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Now this won't hurt a bit...

By Christine Foster :  03/04/2009 :  Comments (45) :
After watching the leaders of the western world attempting to bring some form of meaning to the banking chaos of the last 6 months, it became apparent that this is not going to be fixed in the next 12 months and its effect is likely to be ongoing for a few years yet. Looking at the forecasts for unemployment, for recession etc, it's pretty uninspiring. One has to ask how this is going to affect a number of things... football in general and Everton in particular. So will it be all doom and gloom or is there a silver lining in all of this?

Football in general will suffer from reduced revenue due to the stark fact that many will not be able to afford the cost of a game, the cost of a season ticket. This may have a knock-on effect to Sky too with people letting the pay-per-view lapse. Result? Less revenue in the game in general.

It makes sense then that less revenue means tighter budgets and the possibility of clubs going to the wall as credit gets harder to obtain and debt servicing becomes impossible on reduced revenues. The days of ridiculous transfer fees may also have been seen to have had their day as have high wages as clubs tighten their belts.

So is this a good thing or a bad thing for the EPL? I suspect even the Sky 4 will suffer like the rest of us as attendances drop, as income from Sky is cut, and as players sit out their contracts because frankly not many stars are going to move for a pay cut!! So, the net effect will likely be the abandonment of expansion plans, the tightening of belts and smaller squads.

Does all this mean the EPL is more likely to get closer to a leveller playing field? Possibly, but initially not until next season when it is more likely that the clubs with more youth coming through are likely to be financially much better off than those who will have to buy and sell to get out of the woods. I think we will see far fewer transfers in the coming years but more emphasis on lower (cheaper) players from lower ranks.

With interest rates so low, there will be a school of thought that money is cheap, so transfers are still likely to be high or expansion will be cheaper to finance but the problem is it may be cheaper but you can?t get the credit unless you don?t really need it and let's face it Premier League clubs are not the safest bets for any financial institution!

What does all this mean for Everton FC? Well in truth I doubt very much it will have much affect on the playing staff we currently have available except to say that we are likely to get less for any player we sell and conversely any new player is likely to cost us less if they decide to move in the first place.

Financially, the news that Southampton could be facing administration puts into perspective the very sharp realities of life for any new investment or expansion plan. Six months ago, BK could have probably sold his shares on the basis of the probability that Kirkby was a done deal and it was really a question of finding someone who would pay what he wanted. But 6 months is a long time in life. He has missed his opportunity to make his money and go, there is no one in the wings waiting for Kirkby to get the go ahead.

No more angels with pots of gold with BK's name on them. At this point in time, Neil Pearse may well be right, no one has the money anymore to invest the amounts required to appease BK and restore Everton to wealth. That?s the difference 6 months has made. The financial game has moved on and what was an opportunity and feasible then is no longer realistic or feasible now nor is it likely to be so in the foreseeable future.

The same must apply to any new stadium or significant investment in improvements to existing stadiums. If we are to be honest and realistic with ourselves then the argument against Kirkby and any new stadium is no longer about cost or location, it's now about how we can justify any move or investment when revenue is falling, credit is difficult, repayments even harder and an economic outlook for the next few years is pretty dire.

Given that it's likely to get worse before it gets better and that by some flash of inspiration the government grant DK the ok, financially we will be hamstrung in poor economic times with low gates and low income, high prices etc... Do I need to go on? So some may get employment for 6 months whilst it's built, but the likelihood of filling it is now beyond hope. By any measure, it no longer makes sense to move to ANY stadium with a huge investment tag at the present time. Believe me too, the stated £80m price tag will be far more difficult to service on lower gates because of bad economic times.

The recession therefore should spell the doom of DK. That is of course how any sensible perspective would see it. We don?t have a pot of gold to fund it, we would abandon our home to seek the deal of the century. It never was and never will be and has even less chance now.

I say 'should' spell the doom of DK, but I wish I could feel that it will. Given the appalling record of mismanagement of investment by the club, this is one mistake that surely cannot be made ? surely not? Don?t bank on it. The recession is a wake-up call to the world that you can?t live beyond your means. Not any more. I only hope the board is listening and hears the wake-up call and doesn?t sleep through it because an error of judgement made now could be fatal to the club.

The risk is higher than it's ever been. The rewards are lower than they have ever been. Common sense is needed because the game has changed for all of us. It's time to walk away.

Reader Comments

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Steve Hogan
1   Posted 04/04/2009 at 09:21:21

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More myths from Christine about ?how much money BK is holding out for??

Given the fact that, up 'til now, I don?t believe BK has personally consulted Christine to actually tell her the amount, all this is pure conjecture, nothing more, nothing less.

If there?s no news, let's invent some?
Martin Handley
2   Posted 04/04/2009 at 11:49:52

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Sorry, Christine, but this just seems to be another anti-DK article under the guise of using the recession as an excuse.

Yes, times are hard, but by the same token materials such as steel and other building materials have fallen in price so that firms will start buying them again thus kick-starting the economy. It won?t happen overnight and yes, the rest of this year will be tough but (as announced on the news) the house prices rose in February for the 1st time in 18 months... so maybe, just maybe, an upturn in the economy ? however small ? is due.

As for football, or the Premier League (not EPL) as we call it in England, was always going to suffer at some point and realism at long last would take hold; thus parasites ? sorry, agents will have to start living in the real world or their clients will be on the dole, simple as.

As for the new stadium, whether it be DK or AOD (any other destination), fact is we have to move as The Grand Old Lady is just too old and too expensive to repair. By the way, where would we play if Goodison got redeveloped?

