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And now, the end is near...

By Christine Foster :  05/06/2008 :  Comments (104) :
Over the course of several articles written over the past 6 months I have tried to take the issue of the development of the club, its stadium, its management and its treatment of its fan base, to its logical conclusions.

In all of the above categories the club has not managed its business with professionalism nor with complete honesty or integrity. Its PR (Ian Ross) jumps on the very slightest point as an indicator of good news about the intended move to Kirkby but the club totally ignores the major knock-backs with total silence.

It is no wonder that the fans voices have been raised in anger at such cavalier treatment, so much so that when we do hear from the club its been a threat to silence any dissent with the threat of legal action. Rightly or wrongly, whether the threat was justified or not, the reality was that it would never have necessary if the club had been open and answered the concerns of the fans. It still has not done so. I doubt it ever will.

The vote to move was a PR stunt that has come back to haunt them, badly. Glossy brochures and rhetoric with boastful promises lie in the gutters around Goodison Park. At every turn, every promise, every justification has been broken or questioned to the point of validity, that any reasonable person, businessman or not would question the competence of the team who promised quality at next to nothing in cost, with the added benefits of partnerships and the ability to raise alternative funding from use of the venue.

What we have left from the promises is Kirkby. A medium quality Stadium within a retail park not at a minimal cost but most likely to be well over £100M once the smaller retail footprint cross subsidies are factored into the equation and the inflation of expected base cost of £78M is adjusted accordingly; poor transport facilities etc etc.. its all been said before but just because it has does not make it any less valid. It?s a poor choice, always was with few redeeming factors which have been watered down to the point whereby one has to question just how far will the board persist before someone has the courage to say.. Far enough. This is not worth it, a cost not justified, or what other alternatives fall within the same cost / benefit should we re examine?

I stated too that the board of the club has actively made it clear it did not welcome inward investment and stated why it was the case. The recent rumour of a Russian investor may well be a case that the board do actually realise that Kirkby is a non starter and are looking for a way out.

If Kirkby fails as I hope it will, there is no justification for keeping Wyness as CEO. His performance all through this debacle has been dreadful. He placed his credibility on the move to Kirkby and with every passing day, with every promise falling into the mud, that credibility disappears.

At what point therefore do the board say we have to reconsider our options?

At what point does someone say to Bill, its not going to work?

What do we do now?

Should Kirkby be called in by the government it may well be the final straw in a flawed proposal that had good intent but dreadful execution and even worse, an outcome that does not fit this club.

The truth is we may not be able to afford Kirkby or any other location at the moment. We may well be forced into redeveloping Goodison Park because of a lack of immediate funds and an inability to service the amount of debt a new stadium might entail.. That?s the reality of where we are now. It may change but right now the deal of the century is a half way house between here and hell. It?s a compromise that no one wants .at a cost that just isn?t justified with too much risk.

Risk, Financial, Location, Tradition, take your pick. None of it comes together anymore.

I just have visions of Messers Kenwright and Wyness bashing a round peg into a square hole.. or is it a round fan into a square hole called Kirkby?

Whether you voted Yes or No.. it doesn?t really matter. Its not a question of who is right or who is wrong, it?s a case of what is good for Everton FC. What is now on the table isn?t what was offered or promised. It no longer meets anyone?s criteria for the future of Everton. We can all cut it into little pieces and say this bit is good, this bit isn?t but the risk is too high to be wrong. The board have not shown the expertise or competence for us to show them faith.

We need a better option on the table, a better solution than we have been offered. We need a feasible alternative that will not cripple the budget for any team in the future. Should Kirkby fall by the wayside which I unashamedly hope it will, then alternatives for the future must be found as must a better management structure to ensure a good choice.

David Moyes deserves that, the team deserve that, we as paying fans deserve it also.

Reader Comments

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Mike Hughes
1   Posted 05/06/2008 at 13:52:52

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A great post, Christine. I was a "No" voter. I did not like the rail-roading of the Kirkby issue from people who do not have the same emotional attachment to EFC as the fans (and that includes the players who may or may not be here in 4-5 years time). Those glossy brochures last year with quotes from the players were a shambles. Whether you voted "yes" or "no" - surely there must be agreement that the process has been badly flawed. I hope we stay and re-develop Goodison Park. If we have to find a base of £78million for Kirkby then what a job we could do at GP instead. I’m sure there are a few twists and turns to go in this story but the bottom line for me is that GP is - physically, emotionally and spiritually - our home.
John Hall
2   Posted 05/06/2008 at 14:22:24

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Probably the most well written article that I have read on this site in a long time.

It deserves a response but sadly will never get one from the barmy army that hold the fate of our club in their hands.

Constructive without being over critical and right to the point.

Maybe you should ask if there are any vacancies in the PR department Christine as I am sure IR could learn from you.

You summed up the situation very well.
Jay Harris
3   Posted 05/06/2008 at 14:37:28

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Excellent piece Christine

If only you were in charge of the marketing department instead of the numpties we have now.

Does anybody know Ian Ross’s background as he seems to be representative of all that is bad in there?
Anthony Horabin
4   Posted 05/06/2008 at 15:20:39

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I believe that if Kirkby doesn?t go ahead then Everton Football Club will become even more insular and the fans will get no opportunity to put their views forward with regards to a new/redeveloped stadium. The club has taken a lot of criticism over the new stadium and will probably think twice with regards to the fans opinion on whether we redevolop/move. I was very excited when the news of the club where going to build a new state of the art stadium, something to be proud of for all Evertonians, but it has turned out that instead of bringing us all together it has divided the fan base in two. The past years under Moyes have been brilliant in terms of development of the team on the pitch, but I feel the club is in turmoil when it comes to matters off the pitch.
Tony Williams
5   Posted 05/06/2008 at 15:38:36

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As others above have said it is a good piece, as always with you but I just can’t shake the feeling of pomposity from your opening paragraph.

You have tried to take this issue to it’s logical conclusion? In your own opinion!

That is what this forum is all about, opinions but it sounds as if you have been in the wars, the voice of impecable reason in a sea of floundering madmen and their lies, who won’t listen to your logic.

I have probably misconstrued this altogether but as I mentioned it is a feeling that I can’t shake, nothing more. Your posts are well put together and eloquent but that opening just bothered me. Irrational I know.

In essence this turns out to be a "I told you so" article but I whole heartedly agree with your final two paragrahs.
Michael Kenrick
6   Posted 05/06/2008 at 15:45:48

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Ian Ross used to be a journalist at The Guardian and before he penned that seminal work for Everton statos, Everton ?The Complete Record. (co-authored with Gordan Smailes, 1993)

What does his Wiki entry say?... (Ooops... now we??ll have all them rogue editors making little changes...)
Harry Meek
7   Posted 05/06/2008 at 15:41:14

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Great piece, Christine. As I recall it, Ian Ross was formerly a journalist who wrote doting pieces for the Guardian on players, managers and directors of the Merseyside clubs. I well recall throwing toast at the TV one Sunday ashe waxed lyrical about Walter Smith on Sunday Supplement or some such gossipy programme! He seemed well qualified for the sanitising job he does on all things Everton.
Brian Waring
8   Posted 05/06/2008 at 15:53:42

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One thing that has had me worried for a while now, is that a majority of the yes voter’s admit Kirkby is not the ideal choice, but it is the best we can afford.
Has it come to the point, now that all the early promises of world class stadia, best transport infrastructure, virtually free, etc have been blown out of the water, that some fans are still willing to go to Kirkby and settle for second best?
Anthony Horabin
9   Posted 05/06/2008 at 16:13:11

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Brian, second best to what? Kirkby is the only option the club have given us. There have been other options given by others that say Kirkby is not what they want but not the club.
Arthur Jones
10   Posted 05/06/2008 at 15:58:31

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As ever Christine , a well written concise article .
Paul Gladwell
11   Posted 05/06/2008 at 16:08:58

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Anthony, the fact that Kirkby has split the the fanbase in two makes it the wrong move for starters, Kings dock had no such problem, we know not everyone will agree but surely decisions like this should be blessed by our support base, not 10,000 not voting through whatever reason, 15,000 not allowed to vote and the final vote figures of around 2,500 more in favour hardly held well especially when we all knew ceratin false claims would be proven false through time and with this certain people would feel cheated and change their views.
Anthony Horabin
12   Posted 05/06/2008 at 16:18:50

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Paul, What 15,000 where not allowed to vote? The democrating system of voting in this issue was the highest amount either yes or no would give the club a way forward. There where more Yes than No’s when counted. Those that didn’t return a vote gave no opinion on the matter.
Tom Campbell
13   Posted 05/06/2008 at 16:12:43

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Ok as an Evertonian living in Ireland I cannot beleive that a city of LIverpool’s size doesnt have any alternative options

This is a disgrace... We need a 50k capaacity stadium wheter its Goodison or another site!!!

The Liverpool council should not allow the 5th most succesful team(in the best league in the world) leave to the fucking city suburbs!!

There comes a time when complaining to Toffeeweb is just getting us nowhere...

We cant rely on the council to object we need another idea????

Can anyone help me out?
Ciarán McGlone
14   Posted 05/06/2008 at 16:27:24

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We havea custodian who says he loves this club. But he is sitting on a pretty profit for the last 6 years of sitting on his hole...

If he loved the club that much then he would sell to an investor and his profit on that investment would be ploughed straight back into this club...

That would be our plan B...and Kenwright could shut those of us up who think he’s nothing but a smug Johnson in disguise...once and for all!

