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Junk Mail... Or Is It?

By David Arrow :  14/11/2008 :  Comments (33) :
In amongst the usual array of bills and junk mail on my mat earlier this week was a glossy magazine entitled PanStadia which claims to be ?The No. 1 journal for the sports and entertainment facility industry worldwide?. I know, hardly the most succinct strap line and a cover price of £25 to boot.

Now, I didn?t request the publication, have no affiliation with the industry sector and couldn?t understand why the publishers had gone to all the trouble of sending me a very expensive glossy magazine. It was about to go the same way as the rest of the junk mail when I saw on the front page the now infamous graphic image of the Tesco Dome.

That got my attention and off came the wrapper. Inside was a 10-page leader article entitled ?True Blue? by feature writer Paul Haines who ?delves into the difficult decisions being faced by Everton FC in their quest for a new stadium?.

I?ll get on to the contents shortly but my first thought was that Everton have either given or sold their season ticket database to this publication, because randomly sending expensive construction magazines to people that don?t want them doesn?t make a great deal of business sense on the part of the publishers. Now, being an Evertonian of over 40 years I love a conspiracy theory and I convinced myself that this was an attempt by the club to communicate a positive message to the core support ahead of the upcoming public enquiry.

After a day or two, my "grassy knoll" theory was looking a little shaky because if I?m right then 20-odd thousand others will have also received it and I would have expected a more willing contributor than me to have raised the issue by now. So perhaps I?m wrong and they got my details from somewhere else and I?m the privileged recipient of an expensive magazine that just happened to have a feature about my team in it. Either way, it was an interesting read on a number of levels and thought that it was worth sharing.

Before going to much further, I have read pretty much everything I can on the Kirkby issue, most of it on this site, and nailing my colours to the mast, I am totally opposed to the move. I also know a lot of you are sick to the back teeth of the issue and don?t want to read another article dragging up the same old chestnuts. At least it?s vaguely topical with the enquiry starting next week... I just hope that it doesn?t polarise us all as most articles on this subject inevitably do. Consider it information sharing with the odd bit of partisan comment from the contributor.

Whilst there weren?t 10 pages of narrative ? lots of graphic images of the new stadium and a couple of full-page ads broke it up ? I did learn a few things. As you would expect from a magazine that makes it?s living promoting new stadia ?worldwide? it laid out a persuasive case in favour of the move and highlighted all the deficiencies of Goodison Park, ?despite it?s rich history, Goodison Park's status has fallen steadily over the past 30 years? restricted views? inability to generate increased revenues?? et al.

I was very interested to read the extensive quotes attributed to our acting CEO Robert Elstone and Alan Bowen, who I?ve not heard quoted before but has the title of ?Head of Stadium Operations?. Apart from the in-house propaganda pre-vote, this is the most comment I have read from the Club on the matter. It was Wyness-esque rhetoric but nonetheless interesting, set in the context of the article in which the writer, after laying out the background, posed the question:

?If the Kirkby project does become unviable for Everton, then where would that leave the club??

To get to the question, the preceding commentary hadn?t really addressed the very real possibility that it will be thrown out because it contravenes the planning regulations and will have a detrimental impact on adjacent economies, more that any delay will render the project uneconomical.

Apparently it?s a 90-week building project and the club will be 12 months behind schedule if the project gets the go ahead in spring 2009. The cost of the delay as quoted by Alan Bowen ranges between £9m and £14m. ?We are only committed to a certain level of financial outlay on the stadium. Once we exceed that amount, it becomes unworkable for us?. He doesn?t say what that financial walk-away point is, however. Last I heard we were in for £78m ? does that include the cost of the delay or is Tesco picking up the tab for that?

At the risk of taking us off at a tangent too far, clearly a quicker-than-expected public enquiry has been beneficial for the club and will provide certainty to all concerned by spring next year, which is no bad thing. Whilst personally I hope the inquiry kills it completely, let?s say it doesn?t and it receives the green light. If so, will the economic recession, set to last into 2010, be beneficial or detrimental to the project? Since the project was called in, interest rates are lower, sterling has weakened, the construction sector is in severe contraction and land prices are falling. So, is it fiscally prudent against this economic outlook to spend £78m+ on a new stadium?

