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Do what's right for our Great Club

By Charlie  Martin :  18/09/2008 :  Comments (51) :

The start of another Uefa Cup campaign symbolises the consistency we now enjoy with a Moyes-led first team. Secretly, throughout the country, though the media gives us short shrift, there is a strong respect now for Everton and its achievements using conventional methods of building a team under cash concerns. We are doing it the hard way, the way every club does it, apart from maybe 3 teams in the country, and it must be said that we have occasionally shown some decent buying power over the last 3 seasons.

This summer was very badly managed on the recruitment side, there?s a lot of unanswered questions as to why we left it so late to find new recruits, it is shoddy, but ultimately we have just scraped through the window with a bit of extra quality coming to the club and so let's move on, happily hoping that another top 5 finish can be achieved and we finally get to one of the cup finals on offer!

Unfortunately, off the pitch, the doom circles about Destination Kirkby. It is balancing out all the good sentiment I have about the continued on-pitch progress. I love the club and support the team to the end, but looking at the fans polls I am not the only one feeling disappointed, angry and manipulated by its owners. The majority of fans do not want Kirkby to happen, and the board?s stance means we are not ?feeling good? about our club. Bill Kenwright has always said he would do what the fans want, he has stated that he would be led by our own aspirations, yet he has recently proved to ignore us and this is tantamount to a U-turn on his principles, therefore he has lost my trust and I doubt all the spin about Kirkby now.

Now, in order to gain a mere £11m extra cash a year, we are being told that all our wonderful history, our prestige, our very identity, must be compromised. The board will soon meet the Liverpool Council about sites available in the City and their funding proposals. They should therefore not be concerned about Kirkby if they are true Evertonians. They should only be concerned about Kirkby if they want the easy route to a bit of quick cash. It's their choice.

We are being forced to support the desires of a retail giant. Because it may still prove straight-forward to move to Kirkby the club has tried to mould us to feel it?s the only way to go; facts have emerged all year that there are other viable options.

A factual point that cannot be disputed is that Kirkby is not just beyond the city boundaries of Liverpool, its beyond the city?s suburb?s boundaries. It is its own town, completely removed from our city and it has nothing to do with Everton Football Club. So here are my reasons why we cannot put up with the Kirkby-driven board any more, and we must ACT NOW, I have listed 15 points that summarise why we cannot settle for a Kirkby stadium:-

1/ Moral Duty:

There are sites such as the Bestway-owned land that have even had successful feasibility studies done. One was by HOK, responsible for the very successful Millennium stadium. That means there are real alternatives, Black and White. This point alone means it cannot in any way be ignored by the Directors of EFC and it's their moral duty to do what is best for the future of the club.

2/ It is geographically feasible:

The geographic scale of other sites in the city are deliverable for a football stadium and a handful of peripheral commercial buildings is ideal. This means once again that we can incorporate other developer partners and our own stadium financing plan.

3/ Ownership:

A central location puts us firmly at the forefront of football and commerce in Liverpool city centre. In football terms we will continue to ?own? one half of the city.

4/ Tesco are the driving force behind Kirkby:

This may be the most relevant point of them all?? Like everyone he professes to do business with, Bill Kenwright counts Leahy as a close personal friend; and what's that got to do with it? makes the plan appear even worse, you don?t have to be the cleverest Evertonian to know that the Kirkby move is unfortunately one of utter convenience for the two.

It is driven from a Tesco standpoint. If there was much less at stake, fine, take the easy route. However when it involves the total displacement and undermining of Everton Football Club, the easy route is not good enough, nor remotely acceptable. It is neither responsible nor best practice.

5/ Don?t leave the city be a one-club city:

Don?t underestimate Location in a two club city. Out of site, out of mind.

6/ Club?s Status and Image:

Everton?s ground needs to stay part of the sporting architecture of the city. Where else do you put the home of the People?s club?

7/ Attendances:

We will fill our stadium if we stay central. We will retain 100% of the indigenous fanbase we currently have and attract a new crowd that feel happy with visiting a ground that is more fan-friendly (the stadium effect). No risk of pockets of empty seats. Moving to Kirkby however, is likely to be a large embarrassment because on telly our national and international image will be one of a club that cannot draw a decent gate. Forgetting success on the pitch, the move out there alone will lose a regular fanbase. As a blue that travels from London to games, I know for a fact that the extra 40 mins or so each way to Kirkby at the end of the Lime Street journey ? at best because road congestion is predicted to be drastic ? will prove a big time and cost barrier to many of us using this route to home games. By re-locating within the city the club will also maintain its matchday ?walk-up? crowd which Everton can boast as the biggest in the Premiership. This crowd is lost with the Kirkby move.

8/ Access:

Kirkby access will prove prohibitive. Fast Trams would be the only saving grace because there is no way any other mode of access that will work effectively. There are some excellent reports published on this web-site that accurately paint a damning picture for road and foot access to the Kirkby stadium. Lets not ignore this. It?s a travesty.

