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Call me a Dock-tor!

By Karl Masters :  02/07/2007 :  Comments (57) :

If, like me, you just don't want to go to Kirkby for whatever reasons (mine primarily being the loss of matchday experience and it's economically suicidal to be on the periphery) you may be wondering just where else we could go.

I'm not a resident of Liverpool, but I have spent a fair bit of time there and have always been fascinated by the local history and unique urban landscape of the city. So, when I have had a bit of spare time, I have driven round and had a good look. Thinking back, it has changed a fair bit since I first visited in 1981. I vividly remember all the empty spaces post demolition with in many cases just the Pub, chippie and bookies still standing like lighthouses. I recall thinking that it would take my lifetime to rebuild what had to be cleared where tired old buildings had seen their day or Hitler's bombs had scarred the landscape. An absolutely massive job, which at the time nobody seemed to have much money for although the Tory Govt seemed very keen on planting trees for some reason.

A generation on and things have improved, but there is still work to be done and the one large area still requiring a lot of work is the area to the North of the Pier Head running up along the Dock Road and encompassing Vauxhall, Bootle, Kirkdale, Everton and accross to Walton. Therefore, I just find it amazing that nobody can seemingly find a location that would suit a football stadium. There is loads of potential space especially near the Docks, much of which appears to be derelict or burnt out and ripe for redevelopment.

As I understand it, Peel Holdings owns a lot of this land and has some very grand ideas for developing it over the next couple of decades. Would Peel not welcome a world famous football Club as part of their plans? Obviously, the deal would have to suit them too, but with support from the Council and private investors something must surely be possible.

Currently, we are led to believe that the only business on this planet prepared to aide our Club is Tesco. That is because the Kirkby development helps them. With the right scheme and the right partners who can say that Everton FC cannot have a stadium in the Docklands?

I just don't feel that the Club have explored possible opportunities like this at all. Maybe they have, but exclusivity periods, deafening silence etc only make you think otherwise. And revealing that their only research of the fanbase's views on Kirkby is to looka at a Toffeeweb poll and and talk with a few shareholers, makes you wonder whether any other businesses would take them seriously!

Of course, the doubters out there immediately shout that we have no money. We have no pot to piss in they cry. But, hang on a minute. Let's just examine a few facts here. Our income is about to go from £60m p.a. to around £80m p.a. due to the extra TV money. This will put Everton FC back in the World Top 20 Rich List. Obviously, we all want to see the Team strengthened etc, but if 'only' £5m of that £80m was used to pay off a mortgage on a stadium for the next 25 years, the Club could expect to raise maybe £50 m right now.

And then, there's us the fans. Rumoured by the Club to number 900,000 worldwide. What would you be prepared to pay as a one off towards a Stadium? £10, £100, £1000, maybe more. it would depend what you got back wouldn't it. A debenture on your Season ticket, your name on a plaque on your seat, your name listed on a wall of fans that would flow round the stadium? The possibilities are endless, but lets's say 50000 averaged £100 ( I know a lot who would pay more by the way)that would be another £5m. And that's without a share issue of course. That would have a lot more to do with a 'People's Club'.

Add on say £10m for Goodison itself, naming rights ( I see Bolton have agreed another 9 years with Reebok today ) for say another £10 million and the Club have £75m to bring to the table. I just don't buy this Skint nonsense even if wages are sky high. Chuck in some assistance from the loveable LCC,European aid for 'one of the most deprived parts of Europe ( according to Brussels )North West Development Agency assistance, Lottery funding, support from associated Retail partners on the site and you are climbing towards the £90m, maybe £100m mark.

Of course, this may seem impossible to some, but only to those with no vision. Other Clubs do it, don't they? For an outstanding Dockside stadium development, just check out Portsmouth's plans for their new Stadium. A groundbreaking wave shaped stadium incorporating 700 riverside apartments close to Portsmouth city centre. Get on their website or the local council's if you're in any doubt. It's even more central than Fratton Park. You see, they have realised that it has to be to support associated development.

Peel Holdings. Well, yes, they are an unknown quantity in some respects. It may not even be necessary to involve them if another site came up, but there is an example of them offering land to a football club in 2007. Gillingham may not set your pulse racing, but they actually occupy a location in Kent with a catchment area of 250,000 in the Medway towns alone and over 350,000 people within half an hour's drive of the Town in a booming county with no other League Club. The nearest rival being Charlton, 30 miles away.

For those that don't know the area, it has many similarities to Merseyside, being unlike the rest of Kent having supported heavy industry including the massive Chatham naval dockyard until the recent past. The potential is enormous, but the Clubhave been held back by a stadium holding only about 12000 hemmed in by Victorain terraces with no real parking and no room to expand ( sound familiar? ). Anyway, Peel Ports own a large chunk of the unused docklands and are now in advanced negotiations to sell some of this to Gillingham to build a stadium on. So, this would suggest they may be interested in doing business.