So I just don?t get or have missed the point of your article. As for "we couldn?t fill DK", the home section is always full ? it?s just a lot of other Premier League clubs eg, Chelsea, Wigan, Bolton, Blackburn etc don?t have big travelling support so leave the away section empty but don?t return tickets in enough time for them to be resold. So, in a new stadium, you could offer more tickets to the home fans and also have a bigger revenue stream from the prawn sandwich brigade.

Yes, we as a club have to be careful... but haven?t we been doing that for the last 15 years? As the old saying goes you have to speculate to accumulate!

Mike McLean
3   Posted 04/04/2009 at 14:41:04

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Nearly agreed with everything you said... BUT never say Everton can?t make a blunder so great that normal clubs would shy at. We have a 130-year-old history of screwing things up then blaming external factors!

We are a City of Liverpool club. The day we move to Kirkby is the day we should call the hearse, cue the brass band and burn the colours. Will that stop the idiots from proceeding? Of course it won?t!

As to the finances of the game, who knows? This is a new era and the pundits seem to have forgotten the difference between their nether regions and their elbows!
Gavin Ramejkis
4   Posted 04/04/2009 at 15:54:40

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The usual type shite from pro Kirkbyites that can?t even accept the reality of the global recession. FFS open your eyes and see beyond Everton FC and the whole Kirkby mess and accept financing is well and truly fucked, then put that into the DK context and ask yourself ? irrespective of whether you are pro- or anti-DK ? whether or not a project reliant on significant borrowing and long-term debt to be serviced by a plan which has changed on a week-by-week and month-by-month basis is still a viable one.

Toxic debt is what has fucked the global economy on the first place; debt that has no reasonable chance of ever being paid back... what would you call a hard-to-get-to stadium with reduced capacity and no non-footballing revenue streams in a time of falling attendances???

Dennis Stevens
5   Posted 04/04/2009 at 15:55:01

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I?m not too sure the recession substantially alters the situation re the Kirkby proposal, it was always a very expensive gamble in the hope of a rather modest return. Sadly, the board seem to have leapt at this opportunity & got a poor deal that gets worse at every turn.

I only hope our usual inability to act with even a modest degree of competence leads to this proposal falling through. Should it ever happen, I fear it may lead to the irrevocable demise of a once great football club.
Rich Jones
6   Posted 04/04/2009 at 16:36:33

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See there's still plenty of mugs amongst the ranks... you guys make Doddy and Madden sound credible; give me strength.
Stewart Littler
7   Posted 04/04/2009 at 17:53:22

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So what you?re saying is we should wait another ten years, until the economy has recovered, when materials will be MORE expensive again, loans will have HIGHER interest rates, and Goodison is literally about to fall down (I seriously doubt whether it will be able to gain the necessary safety certificates for much longer), and then move? No thanks.

Take the plunge now, and when things recover, we will be filling a new stadium every week and using the money to challenge at the top of the Prem (not EPL ? how American and annoying is that little acronym?).

Also, for the umpteenth time, Kirkby IS in the city of Liverpool ? an L postcode, an 0151 area code, what more do you want? Mike said we are a ?City of Liverpool? club ? maybe, but first and foremost, we are Everton and have been since 1879 ? if our founding fathers had wanted us to represent the City of Liverpool, they would have called us LIVERPOOL!!! And correct me if I?m wrong, but we have never played in the Liverpool borough of Everton, and probably never will ? our name is our identity, and our ground is simply the venue where we do our thing (as much as we all love it).

Peter Roberts
8   Posted 04/04/2009 at 18:15:06

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A thought on the recession, and why I think that actually, DK will (sadly) get the go-ahead.

The project will create some much-needed jobs in the badly-hit construction centre. Add to that the presumption the price of steel is (or at least, should be) falling, and the price of building Desperation Kirkby will be coming down. This surely will mean Everton’s liability in terms of its financing is reduced from the supposed £78m we are trying to ringfence through the consistent Top 6 finishes Moyes is delivering.

Now, I am not an advocate of DK but it’s an alternative slant on the never-ending stadium project. I would prefer nothing more than to see Kirkby dead in the water because of the way the fans appear to have been railroaded and misled over the plans. Sadly though, I do wonder in the light of the rising unemployment in the UK whether Blears will see it as an opportunity to kick-start the local economy.
Rich Jones
9   Posted 04/04/2009 at 18:18:24

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I think Bolton are in greater Manchester Stewart too, yeah lets reach for the stars lol !!
Martin Handley
10   Posted 04/04/2009 at 18:28:23

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Gavin, you want to stay at Goodison, I and most Evertonians want to stay at Goodison, but the sad fact is inside the 7 to 10 years Goodison will be unfit for Premier League or even The Championship for that matter. So the sad fact is we HAVE to move as trying to revamp Goodison would be too time consuming and costly. We?d have to use someone else's ground and facilities and pay them rent for doing so while also having to pay wages and bills for Goodison as well, which would bankrupt us.

Like it or not, Tesco are paying 75% of the Kirkby costs, so for any other destination, we would need partner/s willing to contribute the same amount. Also, LCC haven?t exactly been forthcoming with help in funding or offering a rent free location as they have been with our loveable rogueish neighbours!

The fact is, now is as good a time as any with land and steel at rockbottom prices. Instead of calling people's opinion shite please, come up with an alternative that we can debate sensibly.