9/ Earning power:

It is a no-brainer that revenues will be higher when operating a stadium in the centre of a large city than one in a rural part of Merseyside. Everton needs to position itself in the future as a big city team, to both commercial prospects, matchday corporate sponsors, corporate season ticket holders and even players considering joining the club. Future commercial earnings is fundamental to the £11m extra cash predicted per season, but I?m afraid to say there is no guarantee of that when the product you are selling has no aspirational values to corporates. The most likely scenario is that, optimistically, Kirkby may break even, so why move there at all?!

10/ Being proud of our club:

We want a stadium that all fans will hold dear to them, be proud of.

11/ Our Brand / Our Image:

It made me chuckle to see ?The People?s Club? emblazoned across the architect?s impression of the Kirkby stadium. When Moyes did his first press conference he was referring to blue shirts on the streets of Liverpool not Kirkby! Who signed these designs off? And we were promised in the mandate literature that there was a plan for something iconic for the stadium?. was this further spin? If not, I think its about time that the new iconic draft designs we were promised in official literature be published on the official website. I wasn?t a Yes voter last year, as one or two of you may have guessed, but those who were have been hood-winked, surely you need to see what you voted for?

12/ Loss of identity:

Kirkby ensures this. I strongly believe that Evertonians will not be held to ransom and end up being a fan base ridiculed for its new roots. So let's not walk into this one. I hate to admit it but the kopites rub the salt in when they go for the ?city?s all ours? chant... Its been hard enough trying to regain the credibility on the pitch over the last decade, if we lost our off-pitch identity what do we have?

13/ Football clubs progress but stay true to their roots:

A new stadium in the city is a must. Imagine the difficulty of maintaining let alone extending Everton?s fan base through future generations if we are miles away from our heritage. If we had a bad league run our fan base would erode at dramatic pace.

14/ LCC will support it:

Yes finally! We have been assured that the LCC have stated that we will get the right momentum from local government for anything we go for in the city.

15/ How can we ever replace the Old Lady?

Let's hold out for a stadium that can have a soul. Location is part of what will deliver this, our great fans will do the rest... but a stadium with personality and a soul is an impossibility at a Kirkby site.

My 15 points have been rational, so I think I?m entitled to be a bit irrational now?

  • Evertonians are being trodden on.
  • We are not putting up a good enough stance that reflects the real majority of fans
  • This is another Internet rant that may be just as in-effective as the last one? but I hope not!! I want us all to do our best to influence a turnaround from DK: Let's act!!
  • I want the local media to be more impartial. Let's complain about their pro-Kirkby stance, and lets complain in our thousands!
  • I want the pressure groups, particularly KEIOC, to continue their great work and I urge anyone who hasn?t yet done it to us to visit their website and sign the Downing Street petition.
  • If we are asked to demonstrate by KEIOC or others, then we have to!! Its up to us!!
  • Let's influence proceedings!!
  • We should all be ready!! Its for our Great Club!!

Reader Comments

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Tony Kelly
1   Posted 19/09/2008 at 07:32:53

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Great article, Charlie. Let?s hope this nonsensical drive to Kirkby gets scuppered by the government. As I have mentioned before on this site, I come from a large family of season ticket holders, I also have a lot of friends also season ticket holders.
2 have indicated they will go to Kirkby,
2 are undecided, but 36 have said they will never set foot in Kirkby.
By any standards this is pretty conclusive.
Alan Willo
2   Posted 19/09/2008 at 07:38:03

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Since when has the majority of fans not wanted DK? I?m sorry but apart from polls on websites there has never been an official NO. When have Evertonians ever protested in numbers other than the odd 100?

I voted Yes and if asked again would also vote Yes. Simple reason is we don?t have any money so we have to go cap in hand to commercial sponsors be that LCC, Tesco or KBC. The painful fact is it?s only the latter that have offered us a package that is deliverable. I never for one moment thought it was the best option to us fans but as it stands today and for the past two years it?s still the only option we can afford.

Your article makes good reason at times but it ignores the simple fact we can?t afford to buy other sites within the city and LCC will not offer us any without paying a fee so sadly unless we break that conundrum then everything thereafter is irrelevant.

When this all came out and KEIOC formed I emailed them to approach LCC and Tesco and hijack the DK plan and put it into Walton Park but that angle was never approached. We had one willing sponsor in Tesco, a park that is mostly under-utilized and run down (apart from the football academy) all we needed was the backing of LCC and WB said ?two wrongs don?t make a right? referring to LFC in Stanley Park. What he should have said is, yes this is an excellent idea to keep EFC in the city and close to its roots.

We have already set a precedent with Stanley Park so this idea seems deliverable should it meet the funding package. What happened, we got offered the loop by a Supermarket that wants rid of a redundant site that has a good location but doesn?t meet the simple criteria: we have no Finance to deliver. Even when WB replied to the local MP he offered EFC many sites that could be delivered with the correct funding package!!!

