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What is wrong with LCC?

By Rupert Sullivan :  22/01/2009 :  Comments (63) :
Having read the recent article concerning the failed appeal of Everton FC to obtain planning permission for Bellefield Park, I noticed a comment in the BBC rumour section indicating that certain parties feel that LCC is deliberately trying to scupper EFC's move out of the city ? by denying them some of the opportunities they have to raise cash.

Now I freely admit to not wanting Everton FC to move outside of the boundaries of Liverpool, but is this really the way LCC should approach this matter? To my mind all this can possibly achieve is to further alienate LCC to Everton FC, rather than attempting to improve a relationship which may already be sour.

Admitting the fact that Everton FC have (in my mind stupidly) signed an Exclusivity deal with Tesco and are therefore unable to discuss other options; surely a carrot would be more effective than a stick? Offering land to EFC will not work, the club has publicly stated that there is insufficient money to build a stadium without help...

If one imagines that the LCC wish to continually improve the image of the City, bringing in more jobs, more tourists and more money then one can perhaps understand their (apparently) immediate backing of the move by LFC to build a World Class stadium. Liverpool Football Club do have a more widely known brand than do Everton and their recent history has more success in it than does that of Everton: but LFC it seems can no longer afford to build their stadium either ? so perhaps blindly backing the 'Big Guy' is not anymore the wisest course.

Surely then, now is the time for a far-sighted council to propose a shared stadium? (Dare I say it, even insist by denying all other planning permission.) I can see no reason why the council cannot make overtures to EFC in proposing that a shared stadium be built for both Liverpool and Everton. Liverpool is a burgeoning and prominent city in the UK, recently being the City of Culture for Europe it has a proud history ? a history which includes two football teams that have long-standing success. Surely the way to capitalise on this is to further support that industry?

Despite the rivalry between the sets of fans I firmly believe this to be the answer. The image of the Liverpool Derby match as was recently highlighted by Lyndon Lloyd has moved away from that which it once was, but building a shared stadium may just be another step on the path to restoring that. In a City where many families are divided by colour, surely a stadium can be shared?

I have always believed that to allow both Everton and Liverpool to build new stadia is a fool's mission. The City itself has little need of two stadia, both of which would be used under 50%, economically it makes a great deal more sense to have a single stadium used at capacity. In addition, a shared stadium would surely financially benefit both Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs, it could also provide a single unifying identity to the City's footballing image, capitalise on one of the birth places of football ? an image and position of which an intelligent LCC could take advantage for years to come.

Should the World Cup ever return to the UK, there will be a need to secure prime venues for the matches ? having a truly World Class stadium inside the city would allow Liverpool to place itself firmly behind such a competition, and surely would benefit not only the local economy but also the name and reputation of Liverpool as a city.

The image of team football in Liverpool will always be subject to change, as each team has differing levels of success, but the image of Liverpool as a footballing city has been present for over 100 years ? whether you be a Blue or a Red. Should the Council decide to capitalise on the history of football therefore, rather than on the successes of each individual team, it would benefit enormously.

Imagine that you as a city are able to take advantage not only Dixie Dean but also Ian Rush; not just Steven Gerrard but David Moyes. As a marketing strategy it seems to me to make much more sense to profit from both sets of history rather than just one. Stanley Park itself sits between the two teams and is already a known landmark ? it seems to me an obvious step therefore to centre the footballing history of the city on this location, where both sets of supporters can profit from a shared history ? a history which already has so many cross-overs.

If after all, one imagines that the motivation behind LCC is that of image and branding, then to enhance the City reputation as a whole, and to support the two football teams at the same time is of benefit to everyone involved...?

Reader Comments

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Tom Campbell
1   Posted 22/01/2009 at 17:08:12

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I reluctantly agree... We need a new ground and Kirkby isn't worth the hassle.
Phil Bellis
2   Posted 22/01/2009 at 17:16:55

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But...but...Kirkby will
safeguard our future by giving us £6 miilion a year via 15,000 more on the gate
have Arabs queuing up to give us cash
have corporate suits clamouring for a spec
make post-match shopping an absolute doddle
leave LFC marooned in a backwater

At least, that’s what I was told
Surely all that is worth leaving our home city for
Chris Connell
3   Posted 22/01/2009 at 18:19:49

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Let's be honest, there was no way we were moving to Kirkby, after the Kings Docks shambles it was obvious Destination Kirkby was going to end up in the pan.

The San Giro will never happen either and we can all be happy staying were we are ?Goodison ? it's home after all. I?d rather focus my energies to football on the pitch and the games ahead. We?ve all being talking about the new ground fiasco for long enough, let's move on.
Danny Harris
4   Posted 22/01/2009 at 18:31:15

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Great piece. Everything you said makes sense. When everyone else around the country is looking at Liverpool and thinking "it does not take a genius to work out the solution to both their problems". We both have no money for stadiums, where virtually next to each other, we have both come to need a new stadia at the exact same time, and once it was built both clubs would have half of the running costs of the rest of the Premier League. If it can happen in Milan, of course it could here, let's be the first and lead the way!
Ed Fitzgerald
5   Posted 22/01/2009 at 19:00:31

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Getting sent to Coventry??
I had to watch the match in a Birmingham pub on Monday after a journey that Steve Martin and John Candy would have been proud of I found myself sitting next to two Coventry fans. They followed the match with a casual disinterest whilst I was squirming with discomfort. When the shite scored to gales of screams from Brummies and people of Celtic persuasion the CFC fans took pity on me and gave me a look that said never mind you could support Coventry.