Brian Waring
11   Posted 04/04/2009 at 18:39:20

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Stewart: "Take the plunge now and when things recover, we will be filling a new stadium every week." Any chance, Stewart, you could give us an idea when the economy will start to recover? While we we're waiting for it to happen, how would we be able to keep a new ground going, never mind affording to build it in the first place?

People are losing their jobs everyday, so how are we going to fill it, while we wait for the recovery to happen?

The other little gem you pro-Kirkby lads like to throw around is that "Goodison is literally about to fall down" ? how do you know? If you are an expert on these sort of things, then enlighten us as to why it is about to fall down?
Brian Waring
12   Posted 04/04/2009 at 19:53:22

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Martin, if a new stadium in Kirkby ended up costing us £80 - 100m, then Tesco will be paying for 75% off that cost?
Rich Jones
13   Posted 04/04/2009 at 20:09:52

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Watch this, Martin: ? apparently we don?t have to borrow anyone's ground or put up with reduced attendances.
Martin Handley
14   Posted 04/04/2009 at 20:32:22

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Rich thaks very much, very interesting the only thing that disturbs me is that it looks very Old Trafford-esque. We?d still need to buy up the houses by the school and the school to do that so we?d still need someone to come in with us on this.

Brian, the Kirkby stadium is costing approx £200-£300 million we pay a maximum of £30-£80 million. Get the land free of charge and Tesco pay for the rest of the complex costing them about £600m in the process, which by anybody's standards is a good deal. It?s not my ideal destination but I don?t see LCC falling over themselves to help.

Goodison struggles to get a safety licence simply because it presents a very real fire risk and lack of facilities such as disabled toilets readily available, not enough female toilets, wooden seats, timber in structure etc.

Rich, thank you for your information; very enlightening.

Paul Hardcastle
15   Posted 04/04/2009 at 21:47:12

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Stewart, Kirkby is in Knowlsey and is very definitely not within the CIty of Liverpool. An L-postcode is irrelevant.

Large areas of Merseyside have L-postcodes but are not part of Liverpool: Bootle? Sefton?? Ormskirk???
Christine Foster
16   Posted 04/04/2009 at 23:09:48

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The article was primarily written, as I stated, for its thoughts on how football in general is likely to be affected by the current economic climate. Secondly on how its impact would most likely be felt on EFC. It would be stupid to ignore the fact that the stadium debate would not be affected. It was not an attempt to raise the stadium issue under another guise but to ask what effects to the EPL do you see and the possible effects on our club.

The debate over Kirkby is divisive enough and doesn?t have any need of repackaging under another label. On a broader scale, therefore, where do we see the effect on the EPL, our standing as a club and what are the likely repercussions?

Should you wish to make a comment on the fact that we are in the worst recession any of us have ever known, just what IS the most sensible way forward for our club?

Derek Thomas
17   Posted 05/04/2009 at 05:23:58

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Christine, Gavin, et al: the whole world can be divided into two, those you don?t have to tell and those you can?t tell. If you listen hard you can hear from wherever you are the sound of heads being buried in the sand.

Any body want to hold their breath until the next transfer record, ours or across the PL, is broken??
Rich Jones
18   Posted 05/04/2009 at 09:30:58

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With respect Martin where the hell have you got your figures from?
Gavin Ramejkis
19   Posted 05/04/2009 at 10:24:52

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Martin and Stewart I posted the response from the H&S Executive several months ago their response about Goodison Park failing to meet H&S requirements and guess what it was a lie from the heart of Everton FC as just another piece of the propoganda jigsaw about Goodison Park falling down etc. A reasonable response would be to invest in bringing aspects of the ground up to standard something which every football club has to do as rules and regulations change anyway. Every season clubs are promoted to the premier league not on the standards of their ground but on their previous season’s footballing abilities and several of those have stadia far worse than Goodison Park so the "standards" issue is more down to personal interpretation. Goodison is not a smart shiny new stadium and its gfacilties are poor but I’ve been to a lot worse over the years.

Several posters on this website have raised the second tier concept over the Park End, my season ticket is in the Park End and I’ve never quite understood why this wasn’t done before as it could easily be completed during the close season and without any impact whatsoever on surrounding housing, access roads or local population easily giving several thousand extra non obstructed seats.

Sadly without a will there will never be a way, under the freedom of information act anyone could easily find out just how much money has been wasted on consultants etc for the folly that is growing in the DK project money which could have remedied several of Goodison’s lesser issues such as toilets and concession stands. I’m a qualified project manager and one of the core principles of any project is that the project should be canned at any point during it’s lifecycle should it no longer meet the original requirement due to costs or other mitigating forces. The mitigating issues surrounding DK have risen exponentially but the deafening silence from the club means they are dead set on DK at all costs and ingoring this basic premise one which most bad projects do; ones that run over budget and over time and fail to deliver on original promises.
Rich Jones
20   Posted 05/04/2009 at 10:58:16

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I would also like to add to that, how many of you have got in the queue and failed to get a cup of tea at the Reebok? I have on a few occasions. Incidentally, what we will get at Kirkby will not even be as good as the Reebok from what I've seen, and going for a slash at the JJb at half time is almost impossible, in fact it's dangerous.

It's not a foregone conclusion we?ll get great service or facillities given the experiances at these grounds and given that the club have lied on the the figures, the transport, and the capacity ? I wouldn't put it past them to welsh on these areas too!!!

Terry Holland
21   Posted 05/04/2009 at 14:10:57

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I can't wait 'til we know one way or another what's happening with Kirkby. Because hopefully, Christine will stop posting these long-winded moaning rants about It.