That?s the whole problem ? we have NO MONEY to do our own build, until we all understand that or find another benefactor then our destiny will never completely be in our own hands, I don?t like that either but I?m afraid its reality. COYB

Rich Jones
3   Posted 19/09/2008 at 08:04:46

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Here here Charlie, I have now personally decided that I will not buy my season ticket next year, I just will not support Kenwright anymore and I will never go to Kirkby. I'm up for any protests anyone wants to make.
Tom Hughes
4   Posted 19/09/2008 at 09:26:49

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Over 10,000 voted NO (not a few hundred) even when there was no alternative offered and this was supposed to be a world class stadium, costing nowt and in the most accessible site in the country. How many of the 10,000 abstainers would vote yes now? How many threads have appeared by Yes voters who have changed their mind? Why has EVERY post vote poll on every Evertonian site demonstrated a majority now against? How come the vast majority of shareholders at the recent EGM voted to drop Kirkby forthwith? The fact is even given the overwhelming propoganda drive for DK only 15,000 blues voted for it over a year ago. Judging by the EGM and everything else since, this would never be repeated now. Allow any other option to be properly presented and DK wouldn’t even register as you intimate yourself..... hence exclusivity!! We had the hardsell off the best salesman in the business, end of! Argue with Charlie’s main points if you can but don’t repeat the no cash conundrum! We are having to find at least £78m to enable Tesco to get what THEY want. This will rise significantly. For that amount GP could be redeveloped to meet all our requirements, or our forecasted contribution for the LOOP could be met. Commercial developments near city centres are far more lucrative and broader scoped than out of town retail as shown by the Kings Dock project which would have yielded over 90% of the stadium costs on a much smaller site than DK which is struggling to generate a quarter of the construction costs..... The problem is, that wont necessarily benefit BK’s retail backers or Tesco’s who have already been dropped from Project Jennifer.
Location is everything for a football stadium (and for our identity), to dismiss it so lightly for an option that has been engineered to be our only one is plainly wrong!!
John Hughes
5   Posted 19/09/2008 at 09:25:18

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Alan Wilo wrote ?Simple reason is we don?t have any money so we have to go cap in hand to commercial sponsors? and ?Your article makes good reason at times but it ignores the simple fact we can?t afford to buy other sites within the city and LCC will not offer us any without paying a fee?

Alan can you please tell me now then how EFC are funding the projected £78million it was reported to cost for Kirkby?

Please before you respond, take stock of the current financial situation which faces the world. Take into consideration what you have written. Also remember that to have money for one means we have money for the other. Also remember Tesco are giving us nothing. They are paying for nothing.

Please tell me how in the current economic climate Everton are going to receive £60million in sponsorship and naming rights. How Everton are going to sell Goodison for £15million and still have £15million after paying the mortgage back. Please tell me why the banks will lend us anymore money when we already owe huge amounts secured on future income.

Alan I eagerly await your response which will obviously educate me on the world of finance, construction and football sponsorship. One last quote from you Alan ?That?s the whole problem we have NO MONEY?
Graham Atherton
6   Posted 19/09/2008 at 08:47:19

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Can we define this often quoted ?we have the biggest walkup support? claim.

I would define ?walkup? as fans that don?t own season tickets but who come to the match, many deciding on the day. The figure is easy to work out by subtracting season ticket holders from the average attendance. In those terms we are 9th in the Premiership in 2007-08, slightly less than Man City.

All of these fine statements are similarly short on rationality and long on emotion ? which is understandable as I for one do not live in the city and do not have to listen to Liverpool taunts.

Taking an ?arms length? view the business case for the stadium in Kirkby stands. It also stands that if there were money available the club wouldn?t be going outside of Liverpool. Until the point that money does become available Kirkby remains the best way forward.
Tom Hughes
7   Posted 19/09/2008 at 10:08:49

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There is some confusion regarding the term walk up support. However, there is little confusing the demographic studies carried out by football research unit and supporters associations previously lauded by the club itself which clearly indicated the highly localised support we have...... walk up in those terms almost literally meant walking. I’m sure someone posted something on it a while ago. This combined with the transport strategy farce renders kirkby a disaster and hardly the "best way forward".
Neil Pearse
8   Posted 19/09/2008 at 10:42:06

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I have to say that it absolutely beggars belief that after over a year of passionate, thorough and mostly intelligent debate on the subject of our stadium options, in the middle of the world’s biggest financial crisis for over a generation, that someone should write a long article without mentioning the financial constraints we are under and what we actually can afford. Unbelievable!

By the way, before the inevitable response, I think it is now more than likely that borrowing availability and costs mean we can no longer even afford Kirkby - by far the lowest cost new build 50,000 stadium that anyone has ever heard of in the UK. That we could perhaps afford to spend three or four times that amount on a world class new stadium in the city of Liverpool - well, this is utter and complete fantasy. You really can’t always get what you want - however much we all want it.
Gerard Madden
9   Posted 19/09/2008 at 10:30:15

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I?d just like to correct Tom Hughes, actually the vote was held at a time when Cllr Bradley was going public with the loop plan which had the benefit of a FRONT PAGE SPLASH on the Echo just before the ballot with other articles about it DURING THE BALLOT. In other words there were other options waved in front of the fans in the ballot period yet only 28% got off their fat behinds to vote no. Most people either voted yes or did not care by not voting at all.

There?s so many holes in his arguments its breathtaking - the EGM wasnt called by most shareholders only by about 25% of them, a majority of shareholders did not turn up on the night and even on the night as much as 40% of them supported the board. I wont go into the numbers of the actual shareholding vote lest I embarrass you further.