Lets see what he does with the 1000% odd profit!
Paul Gladwell
15   Posted 05/06/2008 at 17:28:05

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Anthony I may be wrong on some of these issues but households where fathers payed for their sons season tickets were only allowed one vote per household plus evertonia members under sixteen were not allowed too, plus thousands of people who dont possess season tickets but go the majority of our games but cannot afford the full hit for a season ticket especially now with this early bird con they throw on us, how could they not be allowed a say? By the way I am not having too big a go at the club on that issue as it was quite difficult to sort that side of the vote out.
Paul Gladwell
16   Posted 05/06/2008 at 17:47:19

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My simple thought on this Kirkby lark has been simple from the start, how could I back a man with a history like he has, who Knows nothing about what this club of ours is about, just how could I trust him with the biggest decision in our history?
And the lies that are spewing out by the day just proves my own thoughts, next thing it will be a 44,000 capacity to reduce costs.
Neil Pearse
17   Posted 05/06/2008 at 17:59:26

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Ciaran, so BK is going to make a 1000% profit on his original investment - i.e. while he has been basically running the club its value has gone up astronomically. You must be right - he’s been sitting on his hole and has completely fucked up.
Neil Pearse
18   Posted 05/06/2008 at 18:05:05

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Brian Waring - I take it you think we can afford something more expensive than Kirkby then. How much do you think we can afford to borrow? £100M? £200M perhaps?

Most of your fellow No voters think we can’t even afford Kirkby and need to stay in GP.

Good to be clear now that two of the main reasons we shouldn’t go to Kirkby are (a) it’s too expensive for us; and (b) it’s too cheap for us.
Mike Dunne
19   Posted 05/06/2008 at 17:50:57

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I walked passed the new Echo Arena yesterday and thought Everton could have been there...... now! However the self serving Kenwright blocked Gregg?s ambitions and allowed the chance to pass over and at the time the cost would have been £30m if I am not mistaken.

From then until now the one constant in all the shenanigans, and outright lies that have been dumped on the supporters of EFC is Mr W Kenwright.

This man alone as the major shareholder is responsible for the possible ruination of EFC whether the club relocate and become KFC or the "Knowsley No Marks" (take your pick, because they should no longer deserve to call themselves Everton - an area of the City of Liverpool) or if the scare stories are to be believed EFC stay at Goodison and rot.

No Plan B? ? fucking unbelievable!

Connor Rohrer
20   Posted 05/06/2008 at 19:21:58

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Spot on. Excellent article.
Joe Ludden
21   Posted 05/06/2008 at 19:17:01

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Here here, Christine. One point I?d like to focus on, in reference to: "At what point does someone say to Bill, its not going to work?"

I think that underlines the issue. BK is incapable of seeing the incompetence for himself, and either consciously or sub consciously you have hit the nail on the head. He actually needs someone to spell it out to him (preferably in single syllable words) that the guy he has running the show, Bully, is an incompetent backhander-motivated hard liner that will destroy all in his path for his goals regardless if those goals are for the good of the business he works for or not. One word to anyone who thinks otherwise: Aberdeen. And if that doesn?t convince, try: Kirkby.

Kirkby should go down the pan on Monday, and, as you say, it?s not about right and wrong, yes or no votes, it?s about the future of our beloved Everton, and it seems clear to me that Bully?s career at the blues should end with Kirkby on Monday too.
Brian Waring
22   Posted 05/06/2008 at 19:37:29

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Neil, I get the impression that some yes voters are becoming a little disillusioned, with a lot of stuff that has come out lately concerning the move. My worry is that those fans are still willing to go along with it, because they still say it is the best offer on the table. How could you back something if you are not 100% behind it? Also, it’s been mentioned that Kirkby could end up costing the club over £100m. At the end the day , wouldn’t we have to borrow the majority of the money to fund the stadium build? If we have to borrow a shed load to build a mid - level stadium with no soul, why don’t we just borrow it to up - grade Goodison?
ALan Willo
23   Posted 05/06/2008 at 19:35:06

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Christine, well written as usual but one sided but I knew what would be in it before i opened it. I like the way you debate but I disagree with most. Ciaran, your hatered of BK is completly over the top. BK has made mistakes as we all have and his only major crime is he is not wealthy enough to give us fans what we would love. I hope he does make a nice profit on selling EFC, in my mind he deserves every penny, afterall he takes no salary and used all his assets to get the club to me the risk he took deserves a return. EFC as a Ltd company and team has moved forward a lot since he took over from agent johnson so i thank him for that. Kings Dock was the answer but at the time we had no money so sadly it was not to be. Lets see what happens on Monday but my guess is we will still be going to Kirkby so no matter which side of the fence you lay it will become reality. COYB
Davey Miltiwitch
24   Posted 05/06/2008 at 19:54:01

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One thing about the ground move and Knowsley vote in this evenings Echo really jumped out at me, and all of this supposed "calling in" nonsense will never happen. Why? Lets have a quick Maths lession.......

Knowsley= Labour Stronghold since day dot

Sefton= Liberal Democrats

Liverpool= Liberal Democrats

Sefton+Liverpool = AGAINST move

Knowsley= vote FOR move (inevitable)

Government (Labour) = Will they really call in an issue that can conceivably stunt the progress of one of it?s strongest constituencies?

Answer = NEVER

Wyness, Kenwright and Leahy= Happy Chappies

Rich Jones
25   Posted 05/06/2008 at 20:31:53

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Am i right in saying a certain somebody also gives donations to a certain party.
Kev Wainwright
26   Posted 05/06/2008 at 20:30:05

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?Over the course of several articles written over the past 6 months I have tried to take the issue of the development of the club, its stadium, its management and its treatment of its fan base, to its logical conclusions?

Christine, come on now, you are totally against this move and that is what all you logical conclusions lead you to. You are in a paradigm (like lots on here) and I suspect you will be writing articles like this even at 2.55 on the day of the opening game at the new ground. If that happens.

Your argument is emotionally based, supporting a football team can never be logical because it is an illogical activity.

I have a simple question, if you are right and the owners of Everton so wrong, why you don?t buy the club. You appear to know far more and than the owners of the club. Why don?t you try it, put together a business plan find people to back you with the money and buy the club.

It can?t be that difficult if a fool like Kenwright did it for someone as skilled, knowledgeable and as reasonable as you.
Jimmy Fearns
27   Posted 05/06/2008 at 20:40:32

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Alan Willo Famous quotes: who once said "This is my last post about Kirkby"? Go on, have a wild guess....
Colin Wordsworth
28   Posted 05/06/2008 at 21:09:15

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Very emotive and well written article.

But......does anybody actually know how much it will cost if built?

I thought not.1.............and you are calling kw for producing spin and dare I say it the L word!

it works both ways you know!

Dave Wilson
29   Posted 05/06/2008 at 21:44:52

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This was a terrific article, it would be nice to think the custodians of our club would read it, better still, respond to it, but Christine has touch on too many raw nerves
expect more silence
Guy Hastings
30   Posted 05/06/2008 at 21:29:16

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I?ve constantly said that Kirkby won?t happen for all manner of reasons - be they political, or financial. I?m actually coming round to thinking that, for all his bluster, BK doesn?t want it to happen either. More to the point, I don?t believe that he wanted the Dock to happen either. There?s an element (a very lucrative one) of sentiment in every BK production, be it West End or the provincial circuit, and I see that in his relationship with Everton. He can play the go-ahead businessman for all he likes, but in the end it doesn?t wash with me. He?s comfortable with the known - Terrence Rattigan re-runs till the crowds go home etc. It makes him money, he?s in control and it?s a comfort zone. And that?s GP. BK is no mug. He?s no Cameron Mackintosh, either and he knows that, too. So when Kirkby withers on the vine, I suspect that, for all the bluster we?ve had over replacing GP over the past few years, no-one will be more relieved to be staying at GP than BK. In his theatre business, BK?s strengths are staying backstage.Maybe EFC gives him the chance to step out in front of the curtain and play to the crowd to satisfy the frustated thesp in him. I just wish he?d been strong and honest enough in the first place to say, ?Fuck that, I?m happy here at Goodison.? Mind you, what happens after Monday is anyone?s guess. Make a cracking play, though...
Jay Campbell
31   Posted 05/06/2008 at 22:16:18

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Think about it from being offered a world class arena like the kings dock at a world class location for a fantastic price of 30 million,
locating us at a place that has never had any affiliation with the club in it’s entire histrory, in a RS stronghold area, for 78 million, shite lego set stadium, that we’ll all have to bike it or get a moped, outside of the city that is our home, all for the extra life changing sum of 10 million extra every season!!!

Kenwright is an embarassment to this football club and it’s fans.

Where the fuck and in what industry would these two halfwit’s (BK & KW) get a job after submitting year in year out failings and empty promises??? Terminal 5 that’s about it.

These two knuckleheads have NO DEFENCE.
Matt Willey
32   Posted 05/06/2008 at 23:05:05

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Davey Miltiwitch is spot on ... it is not over until the fat lady (or fat CEO in our case) sings ...

I am still deeply worried that the project will not get ’called in’ given the influence that certain people have over the Government. This SHOULD still give every Evertonian great cause for consternation because the project is still being driven by TESCO; Everton are merely a pawn in the game, there as a sacrifice essentially so that their bloody retail park can be built...

LLC, Sefton and all neighbouring councils have little influence over the matter ... and even less influence in Westminster ... which is extremely unfortunate for anyone dead set against the project.

