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Everton vs Feyenoord

By Phil Martin :  07/05/2008 :  Comments (24) :
Having read some of the previous letters posted today and also some of the talk regarding the £60M naming rights the board believe our future stadium is worth. I felt the need to write something of my own. 2007-08 has been a reasonably successful season for Everton FC. Not in the real meaning of success, but in the new use of the word which indicates ?improvement?. Some great defensive displays, a European run, and a genuine challenge for 4th spot. Despite the late collapse we are improving and the quality squad we demand is slowly coming together.

My point though is rather more pessimistic. As the whole team building process is sustainable only while things are moving forward off the pitch i.e. attracting investment and building a new stadium. I just can?t get excited about Everton?s prospects while this Ground move debate continues.

The current board and executives have achieved little (or nothing) in the way of attracting adequate investment. Nor genuinely search for a World class home. The Kirkby debate largely comes down to money and our lack of it! The board using this as a strong reason for going down this ?stadium for nothing? route. We all know the situation - that we have little or no money to invest but why exactly should we except this?

Take another club for example Feyenoord. They belong to the city of Rotterdam (a city with a similar population to Liverpool),also a Port city. Rotterdam also having two other top flight teams (Sparta and Excelsior). Feyenoord play at a 5* UEFA 51,000 all seater stadium. They will also be playing in the UEFA Cup this year based on their winning of the Dutch Cup.

Despite the fact they already play in a big, relatively new 5*, stadium (De Kuip) they are planning to move to a brand new, 75,000 seater stadium ? although some rumours claim it could be up to 100,000 upon expansion. The key requirement of this stadium is that they want to retain the atmosphere of the old ground. And all built within a few hundred meters of the current site.

Now that?s ambition!

No Champions League money, NO lucrative Premier League TV money, or Premier League prize money. Yet they are clearly aiming to build the best ? in anyone?s eyes.

Yes I understand two different clubs in two different countries. But take into consideration our board are trying to sell us a mid-range*, out of town, out of the box* stadium. [*if you disagree with these terms just read the official reports. Tesco have no intention of building us anything other than bog standard.]

We play in the richest, most popular league. We have one of the biggest fan bases, one of the greatest histories, and this is what the Everton board serve up!

This isn?t an attack on Kirkby ? it?s an attack on the logic that?s putting us there. It?s an attack on our £10-15M transfer budget despite the likes of Sunderland and Portsmouth having £30M. Closing all Everton FC stores ?excellent marketing skills! Selling the training ground before it?s built ?asset stripping to the nth degree

Why do we put up with this crap? It simply isn?t good enough. It isn?t anything close to Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. The shear controversy alone with the Kirkby move should?ve made the board think twice but no ?full steam ahead. Some say 'What?s the alternative?', 'We just can?t attract investment', 'It?s the best for Everton FC in the long term'

Is it really? I can?t accept that Blackburn, Sunderland, Portsmouth, Derby are all more attractive investments that Everton. And that not a single serious investor hasn?t taken a serious look at Everton. Something simply isn?t right.

I can?t accept that the City of Liverpool is attracting its greatest financial investment since its conception AND Everton FC is moving out. All in the year of European Capital of culture status. I can?t accept all the half truths, broken promises, fake transfer bids! AGAIN this isn?t an attack on Kirkby ? it?s an attack on the people that?s putting us there.

We may well end up in a safe, cheap, stadium out of the Liverpool City boundaries. But from there I can?t really see us building a stronger fanbase, nor can I see us attracting major investment. Feyenoord will move into their 75,000 (minimum) stadium located yards from their original ground. Who?s situation would you rather be in? Why are we just accepting this situation? Not just the farce of a ground move but the complete mess of a financial plan.

Until we get some changes I just can?t get too excited about our future. If Moyes and a few of our top players left. We would really be up shit creek. Unfortunately I feel that is what it may take before the board get the reaction they deserve.

Reader Comments

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Richard Murray
1   Posted 08/05/2008 at 17:26:09

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Phil, that’s a really good article.
Good point and articulated well.
James Keating
2   Posted 08/05/2008 at 17:40:31

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The only answer to our problems is get Kenwright out.

He is the root of all evil at Everton and I for one am not fooled by his true blue smokescreen.

He knows exactly what he’s doing and does not pull the wool over my eyes. Serial bluffmerchant and totally incompetant.

