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Groundshare ? a basis for making it work

By Ray Said :  26/05/2008 :  Comments (32) :

Let me state up front that more than anything I would prefer to stay at a refurbished Goodison Park but I can't see how it can be refurbished to provide what we need, which is a 60,000+ ground that will allow the club to reclaim its place at the top. I feel that we need to make a big step change in order to get back to where the club belongs and the way ahead is with a massive stadium that allows growth as we get more successful. The only way to get a massive stadium in this city is groundshare as groundshare makes financial sense for both city clubs

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One of the reasons against groundshare cited most often is that EFC can't afford to take part in groundhsharing a new build stadium in Stanley Park as the cost of £300 Million means EFC would need to find £150Million. Yet this reason is one of the easiest to dismiss.

A way to meet the financial cost of a 70,000-capacity new build shared ground in Stanley Park is to set up a joint holding company in which both clubs, and through the clubs both sets of shareholders, held equal amounts of shares.This holding company would go to the financial markets for the funds to build the staduim based on the model of paying the finance back from increased revenue drawn from the ground over a set term of years

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Once the finance repayment is taken out the remaining amounts could be divided on a match per match basis e.g. EFC vs Man Utd 60,000 attendance = ground receipts of £1,200,000. LFC vs Hull City attendence 30,000 = ground receipts of £600,00

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This arrangement means EFC could afford to pay their half of a massive stadium that could pave the way to a return of the days when we could compete to win trophies not just be content with 5th place and a cup run

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Reader Comments

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Michael Hunt
1   Posted 26/05/2008 at 18:38:51

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I guess it would not be easy to raise the finance in today’s market though, just look at the problems the yanks over the park are having!
Makes sense if possible though and I’m surprised either EFC or LFC board are relucant given the huge potential benefits to both clubs.
Ray Said
2   Posted 26/05/2008 at 19:05:43

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Michael
Thanks for the comments. There is no problem in raising finance for high quality projects . The so called ?credit crunch? relates to ?sub prime? or bad risk borrowers.
The yanks problem with getting finance is paying it back from only one revenue stream ? LFC home games. Groundshare would increase the revenue streams to two (both clubs' home matches) with costs staying the same and this makes it more attractive for banks to fund.
Matthew Lovekin
3   Posted 26/05/2008 at 19:21:00

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This has always been my preferred solution all along. Business-wise it is ideal, we would have the world quality stadium we need and deserve. Financially it would only be half the expected cost as LFC would pay the other half. Geographically it would be ideal for Evertonians if it were in Stanley Park.

If it were to cost us £150M, could we not get half the stadium named by our sponsor? Could we get Tesco to build on GP to contribute towards the cost or even have a Tesco Express inside our half the stadium. It is feasible and the best possible solution from a business sense.

Unfortunately, if Everton held a poll of fans to vote if they wanted to share with LFC, it?s very unlikely to happen. Too much emotion involved.
Michael Hunt
4   Posted 26/05/2008 at 19:40:52

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I hope you are right Ray and that the boards get together and come to their senses. Stanley Park is as much (more actually) Everton’s home as it is Liverpool and given the origins of the Clubs too it can be seen as the natural and best solution for all (Half blue and half red seats should be OK I suppose!) Just gotta remember to take anti-septic wipes to each game, don’t wanna reek of piss do we ;-)
John Doolan
5   Posted 26/05/2008 at 20:00:28

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For christ's sake, guys, stop going on about a groundshare. It is hugely embarrasing for two reasons. Firstly, Liverpool fans just mock your desperation; and secondly the LFC Board don't need us as either the Americans or the Arabs will come up with the money for their ground. Rick Parry may be many things but he does understand competition and he wants to crush us. Blues fans banging on about a groundshare is simply pathetic begging and will be treated with the contempt it deserves.
Michael Hunt
6   Posted 26/05/2008 at 20:09:35

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John, I think you’re wrong and it appears you care too much what the red shites say.
Groundsharing would be a big financial boost to LFC which helps them as much as us. The Yanks/Arabs are business folk and therefore want the best deal and not to throw an extra 100million plus away for the sakke of it! They are not bothered about seeking to ’crush us’ as you suggest, sadly because we are not (in their eyes) their main rivals just now i.e. Arsenal, Chelski and ManU are. Therefore the substantial financial benefit to the reds actually helps them get nearer the big three, which is what they are bothered with.
I have a deep distaste for the pinkies but because I put Everton’s interest’s first (as do LFC put their’s I’d imagine) the groundshare option is a bit of a ’no brainer’ if viable as Ray suggests.
John Doolan
7   Posted 26/05/2008 at 20:34:17