Most observers believe attendances and corporate entertainment/sponsorship has maxed out, certainly in the short-term economic cycle. Considering our inability to sell out Goodison for the two most attractive fixtures of the season, filling a 50k stadium is questionable and I?ve never bought the argument that there is a host of lucrative corporate clients waiting in the wings to entertain customers at Everton. We?re not exactly a fashionable corporate attraction; remember in our halcyon days of the Eighties we were sponsored by a cooked meats firm in New Brighton! (I know it was pre-Sky so it doesn?t count). TV revenue should actually hold up with continued robust demand from the Middle and Far East markets but as we all know, they are only interested in the usual suspects... so we will get our slice of this, new stadium or not. End of digression, back to the question.

The 3 options discussed were:

  • Option 1: Redevelopment of the stadium on the existing footprint.
    This was rejected out of hand by our head of stadium operations. Building it to Uefa regulations would reduce the capacity to 35k and we?d need to ground share for 2 years. ?(the cost)?is mammoth in comparison to what we are getting at Kirkby?.
  • Option 2: A newly built stadium on an expanded footprint.
    This would require closing and re-siting Gwladys Street school, acquiring 98 houses on Muriel and Diana Streets, together with the garage on the corner of Gwladys Street, which strangely got a mention. We would also be playing on a three-sided Goodison whilst the redevelopment took place. (Something we did in the nineties when we built the Park End.) This option was also rejected.

    While the plan sounds feasible (interesting concession) the costs to the club are in stark contrast to those of the Kirkby project, Elstone said ??we would lose £3m a year and it would be a phenomenally expensive development at an estimated £230m excluding land acquisition? Where did that estimate come from?
  • Option 3: Utilising the funds currently available for Kirkby to develop the current stadium.
    This is the cheapest alternative but apparently still poses huge problems for the club. The quoted opposition to this appears to be the weakest. Alan Bowen this time ?You have to demolish one of the existing stands and begin building work while you are still in the football season?.. you lose income from the 10k or so seats while you are rebuilding?. The article focussed on redeveloping Bullens Road, which would increase capacity to 44k but ??a basic stand would be £50m, if we want to put hospitality in it will cost £71m? said Elstone. Does anyone know how he has got to these figures?
The rejection of all 3 options centred on the costs when compared to Kirkby. The article understandably focussed on construction issues with not even a passing glance at the intangible softer issues that exercise most of those opposed to the move.

So, going in to the public enquiry, not surprisingly, the club are still hell bent on Plan A, because there is no Plan B. Wyness may have gone but his legacy lives on with the acting CEO. At the risk of going over old ground, there are contributors a lot closer to the fundamentals of this issue than I am and it would be interesting to know if the figures quoted by the club's spokesmen stand scrutiny.

I told myself that I wouldn?t get involved in the stadium debate; damn the post man and damn the mailing list that PanStadia got my name from. Here?s to an open and transparent public enquiry.

Viva democracy!

Reader Comments

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Gordon Blair
1   Posted 14/11/2008 at 23:11:36

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"The article focussed on redeveloping Bullens Road, which would increase capacity to 44k but ??a basic stand would be £50m, if we want to put hospitality in it will cost £71m? said Elstone. Does anyone know how he has got to these figures?"

Good question, he obviously DIDN’T get those figures of £71M to build a stand in Walton from the same catalogue that quoted £99M to build a Stadium in Kirkby.

I know it’s in the developing world and all that, but is labour really that much cheaper on the other side of the M57? :D
Darren Dempsey
2   Posted 15/11/2008 at 00:35:52

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I would take this junk mail for what is, David. Boring I know but I have just looked at a back issue of this mag on the net (Vol 9 November 2002) and on the front cover was a fantastic picture of what might have been yes you guest it the Kings Dock!

Good article by yourself though, David. COME ON YOU BLUES

Eric Myles
3   Posted 15/11/2008 at 00:42:52

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With the cost of credit falling and major construction materials 50% cheaper, all these figures quoted for expected costs are not relevant anymore.
Derek Thomas
4   Posted 15/11/2008 at 03:31:05

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David, junk mail it might be but not as junk as the figures bandied about by the EFC staffers. This from the people who brought you ?practically free? ?world class facility?. They couldn?t lie straight in bed

Why the Bullens first, the biggest bang for our buck is to do the Park End first.
Jay Harris
5   Posted 15/11/2008 at 03:50:48

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I?m with Derek,

I?ve heard it bandied about that we can put another tier in the Park end during close season for about £10 -15 million giving us an additional 8,000 seats.

That, for me anyway, is the optimum capacity for right now and would enable us to offer the restricted view seats cheap or to away supporters.