When we scored I let out a scream of ?fucking get in? that punctured the silence ( well two Mancs were jumping up and down as well). At the end of the game I asked the two Coventry fans whether they went the match. They said they did but then gave a ten minute tirade about how the RICOH arena was killing the club, they complained about extortionate prices, shite atmosphere, soulless stadium, poor transport and crap facilities. I did mention what about the shit football they play (which they agreed was shit) but they said that the whole match day experience had been destroyed and then eulogised about what they had lost since moving from Highfield Road.

Have a look at their retail park it is better than ours and has Borders, M&S etc as well as TESCO right next to the stadium. They also were enraged about how they had been misled about proposed revenue streams, improved transports links, it all sound so familiar.

Ian Kearney
6   Posted 22/01/2009 at 20:40:57

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But Phil, thats one James Beattie a year!
Tony Carey
7   Posted 22/01/2009 at 21:23:43

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Ed, did you ever go to Highfield Road? Shite atmosphere, soulless stadium, poor transport and crap facilities ? Coventry moving to a new stadium hasn?t just created that, it's always been there. I think some people believe what they want to believe, whether it's actually true or not.
Denis Byrne
8   Posted 22/01/2009 at 22:11:19

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Utterly sensible, reassuringly pragmatic, an economic ’no brainer’, the most realistic long term and sustainable plan for both institutions but requiring a seismic shift in the administration of both clubs, neither which has the charisma, vision or leadership to achieve this most sensible and realistic of options.
Colin Garland
9   Posted 22/01/2009 at 22:36:19

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Clearly LCC have set a precedent here. Despite being advised that the development of Bellefield would not create a significant increase in traffic, they have rejected the plans on the grounds that it would. I wonder if they will apply the same sense of logic when LFC went seeking planning permission for the development of Stanley Park?

Despite the protestations of the Mayor in suggesting that he did all he could to get Everton to Kings Dock, it was his cohorts that effectively scuppered the plans. They threw every barrier in the way, most notably the issue of traffic, access and egress to the ground. An issue that again seems to be overlooked in matters involving our red neighbours.

Do we really want to have to suffer the burden of having our ground in an area controlled by these incompetent blinkered red biggots? Let's leave them to wallow amid their backslapping and repetitive firework displays, continuing to celebrate the closure of 08.

Paul McGinty
10   Posted 22/01/2009 at 23:00:07

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I agree 100% with Mr Sullivan. I live in Metropolitan NY, where the Mets, Yanks, Jets, Giants and even Red Bulls are managing to build new stadia with significant funding from the City and States of NJ and NY. Liverpool is a far smaller City with smaller revenues than NY but it shouldn?t be earth shatteringly difficult for a competent council to realize the importance and economic benefit of its two Premier League teams. And do something about helping them expand and strengthen which can only help the economic and social fabric of the City.
Karl Masters
11   Posted 22/01/2009 at 23:05:39

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Groundshare is the best way, redevelop Goodison a slow and time-consuming second and going to Kirkby a long-term disaster that should not even be being considered!

But, as Denis Byre rightly says, the decision makers are far too blinkered to see it. Very sad.
Alan Kirwin
12   Posted 22/01/2009 at 23:46:55

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Bang on the money Rupert. It’s the only game in town and the best by a country mile. I see only upside in a joint stadium, always assuming that investment was forthcoming.

Thing is, can you imagine anyone of a retail & cultural persuasion who would not want to be associated with what could be one of the finest stadia in the world, filled not every 2 weeks but every week and possibly a lot more if both clubs are in Europe.

This is so bleeding obvious it simply beggars belief that serious conversations aren’t being held between both clubs, council and interested parties. Think of it in these terms:

- A stadium bigger & finer than either club could produce alone.
- A world-class prestige venue that could host internationals, European finals and other cultural events.
- A stadium that would attract so much more interest & investment than two separate lesser models.
- A stadium that would deliver a return on its investment perhaps twice as quickly.
- A stadium that would stand as one of several fitting monuments to one of the world’s most important sporting, cultural and religious centres.

I get the sense that we might be inclined to explore this if they did, but we won’t be seen to blink. Whereas they just appear to have their heads up their arrogant kopite arses and, despite also being skint, don’t think they need us.

Instead of spiting Everton LCC should show some leadership. It’s a pathetic stand-off. LCC pleading that they can do nothing unless/until Everton approach them. Bollocks. Everton cloaking themselves in this commitment deal with Tesco. More bollocks. Liverpool saying they’re fine and don;t need us. Again, bollocks.

Just wish there was someone, or some body, strong & loud enough and with big enough bollocks to bang all these heads together and get the bastard conversation going. It’s like they all never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Must it happen? Without a doubt. Will it happen? More chance of meeting Alan Ball & Elvis in the sauna tomorrow.
John Ellis
13   Posted 23/01/2009 at 02:12:52

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This post is fanstastic (in terms of how the LCC treat us like shit)... but the post is also irrelevant if one of 3 things happen:

1) We do not share the stadium;
2) We get rejected Kirkby;
3) We get Kirkby but have to use our transfer budget to fund the loss of the Bellefield sale to pay for Kirkby.

We need to protest in thousands to show the LCC that we feel we are constantly unfairly treated... I?d say building the new Anfield on Stanley Paark going ahead really hurts and I hope it doesn't go ahead. It's our land in terms of history as much as theirs ? if not more.

Unfortunately the world is corrupt in many areas and this is one of them.

