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Born Blue, what the money could do...

By Paul Lally :  15/05/2008 :  Comments (15) :
I have been asking myself why I am so passionate about wanting to redevelop Goodison and so against ?Destination Kirkby?. Other people are equally passionate about moving to Kirkby. We all love Everton and only want the best for our future.

Evertonians come from all over the world. ?We are born? blue. But the thought of letting Liverpool FC have the city when we are the first team of the city makes me very angry, anxious, disturbed and frustrated. LFC having Stanley Park makes my blood boil.

I still firmly believe we should stay where we are and, after reading everything there is to read on the subject, have not changed my mind ??.. Stop, stop, stop.

Back to point ? why so passionately against? The only difference between me and other Evertonians is the different lives we all have and what we all grew up with.

My family ? Born and bred in Liverpool. Me aged 44. One set of Grandparents Blue; the other Red. Mum, Dad and sister Blue. One daughter Blue, the other Red (I know ? how did that happen!?!); brother-in-law Red; one niece Blue, other niece Red; one uncle Blue, two Red; one auntie Red, three cousins Blue, seven cousins Red. Wife Blue, her Granddad Blue, her parents Red, her sister Red, her brother Blue, her nephew Red. Add in all the kids and 60/40 red.

Born Blue? - two perfect examples ? One, my youngest niece. Her dad is a mad Red and her older sister is a mad Red yet at 5 she declared she was an Evertonian. Her dad, my brother-in-law, is gutted. The other ? a friend who lives in London, has a daughter aged 6. Because of my influence I suppose, even though I only see them once every 3 to 4 months, one day she decided to be an Evertonian. And still is despite all the stick she takes in school i.e. if you support blue you should support Chelsea (they are only 6).

Out of all of the above ?

  • EFC season ticket holders = 4, regular match goers = 4.
  • LFC season ticket holders = 0, regular match goers (when they can get a ticket !!!!) = 2
    • Work: Office of 35; 10 not interested in football; 4 other teams, Man U/City mainly; 6 Evertonians and 15 reds.
      • EFC season ticket holders = 4, regular match goers = 1
      • LFC season ticket holders = 1, regular match goers = 1
        • Mates (me and the missus) ?
          • EFC season ticket holders = 4, regular match goers = 2
          • LFC season ticket holders = 0, regular match goers = 1
            • Plus 4 Man U who go once in a blue moon.

              What does it prove? I have been surrounded by Blues and Reds since birth in Liverpool and therefore have a better understanding of the deep-rooted rivalry than someone who has never lived in the area. And handing the city over I firmly believe will be the death of Everton. As said we all love and want the best for Everton.

              Anyway there you go ? I thought I would give an insight into why I feel like chaining myself to the outside of Goodison and going on hunger strike until Bill Kenwright tells me face to face why he is even thinking of moving us away. Because I would like to ask him about the following: £78M to move? Why not spend it like this: Split the money:

              £40M to Davey Moyes this summer; he signs new contract; Starts his next 5 year plan with the players he wants. Team can now make the next step: Short term ? a trophy, regular Champions League. Within 5 years challenging for the Premier League title.

              £38M put aside to redevelop Goodison Park. Stage one: new tier on the Park End.

              Without money for transfers we will not be able to make next step. We all know Moyes needs it now. Give Moyes the £40M. In 5 years, the team could be running out to Z-Cars in a redeveloped Goodison with a chance of winning the Premier League after finishing within 5 points of the winner the season before and having added a trophy or 2 along the way.

              Is that a dream? It could become a reality if Moyes gets the money and we redevelop sensibly. Success would come on the pitch and the manager, team, fans and Goodison Park could grow together over the next 5 years into something special.

              Would this solution unite the fans? We have to find the money for Kirkby anyway so I would rather spend £40M of it on the team this summer and the other £38M on Goodison over next 18 months. Then if the team is successful we will earn the extra revenue required to complete Goodison as we go. Far less risk and we stay where we belong.