Hate him.
Adam Cunliffe
3   Posted 08/05/2008 at 17:20:27

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A fantastic article Phil. Agree with all the arguments you?ve put forward. The whole no investment thing is crap. Wyness and his cronies aren?t interested in Everton, they just see us as an opertunity to make a quick buck. Feyenoord are a club with true ambition; why can?t we have the same? Surely there must be another site in Liverpool, for gods sake it?s a city not a frigging village. We, the true fans are getting shaffted by the board who only want whats best for them.

This is the next 100 years of Everton Football Club, we?ve won one trophy in 20 odd years and still were the fourth most successful team in England. We?ve the history fit for a world class stadium so come on Wyness wake up and smell the coffee. We don't want the stadium that's been feed to us through a web of lies and deciet. Especially if it?s not even a top of the range one.

So let's have some ambition, think big, think world class 55,000 seater in the heart of Liverpool. If we don?t stop Kirby going ahead, no one will.
Joe Rourke
4   Posted 08/05/2008 at 17:24:43

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Parts of this piece provoke a reaction something like "yeah and if my sister had balls she would be my brother" from me.

In fairness, where are our young newly contracted players going to go so quickly? I could only see Lescott being targeted by the Sky 4. Similarly for Moyes? Would Celtic be a such big lure for him?

I listened to Niall Quinn recently refering to Kieran Richardson as "their star player". Does it matter that they have £15, 20 or 30 million to spend if this is where it is at for them? That isn?t investment - it's money down the drain! How long can this last? £9 million for a keeper and they were in a relegation battle for two thirds of the season. Come on! The transfer market is overheated, it a sellers market. Everton should be prudent.

As for the motives of those who invest - they vary greatly. Abramovich and Trash-Can Sinatra (or what ever his name is) have had political motives for ?investing?. Chelsea got lucky when he moved in close by and Man City have whored themselves completely to Mr Human Rights himself.

On the otherside of the coin there is the buy out type of ?investment?. Manchester United have just posted a £58 million loss as a result of the finanical jiggery pokery there and that?s before the credit crunch kicks in ? and it will! Liverpool's debt will be worse probably ( I?m not crying BTW). Do you really want some of this investment that badly? And what for? some pre-season illusions of possible silverware based on a few over-priced new players?

The investment has to be the right type. Or the least bad type at worst. Certainly not investment at any costs.

Yeah the stadium proposal has to be right. Look on the bright side - It looks like its getting shot down though!!!

My worry about the stadium is not that it will be actually be built but that the issue won?t get dealt with until after Kenwright and Co depart the scene. I think they will have egg on their faces and won?t be capable or big enough, especially given the acrimony to start afresh with the issue.

Lee McIntosh
5   Posted 08/05/2008 at 17:59:24

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Can’t we do an Ebbsfleet (or sort of) and buy our club, I’m quite happy to leave the running of it to the existing backroom staff and management team, but get the useless directors out?

How much are we worth? What could we be bought for? Surely if us fans clubbed together, for the price of another season ticket, we could come up with quite a few million! I for one would happily donate a grand to oust these idiots! Then the club would be ours to sell on to whom we like and whom could built us a nice new home within 10 miles of Goodison.

Or any other ideas!???
John Lloyd
6   Posted 08/05/2008 at 19:27:11

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Bill Kenwright - yeah I know "his hearts in the right place" or "at least he’s a blue & not some foreigner in it for the money" whatever, whatever. Even IF all that is the case it was still his board that has overseen some of the worst decisions in the history of this football club & is making us a fucking laughing stock, but now onto the real villain of the piece.....enter...

Mr Keith Wyness!!! As I have stated on a number of threads & have been back vehomently by others who have done the same, if your bored one day then check this man out on the net, his business record is abysmal & he is stripping this club to the bare bones. The man is an absolute imbecile, take the latest story about his office sending the frankly fucking ludicrous threat to KEIOC to a japanese dentist 5000 fucking miles away!!! THE STUPID TWAT!!!!

Maybe its the internets fault, because we all have a moan on here but back in the day we would of had banners & protests & songs to show this fat cunt how we feel & that we are onto him, I dont know he is murdering our club & we are letting him.