LCC Wanna see us crumble like the Kopite staff they employ on the Committee. Come on Sir Paul McCartney, SAVE US!!!
Mike Green
14   Posted 23/01/2009 at 09:53:11

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Shared stadium all the way ? end of.

And if anyone posts "but what colour are the seats going to be?" I?ll fucking scream!!!!
Tim Westdrop
15   Posted 23/01/2009 at 09:50:36

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I generally think that a ground share is a decent idea ? anything to stop us moving to Kirkby.

However, the one thing that worries me about ground sharing is this: like it or not Liverpool is a bigger club than Everton, with a massive season ticket waiting list, better recent history, more trophies and a higher national and international profile. They could easily sell out 60,000 a week. We couldn?t. That is a fact. Whereas Inter and AC Milan regularly fill out the San Siro, I fear that if we ground-share with Liverpool then we?ll be playing in a stadium that is 10,000 under capacity.

Then there is the whole finance issue ? who owns it, who pays for upgrades? If Liverpool want to increase capacity by another 10,000 in thirty years time, are we committed to paying half of the cost? We have to be realistic and accept that as things stand the absolute maximum stadium we need is 50,000 and we are gambling that we are going to be more successful on the pitch in future years if we want to regularly fill that out. Liverpool can already guarantee more than that and can probably guarantee it still further for the next generation to come.

Not trying to knock our club, but we have to be realistic. Is it right for us to be tied into a joint venture that we might not be ready for?

What the comments on here do show is that virtually everyone is anti DK. I don?t know anyone who has admitted to voting Yes. Where are all these people?
Gerry Allen
16   Posted 23/01/2009 at 11:51:00

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I don’t want to get all sectarian here but can I ask what is meant by the comment in the Ed Fitzgerald reply "...and people of Celtic persuasion"?

I am a big Evertonian and prefer Celtic of all others north of the border as do a large percentage of my family and friends. I happen to know that people who may prefer Rangers also support Everton, and this is absolutely fine. LFC and EFC are both non-Sectaraian, although the singing of "You’ll Never Walk Alone" might make the less enlightened think otherwise. Come on Ed, please tell me I’ve merely misunderstood the tone of your comment!
Howard Don
17   Posted 23/01/2009 at 11:55:46

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Spot on Rupert. A shared stadium is the only sensible option and the LCC should do everything required to knock heads together to make it happen.
Alan Willo
18   Posted 23/01/2009 at 13:07:40

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I think Ed means Celtic in the terms of "Celt" to be fair. I too follow Glasgow Rangers as my second team but my mate is the opposite so yes we are non-sectarain and whoever tries to tell you otherwise doesn't know our history. Coventry are crap, that's why it doesn't work. Ed, next time your in Coventry stay at the Hilton (Junc 2) far better bar and lounge. COYB
Dave Wilson
19   Posted 23/01/2009 at 13:12:51

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Interesting to see how the "Kirkby is the only deliverable option" crew have belatedly thrown their support behind the share idea.

Perhaps if they?d stopped and listened when people were imploring them not to vote for the crazy exclusivity agreement, the share option may have been explored by now...

If today's reports of a takeover across the park come to pass, they will not entertain the idea of sharing. The horse wil have bolted.

Wyness and Billy Bullshiter asked you to vote for no Plan B, 15,000 gave them their mandate.

Why are we now looking to blame everyone else for the mess we?re in?
Phil Bellis
20   Posted 23/01/2009 at 14:43:11

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From Si on NSNO... the example used at the inquiry for the bus dispersal. You couldn?t make it up... these are (presumably) fairly well-behaved and (possibly) sober men & women mid-week at Aintree:
Colin Potter
21   Posted 23/01/2009 at 14:56:32

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Colin Garland,
Get your facts right before you send in stupid posts, it was that bullshitter Kenwright who fucked up Kings Dock, no one else!!!
Neil Pearse
22   Posted 23/01/2009 at 15:06:23

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Dave, I think you have got things a bit the wrong way around there. Speaking personally at least, sharing has always been my preferred option.

At the time of the Kirkby vote it seemed pretty clear that LFC, LCC and indeed EFC had explored the issue as far as they were all willing to (not very far), and had rejected it out of hand. At that time as well, if you remember, LFC thought they were flush with cash from their new owners, and the worst global economic meltdown in our lifetimes hadn’t occured. So they were happy as larry with the thought that they could afford a £350M stadium on their own.

The reason why sharing is now so prominent in many of our minds is that, unless either or both teams are bought by rich Arabs, it is pretty obvious that neither can afford much else. What has changed is the hope that the current situation will at last lead to LFC, LCC and EFC seeing sense and making this most obvious of solutions happen.
Pat Domingo
23   Posted 23/01/2009 at 16:05:34

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Er, didn?t we have a vote on this? Didn?t Yes to kirkby win? Same old same old. Some people just can?t take defeat...
Phil Bellis
24   Posted 23/01/2009 at 16:56:57

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That’s us told, Pat!
Ed Fitzgerald
25   Posted 23/01/2009 at 16:52:06

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By Celtic read I am making reference to people of an Irish persuasion and some Welsh fans who were screaming their support for the not so mighty Reds.

Walking on to Broad Street after the game was a hoot full of long faced brummies and god knows who else bemoaning the loss of three points.

Tony ? Yes I have been to Highfield Rd many times I have even seen us crack five in without reply in during the early 80s ? did Joe McBride get two that day? I am sure a wedge-headed Mc Mahon scored too. I have also seen us lose their many times.

