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Please don't take my Everton away

By Louis Platt :  19/05/2008 :  Comments (51) :

In August 2007, the Everton board dispatched over 35,000 ballot forms to fans to gauge opinion on whether Everton should relocate away from Goodison Park. The club told anyone that would listen that they were allowing the fans to make the choice and how they were the first club to do so. They failed to mention the inclusion of a glossy brochure highlighting the benefits of relocating to a new stadium and none of the detriments to deter fans from voting no to the proposed move. The ?Keep Everton in the City? (KEIOC ? pronounced ?key-ock?) campaign asked the club to include documentation that would allow fans to make a more informed vote, their request was declined.

David Prentice, the sports editor of the Liverpool Echo declared in vain that it wasn?t a vote, but in fact ?a decree?.

During the voting period, propaganda was released through the local media knocking the tragic tale of Madeline McCann off the front page telling chilling tales of how Goodison Park would fall down and would fail to obtain a safety certificate. Conversely the author of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds and Aston Villa fan Simon Inglis also had an article in the Liverpool Echo published advising Evertonians to demand proof that this was the case. His exact words were ?If I were an Everton fan, before signing up to the Kirkby proposals I would want to see clearly defined evidence that Goodison Park is no longer viable, and that all possible alternative sites within the city have been studied. If such evidence is not made publicly available then no supporter can hope to make a properly informed judgement.?.

Another story that was published in the Daily Post that Grosvenor were going to oppose a scheme that fans were putting together to build a stadium near the city centre with the help of the landowners, a world renown stadium specialist and the city council. The next day they printed a retraction as Liverpool One?s CEO had told them they would only object if it involved retail.

Even the media-friendly Professor Tom Cannon clambered to get in on the scaremongering act, telling us all how Everton could become the new Marine unless we move and how Tesco as a public company could put more money into a stadium development than a private company who own a concrete manufacturer and a bank!

The less said about Dominic King?s in the Liverpool Echo article citing the benefits of moving a stadium like the Ricoh Arena, the better.

The results of the vote were leaked to and announced by Sky Sports the night before they were officially released, which incidentally fell on Goodison Park?s 115th Anniversary. I still can?t decide whether the date was apt or ill-fitting. Some have claimed that this information was leaked to ?soften the blow? of Everton relocating to Knowsley.

I am from another neighbouring borough (Wirral) and have always considered Everton to be a Liverpool team. Those who live in Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley etc. consider Tranmere Rovers to be a Wirral team and those from farther a field consider Tranmere to be Liverpool?s third team largely because they do not where Birkenhead is. The chorus of ?Merseyside, Merseyside? from the 1989 FA Cup Final is more to do with a distaste for chanting for ?Liverpool, Liverpool? than anything else!

There has been a great division in the Evertonian family since the vote was announced, there are those who wish for Everton to stay within the city boundary and those who wish to see the club relocated to a neighbouring borough. All have differing reasons for basing their opinion on.

Those who want to remain in the city of the Liverpool are deemed ?luddites? and ?neanderthals? by those who wish for Everton to build a new stadium in Kirkby as part of the Tesco lead development called ?Destination Kirkby?. Likewise those who believe that relocating to Kirkby have been referred to as ?yes men? and ?sheep?. The relationship between the ?yes voters? and ?no voters? has not been helped by the presence of individuals employed by ?Destination Kirkby? project partners with the sole intention of repeating pro-relocation propaganda to the fans and residents of Kirkby.

As I type this, there are investigations involving a promotional Destination Kirkby ?once in a lifetime opportunity? DVD given to Kirkby residents two days before the local elections. There have been allegations made that the DVD was created to influence votes especially as the twp opposition parties to the current council are opposed to the plans and one of those parties was born out of opposition to the ?Destination Kirkby? plans.

Tesco and their construction partners Barr are now relatively experienced in the field of stadium developments; they have helped provide a stadium for Warrington Wolves, Coventry City and Wigan Athletic. The Everton stadium project is their biggest project to date, a search for the term ?Tesco stadium? on Google would confirm this as all results on the first page relate to the Everton project. I personally hope they have bitten off more than they can chew. At last count there were almost 4,000 objections to the scheme as a whole.

Kirkby is a new town; it is seven miles from Liverpool city centre and four miles as the crow flies from Goodison Park. It was formed under forty years ago as an overspill for residents who moved from their homes around the Scotland Road in the Everton district (near the city centre) through choice or otherwise. There is no question about it, Kirkby is a scouse heartland; the people in Kirkby speak with a stronger scouse accent than most residents within Liverpool?s city boundary. A scouse location does not mean it is a good location. There are other factors.

Providing Everton FC have the funds or at least a method to access the required funds to build a new stadium that the bulk of match going fans can easily and quickly travel to and it won?t endanger the club short or long-term then I have no problem leaving Goodison Park. The reason I started to support Everton in the first place was because Goodison Park was easier to travel to for me than Prenton Park despite being almost twice as far away from my home.

The questions should be along the lines of:

Can Kirkby cope with the demands of a 50,000 capacity stadium (the capacity is 8,000 more than the town?s population)?

Will the benefits of a newly built stadium in Kirkby over Goodison Park be worth the money spent on consultancy fees, construction costs and interest on loans?