Wheres our shops, our training ground, our world class ground, our PRIDE??? We’ll have nothing & how ironic will that be when our team is showing more signs of improvement than we have in last 20 years.
Ken Buckley
7   Posted 08/05/2008 at 20:17:58

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Just out of interest is this really true as their average attendance is 44 ,437.Their highest gate of 48,000 was reached only twice v Excellsior and PSV. Lowest 38,000 v NAC Breda.Given those figures it makes you wonder.
Sean McKenna
8   Posted 08/05/2008 at 20:59:35

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Great post, couldn't've said it any better!! I agree how the fuck can teams like Birmingham, Portsmouth, Sunderland etc have bigger spending power over Everton, considering we have been in the top 4,5,6th in the league in recent times?? it's a fucking joke.

Spot on john, kw is taking the piss, and the worst thing about it is that US the FANS are letting them get away with it!!! Last game of the season we should let the public know how we feel!!! stop moaning on this site and get off your asses and stop this FARCE................COYB
Dick Fearon
9   Posted 08/05/2008 at 23:02:47

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Phil, Can you please say where you got your info about the new Feyenoord stadium.
I enquired at various Feyenoord sites including the official one I also questioned my a mate who happens to be a football mad Dutch Feyenoord fan from way back and there was not a whisper about a proposed 75,000 seater stadium.
After many years in the planning stage a reconstruction of their existing de Kuip arena was completed only last year.
Capacity was increased to 51,000 and it looks really good.
Should our 55,000 seater Kirkby pleasure dome look half as good it would please me.
Antonio Rodrigues
10   Posted 09/05/2008 at 07:41:07

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Hi Phil,

I have to say this is a great article, although the Feyenoord stadium ’De Kuip’ is not that new. It was build in 1937 and it was renovated in the 1994. It does however show Feyenoords ambition that they want to build a 100.000 man stadium. It’s is without any doubt the best stadium in Holland.
Antonio Rodrigues
11   Posted 09/05/2008 at 07:58:24

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Hi Dick Fearon, have a look at this link:

Being a Feyenoord-fan, I know for a fact that they are planning on building it, it is planned to be completed in 2016.
Antonio Rodrigues
12   Posted 09/05/2008 at 08:09:32

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Hi there Ken,

The average attendance at Feyenoord’s home games this season was about 46000 visitors. Feyenoord reserve about 5000 tickets per match for the opposition. Feyenoord have a long list of fans and business partners wanting to buy a season ticket. But because they have all been sold out people have to wait. At this moment they are investing in the squad, something that hasn’t happened for years. Players who are not good enough are released and top players and talents are being bought. Together with some gems from the Feyenoord Academy like De Guzman, Wijnaldum and Fer and also Luigi Bruins who cam from Excelsior. The future looks very bright for this sleeping giant. Feyenoord’s advantage is that they have fans all over the Netherlands from Groningen in the north to Maastricht in the south. It’s a real people’s club. Not an elite club like i.e. ajax. The club should profit from this, and thats the reason for building the new stadium. A Feyenoord-fans phylosophie is: Feyenoord is my club therefor Feyenoord is the best. As opposed to an ajax-fan who says at the moment ajax is the best so I choose for ajax. See the difference :). The Amsterdam Arena is only filled if the club has succes,De Kuip is always filled with or without succes. We just love our club!
Erik Dols
13   Posted 09/05/2008 at 07:50:17

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I live in the Netherlands and I want to point a few facts about Feyenoords current stadium, current attendances and their stadium plans, because I see a lot of rubbish being told here.

The Kuip was build originally somewhere in the 1930’s. The foundations, size and general shape of the stadium hasn’t changed since then. Until the introduction of all-seater-stadiums, the capacity was somewhere around 67000. The last general renovation of the stadium was in the mid-nineties to change something in the construction of the roof (I believe half of the stadium wasn’t even covered before then!). The stadium has a really really great atmosphere, but it is out-of-date as well. It has hardly any obstructed views, but for the rest it is pretty similar to the problems Goodison has.

