my reasons for not being such nor do I have to defend myself because you fail to acknowledge the facts I have highlighted for other fans in the best way I can.

Like thousands of fans I am left frustrated and angry. I have used what expertise I have in a way were it can be of most use. I have raised issues and concerns in articles that have highlighted the actions of the board against the statements they have made and call then to account in the only way I can. Here in this forum.

It's a shame you made your comments ended with attacking the person rather than the facts that have been stated by many others, more eloquently I suspect, but nonetheless it greatly undermined your case.

People like Tom Hughes have skillsets that surpass many others and he has used those skills to argue from a position of specific knowledge. We are all not structual engineers, Art, we don't have the points that can be argued over concrete and steel, Tom does and he brilliantly makes his case.

But we are not an army of specialists and my skillsets are of little structual value. But I can and do, put into words the fears and frustrations, joys and excitment of like minded fans. If I raise the profile of concerns in a clear and consice way I have added value to the debate.

I let the other contributors assess the quality of my articles or its content. As I say, you have your view, I have mine, the board of Everton FC obviously have their own. Sadly they can?t even decide what that is, other than Kirkby or bust.

Victor Johnson
86   Posted 03/05/2008 at 12:00:02

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Art, your head is now on a pole too matey. You have proven your point beautifully.

Eugene sweetie, let?s have at least a scrap of of evidence to back up the rhetoric.

£50M Rooney price tag
Completely redundant point - all boards in all countries ratchet up the asset value when the vultures are lurking. Wouldn?t you? Maybe you?d have kept him (despite his wanting to leave), citing that you couldn?t possibly let the good People down?

Endless ticket fiascos
Yeah, sure sack the board for ticketing problems - no comment required.
.
Trevor Birch.
As far as I know neither party has publicly commented on this point - meaning that any interpretation on your part is to be binned for being hearsay.

Lack of investment (Despite every other premiership club being courted by someone).
Oh yea, I know, why not pitch the club at some American billionaire, Russian pseudo-capitalist billionaire, Khazakstani would-be pseudo capitalist billionaire or Papa New Guinnean reformed cannibal-cum-capitalist trillionaire. Take heed of what?s happening on your doorstep.

False bids (£8M for Owen just one).
Hearsay, I?m afraid. Maybe he didn?t want to come or was offered more at Newcastle. You simply DON?T know.

Virtually debt free stadium.
A PR blip - they should have better explained the figures behind that statement. So, one point for you I guess.

All assets sold.
A simple, albeit short-term, cash flow necessity. The value of the (training complex) asset is only realisable on its eventual sale, so unless we are deciding to sell it soon I don?t see the problem. Perhaps it was/is/will be better (for the club as a business) to focus its asset management programme around developing the talent that the training academy is designed to attract. Is that such a bad idea? Anyway, they were probably advised by somebody slightly more qualified than you to weigh up the short/medium/long term pro and cons.
Gavin Ramejkis
87   Posted 03/05/2008 at 13:55:15

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Victor a few retorts if I may:

Ticketing fiascos need to be aimed at the person responsible for outsourcing that element of the business and gaining a bonus in doing so - Keith Wyness, when challenged by fans abandoned at Liverpool Airport during our previous European excursion he had nothing to say including an apology.

Lack of investment - your response at the very least smacks of xenophobia, bearing in mind that the American investors at Man Utd and Aston Villa have far from ruined them as a club, our own club has an American resident board member or was that overlooked?

Virtually debt free stadium a PR blip? How can a statement used as a tool to persuade voters prior to the single most important vote in the club?s history be overlooked or ignored as a PR blip? If such a serious mistake was made anywhere besides EFC the individual or individuals concerned would more than likely be shown the door.

Now do you care to answer the missing gaps you failed to respond to?