We can only continue to hope that the unsteady economic climate coupled with the strong objections puts paid to this ridiculous move.

Otherwise we will be left with a stadium built on the cheap in a place we really don’t want to visit and debt that we just can’t handle.
Ian Macdonald
33   Posted 05/06/2008 at 23:22:09

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Great piece Christine ,your heart is like many in what?s best for Everton.Thank you for taking the time to write so much sense that everyone can appreciate and take in.
We are Everton Christine
Steve Jones
34   Posted 05/06/2008 at 23:06:16

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Much emotion here stoked up by an unwaveringly excellent, if not exactly objective, article.

Simple question to those who are anti-Kirkby. What happens if our Russian billionaire does swoop in to take over the reigns from Blue Bill and STILL moves us to Kirkby....yet this time without any form of ’consultation’?.

Either way you have had a say in this and, despite the oft heard wails and cries of unfair (it only being the most heavily debated topic I have ever seen regarding Everton FC) the public consultation phase approved the boards plans to move the club.

Simple fact....not enough Everton fans object(ed) to the move to prevent it. A new owner is going to take that onboard as a mandate and is unlikely to offer the ballot again.

Those above wishing for someone to deliver them from BK and that fat twerp Wyness should ask themselves whether its better the devil we know?.
Dick Fearon
35   Posted 05/06/2008 at 23:33:38

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Do these protesting councils have at heart the best interest of themselves or Everton?
If the deal is called in will those councils match Tesco’s offer or will they let the club and Goodison rot?
I see that Ian Ross is the latest target of the bile that spews from the yobs.
He had best get used to their malevolence because as the stadium deal reaches its final stages the more desperate they will become.
David OKeefe
36   Posted 06/06/2008 at 01:31:15

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Why do the yes voters hold the no voters to a far higher standard than the board?

The spin and lies have come from the board, no-one else.

Looking for a word beginning with H...
Glen Naylor
37   Posted 06/06/2008 at 01:17:17

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Kirkby is the creeping death of our team....wake up and smell the coffee.. The red growth is worse than in "war of the worlds"... Kids running around in red every where... Is moving to a small suburb going to help ?........

card on the table..... I am from, the wirral and have followed our great team since 1975, on this side of the river lads I go to the match with are getting so pissed off with this impending disaster (ground move) that as good as last season was game wise (Nuremburg etc) that they will not renew their season tickets this year but pick and choose their games......We will not go to Kirkby... End of...
Neil Pearse
38   Posted 06/06/2008 at 06:42:28

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They do say "my enemy’s enemy is my friend", but this is getting a bit ridiculous. Suddenly our great ’savours’ are the likes of LCC and Sefton Council. Get this: the only reason they are objecting to Destination Kirkby is because it will create a rival shopping centre to their own. That is all. They don’t give a fuck about Everton FC (especially the LCC), never had, never will.

I always enjoy Christine’s articles, but more for the emotion than the logic (we always know where they are heading). This one is no different. It basically says "we probably cannot afford to move anywhere at all at the moment" (No ’Fantasists of the Loop’ take note!), but "we must find somewhere to move that we can afford". Thanks! And that would be?

The real logic here is relentless and inescapable, and doesn’t change. We desperately need more revenue. We are not very rich. Absent a rich new owner (who would probaly move us to Kirkby anyway), we cannot afford very much. Kirkby is no one’s ideal choice, but is as inexpensive a new stadium as anyone could ever imagine. And it will obviously generate more revenue than redeveloping GP unless our fanbase absolutely collapses (it won’t).

If Kirkby is called in as a result of all our new ’friends’ (lol) in the LCC, a little reminder of where we are then. We still of course cannot afford to move, especially since we will never find a new stadium as inexpensive as Kirkby. So now we are back in GP, same old same old, no significant prospects of anything changing on the financial front. A club that still is not very attractive for anyone to buy because the first thing they will have to do is (suprise surprise!) stump up for a new stadium (and the most cost effective one has gone thanks to your new found friends).

Wait then for Moyes to do a ’Mark Hughes’ and go to somewhere which can ’match his financial ambition’ (West Ham? Portsmouth?). You can be sure that Moyesey won’t be celebrating at the prospect of being stuck in GP for the forseeable future with no more money to spend than he has already.

The only good thing that might come out of the end of Kirkby would be an impetus to the obviously best solution of groundsharing with LFC. Your fantasies of world class new stadia that we can’t afford will stay fantasies, however emotionally strongly held.

The relentless logic is that nothing much has changed, despite all the rhetoric about everything being different since the vote last year. Kirkby is still the only new stadium that we can actually afford. Even Christine (and many other Nos) basically admit this now. Our choice is still either to go to a new stadium in Kirkby or to stay in GP and just hope for the best.

So please rejoice when the only option we are left with is staying at GP. For the good of our club, I won’t be joining you.
Neil Pearse
39   Posted 06/06/2008 at 07:29:06

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While I am it, just to expose another piece of completely upside down No logic.

You guys all talk as if all these new found friends of yours in LCC etc. objecting to Destination Kirkby in some way is some negative judgement on the viability of the scheme. Of course it is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE.

These guys are objecting because they think that the Kirkby development is likely to be a success, and they are shit scared of having a revitalised rival nearby sucking people out of their own towns and shopping centres. If it was the utterly doomed disaster you lot think, and ’no one will ever go to Kirkby’, they wouldn’t bother protesting.
Alan Willo
40   Posted 06/06/2008 at 07:52:48

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Cheers Jimmy, 1.0 to you. i’m afraid the lack of Football has meant i need by fix of EFC and this gives it to me in bundles even though I expect all the regulars never to change their views. Vould I call that post and Bully statement?
Gareth Humphreys
41   Posted 06/06/2008 at 07:27:36

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Neil, a well written response however I can’t agree with most of what you say.
I don’t think anyone has stated that the local councils are objecting to the move so as to save Everton. Quite frankly, and I probably speak for all no voters, no one cares why they object, just as long as they do.
Why and more importantly how would a new owner "probably move us to Kirkby" when it seems like the current plans are going to fail miserably ?
As you agree we can’t afford very much - why on earth would we then take the £100m Kirkby gamble ?

Perhaps you could enlighten us as to how you are privy to David Moyes thought process on GP and his own future career aspirations? Using blind opinion is hardly a sound base to back up an already weak argument when even Mr Moyes himself talked recently about the idea of developing GP as possibly the way forward.
I agree that a shared stadium would be the best way forward and the sliver lining of this shambles may be that it is now at least investigated a little further.
One of the things that hasn’t changed is that, despite where his heart is, Mr Kenwright still has neither the financial clout nor the business acumen to deliver a stadium that befits this club.
Christine Foster
42   Posted 06/06/2008 at 07:21:14

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Thank you to all who have found the article (good or bad) worthy of comment. I would like to address a few comments made by various people regarding my opening statement re my logic. I admit its my logic and therefore cannot be hoisted on anyone else as a basis of critisicm of the board. However one cannot say that the logic is seriously flawed or even if stated as such, exactly why that is so. But we are talking semantics, the reality is that no matter what we started out with as a promise, as a choice, it clearly isn’t what we are left with today.

There was a post that I wanted to respond to but is no longer on the site, not sure why but I took no offence and happy to comment on its content. It may have been from Tony Williams or Colin W.. forgive me but I read fleetingly and did not catch all.

Yes, I fully understand the situation and yes I have been through the wars (not my words) and yes my words are therefore tainted with a realism as well. I have seen and been involved at senior levels with companies who have been found wanting through a lack of experience or incompetance. I know which is which and can recognise many of the tell tale signs. That is my personal insight, my experience.

To Neil P, Neil, I did not say that Kirkby is all we can afford, and yes without any alternatives on the table it is the ONLY stadium available at such a price. But and a big but, Kirkby is NOT right for so many reasons even at a price that looks cheap. But just because its cheap does not make it the best choice or the right choice. At the moment its still portrayed as the ONLY choice.
Therein lies the problem that hass dogged this debate since day one.

It was the ONLY choice offered and dressed up with promises to look inviting. Now the window dressing has fallen away the stark reality is that with each passing day the costs increase, the returns reduce and the objections and concerns become more evident.

Many Yes voters point to the fact its still a cheap stadium. I am sort of the opinion that one gets what one pays for in this life. Cheap buys cheap.

Does then the financial, economic question of viability of the project overule any other possible alternatives. The truth is we don’t know exactly what else could be found but I would rather make it such that ANY move is right before we embark on an irrevocable move away from Goodison.
I know the price of doing nothing and inertia is high, but so is the price of doing the wrong thing.
Its a price that will be paid for in the future at a cost against return that at the moment is hard to establish any truth or fact
John Sreet
43   Posted 06/06/2008 at 07:54:12

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?Scuse me? but isn?t this a business and run for profit? So how many businesses are there that articulate their business strategy? I?m sure the club is concerned about the views of the fans, but at the end of the day probably gamble that, as fans we?re somewhat in a helpless position, because fans follow no matter what!

Yes, our opinions are important, but probably not more important than equity value is to the shareholders. We the fans may have intellectual equity in the club, but Bill and his buddies have financilal equity in the club.

Somehow as much as I hate the idea of leaving GP I find it hard to critisise BK for looking after his business interests. The club won?t die in Kirkby, if the fans don?t like it then they won?t go, but then again if they won?t go, are they really fans.... ho hum!

Anyway I?m for staying at GP and giving it a real ?retro? look....