Tony/Alan ? your arrogance is incredible. Do you watch Coventry week in week out? As these two lads do? Have you been to the RICOH arena? They were talking as two season ticket holders who do have to make the journey there so I think their opinions is more valid than yours. I am sure you would be only too happy for them to pontificate to us about the Everton match day experience?
Jim Reardon
26   Posted 23/01/2009 at 17:01:56

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You're right about the vote Pat, but don't you think we were misled?
Ant Barnett
27   Posted 23/01/2009 at 16:45:10

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I think today?s news of interest in the shite from Nasser A -Kharafi, one of the richest men in the Middle East, could soon make the ground share idea irrelevant again. The situation of owners in financial difficulty is, unfortunately, far more likely to be a long-term position for us than it is them.

No matter how much trouble their existing owners are in, I would imagine that they will always be confident of finding a buyer, even in this climate and I don?t think they would alter thier plans to share with their ?small club neighbours?. More out of thier own superiority complex and regardless of how sensible it might be than anything else and if we?re honest there is a lot more in it for us than there would be for them as they can probably find an alternative backer easier than we ever could. Their need to move is also far less than ours.

Kase Chow
28   Posted 23/01/2009 at 17:21:34

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My heart says No but my head says Yes to a shared stadium.

It would work, it would be cost-effective and it would make the City of Liverpool more attractive. EFC would gain more from a shared stadium than being in Kirkby ? there?s no doubt about that.

Given the current economic crisis, it?s the only sensible option.
Phil Bellis
29   Posted 23/01/2009 at 17:34:05

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Kase ? what about the points Tim raises earlier in the thread? Seem pretty relevant...
Dave Wilson
30   Posted 23/01/2009 at 18:32:09

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I was taken aback by your honesty concerning season tickets recently, you could have "stretched the truth" or even ducked my question but you didnt. fair play to you
I have accepted that the people who voted for Kirkby acted in what they believe is the best interest of the club, but I STILL wring my hands with frustration that they accepted this damned exclusivity agreement, do you accept that this agreement has been one of the biggest - if not the biggest obsticle - to ground share talks ?

Pat Domingo

You say some people just cant accept defeat, that implies you believe there are winners here. Who would they be Pat ?
Dave Wilson
31   Posted 23/01/2009 at 20:17:25

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I?ll make this simple for you... Kenwright was already in his chosen bed, he just needed to con people into tucking him in. Now here?s the best bit...
ready ?

There never really was an exclusivity agreement.

Focus on the word "mandate"....
Gerry Allen
32   Posted 23/01/2009 at 20:48:44

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Ed Fitzgerald - Thank you for the clarification.
Ed Fitzgerald
33   Posted 23/01/2009 at 21:36:57

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Hint look at the feckin surname!
Gary Baker
34   Posted 23/01/2009 at 22:55:47

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Knowsley Lib Dems had an awful day at the inquiry ? the assistant inspector had them at sixes and sevens with their disjointed standpoint on Destination Kirkby, they said they were broadly supportive of the whole DK package, but at this moment in time they have a representative at the inquiry (Peter Fisher) speaking on ?behalf? of Knowsley Lib Dems against DK ? but at the planning committee meeting, most of the Lib Dems voted FOR DK ? embarrassing topsy turvy behaviour from them.
Jay Harris
35   Posted 23/01/2009 at 22:37:53

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A shared stadium really does make most sense. It could be jointly funded by the LCC who could then charge a token rent. Seats for Derby matches would be given to the "Home" season ticket holder for the appropriate game. They could even incorporate a football museum and make it a venue arena.

But there again why do we have 2 Cathedrals? Why do people buy Ferraris? Because emotion rather than logic prevails.

All I know is I DO NOT WANT KIRKBY under any circumstances.
Neil Pearse
36   Posted 24/01/2009 at 00:27:17

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Dave Wilson - appreciate your comments (re season ticket). Thanks mate!

I know there will be howls on here at this, but I sincerely believe that for all practical purposes the exclusivity agreement has been completely irrelevant. Why?

By the time the club entered into it, they had already determined (almost certainly correctly) that there was no other financially viable site open to us in the city. As it has become increasingly apparent to everyone how skint we are, I do not see how anyone anymore can seriously deny this. Does anyone seriously reading this now think we could have found any stadium within the city boundaries requiring an outlay by us of less than £100M?

There was no viable independent option within the city that the exclusivity agreement has prevented us taking. And let?s not even start on the LCC?s now admitted inability to come with anything...

As far as the shared stadium was concerned, that appeared (unfortunately) to be stone cold dead way before the exclusivity agreement was signed. And it has shown no signs of life since.

To be brutally realistic here, LFC will undoubtedly be the senior partner and majority financial contributor to a ground share. There is no life in the idea unless they move. And they haven?t. So again the exclusivity agreement has been irrelevant. There has been no partner to deal with, so there has been no deal that has been prevented.

Frank McGregor
37   Posted 24/01/2009 at 01:09:45

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Can?t believe the number of posters favouring a shared stadium. I can well imagine those same people would condem Bill Kenwright to death if he had suggested such a thing. We would finish up with Liverpool and Liverpool Reserves as Bill Shankly said, even Milan and Inter are now departing from the shared stadium idea.

With regards to the Kirkby inquiry, the opposition arguments are beyond belief and have very little or nothing to do with the new stadium. As they say, follow the money and you will find the real truth behind the opposition. I for one am fully behind the move to Kirkby away from Warren Bradley and company.