This is all conjecture, but I can't get excited about Kirkby at all. It's in the wrong place for me. Too far out of the way and no cultural interest like the city of Liverpool. I accept we must either move or find ways of expanding Goodison with a viable business partner. As the latter seems unlikely ( although again I wonder how hard BK & co have really tried ) it seems we must move.

But Kirkby seems to me the epitomy of the easy option, short term fix. Regardless of the Stadium design ( and that's another bg subject on its own! ) it's in the wrong place. Any Estate Agent will tell you, Location, Location. It's like moving to that new housing estate on the edge of town and wondering why you can't walk to the shops anymore, always have to get a taxi for a night out, and eventually realising you'd rather have a smaller house in the right location where all the action is. So you move again. That's ok for you, but not so easy for a football club.

So, we have to get this move right and I don't think this is right and I just fear that in 10 years time we'll all realise that and wish the Club had tried a bit harder to make it work in the Docklands. I suspect that the Club have their doubts too, hence the silence, but nobody is pretending this is an easy subject, Bill. If you opened this subject up to wider debate locally and nationally, who knows who might step out of the shadows with ideas and money?

Reader Comments

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Paul Collyer
1   Posted 03/07/2007 at 08:07:30

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I couldn't agree more, basically.
Alan Davies
2   Posted 03/07/2007 at 07:59:47

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Fair comments. Like alot of people, I think moving Everton out of the city would be a absolute disaster!
Terry Jenkins
3   Posted 03/07/2007 at 08:11:02

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Kind of puts it all in perspective does this article.Kenwright,Wyness &Co are very fond of the soft option hence the stampede into outsourcing.I guess the problem is that they find it hard to get credit so the ’sell it off and take a commission’is the easy answer.But to adopt the same policy over the stadium which is at the very heart of the Club is nothing but a sin.They MUST be stopped.
Lori Ketern
4   Posted 03/07/2007 at 08:34:39

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I agree. I?d feel much more at ease hearing a ?no stone unturned? approach, rather than ?period of exclusivity?. Surely there?s somewhere suitable in the city.
Shaun Brennan
5   Posted 03/07/2007 at 08:51:47

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Things just aren’t that black and white though?
Erik Dols
6   Posted 03/07/2007 at 08:51:07

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Good article, I’m just afraid your financial backing is a bit flawed. I honestly believe Kenwright would choose your docklands-option over Kirkby, if there was no financial difference. But it seems the only financially viable option they can come up with is this partnership with Tesco...

I’d rather stay at a defunct Goodsion for some more years ’till a better option pops up.
Colin Smith
7   Posted 03/07/2007 at 08:51:55

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Lets be honest here, Kirkby is a dead town going no-where. At a time when there is massive investment and development going into Liverpool city centre, then it would be a big mistake not to attempt to secure a location for a stadium within the city. Did BK and all not learn anything from the KD plans, after all they had massive support for that plan and would have it again for another city location. Tell Tesco to stick with partnering second rate RL clubs, and leave Knowsley MBC to concentrate on getting the bin collections, schools in order before interfering with one of this nations best loved football linsitutions!!!
patty blue
8   Posted 03/07/2007 at 09:08:08

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Try e-mailing your article to dear old Bill - not that I think he will take much notice of us fans - he is a law unto himself!
Philip Whitehead
9   Posted 03/07/2007 at 09:07:49

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Great article - Its the deafening silence from the club that worries me about Kirkby.

There is nothing hardly on the official website about the recent consultation in Kirkby and the artists impression on the KEIOC website looks like a schoolboys art project.
Nick Flack
10   Posted 03/07/2007 at 08:37:09

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Good article, but Peel Holdings an unknown quantity??? Really??? Last time i looked they owned a few airports, AND the Trafford Centre, AND are doing the beebs new Salford site...

I?d Chomp at the bit for their involvement.
Bluey
11   Posted 03/07/2007 at 09:40:30

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Surely our very silent partner Mr Robert Earl would be able to weave his alledged marketing expertise on Peel holdings and ensure the very best for Everton Football Club. One option is not enough and although personally Kirkby would be convenient for me, its not the right location for our beloved football club. Its time to listen to the fans, if thats the only thing the club do right this year.
Gavin Ramejkis
12   Posted 03/07/2007 at 09:57:33

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Good article, had some dealings in the past with Peel Holdings and yes they are huge and own shedloads of land, they don’t usually sell it off but get rent/ground rent from tenants and have grown exponentially over the last few years. I am all in favour for this sort of scheme which would keep the club in the city where it belongs and give the local support the opportunity to remain.

