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FAN ARTICLES

The Kirkby Paradox

By Colin Fitzpatrick :  07/11/2008 :  Comments (98) :

Perplexing times both on and off the field of play. Despite what has been perceived as a poor start to the season, coupled with the early elimination from two competitions and the delivery of a standard of football that has left many fans wanting, it is perhaps surprising to note that Everton occupy a better league position now (7th) than at the beginning of November 2007 (8th) ? the memory of which may have been embellished by the hopes surrounding the Uefa and Carling Cup campaigns to come. The expectations of fans are based on an understandable belief that Everton, as in the past, should once again be in the position to compete with the top teams in all competitions; in this I think we all agree.

Bill Kenwright is no philanthropist, he?s admitted that he doesn?t possess the personal wealth required to move the club to the next level; to many, it has been apparent for years that he has been unable to personally provide or find any tangible investment whatsoever, yet it would be unfair to simply level this criticism at Bill Kenwright alone, none of the Board of Directors has invested in the club; the purchase of shares is a personal investment on which they, or for whom they act, quite reasonably expect a return on their investment either through dividends, unlikely at Everton Football Club in recent years or the near future, or upon the sale of those shares.

The sale of the club would appear to be the only logical solution to Everton?s financial dilemma. It has been argued that an essential element of this selling process is the need to own a modern stadium facility. Clearly this is also an important requirement for the fans. Few could argue that perfect lines of sight, spacious concourses, abundant food and drink outlets and adequate toilet facilities would contribute to a much improved match-going experience over that provided by the investment-starved Goodison.

location favoured by the board is Kirkby, but it is fair to say that any modern stadium in any location would meet these criteria, as would Goodison if a stadium re-development programme had been instigated twenty years ago; unfortunately it wasn?t, so in the absence of any feasible contingency plan, Everton are dependent on their preferred and only solution.

There needs to be a genuine demonstration of a will in the club to make an alternative work, but the will is questionable when attempts are made to convince the fans and shareholders that the redevelopment of just one stand at Goodison, Bullens Rd, would cost in the region of 79% of the total cost of the stadium alone in Kirkby (£90M). Why does opposition to Kirkby continue to grow and what are the short- and long-term implications for the future of the club if this risky strategy were to fail?

The treatment of fans and shareholders alike has been a public relations disaster for the management and the board of the club; that now infamous collection of phrases: ?World Class?,  ?Effectively Free?,  ?The Best Served Stadium?, and the never to be forgotten ?Deal of the Century? and others will forever be associated with Everton?s Kirkby campaign when they were used to influence the fans' ballot. Bill Kenwright has stated that he believes that the fans weren?t misled yet the main opposition group to the stadium relocation maintains that Tesco provided Everton with a fully costed business plan before the exclusivity deal was signed, making these aforementioned phrases disingenuous at best.

The stadium design has been castigated by CABE; using information provided by the Royal Society of Chartered Surveyors, the construction cost to Everton would appear to be have increased significantly and the match-going experience awaiting fans will be manifestly different to that at Goodison due to an explicit lack of transport capacity that is associated with all small towns.

Simply put, a 50,000-seat stadium does not belong in a 42,000-inhabitant town. When presented in isolation, the overall plan for the Kirkby stadium may appear plausible but under questioning, as seen at the EGM, the flaws were evidently apparent and were easily exposed, which resulted in the board having to resort to a poll to defeat the resolution, and later, introduce a change of rules to prevent a shareholders revolt.

Everton?s requirements stretch far beyond the mere physical design of the stadium; with no money, Everton have placed their faith in obtaining enabling funding to subsidise the building of a new stadium. Tesco?s original explanation was that a critical mass of retail was needed to generate a cross subsidy of £52M towards the total stadium construction cost of £130M. It was explained that this was derived from the value of the project as a whole. But there are major problems to overcome.

The first problem is that the project appears ?undeliverable? on the basis that the sheer size of the retail development contravenes existing and agreed planning policy, hence the imminent public inquiry.

The second problem is that the projected increase in overall construction costs indicate that the contribution from Everton, previously acknowledged as £80M, is now approaching £100M and their stated plan to raise this figure ? the sales of Goodison and Bellefield and the securing of a major stadium naming rights deal ? appears somewhat over enthusiastic and would require a significant increase in the level of additional debt finance thereby reducing the level of contribution available each season for team building which was explained to fans as a major benefit and reason for the relocation. 

Diagram 1

The third problem area for Everton is one of capacity, maximisation and sustainability. Everton can clearly demonstrate the need to generate additional revenue but can they demonstrate the need for a 50,000-seat stadium and the ability to fill it on a regular basis in the future? History would indicate that Everton have only once achieved an average attendance over 50,000, this was in the 1962-63 championship-winning season. In the era of the Premier League, with all-seater stadia and higher prices, the average attendances at Goodison can be compared against the average for the Premier League. 

Diagram 2

Everton are some 13,000 short of a 50,000 average attendance level but, whilst other clubs can demonstrate a sizeable waiting list for season tickets, Everton can?t... in fact when Everton were achieving their greatest successes on the pitch, attendance levels (in a higher capacity stadium) were extremely surprising yet understandable when the state of the local economy is taken into consideration.

There could be some validity to the argument that many people stay away from Goodison because of the obstructed views and poor facilities; this may well be the case, it is well documented that the so called ?new stadium effect? contributes between 15-30% to the attendances during the first three years after moving to a new stadium. Using the top-end figure, this would increase the average attendance at Kirkby to over 48,000. Looking at the graphs above and considering there are no waiting lists or regular sellouts, is this figure achievable and more importantly is it sustainable?

Based on Everton?s own figures, used at the recent EGM, this increase would yield an additional £4.5M of gate receipts during each Premier League season. However, it is also known that these increases can rapidly drop off and it would be misleading not to take into account some negative aspects that could affect the sustainability of these higher attendances. Those fickle fans that stay away at the moment could rapidly lose interest when faced with extensive delays to travelling, particularly after the game. Of course fans staying away will make getting home easier for the remainder but lower attendances are not the aim of the move.

The increasing influence of Sky TV, emerging Internet sites and pubs and clubs showing the games could all be detrimental to future attendance levels at any new stadium, but, most importantly, it should be remembered that it was specifically the Kirkby stadium that over 10,000 Evertonians voted against. After the reality of the move was revealed, it is the Kirkby stadium that encourages a growing number of Evertonians to openly admit that they won?t attend that stadium... and it is the Kirkby stadium that nearly 80% of shareholders, in the room on the night of the recent EGM, were vehemently against. 

Of course, a football club does not receive all its income from supporters alone; the corporate market is very important and remains a lucrative source of income. Hospitality boxes at Goodison are allegedly over-subscribed and on that basis an increase in their number should generate some additional and much needed revenue. At Goodison there are presently 12 boxes, each costing £45k a season, which would imply that these would potentially generate £540k but, in line with many stadia, the catering and hospitality business has been outsourced which means that the club only receive a fixed income in accordance with their contract.

The Kirkby application indicates that 38 boxes are planned; if sold and priced at 20% higher than Goodison, these would collectively generate an impressive £2M every season for Everton and their hospitality and catering partner to share. The lounge memberships appear to be less in demand if the rows of empty seats that can be seen at nearly all home games in the hospitality areas are anything to go by. This is surprising when you consider that Sodexo Prestige, the provider of catering and hospitality services for Everton, deliver an award winning service at Goodison, as seen at the recent Football Hospitality Awards.

Apart from the top class food and service, visitors watch the game from some of the best seats in the house, no obstructed views or inadequate facilities here... yet they remain under subscribed; the obvious question is why? Perhaps it is the present location of the stadium in Walton... yet Liverpool, who reside in a similar location and intend to stay there, are so over-subscribed that they wanted to use Everton?s marquee to meet their demand.

Turnover (19 Games)


 

Current Stadium

Kirkby Stadium
(Avg 48,000)

Kirkby Stadium
(Avg 38,000)

Gate Receipts & Programme Sales

15,000,000

20,000,000 +33%

16,000,000 +6%

Media

26,000,000

26,000,000 +0%

26,000,000 +0%

Sponsorship & Advertising

5,000,000

6,000,000 +20%

6,000,000 +20%

Merchandising & Catering

1,000,000

3,000,000 +200%

2,000,000 +100%

Other

1,000,000

2,000,000 + 100%

2,000,000 + 100%

Sub Total

48,000,000

57,000,000 + 17%

52,000,000 + 8%

Gross Increase in Turnover

9,000,000

4,000,000

Additional Finance (£60M x 25 @ 5%)

(4,250,000)

(4,250,000)

Net increase in Turnover

4,750,000

(250,000)

The above is merely an illustration to highlight that, if Everton were to move to Kirkby tomorrow, the two most important issues would be the attendance levels and the amount of debt finance required to build the stadium. Many other factors could come into play ? new owners could subsidise the project or even pay for the whole construction by way of a loan or the ticket prices could be increased by 30% to make up any shortfall ? but of course this would probably initiate a further loss in attendance as fans question whether they?re prepared to pay increased prices for better facilities inside the stadium with poor facilities outside.

Additional costs aren?t yet established, for instance the ongoing cost of the controlled parking zone isn?t included, thought to be approaching £1M a season. Nobody can accurately predict anything other than there will be at least 19 occasions on which Everton will have the opportunity to generate sufficient turnover for the club to remain competitive.

In the end, the decision on Kirkby now rests with the secretary of state, the inquiry will determine if there is a need for the development and whether that need is sustainable without having a detrimental effect on other local retail centres in Liverpool, Sefton, West Lancs, St Helens and ironically other areas of Knowsley. The battle lines have been drawn and the early skirmishes between proponents and opponents have begun. Everton, Knowsley and Tesco have refused to reveal their exclusivity deals and business plans, citing "commercial sensitivity".

Even more bizarrely, Tesco?s lawyers, in a technical planning manoeuvre, now claim that the retail element, whilst still delivering the cross subsidy, is no longer reliant on the presence of the stadium to achieve regeneration! They now claim that the sheer size of the retail is necessary to attract major retailers and jobs and as such conforms with planning policy and warrants approval. Expect more smoke and mirrors as the inquiry unfolds...