              I do not see how even the most passionate Yes voter could not accept the above as a viable solution for our future success and growth. And the fans will be united again.

              Reader Comments

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              Gary Creaney
              1   Posted 15/05/2008 at 16:41:04

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              I’m not a voter because I didn’t qualify, and I would like to agree with everything you’re saying but I just feel that even if given this £40m, Moyes may still not be able to attract these ’next level’ players. And the reason I say that is because the top player will look at our stadium and just won’t fancy it. As much as I love old lady, its an embarassment that we let it get as old as we did.

              Its a really bad situation in that we need a better stadium to attract top players, but we need top players to help us fund a better stadium.

              We would all love Goodison redeveloped, no matter the disruption but I just can’t see it happening.
              Jay Harris
              2   Posted 15/05/2008 at 17:23:03

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              Gary do you really have such a low opinion of GP.

              IMO there are only 3 superior grounds in the prem:

              Old Trafford
              St James Park
              Eastlands.

              The majority are also smaller capacity than GP. Now I understand the argument over facilities and restricted views but I would not even swap current GP (let alone a redeveloped GP) with the monstrosity that is proposed in Kirkby.
              EJ Ruane
              3   Posted 15/05/2008 at 16:53:27

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              With you aaaaaaaall the way Paul.

              I have another reason for wanting to re-develop Goodison.

              Besides all my own personal, emotional, illogical attachments, there IS a logical reason.

              Ok, we now know we are playing in a division-within-a-divisions (a second division?).

              This is because the ’big’ 4 teams above us have a huge financial advantage, which allows them the luxury to....for instance...off the top of my head...buy maybe the best player we’ve ever produced (JUST an example!)

              Anyway my point is they seem to hold all the aces.

              But DO they? (have em’ all I mean).

              Well I’m not suggesting Goodison terrifies the opposition all the time, or guarantees wins or goals, but according to certain players, coaches etc, it can help us, sometimes ’even things up’

              Something I NEVER hear about the Reebok (which, make NO mistake, is what we’ll be getting in Kirkby...slightly bigger, but a Barrs design-and-build shithole for that money)

              Anyway, here’s a few quotes.

              "That’s why I love to play them, and especially at Goodison Park where the atmosphere is magnificent" - Jose Mourinho, 20th December 2006

              "Games like this are something special. It’s a massive occasion and the spectators make so much noise. But nobody enjoyed the trip to Everton.’ - Daniel Agger, 2nd February 2007

              "When we came out for the second half against Bayern Munich the roar literally made my hair stand on end." - Derek Mountfield

              "I made my debut at Goodison against Stoke and was standing in the tunnel waiting to go onto the pitch. Z cars started playing on the PA and I heard the crowd roar. If I could bottle a moment and save it forever, then that would be it." - Alan Harper

              ?During my time at Everton, Goodison Park came to feel like a second home, with the supporters of the club, and the people of the city becoming a second family to me. If you were to take Everton out of the city, I firmly believe the club could no longer call itself the People?s Club and I give my whole-hearted support to the campaign to keep Everton in the city.? - Duncan Ferguson - Liverpool Echo 05/04/2007

              "I left Everton Football Club in 1968. But I can honestly say that Everton has never left me. Most professional footballers embrace some sort of superstitions. But I am the sort of person who can walk into a room and immediately sense vibes about a place - and when I first walked into Goodison Park in November 1960 I could feel something almost spiritual. People may say that that’s just so much mumbo jumbo, but I still get that feeling whenever I go back. Everton possesses a kind of magic - and it is a magic generated by the quality of players who have graced the stadium over the past 125 years." - Alex Young - The School of Science book

              Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said of Frank Lampard: "He is a very important player and this is why he is getting big awards in Europe. The way we play helps him get into the box and he arrived at the right moment to score the equaliser for us. Goodison Park is a very difficult place to come at any time and this is a good result for us. - After our FA cup draw last season

              "Everton are a bigger club than Liverpool. Everywhere you go on Merseyside you bump into Everton supporters." - Graeme Souness

              "Once Everton has touched you nothing will be the same" - Alan Ball

              "The atmosphere was tense in Liverpool that day, the worst before which I have ever played ? there always seems to be a threatening attitude at Everton, a vicious undertone to their remarks." - Jack Charlton.

