The groundshare idea is back on the radar then, thanks to Liverpool City Council. I had thought and hoped we'd heard the end of it once our lovable neighbours got their new stadium started. But they haven't, and probably aren't going to any time soon given their delicate ownership situation (which could also provide me with material, but that's a separate matter). So, inevitably I suppose, the cohabitation question's being asked again.
Of course it makes economic sense to build and operate one stadium instead of two, even Arsene Wenger isn't blind enough to miss that, but football and economic sense are at best vague acquaintances and there's nothing else about the groundshare concept that sits right with me. Just because it works in Milan doesn't mean it will on Merseyside, and actually my understanding is it doesn't anyway. The stadium is owned by the city rather than either of the clubs, and neither Milan nor Inter is totally happy with the arrangement. It exists now because it has already done so for 50-odd years, and whatever they really think of it the clubs and their fans are habituated to it. It would take a hell of a lot of getting used to for Everton and Liverpool fans. Too much, I believe.
Even if that could be achieved, what of the stadium itself? Never mind the (valid) trivialities like what colour the seats would be, who would own it and run it? Only an equal stake would be acceptable to either club, otherwise one becomes somewhat beholden to the other. Given that they have far more money than we do, intra-American squabbles and mysterious Russian billionaires notwithstanding, as things stand there's only one way round that could possibly happen and it's a situation that I have some serious misgivings about. Even an equal split causes me concern: the mere perception, let alone the possible reality, of us clinging onto their coat-tails to get ourselves a share of a new stadium can only be damaging to the club's image, and that's what I believe would be the generally-held outsider's view of any groundshare with them where we weren't the major partner. And we all know that's never going to happen.
No, as far as I'm concerned let them have their new stadium, if they ever get it built, all to themselves. It means we get to keep ours and any new one we build to ourselves too, along with our independence from them. Even if that means Kirkby; the lesser of the two evils in my eyes, not that it is a palatable solution either, and I have my doubts now that it will go ahead - but again, that's a separate issue. Now that we appear to be getting into a position to challenge their Big Four status we need to be establishing ourselves as a separate and rival club, not getting into bed with them. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer? No, thanks.
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1 Posted 28/05/2008 at 16:09:46
2 Posted 28/05/2008 at 17:10:38
I suspect that the current talk of a ground share is just talk and will never happen. It is however indicative of how the City of Liverpool can pass up an opportunity to create a world class arena that will serve all its citizens. As you said it is the logical choice economically for both clubs and would represent a fantastic marketing opportunity for both clubs and the city itself. You question us retaining our identity in a shared ground this appears to have been no problem for clubs who have shared or who still share grounds.
The current levels of bitterness that exist between SOME Evertonians and Liverpool fans are nothing to be proud of. Of course any such move would require a leap of imagination and vision from all parties and that is extremely unlikely to happen. I do believe that moving to Kirkby will cause us far more damage than sharing a ground in the City ever would.
3 Posted 28/05/2008 at 22:32:04
The question of retained identity is a very important one and it matters little whether others have retained their identity or not. Perception is reality and the perception for many fans, of both teams, is that this would be bad for the image of their club.
On a strictly objective, non-emotional, note there is an issue of pitch availability with groundshare especially with two teams that can be expected to be playing premiership, european and domestic cup football through the course of a season. The natural example of this is the San Siro. Last seasons delay to the Liverpool vs Milan CL match and the repeated claims of poor pitch quality at the San Siro being indicative of the problem we could be letting ourselves in for by going down this route.
Groundshare pleases, in the main, the accountants and Liverpool City Council. These are people who should be serving the game of football and its local environment NOT driving it.
I realise that its a subjective view but I honestly do not believe that Evertons identity is better protected in a joint ground with our most heartfelt rivals than it would be in our own ground a few miles outside of town. Our identity as a ’Liverpool’ club may be diminished to those living local, but, the greater majority would not even understand the distinction that Kirkby wasn’t in Liverpool!.
4 Posted 29/05/2008 at 05:44:12
I can really only see one reason not to commit to a groundshare - money. If we share a stadium, Liverpool don’t need to raise as much money to build it. I would rather see them struggle to build a 400M stadium on their own than us help them by paying 50%
5 Posted 29/05/2008 at 07:56:23
I agree that identity is important I just arrive at a different conclusion to you. Do AC Milan, Inter suffer from an identity crisis as a result of ground sharing.
The Allianz arena hosts both Munich
1860 and Bayern and the ground changes colour to suit! No lets move to a retail park outside the City where we have been resident for 129 years to protect our identity! Everton belong in the City of Liverpool.
6 Posted 29/05/2008 at 08:23:26
Munich is a different scenario, 1860 are very much the junior club in the city and it actually doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to share a stadium so oversized for their needs. Remember too that the Allianz Arena was built for the 2006 world cup, probably with government financial assistance. Costly gimmicks like a colour-changing exterior are justifiable when there’s a huge global show to be put on.
And, compared to other components of the whole groundshare issue it’s trivial but Alisdair, seriously - does anyone like the idea of arriving for an Everton home game at a stadium where the seats aren’t blue?
7 Posted 29/05/2008 at 11:14:04
8 Posted 29/05/2008 at 11:21:38
9 Posted 29/05/2008 at 11:23:13
People need to be open minded to change, yes, half the seats would be painted red, but so what, it would be a stadium that we could only dream of on our own and one that the city of Liverpool could be proud of.
Ironically I think it would be our best chance to narrow the gap with the RS, so I doubt they would agree to it, but from a Blue point of view we cannot object.
10 Posted 29/05/2008 at 11:30:47
11 Posted 29/05/2008 at 12:03:03
Yes I like most of you grew up not wanting to wear anything, touch anything red, but for god sake we have to grow up, this makes sense for Everton, someone give me good reasons why this won’t work and I will listen?
12 Posted 29/05/2008 at 12:07:38
r. s. backside on his season tickets seat. Also who gets that seat for derby matches, what about cup clashes against them?
13 Posted 29/05/2008 at 12:52:37
14 Posted 29/05/2008 at 13:08:24
No groundshare, no Kirkby. We need to redevelop goodison or develop new within the city.
I couldn’t stand the thought of being associated with the RS anymore so than we already are. I want nothing to do with them. The thought of that stupid anthem of theirs ringing through our stadium is stomach churning.
PS Shaun Tighe......do I know you????
15 Posted 29/05/2008 at 19:55:19
16 Posted 30/05/2008 at 16:42:19
good point re season ticket seats but I guess home team gets preference.
17 Posted 19/07/2008 at 14:07:12
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