Dave Wilson
38   Posted 24/01/2009 at 05:21:39

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Mr Terry Leahy is an internationaly reknowned businessman. On the eve of the ballot he appeared centre-stage and, as you would expect, he was very convincing; I?ve always believed it was his intervention that secured a Yes vote. I believe also the exclusivity agreement was all his idea.

As you rightly point out, the economic landscape has changed dramatically this past year and I believe Liverpool FC are/were vulnerable and may have been a bit more receptive to an approach, but Mr Kenwright has made a very public promise to Tesco?s and he will stick to it... to the bitter end.

If the current talks result in new wealthier owners taking over at Anfield, the opportunity could be lost forever. I don't believe we would necessarily have to be the junior partner in a groundshare, there could be many other parties interested paving the way for both clubs to put up a relatively small, but equal amount.

We?ll probably never know...
Neil Pearse
39   Posted 24/01/2009 at 09:20:27

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Dave, agree with you on Leahy and his impact on the vote. Probably also that he was the source of exclusivity ? after all, Tesco wouldn?t want to invest all their time and effort in Kirkby if Everton were suddenly able to pull out.

I do still doubt that it is holding back the possibility of a groundshare ? the ball is so much in LFC?s court on this. Even if Kenwright went public that this was EFC?s favoured option, would that make much of a difference? What?s really stopping a groundshare is their belief (maybe correct in the end) that they don?t need us.
Dave Wilson
40   Posted 24/01/2009 at 10:25:47

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Kenwright will not go public, he has to save face, but LCC are more than willing to talk to all parties, if it were known that EFC may be receptive to the idea. Don't you believe this would bring considerable pressure on the custodians of LFC to come to the table? Especially when they can no longer afford to compete in the transfer market with other wealthier clubs.

Anyway, on to more pressing matters... Our boys by the odd goal tomorrow?
Rich Jones
41   Posted 24/01/2009 at 11:34:57

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Oh Neil!! more contradictions from you I see.

I thought you and I agreed on another thread that a £78M stadium costs the same weather its in the city or not, or are you talking about the £54m subsidy that we won't be getting as it has already been established in the inquiry that this will go on the value of the shares after the stadium has been built, therefore netting the major shareholders a tidy profit when they sell? Oh there is also the little point of who will be paying the £19m to make Kirkby train station able to handle all the extra people passing through. So is it going to cost us £78m, come what may?

Christine Foster
42   Posted 24/01/2009 at 11:24:01

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Neil, in what has been an informative thread, I have to take the view that my head says Yes to sharing a stadium but my heart definetly says No. What I have to take issue with you are your comments that the exclusivity agreement was (is) irrelevant and has always been so.

This agreement was put in place purely as a means to prevent discussion, to prevent transparency and to allow the directors of the club a free ride from any detractors and any potential suitors who may have, those who tried to, and those who had the door slammed in their face.

Time and time again the agreement was used as a means of stifling debate, stifling interest from other parties and as a means for Wyness and Kenwright to throw up there hands and dismiss approaches from LCC, Bestway, etc etc.

See it for what it was Neil, a cynical device for ensuring Tesco got what they wanted and Kenwright got what he wanted.

Cynical? Me? Absolutely. The interests of Everton FC and its supporters were done a grave disservice by this agreement for it has been used to hide the multitude of sins that lay behind the road to Kirkby.

What ISN?T irrelevant is the perspective you have that it didn't matter. It does because it shows the manner in which we have been lied to, deceived and taken for Wallies. Frankly, as a supporter I feel used and abused by the custodians of this club. Irrespective of today's financial reality I could never trust the directors who claim that the decisions that have been made have been done so IN OUR NAME.

Would you trust the directors who got us into this mess to get us out?? Would you believe those who tell you it's the only deal when it wasn?t?

You see, Neil, it's about trust and honesty, not hype and duplicity.
Neil Pearse
43   Posted 24/01/2009 at 14:23:33

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Rich, no idea where you got the idea from that there is no subsidy to the Kirkby stadium. Nor where you concluded that a stadium would cost the same in Liverpool as in Kirkby ? well, yes, if the land was free, the subsidy was there, and the site was as unconstrained in terms of space. Of course, the bricks and mortar would cost the same, but that?s about it.

Christine, let me again be blunt about Tesco and the exclusivity agreement. This was probably our only way of getting into this deal at all ? Tesco are hardly going to go through all the predicted hassle they are currently going through with a partner who can at any time walk away. The fact that we had to sign the agreement is an indication yet again of the very weak position we are in. It is not an indication of much else ? certainly not that Kenwright is in some way desperate to do Kirkby (he actually has always seemed pretty lukewarm about it)..

What you have to believe in order to be worried about the exclusivity agreement is that there were and are other affordable options in the city which we have foregone.

To be worried about the exclusivity agreement you either have to believe (a) we can in fact afford more than say £100M to build a new stadium, or (b) we can get a stadium in the city which costs about the same for us as Kirkby. Both these statements seem to me pretty obviously false.

Where we have surely reached now in this debate is that the options are: (a) stay at GP; (b) Kirkby (if it gets through planning and we can find the money); and (c) groundshare (very unlikely because LFC are not interested). I?m a (c), (b) then (a) person myself ? but I perfectly accept that others have good reasons for other preferences. I see no good reason at all for believing that there is a (d) out there ? an independent new build option which we can afford in the city.
Neil Pearse
44   Posted 24/01/2009 at 14:47:15

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Dave, sorry, didn?t reply to your point. You may be right, maybe if Bill made a big theatrical show (his speciality) of pushing for a groundshare, it could shift Liverpool a bit. But I still doubt that it would.