The paradox here is that, whilst Kirkby has been portrayed as the only opportunity to further Everton?s ambitions, it may well impede its development for years to come. If you would like to understand more about this important issue, and have your say, I?d suggest that you try and get along to KEIOC?s meeting at noon on the 15th November at The Casa on Hope St. There are many aspects of the relocation project that are confusing ? even for those with the intimate knowledge that is denied to the opponents of the scheme.

?Clearly it?s possible to lift the stadium design for Kirkby (or one like it) and drop it onto Goodison or the loop site ? and in my heart as a fan, it looks nice. But unless the club is offered a concrete proposal to own a £150 million stadium for around £35 million investment by Everton, and delivered by 2010-11, then I?m afraid it is not a realistic option.?
?Terry Leahy, August 2007

Reader Comments

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Tommy Gibbons
1   Posted 08/11/2008 at 02:15:34

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Jeez, another article against Kirkby. Is that all the opponents of Kirkby can give? When will anyone put together a funded option which people can rally behind? I ain?t gonna hold my breath for that one because NO other funded option exists or has any chance of existing without an enabling partner.
By the way... where is Bestway/LCC?
Derek Thomas
2   Posted 08/11/2008 at 02:35:34

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Like it or not, the decision is out of our hands, like it was ever in them to begin with.

Right from the start we had the so called Hobson?s choice, Kirkby or nothing and no plan B of the vote.

The only thing that is flexible and open to discussion is what to do if it gets rejected and who to do it to eh Bill ?the anti-Obama? Kenwright.

If it gets the nod then we, thanks to Bill and all the usual suspects, all ready know what we will end up with, that is the final destination in the DK concept. People will be able to build in haste and repent at their leisure, or not as the case may be.

Short version... TIME ALONE WILL TELL, the moving finger etc etc.

Maybe this was the plan, it?s worked, I?m over it, do what you want, you will anyway, you?re over 21( or what ever) and in 10, 15 or 20 yrs you may even admit that it wasn?t the best Idea you ever had.

I?ve had that said to me (more than once) and passed it on, both at home and work, more than once. Did I listen? Did they listen?...Do any of us listen?? 9/10...NO!!

In 10 or 15 yrs, if I?m still here, lets look at it again and see where it all landed.

My more pressing need is for better football NOW!!!
Dave Wilson
3   Posted 08/11/2008 at 06:50:41

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"Did I listen? Did they listen? Did any of us listen?"

No, Derek, of course you're right, the answer is no. We all reserve/demand the right to make our own mistakes.

But this is different, Colin is struggling to stop others making mistakes on his/our behalf.

Terrific work, Colin.
Paul Bristow
4   Posted 08/11/2008 at 08:35:05

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Colin, excellent and thoughtful article. I have an open mind on the DK move but, bit by bit, I am coming round to the view that it's a bad decision and one that will condemn Everton to being a mid-table (or worse) club for the foreseeable future.

The winners would be Tesco straight away, BK second ? but only if it enables Bill to sell Everton on at a better price than he could get today ? and that I think is the primary reason for Bill's single-minded drive to force DK on us.

BK gets the new ground he needs to maximise the value of his sale of Everton shares by gaining a new ground at the cheapest possible price through the cross subsidy from Tesco and the misguided support of the local council.

Let's face it, a rich foreigner is unlikely to understand the emotional desire to keep Everton in the city, they would simply see a brand new shiny Premier League ground and think it will do nicely if the price is right.

In summary I think we should be cautious about supporting the DK move because, the more you examine it, the more it looks like a naked dash for cash from BK and the other people who stand to benefit from it.
Kev Wainwright
5   Posted 08/11/2008 at 08:59:24

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The world has changed a lot from the summer. The idea of obtaining monies to build Goodison is remote. David Mclean was spoken about in the past and look where they are now. Tesco is a recession-proof business, just look at the figures and contrast and compare.

We are in for a two- or three-year (at least) sharp depression and in that climate, you can produce all the charts and graphs you want but if millions come on the table for a project, it's going to happen.

Can you imagine as job losses are announced everywhere, that a major project which is pre-funded being turned down on the back of a transport plan?

Colin, I wonder if when we have little jobs in construction and unemployment growing, two companies have put together a scheme which will provide jobs, how you feel about putting your own selfish point of view first.
Colin Fitzpatrick
6   Posted 08/11/2008 at 09:28:08

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Tommy, yes it is another article about Kirkby; it's timed to coincide with the inquiry, the process of which, to all intents and purposes, has begun with the tactical manoeuvres that has led to a second pre-inquiry meeting having to be called by the inspectors.

I?m glad to see that you?d like to see a fully costed alternative to Kirkby, this is something that has been unable to be completed due to the top secret exclusivity deal that was entered into before the fans were balloted. I assume your curiosity on fully costed business plans extends to Everton?s on the Kirkby stadium, that?s the one that Everton refuses to release to the inquiry because of ?commercial sensitivities?, the translation of which is... it doesn?t work. So, to avoid any own goals being scored, we?re not going to show it.

At some point in this inquiry, a lot of people are going to realise that the retail isn?t the enabler for the stadium ? it?s the stadium that?s the enabler for the retail. Quite a few have already come to this conclusion: LCC, Sefton, West Lancs, Lancs, St Helens, Grosvenor, St Modwen; they all can?t be wrong.

Kev, ?my own selfish point of view?... if this scheme goes ahead, do you realise the impact it will have on the other retail centres in the area? Did you not consider this when making that statement? Do you not know the St Modwen have stated to the inquiry that if this development is approved then the £360M Skelmersdale development will not go ahead? What about the jobs and aspirations of people in that town or don?t they matter?

Joeynkoo Ludden
7   Posted 08/11/2008 at 09:24:01

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I really don?t understand comments like Tommy Gibbon?s. Did you read the article Tommy or just page down to be the first to add a comment?? Let me explain quickly how a discussion works: 1) An instigator makes a statement or series of points 2) Other person or persons say whether they agree or disagree, giving their own opinions regards the points made by the Instigator. 3) If it's TW, all hell breaks loose.

Tommy you didn?t address a single point of Colin?s article ? you went off on a side issue, which is an important issue agreed ? but not one that the article focused on.

I put it to you and Michael Kenrick, that your post was infact your own attempt at an article, and it should be posted as such alongside Colin?s for all of us to comment on. When this is done, I fear most comments would be about how informed in depth and well researched your article is when viewed against Colin?s.

Colin, a well constructed and very scary read. I think it also underlines that those of us opposed to Kirkby are opposed because we have the best interests of our great club at heart.

Ed Fitzgerald
8   Posted 08/11/2008 at 09:47:37

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If TESCO is such a bomb-proof company, why have some people lost their jobs and Uncle Terry is pleading with Government for interest rate cuts? Because they are desperate to encourage people to spend because they going to catch an economic cold just like the rest of the economy. I suppose you thought the Halifax were above a collapse too. TESCO employs tactics and strategies that would make a third world dictator blush. FFS
Graham Atherton
9   Posted 08/11/2008 at 08:31:17

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I think you make a decent attempt to find some middle ground with this, Colin, so some praise for your effort is due.

However, you miss out a few important figures in your list ? namely, commercial income. The new stadium would hope to make significant gains in non-matchday income (currently listed as £1 million) which at least partly account for the final figure mentioned by the club. Likewise catering & merchandising can easily be brought back ?in house?.

Attendance is an interesting point. Man City have seen attendances fall since the ?feel good? factor declined but importantly the total profit made did NOT fall at the same time. Likewise City made £12 million MORE in their first year ? comparable with EFC?s projections ? I don?t think they are over optimistic.

We do not have a waiting list for season ticket so how can we speculate on what that might be if we did keep a list? I think that demand for tickets is a result of several factors:

1) I am prepared to bet there are reasonable numbers who would sign up for the better seats if they could ? both existing ticket holders and new ticket holders. The present system that requires people to come and walk around with a member of staff once seats have been released in the summer is very ad-hoc (unless that situation has changed recently).

2) We have very poor numbers of new young fans coming in combined with the worst figures for complaints about the stadium in the Premier League. Who is going to sign up until we know how this is to be improved?

3) Everton have a fanbase that is relatively poorly paid compared with the rest of the teams in the Premier League so tend to attend on a match-by-match basis. In fact, a very high proportion of these have owned a season ticket at some point, demonstrating a level of interest that could be appealed to with new facilites.

Transport looks quite clear to me ? if you don?t want a 30-40 min walk, turn up an hour early for the match in your car. People who pay more get to use the car park dedicated to the stadium (and there is much more room for these people). I can?t really see a big difference for most people while attending GP, especially once Stanley Park car park is closed. If we redevelop 50 000 at GP, the problems are slightly easier for walkers but just as bad if not worse for the vast majority who arrive by car ? I haven?t seen the transport plans for LFC but if they depend upon parking on roads I think that is quite a poor solution compared with the dedicated parking areas proposed at Kirkby.

Are Everton a big club or are they not? We can?t have it both ways ? if we do not think we are big enough to compete at the top then we should just give up? Are we happy to exist as a club that plays in front of 30 000 that gradually dwindles away or are there many thousands of ?hidden? potential matchgoers who would attend given better facilites? Every club of our stature moving into a new stadium demonstrates the latter rather than the former and I don?t think Everton are any different.

All that said - if the same facilities can be provided at GP then all the better. No new stadium will push us into the top 4 on its own, but it is an important part of the effort to get us there.

Joeynkoo Ludden
10   Posted 08/11/2008 at 09:59:13

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Kev, you have me totally confused. Are Everton Football Club now soley responsible for regional employment in the construction and engineering sector, or are we still a football club, with a primary responsibilty to our supporters??
Graham Atherton
11   Posted 08/11/2008 at 10:10:16

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Downturn in construction caused by credit crunch etc = cheaper labour costs + cheaper steel with a reduction in loan costs for good debtors - and our partners must be some of the most prolific builders and best debtors in the country.
TESCO must defend its business at the highest level but remember the astronomical scale of their profits that can be used to support any project they wish. As long as the returns justify the cost there is no problem in funding this project.
Kev Wainwright
12   Posted 08/11/2008 at 10:07:46

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Joey, Everton FC is a private company with a primary reponsibility to its shareholders. By the way, if the ground is such a disaster why are those shareholders going to throw away their money? And before it gets pointed out 1 share doesn?t equal 100 shares in ownership.