Stan Georgeson
44   Posted 06/06/2008 at 07:47:58

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Don’t waste anymore keystroke effort on this one.Take it from me,a Labour activist who has done his homework, that the plans will fly through the meeting on Monday,will not be called in and that the whole project will become reality dead on time.I know Kirkby has been a dirty word in Lib Dem strongholds for years but we are about to place our very worthy homeplace firmly on the Merseyside and national map!
Alan Willo
45   Posted 06/06/2008 at 07:59:45

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Well said Neil!! Common sense has prevailed through Christine Luddite article. Why do we hammer the institution we all love so much?? Look at Leeds, Man City, RS etc they have owners who are suspect at best. We have seen articles saying how bad the new stadium is and second rate, when we all buy season tickets every year to sit in a shit hole. We walk through Dog shit every home game and view boarded up housing and entries whilst in the coming years we will see a new stadium across the park that will tower the peoples club in to a second or third rate museum. Maybe we could get a grant from National Heritage and get GP listed and show the kids how ?people? watch football many years ago. I put up with GP because I go to County Road for a drink with my mates and see my Mum who lives next to it, apart from that my and mates and I (we sit in the Paddock) squeeze in to the seats and take it. My son is 4 and I have taken him to several games but because the view is crap and cramped I have to but additional tickets in other areas, I sit there hoping he doesn?t want to go the loo, as it a dump!! Is that what you aspire too??.I don?t I want progress!! COYB
Neil Pearse
46   Posted 06/06/2008 at 08:30:30

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Gareth and Christine, thanks for your responses.

I think Christine you really capture one of the No / Yes differences in your view in effect that there MUST be OTHER CHOICES than Kirkby. Why? I really doubt that there are any other choices which we can afford, and can see no logic to suggest otherwise.

Simply put: Kirkby is a financial stretch for us, and how COULD any other option be cheaper than Kirkby? Cheaper land (no); cheaper build (I hope not); greater buying power on construction costs and shared construction costs for ’common parts’ than with Tesco (next to impossible); more support from a local council (not in these parts).

So the logic really is simple: we can’t afford much and Kirkby is as much as we can afford. NSNO it is not. But we can’t afford NSNO right now or in the forseeable future. That is reality, whether we like it or not. We have to get over this and live in the world that actually exists, not the one we would like to exist.

The alternative is to stay in GP and redevelop it. All the arguments on both sides have been thoroughly rehearsed on this. Financially people like me believe that Kirkby will be the medium term better option. Emotionally I don’t much like the idea of remaining behind in the shadow of the RS’s new monstrosity.

Sharing a stadium is obviously the best option. But it does appear that we lack the leadership on all sides to make the obvious happen. I have it from a very reliable source that Gordon Brown was at a meeting in Liverpool some years ago and just couldn’t comprehend why a shared stadium didn’t become part of the overall regeneration of Merseyside. Nothing has changed there either!
Dave Wilson
47   Posted 06/06/2008 at 08:57:14

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You and the remaining pro Kirkby blues believe EFC will survive, even prosper in Kirkby, "unless our fan base collapses (it wont)"
that is merely your opinion, saying it repeatedly will not make it fact

Many anti Kirkby blues fear our fan base will be decimated if this plan was given the green light, why ? because their friends tell them so, they come on this site and tell you so too, everyday

We are ALL without doubt on board a ship that is sinking slowly

Some feel its worth making a swim for it, they may find land and although there will be no prospect of ever getting home and life will never be as good again, it’s still life

On the other hand, some feel the waters are shark infested, if you dive in, you dive to certain death. The ship is after all sinking slowly, we’ve got lots of time, the chances are we can repair it, theres also a strong possibility another bigger ship will come along, rescue us and take us home

Some choice, but I’ll give the certain death option a wide berth if thats ok
Tony Williams
48   Posted 06/06/2008 at 09:51:28

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Dave, good analogy but in all fairness posters can say the same about the "certain death" part as you have said to Neil, saying it repeatedly does not make it fact.
Neil Pearse
49   Posted 06/06/2008 at 10:04:00

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Dave, you could be right. But I think Evertonian blue blood is a lot thicker than water.

People frequently say, in advance of things they are opposed to, things like: "If you do that I will NEVER talk to you again". Usually they do.

Try this one. Joleon Lescott is captaining an Everton side which is third in the Prem, with James Vaughan banging them in for fun from Manny Fernandes’ brilliant creativity. You still not going to Kirkby Dave?
Christine Foster
50   Posted 06/06/2008 at 11:04:54

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HmmSo you call me a Luddite Alan W? Don’t worry, I have heard some much stronger words but I can still cmile at the barb. Why? because I beleive, just as much as you do, that Everton FC deserve the best. Our differences don’t lie in the fact that one of us wants change and the other doesn’t, more like I desperately want the right thing for EFC. AS I and many others, not just supporters see it, we are not getting either what was promised or what is a move that will benefit the club greatly.

Why is that my opinon? because at each and every turn the promises, spin, the exaggerated boastfulness lacked truth. As such, with all the rhetoric and bluster in tatters all we hear from the club is silence. Thats not leadership, thats not good management. That does not kindle faith in decision making.

I would gladly settle for a shared stadium if if could be done. I would gladly settle for a site that enabled the club to keep a resemblence of independence within its traditional home, I would gladly listen to ANY serious proposal that was backed by fact and not spin. If we have to move from Goodison then the club has a responsibility to justify it. The club has in no way other than its original spin justified ANYTHING, they have not responded to ANY concern with ANY group or individuals who have raised concerns. I doubt very much whether it will do so under its present management structure..Not a luddite Alan, just someone who wants answers and the only ones who have them are the club and they see fit not to respond to anyone.

We can debate all we want. The only ones who can justify the move aren’t debating at all.
Neil Pearse
51   Posted 06/06/2008 at 12:20:18

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We are in agreement Christine. I have been continuously disappointed by BK and KW in terms of their clearly and honestly saying why they favour Kirkby, and being willing to respond to reasonable objections. And this is partly because I think there is a decent case to be made for Kirkby in our current less than ideal circumstances.

Perhaps they are just incompetent in terms of communications. I suspect also that one problem is that the starting point of all justifications for Kirkby is that we are a basically poor club in a very constrained situation. I assume they are just too embarrassed to own up to this.
Kevin Tully
52   Posted 06/06/2008 at 12:25:25

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You only have to look across Stanley Park to imagine what is going to happen with any alternative projects involving relocation. Here we have two very wealthy individuals, who have mortgaged the R.S. with every penny the club is worth for current and future revenues. They have budgeted for Champions League revenue every season in their calculations. Interest payments in the region of 30 -35 mill every season. We all know B.K. hasn’t got a pot to piss in compared to these people. They can’t raise the finance on these terms and other projects they are involved in are going tits up, so where do go from here ? As soon as you start talking about C.P.O’s for schools and houses around G.P. there are bound to be mass unrest amongst the local population in L4. It could drag on for years. The club needs a vision and a couple of hundred million, any takers?
Colin Wordsworth
53   Posted 06/06/2008 at 12:24:44

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I understand what you say, we all want what we feel is the best for the club, but I do feel that whatever the club says or does these days is castigated, taken apart, dissected and then torn to shreads before ending up on these pages as a major critisism and then given a good kicking by the no voters.

Yes, I accept that kw is not perfect by any means, and his delivery and manner leave much to be desired but the flak he is getting is totally over the top as is the flak for the club itself.

For instance the big lie re concerts...was it really or was it as I attempted to explain part of the licensing process with the unfortunate result that some responsible body asked it to be removed from the application. That is not a lie, not even mismanagement it is just part of the planning process that every application goes through, and it happens to every company.

The next of the Century!....well we don’t know, the final figures haven’t been released it could be!

the next lie World Class Stadium.....who knows, the plans and images look eventual 57000 all seater may just be, we just don’t know!

The other bugbear, transport.....there is plenty of time for these issues to be addressed, i’m sure there will be teething problems but these will be addressed.

I too want what is best for the club, what the club can afford. To share, an idea recently rethrown into the pot by a poor politician would be a good compromise...BUT still many Evertonians would not like it, and would object with vehemence.

So with head ruling heart Kirkby is the only option.

Tommy Gibbons
54   Posted 06/06/2008 at 12:10:29

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Roll on Monday and the correct decision NOT to call in the Kirkby proposals...
Then we can sit back, get the stadium built and continue are glorious history on fields anew! What the Noes still can?t comprehend is that in a fair vote they got trounced by the people who weren?t arsed... never mind the YES voters! We all knew the vote was coming, the time to organise was before te vote..not after!..
Apart from the interweb handful of people who could be arsed to debate the matter, in the real world Evertonians are realists and will move (with heavy hearts) to another venue to watch OUR team. It really is time to reach onwards and upwards, we cannot afford to standstill...
Damian Wilde
55   Posted 06/06/2008 at 12:32:19

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Dave Wilson,

What, our fan base is def. doomed because a dozen or so posters on TW and their mates, milkman, and cab driver say so?

Sinking ship? Get a grip will you. I bet when one of your mates gets a cold you reckon they’re dying. People offering differing views is good, but let’s not carry on with the frenzy. In my view, you’re catastophising.

I think the fan base will be fine. I don’t really worry about losing a few sulkers.
Tom Hughes
56   Posted 06/06/2008 at 13:11:23

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Kirkby would result in the demolition of an entire school, a care home and 70 houses. Don’t we need CPO’s in Kirkby?