The capacity if you count every seat in the stadium is somewhere around 51000. Due to safety regulations however, certain sections of the stadium are always empty. The ’real’ maximum capacity is somewhere around 48000 against low-risk opposition (indeed Excelsior and PSV) and somewhere much closer to 42000 against high-risk opposition. With the risk I mean the risk of the rivalling sets of supporters causing trouble. Moreover, De Kuip has a reasonably big away-end. The game against NAC Breda was mentioned above. Breda is some 20 miles away from Rotterdam and the supporters of both teams are known to cause trouble during their games. So the maximum capacity is only 42000 for that game. Supposed NAC Breda only took a few hundred fans (I’m not sure about this but it wouldn’t surprise me!) then you’re pretty close to the 38000 mentioned before. I’m not claiming it was a sell-out, but I think it was pretty close. It’s not like Feyenoord had some 13000 unsold tickets.

So don’t think Feyenoord recently expanded their stadium. The ’reconstruction’ Dick Fearon mentioned was a reconstruction in of the buildings below the stands and possibly some adjustment in the corporate boxes, but nothing that changed the ’normal’ seats in the stadium.

The new plans were originally to construct a stadium for indeed about 75000 seats as was mentioned above. But this week the commercial director came out and announced the club wants to build a stadium that is ’the biggest in Europe’ (albeit that he later admitted that Camp Nou of Barcelona will probably remain the biggest since they are looking to expand to 120000 seats) and that they were looking to 100000 seats! Dick Fearon, I don’t know how good your Dutch is, but just check, click on one of the "video"-related articles and search for an article called ’Feyenoord wil groter dan Camp Nou’ or ’Maracana aan de Maas’. It gives an interview with a director from Feyenoord.

My personal opinion to the most important question: will they fill it? Feyenoord and Ajax are by far the two largest clubs in the Netherlands ad the only two clubs who I expect to be possible to attract crowds over 60000 on a regular basis. In a new shiny stadium but with the great atmosphere of the Kuip, and when they’re competing for the title, Feyenoord is able to get average crowds of 75000. No doubt. The 100000 seats will be filled in the bigger matches, eg against Ajax and PSV or the derbies against Sparta and Excelsior. A big market research about Dutch Football was published about a month ago: About 2 million Dutch people claim Feyenoord is their most favourite football club. Apart from AZ Alkmaar, they have the ’richest’ fans (based on average yearly income. this was quite a shock as Feyenoord-fans are normally considered to be scum and they got thrown out of Europe a year ago because of misbehaving fans. Just shows you that hooligans aren’t necesseraly poor average Joes.). Concluding: in my opinion and based on market research, Feyenoord could fill such a stadium to a reasonable extent. So much for the story about Feyenoord, I just wanted to give some fair views on their plans and current situation.
Erik Dols
14   Posted 09/05/2008 at 09:07:12

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While I was typing this, Antonio pretty much covered the same issues... I’m Sorry!
Phil Martin
15   Posted 09/05/2008 at 09:26:22

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I know the De Kuip was built a long time ago but it was newly renevated relatively recently. That was my point!

If anyone wants to verify the facts on Feyenoord and their proposed stadium then have a look at wikipedia and the sources (listed at the bottom) used to compile those articles.

I mentioned Feyenoord as a comparison as they are based in a similar sized city and despite their fine history are not the first or even second club people think about -when asked about Dutch football.
Maybe they wouldn’t fill 100,000 or even 75,000 every single week. But what a statement to make about a club’s ambitions!
Yet their ambitions far out stretch ours.

How can anyone argue against this?

Why is this the case when we (under Moyes) have been top 6 there or there about in the most famous and wealthiest league?
With a average attendance of nearly 40,000 - why do clubs like Portsmouth have bigger transfer budgets.
We aren’t even in the same league as the likes of Spurs or Newcastle when it comes to financial income and outgoing player investment.
Yet Moyes brings in cheap (unproven), young, talented, footballers to our club and we continue to improve on the pitch. However there is a ceiling we will hit unless serious ambiitons off the pitch are achieved.
I worry that BK and KW will get us to Kirkby but we will struggle to fill the stadium due to a polarised fanbase, same old transfer kitty as the Kirkby stadium fails to generate the extra funds we were all promised, and given the track record of KW- he wont stick around to clear up his mess.

We need to make our thoughts known as a set of fans.

No significant investment in the club is not good enough!
Mid-range stadiums are not good enough!
Fake transfer bids are not good enough!
£10M transfer kitty is not good enough!
All the half-truths, bullshit and general lies told about our club and Goodison is not acceptable!

It’s one let down after another...all over again!