              "Everton are as tough as they come at home and the atmosphere generated by fans on their own patch can be as underrated and intimidating as anywhere in the league" - Chris Coleman.

              Etc etc.

              Plus I’ve heard Ferguson AND Wenger both intimate Goodison is more intimidating than Anfield.

              Now of course this doesn’t mean a new ground wouldn’t have that intimidation factor....but it doesn’t mean it WOULD either.

              Me?

              I don’t want to risk losing one of the few ’advantages’ we seem to have.

              Two in the bush?

              I’ll stick to the bird in my hand



              Andy Crooks
              4   Posted 15/05/2008 at 18:35:13

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              Where are all the new fans coming from to fill a new stadium at Kirby? Where is all the additional non footballing revenue going to come from? Do conference centres really make multi-million pound profits? The Premier League bubble is going to burst. Turnover does not come close to justifying the insane wages. So,do we really want to be in the middle of a risky, and not particularily popular move, when things start to fall apart? I think that a gradual redevelopment of Goodison Park ? one that can be put on hold if finances become precarious ? is a safer way forward.
              Chad Schofield
              5   Posted 15/05/2008 at 18:24:26

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              Fantastic EJ Ruane, literally welled up with pride reading some of those quotes. Paul, you’re absolutely right, and I’d love it if we did this... great descriptive post.

              Gary I’m not going to berate you, as you’re entitled to your opinion. There are a great many factors which attract players to clubs. Obviously there’s money, possible trophies/accolades, European football, first team football, manager, the team, the fans, geography, aspiration/ambition from both club and player, etc... and then one of the things that you can not buy, heritage. Of course it’s rare that one of these factors is the absolute crunch (unless you’re Unsworth :). We have a great deal going for us, and I personally beleive that Our History does have a huge affect on potential signings. I remember Beatie’s (OK, not best to choose) face lighting up when he was at Goodison before he signed. Think of the memories we’d be leaving, and yes if we were getting an "Emerites" (which we obviously can’t afford) then you could see the logic... but having read and read, I just can’t see this Kirkby deal being good for Everton.
              I’m not a property expert or a financial wizard, and I have said a new stadium would be great... but I don’t see how we’d find the funds realistically, but then I don’t see Kirkby coming in at the new £78M... irregardless of over inflated naming rights and ludicrous land estimates for an area which has been refused residential planning, when most investors seem to be bracing themselves for an economic bumpy ride.
              The cases for not going to Kirkby have been detailed far more eloquently than my rambling mess here, but in the same way that a player chooses their club, don’t just look at one angle, try and look at both sides and ask yourselves who stands to gain what from the Deal of The Centaury. Is Kaka really going to say no if Barca do go in for him and contemplate coming to us (again with the great examples!) because The Tesco Value Stadium’s going to be newer than the Nou Camp?
              Paul Gladwell
              6   Posted 15/05/2008 at 19:42:03

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              I looked the other day at Dixies picture of goal number 60 and there was the timeless classic the Archibald Leitch criss-cross in the background (Rangers still have it too). It made me think of the aura and history we are throwing away and as stated by Chad if we were getting an Emirates in the city then fair enough you would have to agree to it but we are throwing all this away for a bigger version of the Reebok, is that right?

              Then I watched the trailer for the Dixie film and it put a lump in my throat watching the tens of thousands ambushing the stage coach outside Lime street, then you think the next time we win the cup we won't be there standing in the footsteps of legends, we will be at Kirkby Town Hall... absolutely unbelievable. Thank you for tearing people's hearts apart, Bill.