Christine, you have made it perfectly clear in all your other articles what you think. Why do you keep are repeating the same shite? Whether you are pro- or anti-Kirkby, you have to admit its just boring reading the same thing over and over again.

About a month back, Joe Jennings posted an article about his love for Everton and he was ridiculed for it. Surely we would all rather read something more uplifting like that than this constant depressing drivel from Christine which she has posted a thousand times before.

We know you think it's a bad idea and we know you think you have inside knowledge of what's happening inside the walls of Goodison. So please, please stop boring us.

Paul Lally
22   Posted 05/04/2009 at 13:52:47

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When are people going to wake up and realise that this deal is all about Tesco, Robert Earl and Philip Green, not Everton FC? I ask again, please read ALL the information that is out there, pro-and anti-Kirkby. And I will state again, that if this happens, I trust my fellow Blues will see through the propaganda. There are always alternatives/options.

This will probably be, the biggest decision regarding EFC in any of our lifetimes. It is our duty to understand ALL the facts and ensure EFC?s history, tradition and heritage is maintained for future generations.

We should have a set of options that are open and honest and free for us all to examine. Only then will we be able to agree upon the right course of action. I ask for this now, at this time, as I do not trust BK to make the decision for me or the club, which is a shame.

Time is not the issue. Looking at all the options and making the right decision is... ?If in doubt, do not act.?

Brian Waring
23   Posted 05/04/2009 at 14:56:23

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Here’s a thought Terry, if you don’t like what Christine writes, then don’t read fucking read it!!
Rich Jones
24   Posted 05/04/2009 at 18:49:39

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Fucking hell Terry if we move to Kirkby and fuck it up we?re dead, I think Christine has every-right to be concerned whether you're bothered or not. I suggest you just read the official site about early bird offers and shit.
Jay Harris
25   Posted 05/04/2009 at 22:32:19

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Stewart Littler; Your name would seem appropriate because your post shows how LITTLE you know.

1. Kikrkby is NOT in the City of Liverpool, it is at least 8 miles out with poor transport and infrastructure.

2. GP is not about to fall down or be closed down. GP has always passed safety checks with room to spare. In fact I would bet that in 10 years time GP would have a better chance of passing safety inspections than Kirkby which would be subject to far more rigorous standards because of its new build.

Martin Handley,
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king".

How the hell are Tesco paying 75% of the cost of Kirkby? It?s no wonder some people still think Kirkby?s a good thing if you honestly believe that.

For the record, it has been stated by many including TESCO that they will not be contributing ANYTHING to the cost of the stadium. All they are doing is providing THEIR contractors at the rate that TESCO pay which I am sure right now any decent contractor would beat.

As for the land, KMBC are LEASING it to EFC so we are NOT getting it FREE!! In fact it is contaminated land which will cost EFC around £3 million to decontaminate before work is even started.

I wish you guys would read up on the subject before coming on here with DRIVEL.

Gordon Blair
26   Posted 06/04/2009 at 11:43:37

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Martin, In addition to Jay’s (rather restrained under the circumstances) comments above. You may want to read the DTZ Cost report (submitted by the Club as part of it’s Planning evidence).

Cost to build the Kirkby Stadium £100m.
Moving and associated costs £30M
Total £130M
Cross subsidy from the development £52M
Balance for EFC to find £78M.

Now in these econmic climes that cross subsidy is looking ropier than posh spice’s neck as it was to come from capitalised values of future rents, not many banks will be too keen to advance much on those terms these days.

All of the above is information that has been in the public domain for over a year, I’m amazed that people who speak so passionately and vehemently haven’t been arsed to go and read it, and instead cme on here and pontificate.

In fact, by the time we got to the enquiry, nobody was prepared to commit to where this £52M was to come from.

So to summarise, in addition to the Club being in a poor position to find it’s £78M, the cross subsidy looks like a stretch to say the least, all due to the credit crunch, and the now risk avers banking sector, Christine has a fair point.

Christine Foster
27   Posted 06/04/2009 at 12:08:28

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I appreciate that my comments regarding EFC and its own issues are very close to my heart, but the intent was to highlight the plight of the Premier League and ask what people thought would happen for instance to the stranglehold by SKY and the Sky4? Will the financial support from Sky fall because of falling revenues, falling subscriptions etc? Will it make the playing field more level? Will it actually benefit EFC more than the rest?
Tom Harries
28   Posted 06/04/2009 at 12:59:28

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What will happen to the finances in football? Probably nothing (although borrowing will be an obvious no-no for a while). Sport effectively has its own logic, which it can afford through its popularity.

In times of crisis, people turn to entertainment to relieve the pressure of the daily uncertainty. People will still pay to watch football. Or anything else that takes their minds off their worries. (It's also a great way to blow off steam.) ? Look at what the Great Depression did for Hollywood.
Stewart Littler
29   Posted 07/04/2009 at 07:08:10

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Brian - I do not know when the economy will recover, no more than anyone does, we would move to Kirkby in 3 and a half years give or take from now, and I think if it ain?t at least shown signs by then, we?d be in trouble either way. A new stadium is the only way to raise funds without the luxury of an investor, worth a potential £15-20 million extra per season just in gate receipts, some will go to pay off debts incurred, but in the long run, it is the right thing to do. If it has to be in Kirkby to be affordable, and that is the key word, then so be it.

As regards whether or not Goodison will ?literally? fall down, perhaps the word literally was a little OTT. But I don?t think it will last many more years. It?s a moot point anyway ? if we stay at Goodison, we will never hope or expect for better than a champs league place at best, and that will only be until Moyes leaves. Money is the only way to maybe, just maybe, hope or expect for a little better, and maybe Moyes will show how good he can be with some money to spend. Call me a lunatic or a nutter or whatever, or perhaps simply an optimist, looking at the positives as well as the negatives.