According to the KEIOC website, the club?s Chief Executive has identified several problems with Goodison Park as it stands:

  • 10% of the Stadium seating has an obstructed view if the goal area;
  • Approximately 12,000 of the 40,000 seats (30%) have an obstructed view of the playing area.
  • Poor Car Parking facilities within the vicinity of the stadium;
  • There is no lateral movement within the stadium;
  • Three sides of the stadium are on the public highway which equates to poor access and movement around the stadium;
  • Lack of corporate facilities within all stands, and views of designated areas in the Main Stand;
  • Lack of Executive Boxes and facilities, each corporate entertainment area is served by separate back of house facilities due to the piecemeal way in which it has been developed, which is inefficient;
  • Poor press facilities;
  • Poor facilities for team and coaching staff (Dressing rooms, Tunnel, Doping room, Interview areas, Players Lounge);
  • Poor facilities for briefing/staff area for match day Stewards;
  • No remote ticket collection point, the ticket collection point is too close to the Visiting Supporters collection point, on night matches this requires an added police presence;
  • Small Concourse area, poor ground bar areas, poor toilet facilities; · The stadium structure needs constant maintenance, painting and roof repair work required annually;
  • Poor facilities for the disabled;
  • Poor TV / Press facilities, (Gantry, TV Commentary area, Press box, Sky Box, Interview areas, No Press Mixed Zone Area, Camera Positions);
  • Lack of office space for the Administration Staff, staff detached from each other in different areas within the stadium and within the vicinity.
  • Dugout area is small, with lack of space surrounding for overflow of staff, medical staff, press and players
  • Poor Entertainment facilities

The bulk of the above problems can be fixed with one new stand and bizarrely some will still not be addressed if we do move to Kirkby. I?ve read that the houses and scrap yard behind the Bullens Road stand would cost less than £12million to purchase (providing the landlords wish to sell), why are the club not following this up? If they had followed this up and it wasn?t available they would have told us because it would have been another material consideration for them to put in the planning application.

If that land is acquired there really would be no stopping us at Goodison Park, especially with plans afoot to reopen the Bootle railway line. Goodison Park could have its very own railway station on Walton Lane (possibly in addition to the planned Spellow station).

How will fans get to a new stadium?

Are there good public transport links and easily accessible parking facilities readily available?

When Keith Wyness was at his hometown club Aberdeen, he made a reputation for himself as outspoken and bullish; he chastised the old firm teams. He once told Aberdeen fans that they had to relocate away from Pittodrie for safety reasons and that it would not be possible to host UEFA cup games there. This season Aberdeen hosted UEFA Cup games at Pittodrie against Dnipro, Lokomotiv Moscow, FC Copenhagen and Bayern Munich without incident. I can sense a growing trend.

Here at Everton, he is forging himself a reputation as a hypocritical businessman out of depth and out of sync with many fans.

  • Hypocritical because he described the old firm teams as ?two old girls in Sauchiehall Street, raising their skirts to any league that walks past? yet vehemently supported plans to hold a 39th premier league game abroad to increase revenue.
  • Out of his depth because he followed David Moyes? example in having an x-year plan for business targets and since September 2004 still has not reached any targets.
  • Out of sync with fans because of his intentions to see a 39th premiership game introduced despite the majority not wanting it. The same can be said for the ground move.

The plans for the Kirkby project told of Knowsley Council?s intentions to remarket themselves as the home of Everton FC. This can only have calamitous consequences for the club as Liverpool as a city is a much bigger brand than Knowsley.

We need to seize this opportunity. Apparently, there is a sign at Liverpool Airport that reads ?Welcome to Liverpool ? home of Liverpool and the Beatles?. It would take one phone call from somebody at the club to have it amended if it is true. There needs to be a real presence of Everton FC in Liverpool regardless if we stay or not. We need to because you can be sure that Liverpool will be planning to do exactly the same especially if we move to Kirkby.

In my opinion the club should be doing all they can to really drive home that Everton are part of this city. There needs to be more maps and street signs indicating how to the stadium, how many of you have been at Lime Street station or in the city centre prior to a game to be asked by an away fan how do you get to Goodison Park? They shouldn?t have to ask, it should be obvious.

There should be streets named after former greats, both players and managers. There is already a university named after John Moores, why stop there?

At present Goodison Park and the nearby club shop are the only presence the club has in the city (Prince Ruperts Tower will remain in Everton although this is not managed by the club), the rest have all been relocated to Knowsley. We are slowly becoming a Knowsley club. Before your very eyes, we are becoming a Knowsley club.

The training academy has been moved from Bellefield to Finch Farm along with the academy from Netherton. The Everton in the Community charity are currently searching for suitable premises in Knowsley. The reserves currently play already play outside of the city at the Halton Stadium near Widnes and there are plans in place that would see them play their home games in Kirkby should the groundmove go ahead. There are strong rumours that the club are looking to open a coaching college on the former site of Cronton?s Colliery. Should the Kirkby project become a reality Everton will have no presence in Liverpool. I?ll repeat that, Everton will have no presence in Liverpool.

The ilk of Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers will be most envious of Everton because they are based in a prominent city that is known world wide and alarmingly the current custodians of the club are willing to throw it all away to build an out of town stadium, an idea first floated by Sir Terry Leahy of Tesco to help his company succeed in obtaining planning permission for a supermarket! This is not a reciprocal relationship, Everton are prepared to pay £78million plus interest in a stake for a stadium that is for Tesco?s benefit. It really is no wonder that Tesco can?t rush this through fast enough.

Everton FC should not be forced into a conurbation on the outskirts because the current custodians do not have either the vision or foresight to redevelop Goodison Park or the ability deliver a new stadium on their own that is easily accessible by a minimum 50,000 Evertonians.

As I have stated many times before, Everton is the city?s premier team. Everton are the currently the country?s fourth most successful team and fifth biggest no-matter what a perm-less Kevin Keegan has to say. They were founders of the football league, founders of the world famous Premier League, Everton are pioneers of the modern game, who introduced dugouts, under soil heating, kit numbers and multi-tier stands to the British game? The Black Watch, the School of Science, the Mersey Millionaires, Everton FC - That?s who!