My point is that given the climate now I think it fair to predict that this scheme will go ahead.

Colin, the Government will not look at it as taking away from other areas, they will see it as an engine for economic growth. The economy needs stimulating plus protectionism has never worked, but I would expect Bradley to understand that.
Colin Fitzpatrick
13   Posted 08/11/2008 at 10:02:11

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Graham, some interesting and thought-provoking points. I agree that the club would hope to increase their non-matchday income in the same way that I hope we put six past LFC at the next derby, possible but difficult. KMBC has already placed restrictions on the non-matchday uses of the stadium and has negotiated a deal whereby they get to use the facility free of charge on 100 occasions, no doubt a nod towards proving that the stadium would be a community facility.

Selling the available facilities is made all the more difficult by the location, some nine miles from the city centre infrastructure, business and leisure facilities, and the small number of hotels in the area, these could all be overcome of course by promoting the proximity of the motorway networks and the East Lancs. Any increase in revenue could be tempered by the increase in costs associated with items such as the CPZ and additional staff but then again less maintenance would mean?.. we could go on and on.

Everton could bring the hospitality and catering back in house, there are quite a few cost considerations here and if the operation is proving to be unprofitable for Sodexo then they?ll get shut anyway. I believe from a budgeting point of view these outsourcing agreements at least allow for accurate forecasting and remove many headaches and costs but yes this could be an option.

Man City is an interesting comparison, many similarities here in relation to the proximity of LFC and MUFC respectively, but of course they don?t own their ground, as I understand it they have an interesting contract agreement with the city council whereby they only pay over a certain attendance level. Another interesting piece of information about Eastlands is that a delegation from Knowsley Council paid a visit to it last year.

Joeynkoo Ludden
14   Posted 08/11/2008 at 10:29:32

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Kev, it could be argued that Kirkby will bring about an increase in the commercial value of Everton Football Club, the stadia being viewed as a major asset and being worth more than we paid to acquire it. Therefore one could argue that the majority shareholders are acting in their own best interests by moving the club - and then selling their shares.

I fear that Colin?s projections of a 38,000 average gate at Kirkby is the most realistic future if we move. With the increased debt requiring financing, I fear as the article states, that the net variation on GP will be negative.
Colin Fitzpatrick
15   Posted 08/11/2008 at 10:38:37

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Kev, "the Government will not look at as taking away from other areas they will see it as an engine for economic growth" ? sorry that?s just your personal opinion, they will look at this that is why there is a raft of local, regional and Governmental legislation on this matter and the reason why the councils and other developers are reacting so robustly.

The development at Skemersdale is an excellent example of the strength of the oppositions argument, this development is within the stated planning policy and just as important to that area, why would the Government, indeed how could the Government, approve a plan that fails to conform thereby cancelling the one that does?

Graham, has steel costs dropped? In that case yes it would have a significant bearing on the construction. Interesting that the developers at Chester building a £400M+ shopping, leisure and office project have shelved the project for four years due to being uneconomic, the same reason given by pinky and perky over the park when that was shelved, thank god!!!

Graham Atherton
16   Posted 08/11/2008 at 10:42:18

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Hi Colin,
Commercial income from hosting conferences and meetings is one of the biggest growth markets in the UK if not the world. All business is a risk but this is one of the least risky businesses. I know one or two clients of the Reebok who drive 30 miles past Old Trafford, Manchester city centre and COMS to use it for precisely the reasons you mention ? good communications along with professional service and good price.

KCC propose 100 uses of a facility that should be able to host a dozen events a day ? not a big impact and quite possibly a major benefit to the business as KCC is a massive business which deals with huge numbers of other businesses.
This is not a business that depends on hotels in the main but those are available locally and in the city. Medium/large conferences have been following that pattern for a long time now ? using a good quality facility outside of a major city with hotels in the city at the end of a train line so minds are focussed during the day and are entertained in the city in the evening. Over the last few years I have attended conferences with exactly those facilities in Barcelona, Nice, Copenhagen & Prague. In fact I have never attended a meeting sited in a city larger than 12-20 people, COMS aside.

Man City profits I quote include deductions due to rent. They pay a fixed price per year (I think it was £3-4 million) PLUS extras for attendance over something like 30 000 and then more again over 40 000. Total was in the region of £5-6 million a year. They did make these figures public but they seem to have disappeared off the web since takeover.
This demonstrates the earning power of a facility such as COMS, earning power we need too.

Graham Atherton
17   Posted 08/11/2008 at 11:02:48

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Steel prices - I am no expert but a quick look around the web indicates a substantail drop in the region of 15-20%:

SBB World Steel Prices
Indicative prices Change
SBB HRC world price $/t 674 -86.0
SBB Rebar world price $/t 541 -160.0
SBB World Price Tracker 284 -55.0

I would expect projects operating at the marginal end of profitability with highly leveraged debt arrangements to be shelved under the current climate.

I don’t think Kirkby falls into that category but of course I don’t have any real information on how that is to be funded so who knows?
Colin Fitzpatrick
18   Posted 08/11/2008 at 11:03:42

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Hi Graham, again some excellent points on the prospect of income from events and conferencing, no doubt exactly why ACC have built their conference centre on Kings Dock. The industry is indeed huge with many players competing, I?ve attended a couple of events at the Kings Dock and the Millennium Stadium myself, in your opinion what would be the potential income at Kirkby in a monetary figure, like you I?d assumed that the figure of £1M in the accounts represents this activity but it will be distorted due to the Sodexo agreement.
Colin Fitzpatrick
19   Posted 08/11/2008 at 11:29:06

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Graham, interesting about the price of steel, your point about the bigger players with the ability to tough it out becomes clearly relevant. I was more concerned with Everton?s ability to provide the funding on a scheme the cost of which is a moving target, the Royal Society of Chartered Surveyors are yet to revise their forecast on construction costs, one to keep an eye on.
Steve Rewth
20   Posted 08/11/2008 at 10:23:36

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Oh for the certainty of fools. None of this is easy. Do we dare to move without certainty it will all work out right or do we stay put without any guarantees that that will prove to be any better? Seems to me that all this second guessing of calculations to determine success or otherwise of DK is often predicated on how you choose to interpret it all - and whether you are essentially for or against the proposal and using the evidence selectively (even unwittingly) to support already made up minds.

Irrespective of where we think the fault lies, we have bugger all else on offer and are skint. All the vitriol isn?t going to force BK to admit he is a billionaire when he so clearly isn?t and wants out. So where is the money to finance any alternative to come from? Among all the food for thought provided by Colin?s thought provoking article one observation (fact?) that keeps bothering me is that redeveoping one stand at GP would amount to 79% of the total cost of the stadium alone in Kirkby.

Colin Fitzpatrick
21   Posted 08/11/2008 at 12:01:26

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Apologies Steve, I obviously didn?t explain myself well. It is simply the opinion of advisors to Everton that the redevelopment of Bullens Rd would cost £71M, indeed their opinion is that the cost to redevelop the whole of Goodison would be circa £230M leaving a stadium with a capacity of 35,000. They choose not to explain this in depth, perhaps others may see things differently.

It?s all subjective, if you want to believe this you will, if you want to believe that Kirkby represents an essential stepping stone to re-establishing Everton as a major player in the Premier League and that Kirkby is the deal of the century and effectively free, you will. You may even believe that no company approached KMBC with a redevelopment plan that met their UDP and that Tesco alone provided the only hope of saving Kirkby, the planning inspector on the other hand may see matters differently. Have you seen a copy of Everton?s business plan? If you haven?t already done so, take a look at the DTZ report which breaks down the cost of the Kirkby Stadium; interesting stuff...

Kev Wainwright
22   Posted 08/11/2008 at 12:18:57

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Colin, you say that investment in an area providing economic growth is "sorry that?s just your personal opinion". Sorry but that is not true, if outside money is spent in an area then as soon as night follows day growth will occur, the question is for how much and high sustained.

Take it to it’s base level, Sayers appeared to do well when LIverpool 1 was being built due to the builders going there. Growth.

You are seeing plans being stopped everywhere, not because of the price of steel going up but because lots of these developments were funded by the likes of Icelandic banks.

I think you will have to accept that constuction costs have gone down, the Government will be looking around for schemes that are outside funded. With the banks having no cash, rightly or wrongly the likes of Tesco will be turned to more and more to provide funding.

Leahy was in with the Bank Of England yesterday. I think you need to get your head around just how much on the brink the country is, we are forecast to suffer the most of all major nations.

This public enquiry will be I suspect the fastest in living memory. Against the background of a major recession the ideas of transport plans and supporting Liberal councils objections will pale into the background.

Just my view, of course, but your article is full of yours.
Graham Atherton
23   Posted 08/11/2008 at 12:11:44

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Colin
I have no inside knowledge of the costs of conferencing so this is all speculation based on some costs found on the web for conferencing rooms.

I would content that there are a range of prices according to predicted and actual demand, but that the total business on offer is very large - witness the likes of Travelodge putting in conference facilities in their new hotels.

Rooms at the Reebok cost from £100 a day up to over £500 a day plus plus plus for all the extras needed. I would hope the Everton would provide better facilities than that, but taking those figures the potential is for £250 x 5 x 52= £25k to £100k per room per year. There are 12 of the larger type at COMS and of course Kirkby is known to have 38 boxes (used as small/medium meetings rooms) so just for room space there is a potential for £100 000 x 12 + £25 000 x 38 i.e. roughly £2.2 million. This does not take in for account occupancy will not be 100% but neither does it take in for acount costs for large rooms at stadia like COMS (more comparable with Kirkby) are more like £2000 a day. I recently paid £4000 for a small booth at a conference for 2 days (£120 to provide an electrical point in the booth!) and the large companies paid over five times that. Total paid for the floor must have been around £400 000.

Logically it should be relatively easy to double the figure I gave above for support services offered ? so perhaps £3-5 million is not too far out compared with roughly £1 million currently earned at GP.

Colin Fitzpatrick
24   Posted 08/11/2008 at 13:07:20

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Kev, of course the article is full of my opinions but it?s also based on quite a few facts and just because someone, Terry Leahy for instance, wants to spend money in a specific area then Government planning policy isn?t thrown out of the window!