A dockside arena as seen in the Kings Dock style holds so much more kudos and appeal for other businesses; hotels, upmarket accomodation etc, etc. Kirkby would offer a very poor version; like the analogy from some time ago a penthouse apartment versus a council flat.
Brian Waring
13   Posted 03/07/2007 at 10:07:52

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Great piece Karl Masters. I think the problem is Kenwright, with his "It?s my trainset and I?ll do what I want with it" attitude. Also, I just have an un-easy feeling with us getting into bed with Tesco. Regards the move to Kirkby, my brother said it all for me (he is a redshite) he said "Your going to where you belong, a small club in a small town." By the way, Karl, prepare yourself for the flak of Doddy and the usual suspects regards your article...
TaxiClubBlue
14   Posted 03/07/2007 at 10:17:46

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Yep, I join the chorus of approval, Karl ? great overview. It?s time to accept that those who are anti-Kirkby will never be understood by those who are pro. And vice-versa. The circular arguments, with one party trying to convince the other, are exactly that: circular, going pointlessly round-and-round. So each to their own.

So let?s stop any in-fighting (I?m already dreading the Wigan game when we all reconvene ? even my group is split ? as I?m excpecting a long, hard day of discussing anything but that which happens on the field **). I also think the TW poll is quite reflective with the fans being roughly split down the middle (with an 8pc or so edge being held by those who are AK - which actually has stunned me as I thought it would be the other way around with the PK lobby being at least 10pc ahead *).

Sadly, though, this whole thing is being dictated by Terry Tesco. Instead of looking for suitable brownfield sites for EFC (of which, I agree, there are plenty) it?s probably more instructive to hold a sheet of tracing paper over the map of Liverpool (and the fabled "Greater Merseyside" - copyright, Terry Tesco) and mark where the major Tescos, Asdas and Sainsbury?s are (not to mention the mini Tescos) and then ask yourself where else TT needs to sling a new megastore. One of the answers, clearly, is Kirkby. And that?s the bottom line.

Peel, I?m sure, would be more than accommodating to EFC if we asked to become a north end regeneration partner. But, as a savvy organisation that?s not noted for their extra largesse (unless there?s a serious kick-back for them - and yes, I?d agree with Nick Flack that they are far from an unknown quantity), their first question to EFC would undoubtedly be "where?s your money?".

I also agree with Erik Dols that deep-down Kenwright probably doesn?t want to move to Kirkby but he knows that as things stand he?s not got much choice. I guess, then, there are three parties looking with interest at this whole debate: those AK, PK and one very compromised BK.

** Let?s not go down the rabbit-hole of dissecting the collective term Anti-Kirkby. Yeah, I know your aunty/gran/ex-bird probably lives there and you actually quite like it and there?s some great boozers and you?ve got nothing against it per se, except that it?s not fit for EFC. It?s just easier to describe Blues, right now, as being PK or AK.

* In expressing fears that the current spats between fans, if allowed to continue without proper information (hey, Bill?) could make the Wigan game (that being the first time we?re all back together as collective) a little tetchy and certainly a (necessary) chore, I was actually accused on a response link last week of inciting a KEIOC-sponsored kick-off! Nuts. Once again, if you?re PK then good for you. If you?re AK then I?m right with you brother. And if you?re BK - please don?t even think of inviting John Barrowman to Goodison.

Stefan Tosev
15   Posted 03/07/2007 at 11:10:01

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Brian Waring, I think that club’s PR machine is not ready with the answer to this article, hence Doddy is appearing...

We have to wait a bit, it may land on the OS by mistake, who knows?
Mike Cheshire
16   Posted 03/07/2007 at 11:14:48

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Couldn?t agree more with Karl Masters. I particularly like the idea about raising funds by selling bricks with fans names on, I?d deinitely stump up a couple of hundred for that. I must confess that I have been paying as much attention as I can to this and getting increasingly worried by the club?s (and by that I mean BK et al) apparent lack of ambition with regard to redevelopment or movement. The stadium that is being touted as a template for the new ground in Kirkby is the Rhein Energy Stadion in Cologne. Have a look at pictures of it at www.worldstadiums.com and then compare to the Portsmouth Development pictured on the same site (under future stadiums) then you tell me which club appears to have the most ambition.

Yes, Portsmouth are looking to build only a 30,000 capacity but the figures that are being banded about are £620m (all be it with development partners investment), but if you were a player and the choices were us and porstmouth and you had the choice of Kirkby and Moyes or Redknapp and the dock side spot, it?d probably be a bit harder to make your mind up.

My other question is "if Portsmouth can get their crap together and get that sort of level of investment, why the hell can?t we?"
The other thing about the alleged design is why are we copying other people stadia? Are we not the school of science? Did we, as a club, not have the foresight to build the world?s first purpose built football stadium? We need to carry on our traditions and be innovators and no longer sheep.