Anyway, Liverpool may be a bigger club financially than us who think they don?t need us ? but let?s hope we show them again tomorrow that we are a more decent, harder working and ultimately more talented football club than their band of whingers, prima donnas and misfit mercenaries. COYB!
Rich Jones
45   Posted 24/01/2009 at 15:34:47

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Well, this isn't what you thought on the dead parrott link. FYI, here's our brief chat.

Rich Jones
Posted 22/01/2009 at 08:22:25

A bog standard stadium costing £78million is a bog standard stadium wherever it may be, Neil, and it still costs the same.

Neil Pearse
Posted 22/01/2009 at 10:23:38
I agree with you Rich. The question is now whether, given the current economic crisis, we can afford even a new bog standard stadium. For sure we can?t afford anything else.
Neil Pearse
46   Posted 24/01/2009 at 16:11:36

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I wouldn?t read me that closely Rich! But what I meant was that a cheap stadium on one site would cost roughly the same to build as a cheap stadium on a similar site elsewhere. Obviously I didn?t mean that the cost of the land and the extent of the subsidy would be the same everywhere.

If we had to pay for the land ? more than Kirkby. If we didn?t have a subsidising partner like Tesco ? more than Kirkby. If the site was more constrained and the build more complicated (eg the Loop) ? more than Kirkby.
Neil Pearse
47   Posted 24/01/2009 at 16:18:41

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Put another way Rich (and anyone else): if we could have got the same stadium as Kirkby in the city for the same cost, do you seriously believe that Kenwright and the Board wouldn’t have taken it? Why on earth wouldn’t they?

We are going to Kirkby because it is relatively cheap and it is all we can afford. I am amazed that this is still even questioned.
Rich Jones
48   Posted 24/01/2009 at 16:30:02

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Maybe its me, Neil, but explain to me what this subsidy means to Everton in monetary terms and what exactly are we getting from Tescos once again in £££ please, in your own words. And if LCC are offering the loop, what's the difference? And has the exclusivity deal not hindered them investigating that further?
Neil Pearse
49   Posted 24/01/2009 at 17:01:56

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Rich, I think by now it is pretty well accepted that Everton will be getting a stadium which costs roughly £150M for about half that amount because of the retail cross-subsidy. Indeed, you believe this too because (although completely wrongly) you believe with others that this money would somehow translate directly into what someone would pay for the club, thereby granting Kenwright and the shareholders a windfall.

So if you have now changed your mind and decided that there is no subsidy of any kind involved, I assume you have also now agreed that there is no automatic windfall for Kenwright. You can?t have it both ways.

And I think you know as well as I do that there is no chance that we could build a stadium on the Loop for an EFC contribution of only around £78M. Especially since I assume you are not going to be satisfied with the ?bog standard? stadium you are so critical of in Kirkby.

But to be honest, I have no idea why we are going around all this again. If you still believe after all this time that it is quite possible for us to have built a first-rate stadium in the city for the cost of Kirkby, but that for some reason Kenwright instead is taking us outside the city ? there is really nothing I could possibly say which would persuade you otherwise.
Rich Jones
50   Posted 24/01/2009 at 17:40:15

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No, Neil, I asked you to explain this "cross-subsidy" and tell me what it is in real terms, in your own words ? not regurgitate the same old shite (with all respect).
Rich Jones
51   Posted 24/01/2009 at 19:01:24

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I suppose Neil im going to have take you task on in full. My answers are below.

Rich, I think by now it is pretty well accepted that Everton will be getting a stadium which costs roughly £150M for about half that amount because of the retail cross-subsidy. Indeed, you believe this too because (although completely wrongly) you believe with others that this money would somehow translate directly into what someone would pay for the club, thereby granting Kenwright and the shareholders a windfall.

£150M? Neil, you do talk utter rubbish! Check out Day 10 of the inquiry on the KEIOC site: Elstone himself clearly states £130M... so only £20M off ? I do fear for you clients, Neil. If they don't benefit Neil please enlighten me.

So if you have now changed your mind and decided that there is no subsidy of any kind involved, I assume you have also now agreed that there is no automatic windfall for Kenwright. You can?t have it both ways.

I?m not sure what you're accusing me of here, Neil, but all I?ve ever said is I don't understand how Everton benefit from this subsidy ? other than having a shite stadium in a small town... but we were told it would be world class for free and it's not and yet it seems that somehow the value of the club will go up if sold to someone with more money than sense.

And I think you know as well as I do that there is no chance that we could build a stadium on the Loop for an EFC contribution of only around £78M. Especially since I assume you are not going to be satisfied with the ?bog standard? stadium you are so critical of in Kirkby.

I have no idea. I am not an expert in this field... are you? No, your area is finance although your credibility in this area has been exposed more than once by your postings. I do know one thing ? I wouldn't believe a thing the club say on the matter of the Loop as we all know their track record with regards to the truth in all things surrounding this whole messy affair. I myself am not bothered about a bog standard stadium in the city ? it's the location I'm preoccupied with ? as long as it has atmosphere and it's in the city of Liverpool and we have corporate executive facilities, I'm fine. The reason I bring up the quality of Kirkby is that's what we were told: world class, £10 million a year extra revenue, best transport infastructure in the country, and effectively free ? all fucking lies... and now you're adding your own. For Christ's sake, man ? can't you see this for what it is???

