Any business-owner knows location is the key. You want to have your business in a place where people want to come to. Of course this has to be offset by the costs of buying or renting the space but location is still a critical factor.
It is said that that's why the McDonald's restaurants didn't use to go bust. They are always located in prime locations. Of course these days the company is in a different kind of trouble with people being made aware of the poor quality of their offerings but they managed to go for decades without a single restaurant going bankrupt. The first one, allegedly, in Germany was closed because the council built a new major road in a location that drew the customers away from the restaurant.
After this prologue I'd like to ask if Kirkby really is such a great place for a football club? I can see several problems:
1. Logistical issues
There will only be 1000 parking spaces for match-goers.
There is only one rail going to Kirkby, it will not be nearly enough.
People leaving the area by car will mostly use only one road, which will certainly be congested. The number of roads is much less than around Goodison Park and there's isn't a big shopping centre next to it.
2. Business issues
Will Kirkby really be a location that will draw the business-people? Would you take your clients to a stadium in the outskirts of the city located in a giant shopping centre?
How will it affect the match-goers? The whole area is totally different from Walton that you won't be going to the pub before the match and walking in just before the kick-off. I know many find these "non-match" issues important.
3. Image/Brand issues
This is the difficult one: how will it affect the club in the long run that it is not located in the City of Liverpool any more? You can say all you want about Kirkby being the Merseyside, but this is an issue our dear neighbours will ram down our throats from the point a decision to build the stadium to Kirkby is made. And they will make sure everyone knows Everton is not in Liverpool any more, with great glee. Will you enjoy reading articles starting like ?Everton Football Club has severed it's ties with Liverpool where they played for over 120 years by moving to the small town of Kirkby...?? That's what every Reds supporting reporter will write, even some that now are writing pro-move articles in the local papers.
That's the business side of things. Then comes the really scary part.
I know a lot of people think they are doing a great job. I don't. These are just some of the things I wouldn't expect from a competent board:
- Quadrupling the debt while selling every saleable asset the club had and getting 20+ million for Rooney, 8 million for Jeffers, 6 million for Michael Ball and so on. In fact the club has spent something like 10 million net in players over the past five years. And to blame it all on Goodison Park is ridiculous. GP is hardly the worst stadium in the country.
- The NTL fiasco.
- The FSF fiasco.
- The failure to deliver the King's Dock stadium.
Managing to make a loss on merchandising and not being able to fix it by themselves, but rather outsourcing the whole thing to JJB. I find it completely incomprehensible when you think a shirt cost £5 and they sell them for £50 and should have a good idea on how many shirts they sell every year ? they have the data from past years.
Without the miracles David Moyes has produced I fear where the club would be.
And now the information we hear about the new stadium is vague at best. The stadium has cost £50 million, £75 million, £100 million and £150 million. It will have 55,000 or 50,000 seats. There will be 4000 or 1000 parking spaces. It will create maybe up to 10 million extra revenue while the fittings might cost as little as 10 million and the club needs to take maybe only 10-15 million more debt.
The last point is a major sticking point. The cost to the club depends on how much the sale of Goodison Park will generate and how much the club can gather from naming rights. Wyness has stated that the sale of GP will create 15 million pounds. To me it sounds an awfully lot in Walton. Naming rights should generate 35 million, which also sounds quite a lot considering Arsenal got about 50 million from Emirates.
If the club can't make that much money from those two sources it means it will have to take on more debt on top of the existing one, which is somewhere around 50 million. I think Wyness is deliberately playing down the numbers. Also, I can't see how revenue would increase by ten million in the new stadium, and neither does Wyness, or so it seems. The club finds it hard to sell all it's 11 corporate boxes currently, how will it sell 40 in Kirkby? And considering a number of fans will stop going to Kirkby, it will require an awful lot of new fans to increase the capacity by any meaningful numbers. And will this increase be long-lasting? And what makes the club think they will be more attractive to out-of-towners after the club moves to Kirkby? No doubt revenue would increase some, but is it really worth moving for, say a 4-5 million increase?
But it wouldn't sound so good if extra revenue was only 5 million while the club had to increase it's debt by 25 or 30 million and that's why we get these vague numbers.