Steve Sumner
17   Posted 03/07/2007 at 11:39:14

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Great article and good idea but you’ve totally overlooked the transport situation.
Laurie Hartley
18   Posted 03/07/2007 at 11:39:20

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I agree with Toffeboy and I like the idea of a ground on the Mersey. I have lived in Melbourne for the last 34 years but still love being an Evertonian. Here is a link to a stadium in the "Docklands" of Melbourne - note the apartment development going on all around the stadium. Perhaps this might give Peel Holdings something to think about. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telstra_Dome
Lee Spargo
19   Posted 03/07/2007 at 12:20:39

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Why would Peel Holdings want a football stadium in the middle of their proposed Liverpool Waters Development?

Further, haven’t they already suggested another site - switch island - also ’out of Liverpool’?
Simon Walker
20   Posted 03/07/2007 at 12:19:28

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I think people are confusing commercial confidentiality with "deafening silence". The club has a contractual obligation to fully examine the Kirkby option and as such is unlikely (probably not even allowed) to comment on the matter in public.

I am an exiled scouser and I can’t see the fuss for a 4 mile move. So what, Kirkby is not in the city centre, neither is Goodison - its a bitch to get to and the surrounding area is a disgrace. ALthough Goodison is in the city limits, was it so when it was built? I don’t know the answer to that and frankly I don’t care. If LCC had shown one iota of desire to hold on to EFC I would perhaps agree, but they have singularly failed.

As much as we may or may not like it, until EFC and partners have fully examined the plans for a development in Kirkby, you are going to hear no more about it.

As for Peel Holdings - don’t expect any favours from them, they are a commercial interest just like Tesco - in it for their own benefit. Frying pan into fire anyone? At least Leahy is a blue!
Karl Masters
21   Posted 03/07/2007 at 12:22:43

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Steve, you?re right that I did not mention transport. However, I would envisage that it wouldn?t be that much further along Queens Drive than anybody coming along from the M62, or from that direction, by car already travels. Furthermore we would be closer to the Merseyrail stations for those coming into Liverpool by train. Who is to say that new transport links could not be incorporated into the scheme anyway?

Nowhere will ever be perfect - the Kings Dock for all its good points was TOO central (imagine 50,000 fans and Saturday afternoon shopping traffic trying to get out of the city centre all at the same time!).

Kirkby?s only good point is that it is near the M57. Although that may seem good to some, it makes almost any other form of travel ( train or bus ) very difficult to use as it?s too far out from the hub. Also Motorways are often subject to delays, crashes, roadworks etc. By putting most of your eggs in that basket, you?re asking for trouble. Look at Bolton as an example and remember their attendances are half what ours are projected to be and they can?t have that many out of towners either. I think the Docklands is at least as good as Kirkby for transport, if not better.

Gavin Ramejkis
22   Posted 03/07/2007 at 12:21:19

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Sunderland raised some funds for the Stadium of Light selling named bricks, we aren’t justa a bunch of thick working class numpties that this club treat us as. Surely there are lots of sound business ideas out there just waiting to see the light of day, it all comes down to a willingness to listen and act, can we say BK does, has or ever will?
Peter Fearon
23   Posted 03/07/2007 at 13:01:39

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I would support a docklands stadium, given the nightmarish alternative. My only concerns would be the traffic pattern and the proximity of listed buildings. Those who wish to see us forced out of Liverpool would use them to hold up development.
Adam
24   Posted 03/07/2007 at 12:58:32

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At last, an article about ground moving which has really caught my interest.
Surely an option like this is too good not to look into? Can we not get a list of names attached to this and send it petition like to Bill Kenwright?
I was gutted when the Kings Dock fell through but something like Karl imagines would go a long way to making amends...
Bluey
25   Posted 03/07/2007 at 13:04:27

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I agree with you Gavin that BK seems unwilling to act right now. The whole marketing strategy needs reevaluating. We need the right investment, not just any and that means finding someone who has the desire to make us the 1st club in Liverpool and not just someone loooking for a quick fix from the Premiership.

Whilst Tesco are a very successful company, regardless of whether any new stadium with them would bring us the investment we crave and need, we are definately underselling ourselves and can do much better.

Incompetence on BK’s part for not having an effective marketing team behind him, or selfishness because Bill thinks this is his easiest way to get a return on his investment and a new stadium at the same time-I can’t answer that at the moment.

We have the potential for being so much bigger and a chance to crawl out of Liverpool’s shadow. Hiding away in the suburbs is not going to achieve that, as so many Evertonians already agree on.