Redevelopment of GP wouldn’t require anything like this. There are only 2 streets abutting Bullens Rd. A new 5,000 seater tier on the existing Bullens would only just infringe the 3 end terrace houses on that side, and perhaps 10-15 more in terms of light. The school’s future is uncertain in anycase, but this tier would not physically affect their buildings. Cost? £2-5k per seat dependent on exec box inclusion, roof design etc...... £10-25m. The Park end can accommodate ANY size structure. Extend the existing stand...... additional 25-40rows (6-12,000 new seats including corner section), cost? (2-5k per seat) £12-£60m, or perhaps build whole new stand at that end. Re-roofing mainstand £4-6m, reroofing St End etc etc
Colin Wordsworth
57   Posted 06/06/2008 at 13:30:34

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Would LCC allow the redevlopment?...

the knocking down of houses at GP, the removal of a’s all been agreed in Kirkby! you trust the LCC?

ps the rs have stated that there will be no ground share! the echo!
Dave Wilson
58   Posted 06/06/2008 at 12:41:47

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I can paint you far bleaker - and more likely - scenarios than the one you’ve painted me, but you know that already.

I believe DK will get the nod on Monday - although I hope to God it doesnt - Only then will you know if your gamble about these threats being idle or not is a winner

Feeling lucky ?

Ps I hope Bully slamming the door to shut to the prosect of ground sharing today, has’nt gone unnoticed
It wont be long before the usual suspects will be posting about "the bigots and the Luddites" being to blame for that too
Colin Wordsworth
59   Posted 06/06/2008 at 13:46:07

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read the Echo....behave!
Dave Wilson
60   Posted 06/06/2008 at 13:37:29

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If you believe only a couple of dozen fans will disappear if DK got the green light , then Fair play to you lad

Who knows, you and Neil may be right, the threats may be idle
I missed two league games all season, one home and one away, I mixed with hard core blues in pubs up and down the country and I was getting a very different message than that
If you believe these peole are merely "sulking" then the whole debate must have passed you by
Anthony Fielding
61   Posted 06/06/2008 at 13:39:46

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Can someone please tell me what we are going to do if we dont move to Kirkby, and how exactly we are going to do it, becasue one thing is for sure - we need a new stadium, Goodison is falling down, to put it politely its a crap hole!
Dave Wilson
62   Posted 06/06/2008 at 13:52:45

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read the Echo ?????
I stopped that 20 years ago, I prefer things from a blue perspective, read the OS
Tom Hughes
63   Posted 06/06/2008 at 13:40:13

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How has this been all sorted in Kirkby? They haven’t got planning permission yet.
Whether or not I trust LCC is immaterial........ We should know the answer to those questions because the club said they explored all the options! It should be there at our fingertips either via the club or the planning office...... We should have knowna year ago. They haven’t asked!

Personally, I think the demolition of a few houses represents a much smaller leap of faith than supporting a scheme that has been objected to by EVERY surrounding authority and that violates ALL local and national planning and retail legislation. What do you think?
Chad Schofield
64   Posted 06/06/2008 at 13:43:27

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Great article Christine and responses.
Also nicely countered by some of the pro lot too.
Stayed out of the "one more lie" debate, as it seemed as this started at picking out the minutae of a comment and making a rant out out of it - on both sides.

It’s interesting that some of those who have ben sating we must move have pointed at the groundshare, and a real shame as Dave Wilson pointed out that both sides have dismissed it today, once again:

Christine’s article to me did not seem to be overly emotive, but it made sense and semmed to be trying to close the divide between the bickering fans.

Nobody does have all the answers, and it is only the board by not disclosing their rationale other than by spin that has led to people arguing using their own "facts". They are not concrete facts, and whilst I’d like to think that KW would not outrightly lie in the "facts" he provided, the more opposed he is to any other option the more the finger il be pointed that he has another agenda than serving the club in the best way he can.
Childish name calling or picking on the tone/symantics/yadda yadda is not going to get anywhere. Sweeping statements about how other people will react if Kirkby does happen is as bad as Wyness making promises about a the project at the time that he did. Calling other fans ludites, sheep, fantasists, RS, etc should just be left in the playground.
Colin Wordsworth
65   Posted 06/06/2008 at 20:47:16

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I think that the neighbouring authorities feel threatened by the proposed new complex, otherwise, why object?

Tom Hughes
66   Posted 07/06/2008 at 09:50:42

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They have objected because the proposed complex is many times larger than is needed for Kirkby and violates all local and national retail planning legislation, this was flagged up over a year ago. Liverpool is on the verge of completing a £billion transformation of the city centre, the real engine room of the whole city region. It has waited decades for this level of investment and has tens of thousands of jobs riding on it, and the whole future of how the city performs as a whole. Why would they want to jeopardise this by allowing something that will compete directly with it for custom? Likewise Sefton and West Lancs. Both of which have much higher populations than Kirkby and are much higher on the retail heirarchy with new and existing developments to protect. This proposal is so far outside of what Kirkby is allowed, it was never in any doubt that this would be objected to!
Tony Waverleas
67   Posted 07/06/2008 at 10:54:18

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Always tickles me to hear my fellow Blues talking about not going again if we move.
Personally speaking I’d watch us if we played on the moon. Why? Because I love Everton not the ground we play in although I’d be stretching a point to say the old place isn’t intrinsically tied up in my love of the Blues.
I don’t doubt the sincerity of those who say a move will be the death-knell for a large swathe of the fanbase but I just don’t believe it will happen.
Tom Hughes
68   Posted 07/06/2008 at 12:04:15

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Does that mean we can put a stadium anywhere? Location is paramount for any new stadium. It has to be easier to get to than the existing stadium or some will be deterred regardless of if you or a few thousand diehards would go anywhere to watch them. We will need 50,000 like minded to make Kirkby viable, nevermind worthwhile! That’s before we even consider the affect of changing fan’s matchday routine to the extent that they no longer recognise the experience, or those voting with their feet after feeling deceived by the club. There are a lot of unknowns with Kirkby, and considering the increased costs very little if any profitability from going there.
Tony Waverleas
69   Posted 07/06/2008 at 12:48:37

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With respect Tom, No, it doesn’t mean put a stadium anywhere and the fans will flock to it regardless.
The point I’m making, or the observation if you like, is that my powerful emotional attachment is to the team not the ground they play in or the seat I sit in (the exact same spot for over 30 years as it happens).
Clearly, Tom, as you point out there are are a multitude of unknowns in our potential move.
However, one thing I do know is that any move will not stop me from watching Everton. Neither will it stop me from doubting that those who say they’ll give up the Blues if we do move will do no such thing.
Bob Turner
70   Posted 07/06/2008 at 12:57:50

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You say "there are a lot of unknowns with Kirkby", then immediately state as fact "considering the increased costs very little if any profitability from going there".

Not one of the esteemed contributors to the ongoing debate on TW, either for or against, knows how profiable this will be.

As we don’t have the finance to pay for this, or any alternative ourselves, we will have to borrow the money. In order to do so, the club will have to present a pretty good business case to the proposed lender to justify such an advance, particularly in light of the current credit crunch.

If the business case is sufficiently convincing enough, the finance will be provided, and we get a stadium. If not, we get no finance, and we stay put, for now.

Any such decision will be an informed one, based on a lot more information then we any of us get to see.

There are too many opinions and suppositions being paraded in this debate as fact (obviously on the basis that the more often it is repeated, the more it "solidifies" into fact).

Whatever your opinion of KW, he is a businessman, and it is his job to present a sufficiently strong business case to a lender for them to cough up the money. If he’s as bad as everyone seems to believe, then you don’t have anything to worry about. If, however, the business case is good enough to warrant the finance, then it will succeed in obtaining the finance regardless of KW’s ineptitude, won’t it?

If we get the finance, it will be because the lender, who gets to see a lot more information than anyone on here does, decides it has sufficient merit to warrant the finance. I think their opinion, as the provider of millions of pounds of finance, can be relied upon to be a lot more objective than anyone on here.
Tony Waverleas
71   Posted 07/06/2008 at 14:17:49

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Again with respect, Tom, are you really suggesting that the board’s business plan should have at its heart a consideration for which particular pubs & chippies the fans use before and after the game?
It’s almost like claiming a generations’ long tradition of watching Everton will come to an abrupt end because fans, unlike their parents, grandparents & great grandparents before them, will no longer be able to have a matchday pint in The Harlech or The Chepstow.
It’s one thing to ask the board to be cogniscent of the fans’ feelings but another thing entirely to expect them to pander to those feelings to the extent that we are paralysed from even entertaining the notion of the change.
Colin Wordsworth
72   Posted 07/06/2008 at 22:33:39

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So what if Kirkby wants to compete with LCC re the project. They feel threatened, and rightly so because people seem to like shopping at out of town developments!

Can’t see your argument really.....i think you agree it will be a success.........great!

Let’s hope the new stadium is as well!

Have you ever thought when you are sat in your seat at GP that you could be anywhere. Once inside the new stadium you won’t think its’ll think....home!

Tom Hughes
73   Posted 08/06/2008 at 01:57:10

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"You say "there are a lot of unknowns with Kirkby", then immediately state as fact "considering the increased costs very little if any profitability from going there".

Increased costs = less profitability surely.

It was stated that Kirkby would have to achieve average attendances in the upper 40’s to pay for itself, and that’s when costs were significantly less than £78m..... now even that figure’s rising because the enablers are reducing. The place only holds 50k (not 55k posted previously), how do we average higher than high 40’s in a 50k stadium? Will we even do better than now in this less well served location?