Reader Comments

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Gerard Madden
1   Posted 19/05/2008 at 17:40:35

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Jeez....Yet another "The world revolves around me" weepie - the remaining few ’no’s think only of ’me me me’ when the wider fanbase through the clubs ballot and the lack of protests over an entire season (apart from the couple o’ dozen...once! ) have long moved on. ;)
Phil Bellis
2   Posted 19/05/2008 at 17:58:00

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Hi Geggsie!
How did you get on down County Rd on Sunday? I presume you DID take up the offer of an escorted reintroduction to the ’real world’ of Evertonia? If so, did you manage to win over the anti-Kirkby Blues with your visionary, yet myopic party-line prepared statements?
Gerard Madden
3   Posted 19/05/2008 at 18:15:57

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Nah Phyllis, I decided to avoid the dreadful ’County Road Experience’ once again with its hygiene questionable chippies and pissy ale pubs. I observed yet another protest-free day though - just like all the others. ;)
Andy Crooks
4   Posted 19/05/2008 at 18:18:03

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Greg, you?ve made a strong well argued case. Have to say I?m pretty disappointed at the response from Gerard and Phil. The redevelopment of GP is at least worthy of reasonable debate.
Paul Columb
5   Posted 19/05/2008 at 18:18:40

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Seriously Mr Madden...please include an attachment of your pay stub(s) to your next entry. You on the take from EFC, LFC, Tesco or the lot. Nice article Louis.
Frank Davis
6   Posted 19/05/2008 at 18:44:08

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I agree with Madden, these articles are getting tiresome. I suppose they won't die down until the first spade has been stabbed into Kirkby's soil though, so the likes of Madden should be used to it by now.
Adam Cunliffe
7   Posted 19/05/2008 at 18:22:54

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Gerrard now I know you are a blue and have an opinion on the ground move but the No voters dont think, "The world revolves around me". I know you won?t listen and FFS it might sound hypocritical of me because im against name calling but you really are an ignorant, rude person. The arguments are there to be seen:

£78 mill (NOT FREE)
In Kirby (OUT THE CITY)
Shit transport
50 000 (NOT NEARLY ENOUGH FOR THE FUTURE)
Mid-Range(WILL HAVE THE SAME PROBLEMS AS GP IN 50 YEARS TIME)

The list is fucking endless and they are just a few people's concerns.

I've said it before and I?ll say it again, in 15 years or so I want to take my kids to a stadium fit for a team like Everton. A stadium with atmosphere, a stadium unlike any others in the world. GP is one of a kind. Kirkby will have nothing than what Goodison has now. A few more seats and cold Chang. Who gives a fuck?

I have many memories of Goodison and I?m not prepared to throw them away for a MID RANGE heap of junk. Goodison has crap fascilitie but like I say we go there 19 times a year for about 2 hours. We?ll fucking manage till the real "ONCE IN A LIFETIME" stadium comes along.

And as for protest, why not arrange one for a pre season friendly. We won't be affecting player morale as the season wont of started and the board will have to take note.

It's just a thought.

SO... Gerrard, stop bad mouthing the No?s. Just because you're prepared to give up Goodison doesn't mean to say that you can belittle those who arent and contary to popular opinion, there is a lot who feel just like me.

And as for bad-mouthing County Road, it's a heartland of Evertonians so there is no need to skit it or anyone who comes from there.

It might be difficult to get all this in your ignorant skull, but you need tellimg. If you won't face facts that's your problem but don't call us when we don't agree.
Billy Meredew
8   Posted 19/05/2008 at 18:56:46

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Measured article which contains nothing new or surprising and it doesn't rant, but I tend to agree with Frank and Gerard, we?ve seen it all before.
John Lloyd
9   Posted 19/05/2008 at 19:05:36

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This comment isn't gonna be reasoned or as well written as most of the pieces around this move but fuck it, Gerrard Madden, you stuck-up tit, you?ve properly wound me up with your dismissive comments.

The ?County Road experience? with its shitty pubs & pissy chippies has been part of my matchday & thousands of other Evertonians matchday since my grandad was going, Who the fuck are you to dismiss it like that?? I don't mind if you want 1st class snobby bars, that is your preference but I (like thousands of others) enjoy County Road, going the bookies, having a pint with other blues, before sauntering to the ground, before heading back there to (hopefully) celebrate a victory with my mates.

I work hard all week to afford that fucking priviledge & if this disaster of a move comes off, I will for one be fucking gutted that that part of my life is over. So don't be such an arrogant prick & come on here spouting your shite about stuff you obviously don't care for, cos others do.

Soft get.
Paul Gladwell
10   Posted 19/05/2008 at 19:07:23

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I was on KEIOC website and there is another Gerrard madman but he is actually against Kirkby, So who is this wind up merchant man of many names?
One things for certain he cannot join in a simple debate without sarcasm and nasty shouts and if it was not for kirkby no debates he would not have any debates as he never comments on team affairs in other threads.
Phil Bellis
11   Posted 19/05/2008 at 19:16:28

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Andy

G Madden doesn’t do reasonable debate, as evinced by his retort. He just spouts the official line ad nauseum.
He’s never taken up anyone on offers to find out how ’grass-roots’ support feels.
I’m convinced he’s a nom-de-plume for someone at EFC, an Ian Ross yucca or Keith Wyness busy lizzie. A club plant
Paul Gladwell
12   Posted 19/05/2008 at 19:31:14

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John mate the reason he comes on here is to get cheap thrills from responses like yours, just try not to let the cyber nerd get to you, because everyone on this site agrees with you.
Denys Jones
13   Posted 19/05/2008 at 19:49:40

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XXIV

The Bus Fare to Kirkby

How much is the bus fare from Walton to Kirkby?
How long would it take to ride there on a bike?
Or what if you chose to roll up in a taxi?
Would you have enough change left to buy half a pint?