But to be honest, I have no idea why we are going around all this again. If you still believe after all this time that it is quite possible for us to have built a first-rate stadium in the city for the cost of Kirkby, but that for some reason Kenwright instead is taking us outside the city ? there is really nothing I could possibly say which would persuade you otherwise.

You're right, Neil, you won't. Don't forget, Neil, it's a budget stadium ? not first rate. You're doing it again, Neil, and none of the origainal reasons we were going exist now, So why are we going? And why is he hell bent on it? ? Ask yourself that question, Neil, and hopefully common-sense will give you the answer. I won't hold me breath.

Rupert Jameson
52   Posted 24/01/2009 at 20:57:17

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Kirkby isnt happening is it Rich? So why the angry tone of debate? You should be sitting back and relaxing with a large glass of your preferred strong beverage in one hand and a cigar in the other just waiting for the day "Our Wendy" calls time on the "Desperation Kirkby debacle".

Jay Harris
53   Posted 24/01/2009 at 22:14:11

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May I just point out that the land in Kirkby isn't free and won't be ours. It has to be decontaminated at EFC?s cost which is estimated at £3 million (by EFC?s own so-called expert).

Also, as a management consultant, would you not agree the principle of any development is location, location, location?

The loop may have had building difficulties just like Kirkby has but its location would guarantee bigger gates, more corporate income, and more commercial support than putting all our eggs in one basket (Tesco?s) in a remote out-of-town location with the only logical assumption it will make money for the developers who are riding on the back of EFC.

If this shameful exercise is ever allowed to take place, it will be the end of Everton FC as we know and love it. No matter what your financial situation you should never sell your soul to the devil.

Morgan Tarr
54   Posted 24/01/2009 at 22:23:15

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Anything but Desperation Kirkby.

Moving to the disgraceful, appalling proposals that Everton/Tesco propose in Kirkby will be the end of this football club.
Rich Jones
55   Posted 24/01/2009 at 23:35:59

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You're quite right Rupert, tonight was a few large Morgan spices and coke whilst watching the FA Cup action, what's twitching me is that it's either a very elaborate distraction from the lack of on field investment or this thing will go through because of the powerful people pulling the strings from behind.
Christine Foster
56   Posted 25/01/2009 at 00:12:24

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I am fed up by all this crap regarding "it's all we can afford", so we should grasp it with open arms. Like hell we should!!

It's wrong. Simply put. Call a spade a spade... it's a poor location (you're right, Jay ? location, location, location), poor stadium, poor transport, poor facilities, poorly supported... for an extra £6M turnover a year?? If we play to full houses every other week... That's not going to happen, is it?

So the reason we are pushing to go there is because there is another reason other than operational profit. A new stadium with a cross-subsidy of $52m (if it materialises) will increase the value of the club and the value of the shareholder's stake.

But at what cost?

There are two sides to consider here: Everton the institution and Everton the team. They are not the same as many supporters point out. Many aren?t bothered where the team play, they support the team, as we all do. But there is Everton the institution. The club, the community, the social fabric, the part of daily life to so many in Liverpool and to a lesser extent outside it.

Taking Everton FC out of Liverpool is like the Roman Catholic church pulling down the Cathedral and rebuilding a new one in Kirkby and giving the protestant cathedral the bragging rights as the City Cathedral... It is part of the fabric of the city, part of daily life. It has shaped families and decisions for MILLIONS over the years, every day.

So that, in order to survive, we are expected to risk everything we are, when we really don?t have to, don?t want to and it is now highly debateable that we will not benefit as a club or as a team as a result.

I repeat, this is being done in our name.

This move will damage forever the social fabric of the city, the community and surrender the city to the RS. We will forever be seen as second rate by the media, players, and by other teams. Give me a model that has been successful by moving a club outside its community, never mind its city!

This is high risk for no return; worse still, it will never have the charisma or the tradition, the history and the aspiration for youngsters to play in. Trying to sell Goodison Park as a place to play for today's players is difficult... what chance Kirkby???

I support Everton the team. The Manager and the players. I had blue blood from the day I was conceived.

I know we have to change; I accept that all change is hard to take but the parallels to moving the population to Kirkby in the 60s is frightening: no choice, poorly constructed housing, many promises broken, resulting in a run-down area with poor transport. Is that what we want to see for the club we love?

For goodness sake, there is never just one solution. Just the one someone wants to take ? "want" being the key word. The compromises are there, still... just needs someone to want to make it happen. I hope we don?t leave Goodison park but redress the site issues and do it over a number of years.

I would take groundsharing as a logical option but it's unlikely to happen because no-one running the clubs want it to. The loop or any other city site could be worked if another suitor was found ? that is IF we actually had to look.

LCC could lease land to the club if it wanted to, their is no reason why another Kings Dock type of venture where commercially shared facilities could give the city, the community and the supporters what they want.

Finally a word to all those who ALWAYS say, well no one else has come up with the solution. Why in Gods name should they when the club has no interest in listening?

I am a supporter, not an architect, in the business world I have constructed deals that would dwarf this, but I have never laid a brick. I do know that there are always other options depending on how open one is to accept them.

When you are given only one, disagreeable choice and restrict debate, threaten your own supporters, break the promises made, it eventually does come home to roost.

The debacle of the summer left Moyes pondering his future and the team floundering playing badly. Why? because of broken promises, no money and a breakdown in the relationships running the club. It is to Moyes credit that he and the team have put it behind them and done so well with what they have.

To give Kenwright the kudos for the way the team is playing is stretching it, for having faith in the manager yes, I give him that. But like I said before, its a two way street and you take the punches as well when they are deserved.