It would also put us about 4th place in stadium capacity in the prem after Arsenal, Man Utd and Newcastle.
Dick Fearon
6   Posted 15/11/2008 at 06:53:56

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Viva democracy, eh, David? After you have labelled anyone and everyone in favour of Kirkby as a liar! Why should I believe anything you or any other anti DK person says?
Or for that matter why should I trust anyone who has ?nailed his colours to the mast??
Michael Hunt
7   Posted 15/11/2008 at 07:53:05

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A large flaw in the board?s ?Plan B? seems to them having failed to shop around for options of redeveloping Goodison. In the insurance industry e.g. car insurance claim, it is standard practice to get 3 quotes for the job. It seems the board?s Plan A (DK) is turning into a bit of a ?car wreck? and so other ways in which to improve Goodison should surely be explored...
Jim Hourigan
8   Posted 15/11/2008 at 10:44:33

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I just wish everyone would stop seeing redevelopment as the option. The footprint is too small, buying land and getting the school closed is nigh on impossible. All those Kopites on local and city councils will just agree to compulsory purchase and closure of a school will they? ? get real!!!

I know some loud voices keep going on about it but the whole site is in the wrong area, crammed into terraced streets with no parking, no amenities and little going for it other than its history ? and you win nothing on history alone. The same old people will trot out some very dubious plans that give scant regard to new planning regulations and H&S issues.

Let's all face facts ? we have to move from GP ? the real issue is where?

Ed Fitzpatrick
9   Posted 15/11/2008 at 11:22:36

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Jim

Firstly the council is just as full of Blues, the school is already under scrutiny as part of a city-wide review and is under threat. It was the club who fucked up over the Kings Dock, not the council. Don't blame others, blame BK; some of us want to say it was not the club's fault but it was.

Let's be realistic, any move at the moment will be nonsense given the current financial situation. The logical decision would be to wait or consider a ground share on Stanley Park. Where is that Jim? Exactly the same district as Goodison.
Vince Hindson
10   Posted 15/11/2008 at 19:23:24

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Obvious solution ? ground share. No more need to be said.
James Asquith
11   Posted 15/11/2008 at 19:10:33

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I just wish everyone would stop dismissing redevelopment as an option.

The footprint is not too small: "Clearly it?s possible to lift the stadium design for Kirkby (or one like it) and drop it onto Goodison or the loop site" - Sir Terry Leahy, An Open Letter to Evertonians, 11th August 2007.

Buying the garage/houses behind Bullens Road is not impossible and in fact has not even been investigated by the club. The only time anyone did a survey of the owners/occupiers of those houses was GfE >10 years ago. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Neither have the club engaged with the business ? KEIOC and LCC have and also got a positive response.

The school is not now, and never has been, a problem. They would actually be in favour if the scheme involved rebuilding the school as a single 2-storey building and use of some of the stadium facilities on non-matchdays... and that?s assuming the school stays open. As Ed pointed out, it is part of an ongoing review of primary school requirements by the council and may actually be closed anyway.

All those Blues on the City Council (including the leader of the council) would love to engage with the club and other partners to work on redevelopment or another scheme closer to the city centre. And with our cousins having been gifted Stanley Park, it would be politically very difficult to block a much smaller scheme for Everton.

I know some loud voices keep going on about how the whole site is in the wrong area, crammed into terraced streets with no parking, no amenities and little going for it other than its history, but they never seem to explain why those factors have not prevented LFC developing and profiting from Anfield over the last 100 years (and now in the process of building a super stadium on our doorstep).

The same old people will trot out some very dubious references to new planning regulations and H&S issues. Although they never seem to provide any evidence of how these would impact redevelopment, or take notice when they are dismissed by the very people who enforce/write the relevent legislation/guides.

Let?s all face facts ? we have to either redevelop or move from GP ? the real issue is who is looking harder at the options... Everton or Evertonians?
Dave Cochrane
12   Posted 15/11/2008 at 20:26:33

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Why on Earth did re-building the Bullens Road stand suddenly become the urgent issue ? It couldnt surely be that the idea of bulldozing the Park End stand is completely out of the question ? Its only 14 years old, it cost millions to build, it has nearly 6000 unobstructed views...... Bollocks ! it is a kit stand which has been paid for many times over and it is occupying the end of the ground which holds the key to any expansion to Goodison and which could, should have seen a structure built to seat 15, 16, 17 or even 18 thousand spectators and at least a dozen of those so cherished lucrative private boxes. But it seems that a bloody car park was more important to our board of visionaries.