How much is a bottle of Smirnoff in Moscow?
Don?t know, never been there, and neither have you.
I s?pose you can get it for lots less at Tesco.
Couldn?t say, but I?ll tell you if we ever move.

How many Bluenoses are really for leaving?
Do they truly outnumber all those who say No?
I wonder, in ten years, just who will be grieving ?
The ones who say stay or the ones who say go?

How much would it cost to revamp the Old Lady?
Is the idea so bad? Is it really not on?
Some say the suggestion is totally crazy,
While others shrug shoulders and sigh ?Can?t be done.?

What price can you put on a century of history?
And what is the cost of a riven fan-base?
Why on earth we should move to myself is a mystery.
I don?t think ?We gotta get outta this place!?

I say we should stay put, stick here in our city,
Not uproot to Kirkby ? a leap in the dark.
I?d rather we played in dear, tumbledown Goody.
We can?t ply our trade in a Retail Park!


16/5/08
Denys E. W. Jones
www.footballpoets.org
Dave Wilson
14   Posted 19/05/2008 at 19:07:18

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Thousands and thousands of proper Evertonians enjoyed a refreshing drink in the scorching heat on County Rd last week, they were joined by with countless Geordies, all apreciating the fact that nowhere, absolutely nowhere else in the UK, can they travel to an opposing ground and be allowed to enjoy the hospitality of so many welcoming pubs.

It's such a pity that anyone claiming to go to Kirkby with a couple of No voters then going back to the GP would probably have missed it, so too would anybody claiming they went to Kikby with two No voters then went back to the Cabbage ? to meet with six Yes voting mates, THEN went to GP and searched for protest, would definitely have missed it.
No wonder thousands of people seemed to be having such a a good time.

Great article Louis, don't get discouraged by regurgitated twaddle spouted by imposters.

Tom Hughes
15   Posted 19/05/2008 at 19:49:01

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Gerard,
"remaining few"? You use that a lot don?t you?

This comes from a fella that has to post on several websites under different names just to try to make his view look like it has any backing at all (long since found out on here and elsewhere). He talks of County Rd?s poor pubs etc yet drinks on Breck Rd (He says) to avoid other?s offers for him to test his "remaining few" theories. He obviously never attends any real Everton supporters pubs/functions.

Yet another solid article that GM cannot touch in terms of its content or points made.
Bilbo Baggins
16   Posted 19/05/2008 at 21:23:33

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I am sure Bully said there would be a spade in the ground in May.............Crunch time for Everton, show Knowsley the colour of your money or its back to LCC with cap in hand ..... HOW EMBARRASSING!!!
Rob Jones
17   Posted 19/05/2008 at 22:20:32

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On your point about the brochure, when you recieved your slips and vouchers for the local elections did you see any comments inside it that could put the vote against them? No, the simple fact is as long as there is polls, ballots etc. the creator will always try to persuade you round to their point of view unless they are neutral, live with it!
Pat Domingo
18   Posted 19/05/2008 at 22:49:08

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Louis, there?s virtually nothing new or original to say about the debate after so long. And your article is not new or original. You take 3,000 words to say sod all. Get back to work.
Mick Gallgher
19   Posted 19/05/2008 at 22:54:10

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Madden go and eat your prawn sarnies. Fuck all wrong with County Road alehouses and chippies.
Tony Williams
20   Posted 20/05/2008 at 00:05:54

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I agree with Mick in that there is nowt wrong with County Road, Orry?s is the bar I frequent before the games, cracking pints and a great atmosphere. However, I do agree in essence with Madden?s post and a few others, in that the Kirkby-induced post number 2548 doesn?t add anything new to the debate ? it is just another person?s individual view on a subject that has been done to death and will continue to do so.
Jay Harris
21   Posted 20/05/2008 at 00:04:18

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All these people that run down GP and its surroundings need to get a life.

The pubs, chippies and glorious GP have been around for a lot longer than most of us and have provided memories that may be matched (hopefully) but will never be surpassed.

FYI GP is not about to fall down or be closed down.
Christine Foster
22   Posted 20/05/2008 at 03:31:47

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Louis, a well written and comprehensive overview of many of the issues surrounding the Kirkby debate. We may have heard it all in different places but very well put together,

And Gerrard, don?t go away.. quite like seeing your wind up comments, they inspire me and others to continue to press for what's best for our club. My vision for EFC is not yours. I can live with that. But it's about time you dropped the sarcastic smart-arse comments and added to the debate instead of trying to wind people up. Because that's all you are.. got your measure.. You're a wind-up merchant.
Bob Turner
23   Posted 20/05/2008 at 06:27:24

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Christine

In your sentence, "they inspire me and others to continue to press for what’s best for our club", I think you missed out "what we believe is" before the "best for our club" bit.

As someone who is in favour of the move to Kirkby, this is something which personally winds me up - the inference, explicit or otherwise, that you know best.

As has been said before, the "No" voters would have a lot more influence in persuading "Yes" voters that this is not necessarily the best move right now if it didn’t come across as "We know what’s best for this club, and you are wrong/stupid/in love with BK for believing otherwise".

If you asked all the fans what is best for the club, who should play, who should manage, what price the beers should be, etc etc etc, you will get thousands of different answers, and no organisation can operate without a single point of leadership - otherwise we have anarchy. Love him or hate him, this is BK.

No-one knows what best for the club in terms of moving to Kirkby, staying at GP or otherwise, as no-one can see into the future.