Now onto the pitiful amount of pro-DK posts, articles or amounts of people who vote for DK in little online polls, it is desperate in the extreme to raise that issue, everyone knows that since the very dawn of time that when people feel as though things are going their way they have no need to publicly prance around letting people know about it. Have you noticed how despite "DK is never going ahead" "for this that and the other reasons" that ?no? supporters never tire of telling us that EVERY SINGLE DAY and its usually the same few suspects every time. Do they not have confidence in their position? Yet even saying that I cant see any anti-DK protests can you? When one was called by KEIOC how many turned up? I?ll tell them - it was only 30-40 tops but we?ve seen planes from them and endless whinging.

Already the inspectorate/government have gave rounds one and two to the applicants and knowsley by firstly fast-tracking the inquiry and now secondly dismissing the anti?s hopes of a delay to the start. A good sign in my book. [Posted as "Jason Barlow"]
Neil Pearse
10   Posted 19/09/2008 at 11:09:55

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To follow Jason?s reasoning, on the one day when things were clearly going ?against? Kirkby - the day it was called-in - a deluge of Yes voters appeared on Toffeeweb bewailing this awful blow to the club?s future. In terms of ?what was known? at the time of the vote, I also wonder what the effect would have been if the club had come out and really told the truth that we could not afford any other new stadium options than Kirkby. But no-one will ever know.

Let?s be sensible. What we know is that there are Kirkby supporters, anti-Kirkby supporters, and (probably the majority) those who are not passionate either way - and perhaps quite rightly care much more about why Joleon Lescott has suddenly turned into such a crap footballer.
EJ Ruane
11   Posted 19/09/2008 at 10:35:00

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Good piece Charlie, although I think by now just about everything that can be said has been and at this stage, views are so entrenched that nobody is going to be changing their minds.

My own opinion is that all those still in favour of the move are simply too stupid to understand the issue.

I know we?re not supposed to say that and we?re all supposed to ?agree to disagree? or...something, but if we?re allowed to describe a happy person as happy and an angry person as angry, what?s the problem describing a stupid person as stupid?

You could I suppose say stupid in this context is subjective and you are simply using it to insult.

Not so (really!)

My use of the word is dictated by the facts available on this issue.

If you unwrap a Mars Bar, look at it, taste it, read the ingredients on the label and then insist it?s a Fry?s Turkish Delight - you?re stupid.

The issue of DK is the same.

We ALL now KNOW we were lied to about the cost, the transport and the ground itself, yet there are people out there who still think pursuing this move is the correct thing to do.

Sorry, but stupid, stupid, stupid!

By the way, this morning I pulled a small (maroon) piece of fluff out of my belly button.

This piece of fluff has no capacity for any kind of conscious thought because....well, it?s a piece of fluff.
Neil Pearse
12   Posted 19/09/2008 at 11:32:43

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You still don’t get it do you EJ? (And since you are obviously intelligent as well as funny, I am at a loss.) Us Kirkby supporters are not insisting that Mars Bars are Turkish Delights - we are insisting (although you seem unable to follow) that a Mars Bar is currently the best available option that the club has. You, Charlie and Co are apparently insisting that against all evidence we can afford Turkish Delights. How? This does not seem by this stage to be a very intelligent position to hold - but I can understand that you would really like it to be so (me too), so your wants have defeated your reason.
Greg Doyle
13   Posted 19/09/2008 at 11:53:10

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Is anyone else undecided on this one!? Or am I completely on my own?? This is how Justin Fashanu must have felt!
Graham Atherton
14   Posted 19/09/2008 at 11:39:20

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I hear what you are saying and really would like to see these studies on walkup in black and white. I am sure you will agree once the actual data can be looked at then we can establish its veracity - "I am sure someone posted on it a while ago" doesnt support the conclusion you come to. If it is there then it must be dug up and shouted from the rooftops surely?

Until that point I can’t really believe Everton have more walkup support (interpreted literally as they walk to the match without the aid of motorised transport) than any other stadium situated amongst residential housing, and probably less support than a team in a similar position in a city where the main opposition lies a short walk away?

Maine road was similarly situated and they did ok after the move too.
Peter Howard
15   Posted 19/09/2008 at 12:22:29

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Navel gazing again, EJ ?
Ron Hill
16   Posted 19/09/2008 at 12:17:59

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I?m in the ?No? camp but let?s assume that its going ahead. The thing that get?s me about the deal is that BK is hanging onto Tesco?s coat-tails without recognising his position of strength.

Tesco need Everton to fulfil the leisure element of the plan that allows a shopping centre of the size proposed. However, since the initial plans went in Everton have had to admit to costs of £78m and rising, lost the car park, had the position of the stadium moved as well as incur liabilities related to the re-configuration of the shops and their related income streams.

Because EFC are key to Tesco?s plans for domination in North Liverpool Kenwright should be telling his good friend Lehey to give us a stadium that truely is effectively free with the required facilities that go with i.e. car parks.