I have read about and looked at the footprint plans by KSS which have been painstakingly put together by one of their office juniors before making the morning coffee. I have done more detailed plans of my own using the same Google Earth pictures that they have. Depending on height restrictions, between 48 and 52 thousand can comfortably fit onto the Goodison Park site. Where are the design renderings like those for the DK propaganda which they are so keen to promote ? and just where do they get these fanciful costings from ? I wish I could have been at the KEIOC presentation today to hear Tom Hughes and Trevor Skempton. I hope they will publish their ideas soon.

Gavin Ramejkis
13   Posted 15/11/2008 at 22:16:14

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Jim there is also a strong chance the school will close due to falling role numbers in the Walton district and the bandied van hire site is already owned by LCC and leased to it’s present users so two for two straight away, as Jay has also added a second tier on the Park End would add more than enough to satisfy our already dropping figures without any purchase needed, that stand shpould always have been at least two tiers but was done on the cheap at the time.
Andy Crooks
14   Posted 16/11/2008 at 00:45:02

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Jay, I agree with you. An extra 8,000 capacity is about as much as we can fill, and that would depend on decent football, a degree of success and some proper marketing.

I have never understood, but am prepared to stand corrected, where the extra thousands to fill Kirkby are going to come from. Particularily as there are current season ticket holders ,and I know of a few, who state categorically that they will never set foot there.

In addition, in the current climate, it seems to me that the market for conference centres and non-footballing revenue is disappearing.

Now, with contractors crying out for work, would seem to be the time for a phased and low-key development of Goodison Park.

Chris Connell
15   Posted 16/11/2008 at 01:33:04

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Let's just build two stadiums in Stanley Park.

Problem solved!?
Mike Goodison
16   Posted 16/11/2008 at 11:53:29

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For what it’s worth, here’s my idea for a cost effective extension of Goodison with zero loss of capacity during construction:

Build a structurally separate extension behind the Bullens Road Stand. One row of corporate boxes and 40 or 50 rows of seats. Not a third level but a backward extension of the current Upper Bullens.

Beneath this new structure could be several floors of parking, offices, apartments, or pretty much anything.

A great big new roof can go over the top of everything, old and new. The current roof can remain in place during construction of the extension, then be removed to unveil the new masterpiece.

We get to keep the stand that saw Dixie, while gaining all the money-making and people capacity we need.
Simon Jones
17   Posted 16/11/2008 at 12:57:39

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I recall that when the Park End was redeveloped that I was told the foundations were built to take another tier when money allowed (is this Everton folklore or true?). Now surely if we are crying out for more capacity (and I’m not convinced we are) we could add a tier there, then slowly redevelop the ground a stand at a time. No massive outlay, we stay where we are and surely in these tight economic times we could get a good deal. All it needs is the club behind it, the spare £10 million the club can raise for such things and the goodwill of the fans. Christ! Look! A flying pig!
Damian Wilde
18   Posted 17/11/2008 at 12:29:19

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People keep talking about extra seats, with current crowds that doesn?t seem that important. It?s getting more boxes (probably one of the most important features), getting rid of restricted views and generally making the current shitty facilities better.
Dave Cochrane
19   Posted 17/11/2008 at 18:32:41

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Goodison could be a medium to large scale stadium and made to look as spectacular as the person behind the design can make it within the budget. It's not difficult to trash the NON ideas of KSS, if only they would employ an architect.

Our attendances are lower than usual at the moment because of all of the reasons which are stated by many fans, not least, money being tight, poor entertainment value and poor facilities. I have stated in previous posts that we should have the ambition to build a larger capacity stadium to cater for events that we may host in the future. I say that because I feel strongly that we should not fall into the trap of focusing solely on the here and now, but we should take into account the current state of world finance and the clubs current position and state of affairs (directorship) and think beyond them.

I come from a time when EFC had been written off as a footballing entity and I watched them win the FA Cup, two League championships a European Cup Winners Cup, another FA Cup and reach other finals and semi finals. I am one of those fans who just can't give up on the thought that we will be great again ? and when we are, I want us to have the stadium to host our greatness.

Our stadium as it is, offers very poor facilities and mostly terrible views on cramped uncomfortable seats. Despite what I say about building a huge stadium in Stanley Park or sharing a stadium with Liverpool, I would actually be more than happy to have a smaller modern stadium, without any restricted views and the all important corporate facilities. They can have all of these things at Goodison Park, but for some fucked up reason, our board don't want it to happen, or two people in particular don't want it to happen. Those two people hold all of the trump cards. Those people control the future of EFC and all we can do is offer opinion, better ideas and resistance.