One vote per household

Sydney Olympics and I would point out this is not allegations but recorded fact - www.hcourt.gov.au/media/Zhu.pdf

Goodison is not safe - perpetuated by employees of the club and I myself printed the response from the HSE, again if an employee(s) of a club tell lies would you not expect their employers to act?
Tom Hughes
88   Posted 03/05/2008 at 17:25:48

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Vic,
Calling people sweetie hardly adds substance to your responses, but judging by this it’s hardly any surprise:

"Virtually debt free stadium.
A PR blip - they should have better explained the figures behind that statement. So, one point for you I guess."

Virtually debt free..... a stadium for "practically nothing" doesn’t need explaining surely? A PR Blip.....? at £78m and still counting, a blip? What would you say to a double glazing salesman who offers you windows for nothing then charges for 3/4 of them..... no worries, it’s a perfectly understandable blip?

You concede "One point"? Shame your one point underpinned the whole pro-move campaign. The fact that it can now be completely discounted also renders the "no plan B" vote-winner statement also invalid, and quite frankly, obscene. Then there’s the "Most accessible stadium" in the country..... which has descended into Bombay Express scenes at crush-loaded Kirkby station, and a leg of the tour de France up the East Lancs. The whole notion of which as cringeworthy as that of an Evertonian attempting to justify the unjustifiable and not admitting he’s been had, despite what is at stake.
Victor Johnson
89   Posted 03/05/2008 at 21:28:14

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Gavin,
I wanted merely to point to the fact that attracting a big investor in itself is not a guarantee. It seems quite clear to me that the current Board is slowly but surely making the club more attractive for future interest. Moving to Kirby (or any other viable ? geographcally and business wise ? alternative) will help.

The wider picture is clearer (if you trust Deloitte reports) ? football in general and the Prem in particular are both going to see considerable growth in the coming years/decades. We need to be in a position to take advantage of a stronger and more global industry. We NEED to be up there because nobody will hang around waiting for us. This may involve selling some of of the family jewelry or making really bold moves (such as Kirkby).

Maybe Goodison Park is the real impediment to investment. Maybe Kirkby is a necessary step to acquire that much needed investment. Tom, I know you truly disagree, but the threat is staring you in the face. I respect you for fighting your corner, but you should be prepared to make concessions. Agreeing to move on the proviso that it MUST be within a certain geographical space is NOT the basis from which you should argue.

Unlike most on this thread I don?t see moving as a necessarily evil thing for EFC. Adapting to an ever-changing and complicated environment is a simple demand of nature (this we failed to do under previous regimes dating back to Carter). Look at how quickly everyone bought into the idea of ?People?s Club?, a spin doctor?s dream that has completely usurped ?School of Science? as a tag line for the club?

Although ?School of Science? was beginning to represent something of a trades description violation, we are no more the People?s Club than anyone else. So why the rapid re-positioning of our identity? Because in one shot it has succeeded in not only attracting those who are living in football past (it?s the people?s game, etc) but also in creating what is a brilliantly marketable idea to a much wider audience in the future.

In short, we best start getting used to the idea of change (however small) because if you want your grandchildren to see a successful and globally powerful EFC, it may take a lot more than moving to Kirkby to bring it off.

Christine Foster
90   Posted 03/05/2008 at 23:21:15

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Life is about choices, those that we make with informative knowledge and those we make stupidly because we don?t do our homework properly. However, when one trusts in others to make informed decisions ? only to discover that they hadn?t done thir homework ? who is to blame? Those who entrusted them or those who made the decision? The truth is both are culpable. The solution when a bad call is made in any business or in any part of personal life is to put your hands up and admit it and get on and fix it and don?t repeat the mistake again.

Fans trusted the Everton Board of Directors by voting Yes to an option that was made clear as the only one. That trust has been misplaced by the comments since, not PR blips but Christ Almighty fuck -ps. At which point active deceit comes into play is debateable, but we all know that the innocent white lie grows into a monster of other lies built upon it. The house of cards scenario.

Well, the truth has come out; the No sector of fans have had their objections proven beyond reasonable doubt. What we should be doing now is fixing it.

Contary to what many Yes people think, I am not against change, moving the club or staying at Goodison. We all want the best for our club, everyone of us here who abuse each other, get frustrated by each other or frankly just don?t see the issue. We all want our version of what is best.