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Michael, I agree that the Americans or the Arabs probably aren't that bothered about a groundshare but you can be sure the local kopites will soon put them straight. It will be a cold day in hell before they offer us a helping hand and if we had the upper hand I would do exactly the same.
Rich Jones
8   Posted 26/05/2008 at 22:18:21

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I?m dead against going to Kirkby but I have to admit ? and call me what you like ? if we shared with Liverpool, I would want a divorce.
Harry Charles
9   Posted 26/05/2008 at 22:46:54

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It's like a full circle, over 120 years ago we were at Stanly park, then Anfield, split up and went, to Goodison. Liverpool were formed out of us, and played at our old ground. Now it's all back together at Evertons old ground... think I would rather do Goodison up too 55,000, get some new turf, and wacth the other lot rot in debt and Gerrard grow old, and never win a Prem medal.
Chris Jones
10   Posted 27/05/2008 at 00:27:16

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The Liverpool fans I know (including a season ticket holder at Anfield) think a ground share makes total sense. It would benefit both clubs massively in financial terms. And since my own extended family is split along colour lines, blue and red, I really can't understand those who think it's a total non-starter.
Jay Harris
11   Posted 27/05/2008 at 00:48:58

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Totally agree with Harry Charles.

Let?s put our 100 million into making Goodison the world class stadium it ought to be.
Michael Tracey
12   Posted 27/05/2008 at 00:44:54

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The seats could be green or silver, Hasn?t anyone sat on a red seat before? I think of all the Football Clubs in the world who could do this its Everton & Liverpool. It's only short sightedness from both sides that this is not a serious option!
Derek Thomas
13   Posted 27/05/2008 at 06:55:36

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One option could be to combine the theory of the previous post ’ Riposte to Rubles ’ aka ’ The TRUE Peoples Club ’

That keeps both bent ( or otherwise ) Billionaires and Banks to a minimum.

Although I also would like to stay at re-developed Goodison.

I can live with A Stanley Park option
James Byrne
14   Posted 27/05/2008 at 09:39:53

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As a dedicated and passionate blue all my life and a fan who has been totally against the move to Kirkby, a ground share with the RS in Stanley Park appears to be a fantastic option to have. I know it is hard to swallow and I hate them bastards as much as anyone else but financially and geographically it does make sense.

The only other option that would suit me would be to re-develop Goodison Park but we all know that won?t happen!
Colin Evans
15   Posted 27/05/2008 at 09:46:38

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Again too much negative emotion around a groundshare ... without giving it the logical, sensible consideration as a business imperative it deserves.

Some of my best mates support LFC (even my sister is sadly) ? I will have a beer with them, go to thier house for dinner... So why not share a stadium? Get real, we are all scousers. The enemy (if you have to have one) is MUFC, Chelsea etc.
Frank Perry
16   Posted 27/05/2008 at 10:03:33

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The big problem with a ground share I reckon would be the state of the pitch after a few months of constant use. It would be in use every week for Premier League games, and when cup and European games are added it would look like a swamp by about February.
Andy Loyden
17   Posted 27/05/2008 at 10:08:59

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May I take you all back to a letter in a long ago issue of WSAG.

"I wouldn?t even share a Twix with them bastards, let alone a football ground"
Ray Said
18   Posted 27/05/2008 at 11:01:30

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Interesting to read comments from the Leader of Liverpool City Council in today's Daily Post
"I?ve also been working behind the scenes on a joint Liverpool and Everton stadium. I?ve talked to the sports minister and to the NWDA and I?ve spoken to Bill Kenwright."
Rowland Monk
19   Posted 27/05/2008 at 13:10:52

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I’d like to see a groundshare. Although not unprecedented in Europe, it is in Britain. I believe it would earn us enormous respect for being the first and other clubs would eventually follow. We would be the innovators. It would give Liverpool one fantastic stadium for use in major championships and European finals.

Regarding the quality of the surface, it is rugby you’ve got to keep off the pitch. I was at the San Siro for the last game of the Italian season two weeks ago and the pitch was immaculate. Their weather may be different but it still rains a lot as it did the whole of that weekend!
Alan Willo
20   Posted 27/05/2008 at 13:12:36

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On paper it works; in reality it would be a complete disaster! Face facts, we are the poor relation in any deal with the RS, they aspire to greater things than a bland stadium with no livery to notice.