If he/Tesco?s doesn?t deliver, BK wouldn?t lose any face by withdrawing (and following his recent comments I?d like to tell Ron Round what he can do with his scheme as well). If this happened and BK played his cards right in the media it would put the ball squarely in LCC?s court.
Barry Sherlock
17   Posted 19/09/2008 at 12:39:38

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EJ / Neil,
Forget Mars bars and Turkish Delights.... have you seen the price of the Yorkies at Goodison??? Really - it’s a joke..... Anyways - Stadiums; Neil spot on - we can’t afford an 8 man tent on waste land at the moment. No one can afford a decent stadium on a decent site; i.e. RS. Why do we think Arsenal are not signing any decent players even though their squad is crying out for it. We need a hand out, we need help = Kirkby.
EJ Ruane
18   Posted 19/09/2008 at 14:37:21

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Neil, you say..

"we are insisting (although you seem unable to follow) that a Mars Bar is currently the best available option that the club has. You, Charlie and Co are apparently insisting that against all evidence we can afford Turkish Delights. How?"

Fact: it is not against ALL evidence (do you know what ’ALL’ actually means?)

It might be against what you choose to believe, but that I’m afraid is NOT ’all evidence’.

I have over the last 12 months seen a lot of the ’all evidence’ and far from suggesting DK is the only choice, it suggests the complete opposite.

As I stated earlier, some can see it, some can’t.

One thing I will retract though is that ALL of those for DK are stupid.

I should have said MOST are stupid and the others are greedy.
EJ Ruane
19   Posted 19/09/2008 at 14:44:33

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I think it’s an OUTRAGE what happened to Gareth Hughes.

It seems a gang of (I’m guessing) 12 big fellers broke into his house, physically pushed him to a computer screen and forced him to read this entire thread.

Is there nothing we can do to stop this?

Or....have I got this wrong and he’s just a massive bell.

(nb: If you don’t want to read it, then don’t - poltroon!)
Barry Sherlock
20   Posted 19/09/2008 at 14:47:43

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EJ / Neil,
I must be in the greedy catagory.... I like those king size Mars bars!!! Or maybe that makes be stupid?

Who cares?

In the current climate we CANNOT afford a stadium anywhere! BTW I’m including Kirkby in that. Costs will have risen to such an amount that EFC and Tesco are going to have to shelve the idea. Tesco have had to do that in alot of recent circumstances, even where planning permission has been granted.
rich jones
21   Posted 19/09/2008 at 15:17:49

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Why dont Neil, Madden and all the other yes voters go and wash Kenerights socks whilst the rest of us with 2 braincells to rub together can figure out how to stop this sham of move going ahead.
22   Posted 19/09/2008 at 15:07:12

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does anyone know who we write or e-mail to protest the kirby move? who do we contact at the echo? who at everton will even take notice? i wouldnt have a clue where to start. if anyone would care to list the people and contact details i’ll be happy to do my part in pestering them into submission.
Neil Pearse
23   Posted 19/09/2008 at 16:56:03

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Rich, since I have been saying on this site for about the last two years that Kenwright is not the owner we need now and needs to move on from Everton... Do you think he really wants me to wash his socks? (You guys personalise everything. You can easily be in favour of Kirkby whilst seeing a lot of problems with Kenwright.)

EJ - I would be REALLY interested in your evidence that there are other new build options apart from Kirkby that we can afford. Even a little smidgeon would do. But I won’t be holding my breath...
Alan Ross
24   Posted 19/09/2008 at 17:11:58

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Any correspondence relating to DK either way should be addressed to:

Sian Evans
The Planning Inspectorate
Room 4/04 Kite Wing
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay
Bristol BS1 6PN

Direct Line 0117-372 8559

Any correspondence to the above address should be in triplicate. (Their stipulation). The cut-off date for this was 17/08/2008 but don?t worry they will accept submissions after this date. I would suggest you probably have the remainder of this month. All correspondence should quote ref:


If you wish to appear at the enquiry I would suggest getting in touch with:

Yvonne Parker
The Inquiry Proramme Officer
PO Box 21
Archway Road
L36 9FB

Tel: 0781 333 4305

The enquiry will open on Tuesday
18 November 2008 at 10:00 am at the Kirkby Suite, Norwich Way, Cherryfield Drive, Kikby, L32 8XY.

Bet of Luck
Tom Hughes
25   Posted 19/09/2008 at 18:02:28

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Ged Madden,
You can try to correct me when you can manage to get your own name correct. After posting on numerous sites under several aliases to try to promote a majority stance you’re still trying the same trick. Zero credibility, and even less of an argument...... You haven’t been seen on a certain website since being proven wrong repeatedly. Some yes-voters can put a valid point forward..... you’re not even close to being one of them!
Tom Hughes
26   Posted 19/09/2008 at 18:21:59

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How about Kings Dock for a smidgeon? Just a hint of what can be done with real ambition and the right site. You don’t have to even hold your breath because it’s been and gone! Over 90% of costs covered by proper enabling packages on a site only a fraction the size of DK, who’d have thought it.... enabling without mention of Tesco or Terry Leahy? The whole of the city centre has been transformed using similar tools with several others underway or being shelved during the current climate. There are always options, just because one has been engineered to appear the only one by those reliant on it for their gains, doesn’t mean it genuinely is!
Ian Edwards
27   Posted 19/09/2008 at 19:25:16

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I think Charlie will be happy sitting watching Everton in a lower division.