Many of us have also made clear why we believe Kirkby is such a non-starter. Before anyone comes back with "it's all we can afford"... it isn't; in fact, it's what we can?t afford. Making that move is too much risk given everything from location, quality of design and build, transport, safety, debt and a funny little thing called perception.

Let's face it, there is something else in here too that no one has mentioned. It's PRIDE in our club. Who we are, our history and tradition and the fact we have our roots in a city where we were the first club. Those who glibly would dismiss this pride as being backward thinking would fail to understand why we love our club.

Moving from Goodision may be the best choice but moving to Kirkby is the worst.

The debate is at an impass that only the club can break. There will be increasing pressure on the club to be transparent and to justify (if it can) the rationale for its continued support of a move to Kirkby. I am not one of those who needs to shut up and accept the writing on the wall or move on. I am just a fan who loves my club, who understands business as well as Tom Hughes understands engineering, as well as many others who question not from just a point of pride but also from a point of experience.

The only leverage we have is public opinion. We understand we can?t produce accurate feasibility studies on any site or even Goodison redevelopment. But then neither can the club. Such studies cost millions and as I have said before, the work is not for tender, so who in their right mind would spend that much without an even chance of success?

There are a considerable number of Yes voters who have trusted in the Board, trusted that the facts they were given were true, and believe in their hearts that Kirbky is a good deal. But then I believe we are a better team than Man U or Chelsea but the facts don?t support it. The facts don't support the boards stance on a move to Kirkby.

The club has traveled along the East Lancs without a return ticket or the busfare to get home. I hope to god someone can give them a lift back to reality.

The real issue is that we all agree we can?t do nothing. We all agree that some change is needed. We all agree we are not party to the real facts. We all agree that the Board has been seen to make assumptions and statements that were clearly untrue or misleading.

So, we know the fans can deal with honesty and come to terms with sometimes uncomfortable decisions... can the Board? Are they big enough to say, "We Got it Wrong"? Are they big enough to say,"OK, the Exclusitivity period is over, let's have a closer review of any other options"

Or are they just too arrogant to listen?

EJ Ruane
91   Posted 04/05/2008 at 10:00:58

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I’ll make this my last post on this thread.

Debating an issue such as this, one tries to produce rational points and counter-points (rather than the Pee-Wee Herman tactic of "I know you are, but what am I?")

One tries to convince as many people as possible, that certain points of view have merit because they’re actually proved and a matter of record.

With that in mind, I would like to say a big ’Thank you!’ to Art.

The best argument I have against a move to Kirkby, is your truly desperate, lame attempts to argue FOR the move.

(just out of interest - when you cover your eyes, do you think the world doesn’t exist anymore?)

Keep up the good work dolt!
Tom Hughes
92   Posted 04/05/2008 at 11:17:47

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Vic,
There is no point in waxing lyrical about "progress" as if it can only truly exist in Kirkby, without providing definitive reasons why. If the Kirkby option really represents progress why did it require so many fabricated promises? Where is there any proof to show that out-of-town is superior to inner city for locating a football stadium.... particularly in a two team city?
Simon Inglis, the renowned stadium expert said in an instant that this could be a disasterous move for Everton for precisely the reasons that you are trying to gloss over.

"Maybe Kirkby is a necessary step to acquire that much needed investment."

Maybe? You voted YES and whole heartedly still back it based on a maybe?

" Tom, I know you truly disagree, but the threat is staring you in the face."

People have itemised many serious, and now substantiated reservations about the validity of the vote and the whole moving out of town option, and you’re trying to tell me what is staring me in MY face when you’re argument’s foundations are in sinking-sand?

"I respect you for fighting your corner, but you should be prepared to make concessions."

Vic, tell me what I need to concede on, I can assure you I am always receptive, but so far you have only given me a maybe. I am not against moving per se, I have even voted to move before now..... but not everything NEW is progress, and I have seen nothing to convince me that the grass will be any greener in Kirkby.

"Agreeing to move on the proviso that it MUST be within a certain geographical space is NOT the basis from which you should argue."