Paul ? maybe you?re right, maybe I?m wrong, I?m happy to admit I?m from Preston and was brought up as a Blue by my Walton born step Dad, so as an outsider, I consider it in Liverpool, and if you go to Google Maps(GM), so do they. I?m not stupid, I know Bootle and Ormskirk are not part of Liverpool, as do GM, but I did think that Sefton is, as do GM. Perhaps I misused the word City in my original post, but I repeat:
"our name is our identity, and our ground is simply the venue where we do our thing"
and to me, eight miles is not too far to go for the potential benefits on offer.

Jay ? since your comment was, despite Gordon suggesting otherwise, anything but restrained I simply say:
>read paragraph two above
>Goodison has poor transport and infrastructure
>exactly how do you know that Goodison has passed safety inspections with room to spare ? have you seen the reports then? Mind sharing the details?
>you would lose your bet

Remember, it?s all just my opinion, I don?t claim to be any kind of expert, I want to support my club through change, and believe me, change is the right thing for EFC. On a different note, how encouraging was Sunday? Let?s get behind the boys again on Sunday, 5th place beckons!

Ciarán MacGiolla Eoin
30   Posted 07/04/2009 at 12:27:35

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Another fine example of ignorance from the ?yes? crowd!

Stewart, can you please explain how we will earn an extra £15-20mill from Kirkby gate receipts... no-one at the club can do it, so I?m sure we?ll all be very interested in how you do it.

Over to you.
Paul Lally
31   Posted 07/04/2009 at 13:15:45

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Stuart L - I can understand a little were you are coming from but you have got to make the effort to read everything out-there. KEIOC, Knowsley Council, Everton FC,TW and Tesco have all published information. Everton do need to change and move forward, but that does not mean we should jump into bed with Tesco and close the door on the other options that are out there.

Everton are the first club of the city of Liverpool. That alone should mean something and be enough for you to see the folly of moving to Kirkby. Then, add in all of the evidence provided so far and the whole plan can be seen to be rushed, ill thought out and a huge risk for our future.

Far more importantly, it also becomes obvious, that this whole scheme is about what is best for Tesco/retail ? not EFC. I again, urge everyone to do their homework.

The thought of this move strikes fear into Evertonians, not just because of the post code etc but because the whole deal will see us move away from what has made our club one of the most historic and successful in the world. And for what?

We should stay at Goodison for now and see how we get on over the next few years on the pitch. And before anyone comes on to say how Goodison is a ?shithole?, I would suggest you need to travel to a lot more away games, here and in Europe. After examining the Kirkby ?design? you could call that a ?shithole? due to the distance from the pitch for supporters and handing over one end to away supporters.

No worries, let?s forget that The Park End at Goodison has always had a life of its own. Goodison is in our blue blood and has always been a weapon. We are Everton FC ? founder members of the Football League with a history of innovation and forward thinking.

So why are we throwing all that away? Extra revenue is said to be one answer but the question is where is that extra revenue coming from?

  • Corporate - no chance. Corporate clients generally want to be close to a city.
  • Gate receipts - only if ticket prices rise.
  • Transfer kitty - approx. £6 million predicted, only if, and it is a massive if, we sell out week in week out.(See above re ticket prices.)
  • Concerts etc - no chance. Not allowed. Knowsley however, will have use of the stadium for free X amount of times per year.
The list goes on and on Stuart, without looking at the transport policy, etc etc. Others suggest that Kirkby will be our saviour and it is the only option we have. Again I urge them to read all the facts.

Why are we even thinking about taking such a risk when we do not need to? There is plenty of time. If Kirkby was not on the agenda we would all be united in finding the best solution and more importantly, pulling in the same direction.

As for your point re we will only ever get a Champions League place at Goodison and never win the League, that one has me completely baffled. Have you been to Stamford Bridge lately?

To wipe out everything Everton and Goodison stand for, to move to Kirkby, to hand over the city to our ?bastard? child, will be a crime that our generation may never be forgiven for.

Gavin Ramejkis
32   Posted 07/04/2009 at 22:30:27

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Stewart, I personally emailed the H&S Exec regarding the lies emanating from Goodison Park about it failing safety examinations and not being able to pass the current and forthcoming regulations. Their response was along the lines of they were not aware that it had ever failed any safety examinations and that they were not responsible for that as it would fall under bulding regulations due to it?s age.

So Jay would be spot on with his "winning bet" in that was a bare faced lie, one which strangely went silent after I posted that reply on this website but like many other club lies about DK seem to resurface every now and again from the yes voters.

If still this fails to float your boat and you think I?m telling lies then I direct you to their very informative website and contact option to which you will get the same response very quickly.

Brian Baker
33   Posted 08/04/2009 at 11:04:09

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So you are saying we should walk away from DK?

.........and then what??

I think your financial assessment is probably way off the mark.

With the RPI actually falling, the base lending rate at an all time low of 0.5%, the price of raw materials falling, the stadium build estimate made in 2007 may need some revision.

Coupled with our average attendence at little under 36,000, merchandise sales up 60%, potentially the best on field season for 20 years and the clubs managable debt lower than its been for 20 years, it can’t be all doom and gloom?
Tim Lloyd
34   Posted 08/04/2009 at 10:57:46

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I read the comments of Paul with interest and some amusement. I have followed and attended Goodison Park for nearly 80 years. My first visit was in 1933!