You say I must accept that construction costs have gone down well not according to the BCIS Civil Engineering Market report that continues to state that they continue to rise, admittedly tenders are apparently falling as contractors are reluctant at the moment to pass on increases. It may well be that the apparent fall in steel prices will eventually permeate through, I?m not sure what KPI?s are used in that industry.

Graham made a point earlier that companies like Tesco are big enough to ride out and take advantage of a changing market, we?ll have to see. The fall of the Icelandic Banks can?t be blamed for everything but undoubtedly the credit crunch remains a significant factor and will do so in the near future, the postponement of the £460M ING backed Northgate development is a perfect example.

Returning to the matter in hand, lets face it the planning inspector won?t be interested in my opinion or yours for that matter, she?ll be dealing in hard facts, they?re the ones that KMBC, Tesco and Everton would like to avoid at all costs, expect them to increase as well!!!!!!!!!!!

Colin Fitzpatrick
25   Posted 08/11/2008 at 14:21:01

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Hi Graham, some good stuff, well explained. I just had a quick look myself to find some information; interesting that Sheffield United generate approx £1.5M from non-matchday activities and that, somewhat surprisingly, they turnover a similar amount from their health club! I have a quote from Delloitts that I think highlights the concerns of supporters regarding Everton?s position in Kirkby:

It was important for clubs to research proposed developments fully to ensure that there was a genuine need for a new stadium, and that the move would generate a financial return. "Unfortunately, we have seen some clubs press ahead with stadium development plans without the evidence to substantiate the proposed development," he said. "In these cases development plans often tend to come unstuck when funding for the plans is sought, or, worse still, a white elephant is born." Mark Roberts, senior consultant at Deloitte?s Sports Business Group.
Colin Fitzpatrick
26   Posted 08/11/2008 at 15:01:36

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Oh, and after conducting an analysis, it is the considered opinion of Deloitte?s that Everton?s new stadium will increase revenue by £6M per annum. So the ability to fill the stadium, maximise non-matchday revenue, build the thing with the minimum of debt finance and operate it with the minimum of additional cost seems to be the issues that must be addressed in order to avoid Mark Roberts? white elephant scenario. They?ll be in the business plan no doubt.
Pete Clark
27   Posted 08/11/2008 at 16:00:40

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I predict that if Everton end up playing in Kirkby and play such rubbish as I am watching now (v WHU ) then attendances will plummet and so will our beloved Everton. In other words, we should "demonstrate" that, until we get a decent team out on the park who can play footy and hold thier own against the SKY 4, then all talk of stadium should be abandoned.
Graham Atherton
28   Posted 08/11/2008 at 16:30:12

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Hi Colin

Sounds like an interesting read but I can?t find the quote you mention ? do you have a link?


Gerard Madden
29   Posted 08/11/2008 at 16:31:54

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A very long and in my opinion boring way of saying "I?m anti-Kirkby and this is why".

At the end of the day, despite all the huffing and puffing by a very few TW contributors and opponents to DK elsewhere, DK will be decided on three basic criteria:-

1) Does Kirkby badly need regenerating and does it have a very poor crumbling existing town centre? The answer is a BIG yes to both ? Kirkby has some of the poorest wards in Her Majesty?s Kingdom,

2) Does Everton FC have an old outdated landlocked stadium, require a new one, and are there any rock solid alternatives being bandied about by a rival council in alliance with a multi-billion pound heavyweight who CAN deliver? Yes, Yes and No........Well LCC are only banging on about a thing called groundshare ? that tells you everything.

3) Do the people support the DK proposals? Well the local elections gave the people there a wonderful opportunity to vote them down, there was only ONE issue in the campaign and pro-DK Labour got 60% across Kirkby and won all of the seats ? the Knowsley LibDems were at sixes and sevens, telling us they were against and then voting FOR it when it got to the planning committee when it got thumped through by a whopping 20 votes to 1... methinks a certain representative of Knowsley LibDems Peter Fisher will be getting reminded of that.....These are the issues that will decide whether DK goes ahead or not, not ?technical? points which BOTH sides will be making.

Oh I almost forgot about the rather distinct lack of marches and protests from ?thousands? of angry Evertonians.

I do enjoy reminding people of the basics from time to time. ;)

Tom Hughes
30   Posted 08/11/2008 at 17:19:06

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Ged,
Nice to see you didn’t commit harekiri after your last prediction that this would never get called in...... One of a series of predictions that all came to nowt. As far as basics are concerned regarding general levels of support for this scheme (shame you are still totally unable to comment on the main issues outlined in the article) how do you explain the 80% rejection by shareholding Evertonians at the EGM, or that one was even called in the first place? I won’t hold my breath
Colin Fitzpatrick
31   Posted 08/11/2008 at 17:25:46

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Hello Graham, which one? The Mark Roberts one can be found at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6944796.stm whilst the Deloitte analysis ic contain within the core documents for the public inquiry: http://www.knowsley.gov.uk/resources/234345/cd1_7_3_DeloitteLetter.doc

Kev Wainwright
32   Posted 08/11/2008 at 18:12:36

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Tom, I want to stay at Goodison but some of your questions are disingenuous. 80% of the Shareholders attending an EGM mean nothing. Not sure how you can be certain of that figure. Some of the people that night were proxies and it matters not one jot how they voted. There is also a ?certain? group of shareholders who got their shares from a like minded shareholder, but that is not important to this.

At every test of voting, of which there have been two, the ballot and the council we have seen the project being backed. You can argue about the process of both but the losers always to tend to. I also see no evidence of any real support for KEIOC at the match or the tiny numbers of people on their website. They have said that they don?t need support as they are a pressure group rather than a protest group. Bit convenient that one.

There is no, as far as I can see, other scheme being put forward. Now if another backer was really serious he could easily come forward and gain publicity to force the hand of Everton. This has not been done as the City council has nothing to offer and Bestway are not serious.

Most fans are apathetic and just want to see a wining team.
Colin Fitzpatrick
33   Posted 08/11/2008 at 18:39:43

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Kev, I can?t believe that anyone could be more wrong than you, earlier you were attempting to rewrite how public inquiries examine planning applications... now you?re telling Tom that first of all the views of the majority of shareholders on the night meant nothing.

If the club are so confident, why didn?t they release the result on the night, they wouldn?t on the advice of their solicitor, that there was a ballot in Kirkby??? There wasn?t, it was a local election but it?s a pity that is wasn?t a referendum because more people voted for the Lib-Dems and 1st 4 Kirkby than Labour. There were three public consultations the result of which KMBC prefers not to talk about, the majority were against the stadium proposal and finally you mention the club?s ballot, I get the impression that you believed everything you were told at the time.

Finally, you say that you see no evidence of any real support for KEIOC, I didn?t realise it was a popularity contest but let me remind you that the poll on this site came out very firmly against the move to Kirkby, as did the NSNO poll and the biggest poll, the one by KEIOC, returned an 80% result against the move ? or don?t they matter? Like I said before, it doesn?t matter what I think, what KEIOC thinks, what Tom Hughes thinks or what you think, the inspectorate will look at the application in quite some detail and make the decision that we will all have to accept... That is everyone except Tesco, they have quite a history on these matters, if you care to check out their lawyers' website.

Billy Bradshaw
34   Posted 08/11/2008 at 19:26:34

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Typical of Everton, I see there transport working group has no representation from KHT Highways dept or Merseytravel on it, just their cosy consultants. I tried to get onto this group and was told I couldn't because I could give out information that was sensative.
Graham Atherton
35   Posted 08/11/2008 at 19:40:39

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Thanks Colin

The letter that refers to Everton indicates that if Everton had to raise more than £80 million the return would be outweighed by the cost - something the club has already openly admitted.

The figure mentioned is conservative as it has to be in order to advise on outlay and/or risk - we wouldn’t want it any other way.

In other words even if the stadium was to raise the minimum expected it would still be viable.

In order for the stadium (or any other stadium) to be worthwhile it has to be able to pay for itself initially. The challenge is then to build a far more profitable business on that platform. Admittedly if management of that facility is poor then the club could be worse off, but the same can be said of where we are now.

Glass half full/glass half empty.

Can we survive by investing nothing in our stadium? Yes but not challenge for top 4.

Should we invest as little as possible in order to get an improved stadium at as low a cost as possible? Yes.

Derek Thomas
36   Posted 08/11/2008 at 20:57:22

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Dave Wison, I get back to you in a mo. Colin, excellent piece, the whole point is as you say why build a 50k stadium in a town of 42k population and an average attendance somewhere, depending on results, of 34k plus or minus 3k... and don?t even start on the transport issues.

Dave, yes people must be allowed to make their own mistakes, freewill etc. The whole point is, regardless of Colin's fine piece, or anyone else's views, for or against.... the DK mistake has already BEEN MADE!!... and won?t, can?t, be unmade, at least by us.

Unless an out side force stops it, BK, DK and Tesco will roll on regardless, as I said, I?m over it for just that reason.

Wake me up when it?s all over.
Craig Gillham
37   Posted 09/11/2008 at 10:40:28

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I, like every Evertonian, have my views on the DK project. I myself am in favor of the move. Goodison is tired and probably not far from being a condemned building!! I love Goodison; it holds so many memories for me.

The options are simple in my eyes:

1) We stay at Goodison and stay where we are now; no money, no investors and Evertonians everywhere moaning about lack of investment and money. Goodison, like it or not, is not a nice matchday experience ? the facilities are abysmal and the transport system to Goodison is hardly brilliant. There is no parking available apart from the odd scally saying "mind ya car lah," or a school opening its playground up!! The train station is 10 minutes away and when it's lashing down with rain it seems like half an hour!! The Park-and-Ride schemes will be laid on for Kirkby just like Goodison.

2) If we embrace the DK scheme, we have a world class stadium for little money in real terms, we travel 10 mins extra up the East Lancs, where, before the match, there will be decent bars, places to get some decent food.

the experience at Goodison pre-match is pretty poor for families. If I was taking my children to the game, I would want them to enjoy the day as a whole!