The clock is ticking but there’s still time to get it right. We care about the club- Can the club show us they care about us and the future of Everton. We’re waiting for answers...
Tony Towers
26   Posted 03/07/2007 at 13:56:45

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Bluey, great point about Mr Earl.
He must see what BK is doing and surely to god must be able to help find investors. He could have a word with his partners messrs Arnie, Sly and Bruce all worth fortunes in their own right.
John de Frece
27   Posted 03/07/2007 at 14:03:10

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a bloody good article
The more this saga goes on the more I am convinced that there simply MUST be a site within the city boundaries- in my view south Liverpool is preferable solely because i believe that we should get away from the shadow of the sh--te’s new place
But I could certainly live with a site at the docks

At the end of the day - better to stay at Goodison for another few years rather than move out of town. Better to keep on looking until we get it right
John Patrick McFarlane
28   Posted 03/07/2007 at 14:51:41

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Smashing article Karl, however, I think there is far more to the link up with Tesco’s than we are being told. After all I’m sure an ambitious man like Terry Tesco doesn’t envisage being with his current employers for ever. If he was interested in becoming more than an advisor to Everton Football Club and has the desire to become the owner of EFC in the future, he would doubtless benefit greatly from the re-location of EFC to a new site albeit a controversial one. I am sure that BK does have the best interests of Everton at heart and he obviously doesn’t want the club to fall into ’bad hands’ but due to his lack of funds he is totally reliant on others to make the ’big’ decisions. That from my POV is the problem EFC have had for the past 15 or so years. We as supporters just have to hope that all turns out well in the end.
superpull
29   Posted 03/07/2007 at 16:39:29

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Peel have stated categorically that they do not want any football stadium to be part of "Liverpool Waters".

There is no room to fit it in to the south of that. Further north is the old Tobacco warehouse, that is in the middle of a survey to cost how much it will be to change the spacing between the floors to convert it into apartments (same goes for the "sidekick" building. After that is a bit of a wasteland around Trafalgar dock. But the transportation issues make it a poor choice and we actually do still need some working docks somewhere.

Turnover of £80million by no way implies profit of £80 million. The TV money was spent last year and we have just got another mortgage for £14 million based on it.

Im not exactly pro Kirkby but our choices are Switch Island (which has already been knowcked back once by Sefton Council), Gilmoss (which wasnt good enough for Liverpool) or South Liverpool.

I would prefer to go to Kirkby than put up with Speke/Garston. I think id prefer to move to the Wirral in fact.
Brian Waring
30   Posted 03/07/2007 at 17:26:53

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I’m probalby being too cynical,but I wouldn’t put it past BK to have asked Tesco and Knowsley to place the period of exclusivity on talks,so that way he could keep us in the dark.
Jonathan Brown
31   Posted 03/07/2007 at 19:02:33

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Best place for the blues is a site well within the city boundary, indeed within Everton itself.

It?s the big area within the loop road leading from the new Mersey Tunnel to Scotland Road.

Just a big warehouse on it now, nothing special but it?s big enough for a large stadium, believe it or not.

To make it work a concrete roof would need to be placed over the road cutting - this is relatively simple in engineering terms; a similar cover was placed over much of the Edge Hill rail cutting through the University in the 60s.

This would be ideal for both the club and city, with access just a short walk from town and the club?s heartlands.

Has anyone been pushing for this option?
bluejohn
32   Posted 03/07/2007 at 19:12:49

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One of the great things about this site is that somebody can come on and throw a load of figures around and bingo we have raised 75 million. And all the Bill haters buy into it, i am not Bills greatest fan but surely it cant be that easy
North Sea Blue
33   Posted 03/07/2007 at 19:01:36

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Good article and I share your views Karl. Although some of your financial arguments may be flawed, the point is valid that there is much more the club can and should do. Anybody who went to Chelsea recently must have been impressed by the fans wall - A massive photograph containing images of Chelsea fans proudly wearing their colours - who amongst us wouldn’t pay for our kids to go on that.? We cannot allow this move to happen, we the fans of this great club must stand as one against the move and force Kenwright and his cronies to back down - Bill said it himself, its our club, not his so lets make the right decision for the future of EFC.
anthony fielding
34   Posted 03/07/2007 at 19:48:37

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with regards to raising the money, The Red Shite could not even raise the money themselves and they have alot bigger fan base than us, they have alot higher turnover than us, they have the backing of the council and they could command a lot more in naming rights than us, so what makes you think we could raise that sort of money?? Plus a stadium worthy of being a replacement of Goodison would cost a hell of a lot more than £100 million. People need to face facts, the only way we can afford to build a new stadium is with the help of a willing 3rd party, and at the moment there is only Tesco that are willing to stump up the cash
Jon Sellick
35   Posted 03/07/2007 at 21:29:52

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Tremendous argument put forward. That is what i call a plan - get it boxed off and sent to kenwright and co asap.
Gerry Myles
36   Posted 03/07/2007 at 23:42:18

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The City's first club has got to be in the City, you make good points,and that is the only way!
Ann Adlington
37   Posted 03/07/2007 at 23:43:58

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Peel hold the key to the future survival of our club. They have fantastic plans for Central Docks in the pipeline. (Follow link below) However, at the KEIOC public meeting in March, I asked Warren Bradley if Peel would be interested in accommodating us in their plans. He said that they weren?t interested. I still feel that Peel should be pursued as they always deliver the goods. The only problem I see is that Peel would have to deal with Wyness.
>>Link
Matt Traynor
38   Posted 04/07/2007 at 01:45:27

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Karl,
It?s a nice idea. 2nd best to King?s Dock (or King?s Waterfront to give it the proper name! ? have a look on Google Video under ?Everton? and you?ll see a 3D presentation).