All I know is, if everyone who currently attends GP went to Kirkby, despite their misgivings, we’d have a lot more chance of the move being successful.
Dave Wilson
24   Posted 20/05/2008 at 06:59:44

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Bob,
You complain to Christine, for inferring that she and other yes voters claim to "know best" Then you conclude your post by saying "all I know is if everyone who currently attends GP went to Kirkby, we?d have a lot more chance of the move being successful "
How do you KNOW?

Do you think a move to Kirkby would have proved to be a succes with average gates of of 36,000 ? 14,000 empty seats? Or do you believe we?ll suddenly aquire 14,000 -rising to 24,000 for anyone dim enough to listen to Madden ? new fans ?

The minute you say "all I KNOW" you become guilty of the very thing you claim winds you up, the inference being it's really you that KNOWS best!

Tom Hughes
25   Posted 20/05/2008 at 07:10:39

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Bob,
Hiding behind the "no-one knows" this or that is not really addressing the points that have been made by Louis.

With respect, it?s not condescending of anyone to state their misgivings in bullet points, yet it might be considered so to continually ignore them all and make irrelevant remarks concerning the price of beer etc etc or anarchy. It isn?t anarchy to question decisions..... far from it!

Whilst there are plenty of unknowns and imponderables, there are also several quantifiable aspects of Kirkby and certainly GP, and valid comparisons can be made of for instance.... what is now on the table and how that relates (or more to the point doesn?t) to what was originally offered at the vote, and furthermore what could be achieved at GP with this whole new set of parameters.

I think most "no-voting" blues have expressed why they are against Kirkby..... You state that you are for it, but not why! Perhaps you could start by giving us your reasoning, then maybe we will see things your way.
Tony Williams
26   Posted 20/05/2008 at 08:51:16

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Dave, I think you have missed the point there. Bob has stated that the move would have a better "chance", he has not inferred that it would be successful but more likely if everyone went.

It?s not difficult to predict if sometnign will be successful if you have the figures in front of you. If the 36,000 fans all go to wherever we end up it will obviously be more successful than if only 26,000 went.

He was not talking about on the pitch success but the move itself.

Possibly looking for an argument/debate where there isn?t one and you have also given weight to his statement about "No" voters believing their view is the right one with your "dim enough" comment.
Christine Foster
27   Posted 20/05/2008 at 09:16:32

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OK.. I am not sure if I can spell it out in clearer words than this.

What is best for our club as any business is clearly defined objectives that are well costed and well reasoned. This would indicate good management.

I don?t care how you want to cut it, but the issues regarding Kirkby are not JUST the No vote and the reasons for why the site may or may not be wrong. It's the management credibility of the actions of the club at the onset, during and NOW in the whole process.

My point is that the decisions and statements that have been made by the CEO and yes even by BK from the onset have been PROVEN to be wrong, untrue or without credibility.

My point therefore is not a moan about the KIrkby Stadium but the appalling way the the management of the club has performed throughout the whole process. If a corporate business was run in such a way shareholders would be demanding answers, heads would roll and people would be held accountable.

Its called Performance Management. The be-all and end-all is NOT the club's position in the league. It's the financial decisions made that affect its debt and longer term sustainability. The Manager is responsible for the team's position in the league. The CEO and the Board of Directors are responsible for the club's financial decisions and balance sheet.

So can any Yes voters tell me why KW retains any credibility for his statements? For his Performance??

Can any Yes voter, after reading the statements made by the individuals concerned and seeing the actual numbers or status of the club or its much vaunted move to Kirkby, sit there and say that its still a great deal?

Does it not raise even the slightest doubt in terms of the ability of those making the statements to be accurate, truthful or complete?

It goes one step higher than Kirkby. It's fundemental to running a good ship. It's all about doing what you say you will do and being accountable. Something as of yet we have not been able to see.

It's about personal and management credibility. Or the lack of it.

EJ Ruane
28   Posted 20/05/2008 at 09:39:39

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Christ almighty!

Gerard Madden (that real person who is nothing to do with Tesco and/or Everton...HONEST!) couldn’t even wait for a couple of people to post before he dived in.

His bottle genuinely seems to go, if anyone posts anything that even hints of not being happy about Kirkby.

The funniest thing is that he tries to appear cool and unconcerned about the whole issue.

Sorry, but there are baboons in heat (not the mag!) who’s ring-pieces are less obvious than this feller

"The wider base have long moved on" he says.

REALLY?

Doesn’t look that way to me ’Gerard’, not on this site OR any of the others.

You CERTAINLY haven’t.

Bob Turner
29   Posted 20/05/2008 at 11:08:42

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Thanks, Tony, I was halfway through replying when I realised you’d done it for me.

Christine, I’m sorry, I don’t have the time right now to give your subsequent comment the time it deserves (not being sarky, either, honest, it’s nice to be able to debate it with someone who doesn’t assume I’m "dim"), but briefly, I think any stadium we can build without having to pay for all the costs involved is good - how good depends on how much we save.

As for assessing BK’s performance, surely we can only do that based on ALL the facts, not just what we have to go on. If we got to see, on a daily basis, what BK/KW get to see, our current interpretations of what is going on may be very different.
Phil Martin
30   Posted 20/05/2008 at 11:32:54

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Gerrard,

Protest free day? What do you expect? People to be setting fire to themselves, a letter bomb campaign?
I feel the protest will be done with the feet, and a certain amount of head scratching will take place when EFC gets smaller attendances at Kirkby then we did tat Goodison.

I hope you, BK, and Bully (plus the other 9000 pro Kirkby fans) enjoy watching the Knowsley Blues in their new dome in a few years time. You?ll be able to have a nice pie and bottle of poncey beer, then do your shopping on your way home!