So Geography doesn’t come into it? Logistics/transport, which has now spawned several poorly received Transport plans means nothing? What are they bothering for then? Why the fuss? Fact is, you could build the greatest stadium on the planet (which we’re not by a long chalk) but if your target audience can’t get there readily, or at least as easily as the current venue it will mean nothing after the novelty has passed. Then, what about the territorial nature of football tribalism were location is paramount...? It means "practically everything"! (as opposed to "practically nothing" which can mean whatever you want apparently). If Evertonians don’t identify with Kirkby, then there is a real danger that they’ll stop going in numbers. The whole perception of the club will be changed, what damage may this do to future support which as historically always stressed its strong local base, and is forever in competition with a local rival? Winning hearts is always much more difficult from afar!
Christine Foster
93   Posted 04/05/2008 at 12:54:44

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Tom, may I say thank you for finding the phrases I lost somewhere in my frustration at having to defend agaisnt those who would make one believe their argument is still based on the facts the club have stated and then, suddenly found themselves up an alley with no escape. Hasn?t the club gone quiet? Where are the PR machines to drive past the CABE reports, the fams concerns, the facts??? No answers..
Art Greeth
94   Posted 04/05/2008 at 19:30:57

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EJ Ruane, Phil Hammer and Christine, apologies for not getting back to you earlier ? busy weekend with the kids? three boys aged 11, 12 and 14 represents a lot of e-numbers and testosterone to be dealing with.

Paul, read my posts in this thread again.
? I have not accused KEIOC of being passionless
? I do not believe people should ?switch off and blindly follow BK and KW? as you attribute to me. Indeed, I clearly state the opposite saying: ?it is only right and proper that this issue continues to be aired?
? I have not accused you of stirring anti-Kirkby sentiment

It was EJ Ruane who called attention to your list of perceived ?cock-ups and incompetence?. I stand by my comment that I made to him - what point are you or him trying to make? I can only deduce that by contriving the list you both consider (as you now state) that it constitutes ?irrefutable evidence? of the ?the board?s incompetence and untrustworthiness?.

Well sorry boys, but your perception and conclusion of those events is not mine. That does not constitute denial or side stepping the issue on my part. It represents a rational and reasoned evaluation of those events. If anything, it is more incumbent on you both to justify your reasoning why such a list represents such a knock-out blow as you seemingly believe. Because as far as I?m concerned, even if all or any of your list of misdemeanours are valid (which I dispute), it still doesn?t naturally follow that this is reason enough NOT to follow BK and KW to Kirkby.

Christine, I reject absolutely that I have attacked you personally in the comments I have made. I have clearly complimented you on several occasions for the eloquence of your articles. Nor do I ask you ? or anyone for that matter ? to justify why you are not a member of KEIOC ? it is irrelevant to my point, as far as I?m concerned.

What I do do is ask a hard question of you (and indirectly others?) and clearly relate that to the point I was making in my original post with regard to the anti-Kirkby movement in general. Namely, because of the lack of true leadership and a well-focused campaign, the anti-lobby is not achieving the impact it could and should if it genuinely wants to succeed, that venting your spleen against the move on internet forums alone, such as TW, whilst cathartic for the individual will not change things one jot.

You acknowledge as I have done that Tom Hughes has ?the skillsets? to argue from a position of specific knowledge and allude to your own ?skillsets? - ?putting into words the fears and frustrations ? of like minded fans?. You add that you are happy to ?let other contributors assess the quality of my articles or its content?.