Another fact is that EFC and LFC don?t communicate and trust each other even less than we fans do and that will never lead to a successful business partnership. In the past, deals like this have always been funded by local Government who then charge rent in line to length of lease (example Milan & Rome). We don?t have such local officials who aspire to think ahead.

LCC today have to me shown what a bunch of amateurs they are. When EFC are close to doing a deal with KBC they object to the planning and say we can know improve GP!!! The opposition leader openly criticizes the ?council? for allowing a multi-million pound business to leave its borough. In reply wanker Bradley says we should redevelop GP or look at a ground share but EFC must commit!!!

How can EFC commit to ground share when LFC have rejected it out of hand? And secondly, how can we redevelop GP when only six months ago he wanted us to look at the loop!!! This to me is complete ass, and only typical of a Liberal politician who sits on the fence and can?t make a decision.

KEIOC, you too used this council as your sponsor why are we now close to sending the bulldozers in to Kirkby and we get two rabbits out of the hat when this line of action could have been offered from Day 1!!

Answer:- It is because these two options will never be consider or even financially viable for both parties so it looks good to the objectors... Please wake up, these guys have driven EFC out ? not EFC leaving. COYB

Peter Roberts
21   Posted 27/05/2008 at 13:26:24

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Michael Tracey

I am ashamed to admit I have sat on a red seat in a football ground before.

That was at Wembley watching the NFL match last year.

I personally wouldn?t be that bothered about a groundshare - I?m sure some of us have family who come from the red side of the Park and we still share time with them so why not a football ground? If Inter and AC, Roma and Lazio can share grounds with city rivals then why not here, where the rivalry is allegedly more "friendly"?
Darren Cowzer
22   Posted 27/05/2008 at 14:13:24

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I’d Love to see Stanley Park with an 80,000 Shared Ground Complete with Hotels, Leisure Facilities and Other Enabling Finance Streams.
2 pitches with a Slide in and out Mechanism.
Both Pitches could be removed for Concerts etc.
Also 5 Pound tickets for Juniors to Fill the Stadium and Promote Future Support.
Goodison and Anfield could be Gifted to the Council to be re-instated as Public Parks / Amenities.
Great Potential for Both Clubs.
Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal can play for 3rd / 4th / 5th !
Steve Rewth
23   Posted 27/05/2008 at 13:17:44

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With Kirkby looking like its unravelling we need a plan B. Ideally that would be a move to Walton Hall Park. But as with all alternatives to Kirkby its our ability to finance something on our own. If we can’t attract a partner like Tescos then the ground share might be better than doing nothing or going nowhere and stagnating.
Roberto Birquet
24   Posted 27/05/2008 at 14:25:16

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To Ray Said. the credit crunch is not just about sub-prime. It is due to lax lending practices in the US and the UK, and a few other places, too. Bank brokers got huge bonuses by gaining customer debt and they did not worry whether it was dodgy. They were selling it on to someone else to worry about with the compliance of idiotic credit rating agencies.

The sold on debt was cut up into portions and added to "safe" investment products to give them a bit of oomph - the "subprime debt" had higher margins. Financial institutions around the world were buying these as grade A investments (thanks to the idiotic rating agencies). The added oomph came from the fact selling mortgages to jobless, uneducated and skilless Americans demanded high margins to counter the risk.

Sub-prime mortgages were the last straw to break the backs of the crazy debt system that has financed the western world to live beyond its means for a decade. The guys stopped paying and banks all over the place were left with no money and low reserves. Get this. Banks hav run out of money. Everyone will have to pay - not just sub-primers.
Is this a good time to look for financing of any new loans - players, new grounds? No way, but we’re desperate and need a bigger and more modern ground. What are we to do?
Stu Bailey
25   Posted 27/05/2008 at 15:09:05

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We had a chance in the 80s to do this (which would have been great then), but now that it for the benefit of the RS the answer is no. They can share with us for a start. Let?s carry on with Kirkby and watch them suffer. What happens if RS get into big financial trouble in the future, by buying great players at great prices, and coming 5th does this mean their share of the ground will be sold to someone else? This is a bad idea, especially if Warren (fool) Badly is into it. Where has this man been for the last 2 years? Again I think he is thinking of LFC and not EFC. He even did not consider the Sainsbury?s deal at Walton Hall Park for EFC; as usual he knocked it back.
Please Evertions forget this talk of sharing and move forward on our own. I certainly don?t want anything to do with them, full stop! I think we all know the reasons why.
Doug Hastin
26   Posted 27/05/2008 at 15:54:58