Erik, I dont want a debate about Feyenoord it was a comparison of ambitions of two great clubs!
Antonio Rodrigues
16   Posted 09/05/2008 at 09:50:12

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No problem Erik, Great conribution!
Erik Dols
17   Posted 09/05/2008 at 11:07:39

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Phil, the reason that I posted it was that I also didn’t want a debate about Feyenoord, I just wanted to get the facts right as I think I know something about this matter and most of the posters don’t (which is understandable since they don’t live here!). And I want to make another point, purely on a personal note: Feyenoord is not my favourite Dutch club, although my post might have given that impression.

On topic: I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that if you look at Feyenoord’s plans, the Kirkby-plans seem to be kid stuff. Everton should be aiming bigger. Maybe not so much in terms of capacity because I think 55000-ish is good to start with and we really don’t need a 100000-seater, but in terms of the whole stadium and the location. Feyenoord is planning to move just a minute in walking distance away to a stadium that will retain the great atmosphere of the old stadium but that will have all the best facilities that modern stadiums have. This all in a regeneration-plan for the whole neighbourhood. How great would it be if Everton had the same sort of plans?

Goodison Park and De Kuip where both dwarfing other stadiums away in their time. These were two of the best grounds in Europe, but both became out-of-date in recent years. How do the Feyenoord-directors react? They come out and say: "what we did with building De Kuip 70 years ago, we want to do again! We are going to build the best and biggest stadium in Europe once again." And how does BK react?....

I always was against moving to Kirkby and I really love Goodison so my first option would be to redevelop it. Since Feyenoords latest plans came out I’m even more convinced that Kirkby isn’t the right way. It will make us some extra money, but just imagine what a really ambitious project could mean for us...
Dick Fearon
18   Posted 09/05/2008 at 11:28:08

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A bit of reality check would not go astray here.
Having looked at your advised site plus other queries I found a picture of the existing de Kuip and not even a mud map of a super stadium. No money has been set aside for it simply because there is none.
The Feyenoord dream weavers who spout this so called ambitious plan hope to see it built in 2016
If he had that kind of time frame I am sure that BK would come up with something even more glorious
EJ Ruane
19   Posted 09/05/2008 at 12:01:49

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A very, VERY good piece.
Antonio Rodrigues
20   Posted 09/05/2008 at 12:36:22

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The plans have been revealed, and there are also a few parties already interested in investing in this stadium. As mentioned bij Erik, the plans were revealed by the commercial director. The location would be on Varkenoord which is only a stone-throw away from the current stadium. As already daid, this club is a sleeping giant. With a lot of business partners wanting to be linked to it. Feyenoord has to say ’no’ to companies who want to by a skybox at the moment. That is also a reason to build the new stadium.
Phil Martin
21   Posted 09/05/2008 at 13:56:21

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You said -"The Feyenoord dream weavers who spout this so called ambitious plan hope to see it built in 2016
If he had that kind of time frame I am sure that BK would come up with something even more glorious "


How long has BK been in charge and how far have we got with a genuine world class stadium development?
What on earth makes you think that in another 8 years BK would’ve produced something bigger and better than what Feyenoord are planning to do.

Their plans aren’t pipe dreams they are actual plans.
What do we have? What has BK done in hist last 7 years? And you say "Give BK another 8 years!"

forget it...
Andy Crooks
22   Posted 09/05/2008 at 18:08:32

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John Lloyd, I have nothing to do today so I checked out Wyness. You're spot on. Get him out!!
Dick Fearon
23   Posted 10/05/2008 at 01:04:52

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So it seems I have been wrong all along, my apologies for that. Don’t you think though that such a huge undertaking coming so soon after breaking their financial back on the current huge upgrade warrants at least a mention on their official site.
Feyenoord are Evertons master at hiding facts.
Mark Wealthy
24   Posted 14/09/2008 at 13:03:48

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Fella?s.....You can view proposed plans of the stadium here:

The ?derby? games against Sparta & Excelsior are ?just another game? to us. There?s only one rival and that?s the rabble up north from Jodenstad.

If Everton fans are sick of the carry-ons at Goodison, you?re welcome to come over with us to de Kuip. We are getting more and more enquiries from disillusioned England fans the way their clubs are being ?manufactured? for commercialism. Thankfully, Feyenoord remains the peoples? club. Hence our season tickets are just 195 euro?s a year.

Hand-in-Hand, Kamaraden
No Words but Deeds

Feyenoord Supporters UK

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