In this very thread you have received a lot of compliments, you have been encouraged to submit your piece to newspapers to reach a wider audience. You have modestly rejected such calls. Why? Sorry Christine, but I?m going to put another hard question to you. By your own submissions, you have told us you are/were a CEO, that you are happy to write on the debate, that you feel passionate about the relocation of the club. Like Tom you clearly DO have some ?skillsets? that could contribute greatly in some capacity to the anti-Kirkby movement. Surely, surely, you and others like you should be greater activists than you are being to advance your cause?? Otherwise, isn?t your attitude and that of other like-minded supporters a kind of apathy more unforgivable than those supporters who failed to vote in the ballot or who are now completely passive in the debate?
Christine Foster
95   Posted 05/05/2008 at 02:16:31

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Art, as I have said before in my previous submission, you have your opinion I have mime. I don?t agree with yours and your certainly don't agree with mine. But then its not just me nor is it a blind trustworthness of a board that has been shown to be economical with the truth. I reject any idea of poor PR because no matter how you spin something virtually free is not $78m

You believe, as is your right, that despite all of the now disclosed FACTS contary to what the board said initially, that the move to Kirkby is still the best for the club. I and many, many more are not convinced and given the lack of honesty or transparency I believe BK and KW will forever be tarnished.
That in itself is a great shame for BK as there have been positive elements to his stewardship but they are left undone by his alignment with the Kirkby fiasco and a history of failed projects and investment.

Once again you turn the argument around to attack those who would raised FACTS as a reason to justify your belief that Kirkby is the best solution. I am unsure as to what you base your belief upon as the very basis of the rationale to go to Kirkby (virtually free stadium) has been seen for what it is. As I have said again in this thread its appropriate that the board should now reconsider its position with respect to Kirkby, cost and concerns stated and review other options in light of this.

Finally, Art, on a personal note, I live in Australia. I still attend on average 9 home games a year. I was born on Scotland Road and my family are stiill there so I do have real blue blood in my viens. I moved here some 5 years ago. From this distance it's all I can do to contribute as taking an active role in any leadership would require personal circumstances to be different.

That's life, we can?t all be on the doorstep.
Art Greeth
96   Posted 05/05/2008 at 11:02:19

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(Had to split this reply to get it posted...) Part :

As you state Christine, given all the disclosed data ? not convinced even now we can correctly describe some details put forward by both sides as FACTS ? I do consider that the move to Kirkby is still the best for the club. At no time, like many others, have I said it is necessarily the best solution, period. But it is the best concrete solution currently available and the only realistic one if we seriously wish to play catch up with the big boys. Prevaricate for a further? five? ? ten? ? 15 years? ? and where could that potentially leave us? A quaint historical appendage to a bygone age of football in a decaying museum??

Yes, there has been negligence, poor management and missed opportunities at the club, not only on BK?s watch, but dating right back to the Moore?s family. Now on one side of the debate you have those who believe that this constitutes proof positive that we should not be boarding the train to Kirkby. On the other side, you have those who recognise that finally the club is trying to address a thorny issue in an attempt to recapture a rapidly fading status as one of England?s top club?s.

I refute absolutely (once again) your charge that in this thread I ?attack those who would raise FACTS as a reason to justify your belief that Kirkby is the best solution?. Show me where I do that. My piece is, if anything, sympathetic to the dilemma of the anti-Kirkby cause. That it constitutes a loose alliance of like-minded people and as such, by its very nature, lacks co-ordinated leadership, discipline and direction to make a telling impact, never mind take on the financial muscle and political influence of UK?s largest retailer.

Let me reiterate my original point by using this thread as an example. You have posted your original comment on a minority Internet forum with a very limited readership. It has received responses from maybe 30-40 different correspondents. It is a great unknown how many more have actually read the thread, but chosen not to comment. Of those silent readers, we cannot begin to hazard a guess where their allegiance lies in the debate. The vast majority of those who do post are pro your comments because you echo their sentiments. They are people who already regularly post on here, so you are simply preaching to the converted. A handful challenge your position and are, in the main, roundly abused as I have been. In essence, this thread proves my point: the anti-Kirkby constitutes a minority, closed community. The danger of residing in such a small, closed community is that you only accept the prevailing attitude within the group and that you are immediately abusive and dismissive of alternative opinions. I continue to argue that the anti-Kirkby lobby needs to broaden its appeal and be better co-ordinated if it is to have any success whatsoever. Now how can that be constituted as ?attacking? the anti-Kirkby supporters?
Art Greeth
97   Posted 05/05/2008 at 11:08:26

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Part 2:

A more general point. I love Internet forums such as TW. It is both anarchic and democratic at the same time, but I?m not so naïve as to believe that it constitutes a general, prevailing opinion on any given issue. Like-minded people will naturally gravitate to sites where they will encounter people of their own ilk. For this reason SOME Evertonians gather here. But then, as proven by the stadium debate, there is further division amongst them. In no way are they homogenous.