I also have an issue with the land value. The value of the land now is pretty much nothing. That's because its not in a good location. Just because it might be surrounded by shops won't make it worth 50 million to a football stadium. It could make it worth that to some other business that benefits from those shops but I can't see how a football club could. So adding the 50 million to the total costs to make the deal look bigger is quite dishonest in my opinion. The actual cost of the stadium is quite low and that's why Wyness wants to use tricks like these. £75 million is not a lot of money on a new stadium and that's why our "world-class stadium" is now merely a "high-class stadium". And what will it actually look? The Ricoh Arena looks nothing like the original sketches, for instance.
There are a number of questions I'd like to have answers to:
- What is the REAL cost of the stadium to Everton Football Club?
- What is the business case for the move? Where and how much will extra income come? I want more detail than just "up to 10 million extra".
- Is it really apt for a club of Everton's pedigree that a construction company designs the new stadium instead of an architect? Archibald Leitch and all that.
- What is the role of Robert Earl, who was recently promoted to the Board, in all this? How much will he and the other Board members benefit personally from the move? As far as we know, his only input to the club so far has been to bring Sylvester Stallone over for a match. Now, on the eve of the biggest decision this club has done for over a hundred years he is suddenly elected to the Board.
- How on Earth can Tesco get Barr to give a 25 million discount on the building costs? It would be hard for a construction company to get that sort of money back because in effect it would mean taking a loss on the project.
Don't believe the hype. There are always alternatives. The Board blew the first one (King's Dock). Others will come.
And don't believe the spin. Just today there was an article in Liverpool Daily Post by Mark Thomas which ended with the sentence ?Would you rather watch a Riquelme in Kirkby, or a Brett Angel in Speke??. That is an absolutely ridiculous statement. Almost parody-like. The new stadium isn't a magic wand that suddenly allows the club to sign the best players in the world.
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1 Posted 24/07/2007 at 12:35:30
2 Posted 24/07/2007 at 14:39:20
3 Posted 24/07/2007 at 16:09:59
4 Posted 24/07/2007 at 18:15:36
Kenwright had made a deal with NTL for £x (substantial amount, can’t remember how much). For some reason the club never ratified it (i.e. signed). Then NTL went bust.
Trouble is, the club had already used the money promised in the deal to purchase players. This lead to some serious financial problems.
5 Posted 25/07/2007 at 08:44:19
6 Posted 25/07/2007 at 09:03:44
Why does he consider there is any compunction on the Board to share their business dealings with all and sundry?
Everton FC is not owned by its supporters nor is it a public company.Surely it’s enough that the principle shareholders (the risk-takers)are satisfied that this is a good deal for the Club.
Only the nosey knockers want to hear the minutiae of every business deal the Board enters into.
Too many ’Evertonians’are using this ballot as an excuse to pour out their bile on a Board who have done well to steady a rocky ship and get us into Europe twice in three years.Lay off,I beg you!
7 Posted 25/07/2007 at 09:26:35
If they release too much information at this stage and some of their ASPIRATIONS fail to come off, their critics will leap on that rather than giving credit for what they do achieve.
I also think if we do manage to acquire a stadium on the cheap, thanks to Tesco or Bestway or whoever, a new buyer won’t be far away - it’s the prospect of having to finance a stadium that frightens investors more thna anything I suspect.
I also think the board can be pretty sure of what it will get for GP because Tesco will put a superstore on it!
Whatever the outcome of the vote, I just hope it turns out to be the best one for EFC.
8 Posted 25/07/2007 at 09:51:02
The club needs real supporters. Don’t ones who are more interested in having a pint in some dive before the game.
Go and support the redshite.
9 Posted 25/07/2007 at 09:52:15
10 Posted 25/07/2007 at 09:52:25
11 Posted 25/07/2007 at 10:03:55
However one issue at least that was off the mark and key to something that needs to be and can be got right. Transport. There are possibilities at Kirkby for decent mass transit that can only be dreamed about in Walton. Space for coaches off the motorway, expanded rail services etc. I don’t care about lack of car parking because by 2010 any business with large private car parks are going to be (green) taxed to bits anyway. And for the truly green why not cycle paths from Walton that way we can have a German style stadium and a German approach. Though the idea of of some of our lardier support arriving by Raliegh Racers does alarm me slightly....