Tom Hughes
74   Posted 08/06/2008 at 02:04:52

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Unfotunately we haven’t got masses of new supporters waiting in the wings when Mr disgruntled from Walton/Bootle/Everton/Kirkdale decides he’s been lied to by the club and in any case he can watch every match in his local rather than endure park and ride, now park and walk, or the bombay express upto Kirkby and the hrs waiting to get away. Many of these fans, and they number thousands value that part of their matchgoing routine. It is always a risk moving, that’s one of the main reasons Arsenal went around the corner and not outside the M25 to a much cheaper site; Why Sunderland went closer to the city centre but again not far from roker; Why Newcastle stayed put despite being offered a complete new build in Gateshead that was half the price of redevelopment. Continuity averts those risks....
Bob Turner
75   Posted 08/06/2008 at 06:28:02

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You seem to have missed the point of my post. I don’t have the answers to your questions. Nor do you. Nor does anyone else on this site. It is all speculation.

You can question the facts, as you see them, all you want, as is your right, but with less than perfect knowledge, you are speculating.

If we get the finance, it will be because those with full knowledge of the business plan think that their investment is safe and will be repaid with profit.

These people will be objective, without any of the emotion which clouds everyone’s opinions.
Tom Hughes
76   Posted 08/06/2008 at 13:24:00

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I’m not professing perfect knowledge, just snippets gleaned from previous club anouncements regarding the profit threshold of the new stadium. That goal post has now moved. Incidentally, businessmen regularly get it wrong especially when someone sells them something that doesn’t add up even though they told everyone it did!

Problem is, they are gambling with our future....... a failed investment is nothing new to some of these characters, they tend to recoup somewhere down the line, or write it off.
Tony Waverleas
77   Posted 08/06/2008 at 14:42:04

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Tom, on the one hand you rightly state there are a number of uncertainties involved in any move yet you then claim certain knowledge that thousands of fans will abandon watching us in (your version of) Kirkby.
Sorry but that’s asking to have it both ways.
Bob Turner
78   Posted 08/06/2008 at 15:43:49

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Maybe BK and KW do have it wrong - that’s definitely within the realms of possibility.

For their error to be compounded by a bank believing their business case to be strong when it isn’t is not something which I believe will happen.

For them to advance, for the sake of argument, £78m, without evidence to suggest that it will be paid, would take some doing.

There’s less risk for Everton in borrowing £78m than there would be to borrow £200m+ for a new stadium, just by virtue of the fact that it’s a lot less to pay back.
Tom Hughes
79   Posted 08/06/2008 at 16:10:06

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Who has mentioned £200m? Redeveloping Gp needn’t cost anything like that..... by the way have you seen the banks that have needed bailing out for lending beyond their means? No-one, not even the club have stated that they have secured funding yet! Some much more astute number crunchers than me have analised this from the start. When they stated very early on that this project would never cost us only a few million, they were lambasted on these forums with statements like the club know what they’re doing, they know we cannot afford this etc and have it all covered. Even EFC’s self proclaimed spokespersons spouted categorically that it will cost us nothing because we simply didn’t have the funds etc....... These people have all vanished as each of our concerns have been vindicated. Now somehow we can afford this, yet can’t afford to redevelop that requires far less initial funding, and which can be self financing to an extent. (hence the reason why it is by far the most common way forward for clubs increasing capacity)
Tom Hughes
80   Posted 08/06/2008 at 16:24:37

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I haven’t stated certain knowledge of anything. However, IMO less convenience will usually deter some and lead to less footfall. Kirkby is significantly, and in many respects quantifiably less convenient than the more central GP, which is reflected in the Transport Strategy that so far has not solved Kirkby’s logistical problems. Also as I have stated elsewhere it is a complete shot in the dark. We have no idea if the additional capacity will be filled (especially given the number of threads with people saying they will never set foot in the place, and the aforementioned transport issues). The problem is of course if we don’t fill those new seats they become both a financial and operational burden beyond even our current plight. The worst case scenario...... They can’t pay for themselves if empty, the excess supply may deter some season ticket holders from struggling to find the lump sum when they know they can readily get seats on the day. The empty seats will affect the atmosphere..... the result is we become like Bolton and Boro playing to half full stands that have increased our debt....... meaning no benefit has been gained An incremental redevlopment averts this.
Bob Turner
81   Posted 08/06/2008 at 16:58:54

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I figured that I repeated the £200m tag often enough, it would become a fact ;-)

This was meant to be a reasonable figure, for the sake of argument, for a new stadium, as I did say in my comment. No doubt by the time any such move could take place, it would be more like £300m (in the same way that £78m minus naming rights and sale of GP seems to have morphed into £100m by repetition).

I haven’t seen any costing for redeveloping GP with the level of detail available now for Kirkby, so am unable to make a valid comparison with this.

You have stated that redeveloping GP would be cheaper, others on here have stated it would be more expensive - who to believe??

Whether or not KW/BK lied/used spin/naively believed when it came to the statements they made, objectively it matters not. Getting a stadium at a significant price less than if we needed to build it ourselves is a good, financial deal - might not be "Deal of the Century", but good nevertheless.

Incidentally, your point about banks needing bailing out for lending beyond their means completely validates my point - don’t you think they’re going to be a little bit more careful with their money? This means that Everton’s business case for moving to Kirkby is going to need to be even stronger to get the finance.
Tom Hughes
82   Posted 08/06/2008 at 17:54:36

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Show me where you have seen a detailed costing for Kirkby..... When did it arrive? This has grown from nothing to £78m in less than 12 months, where is the detail to explain that? The point is you voted yes when you thought it was costing "practically nothing" what detail did you demand then? If you have seen the "detail" to date you will know that the £78m figure refers to enabling cross funding that has now just been reduced by over 30%. Therefore, enabling funding will reduce and the costs increase! You stated Banks are supporting this and therefore it must be a sound business plan.... which bank, and when was this anounced?
Gp will not cost £200m to redevelop since it does not need 4 new stands immediately. It may only need one new stand at the Park end to match Kirkby’s capacity, with a remodelling/expansion of one other to match corporate provision..... all on a site with vastly superior infrastructure, history and continuity. Some things you can’t buy!
Bob Turner
83   Posted 08/06/2008 at 18:56:06

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Again you missed my point.

I haven’t seen a detailed costing for Kirkby, but I’m pretty sure Everton will need to have one to get any money. I certainly haven’t seen one for any other alternative.

Can you please tell me where I said the banks are supporting Kirkby??

Please re-read what I said. What I said is it would have to be a sound business plan if it was going to warrant a bank, in the current credit crunch climate, lending us a significant amount of money.

I clearly did not say any banks were supporting the business plan.

Let me ask you a fairly obvious question: do you think a bank will lend us £78m to build a stadium without a sufficiently strong business plan to back it up? Yes or no?
Tony Waverleas
84   Posted 08/06/2008 at 20:36:37

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Tom, the last thing anyone wants to see are empty seats & to be fair there are more often than not enough of them in Goodison on all but a few matchdays every season.
You could argue it’s because people won’t pay to sit in poor seats or, my own view, that our ceiling gate is only ever going to be in the high 30,000s.
I don’t doubt the sincerity of those who say they won’t set foot in a new stadium in Kirkby but as I said above I believe that when/if the time comes they’ll be there with the rest of us.
You’ve painted a negative scenario about the feared drop in attendances in Kirkby but you’d have to admit much of that argument is based on anecdote and supposition.
And talking of supposing who’s to say there aren’t plenty of Evertonians who will be attracted to a new stadium where the seats have more legroom, the sightlines are better & the bogs aren’t like a bizarre museum piece from the Dark Ages?
Tom Hughes
85   Posted 08/06/2008 at 21:59:14

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I have been to nearly every stadium in the UK and many more worldwide..... I really don’t get the toilet issue at GP where I have sat in every part of the stadium over the past 40 years. Surely whatever it is that upsets you can be resolved for far less than tens of millions, is it really a motivator for going to Kirkby? As far as legroom is concerned, the older upper stands can both be reprofiled if required giving more legroom. Old Trafford for instance violates legroom regulations in several sections, but no-one seems that bothered, as do most other stadia. Of course any new additions would meet all requirements. Reroofing alone would reduce obstructions by more than half, and all new seats would be completely unobstructed too if GP was redeveloped. I agree I am illustrating a worst case scenario at Kirkby, but it is one that is totally avoided by redevelopment at GP, so why take that chance? Not to mention the whole transport farce!
Art Greeth
86   Posted 08/06/2008 at 22:36:00

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Like Christine, I would like to offer the following as a scenario which could follow to its ?logical conclusions? given the current state of affairs:

? There is obvious improvement and a sense that there is a certain momentum with EFC at the moment. Players of interest to the club are openly stating they would welcome a move to Everton.
? The Dark Side are in disarray with in-house squabbling between the co-owners and ambitious stadium plans delayed and handcuffing the club to serious debt.
? Our neighbours represent the most vulnerable of the ?gang of four? we are trying to usurp. If we get a jump on them now in terms of stadium redevelopment and stable management at both the playing and board level, we could seriously displace them locally and nationally.