Another phenomena of the Internet is that it pampers to the vanity and ego of us all. In an instant, your views and opinion can go global. That?s pretty trippy. Alas for some, they are not always prepared for the reaction they may draw. Quite simply, if you post on an Internet public forum you have to be prepared for both the plaudits and the brickbats that may come your way. And whilst people are happy to take the former, they often take umbrage at the latter.

What I am saying with these last two points is that, IMO, it is erroneous thinking to believe because you gather a few positive responses to a single post on a minority website that the momentum is somehow with you. Take this very thread again. What difference, seriously, does it make to Tesco or the club in their ambition to take the club to Kirkby? The only thing that will make them really sit up and take notice is ACTION.

Take the following example. In the mailbag in the last few days, a poster raised the question of wearing KEIOC tee-shirts on match days. One of the problems the anti-Kirkby lobby has is that its numbers are not quantifiable. We are frequently told by some that it is considerable. The data available ? KEIOC membership, lack of protest action where heads can be counted ? suggests otherwise. A well-co-ordinated, imaginative campaign would arrange for ?no? supporters to smuggle tee-shirts into GP on a match day (if indeed that is truly necessary?) and at a given time ? say, at half-time ? for all of those supporters around the stadium to don those tee-shirts and ? as a silent protest ? stand up in their seats with heads bowed. If the numbers ARE as considerable as some suggest, think of the imagery, the publicity, as news services beam the pictures around the world. THEN you have a movement which would possibly gather momentum and put Tesco and the club on the back foot. The key is to make it non-confrontational. Protestors could add to the drama of the image by symbolically gagging their mouths. KEICO and its sympathizers have had a whole season to stage something like this? yet haven?t. Why not? There is now only one home game left to demonstrate the anti-lobby is as great as is claimed. Before the start of the next season, the argument may already have been lost and the first sod in Destination Kirkby could already have been turned. So sorry Christine, but esoteric articles hidden away on minority websites will not matter a jot at the end of the day. ACTION, as suggested above, could.

With regard to your personal note, I too live abroad - in Portugal ? so I understand how that restricts you. Like you, I also have real blue blood in my veins, going back three generations to the days of Dixie. Unlike some I would NEVER deny you the right to express an opinion on anything related to EFC. Unfortunately, some posters on this very forum dismiss my views simply because I am no longer ?local?. I have no doubt that your passion for EFC and the city of Liverpool matches mine. The fact that both of us have chosen to move away from the city of our birth should in no way exclude us from any debate. Unfortunately, for some parochial reactionaries, it does.
Christine Foster
98   Posted 05/05/2008 at 13:04:30

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Art, this is in danger of becoming a personal debating point that I have tried to move on with my last post.

You have put your case well, you acknowledge that Kirkby may not be the best solution but we risk being left behind. I agree with you on that but I do not agree that we should take whats on offer without some form of acknowledgement, clarification, justification and transparency of that choice over others. That really isn’t a great deal to ask. The truth is the board is silent, the facts have condemmed what they claimed and we are left in a position of damaged trust. You must see that as reality, not from any yes or no perspective but from any independent perspective it would surely call for a re examination of any project. If any such claims were made by myself to any group of stakeholders and then it came out from elsewhere that the cost was vastly different from my statement to shareholders alike, I would have a very difficult time with those same shareholders and difficult questions would be asked and my credibility would be on the line. This is the same with EFC. Why then shouldn’t the questions be asked of those who were plainly wrong. Look at it this way, if they knew it was wrong they lied, if they accepted what they had been told it was incompetence. At the very, very least it was bad judgement. I have known many a CEO and chairman to loose their jobs over a lot less.