"made our club one of the most historic and successful in the world."? Where do you get this idea from? Check with the followers of Manchester United, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan and many others of that ilk. I suggest that, world wide, they are far better known. Furthermore, in this day and age, so are our neighbours across the Park.

You are presumably quite young or live close to the ground but remember, 8 miles from the Pier Head may seem a long way to you, but to many ardent Evertonians, it adds little to their existing journeys to follow their beloved Everton.

Is Goodison falling down? It's pretty decrepit in an age where all our competitors are moving themselves or have been able to convert their old Stadiums to ones which meet the requirements of a successful club today. e.g. Newcastle, Manchester Utd for starters.

The anti-Kirkby Brigade have never, IMHO, come up with a viable alternative. We have little money, nothing remotely like we would need. Terry Leahy is a committed Evertonian or else, I?m sure, we would never have got the chance of help from Tesco. Don?t knock it unless you can come up with a guaranteed alternative, which so far no-one has to my satisfaction.

There are Evertonians all over the world. They don?t give a toss for Goodison Park, they love the club. They will follow them wherever they play as will I. Don?t let small mindedness blind you to facts.
Christine Foster
35   Posted 08/04/2009 at 13:16:53

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Tim, I respect that you have seen more than most in your days as an Evertonian, the good and the bad. I agree with most of what you wrote... until the last couple of paragraphs, of course.

One forgets sometimes that it isn?t up to the supporters to come up with viable alternatives. It's the club's duty to have alternatives investigated, costed, and make a rational decision based on not hype but on facts.

You cannot deny that the club's version of "facts" have been demolished brick by brick and their use of an exclusivity agreement has been used to deflect criticism and prevent any options from being considered. They have not conducted any other viability assessment since the Kings Dock, hence why we have Kirkby.

The cost of such detailed viability assessments into other locations is high and no-one would make such a commitment to do so whilst such an exclusivity agreement was in place.

You make the point that other stadiums have been improved over the years much to the detriment of Goodison Park, I agree wholeheartedly that this is indeed the case, however it was incumbent upon the directors, many of whom still hold their positions, to ensure such investment was made. They did not do so and yet now decry its condition and look towards Kirkby as a solution.

It was partly their fault that Goodison is in the condition it is today. It's worth noting that it isn?t falling down; its views, obstructed or not, have always been there. It's just that now people expect more for their money.

Tesco aren?t doing us a favour, they are not contributing anything to the stadium, it is an enabler for Tesco stores rather than for Everton.

I don't let small mindedness blind me to the fact I love the club, I love the history, tradition as well as the team, whether or not they are playing good football. But to me, Everton and Goodison Park and yes Walton, Kirkdale and Liverpool are the heart and soul of the club ? and long may it stay that way.

The facts we are given were lies and hype. The reality for making a case for moving anywhere to ANY stadium in a time of economic depression does not stack up. Kirkby never did and will not now.

Rich Jones
36   Posted 08/04/2009 at 17:53:05

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I suppose if you want to accuse the No camp of small mindedness, you could always been accused of the fact that your letting blind faith in all the club say for you to lead to your conclusion, because the club cannot back any of their figures up.
Dave Roberts
37   Posted 08/04/2009 at 19:34:07

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I for one am sick and tired of this Stadium debate. But two statements make me sicker than anything else. In so many words, they go like this:-

?EFC are not considering the alternatives... there are always alternatives... blah-de-blah-de-blah?

Can anybody who keeps on regurgitating this myth please tell us precisely what the alternatives are! I don?t mean pulling the name of a site out of the hat or repeating the mantra, ?redevelop Goodison?, but tell us as well all about the financial considerations and how any alternative will be funded and enabled.

The other is:-

?We (Everton) are the first club of Liverpool? etc etc & ad infinitum.

No, we were not! By the time Everton, Anfield and Walton were absorbed by the City of Liverpool, there were two clubs. We were the first in the area and we are an older club than LFC and they sprang from our loins to boot and unfortunately, but we were not the first in Liverpool and, by the way, neither were Liverpool FC! Both clubs became Liverpool clubs at the same time when the boundary moved to absorb them.

I am not suggesting that this fact necessarily makes it ok to leave Liverpool now, but at least I do wish that the anti-DK brigade would stop using these myths as part of their argument. It gets bloody tiring!
Dave Roberts
38   Posted 08/04/2009 at 20:12:29

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Christine Foster,

No it is not the Clubs duty (as you put it) to investigate options. It may be sensible to do so in certain circumstances, such as when options exist, but it is the Board's responsibility to make decisions ? not conduct investigations. Whether we like those decisions is another matter. Due diligence is a sensible procedure to adopt when considering major decisions but that does not mean there is a duty to conduct investigations.

Everton Football Club, whether we like it or not, is a business, not a Social Club run for the benefit of its supporters (or customers?)

I would say, however, that, despite this, the Club did give supporters a vote, and whatever problems some may have with that now, they had no requirement to do so. Accordingly, give some credit where credit is due for once.
Christine Foster
39   Posted 08/04/2009 at 23:32:39

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Dave Roberts; I wish Everton FC was run like a business and not a gentlemen's club. I will not split hairs with you regarding the Board of Directors' responsibility except to say that it IS their duty to make CORRECT decisions based on all available options. Correct decisions can ONLY be made if you investigate those options.

Given that Kirkby is the ONLY option on the table and the ONLY option given to the fans to vote upon, it is the ONLY option that the club have pursued.