12 Posted 25/07/2007 at 09:55:59
I’m not sure GP would have been as full as it was back then if it hadn’t been for it’s location and die hard walking support.
13 Posted 25/07/2007 at 10:59:00
14 Posted 25/07/2007 at 11:15:16
Nice one Marco, remember Wimbledon away at New Year ’95? Only got in for the 2nd half?!!
15 Posted 25/07/2007 at 11:28:42
However i am unsure about Kirkby. Although it looks financially like the best deal this "board" can get, therein lies the problem.
This board have not done much to inspire any sort of confidence. The exclusivity period was an absolute disaster PR wise. If LCC were allowed put forward ideas concurrently the degree of transparency would have been a lot higher.
Kenwright has failed on so many levels since taking over that his incompetence is becoming embarrassing. And where is our great leader who bleeds blue when we all have so much that needs answering? He’s hiding behind Wyness and not uttering a word.
He’ll be the first to get in the photo shoot with any half decent signing but when it comes to the biggest decision in the history of the club he is mute....probably working 24/7 to get investment!!!
Trusting this man and his "board" with our long term future is in my eyes a risky business.
Catch 22 with new owners obviously unwilling to put an offer on the table until the stadium issue is resolved but nevertheless its a worrying time to be an Evertonian with so little hard fact to go on.
16 Posted 25/07/2007 at 11:45:37
17 Posted 25/07/2007 at 11:40:05
18 Posted 25/07/2007 at 11:56:01
19 Posted 25/07/2007 at 12:46:22
I couldn’t give a stuff where we play-what’s important is that we keep up the progress made under Moyes.And who appointed him,eh?
20 Posted 25/07/2007 at 12:46:21
21 Posted 25/07/2007 at 12:21:24
22 Posted 25/07/2007 at 13:06:25
The current level of debt is believed to be around £49m. Considering what our neighbours are on, that’s relatively small and manageable.
However, there are a number of issues. Regarding your point on lack of roads, as has kindly been pointed out, the M57 is literally metres away from the site so congestion out of Kirkby on match day will not be a problem. Secondly, I don’t think people will stay away from Kirkby as much as they are saying. I know our fans are known for being a bit fickle but by and large, we have a very loyal support, and I don’t see that changing with us moving to a new stadium.
Don’t forget lads, when we moved to Goodison Park in 1892, we technically weren’t in the borders of LCC then, either. It wasn’t a problem back then, it wasn’t a problem back in 1997 with the first ideas of moving to Kirkby Golf Course, why the sudden change of heart?
23 Posted 25/07/2007 at 13:05:12
24 Posted 25/07/2007 at 13:25:24
And a point about the Motorway next door, yes it’s a motorway, but there will be a bottle neck getting onto the motorway, Its going to cost something like £1.5 million pounds to signalise the junction to better manage the flows onto the mway (I got the cost from a similar junction on a scheme I’m working on at the moment in case anybody questions it - but is is just to give you a clue of how much these things cost).
Although I’m leaning towards ’no’ to Kirkby - I’ll wait until I see the information provided to us for the ballot. Then I’ll MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION.
25 Posted 25/07/2007 at 14:14:56
Having said that, locally we are AT LEAST on a par with LFC.
The city of Liverpool is growing rapidly at the moment. Confidence, investment etc in the place is as big as it has been for 50 years. New people are coming to the city all the time. If we are not part of the city I fear that we will lose a lot of potential support and probably even more potential exposure and investment. Our support in the city may well (gradually) dwindle, as kids who have a mum who’s an Evertonian and a dad who’s a Liverpudlian will feel more of an affinity to LFC, whilst people new to the area will not identify with the club in a way they could if we were part of the city.
This in turn means that we will struggle on a national and international scale, as we will not have the exposure of being part of one of the major provincial cities in the country.
In my eyes Kirkby is part of Liverpool really, but the city boundaries will mean that our relationship with the city of Liverpool will never be the same again and I think this will harm us greatly in the long run.
It’s this, not the sentimental stuff, or the extra 4 miles out of town nonsense which worries me. King’s Dock was our big chance and we blew it. Simple as. Now we have to find another alternative IN LIVERPOOL!