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This might sound daft but when Liverpool move into their new ground, why not use Anfield for a couple of seasons and rebuild Goodison ? from the ground up if needed? That way, we stay in the City of Liverpool, after all, we did play there first!
Paul Daly
27   Posted 27/05/2008 at 16:37:50

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Am i right in thinking this was first mooted in the ’60’s when Everton told the Dark Half to "do one"????Back then we had much the better ground, more stable finances & thus the upper hand.
Those categories have revised themselves several times since. Then there is the human factor. Both sets of support would live in fear of being screwed by the other club. (Be honest- if we could shaft the f**kers, which among us would forego the opportunity??). Both sets of support would bitch and moan that they were getting the raw end of the deal, no matter how fair. Neither would relish the idea of "our" home being used by the other. (Can you imagine a "New Street End" filled with Kopites for a Wednesday euro match???? Did that thought make you throw up in your mouth a little...????)
How will you like Derby day when they are"home" and you spy Gerald from surrey in "your" seat??????? Imagine the whining about the state of the pitch after Everton’s crucial champions league match on a rainy Wednesday is followed by their Carling cup reply on a frozen Thursday???????
There may come a moment when this option is attractive to both sets of support- reds cause they can’t get a stadium without been screwed even more by overseas ownership & blues as opposition & obstacles to the Kirby option mount. It may indeed make economic sense......but from the point of view of football & human emotion it is a move too far.
Roberto Birquet
28   Posted 27/05/2008 at 19:17:48

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I have to say that i like Doug Hastin’s idea, but I have voiced it before and - well, u can imagine. Just paint the bu***ar blue i said, but no.

The thing is we haven’t got a lot of time, nor options. A long-term future as a big club and remaining in the City and Goodison to boot should be enuff to say yes to a couple of years at the old ground.

OK, I can’t even say the name, but how else would we be able to stay and have a 55K all-seater without limiting ourselves to two-three years of a 25K capacity. I don’t want half of Goodison closed every Saturday (or Sunday) while work goes on just because...
Colin Wordsworth
29   Posted 27/05/2008 at 19:25:05

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Having read this article I feel I have to put a sense of reality on the article!

The reason that we are moving to Kirkby is mainly down to finance and not placing the club in meltdown financially!

The stadium share has been discussed at board level even to the fact that the seats would be purple!.............we were dissed by the dark side who wanted to go alone.

The cheapest option is Kirkby at a fraction of the price of redeveloping Goodison or the carbuncle on the park!

This I fear is another red herring from a poor excuse of a council who have no interest in EFC.

We seem to be spinning round and round and round in relation to this emotive issue.

Just why can’t the Council come up with something different?......Groundhog Day anybody?
Bilbo Baggins
30   Posted 27/05/2008 at 22:25:30

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Colin the council are fed up with EFC not willing to come to the table. Bradley has had discussions with Kenwright, but unless they are serious what can the council do. As for the kirkby cow shed being cheaper then redeveloping GP, how do you know how much Kirkby is going be. The 78 million is a conservative estimate, we all know destination Kirkby will be called in by the government, leaving Wyness and co begging the council to look at redevelopment or even exploring plan B & C.
Steve Rewth
31   Posted 27/05/2008 at 22:52:23

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Its sad how many are prepared to be readily duped by these politicians. The way things are shaping up EFC will have to consider an alternative as the decision on Kirkby will be called in by the planning Ministry and denied. Once that happens what are our options? Walton Hall Park is the only realistic site likely to attract a co-funding development partner that is critical to EFC given its financial state. Then ask why hasn’t this been mentioned by Bradley/LCC? Its because LCC aren’t serious. So just what is it the Council are offering our club? Scrappy or highly problematic and financially undevelopable sites. Bradley is smoke screening to deflect attention away from his and LCC’s inactivity.
Garry Nickson
32   Posted 28/05/2008 at 01:04:09

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A groundshare is the most logical way forward - not just for us, but for them as well and for the city as a whole.

If AC Milan and Inter can do it, so can we.

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