The squabbling about not being in the city to me is a load of bull, Kirkby to me is Liverpool and the fact that people from say North Wales, the Wirral, Southport and alike is where the core of Evertonians come from (like it or not). Everton FC is a Merseyside club not an exclusive club to people from the city centre!!! A site has opened up to us in Kirkby, we took it; LCC didn?t bother to find a site (The Loop is not even an option). I follow Everton FC and if it means an extra 10 minute journey so be it!

Roll on Kirkby, onward and upwards! Stop the dripping and pull together as Evertonians and let the people in charge do what they believe is best because BK is first and foremost an Evertonian, he would not jeopardize this club and once he has sold the club maybe we will stand up and applaud the man who pulled Everton out of deep deep shit!!!

David Kiely
38   Posted 09/11/2008 at 12:27:59

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Craig Gillham -

you’re the worst wind up act ever.
The rain’s stopped, go and do the gardening.
Tom Hughes
39   Posted 09/11/2008 at 13:04:18

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Craig,
You could at least spell Kirkby correctly!

The rest is about as accurate as your spelling!
Karl Masters
40   Posted 09/11/2008 at 13:40:24

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A sensible article outlining just what a huge risk the Club will be taking and with no certainty of increasing operating profit by more than a few million.

To me, the the most telling numbers are that Terry Leahy said it woud cost Everton FC about £35m, but now, only a year or so later, it will cost £100m with only the sale of Goodison, Bellefield and naming rights to offset that leaving a truer cost of around £70m, but only if the retail element gets passed by the Government.

Lies and spin to go along with best transport links etc. I might also add that the very impressive and large main stand at Chelsea cost £34m to build, with very little expense spared, only 5 years ago. With steel and labour prices now falling for Everton to claim it would cost over £70m to build a new Bullens Road stand is hard to believe, in fact I?d suggest it?s another piece of deception to fool us all into believing DK is the only option.

I?d like to see a proper, designed and fully costed plan to redevelop Goodison drawn up (we now know that LCC will co-operate with the footprint issue ) so that any potential buyer can be shown it during talks. If I was buying a Club I?d rather be seen as giving the fans what they want, I?d be on an immediate high in the popularity stakes rather than seen as an outsider to be distrusted. Of course, this may mean I?d pay less for the Club and you therefore get some idea why BK and his cronies wouldn?t want to bother with that!

If that?s unfair on Bill and he?s not in it for the cash, then it just shows the incompetence level to not have a Plan B ready to show a potential Buyer.
Brian Waring
41   Posted 09/11/2008 at 14:24:03

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Craig, you say "We embrace the DK scheme, we have a world class stadium for little money" FFS mate, where have you been hiding? I think you will find you need to replace "world class" with "mid-level". And what started out as a stadium for virtually free, has now gone to £80m+. Now if you think that is little money. well.....
Kev Wainwright
42   Posted 09/11/2008 at 14:23:07

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Colin, you said I cannot be more wrong; however I think you need to take the emotion out of your thought process and think.

Of course the views of the majority of individual shareholders meant nothing, after all if then had they why has it not been stopped by the club? I am sure you know how the ownership of companies works and this sort of petty points scoring just does you no favours.

As for me rewriting public enquiries, I again just made the point that the changed situation and the current economic predicament will be taken into account and this, in my view, would sway the decision. This is not rewriting the rules.

The final cherry on the cake is citing internet polls, on sites such as ToffeeWeb, as some sort of sign of true support for your point of view. Come on, really!

I want to stay at Goodison, but guys like you who appear to ridicule and then dismiss any points of view that don?t 100% support their own, will not help the case.

I really think you should stop and think about your answers. You of course are openly trying to influence others point of view, whereas I am not, so I understand your ?bending? of the reality.
Colin Fitzpatrick
43   Posted 09/11/2008 at 13:12:54

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Graham, almost as I see it but I don?t actually think that Everton can survive without making an investment in a stadium. Their losses, mainly attributed to insufficient revenue from Goodison, can?t be covered forever through the disposal of assets and loans, therefore, in light of a total lack of any outside investment, Everton have quite correctly prioritised the need to address this vital issue.

Like you say ?we should invest as little as possible in order to get an improved stadium at as low a cost as possible?. An agreement with this hypothesis could suggest support for Kirkby as it has been promoted, some would argue engineered, as the only option available to the club for a relatively modest investment, but there are some problems to overcome.

Firstly, this is a very risky strategy as the associated retail, required to provide the £52M enabling funding, remains firmly outside agreed planning policy and, as a guarantee, Everton should have developed a parallel and more feasible contingency plan.

But, secondly, they?re unable to develop this as they have a need to demonstrate that no viable alternatives exist and, by demanding an associated level of retail to that being opposed at Kirkby, by LCC and others, this has effectively prevented any progress being achieved on this front. Why Everton appear unable or unwilling to formulate a business plan that isn?t reliant on retail enabling is a mystery, they have adequate resources to achieve this.

Of course, if the Mail on Sunday is to be believed, this is all academic as a wealthy owner could provide all the finance for Kirkby, allowing Tesco to reduce the level of retail, thereby removing the source of the neighbouring authorities objections. I suppose the question then would be, "Would a new owner see Kirkby as an attractive proposition?"

Colin Fitzpatrick
44   Posted 09/11/2008 at 16:19:05

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Kev, firstly there?s no emotion in what I believe is a rational logical argument. I explained that what you were attempting to say about the scope of the inquiry was wrong based on what the inquiry will actually examine; you don?t accept that, that?s your prerogative.

You choose to state that the views of shareholders and individuals using this site, Bluekipper, NSNO etc don?t matter; that is also your prerogative ? my view is different. You said that ?the Government will not look at it as taking away from other areas?. I told you they will based on the examination criteria and I cited the evidence from St Modwen indicating the massive effect Kirkby would have on a £360M in Skelmersdale, again you choose to believe your own opinion and not the reality, again that?s your prerogative.

You then say I ridicule other people?s point of view; that isn?t your prerogative ? you?re just wrong. I?ll discuss the subject sensibly with anyone with any point of view, but if you?re talking shite I?ll let them know. If I?m talking shite then I welcome being put straight, that?s a debate.

You finally state something that is correct: I am trying to influence others but you spoil it by saying I bend reality! Glad to hear that you?d like to stay at Goodison but I?m at a loss why you attempt to pass off opinion as fact and then get upset when you?re pulled up. I?m not ridiculing you; it?s just me exercising my prerogative!

Adam Bennett
45   Posted 10/11/2008 at 12:29:29

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Reading this article and then the responses a few things are puzzling me,

1. Transport:? I read one person saying that if you don?t want a 30-40 minutes walk then turn up early in your car and use one of the car parks. What, if like me, you don?t have a car? I rely on public transport to get to the match and the best way for me to get to Kirkby would be to get the train; however, Merseyrail have stated that there are no plans to upgrade the station there ? which will mean a nightmare trying to get home. If I go by road it's three buses!!!

2. Extra Jobs:? is the figure of 2,000 or so extra jobs taken before or after a huge number of independent traders in the area loose theirs??

3. Extra off-the-field revenue:? I read in a report in June/July that KMBC will be given use of the facilities at the ground for two thirds of the year for free ? that?s not making money! One of the main extra income streams could be concerts ? but KMBC have said that concerts will not be allowed. So where else are we going to make money off the field??

To me this whole thing is a complete ill-thought-out farce, stumbling from one bungled plan to another.
Ciarán McGlone
46   Posted 10/11/2008 at 11:41:18

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Don’t you just love the term ’commercial sensitivity’....
Paul McMonnies
47   Posted 10/11/2008 at 12:14:30

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Kev Wainwright said : 1) "Not sure how you can be certain of that figure" & 2) "Some of the people that night were proxies and it matters not one jot how they voted."

1) Simply by counting the NUMBER of voting slips (i.e. the "one man one vote" that has been used at every previous AGM/EGM I have attended until this one, funnily enough) as opposed to the number of shares that were written on them.

2) I was a proxy that night, and I voted the way the shareholder I was represented wanted me to vote (having discussed with him in advance the details of the proposition that he received along with the proxy form they would have had to fill in). Are you suggesting that "Kirkby-supporting" shareholders willingly gave their proxies to "Kirkby-opposing" people, knowing full well that they would use their shareholding to vote against something that they support ?

Colin wrote : "It is simply the opinion of advisors to Everton that the redevelopment of Bullens Rd would cost £71M, indeed their opinion is that the cost to redevelop the whole of Goodison would be circa £230M leaving a stadium with a capacity of 35,000. They choose not to explain this in depth, perhaps others may see things differently."

Just to add to this - not only did they refuse to provide any details behind the numbers, they also failed to point out that these numbers had been produced by the very team that are contracted to build the new stadium at Kirkby. An analogous situation would be, your house being in ill-repair and you considering either repairing and improving it, or building a brand new mansion. You contract a firm to build your mansion (£££) then ask them to also quote for how much it would cost to repair your old house (which would probably net them a fraction of the amount). It would be like turkeys voting for Christmas for them to say anything other than "Nahhh - that’s gonna cost you a FORTUNE mate - you wanna stick with the new one".

Craig Gillham wrote : "Goodison is tired and probably not far from being a condemned building"
Wrong - and yet more scaremongering by the club via the likes of Keith Wyness and Tom Cannon. The very man who issues the safety certificate for Goodison has stated that there are no problems with the certificate being issued for the foreseeable future. Yes, there are lots of factors that would not be allow under CURRENT law (i.e if the stadium were built TODAY) however, that would also be true of stadia such as Anfield and Old Trafford. Goodison is not going to be failing a safety certificate any time soon - fact.

An interesting read of an article Colin - well researched and based on fact as ever, however, I’m still sadly resigned to the fact that Everton are somehow tied into this project permanently, with some sort of huge penalty payment due to Tesco if they pull out now. I just can’t see any other reason that they would plough ahead with such a badly-flawed project otherwise.

Things like changing the criteria needed for an EGM just shows to me that they are running scared and running out of answers to extremely pertinent questions regarding this scheme, and for me the biggest tragedy of all (as evidenced in this very thread and hundreds of others like it on EFC forums across the internet as well as all the matchday pubs) is the way that the fanbase has been split (possibly permanently) by this whole scheme.

All very sad :-(
Phil Martin
48   Posted 10/11/2008 at 15:01:45

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For me it's not even a Paradox.