26 Posted 25/07/2007 at 14:01:44
is that the only braindead answer you can come up with? "go and support the red shite" You fucking Wally,read it again and try and educate yourself.
27 Posted 25/07/2007 at 15:41:13
28 Posted 25/07/2007 at 16:44:23
My advice to all Evertonians, is not to look at the fancy pictures of a proposed new stadium, but instead to vote no, and force the current board into looking at viable alternatives including the redevelopment of our school of science...NO TO KIRBY.
29 Posted 25/07/2007 at 16:52:00
"Does the author of this tome seriously think that the Everton Board and their advisers have not addressed all the points he raises?"
They probably have, problem is what is good for them isn’t necessary good for the club in the long run. Wyness for instance: he’s no Evertonian and I doubt he won’t be here in five years’ time. So why should he care what happens to the club in 20 years’ time?
"I?m not sure GP would have been as full as it was back then if it hadn?t been for it?s location and die hard walking support."
Nail on the head. The fact you can walk to the stadium from the pubs is a massive plus-side at GP. I have been to various stadiums around the world and it’s just not the same if you park your car, go watch the match and then drive home. Especially when the team is playing poorly the temptation to stay home would be much greater.
"Nice one Marco, remember Wimbledon away at New Year ?95? Only got in for the 2nd half?!!"
Yes, definitely :) Although I think we got in with a bit to spare in the first half. We only missed all three goals...and the bastard steward lying Wimbledon had scored another..
"Marko ,have you ever seen the Kikby site "the number of roads is much less than around Goodison" there?s a fuckin motorway 500 yards away"
One road is hardly enough. The new stadiums like Reebok, Riverside and Madjeski all have a road next to them and all I hear is how much time it takes to get away from the stadiums. And lets not forget there will be a whopping big retail park next door, I can imagine that at least on Saturdays there will be quite a lot of non-matchgoers trying to leave the area as well. Goodison Park is one of the quickest stadiums in the Premier League to get away because there are so many routes you can take.
"My only comment about this (as one of the great "undecided") is about the alleged current debt of £50m. I would really like to know where you got this information and whether this figure is accurate or just made up. How is it broken down?"
The number is a sort of best guess from last years’ accounts. The Bear&Sterns loan is still well over 20 million, there are short-term loans and overdraft totalling some 20 million and I’ve heard the club made an eight million operating loss last season (the accounts haven’t been published yet so can’t confirm).
30 Posted 25/07/2007 at 17:35:04
As an area, it is light years ahead of our present venue. Goodison Park is old and so out of date.
Now to the question of pubs. There seems no doubt that a number of supporters find quaffing a few ales before the match, to be almost the best part of the day. Pause a moment though, what proportion of the games supporters actually find the ritual so important.
Speaking for myself, I have never gone nor have I ever had any desire to become one of the tipsy mob who throng the turnstiles close to kick off.
As an 8 year old lad, I remember well climbing the stairs on the old Bone Shaker at the Pier Head. It took quite a time to visit Goodison in those days, very considerably longer than it will take to get to Kirkby. Why then the cries of doom.
Kirkby sounds like a really pleasant location for our new and improved club.
I am so looking forward to the coming season. We can anticipate a new much improved stadium in 2/3 years and , in the meantime, I have a great feeling we are going to have a team which can compete with the ’big boys’.
31 Posted 25/07/2007 at 22:43:08
Plan B right now is staying put and waste more years while LCC is keeping us on hold. We lost Kings Dock, and that was a big mistake. Now we stand to miss this one as well, and if we do miss this one due to fans voting no and no good stadiumlocations crop up from LCC I definately can see fans being against this move complain at our current board that they didn’t do something about this when they had the chance.
I for one are for this move since there is no other plausible option to it. And if this move turns out to be a mistake... well I’m going to blame myself for thinking it was a good idea, but I won’t blame the board. The board have gotten sites from LCC over the years, but they all fell well short over our requirements or has even gotten turned down by their own experts, when we asked for a specific location we got turned down. When Liverpool asked for the same location shortly afterwards they got "yes".
32 Posted 26/07/2007 at 00:49:37
33 Posted 26/07/2007 at 05:34:40
I am not in favour or support a move to Kirkby as I feel this will be a complete and utter disaster; moving out of the city boundary and allowing them twats "the freedom of the city" will be a huge deciding factor for many future generations of potential Evertonians; my one year old son included!