HOWEVER? what if:
? DK is called in/delayed. The club continues to be housed at GP for the foreseeable future.
? David Moyes ? yet to sign his contract extension ? steps back from his obvious emotional attachment he feels for the club, throws his hands up in frustration and concludes that unless and until the stadium issue is definitively resolved, his ambitions for the club will not be realised and he walks away.
? The players he has already attracted to the club, taking their lead from their former manager and in his absence, reach the same conclusion and make moves away from the club. Similarly, players who otherwise might have been attracted to a club on the up, see the exodus from Everton and opt for other pastures.
? All the advances made under Moyes in the past six years quickly unravel. The quality of the playing staff deteriorates as do the results. The decline, gradual at first, accelerates and the relegation trap door opens and we fall throw it.
? The opportunity that offered itself to seriously re-establish EFC as a truly top club in the English game is lost forever and Everton becomes little more than a quaint appendage in the history of football, a history known only to the keenest of students of the game.

Is this scenario any less or any more likely than that painted by Christine? To paraphrase her, doesn?t David Moyes ? the team ? the fans (paying or otherwise) deserve better?
Tom Hughes
87   Posted 08/06/2008 at 22:14:36

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"I haven?t seen a detailed costing for Kirkby, but I?m pretty sure Everton will need to have one to get any money."

When the club committed to this via exclusivity and before the vote, the club wasn’t supposed to need any money for Kirkby.... it was "practically nothing" possibly as little as £10m was the worst case scenario painted by Wyness in the first instance. What kind of business plan did we have to show we were paying nothing? Do you think it was worth the paper it was written on?

"I certainly haven?t seen one for any other alternative."

There’s the point Bob, nor has the club, otherwise you can be sure as hell it would have been posted with all the other long since discredited propoganda to support the move to Kirkby or reaffirm the NO plan B myth. It’s outragous that a multi-million pound organsiation hasn’t commissioned design studies or even a design competition by all the major independent stadium design outfits to fully assess all the options. I have worked on design for several major construction jobs, and invariably we had to compete with others to secure major projects by seeking innovative solutions to clients problems at the tendering stage. There is absolutely no evidence of this in this project...... in fact there is only evidence of quite the opposite.

"I clearly did not say any banks were supporting the business plan"

I am quite sure that most premiership clubs could make a strong business case for borrowing £78m for a new stadium, just as a pair of Americans can, to not only buy a club already in massive debt, but to plunge it further to the tune of hundreds of millions to build a stadium too without any personal outlay. This is the realms of financial possibilities in the football world, however, it doesn’t mean as you intimate that this business plan is the best option whether supported by a bank or not. Just as it glaringly obviously hasn’t been for LFC, who are currently paying off their owners purchase debt with the clubs own profits all via bank supported loans.

"Let me ask you a fairly obvious question: do you think a bank will lend us £78m to build a stadium without a sufficiently strong business plan to back it up? Yes or no?"

I have no idea...... I would hope not! But, we certainly wouldn’t be the first people to secure a massive loan on the back of a cock and bull story a la Gillette and Hicks!
Tom Hughes
88   Posted 08/06/2008 at 23:00:08

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Is that the same David Moyes who has intimated on more than one occasion that he is a traditionalist and prefers the redevelopment option. I think that would pretty much kill nearly all your assumptions in one go.

How about we stay and redevelop, he is elated at the prospect of the club not needing to pay off £78m grossly affecting his funds for the forseeable future and allowing him to find those few new faces to push our rivals when we really need them..... NOW! The incrimental capacity increases and extra revenue streams from new boxes etc helping with further development on and off pitch.......
Colin Wordsworth
89   Posted 08/06/2008 at 23:18:27

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You really do attempt to muddy the waters!

A like for like development of Goodison is bound to cost more than are talking for the most part of a poor add on to existing stands with little or no more corporate....hardly a step forward!

Just a short term fix!

The initial letter from Tesco stated the cost to be about 35 million to Everton.....that could be right.......nobody knows!

....but if the final figure is near to this....what a bargain!

And as for saying that our Evertonian...or is he?.....polititician is right!........well your arguments become weaker and weaker! He is just looking after his own ends and that does not include us!

Nobody knows the true costs, other than the people that matter, stop guessing!.

Bob Turner
90   Posted 09/06/2008 at 06:04:33

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Whatever was said pre-vote is not relevant to the current task of obtaining the finance to fund it. It might have made some people pissed off, but ultimately, since Kirkby is BK’s choice, and he controls the club, he could have just ploughed ahead with it. He called a vote, in my opinion, to be able to have a clear conscience to move. I’d agree that he’s probably failed in that respect. But, emotions aside, Kirkby will stand or fall on the strength of its business case, right here, right now.

I did not intimate that this business plan is the best option, I was merely trying to argue that if it obtained the finance needed, then it can’t be as bad as everyone seems to be making out. You then go on to talk about the risks involved in borrowing substantial amounts of money and being able to pay it back. Unless you have an option up your sleeve which is cheaper than Kirkby, this is actually an argument for going there.

I know you, and others, have posted at great length about the virtues of staying at Goodison, and about how it can be done at a lower cost than moving to Kirkby. I am not sure how you can claim this can be done in the absence of detailed costings. I am not trying to have a go at you, no-one who has read your posts can fail to appreciate your passion for the club. But it this lack of clarity which, for me, weakens your argument.

Speaking personally, there are 2 main reasons why I am in favour of moving to Kirkby.

The first is the cost. I can believe that a partial redevelopment of GP could be done for less than £78m, to what extent I don’t know (would depend on the detailed costings).

The second is the "value" of the resultant stadium. Sorry, I know i keep banging on about it, but this goes back to my business case argument. If we get the money to move to Kirkby, to my mind, it will be because a bank, in spite of all the obvious risks involved, decides that what Kirkby offers is enough security for the bank to rely upon Everton’s ability to meet the repayments. There would be very little worth in a bank repossessing the stadium (unless Liverpool still hadn’t built their’s lol), so the only security the bank will have will be Everton’s future income streams. No-one knows what they are, but surely the bank will be in the best position to make the educated guess, having sight of all the facts.

Again, and I’m not trying to be confrontational, but we don’t have this clarity for any other alternative. You’ll no doubt argue that we (i.e. the fans) don’t have this clarity for Kirkby, either, and you’re probably right. However, my point is that those making the objective decision (aside from the history, the emotion, the "lies"/spin/exaggerations etc) will lend us the money, or not, based on numbers on a spreadsheet.

You may have guessed through all of this that my obsession is with numbers (I am an accountant), but having read through other "Yes" voters arguments, I believe the financial aspect overrides all the emotional reasons for staying.

Your arguments seem also to be based in the logic of staying, but, and again, not having a go, in the absence of a detailed costing and business case, it is going to be difficult to convince me, (or, more importantly, the club) that staying also makes more financial sense.

I am not demanding that you, and others, construct a costing and business plan to support your case for staying - I clearly have no right to that. What I would say, though, is that, if you actually want us to stay at GP, BK is the one who will need convincing.

If he’s adamant that he wants us to move to Kirkby, it can only be because he thinks he can earn more money doing so. He is only going to do that if, after the move, the club is worth more than it is now. The club will only be worth more if the move was successful, and presumably bringing in additional revenue which means better players on the pitch.

If it all goes tits up for him , and we don’t move, then happy days for the "No" voters, you get what you want (and no acrimony from the "Yes" voters, well, me anyway).

Hand on heart, I would love to stay at GP. It is the history and emotion which persuaded me to vote against Kings Dock. I actually didn’t get a vote for Kirkby (my season ticket is registered at my dad’s house, so I fell foul of the "2 votes from the same household" rule - which I had no problem with, those were the rules of the Electoral Reform Society), but would have voted "Yes", purely for financial reasons. I think the need for increased income is more pressing now than then, and I think moving to Kirkby is the best balance of risk/reward.

Of course, as I have said, this is only the case if our revenues will increase in Kirkby - and the best judges on that will be the bank when it comes to them coughing up.

Then again, if today is the big day in terms of it getting called in, then we might never find out.
Bob Turner
91   Posted 09/06/2008 at 06:41:12

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One other thing I missed - I appreciate that a bunch of disparate Evertonians against the move might not be in a position to fund a detailed costing and business plan (both from a knowledge and financial perspective), but I would think that LCC would have the resources and knowledge to assist you in the preparation of a business case.

I know that they might have had their fingers burnt with BK before, but if they are serious at wanting us to stay, they have had ample time and opportunity to support us, even if it was only to the extent that they have supported the RS. Walton Hall Park would be nice.... They could build a park to replace it at Goodison!
Art Greeth
92   Posted 09/06/2008 at 09:17:45

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Quoting you Tom, ?Is that the same David Moyes who has intimated on more than one occasion that he is a traditionalist and prefers the redevelopment option...?

Absolute ROT, Tom. Point me in the direction of any quoted statement from Moyes ? on paper, video or audio ? that he has made such a statement. The only thing that came close to matching your claim, I believe, was a TV interview with Moyes recorded before one of our European games.

AFTER Moyes was OFF CAMERA, the voice over of the interviewing journalist made the comment ?And what is David Moyes? opinion of the stadium issue? Let?s just say he is a traditionalist?? and the piece ended with a zoom in on GP. No way can you or any one else concretely claim Moyes is pro-GP and thus anti-Kirkby based on such mischievous innuendo.

Like others you have inflated this SINGLE, tenuous allusion re: Moyes and his position on the stadium issue to suit your argument. Only last week in these very columns I saw a poster claim that the words spoken by the journalist were actually spoken by Moyes himself.

If you wish to accuse what you obviously consider ?the enemy? of lies, deceit and distortion, take care not to indulge in the same practice yourself.
Tom Hughes
93   Posted 09/06/2008 at 10:21:16

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As you say, we haven’t seen any detailed financial plan for Kirkby..... more worryingly, what snippets we have been shown in terms of bottom line costings have grown inordinately far beyond simple construction cost fluctuations over the past few months with more to come I’m sure. Therefore what faith should we have in the process/plan to date?