You compare this Kirkby proposal to the other big stadia in the UK - both exisiting and forthcoming: OT, Emirates, New Spurs ground, St James?, New Anfield etc... it isnt even going to be top 8 in the Premier League NOW in terms of size, quality and atmosphere. Then compare it again to exisiting top stadia across Holland (especially new Feyenoord stadium), Spain, Germany, Portugal, and Italy. It won't even be in the top 50 best stadia in Europe.

Until we can afford to do it (move or grow GP) properly, we shouldn't do it at all! Our home for the next 40 years is too important to be jeopardised.

Steve Taylor
49   Posted 10/11/2008 at 20:55:31

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It?s a very well written piece, Colin, the only issue I?d take with it is the assumption re: the increased building costs, which in my opinon, is probably wide of the market given the current economic downturn.



DK has divided Evertonians since the day it was announced. The boundary issue, the chosen area (irrepsective of the boundary), the uninspiring design, the lack of car parking & the transport issues in general, the unambitious corporate facilities, the matchday experience etc etc ad nauseam.

The fact that nearly half of those who bothered to vote on it, where against it ? is, in many people's eyes, reason enough to bin it.

I was for it, but I don?t think any Yes voter was ever passionately enthusiastic about it. It boiled down to what we could afford & "it?s better than nothing", rather than "wow what a fantastic facility"

The fact remains that without it, the likelihood of us being able to afford a deliverable alternative without a billionaire benefactor are slim to slimmer. Whatever anyone says about it & despite it not being the "virtually free" stadium of the soundbites ? it?s still a low outlay for a new stadium... however, is that reason enough for us to accept an out of town, uninspiring retail park development in Kirkby?

The more time that elapses, the more I think that it isn?t ? maybe we should gamble on being on the end of some Billionaires handouts, in the none too distant, maybe we should stick with the old lady until the day arrives that we can afford a fitting replacement that we can ALL be proud of... or maybe we?ll look back on a lost opportunity in years to come... who knows...
Dave Cochrane
50   Posted 10/11/2008 at 23:07:39

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What I find so maddening is that the whole subject of redeveloping Goodison always gets swept under the carpet and dismissed by the club. Part of the great article above says it would cost 70 odd millions to rebuild Bullens Road alone....... How FFS... How??? And between £230 and £250 million for the whole ground ? and then only to acheive a capacity of 35 to 37000. It has to be utter rubbish.

I know these people aren't going to promote Goodison as an option, but putting out figures like that is inviting debate. People like Tom Hughes and Trevor Skempton must be able to give a much better ballpark figure for developing Goodison part by part. (I realise they probably can't for professional reasons) But it would certainly shut my mouth up if it was found to be anywhere near the above.

As for the required capacity, surely we should aim for the biggest we can get? If the likes of West Ham are looking into building a 60,000-seater stadium then shouldn?t we? I doubt Goodison could achieve as much as this without acquiring land, but fifty odd easily.

EFC will not (I hope) have the current board of hopeless no ambition losers running it for too much longer and hopefully then, people who are competent at realising the commercial potential and planning the future of what should be a bigger club than we are, take over.

Mark Scarratt
51   Posted 11/11/2008 at 14:24:24

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Boss article, must have taken you forever. I Have been saying it for ages, We don?t need a new stadium for the following reasons:

1. We won?t fill it
2. No waiting list for season tickets
3. 31,000 vs Fulham
4. We are now advertising half season tickets
5. We were trying to sell season tickets to under 16?s at £190.
6. we don?t lock anybody out, no queues, not much take-up for tickets on matchdays.

More important is to spend what money we do have on the team, so that we eventually reach the level of the Champions League. The knock on effect will then be that more people will want to watch us and we will get better players. The whole thing will then snowball, and will result in a waiting list for season tickets similar to what Arsenal had. Then build a new stadium to satisfy the demand.

At the moment there is no demand, so it would be total madness to move. Apart from Arsenal no other team that has built a new stadium, has achieved any success. Man Utd redeveloped theirs. Chelsea?s only 42,000 capacity. Liverpool can?t decide who owns the club and their stadium situation is a shambles.

Although this article is very good and very well presented, it is a shame that the stadium debate is out there. We should be talking about the team, performances, the next match, opinions on players etc etc.
Kev Wainwright
52   Posted 11/11/2008 at 17:50:08

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Paul Mc. My comment regarding the shareholers vote not mattering one jot, is linked to the practical impact of that, which is nothing. The laws work that way. It might be difficult to accept but that is the way it works.

I am against the move but I don?t think it is right that people put forward ideas like the voting of individual shareholders or internet polls as things that matter, other than a recording of those people's points of view.

You mention the fanbase being split, but I suspect it isn?t really. Well nothing that a major new investment and a challenge for the league wouldn?t fix.

I think that some of the tatics have been misguided for example the whole premise of keeping Everton in "our" city is wrong. It excludes people who live in Bootle, Crosby and actually allows the club to be moved to Speke but not to Bootle docks. In this article we see another example of people who agree saying what a well researched article, when I suspect that if you had a comparable article aruging the other case it would be shot down by the "no voters" and end up in a slanging match.

The company that owns Everton will do as it wants in realtion to the ground and we as customers have the right to go or not. It depends if your love for Everton is more about the ground or the club I suppose.

The real shame is that Kenwright and the board have got away with a total lack of investment other than debt. Kenwright appears to put his own ownership above the well being of the sporting side of the company. We are totally undercapitalised and I think it a shame that we have all got tied up in the ground debate and transport plans and the size of retail when in fact we could have put a lot more pressure on Kenwright via the thing that most fans care about and that is the success on the field. I really do think that an examination of True Blue and the debts and costs of that would have been more fertile. I would really like to see where the debts of the parent companies have been move to.

We have instead ended up with EGM?s being made more difficult and why? Because any company would do that when faced with what was threatened. It was going to happen as sure as day follows night. We should have forgot the ground and found a way of getting Kenwright out rather than a narrow debate over what Cabe says etc.

I understand why others feel that we need to keep on the ground issue, but I just think a more pragmatic stance would have better success. After all the Lib Dems in Sefton and Liverpool were always going to make the case that moved it to a Public Enquiry. The Sec of State would not care at all re the issues of the fans.
Stu Mac
53   Posted 12/11/2008 at 07:28:57

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For those citing the fact about attendence and season ticket numbers, the main reason why we do not have at least a 90% season ticket take ratio or capacity is due to the amount of obstructed views ? who wants to receive just a 1 quid discount to sit behind a post? Is it just coincidence that the most frequented areas of the ground are the PE, Paddock & Family enclosure? If we had a stadium without obstructed views, we?d fill it. (Btw Mark Scarratt, half-season tickets have been available ever since I started going the match in ?84, so it is no new phenomenon.)

For those citing the fact about redeveloping Goodison, where the fuck are we going to play when it it gets redeveloped?

Tom Hughes
54   Posted 12/11/2008 at 08:40:21

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Stu,
I agree the obstructed views are grossly overpriced (as are the good specs for that matter). That certainly would affect the turnouts in this era of live footy websites and foreign TV channels in pubs etc. The other influence on attendances this season is the drop in season ticket sales. This is the hardcore baseline, and it is lower than previous seasons. Considering the club had one of its highest finishes last season it would appear some based their decisions not to renew on non-footy issues such as broken promises from the board and the DK debacle. I have seen several contributors on these sites state that they’ll no longer fund the current regime and are voting with their feet.

As regards where will we play during redevelopment..... how many clubs have had to play elsewhere during redevelopment? It is possible to redevelop with no or very little reductiuon in capacity during each phase. By building behind existing stands such as the Park-end, or Bullens capacity can be increased without any losses. This has been achieved at most major redeveloped stadia.
Stu Mac
55   Posted 12/11/2008 at 10:52:32

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Tom,
with the exception of OT and the barcodes ground, how many ?older? stadia have actually had mass redevelopment to the scale Everton need over the last 10 years or so? I cannot honestly believe that the likes of the Bullens or MS can be built around, in the current position that the ground is in, without losing any seating capacity.

Of course there are many factors influencing attendances, but I believe a new ground would lead to an increase ? whether it be on the current site, Kirkby or wherever. This whole ground issue has lead to too much subjectivity instead of objectivity and the club, supporters and LCC are all guilty of it.

Dave Carroll
56   Posted 12/11/2008 at 13:26:54

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Dont know if this means anything, but I have just read an electronic version of Constuction News. One of the headlines today was that Mr Tesco Sir Terry has been speaking in Liverpool and has indicated that Tesco are shelvving tiheir more ambitious projects due to the economic climate and escalating costs; however, he wouldn't comment on any specific ones. Wonder if Kirkby is one... I hope so!
Morgan Tarr
57   Posted 12/11/2008 at 19:12:12

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The proposed move to Kirkby is not good enough for this football club, and the only reason it is going ahead is because Kenwright is not prepared to sell the club and cannot afford anything better than the Kirkby proposals.

Kirkby is not good enough.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.
Tom Hughes
58   Posted 12/11/2008 at 20:17:36

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Stu,
As well as the 2 you mentioned, Villa Park, Stamford Bridge, Hillsborough, Whitehart Lane have all been redeveloped in situ. OT, The stadium of Light and St James have all been added to considerably without loss of capacity. Many others have too..... Anfield was redeveloped around the existing footprint, the only mistake being underestimating the required capacity. If they had embarked on a structured plan to allow easy further expansion they wouldn’t now have a capacity of just 45k on a site that is substantially larger than ours. Maine rd was also being redeveloped in phases until the freeby on top of the city centre landed on their lap. In Europe there are many famous examples of redeveloped stadia. Only a few years ago Borrusia Dortmund played in a very basic small stadium. Over the past 2 decades they have systematically added to it to the point that they now have a massive capacity. Even the San Siro, Bernabeu and Nou Camp all had much more modest configurations than their current ones. The same could apply to GP with only modest landtakes.

I think the supposition that you can build anew wherever and the place will be filled is slightly wayward. If the transport doesn’t work then nor does the stadium.
Graham Atherton
59   Posted 13/11/2008 at 15:19:09

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Tom
I seem to constantly niggle away at your posts more than most, for which I apologise - there is no personal vendetta!