The one point that sticks in my mind is the lack of evidence of outside activity regarding potential investors during this recent "boom period" the City is going through; despite us needing urgently a new stadium even that shouldn’t put off some of the interested billionaires banging on other (smaller & lesser supported clubs) as opposed to ours. Lets face it, we are sleeping giant, surely?
Something stinks here and we are being kept in the dark; the Tesco connection is IMO the problem and neither BK or KW are aware of the long term disaster’s ahead. Sir TL doesn’t give a fcuk about EFC; he wants the Goodison footprint to build a new Tesco’s on and he will build another Tesco on our proposed new ground in Kirkby. Great business if you can get it; but what other huge, established long term businesses are moving out of the City boundaries during what is at this moment in time the economic boom the City has never seen before in it’s 800 year history (Capital of Culture etc). A move out of the City commercially alone is unthinkable!
BK & LW, you both better be doing the right thing for our club as you will be held accountable and responsible for the failings ahead if we move to Kirkby.
34 Posted 26/07/2007 at 09:04:22
35 Posted 26/07/2007 at 12:19:37
36 Posted 26/07/2007 at 14:28:49
In my opinion those against the stadium have wrongly focused on the issue of the city boundary. This is irreleventas a move to Spekewould be just as damaging. The ideal location is the inner city or close to the city centre.
At the last countwe had the second largest percentage of supporters walking to the ground. Has the club done any work to establish the effects of changing the habits of these supporters?
It is apparent that a split is developing between those supporters who live outside the cityand drive to the game and those based in the city who walk whose match day experience will be most altered.
Have they taken into account the risk of losing masses of core support by taking the club away from the city centreto a peripheral location? Bolton had 50,413 against us in 1977, they are now riding high in the Premiership but can’t get 22,000 for a local derby against Blackburn.
At present neither Merseyside club has a locational advantage. What work has been done to establish the effects of the club moving to the north east corner of the city as opposed to remaining in the inner city or moving to a site nearer to the city centre?
There is a need to have a physical presence in the city because for future generations we will be out of site out of mind. there is a real possibility of the club becomming anouther Tranmere Rovers drawing its support predominently from East Merseyside.
If Bill Kenwright was in charge of the Empire Theatre would he see it as good buseness to move it to Kirkby? I guess not Graham, The Paddock
37 Posted 26/07/2007 at 20:51:08
38 Posted 26/07/2007 at 21:20:20
We are being asked to vote on something which will affect the club for the next 100 years.
The financial information presented by the club so far does not stack up.
Many Evertonians are involved in running businesses, and are more than capable of analysing data.
You should read all opinion and make your mind up which sounds more credible.
If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
39 Posted 26/07/2007 at 21:42:06
The match day experience will never be the same no matter where the stadium is placed. There will be no Victorian pubs or street corner chippies. There will be shops, restaurants, bars and the Stadium. You might as well be outside any modern European stadium. So stop being snobbish about Kirkby because it wont’t exist in it’s present form. At least the bit supporters see won’t. Tesco with all their commercial accumen will not invest over £400 million into a wasteland.
40 Posted 27/07/2007 at 00:01:20
As much as it would be fantastic for Kirkby to have this move I have to agree with some of the comments regarding visibility...not the comments on the corporate/hospitality side of things as Kirkby has one of the biggest industrial estates in europe (many businesses!).
Our club needs this Scottie Rd site more than you can imagine, this is a place where visitors to the city will see a (hopefully) fantastic looking stadium as they are walking around and want to visit out of curiousity..I cannot tell you how important this is. The links to the loop are fantastic by train/road and we would be returning to our spiritual home.
The electorate (I am not one) must vote NO to Kirkby and they all fans must put pressure on LCC by whatever means to grant us the loop site..many voices united can make a difference...lets get this Kirkby thing out of the way and make our voices heard. And by the way I am not part of the KEIOC, just a very very concerned Blue.
41 Posted 27/07/2007 at 11:00:29
is a cop-out, why on earth doesn’t it stack up? and how can you know you have all the data, unless you are on the board which i am sure most people on these forums are not.
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