              Mick Gallagher
              7   Posted 15/05/2008 at 19:53:04

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              Agree with you Paul, but we haven?t got the £78 mill to start with. We only get it from selling whatever we have left that's not already re-mortgaged and the so-called naming rights. Hopefully Moyes will be given the funds he needs to move us on again.
              Rich Jones
              8   Posted 15/05/2008 at 20:52:03

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              I'm sorry guys, but we?ve done nothing to stop it happening; if we loose our city status, we have no-one to blame but ourselves. If we?d have wanted we could have stoped them but we didn?t. I think it?s too late, the only thing that will stop it now is a change of heart (fat chance) or the government calling it in.
              Gary Creaney
              9   Posted 16/05/2008 at 08:44:31

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              Jay and Chad, just to clarify what I have written in my post I love GP but unfortunately I don’t think Andrei Arshavin or whoever would feel the same. Also to clarify, I think the move to Kirkby is a disaster. I only want a redeveloped GP but if we have to move it should not involve the submission of the city.
              Michael Wylie
              10   Posted 16/05/2008 at 10:02:21

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              Whats a club without its home and soul. I’d rather be in divisions 2 ,3 or 4 without the money and have a home not an aifix kit in a souless backwater.
              Andy Hudson
              11   Posted 16/05/2008 at 10:27:17

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              I actually disagree with those who say top players wont want to play at Goodison. The atmosphere and passion are what makes our league so appealing to foreign players. This is usually generated by teams with old or redeveloped stadiums. The 2 best examples of stadiums in the country in my opinion are Old Trafford and St James’. Both have been extensively re-developed and are great stadiums. The teams who have moved are known to lose a lot of the atmosphere of their old grounds. I for one would much rather stay and re-develop Goodison despite the cost then move to some average tesco dome on the outskirts.
              Chad Schofield
              12   Posted 16/05/2008 at 10:20:46

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              Hi Gary,
              I attempted to say before I rambled on and on, that it wasn?t a personal attack on you. I was stating that in my opinon GP, with it?s rich history, represents a major asset rather than an embarrassing relic.
              Paul Coldock
              13   Posted 16/05/2008 at 12:49:35

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              Michael Wylie, I agree fully. A lot of the people in favour of moving to Kirkby have stated that in order to move on (financially), we need to move out.

              I would rather we keep GP (even if it means a collapse a la Leeds United), than sell our soul

              What price for our Soul?
              Gavin Ramejkis
              14   Posted 16/05/2008 at 14:08:30

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              Just like to chip in that regularly questioned fans around the country love GP for it’s atmosphere and tradition and since when would a player sit in the stadium beyond the bench or director’s area? It can and should be redeveloped, we are tangibly close to breaking into the bigger prize in European football and some business acumen would see a gradual redevelopment as the way forward, a self financing project; increase Park End capacity and the new seats in that tier alone would outnumber the Glwadys Street obstructed views, the season after The Glwadys gets reworked and already you have a 50k stadia, regular European and top tier performances would attract the bums on seats to pay for the rebuilding in phased blocks.
              Declan McCarthy
              15   Posted 16/05/2008 at 17:10:56

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              I think some time we had a post about our beloved Croke Park here in Dublin, I know we love GP I can also let you know that people all over Ireland love Croke Park here as well, the really good part it was redeveloped in the city and it will always remain here, there is no reason as why GP can’t be redeveloped, yes it will take time but I believe it is the right thing to do, why can’t we have naming rights for a new GP? and other ways of increasing revenue, We belong in the city, we have our history here and you have your roots. We all have our opinion on this subject I can only state mine’ a redeveloped GP would be the best thing for us, if you ever get the chance to visit Croke Park when in Dublin, do so, it really is a world class stadium and yes you can enjoy the Guinness as swell, as a Dublin supporter as well I could not imagine Croke Park outside of our city, it would be too painful!!!

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