You mention that season ticket sales this year are lower - have you got the figures? I understood them to be very similar to last season but my figures were before the end of close season.
At a time of hugely decreasing domestic disposal income it wouldn’t be surprising.

Then you say that GP can be increased in capacity with only ’modest landtakes’. Probably quite true but the position of the ’available’ land leaves the current stadium at one edge of that site so the stadium will have to be moved - hence the increased cost and increased difficulty of the redevelopment.
Can you give us an example of a stadium redevelopment that incorporated a move of the whole stadium sideways a minimum of half a pitch in distance (my estimate)? If so how did that effect playing at the stadium while the works progressed?
Graham Atherton
60   Posted 13/11/2008 at 15:37:09

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Colin

This comment of yours intrigues me:

"But, secondly, they?re unable to develop this as they have a need to demonstrate that no viable alternatives exist and, by demanding an associated level of retail to that being opposed at Kirkby, by LCC and others, this has effectively prevented any progress being achieved on this front. Why Everton appear unable or unwilling to formulate a business plan that isn?t reliant on retail enabling is a mystery, they have adequate resources to achieve this."

What alternatives exist to base an enabling plan on something other than retail?
Karl Masters
61   Posted 13/11/2008 at 19:34:08

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Graham Atherton:

Re- moving the position of the pitch. I think you will find that Chelsea moved their pitch by about 15 metres towards one end during redevlopment, whilst West Ham have made their grass area much larger thus far in readiness for a new side stand to be built at some stage in the future.

In both cases, it was quite simple. They started by moving one stand backwards and leaving room for it all to shift across in to the space as development progressed. In Everton’s case, this means demolishing the Bullens Road first and then rebuilding both ends before finally having more space on the Goodison Road side, especailly where it meets the Park End due to the angled road.

There are other solutions as well and with LCC now indicating a more helpful approach the relatively poor quality buildings around Goodison ( apologies to any residents - no offence intended ) could be removed where necessary to make a more flexible footprint.

Any prospective Buyer may well find this timescaled, gradual approach more financially palatable than spending a large amount straight away on one new site.

Colin Wordsworth
62   Posted 13/11/2008 at 20:53:07

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My question to all the discussion is, when did LCC become more helpful?

and....how can we afford to redevelop the olde lady?

The answer to both I fear is ....they aren’t and we can’t!

So still the only viable option after all the pontificating is....DK.

Karl, the cost of reveloping just the Bullens will cost the same as the whole of the new build.......it is not financially viable in comparison!

Tom Hughes
63   Posted 13/11/2008 at 20:37:32

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Graham,
I haven?t the figures, although I believe I read that season ticket sales have fallen over the past 2 years, and much of that predates the credit crunch.

As regards displacing the pitch. I have already shown in the one study published that only a small landtake on the Bullens Rd side could generate a reasonable capacity increase on that side, with better utilisation of the corners and a much fuller exploitation of the space at the Park-end, where quite frankly ANY size stand could be erected, and Kirkby?s 50,000 would be readily surpassed if that was deemed necessary.

Furthermore, this could be done in affordable phases whereby the club tests demand ensuring that unwanted (and therefore unprofitable) capacity isn?t needlessly paid for. In the scheme that I generated last year only the mainstand remained (although this was significantly remodelled within the existing structure). This was modelled using a sight-line modeller and full site plans. The new stands were drawn to scale and only slightly infringed the existing school yard and end terraces.

Another scheme has also been drawn up showing how an enhanced/enlarged Bullens could preserve much of the historical character of the existing stadium and add capacity and executive accommodation for a fraction of the cost of an equivalent capacity new-build, with ALL obstructed views dispensed with on that side. Having spoken to the club I know these options have not been fully pursued. Rangers showed what could be done with a Leitch stand.

Ours is far less problematic since expansion would take place behind the existing structure with no internal re-piling required. The sight-lines work for an extra 20 rows or so with the current pitch position. This would more than offset the loss of the existing lower Bullens which would be replaced by exec boxes utilising the detailing of the internal support structure as historic features.

Alternatively, the parkend could be extended first to bank some additional capacity to offset the loss of the Bullens side, although again the upper tier of a new upper stand could be built behind the current stand in readiness for its demolition ensuring seamless transition regarding capacity.......

In other words there are always options, and a proper design competition would have unearthed several for a similar outlay to Kirkby. Incidentally, the planning office has been more than receptive to the notion of extending the footprint for probably over a decade. There has been no applications to do so.

Tom Hughes
64   Posted 13/11/2008 at 21:14:49

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Colin,

Yet another paradox, Why is it only £2k per seat to build in Kirkby, yet according to you £8k+ per seat to build a stand at GP?

You can of course build stands for that price as shown with Wembley, but you would only really use such an inflated cost factor in an attempt to deride an option that threatens your contract which is what Tesco?s experts did with their appraisal of a new Bullens. Personally, I would file it with the "stadium for nothing" and "most accessible stadium" et al claims. ie, exagerated for maximum effect!!!
Gary Tudor
65   Posted 13/11/2008 at 21:48:27

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The best hope for the club is to have a Sheik buy the club and invest in the grand old lady!

To keep atmosphere at Goodison, to redevelop would ensure in the future we have the best atmosphere in the Premiership whilst winning silverwear!

With plenty of money left over for players!

Oh we can all dream

The joys of being a Blue.
Colin Wordsworth
66   Posted 13/11/2008 at 21:56:14

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Tom, pleasure as always.

I think it is quite obvious that redevelopment of Goodison would be far more than the new development. The purchasing of the school, houses and other properties have to be taken into account as well as the cost to demolish the existing stands.

I think it is fair to say that it will cost at least 200 mill to redevelop the olde lady to a decent standard and to be fair this is not feasable for the club at the moment, to me the only viable alternative is a shared stadium...with all the problems that will create.

The easy stand to improve at GP is obviously the Park End which I believe was built with a view to enlarge and improve at a later date. The Street End and Bullens will be extremely problematical as you are aware.

So, yes there was hype for the DK deal, but it is still a great deal for the club in financial terms......if it ever happens!
David Thompson
67   Posted 13/11/2008 at 21:54:30

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Graham Atherton ? you wrote:

"Transport looks quite clear to me ? if you don?t want a 30-40 min walk, turn up an hour early for the match in your car. People who pay more get to use the car park dedicated to the stadium (and there is much more room for these people)."

There is no dedicated car parking at the stadium. The only car parks are Park & Ride, and Park & Walk.

It?s all about the matchday experience. If people who are used to walking up to Goodison at 2:50pm now have to get to a Park & Ride at 1:30pm, and get back to their car after 6pm, they are not going to go. It?s really quite simple.

The transport plan is a shambles. The same people did the Emirates plan, and it?s still a shambles there, with people leaving competitve Champions League games 20 mins before the end simply to ensure they can get home.
Karl Masters
68   Posted 14/11/2008 at 19:36:37

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Colin:

I think you have fallen into the trap of believing all that the Club tells you without questioning why they might want you to believe it.

£72m to rebuild the Bullens Road stand is a ridiculous figure. Rather than idly guess in the dark at a figure of £200m to rebuild Goodison (How have you estimated that as there is no Plan B and no direct comparison?), I will quote you the new main Stand at Chelsea.

Completed in 2003, no expense has been spared on this very large stand containing plenty of high class corporate facilities and it cost £34m to build. That?s a fact.

Of course, that was 5 years ago and prices for steel, other materials and labour will have risen - but not more than doubled! Set against that is the facts that World Steel prices are now falling quite rapidly, labour costs are coming down slowly, Goodison is a far easier location to access than the clogged up West End in London making construction easier and quicker etc.

As somebody once said, £74m - ?my arse!?

Of course, if you remember that it was EFC and Tesco, who are promoting the DK scheme, who gave you this figure you need no real explanation why they would over blow the cost of it.

Oh, and the transport plan for DK is rubbish as well.
Colin Wordsworth
69   Posted 14/11/2008 at 21:04:34

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Karl

The figure given for the Bullens has also been put on these pages by a no voter who stated he had knowledge of structural engineering, he quoted in excess of £70 million. Even if your figures are correct it will cost around £50 million....... for a quarter of the stadium! And would the wonderful council allow the redevelopment, very debatable bearing in mind the nature of the area.

With regards to the concerns re transport, is Goodison good? Well no! In fact it is very poor, particularly parking near the ground and the access to the trains aren?t great either... There is plenty of time for problems to be addressed, I have always stated this is a red herring with regards to DK.

The only problem is location.... simple as.

ps the costings for the new White Hart Lane are very expensive.... interesting reading!
Tom Hughes
70   Posted 15/11/2008 at 07:36:26

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Colin,
I suggest you ask the council planning office if they would be receptive to expansion on that side before you use it as an argument against redevelopment. I have asked them and can assure you this is a non-issue. There are only a handful of houses abutting this side and a school carpark which may be relocating/reconfiguring soon in anycase.

As far as transport is concerned the more central Walton has several times the public transport capacity of the peripheral Kirkby, and similarly disproportionately higher number of traffic lanes serving it from all directions....... These are logistical constants that even Tesco?s wealth cannot change, hence the reason why the transport plan is in its umpteenth revision and still openly rejected by Merseytravel as nonsensical.

White Hart Lane's development costs include large ancillary developments and land acquisitions that do not correspond in anyway to GP. It is also at the complete opposite end of the stadium spectrum to DK. However, there are also several other cheaper schemes that they have been considered, I?m not sure what the final outcome of their deliberations was.

Newcastle and Sunderland expanded both their already developed stadia significantly for a fraction of the costs you are quoting for WHL, as did many other clubs, perhaps these are more relevant though no less interesting reading. How come one of Barrs stands cost approx £25-30m yet a new Bullens costs £74m?

Graham Brandwood
71   Posted 16/11/2008 at 17:41:11

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Colin

We are talking about buying up a few end terraces and rebuilding a small school. 10 x terraced houses at £60,000 each and you could build a new school for that size on anouther site with better facilities for a couple of Million, We could even use any left over land on the school site for the directors cars. This would allow us to put an extra 8,000 on the Park End. I am sure it would not be as difficult or costly as you make out.
Colin Wordsworth
72   Posted 17/11/2008 at 20:54:09

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Tom and Graham

The club has reiterated that redevlopment at Goodison is not feasable, surely now you cannot keep stating that they are wrong and you are right. I will agree that the Park End should be the easiest, but... that is it!