He may be happy seeing us finish below Liverpool season after season but I?m not. Supporters like Charlie are killing our club.
Jay Harris
28   Posted 19/09/2008 at 20:05:35

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Ian and other pro Kirkbyites.

Would you please enlighten us luddites how not going to Kikrby will relegate us to lower divisions and how going there will enable us to finish above Liverpool as opposed to other options?

I know Billy Liar claims to produce rabbits out of hats but we?re talking about the miraculous cure that is Kirkby.
Derek Thomas
29   Posted 19/09/2008 at 20:36:15

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Lyndon summed it up ages ago... It just doesn?t feel right. EJ gave it a whimsical twist with ... It?s just the vibe of it.

Charlie Martin summed it up: If you lose your identity what and where are you?

If, as we are told, that times are hard financially and even on our best day (or should that be Bestway?) we could not have a whole Emirates, then the obvious solution is to have half a one (share)... and, if we can?t do that, have a quarter one (eg, one stand at a time).
Jay Harris
30   Posted 19/09/2008 at 22:31:53

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I think this is the wrong e-mail:

I had my email bounced

can you check and readvise, thanks.
Gavin Ramejkis
31   Posted 19/09/2008 at 22:33:31

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Out of all the pro Kirkby soundbites it’s only Neil P that I bother to even read now, despite not agreeing it doesn’t have half the blatant untruths that Madden/Ross/Whoever you really are club stoolie?

If you do want to join the debate then at least pin your colours and have a stab at debate and not just the same lies.

The current credit crunch will last a hell of a lot longer than most people realise, having an inside line to the Lehman’s situation via a former colleague at Barclays, it makes me shudder to think just how far reaching the whole credit situation is in. Kirkby is realistically beyond our reach but as eloquently argued in this thread money found for Kirkby would be the same money found for a stadium elsewhere.

To correct the posting about us enabling the retail sizing by Ron, sorry but it was the sheer scale and blatant disregard of planning regulations that stopped the proposal and it is highly unlikely to progress unless it is reduced. If the retail plan is reduced then the "enabling" from Tesco would reduce. Tesco will continue with this project whether Everton are involved or not as they have now bought most of the land in and around Kirkby town centre.

I don’t have a magic answer to what the club need to do next but I would suggest breaking the exclusivity as this monoculture should it fail have wasted the club significant time in which it could seek alternatives including enabling, the club need to take radical perspectives and look beyond the obvious stadium to bolt ons and accompanying buildings such as hotels which Liverpool is screaming out for.
Barry Sherlock
32   Posted 19/09/2008 at 22:45:35

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That wasn’t very fair now was it?
Kings Dock has been and gone my friend. We would have all loved it. No worry of transport problems as we would have all CRAWLED there on our hands and knees.

Ok, that was then this is now. What is available now?

Personnally, looking around we could say Garden Festival site or Wavertree site. Please don’t anyone mention effin trumpet site. The real question with these sites is; how can we afford to build a half decent stadium on them?
Gavin Ramejkis
33   Posted 19/09/2008 at 23:41:22

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Barry there is still a sizeable portion of land in the docks awaiting development which would lend itself to a stadium, I remember it being raised as a possible site for a shared stadium too with funding and enablement. Transport would not be ideal as the arterial road in situ is not great but park and ride schemes locally and public transport already is situ would support a great proportion.
Dave Simpson
34   Posted 20/09/2008 at 00:11:20

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Two things i?ve realised, that I feel should be said...

If Everton are moving to a new area, doesn't that mean that the area they?re moving to would also become more inclined to be Blue, so spreading Everton's popularity and perhaps filling the extra 10,000 seats every week?

If Moyes?s new contract pays him 3 times more that he currently gets paid then doesn?t stalling for 4 months mean that the board have saved all of his last year's salary by waiting to offer the contract?

Letters on a postcard.....
Brian Towers
35   Posted 20/09/2008 at 00:03:02

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...Garry Ramejkis?s comment about the potential suitability of the still large areas of dockland, especially in the North End and therefore close to Everton itself, is a little light in the increasingly sterile location debate. I raised this in earlier interchanges but without any response. Peel Ports, the landowners, might well be interested in entering into a partnership with the Club. However, as some have remarked, the depth of the financial and economic crisis may yet make all bets off, including Kirkby. Even without that the English game does itself look to be on the cusp of a crisis of its own credibility. Analogies with the greed and short termism of the banking and financial sectors are not hard to make.

Can we have a rational debate without the yah-boo taunts? It just may be that the PR staff at the Club read these postings and they may just get to the ears of Kenwright and co.