You are right when you say the Board makes the decisions and in any business they stand and fall by those decisions. That the club carry out a due diligence on the decision is right and proper; that it should be subject to an exclusivity agreement that has been in place nearly 2 years is ridiculous.

The club has ridiculed options presented to it, has shunned potential partners other than Tesco and seen every plank that the vote was pitched on fall into the Mersey.

That's fact Dave, not hype. Not BS. It's documented.

BUT we are where we are. Any move to any stadium is difficult to finance in the present economic climate. They fact that Kirkby would only show a small profit based on full gates at higher ticket prices is a loud resounding warning bell. This was before any downturn in people's personal ability to go to any football match.

This is why I believe Kirkby is wrong. It was wrong 6 months ago, it's wrong for the club now. The absence of any Plan B lies with the Board not the supporters.

Gavin Ramejkis
40   Posted 09/04/2009 at 00:36:03

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Dave, can you enlighten me personally on the difference of going with a begging bowl to a bank saying, "Can you lend me £78M plus to build a stadium in Kirkby?" to, "Can you lend me £78M plus to redevelop my existing stadium?" or "Can you lend me £78M plus to build a stadium anywhere?"

As you appear to be a fan of shout mode ? TESCO IS NOT PAYING A PENNY TOWARDS DK; EVEN THE CONSULTANCY WORK HAS BEEN PAID FOR BY EVERTON FC. With the exclusivity clause in place, no-one has been able to clarify enabling projects and collaborative funding elsewhere. As you have said the ad infinitum regurgitation is getting very tedious.

Rich Jones
41   Posted 09/04/2009 at 06:38:10

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One thing is for sure ? all the Board's decisions since 1987 have led to us becoming a small club financially, and at that time we were one of the big 5. Now there have been certain members of the Board that have been party to every one of those decisions.
Tim Lloyd
42   Posted 09/04/2009 at 18:44:34

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Christine, you are clearly a well educated lady with a fair grasp of the situation regarding the DK problem.

When I first visited Everton, it was in 1932 at Goodison Park. In many ways it was basically the same although The Goodison Road stand was then a Double Decker. The other sides have been altered over the 77 years since I first visited the ground but it is still made of timber with those blessed posts obscuring the view for so many.

People say the Directors are so convinced its Kirkby or bust that they have looked nowhere else. How are they sure of their facts? Our new CEO has stated that all avenues have been explored but nothing of significance has been unearthed. I?m delighted you don?t mouth, what I consider to be as bad as obscenities, that the present attitude of BK, in particular, and presumably other large shareholders is all about about them making as big a profit on their investment as they can.

I?m sure they certainly hope they will but is that unusual? Don?t we all endeavour to capitalise on our investments.

I will not be going to Goodison now or anywhere else. The good old days are now well behind me. I have followed and loved this club, however, through the last 77 years and hate to read the stuff that appears so often on this forum.

If just one person could come up with a really viable alternative to Kirkby, I am sure they would get a very responsive hearing from BK. He comes across to me as a rabid ?Blue? whose heart and soul are in our club as much as anybody else?s.

As for the difficulties with Kirkby, obtaining the club's financial outlay, transport problems, possible problems with Blues supporters, so near to the shopping population of Kirkby etc, don?t you think the club are as well aware of these? And I am equally sure that they would be surmounted.

At the moment, nothing is set in stone. It will be interesting to read about this in say 12 months time...
Stewart Littler
43   Posted 10/04/2009 at 05:04:30

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Ciaran ? extra capacity of approx 10,000 seats, so 7,000 extra season tickets equals approx £5m, another 3,000 tickets per match equals £2m ? that?s just league games. We played 4 in cup this season, that?s another £2m. That?s assuming ticket prices stay the same ? they?ll probably go up as better facilities, etc., maybe £5 each equals around £5m. We can also charge away fans more for better facilities, equals another million or two. A lot obviously depends on the fans showing up every week to support ? I know I will be.

Paul ? and I understand where you are coming from, that?s what having debate, opinions and preferences is all about. I have read some, though not all, of the info out there and remain convinced that to challenge again in the Prem, we need this move. I can?t even take KEIOC seriously after watching their video though; nice idea and all, but a bit like looking at the Rolex in the window ? you know it?s better than the Fossil down the way, the problem is you don?t know how much it costs, but you know you can?t afford it, whereas the Fossil is tagged and you at least know what?s good and bad about it.

Yeah, Kirkby has its flaws, but the club pays experts to worry about them, so I?m just gonna let them do their job. My point about never expecting better than 4th is exemplified by Stamford Bridge: Chelsea don?t need a new ground cos they got Abramovich... we ain?t got an Abramovich so we need the ground. Money is the be-all and end-all of modern football and we need some from somewhere. And as outlined above, there is a POTENTIAL £15-20 mill available to us per season.

Gavin ? I don?t recall having said that Goodison has failed ANY safety certificates. My point was that, IN MY OPINION, it will not continue to pass them for much longer. It may be 5, 10, 20 or even 50 years but face facts, at some point, probably in our lifetime (I?m 25), it will require major reconstruction or demolition.

IMO, now is the time to take advantage of a good deal on the table. And FYI, £78m will not even touch the sides on ANY other site or redevloping Goodison, hence why Kirkby?s cons are outweighed by its pros.

On the same theme, echoing Tim and Dave, I would also be really interested in what these other ?options? are? That would cost the same? And finally, and again echoing Tim, Terry Leahy grew up in working class Liverpool and is an avid Blue ? so if we are gonna look for investment anywhere, then I don?t mind ?jumping into bed with Tesco? ... following the same principles I entertain for jumping into bed with anyone ? do I like the way they look, and will I get as much, if not more, out of it as they will? Yes and yes, my friends (and I mean I like the look of Tesco, not Terry, though he is a handsome chap).