Moving on, Art, I have a hard time wondering if your playing devils advocate, you critisize many no supporters including myself for not being active or taking action yet at the same time you fiercely defend your own perspective of Kirkby being the right choice. Why would you want a more active group against your own beliefs?

You then move on to say that athough I have had a few positive response that the responses pander to ones vanity and that we should be prepared to take the negatives as well as the plaudits. I agree with you, but I have never abused those who would dispute what I say, others in a thread may well take offense just as the No argument does as well. This to me is not an ego trip, I believe in what I write. For better or worse and I listen to arguments and where given the points of view of others.
To accuse TW of being a minority site with like minded individuals is an attack on the integrity of the people running the site. You may state it as a critscism or a fact but however you want to say it thats what it is. I think it is far more likely that the debate has reached a point where it can go no further because the club are not answering to anybody. Thats the real problem.
Art Greeth
99   Posted 05/05/2008 at 13:54:28

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Christine, possibly I am playing Devil?s Advocate here. I rather think that I recognize the anti-Kirkby camp COULD score some telling blows to the Destination Kirkby project, but simply aren?t doing so to the degree necessary.

The scatter gun approach some no voters use, IMO, detracts from their cause. Lists as mentioned by EJ Ruane and Phil Hammer are an example of this. Such presumptions can ? and have been ? rationally and reasonably dismissed. I?ve done so myself a long time ago. Where KEIOC and its followers can really score, I believe, is to be more focused, such as challenging the financial figures and logistics. But? as I continue to argue, BECAUSE there is no concentrated lobby group Tesco and the club can basically ignore the no camp because it IS so fragmented. It suits their purposes that there is no opposition to ?legitimise?, as it were.

Once again, Christine, I refute absolutely that I am criticising no supporters (including yourself) for not being active or taking action. I make what I consider a valid observation, nothing more. Furthermore, in this particular thread, I haven?t ?fiercely defended my own perspective of Kirkby being the right choice? as you attribute to me AT ALL. Nor do I attack the integrity of the people running TW. Quite clearly a broad church of different perspectives is offered here daily. The simple point I was making is, whether you or the editors take it as an offence or not, TW and KEIOC ARE minority websites regardless of who its subscribers are and they reach an infinitesimally small number of Blues. The issue will not be won alone in cyberspace, but it can potentially be lost in cyberspace because people mistakenly believe that the daily rants they read against Kirkby on the net represents a far broader number of the total fan base than it actually does. My whole point is that unless the no camp change their strategy and form a united voice and take ACTION which Tesco and the club CANNOT ignore, then ? exactly as you conclude ? the debate has reached a point where it can go no further because the club are not answering to anybody. Conclusion: the no camp is playing right into their hands.
Christine Foster
100   Posted 06/05/2008 at 11:59:38

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Art I think we have reached the same conclusion by different rationales. The debate cannot progress unless the information on which any decisions are based are released by the club. Its debateable if that is going to happen. Personally I am angered by the approach the club has taken with respect to the disclosed facts that have contested the details released by the club. So much so, I believe, that this has been the cause of a continued lack of credibility in the board.
However, there cannot be a debate where no facts are given, where those that have have been independently refuted and the club refuses to enter into any debate. THATS the problem. The debate has to move on to a point where by the club stand by its figures and prove as such or releases amended figs and answers questions on why.
I actully think the club will do nothing. It will carry on regardless and say nothing until a signed agreement is reached with Tesco. Here in lies both my concern and my issue that the board could and would do this. It would be such a callous disregard for its fanbase that would, as I have and will continue to do so, raise as an issue of trust and integrity.

I agree that there needs to be a more focused attack on the financial aspects of the alleged deal of the century but there have been many accurate submissions that have reputed the many statements with respect to cost, safety, location , transport etc etc.. but I repeat as was the main theme of the thread, there needs to be an answer from the club. Even IF a focus group attacked the basis of the costs (which they have on numerous occasions) their ISN’T a acknowledgement, refudiation or comment from the club. It becomes a one sided shouting match.

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