Life in Kirkby sounds so much better!
Andy Crooks
31   Posted 20/05/2008 at 12:46:29

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A couple of apologies; firstly to Louis for somehow attributing your excellent article to Greg Murphy? Secondly to Phil, I?ve re-read Gerard?s comments and I think your response was entirely justified.
Dave Wilson
32   Posted 20/05/2008 at 13:13:03

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Tony Williams
think its you that missed the point, Bob clearly states "all I know " when in fact he knows nothing of the sort, he merely believes it, I disagree with that belief, I believe tha Kikrby will be a failure whether 20,000 or 36,000 people attend and we are only talking about the degree of failure, initially anyway, as I believe long term it will end in abject failure
I wasnt looking for an argument, I was merely pointing out the pot was calling the kettle black
As for no voters believing their view is the right one, of course they do, they would hardly subscribe to a view they thought was fucking wrong
Tony Williams
33   Posted 20/05/2008 at 13:51:38

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Dave I would suggest you read my post again. It is a simply matter of maths and common sense.

I will state again if 36,000 go to wherever we end up it will be more of a success than if 26,000 turn up. It’s not rocket science. I "know" that and that’s what Bob "knows", it has nothing to do with the success on the pitch but the fact that 10,000 more fans turn up and support the team this is clearly more successful than if 10,00 less turn up.

Yes you believe in your view, of course you do but your ignorance of other people’s views and attitudes is what rankles others. You feel that they must be stupid or dim because they think differently from you. Not a great way of thinking is it?
Phil Bellis
34   Posted 20/05/2008 at 13:49:50

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Thanks Andy - no problem at all.
I feel this ’move’ is the most divisive issue since 1892 and, whatever the outcome, has seriously damaged the ’togetherness’ of our fanbase. It’s an emotional thing with me, I admit, but football IS about emotions. On the other hand, I have not been persuded by the perceived ’benefits’ of this historic club leaving this city for a retail park.
If I were to look upon the move as a business decision, I would have expected heads to roll by now in any normal business where the executives have proven to be so inept, free-and-easy with the truth and downright bloody amateurish
Bob Turner
35   Posted 20/05/2008 at 18:29:43

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Tom, I have stated on numerous other threads why I believe in the move to Kirkby, and had not done so on this one because I had not been asked to, until now. I am more than happy to explain my rationale.

It revolves around the financial aspects of the new stadium. Regardless of what has and hasn’t been said, all of which has been regurgitated ad infinitum here and elsewhere, my belief is that to get a stadium built in Kirkby at a lower cost than it being built elsewhere represents a good deal - a measure of how good that deal is depends on how much we save, obviously.

My belief as to the non-financial, and more emotional, aspects to the move, concerning atmosphere, the stadium design, accessibility etc is that problems that have been raised are not as bad as have been made out. For instance, I park my car off Rice Lane every match, and walk the rest of the way, and see the traffic chaos which ensues from County Road onwards - I am not in possession of the actual numbers of people travelling along that way, but if I can beat them to Queens Drive, and almost catch them up again at the Sainsburys opposite Walton Hospital, then it doesn’t strike me as brilliant.

As regards the design, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it is a very subjective point, and there is no right or wrong.

Atmosphere - depends on how many people turn up, how much noise they make and how the players play. Again, I don’t feel that this is down to stadium location per se, it’s all about the people who are there.

My belief as to the viability of such, as I stated above, and elsewhere, depends on what the "No" voters do when push comes to shove. I have walked back home from the match during some of our darkest days, and have listened to my dad say he won’t go again - he hasn’t missed a game for30 odd years. When it comes down to the crunch, I can’t believe that the fans who clearly love the club so much will stay away, no matter how much they’re hurting, and angry at BK. Strikes me that they’ll be cutting their own nose off to spite their face - yes, it’s their choice, but they’re the ones losing out of watching their team play, so I hope they don’t take this route.

I have detailed above why I believe in the move, but contrary to what a lot of "No" voters, I am not trying to convince anyone of the correctness of my arguments, or otherwise. There is no point, as people have become far too entrenched in their opinions for me to even hope to change anyone’s mind. And nor would I want to change anyone’s mind, as everyone is entitled to their opinion.

What has got me wound up on many an occasion is 3 things (a) personalising it, so all it becomes is a slanging match with each side trying to score cheap points from the other (and I have been as guilty as anyone on this!); (b) the inference that the "No" voters are right, and that anyone who disagrees is stupid/not a true fan/in league with BK, and (c) frankly libellous accusations aimed at BK/KW that they are a "thief".

I don’t believe that I am "hiding" behind "no-one knows" - but it is true. We don’t know what goes on behind the scenes on a day to day basis, so we don’t know how close we might be coming to a "sell Ferguson or the bank forecloses" scenario as we have all seen. People have dissected Robert Earl’s involvement in underwriting a temporary loan to cover the proposed purchase of Yakubu and Fernandes, and tried to read things into it, but for me that made good commercial sense if we didn’t have the money at that specific time - would we have done what we did last season if we hadn’t signed Yakubu?

The comments about the price of beer aren’t irrelevant, this was just one of numerous decisions that the club has to make on a day by day basis to operate, and the point I was trying to make was that, if we didn’t have 1 person in charge, we would not be able to function - what organisation could effectively function if the people who post on this website all had an equal say in all of these decisions? You would have anarchy.
This I believe was addressing the point I was also trying to make about "No" voters stating that what they believe is right - you will find it difficult to get everybody to agree on everything. If you feel this was condescending, then I apologise, but I don’t feel my manner was any more condescending than most of the replies my posts have garnered, far from it. Sometimes I have replied in a like for like manner, which obviously dilutes my argument. Hopefully, I have avoided that in this post.