I understood what you meant about Peel being an unknown quantity ? we all know what ports and airports and other land they own ? but they are not big on public statements.

Sadly the European money you talk about is no longer available. It was back in 2001 for King?s Waterfront, but with the expansion of the EU there are now many more cities deserving of Objective 1 Status, so us and Sheffield have had our day with the gravy train.

There are only two possible ways of financing this ? related commercial and residential development (which would go to Peel, unlike King?s), and / or a wealthy investor. Even though I?m ever the optimist, I think we all know neither is going to happen.
David Moore
39   Posted 04/07/2007 at 05:32:13

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What a great column. Why don’t you send it to Mr Kenright as it’s a good idea and he might read it becasue we have to stay in this marvelous city. I live in Syd. Australia and Docklands in Mrlbourne is a great stadium and it could work up here. COYB
Blue_Singh
40   Posted 04/07/2007 at 07:21:31

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No need to send Mr Kenright this article, bcoz im sure he reads articles from Toffeweb. In our official site we dont find interesting articles like we find in Toffeeweb. Believe me all the spporters of Everton around the world do visit Toffeeweb regularly to get updated information rather than the official one and Mr Kenright is among us. By the way im from Mauritius and I support Everton since my childhood and very soon im coming to goodison. I was excited about the move to Kingsdock, the maquette was my screen background. But now .......
Christine Foster
41   Posted 04/07/2007 at 10:15:58

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Wonderful discussion, I for one believe its the wrong move for the club the city and the supporters to chose Kirby. The fact is teh club is trying to do a deal on the cheap by incorporating it with Tesco in the hope of saving millions which it will lose anyway if it decides to accept the poison chalice offered by Tesco.
I agree that there are far better sites within the city and in Everton in particular. It seems to me that no one has really thought out of the box to come up with an innovative solution for a site within the city limits. 2008 is the year of Liverpool, city of culture, so why not open it up for a "Cultural" opportunity? Get the council, the heritage, EC and designers together to come up with an exciting plan to mark the fact that we love this wonderful city and believe that Everton FC should be recognised in OUR cultural heritage as well.. Make the city, the people and the EC proud of being the City of Culture and set in place a Stadium that lives up to that expectation, something Evertonians and all people of the city can be proud of as well as showcasing a bloody good venue!!
Si Lethkowicz
42   Posted 04/07/2007 at 10:21:41

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The LCC will not give us any help as they want the blues out of the way. We should stay put and develop a side of the ground at a time.
Gabba Bartlett
43   Posted 04/07/2007 at 14:16:37

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Excellent. I have forwarded to Everton - suggest everyone do same. I am from Kirkby originally and visited the plan last week. It is awful ? a real down-market bog standard retail park basically. Kirkby wil be regenerated in any event as it still remains one of the most deprived parts of Europe believe it or not.

BK is a successful man and I am sure this is the only viable option at present. But things change quickly in football ? did anyone envisage the sudden influx of Foreign buyers a couple of years ago? Granted we are perhaps a less attractive option financially as even Man City and Villa as they have decent stadiums but Eveton offer something different a chance to build a whole development not just a football ground ? hence Tesco involvement. If they are prepared to make it happen in Kirkby then no one is telling me that there are not other sites to be explored. We should hold our nerve and sit tight - If Tesco want to get in bed with how long before some one else wants to dive in !

Vote no to Kirkby and get rid of Wyness ? Remember the Villarreal ticket debacle! I can not see one single improvement in the match day experience other than the improvement on the pitch.
Terry Maddock
44   Posted 04/07/2007 at 17:45:46

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Get rid of Wyness????????????
This is the man who has almost single handidly made EFC a viable concern again...without his knowledge and work we would not now be discussing these options as it would be unlikely we would still be afloat..Its just short of 20,000000..every year in wages..before you buy anybody..plus wages are going up..ancillory staff,police bills, electricity..etc
The financial reality is that we need a partner or benefactor if we are to compete..and presently the only offer on the table is from Tesco... And you ask anybody from Kirkby if they are a scouser or not, ...Its not ideal and I would love to Goodison given 4 graet stands ..all with perfect views and the best facilities..but it cant be done...we need to start thinking with our heads not our hearts...and stop blabing KW, BK and DM...they only want whats best for EFC
Bazzer
45   Posted 05/07/2007 at 05:38:54