Gerard Madden
36   Posted 20/09/2008 at 01:53:49

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In my opinion this article is a very poor one-sided piece that we?ve seen a million times. I think Neil, Gerard and Alan Wilo have got it spot on. [Posted as "Ian Lacy"]
Alan Ross
37   Posted 20/09/2008 at 04:32:33

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Jay Harris.......Revised e-mail address

Sorry about that, it should be
Barry Sherlock
38   Posted 20/09/2008 at 09:06:29

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Gavin / Brian,

The site owned by Peel holdings and Cargills is not for sale. Both sites are going to be developed (you may not know this but a large piece of the land is home to one of the largest grain storage plants in Europe). And I think you’ll find that the "open space" land you are talking about will be too close to the new cruise liner docking facility.
Neil Pearse
39   Posted 20/09/2008 at 09:12:53

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Tom, obviously Kings Dock is irrelevant now - we would ALL have loved it, but it was from a different age.

Gavin, you are right about the current financial situation of course. Arsenal are reporting today that any money they make from their Highbury Square development would now be regarded as "a bonus" due to a wave of cancellations on people taking up the properties. They had earlier expected to make a surplus of over £100M on the development.

We really should be able to agree on a few things now. Given its location, build quality, and the contributions of KBC and Tesco, DK is the lowest cost new build option to the club that we could imagine getting. But it must become highly questionable whether in the current environment even this is affordable for us. Therefore, all other more expensive new build options in the city of Liverpool are basically irrelevant, and we can stop wasting our breath discussing them. (In reality, they always have been. But now what was true has become obvious.) Modifications to GP are probably still affordable, but neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things in terms of securing major new investment.

Everton may now be in a rather unpleasant Catch 22. In order to continue to compete in the top half of the Premier League, it will need major new investment. However, in order to get that investment it needs at least the prospect of an affordable new ground. But we are skint and costs of construction and borrowing are both going up, whilst income sources from such as GP and Bellefield sales are going down.

In effect we are now in a race against time. We need two things. One is that Kirkby goes through so that we are attractive to new ownership and investment in the current environment. The second is for the new owner to emerge who will fund Kirkby and the growth and competitiveness of the club. Dream on that they will fund anything else - unless they are as rich as the new City owners, but even then I wouldn?t count on it. If a £100M option is available and ready to go, they are unlikely to start looking for a £300M one.
Neil Pearse
40   Posted 20/09/2008 at 09:35:10

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In the above I have not considered the other option which is ground sharing. Gillett and Hicks will be significantly poorer men after the events of the last week, and even less able to afford a new ground against which banks will be less willing to lend.

Would you now lend tens of millions to a company whose business model is based on being in the Champions’ League - and who were three minutes away from failure this year, and have Man City breathing down their necks next? Only at very high interest rates.

Liverpool are now faced with these options. G & H eventually manage to get their acts together sufficiently to sell, at not much profit now, to the DIC, who can afford Stanley Park. No interest in groundsharing. G & H hang on, and almost certainly cannot afford Stanley Park. And then some contribution from their blue neighbours must be becoming more attractive by the day.
Rich Jones
41   Posted 20/09/2008 at 11:00:13

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Neil, I'd be interested to hear your predictions for increased revenue for the new stadium in Kirkby, attendances, exec sales, other activities, after all these are the reasons for moving there aren't they?
Jimmy Fearns
42   Posted 20/09/2008 at 11:02:32

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To Neil, Alan, Gerard etc, if you were in a club and the last record was being played, and left on the dance floor was one ugly, fat, sweaty moose... Do you say there is no other option and ask her to dance, or do you go home alone? Taxi for me, ugly kids for you.
Neil Pearse
43   Posted 20/09/2008 at 11:33:37

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Rich, actually now the main reason to move to Kirkby is to attract a new owner / investor. You no doubt believe that we will do that still sitting in GP, or that a new investor will show up wanting to splurge £250M+ on a new ground in the city. I admire your optimism, but I don’t share it.

Jimmy - I like your metaphor. But I don’t think 50,000 Evertonians urging on Fellaini, Rodwell and Vaughan in Kirkby is as bad as you do.
Rich Jones
44   Posted 20/09/2008 at 11:41:09

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So no answer is your answer then, Neil?
rich jones
45   Posted 20/09/2008 at 11:42:25

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You just think we’ll have 50,000 week in week out, well i dont admire your optimism, (madness) at all my friend!!
Neil Pearse
46   Posted 20/09/2008 at 11:44:32

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Rich, I and many others have actually answered your question many times before. The maths are pretty simple, buy you simply will disagree with the assumptions which is why I can hardly be arsed.

So... let?s compare Kirkby with GP. Let?s assume: there will be higher attendances at Kirkby on average over a season (selling out the big games, better facilities etc.), and they will pay higher average ticket prices (much higher I wouldn?t be surprised on average). In addition there will be substantially higher revenues than at GP from corporate boxes, entertaining etc..

So it?s not really complicated on the revenue side. Revenues will be substantially higher.

On the cost side, for Everton this will clearly be the cheapest way of obtaining a new purpose built stadium that one can realistically imagine. So it is clear that we could not achieve the same revenue uptick at lower cost. Substantially rebuilding GP won?t cost much less if anything than Kirkby, and won?t be optimised in the same way to increase revenues.