Right, I’ll get off my soap box now!
Dave Wilson
36   Posted 20/05/2008 at 18:44:56

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Tony Williams,
36,000 would be deemed a failure by most people - even the club - 20,000 would be deemed as abject failure by all
You see where you and Bob THINK you know your speaking about degrees of success, the rest of us - even the most passionate Yes voter - KNOW that you are in fact speaking about degrees of failure
You're right, it's not rocket science,
Try to take the time to read what I said, before jumping in and creating an argument, at no time did I call anybody stupid - you made that up - I actually said "anyone Dim enough to believe as Madden claims that we will suddenly aquire 24, 000 new fans " not aimed at anyone in particular - unless of course, there is anyone dim enough.
Gerard Madden
37   Posted 20/05/2008 at 19:24:35

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More Dave Wilson pessimism and bedraggledment! In contrast i’m very optimistic! Where on earth did ol’ Gedney say we will "suddenly aquire 24,000 new fans"? I believe we will aquire many thousands of old and new fans from Liverpool and the wider North West ’n North Wales who previously wouldnt/couldnt make it to GP with its 10,000 obstructive seats and piss poor facilities - not in keeping with modern expectations of stadia, I also believe we will retain most of the fans we’ve got already apart from a couple o’ dozen/score/hundred (*delete as appropiate) who will wish to spend their Saturday afternoons daydreaming of a once-had ’County Road Experience’ or still fuming on small messageboards rather than taking in the new enterprise just 4 miles away in a strong scouse heartland at our 50,000 (Extendable to 60,000) stadium. The first 2-3 seasons we will enjoy the ’New Stadium Effect’ - i’m absolutely certain we will see full houses at many games with one or two of the lowest gates in the mid-to-low forties, after a period of time it will be down to the team on how attendences will go - if we’re successful the good attendences will continue, if we are not they will slip back into the mid-to-late thirties range on average with still full houses for the derby, mancs etc. I’m super confident we wont slip into the 15-20,000 range we experienced a number o’ times at GP in the early 80’s! ;)
Dave Wilson
38   Posted 20/05/2008 at 19:55:05

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Gerrald , me old china plate.

When you repeatedly boasted the toilet bowl would eventually house 60,000 I assumed you meant you thought they would fill it (why the fuck go to the expense if not )
Now you confess that even you ,who laughingly claims to be an optimist expects, that if we dont challenge the big boys - after all playing in a toilet bowl will really swing tight games against the Mancs or Chelsea - crowds will drift back to mid thirties, have you got any idea what the 15,000 empty seats look like ?
Fuck knows what crowds pessimists are expecting

Still your confidence that crowds wont slip down to 15-20,000 - leaving up to 35,000 empty seats - is reassuring

Adam Cunliffe
39   Posted 20/05/2008 at 20:25:13

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Gerrard, Piss poor fascilities don’t stop me or any other devoted blue from going to the match.Kirby looks good in comparison to Goodison but Kirby in comparison to Old Trafford and it’s no contest.I tell you now, 50 or so years down the lnie we will have the same problems with Kirby as we are having with Goodison now.
Dave Wilson
40   Posted 20/05/2008 at 20:29:08

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Sorry, Gerard, make that 35,000 (extendable to 45,000) empty seats.
Arthur Jones
41   Posted 20/05/2008 at 20:12:28

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A fine article, Louis, well constructed and made without a rant that this topic tends to evoke. I completely agree with all your points made and. judging by the reaction, so do the majority of correct, honest-thinking people .
Andy Crooks
42   Posted 20/05/2008 at 21:26:36

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It seems to me that pro Kirby Evertonians tend to view themselves as pragmatists while considering those who want to redevelop GP (or at least have the prospect investigated thoroughly) to be sentimentalists at best and obstructive dinosaurs at worst. Well, I find nothing wrong with sentiment. I believe that Z-Cars at Goodison Park is a truly life affirming moment.

Having said that, I can say that if I thought that going to Kirkby was truly in the best interests of the club, then,with a heavy heart I?d be there. But I don?t. I've looked at this in an objective way and I genuinely believe that going to Kirkby would be to the detriment of Everton. Gerard talks about the lack of protest but I am not one for disruptive action and I think that there are many Evertonians who feel like me. Sites like this are one way to show our feelings and to present arguments. Louis does not deserve to dismissed and patronized for doing so.

Pete Wilson
43   Posted 20/05/2008 at 22:52:34

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Gerrard,
please prove to us all that you are not Keith Wyness, wont you come out and meet me for 1 pint?
I just cant beleive so much shit could come from any other mans mouth (fingers)

Pete Wilson
Sedley Street, Anfield
Bob Turner
44   Posted 21/05/2008 at 06:08:48

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Dave, it is clear that you are intent on misinterpreting my commnets, and despite Tony’s best efforts to explain what my comments actually mean, you have decided to put your own interpretation on them.

There is nothing else I can add, so I won’t.



Arthur, your comment that "the majority of correct , honest thinking people" agree with the main article presupposes that (a) the posters on this thread represent an accurate cross-section of Everton’s support; (b) that the "No" voters are correct (sheesh!); and (c) that the "No" voters are "honest thinking" (so a "Yes" voter is dishonest?)

Tom Hughes
45   Posted 21/05/2008 at 07:20:37

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Bob,
Thanks for reiterating your rationale.....

Unfortunately I?m mad busy so just a couple of points:

"It revolves around the financial aspects of the new stadium. ... my belief is that to get a stadium built in Kirkby at a lower cost than it being built elsewhere represents a good deal - a measure of how good that deal is depends on how much we save, obviously."