George Stuart
20   Posted 17/11/2008 at 23:52:38

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Just a point of information: Agent Johnson was quoted, in the stone age is now feels like, that he could not envisage his tenure completing without a second tier on the Park End.

Ergo ... it can easily be done.

Then he got new stadiumitis and sold Duncan Ferguson. The rest is history, if you know it.
Graham Smallwood
21   Posted 18/11/2008 at 00:19:16

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First of all, I am going to freely admit that I very rarely go to Goodison due to having to work 3 out of 5 Sunday's (shiftwork is great). I was in the pub on Sunday to see the Boro? game and stayed in for the Hull-Man City game, got talking to a couple of city fans, who admittedly have a very impressive football ground, they were moaning about when 42,000 football fans turn up, the sum total of buses to and from the ground was 3 (three)!! So sometimes they are stood in the pouring rain waiting to get away after the game, is our planning going to be as good as that when we are in the Tescodome? Hopefully, but having read posts from both yes and no voters on here, it doesn't sound like it. Anyway, COYB for the rest of the season!!
Vishal Poorundersingh
22   Posted 18/11/2008 at 05:32:23

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Only 31,063 spectators for the match against Boro. Why we should move when we can't fill the stadium? The club should not think of supplying more seats when there is no demand for them. We only need to rebuild and rejuvenate Goodison Park to a modern stadium with a capacity of 45,000.
Daniel Harris
23   Posted 18/11/2008 at 09:33:58

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Vishal, attendances for a Sunday game early kick off, on Sky will always be on the low side.

One point I'd like to make is that while our current capacity may be 40k, how many of those seats are actually worth the money? 25-30k. With the current state of Goodison, there are thousands of seats that are just plain awful in terms of view.

My point is I suspect attendances would rise if 40-45k seats had decent views.

Just a thought anyway!
Erik Dols
24   Posted 18/11/2008 at 10:38:44

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Daniel H., this is a recurring discussion. Goodison has about 5000 obstructed views. And these are quite heavily obstructed, we?re not talking about not seeing three square inches in the far corner. In most cases you?re constantly moving back and fro to look around a supporting pillar or something like that. Then you?ve got the category of seats who are not ?officially? obstructed views but still don?t have the best views at the pitch.

For a match against the Boro, who are not really an exciting team with famous star players, you can imagine people not willing to fork out the money if the match can be seen in a comfy warm pub on a big screen or on the couch at home.

Add to that that quite a few opponents don?t sell out their away-end contingent of tickets and you?re easily in the low 30k-attendances. If you ask me, for the mid-table games as these that is the ?natural? maximum as long as we?re not winning the league. If Goodison had 40k of unobstructed, reasonably comfortable seats and the away end would be full every match, I?m pretty sure we would reach close to 38k or more in these matches.

By the way, I didn?t see the match as I was in Athens, did Boro take a lot of away-support with them?
Lee Jamieson
25   Posted 18/11/2008 at 14:25:08

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An interesting article this; I am a lifelong blue and although not a season ticket holder, I get to as many matches as I can. I work in Manchester and through my work I regularly have to entertain at Old Trafford and Eastlands. I note from this article that it will cost between £50 and £70 million to rebuild a stand at Goodison thus increasing attendance to 44,000. I do not understand why this is not a serious option as we would still own the ground using this option instead of being ?tenants?.

Surely with a larger capacity and better corporate facilities, Goodison could attract more events, eg concerts etc, and EFC would surely benefit from the revenue instead of Knowsley Council in the case of DK.

Old Trafford has been developed slowly season by season to the point that it is now the best stadium outside of Wembley. It has a far superior atmosphere to the soulless Eastlands and United benefit from the corporate events held in the stadium, as it is owned by MUFC.

Old Trafford has achieved 76,000 seats roughly from four stands based in the same position as at Goodison although no more than 50,000 would be needed at Goodison. Eastlands, although an impressive construction, does not have the character that Old Trafford has and this is purely down to architecture ? old stadiums are unique.

Clearly I know Goodison is a long way behind Old Trafford and EFC are light-years behind MUFC in money terms but the model is the same. Sensitive careful rebuilding, increase capacity, increase revenue whilst still retaining character and more importantly ownership. Goodison is surely an option with slow development rather than throw our history away. What's the rush!