Gavin Ramejkis
44   Posted 10/04/2009 at 06:12:41

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Stewart, the regurgitation of BK and TL being Evertonians means very little. Sir Terry Leahy is on record as saying Tesco are not paying a penny towards DK and throughout the Public Inquiry, the football stadium is an enabler to allow an obscenely large supermarket to be built ? one which is purely in response to the only people he answers to; his shareholders. Thus, whether he was an Evertonian or a three-headed alien becomes completely irrelevant.

A little romantic to claim the "working class boy did good" ? ask yourself where both BK and TL live now. The shareholders, including BK, have also shown on record that they are unwilling to invest a single penny of their own money including via a dilution of their shares through a share rights issue. The new stadium would allow the club to appear to have a greater share value that it currently has at present ? simple economics to allow an exit route for the majority share holders.

The business acumen of BK and his Board have been repeatedly shown to be flawed in virtually all enterprises they have undertaken and failed to undertake, the largest abhorrences being a lack of retail presence in the Capital of Culture and the outsourcing of our retail in general.

The agenda of the Board and the fans and supporters are vastly different; the large shareholders looking for profits and the supporters looking for success... so claiming Blue credentials as an excuse for failure is an insult to people?s intelligence; the Board and Chairman have a role with their own agenda.

The claims on failing regulations, Stewart, was claimed by yourself in a response to Jay ? every structure open to the public has to meet regulations but every building has regular maintenance, including historical ones. So to make statements saying they will fail after time is ignorant as all buildings, including modern and old, will have maintenance and upgrades, no matter what. And only that failure would make this scenario happen but that would be down to the Board and not the fans and supporters.

Christine Foster
45   Posted 10/04/2009 at 13:38:40

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Tim, thank you for your reply to my post; I will endeavour to be as clear in response.

I too have stood in Goodison Road before the "new" stand was built and I agree that times have changed; though small changes have been made, they are light years behind other, more forward-thinking boards such as Newcastle, Spurs, Villa... I could go on but there is no need we are where we are today.

I agree also that any business investor enters into a partnership or investment on the hope of a return and a healthy one if possible. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with that.

Where the wheels started to come off the wagon with Kirkby was the reluctance of the club to entertain approaches from parties such as Bestway. Perhaps they came off earlier with the marketing pitch that was the vote. Enough has been said about that so it's pointless saying it again except to say it lies in many a waste paper bin as a testiment to what?

And therein lies the problem, Tim: Why the heavy pitch, the spin, the lies and the subsequent silence? Even at the AGM and the emergency AGM, the silence to some of the questions was deafening. Which leads people to ask, Why, if so many things where obviously not right, would BK or the Directors pursue it? It led to either blind faith in Tesco, incompetence, or the opportunity to make money.

I think it's been all three. In varous guises and flavours from day one.

So we are left without knowing our future in bad economic days. Personally, I would hope to see the club open the doors to other options, which may happen ? but only if the Inquiry rules against the development.

I am angry but not bitter Tim. I want to keep the family together but I have significant misgivings that we have not been party to the truth (commercial disclosures prevent some things but not all) and my gut instinct tells me we have been played for mugs.

I wish to god we could have fully costed alternatives to give to the club. People like Tom Hughes have shown that Goodison can be redeveloped, but this is not an option the club want to pursue. The question, Why not? has been answered with glib comments as to safety, footprint.. etc etc.. but, if there was a will, there would be a way.

There have been approaches to the club to discuss alternatives but the exclusivity agreement prevented (and still does) the co-operation needed to give a fully costed commercial alternative to Kirkby. The cost of any such viability assessment to a new potential investor can be over £1M in fees, designs, investigations and proposals. And I repeat, who in their right mind, as a potential investor, would do this without the co-operation of the club and with the exclusivity agreement in place? I wouldn?t and I have as a CEO had to make similar calls on projects because the risk of return with a non-cooperative partner is too high.

If Kirkby was nailed shut as a no go, I suspect BK would then have no option but to do so.

I hope that will be the case because, right now, the case for going is worse than it's ever been. Continuing its pursuit without a pause in this climate isn?t just reckless ? it's suicidal. That's what scares me, Tim.

I want my sons to go to a new Goodison that captures the spirit and essence of its past and the hope of a future. I am fighting for that vision because I do believe that Kirkby is not the solution.

In time to come perhaps Goodison will be redeveloped, or perhaps Tesco and BK will move on and a new board or new owner will see the vision as something else. Perhaps another stadium closer to the city... Who knows? Who could have predicted accurately the crisis we find ourselves in? Where will Premier League football be in 3 years time?

The ONLY people taking risk at this time are entreprenuers who have different risk values than corporations; people say it's a great time to build, because finance is cheap, but only if you can get it and only if you can fill the stadium when it's done.

The cost of loan repayments will be high and debt can only be serviced from high turnovers and good marketing. At the moment we are only 80% full now ? at cheaper prices in a more accessible place. Therefore the demand right now is not there.

It's their logic that is flawed, Tim. If some of us don?t ask the questions and get good answers then my sons will never know the experience of Goodison.

I remember those days well, Tim; I would stand on the landing in Burlington Street on a Tuesday night and hear the roar of the crowd from miles away. You could tell they had scored from the roar. You can?t bottle that feeling of pride, can you?

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