I would have thought to make any financial judgement you would also need to be furnished with costs of ALL options. How much would redevelopment of GP with 1, 2 or 3 new stands cost? What price would you put on preserving heritage/history and the the benefit of continuity? How much would the Loop site have cost? What are the additional costs of loss of convenience due to greatly diminished public transport provision at the Kirkby site? Will this affect attendances short/medium/long term?

"My belief as to the non-financial, and more emotional, aspects to the move, concerning atmosphere, the stadium design, accessibility etc is that problems that have been raised are not as bad as have been made out. For instance, I park my car off Rice Lane every match, and walk the rest of the way, and see the traffic chaos which ensues from County Road onwards - I am not in possession of the actual numbers of people travelling along that way, but if I can beat them to Queens Drive, and almost catch them up again at the Sainsburys opposite Walton Hospital, then it doesn?t strike me as brilliant."

I think you are trivialising the logistics issue..... Given your experience of the traffic going northwards after the match how do you feel this would be reflected with the Kirkby scenario when several times more people would be using these few corridors to get to Kirkby than are now? (ie the whole of the Wirral support, North/central and South Liverpool and Sefton areas with very few districts of the main conurbation with direct bus/train services to Kirkby). The misgivings of the transport plan are glaring. The very need for a park and ride scheme alone (the largest in the country) shouts foul instantly. GP doesn?t have one, nor has any other major footy stadium, because they don?t need them. Now the park and ride scheme has been shown to be unviable! There are comparison figures for stadium dispersal rates and GP is one of the best in the league.

"As regards the design, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it is a very subjective point, and there is no right or wrong."

Design judgement can be both subjective and objective... That said, there is good and bad/poor design regardless of whether you feel it can?t be right or wrong. I could certainly make a strong crit of the Kirkby proposals just from observation of the fundamentals of its format.


"Atmosphere - depends on how many people turn up, how much noise they make and how the players play. Again, I don?t feel that this is down to stadium location per se, it?s all about the people who are there."

Like you say atmosphere is very much dependent on the fans, certainly their numbers and even their density and distribution (which are design functions), but the stadium design can also greatly affect this. The Kop for instance has all the main ingredients..... take off the roof and their effectiveness is greatly reduced.
Good acoustic qualities can be designed in, and can have a massive affect.
EJ Ruane
46   Posted 21/05/2008 at 09:32:38

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Gerard Madden (that real person who is nothing to do with Tesco and/or Everton...HONEST!) says..

?I believe we will aquire many thousands of old and new fans from Liverpool and the wider North West ?n North Wales who previously wouldnt/couldnt make it to GP with its 10,000 obstructive seats and piss poor facilities - not in keeping with modern expectations of stadia, I also believe we will retain most of the fans we?ve got already apart from a couple o? dozen/score/hundred (*delete as appropiate) who will wish to spend their Saturday afternoons daydreaming of a once-had ?County Road Experience??.

With that in mind, could I say flibble wibble wibble wobble smeee smeee skreeeek!!!

(well HE started it!)
Jim Lloyd
47   Posted 21/05/2008 at 18:52:43

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Louis, excellent article. In my view, if we leave Liverpool, the ground might be ok, we might be resonably successful and, most importantly, some people might even be captivated by the exotic new football club flowering in the heart of Kirkby. But I doubt it.

We would be leaving Liverpool, just at a time when the city is becoming world famous for something other than the Beatles. The club can?t even hold any sort of event during the Capital of Culture year. When dignitaries are on official visits they are shown round Anfield but not Goodison (daily Post report a couple of weeks back.) Wyness talks of the capital of culture year as a "great advert for the Liverpool City Region." What the hell is that ?? It?s the clubs way of not taking any chances of re-igniting any public discussion about the move and saying that we would still be in some incarnation of Liverpool.

I?ve seen loads of articles on this and other sites, which have shown me that there is at least merit in the club looking at the alternatives available. All I have seen from the club are bland responses saying that they wouldn?t work... but never ay detailed analysis as to WHY they wouldn?t work.

If this club leaves Liverpool because there is NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE, then I think that lot of NO voters would say "Fair Enough" its all all we have left.

In my opinion, there are valid alternatives and that?s why so many Blues are dead set against this move.

The trouble is, what, if anything, can we do about it? Louis, and to any other No voter, would you be prepared to sign a petition, or refuse to go to GP until the club tells us all, just why all the alternatives mentioned just won?t work?

I got a letter from the club saying that I should be quick to get on the waiting list for a season ticket.I?m writing back saying that I won?t be going again until they give me a thorugh explanation why they say Kirkby is the only alternative.

The only way that the club will take any notice whatsoever of us, is if we act as the customers they believe that we are and withdraw our cash.

I already see the reds driving round with their car windows festooned with the "One City, One Club, One Flag" transfers. No wonder they are laughing at us.
Adam Cunliffe
48   Posted 21/05/2008 at 22:47:08

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The only city most red shites belong to is Bergan or Oslo.Norweigian Scum.
Jim Lloyd
49   Posted 22/05/2008 at 00:05:34

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Well Adam, by that very perceptive remark, I would guess that you are saying that there are a lot of Evertonians who come frrom this city... but we?re leaving it! As far as the rest of the world is concerned, Liverpool Football Club is the only team in this city. Is that what you want?
Adam Cunliffe
50   Posted 22/05/2008 at 07:50:12

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Jim, It?s the last thing I want and it would be digusting if it happened. Not being from Liverpool myself I can?t comment on how much stick Evertonians will get if we do (I?m going to get a load in about 1/2 an hour off a shed full of Mancs) but I still know that the move is bad for our club and our future.
Jimmy Fearns
51   Posted 22/05/2008 at 21:42:16

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Gerrard Madden , Please let us know which pubs and chippies you will be using in Kirkby as I can?t wait to try out these gastronomic delights.

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