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I think that you would be better suited to chairman than Blue Bill himself. Your idea’s are refreshing and have opened my eyes at least, pity that the people who are actually going to make the decision for us all, no one man one vote, wont read your report !!!
Mick Murphy
46   Posted 05/07/2007 at 15:40:44

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Great article, I for one would put money into a new stadium if it meant I didnt have to go to Kirkby. I think the KEIOC group need a new direction this season to voice everyone?s concerns on a bigger scale.... Boycotting the Wigan, Bolton and the rest who have these ?retail park stadiums? teams would be a start.
Jim Hourigan
47   Posted 05/07/2007 at 15:34:56

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I’m sorry to run against the tide, but some of the suggestions and financial calculations put forward are so naive that they are laughable. 50,000 people donating £100 each for no return. Only 38,000 turn up each week and that includes kids, families and oap’s. Everton finding £75M from ’somewhere’ when they are reportedly up to £50M in debt. A business that makes money donating land ’out of the goodness of their heart’ so that someone else can profit. £80M income does not mean £80M profit, the simplistic difference between income and expenditure will show that the profit at Everton is minimal given the wages and all other costs.

This is not a response in praise of Kirby or any other site but merely an attempt to get people to realise that all the figures and ideas quoted are not very short of claptrap. I only employ 100 people with a turnover in the low millions but if I was to see finances the way they are portrayed in this article we wouldn’t be around for long.

To those of you desperate to find an alternative to Kirby in the City these articles do you no favours. Send them to Bully and BK and they will file them under ’bin’ before they even get to the end of the page. All it will then do is reinforce the view that the supporters are naive and incapable of making a business decision, because sadly, and it is very sadly, football is a business for all but us supporters. By all means out forward ideas and suggestions but please put a bit of financial reality with them.
Chris Williams
48   Posted 05/07/2007 at 17:30:29

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When we are asked to vote on the move, we will have a fairly simple choice to make as individuals and Evertonians. It will basically be the choice that?s currently in the poll on this website. Stay at Goodison or move to Kirkby - it?s as simple as that really.

To complicate the issue talking about having to make ?business decisions? is a nonsense. It?s not our role as supporters to make ?business decisions? that?s the role of the geniuses currently running our club.

As a ?businessman? who has run businesses with multi million turnvers I?m sure decision will be coloured by ?the business case? if ever we see such a thing, but it will be more based on a Why Kirkby, why now?? issue, and what other alternatives are there, or are likely to be. And have all the alternatives been explored, and what happens if we?re still at GP in 5 years time?

The rest is just pure emotion an d bullshit.

By the way I?m anti Kirkby
Paul Johnson
49   Posted 05/07/2007 at 09:29:33

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Wise words mate!

Like I’ve pointed out in previous Toffeeweb postings, we still haven’t been shown a detailed financial analysis of why we have to move.

It’s no use just saying ’Goodison is too old/knackered/has no boxes’ etc. We need a detailed financial analysis of the arguments in favour of a move that stands up to serious scrutiny.

Moving stadiums is no trivial matter, especially where our beloved Everton is concerned.

There is no plan B, no going back so we have to get it right first time.

Not enough debate has focussed objectively, and in sufficient detail on the ’why’ in my opinion. Too much of the debate focusses on the ’where’.

Until we all understand the well-founded arguments in favour of why we are moving, and the inherent risks, I think we are putting the cart before the horse.

My favoured option, until proven unviable by a world-class architect like Lord Rogers, is to re-develop Goodison. So there!
Karl Masters
50   Posted 05/07/2007 at 19:58:29

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Clearly Jim Hourigan did not read this in much detail. I run a business too - a very succesful one returning a ROS of around 24% which I’m sure means something to you, Jim. I never said £80m profit, I just suggested that an amount of maybe £5m a year from that £80m income ( which is rising sharply at the moment )could be allocated towards paying back a loan to generate some working capital. I then added on money from the sale of Goodison, stadium naming rights, any grants or aid that might be available and suggested that the supporters of a ’People’s club’ might be prepared to add to the total via various sponsorship and debentures and that is without raising any more money via share issues. My mentioning of Peel was only because there is an obvious potential business partner, not a donator of free land ( if such a thing exists ). As they are developing in an area of the city we should be exploring it, why not talk to them?

Call it naive if you like, and I admitted that it is all conjecture, but frankly if everybody takes your attitude and says nothing and does nothing then we’ll have nobody to blame but ourselves if we end up in some backwater.

The general response to this article has proved to me that regardless of where we end up, a lot of people feel totally ill-informed on this subject and with the club’s dubious track record in off the pitch activities we’re obviously worried that another Fiasco is about to unfold.