Instead the absence of leadership when we needed it has been woeful.

I don;t want to get into a Kenwright bashing saga for the man does have great talents but the leader a football club is not one of them. He was there at our hour of need, for that we are so thankful that such an Evertonian stepped up to the mark but sentiment aside he is now residing over the club with a view to breaking its tradition and threatening its very survival with this venture.

Sometimes in life we need to step back from events and take a reflective view. I would urge the club to do just that. To get this wrong would be a calamity of nightmare proportions. The judgement so far and the decisions made to date do not inspire confidence in going forward with DK.

Perhaps in light of the economic climate, doing nothing is a far better option than doing something. Most businesses are retrenching, consolidating, not expanding, not taking risk.

To me we risk everything at a time when we don?t have to. Plan B may well be redevelop Goodison, I would rather that than risk all that we are and always have been, for a Tesco retail store.

Rupert Jameson
57   Posted 25/01/2009 at 02:33:41

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Just picking out one of your paragraphs Christine -

"Taking Everton FC out of Liverpool is like the Roman Catholic church pulling down the Cathedral and rebuilding a new one in Kirkby and giving the protestant cathedral the bragging rights as the City Cathedral.. It is part of the fabric of the city, part of daily life. It has shaped families and decisions for MILLIONS over the years, every day."

I can see where you?re coming from but have you ever considered why Evertonians have never protested or attempted to drive Kenwright out of our club over Kirkby? I think it's because Evertonians consider Kirkby (like Bootle and Huyton for example) as part of the city and that we are not giving "bragging rights" to anyone.
Christine Foster
58   Posted 25/01/2009 at 08:55:23

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Rupert, I think thats exactly what Kenwright and Wyness before him hoped, that the fans would be apathetic, and see Kirkby as just another suburb of Liverpool. Its Knowsley Borough Councils domain not LCC to split hairs, but its not just Kirkby thats the issue. The location is an issue but not the only one.

I for one cannot believe that we risk all for so little benefit. The expectations that the club had have been constantly whittled away to what? Considerable debt and the unlikely expectation of full houses every week for a miserly 6m which probably wont even pay the interest on the accumilate debt in a year or two’s time. All this for what?

Can someone justify it for me because I certainly can’t financially or morally.
Christine Foster
59   Posted 25/01/2009 at 09:04:29

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Give up so much for so little. With no repsect to the impact to the fans, the community and the city.

It feels like arrogance but then that's the way we have been treated all along the way, so why expect any change now.
Colin Fitzpatrick
60   Posted 25/01/2009 at 23:55:51

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You?re flogging the proverbial dead horse over this cross?subsidy / enabling funding issue; at the inquiry there?s some top QC?s attempting to establish where this £52m is actually coming from ? indeed it?s a little confusing where it?s actually going to for that matter? but at last it?s now been established that it comes from the uplift in value of the land that was sold to Tesco by Knowsley Council at a handsome discount.

To be honest, quite a few people will claim that the answers have been staring them in the face all the time: Keith Wyness claimed Tesco were funding Everton?s new stadium to the tune of £50m; Robert ?never been seen since? Earl said after the 2007 AGM that Tesco were providing an irrevocable cheque for £55m; yet Mr Tony Fletcher of Tesco in an e.mail that was read out on Radio Merseyside, stated "Reports in a number of news outlets today have stated that Tesco will fund £50m towards the "cost" of a new stadium for Everton FC. Tesco wish to point out that the intention would be for the proposed stadium funding package to be derived from the "value" generated by the overall retail-led development scheme ? not as a result of direct funding from Tesco.?

A bit of a mouthful from Tesco and unlikely to earn an award from the Plain English Campaign anytime soon. Let's put it another way: the old Ford plant, now Landrover, build a Discovery for say £5,000 and sell it to the dealerships for £15,000. One is the cost and the other is the value. If Landrover were to sell that same vehicle at cost to a member of the public who then sold it on for £15,000, the member of the public would have made a £10,000 profit for an initial investment of £5,000.

Now all you need to do is get yourself a copy of the DTZ report and apply that simple analogy and there you have your answer. The question is, what?s wrong with doing that? Nothing under normal circumstances but when the value is essentially coming from the public purse and is reliant on the planning system, there?s a problem... a problem that some people kept warning about while others preferred to swallow every utterance of a man who?s now disappeared from the face of the earth.

Oh well, role on that replay.
Eddie Sinnott
61   Posted 26/01/2009 at 14:48:10

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Tesco's and Everton's QC asked that the ?exclusicity agreement? between Development Securities and Asda to be made available to the inquiry and costings how it would be funded. It was a clever response by Tesco and Everton to the hulabaloo over their own exclusivity. It was a hoot when it was revealed it was unlikely be revealed due to ?commercial sensitivities?.

To KEIOC ? when are you going to give us your latest updates? Why are they always about three weeks behind? Could it be because you?re busy inserting words like "angry", "frustrated" and "agitated" before whatever Patrick Clarkson QC or other TEV/KMBC witness?s/representatives say? lol!!!
Rich Jones
62   Posted 26/01/2009 at 21:38:29

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Thank Colin, I wonder where Neil went?
Colin Fitzpatrick
63   Posted 30/01/2009 at 22:07:46

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You?re so right, that was a hoot. My recollection was that the smile was wiped off the appellant's faces when they thought it was clever to ask for a document that had nothing whatsoever to do with the application that is the subject of the inquiry. As neither Dev Sec or Tesco are represented their attempt at humour fell on deaf ears!

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