Leighton Cooper
26   Posted 18/11/2008 at 15:41:40

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"By the way, I didn?t see the match as I was in Athens, did Boro take a lot of away-support with them? "

It looked like they had a couple hundred at most. The entire Upper Bullens section of the away end did not have a single person in it.
Joseph Moore
27   Posted 18/11/2008 at 15:46:48

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Daniel Harris ? You're right. I and six others paid £30 to sit at the back of the Lower Bullens vs Middlesbrough. and that was after travelling 150 miles to watch the match. The atmosphere under the stand was crap; this is because, in stands like this, you are cut off from the rest of the ground's atmosphere. I am an ardent Toffee but money talks (ask any player who you watch on the pitch), the rush to come back and sit in these seats is not there, unless its for a really big game. Then you would sit on a pole on top of the main stand to watch the match. The views, despite not being labelled as restricted, are in fact restricted. You cannot see the ball when it's in the air (most of the match).
Goodison as it is, is finished, and this is the real reason why 3 - 5,000 people are staying away.
John Coghlan
28   Posted 18/11/2008 at 17:05:51

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So here?s my idea for consideration as Plan B:

1. Buy the land & school behind Bullens Road
2. Build a new school nearby, demolish the houses and school
3. Build a new Goal stand parallel to but set back 50 yds from the Bullens Rd stand
4. Build 2 half stands at right angles to the new goal stand so there is a U shape.
5. In close season, demolish old Bullens Road stand and turn the pitch through 90 degrees to line up with new goal stand. At start of new season people can watch from the new U shape, from the old Main Stand and perhaps at a stretch from Park End & Gwladys.
6. Next close season demolish Park End & Gladwys and complete the 2 sides.
7. Next close season demolish Main Stand and build a new Goodison Road Goal stand to complete the stadium
8. Put a two fingered monument on each of the 4 sides, one pointing at the Red Shite, one at Liverpool CC, one at Kirkby, and one towards Manc land.

S?easy!

Andrew Brophy
29   Posted 18/11/2008 at 22:54:56

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John - like the monument idea for the four corners. But not Kirkby - after all it’s not really Kirkby’s fault is it?

No. That monument will point towards a Tesco store. There’s that many of em it’s bound to be facing the right way.
Si Ord
30   Posted 19/11/2008 at 02:19:21

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Some good posts.... and I totally agree with redeveloping Goodison, with the obvious option being to start with another tier on the Park End... but where do we get figures of £10-15 million for 8,000 seats? From what I understand, the build cost is about £4,000 per seat; depending on the quality, that puts the cost at £32 million. Even Kirkby cowshed works out at £2,700 per seat, that would make the cost £22 million! But haven?t we been here? Shouldn't we be making it clear to the club that this is the option we all want!
Lori Fekete
31   Posted 19/11/2008 at 08:36:29

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As usual, a lot of good points and interesting points, some valid and some cloud cuckoo. The trouble is that we will never know if any of them are actually viable because, from Day 1 of the Tesco offer, the Board have just put their fingers in their ears going "la-la-la-la-la, I?m not listening."

Can anyone tell me if we have been refused permission to build over the road in Stanley Park? ? (assuming we could pay for it) although it does seem crazy for two skint clubs to build two stadia meters apart.

I personally would prefer a ground share than a move to Kirkby, you can flip a switch to turn the stadium from blue to red, but the Kopites would never go for it as we have much more to gain out of it. It would give us more of an attraction outside of the City, which is the only way we?re fill up more than 40,000.

John Cats
32   Posted 24/11/2008 at 16:06:11

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Jim Hourigan: You’re talking out of your backside. GP can be redeveloped, it’s as simple as that. Now it is true that on the existing footprint the ground cannot have increased capacity, at least if we are to do away with the seating with restricted views. However, Everton has no recent history of pulling crowds in abouve 40,000 anyway. Our average is about 35,000. And I’ll tell yo what mate, I’d sooner be sitting in a refurbished GP in an almost full to capacity crowd than at a new stadium, with 15,000 empty seats in a shithole like Kirkby.
Jane Epsom
33   Posted 24/11/2008 at 21:48:16

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Dave,

You should really put things into perspective. Clearly your career provides you with little scope to spout your boardroom bollocks. Get a life, get a job and use your time more wisely! Have you ever thought about a personal life? Maybe seeing a therapist is the answer - because becoming a sports journalist is not. You have time on your hands for a reason and it’s not to put us all to sleep. Moving on......


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