I have tried to get enthusiastic about Kirkby, but going to the match for me is not just about 90 minutes on the pitch. I don’t often go in the pubs beforehand either as I know I’ll be driving later. Travelling from far away, I want the whole day to give me a buzz. Liverpool the city does - don’t ask me why, but it does. Kirkby is like going to a back street boozer on a Saturday night rather than a top notch bar or club. The basic activities are all the same, but the atmosphere and surroundings are uninspiring. Best analogy I can find at the moment.
Sticky Toffee
51   Posted 06/07/2007 at 08:55:21

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As an exiled Kirkby resident still with parents living close by on both sides of the Town CentreI have to say that the Tesco development would good for Kirkby and handy for me to park and walk.

However, as an Evertonian by choice for well over 40years I have to say that the proposed Tesco development smacks of a low rent short term out of town solution and as such is totally unacceptable for a club of Everton’s history and stature within football. The four separate stands solution smacks of Kwiksave more than Tesco. Pile ’em high and sell cheap.

There are clearly areas of land within Liverpool that could and should be made available to EFC. For example, if they could allow the RS to build on Stanley Park why not allow EFC to develop Walton Hall Park. I’m sure that major developer partners such as Peel
would come hammering on the door.
Phil Kolvin
52   Posted 06/07/2007 at 23:53:54

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It just comes down to whether we want to be a) a world class club in a world class location on the banks of a world famous river in a world class city tempting world class players or b) exiled to Kirkby. When I think of Everton my pulse races - its stadium should have the same effect.
Tony Kirkland
53   Posted 07/07/2007 at 11:19:43

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Good article - would love to be ?just like a team that?s standing by the waterside...? but in any case, out of town stadia reflect the outdated thinking of 40?s and 50?s America - ?station wagons and picknicks in the car park? - it can?t happen anymore. Climate Change and the Sustainability agendas demand that major venues are located at the centre of public transport networks as carbon economy pressures are going to price many fans off the road...the stadium has got to be inspiring and it?s got to be convenient and accessible for the masses.
John Benson
54   Posted 07/07/2007 at 18:07:56

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Much of Liverpool docks are a World Heritage Site, and protected by the UN. Building a stadium on them will kill the docks stone dead. They are to be regenerated for people making them vibrant 24/7 and a catalyst for the city. Not a once a fortnight industry as football is. See:
http://www.saveliverpooldocks.co.uk

There are suitable brownfield sites for a stadium without impinging on historic docks.

Alan Whittle
55   Posted 08/07/2007 at 09:39:51

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You talk like Kirkby is on the outskirts of Manchester and suggest the dock area (which is mostly outside the city boundary and even more run down than Kirkby!) If these are your arguments against a move to this area you have to do your homework! I want EFC to stay within the city boundary by the way but some of the arguments I have read over the last couple of months are laughable
Dave Thompson
56   Posted 08/07/2007 at 10:38:48

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I agree with the coments above by Paul Johnson - we need a much greater explanation of WHY we have to move, and the financial benefits of doing so.

We don’t sell out Goodison, even for Man U at the end of a faily succesful season, and we don’t sell out our very limited ’Executive’ facilities. Why will going to a new stadium in Kirkby improve things? After the initial novelty value, unless there is success on the pitch, people will drift away. There will be a reduction in the traditional hardcore support from the outset, because some people just will not go from the start, and keeping the interest of the ’new’ fans will require success.

Football is going through a boom at present, but these things are cyclical, and there will be a downturn - to an extent, it’s already happening at other clubs.

There is very little evidence that moving stadium leads to success. Boro’ can probably claim to have improved their record since going to the Riverside, but to a large extent, that’s due to the pockets of the chairman. Their support has dropped off alarmingly, despite some silverware. What will happen to Bolton now that Allardyce has gone will be interesting, but I expect them to struggle.

Before any vote, I would like the club to demonstrate their reasoning - i.e. where they see the additional revenue being generated and how this would impact upon the team. If we’re moving simply because Goodison has some obstructed views, it’s a poor argument.

At the end of it all, fans want success on the pitch. If moving to Kirkby would put us in to the bracket of potential champions, it would be a 100% vote in favour. But it won’t, so we really need to know why we have to move.


John Benson
57   Posted 08/07/2007 at 10:51:15

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However, as an Evertonian by choice for well over 40years I Sticky Toffee...
"have to say that the proposed Tesco development smacks of a low rent short term out of town solution and as such is totally unacceptable for a club of Everton?s history and stature within football. The four separate stands solution smacks of Kwiksave more than Tesco. Pile ?em high and sell cheap."

I wish Kenright and Co. would go and leave the club to people who know what they are doing. The stadium is a cheap and nasty affair - our worst dreaded dreams. What has happened to the once "Mersey Millionaires" with the best club ground in the country? Pride Park here we come!!!!

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