The main difference between new build and redevelopment is that with redevelopment you are starting with something you can then add to. This is overwhelmingly the most common approach adopted by clubs to increase capacity/facilities...... from the tiniest clubs in the lower leagues right through to mighty Man Utd, Celtic, Rangers, Barcelona, Real Madrid etc. I believe we have something solid and even valuable enough to want to build onto at GP. Not all additions/extensions are to be sneered at as ilconceived bolt-ons. The whole of the San Siro, and Bernabeu is a series of additional sections built onto the original stands. These are the greatest stadia in the world!
At GP the upper Bullens can be extended by 20 or so rows and still maintain good to excellent sightlines and viewing distances. This in effect will yield a new stand with much larger concourse areas, upto 40 exec boxes, and turning the existing upper Bullens into a premier seating area with totally unobstructed views. A 15,000+ seater stand for the cost of just a 5,000 seater. Similarly the Parkend is readily extendable, it was designed to be so. Even the most basic financial calc cannot make 10-13,000 new seats added in this way more expensive than Kirkby is going to be where we are in effect paying for approx 40,000 of the 50,000 seats. Throw in the poor public transport, loss of heritage and identity and it’s hard to see how Kirkby can ever compare.

Before anyone condemns the old stands as beyond repair etc, I can also assure you that these are soldly over engineered steel and concrete structures that will outlast us all if allowed. No-one is contemplating knocking down the centre-court at Wimbledon or Ibrox’s mainstand both examples of Leitch’s work that have been preserved and added to! We can combine history and modernity in a way no other major stadium can, yet we are advocating letting it go for bland nothingness out of sight, out of mind and out of the city! It beggars belief...... IMO!
Tom Hughes
94   Posted 09/06/2008 at 10:57:08

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Not attempting to muddy the waters at all. Why should I have to, given the collapse of EVERY supporting pre-vote HEADLINE statement "Muddying the waters" can hardly be levelled at No-voters. Everything we predicted has come to pass!

KW said in the media and at a shareholders meeting that I attended pre-vote that the nett cost to the club could be literally next to nothing given the levels of cross funding and everything else...... how muddy do you want get?

Preserving and enhancing Iconic stands is not a quick fix it’s building on a valuable and historic past! It is also cost effective!
Tom Hughes
95   Posted 09/06/2008 at 11:05:47

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Bit touchy mate?!

Fact is, your hypothetical scenario made a series of strained assumptions that are at best optimistic and at worst fanciful and even irrelevant to the argument of: Redevelopment versus Kirkby...... All built around Davie Moyes’ apparent desire for Kirkby that quite frankly is untrue IMO, and almost as irrelevant as Alan Stubbs’ previous staged interjection in anycase. Far be it from you to discuss the actual merits of Kirkby in relation to any other option, since that might challenge even your skills for flowery prose!
Brian Davies
96   Posted 09/06/2008 at 11:37:25

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Does anyone actually think that the stadium in Kirkby is worthy of Everton Football Club, when even Knowsley council have admitted the design is poor?

What happens in 10-20 years when Villa, Pompey, Spurs etc. produce stadiums of capacities of 50k plus and talk of increasing the capacity comes around?

From what I've heard the Kirkby stadium can't be increased beyond 55k because of transport retrictions so does that mean this whole scenario will come about again?

With nothing representng Everton in the city centre or Liverpool One & I?m guessing the Walton megastore will have to move, with Everton being based out of the way in Kirkby and that being a red stronghold, how will our fan base grow? OK my children and yours may support us but with a lack of Everton in Liverpool, the city will be waving red flags.
Art Greeth
97   Posted 09/06/2008 at 13:12:11

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Tom? not touchy at all, ?mate?. Just a strong and totally refutation of your earlier claim. Too bad if you take exception to it. BTW, I note you cannot provide me with any links supporting the stance you attributed to Moyes. And nice try in attempting to attribute to me claims I have not made (unlike yourself), but no where in my post do I categorically state or even imply that it is ?Moyes? apparent desire (to move to) Kirkby?.

Furthermore, I do not deny my original post is a hypothetical scenario. I consciously wrote it in the manner of Christine?s ?logical conclusions? that evolved from her own imaginative interpretations of things. I clearly state BOTH scenarios are based on supposition. I don?t purport to present my scenario as definitive or even truthful. The wording of Christine?s original post at the head of this thread, IMO, does.

As for your snide comment ?far be it from you to discuss the actual merits of Kirkby in relation to any other option, since that might challenge even your skills for flowery prose?, I?ve constantly engaged in the debate ? even very directly with you personally (follow this link) ? over many months. If you feel uncomfortable with my counter-points and eloquence, that is an issue for you to deal with. Personally, to again quote your good self, your opinion of me in the discussion is ?irrelevant?.
Colin Wordsworth
98   Posted 09/06/2008 at 13:15:17

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The’ collapse of all the pre vote headlines’...really, I think you are a bit of a fantasist, you believe what you want to believe!

As far as transport etc is much better will Kirkby be when Liverpool introduce a congestion charge?

Manchester is rumoured to be doing so....

Ps do you work for Liverpool Council?, you are a fantastic spokesperson for them!

ps 35 mill IS next to nothing in stadium terms!
Tom Hughes
99   Posted 09/06/2008 at 13:30:41

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Jeez we’re onto congestion charges now too..... how far have you got to stretch the issues before you concede that Kirkby isn’t what it was meant to be...... and never can be?

Incidentally, I think congestion charges if and when they come to Liverpool will apply only to city centre streets! But in anycase, the far more car-reliant Kirkby site would suffer more in that respect if you ever envisage it stretching further than that!

No, I don’t work for the council and never have done, although I did work on the design phase for Merseytram and am quite conversant with Kirkby’s transport network having also worked there for over 6 years. Unfortunately, in my work I cannot afford the luxury of fantasy, solutions have to be justified inside out and back to front. Scrutiny comes from all angles, Kirkby stands up to very little as has been shown!
Gavin Ramejkis
100   Posted 09/06/2008 at 16:30:10

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Colin W re the congestion charge, even if Manchester go for it, it wont come in until 2013 and of all the other cities that have expressed and interest only Cambridge has been beyond initial questions and guess what Liverpool have not even asked, any city would have to realise congestion charging with no chance of increasing public transport - can you honestly say miseryrail, the mythical trams etc are anything short of prophetic in saying Liverpool would miraculously be able to agree a transport programme never mind implement one on a scale sufficient to wipe out congestion charging implications?
Colin Wordsworth
101   Posted 09/06/2008 at 19:22:08

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Gavin and Tom

I really was tongue in cheek on the congestion charge!

Tom, as far as fantasy is concerned, I feel it is on both sides of the argument, nobody knows the future. We are all hoping that we have made the correct decision.

A question though, and perhaps I have missed the answer somewhere, but why are the rs not redeveloping their stadium if it is the way forwards?

Tom Hughes
102   Posted 09/06/2008 at 20:57:40

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Colin, they already did, but aimed too low and are now paying for it. They believed following the Taylor report that 45,000 seats would suffice, and to be honest that’s probably understandable given the attendances pre-90’s, Even Man Utd thought 44,000 seats would suffice. Incidentally, it cost them very little. What they are left with now will be far more difficult to expand, though not impossible. Given their relative wealth (pre-yanks) they believed a blank canvas 100m away was a good compromise. They may still have to revisit redevelopment the way things are shaping following their takeover..... but one thing to note is that even they, with their vast out of town support (2.5 million, non merseyside based reds in the UK alone) would not consider the out of town option!
Colin Wordsworth
103   Posted 09/06/2008 at 21:34:27

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Thanks Tom

You really are a fountain of knowledge(and i’m not being sarcastic), and at times you do talk much sense, unfortunately we still disagree on many other points.

However, I do remember a feed not so long ago stating that the rs were looking out of the city at one stage!

As I see it at the moment thay cannot afford their carbuncle on the park, 30 million a season in interest is a lot of money!

It really is a shame that the ground share is not on the agenda but I fear that this will be as controversial to Evertonians as Kirkby is at the mo.

Colin Grierson
104   Posted 10/06/2008 at 14:42:04

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Excellently written Christine.

The problem from the beginning is that the club divided the support, deliberatley IMO to create the kind of debate taking place here which is based in the main on conjecture and bias towards a chosen stad point.
The silence at Goodison, on this whole issue, is deafening. This whole debate is fuelled by the clubs failure to clarify the facts and to reassure the fans.
I dont know what the outcome of this debacle will be and neither do any of the posters on here. We have our opinions though.
I’ve stated on here before that I think that this move will be disastrous. I really dont want to be proved right. If the move goes ahead then I hope it proves to be successful. I would wager heavily that it will slowly prove the demise of the club.

I don’t know about the fan base decreasing. Lots of match goers have told me that they wont set foot in the place and I believe them. They are staunch Evertonians who hold strong principles. They didn’t vote for it, some of them for reasons stated earlier in the debate never had the chance.

The debate is important, however, as it shows that we all care about the club. Only time will tell whether we will be able to move on and debate something less crucial to our future than this issue. Lets make no mistake about it ths decision is a make or break decision. It will either succeed or fail. There really is no middle ground here.

The club have let both sides of this debate down through their silence. If supporting a football club was not such an irratrional pastime, who would be a Blue?

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