The real problem will be affording the thing in the first place, with the escalating cost of debt for projects of this kind, and the potentially lower offset from GP, Bellefield, naming rights etc..
Neil Pearse
47   Posted 20/09/2008 at 12:03:03

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Rich, note that I DON’T assume 50,000 every week. You don’t need to. I just assume higher AVERAGE attendance numbers over the season (plus higher prices, higher corporate revenues, actually also more money on-site from punters like you and me for food and drink....).

Anyway, the real game in town is to secure new ownership / investment. There are no other new build options even remotely affordable, and staying in GP won’t do it.
Joeynkoo Ludden
48   Posted 20/09/2008 at 11:54:53

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The name Éire should normally be used only when speaking the Irish language, as it is simply the translation of Ireland into Irish.

? It is rarely used by the state?s citizens and other residents when speaking or writing in English. Use of Éire in the English language can indicate that the speaker was brought up outside of Ireland.
? Conversely, the flexibility of colloquial English is such that "Éire" can be misused by English-speakers who are intending to be polite and exact.

Still, a first for you attempting to be either polite or exact, though not to be wrong! :)

For my part, I agree with the post that says everything has already been said and both camps have no intention of changing minds now. Even when Billy comes out and tells us that the £78M needed is now £178M, the yes will all still say it's the best and cheapest option. Of course it is not.

Tom Hughes
49   Posted 20/09/2008 at 13:43:54

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You asked for a smidgeon, and I gave you a blast from the past as a comparison. The reason for this was to demonstrate the difference in enabling capacity of city centre and out of town for an option that actually existed. There is no comparison...... 90% on a tiny plot at KD compared to just 22% at the massive DK. The Loop site offered the same option, but as you well know that wouldn?t satisfy the old pal?s act that is Green?s sponsored BK and Mr Tesco who wouldn?t get the shopping development they?re after on the outskirts of a major conurbation with motorway links to all the countryside around.

You state categorically that there are no other options (I?ve worked on some of the biggest construction jobs in the world, there are always options), and that quite frankly is plainly because these characters have engineered an exclusivity arrangement to protect that which shouldn?t need protecting... ie, the deal of the century, the best option etc etc. The fact is, even this option is evaporating in the face of massive objections, and multiple planning infringements and the borrowing crisis that even Tesco?s oft-mentioned £bns can?t ignore. Ironically, some people are looking at Kings Docks neighbouring land as a potential stadium location, plus I can assure you the club are also talking to people about redevelopment and other sites, making your categorical stance a slightly misplaced.

As far as DK?s merits we were told that at full enabling the stadium would require mid-40k average attendances to break even, what now? The capacity has had to be limited to 50k just to get planning permission, and that?s with full realisation of a park-&-ride scheme that has been completely discredited.

Adding a tier behind the current Bullens would more than suffice in increasing capacity, exec provision, and reducing obstructed views. Further developments at the Park End would generate a larger capacity than DK, and all for less than Kirkby. The Loop would blow Kirkby away on every category! £78m at least for a basic stadium that we can?t get to.

Graham Atherton
50   Posted 20/09/2008 at 15:55:25

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?Losing our identity? seems to have replaced ?its not in the city? or ?losing our soul? as the main or most consistent focus of complaints about Kirkby, so I had a look at what this means.

Identity in this context is group indentity - the identification of an individual with a group of individuals for the purpose of helping define itself. This is done partly by having common ?totems? and attitudes within the group and partly by rejecting members of other groups.

Both ring true in this debate.

In this case then we see a loss of a significant ?totem? - Goodison Park and/or the location of Goodison Park. This is accompanied by demands to improve the new symbol of strength - the new stadium. I don?t think the point has been made clearly enough of the sheer size of the new stadium compared with GP - nearly three times the size of the old lady. With a little inclusion and agreement by interested parties (KEOIC are to meet with architects very soon) surely the new stadium will far exceed GP?

The other point - competition with ?outsiders? - is particularly acute as our neighbours are so closely located. A lot has been made about how their arguments will be strengthened by moving away from the city - well in fact a single argument ?One Club, One City etc. and for those facing those taunts every day I can see the problem.

The point is however we will still be the same group, the same team, the same history, the same club. Our group is undiminished - swapping a location defended in the past for a far superior stadium to use in the future.

What lies underneath is that Kirkby is a symbol of failure of our club. Our lack of success made solid in steel if you like ? no wonder it is rejected by some.

It is still the best we can do right now. However, thinking about it - Dunkirk was a failure of monumental proportions that led to monumental victory. We took that on the chin, survived and prospered just like we now may need to take this on the chin AS A GROUP to survive and prosper at some point in the future. Waiting for the armies of our enemies to overtake us isn?t an option we should lie down and take.
Gavin Ramejkis
51   Posted 20/09/2008 at 16:21:37

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Graham a little niaive calling Dunkirk the stepping stone to victory; we were aided at the cost of massive debt by USA, debts we were paying for years after the war had ended. Our so called allies as an example sued us for bombing the Fanta plant in Germany (Fanta was the trading name for Coca Cola in Germany). The UK was very close to capitulation but for some very expensive assistance from a country that denied us help as an ally until it was drawn into the war by the fateful events of December 7th 1941, all other assistance before then was at cost; the Battle of Britain took place the year before in the summer and autumn of 1940.

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