To redevelop the Bullens is more than ten houses and a school, this is far too simplistic, a whole new ?area? would have to be created at considerable expense to the club..... even at £50 million, far too expensive.
Karl Masters
73   Posted 18/11/2008 at 11:36:41

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Colin:

You obviously trust the Club implicitly to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth! But why would they do that when it might finally convince people like you that DK is not worth it? Then they would have to abandon it and get a big bill from Tesco, whereas if they keep pleading DK is the only viable option, it will either happen or get rejected by the Inquiry and therefore they are seen as blameless.

As Tom rightly points out, why £71m for a stand in Bullens Road (where LCC will assist in obtaining the land and it will not cost much so it?s nearly all build costs) yet £30m for stand in Kirkby? WHY???

I suppose the Bullens Road structure could have solid gold urinals in the toilets and diamond encrusted seats, but how else can it seriously cost more than twice as much and well on the way to a whole stadium in Kirkby?

Conclusion: Either the Bullens Road stand will not cost anything like £71m or the build quality of DK is going to be so appallingly low that it will look more like the Nettodrome, especially after 10 or 20 years. Are you really happy with either of those scenarios.... being lied to or risking your Club?s future for a crap stadium?
Tom Hughes
74   Posted 18/11/2008 at 16:10:53

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Colin,
I would be interested to see where the club has proven that redevelopment is unfeasible. They reiterated all sorts at the time of the vote, and all has since evaporated.
Colin Wordsworth
75   Posted 18/11/2008 at 19:37:08

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Karl

The fact that Kirkby is so cheap is a) the development including infrastructure is being heavily subsidised by Tesco b) it is a new build with free land.

With reference to the new stadia, opinions are extremely subjective and I for one like the design, it is different from the new bowls everywhere else.

In answer to your assertion re my trust of the club......I feel that the latest comments made by the acting CEO are matter of fact, it is quite obvious that full redevelopment of Goodison will be huge(if allowed), and would this give the club a lift?, a rebranding, a fresh start. I think frankly....not! Our wonderful old atmospheric stadium is not exactly helping us now, and when completely redeveloped would it have the same ’atmosphere’ ?, well probably not, just another new stadium, but still in Liverpool, which has been the crux all along.

I know that the preferred opinion of many no voters is that the new stadium is ’crap’, but it’s not, I appreciate it is not world class, but it will certainly be top premiership class and that to me is not bad at all!

So, in essence the new build is still excellent value and a great deal for our great club. I personally see it as a move forwards and a great opportunity, others don’t. I hope I am right.

Tom, I agree with you, it would be a good move by the club to prove this, if they can.
Tom Hughes
76   Posted 19/11/2008 at 07:39:39

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Colin,
I attended a meeting with the club on this matter of proof that GP?s redevelopment is unfeasible etc. Their arguments that a stand would cost more than twice as much to build at GP than at Kirkby is a fundamantally flawed one.

Steel and construction costs are the same for both locations. Demolition and property aquisition are small fry costs in relation to overall construction costs given the average property prices etc. Tesco are NOT subsidising those costs at all, a highly speculative retail development that is subject of a public enquiry was supposed to be cross-funding practically all the cost, and we all know what happened to that gem.

Secondly it is possible to redevelop the Bullens Rd side and preserve much of its character and atmosphere in a similar way to Rangers who had a far more problematic structure and proposed expansion to deal with. Similarly, the Park End can be readily expanded, and a new corner section placed between the two. This would preserve and indeed enhance the intimacy and atmosphere and history of the existing stadium.

No matter how much you play with the figures, there is no way a relatively simple addition of say 12-14,000 new seats in this way will cost the same as 50,000 new seats at Kirkby, where, even with cross subsidy, we will be expected to pay for at least 80% of the construction costs. Furthermore, this option completely averts the transport nightmare of Kirkby... what cost/value would you put on that?

Location is paramount in stadium planning and no stadium planner would advocate out of town ahead of inner city for a club stadium. Perhaps the question might be what cost for redevelopment are the club prepared to accept ahead of the gamble that is DK, which let?s face it we have not been able to properly access since the club are still refusing to release actual costs etc, which is amazing for the supposed deal of the century no brainer it was meant to be.

Also, have they factored the benefits of being able to meet costs incrementally, or seeking enabling developments on their own site to help part fund a phase? Neither is really evident in dealings to date.

Karl Masters
77   Posted 19/11/2008 at 18:30:26

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Colin,

As a fellow Evertonian, I do not wish to belittle you in any way, but come on!

Your explanation of why Bullens Road costs £71m while one stand at Kirkby will equate roughly £30m (this is Construction costs only as we have been told the land is free and the Tesco enabling development subsidy of £52m reduces it from £120m to £78m) is because the land at Kirkby is Free????

Don?t Everton own the land the Bullens Road stands on? Is it going to cost £41m to buy up 20 or 30 at most little terraced houses and re-site a school - all of which LCC have publicly stated they will assist in happening? If those houses were worth £100k each, that?s £2-3m. Leaving £38.7m to move a school that?s likely to be closing or moving anyway.

For God?s sake, it?s frightening! Next you?ll be telling us that Gordon Brown has put an end to boom and bust! i
Colin Wordsworth
78   Posted 19/11/2008 at 20:28:06

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Tom and Karl

...... I wouldn?t belittle you either

but..... we are all just summising re the costs of redeveloping Goodison. I don?t know, but until a full estimate is submitted with ?proper? costings, nobody really knows.

What is apparent though is that a full redevlopment with a similar capacity and facilities of Kirkby will cost far more at Goodison. This you cannot disagree with.

And this is why DK is such a great deal!

I cannot understand why KEIOC have not requested a proper study of this with the costings....... or have they?....... and they are afraid to release the true cost?
Mark Billing
79   Posted 19/11/2008 at 21:27:42

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Colin
Summising maybe but there is evidence from London (where it’s dead cheap to build with no labour and congestion premiums on build costs! HA!) as to the cost of new ’long’ stands. The example of Chelsea is quoted above - a very cramped site if you’ve been there; there is also the £35m redevelopment of the Main Stand (Doc Martens Stand) at Upton Park (and some of that £35m was spent elsewhere on the stadium, it wasn’t all spent on the main stand). Further WHU’s latest proposals see 15k seats being built for £50m (10k of the seats being a replacement for the existing stand, the others in corner infills) in the proposed Priory Road redevelopment which (sharp intake of breath) will cantilever out over Priory Road! So why will the Bullens cost £71m!! The Bullens has a much bigger existing footprint than the Priory Road stand yet WHU can make it work.

Personally the half-arsed study undertaken by Everton’s existing advisors (anyone seen their study - has it been released for public scrutiny? Are they afraid to release it? Has a proper study actually been undertaken?) needs to be superseded by a PROPER study, and perhaps we’ll see answers more in line with the evidence from London?
Karl Masters
80   Posted 19/11/2008 at 21:45:05

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It has always been Everton FC’s responsibilty to provide full studies or costings for all the alternatives.

Unfortunately, they either could not be bothered, could not see the point or would rather let Tesco do all the work - the easy option.

This would probably have been ok if Tesco had been able to come up with a better location and had any idea how to design an atmospheric, character filled stadium. Sadly, they have not and whether it’s incompetence or something more to do with personal gain for individuals ( who knows? ) we are now on the brink of something second rate.

Meanwhile other Clubs in big cities all over the UK have developed and continue to develop their stadia incementally buying up land, finding design solutions to landlockeed sites and gradually getting the job done. Everton have done fuck all bar the Park End and that was a cheapskate design holding only 6,000 and actually cost the Club under amillion pounds with the rest coming froma Football Trust Grant.

Ours is the quick fix solution, but it’s a medium and long term timebomb.
Tom Hughes
81   Posted 19/11/2008 at 21:22:36

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Colin,
GFE commissioned a redevelopment study over 10 yrs ago, including alternative options. Those costs are readily interpolated to account for inflation etc and do not reflect Tesco/EFC’s cost for redevelopment of GP. It is not for KEIOC to have to fund such studies, but for the club to fund just ONE independent study to show the costs of redevelopment would go a long way to convince the masses of Kirkby’s benefits. Unfortunately they have been unable to find any stadium designers who would put their name to one that would suit their argument. The vast majority of Goodisons obstructed views can be eradicated by new roof structures, which would transform GP in form and function. Kirkby’s 39 boxes are also readily achieveable within the structure of the existing stadium.... plus Kirkby’s 50,000 capacity (which is its limit according to planning documents with NO assurances that this will ever be increased) is hardly beyond reach on the current site.

Bottomline is however, even if this was the San Siro with knobs on for absolutely free (neither of which is remotely applicable for DK) the transport issues alone would kill it. The total lack of mass public transit capacity will render this a car reliant venue.... all in the city with the lowest car ownership in the uk. Hardly condusive for the "most accessible stadium in the country".
Colin Wordsworth
82   Posted 19/11/2008 at 22:04:32

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Gents

I understand that you disagree with the figures stated by the club, however why at this stage would they tell a lie, or use spin, there is just no need!.

With regards to the other examples ie West Ham and Chelski, to me they are not similar to what we need . We need increased capacity and a bigger stadia than either of the two examples mentioned.....so in essence it will cost more money than either.

Then you have the problem re the development of Goodison, it is probably the most landlocked ground in the country, do you think the local residents will just allow redevelopment to take place without a fight?.....I don’t. So there is no guarantee that the changes needed will be allowed.

Mark, using your simplistic figures, even at 30 mill a stand(average) the redevelopment of Goodison will be 120 million, far more than we can afford.

Tom, this is where we differ, I feel KEIOC should undertake a design scheme to redevelop GP to a 50,000 all seater with the necessary corporate. Surely if it is a cheaper or comparable price to DK then it gives them far more credence. At the moment it is all guesswork, or are the club correct?

So I feel it is an obvious mistake in the KEIOC argument and they should be able to give a credible alternative.

Tom, also it would be quite simple to increase the capacity of Kirkby, the licence can easily be varied. Not a great problem.

Karl, I agree re the Park End, however I fear the time to redevelop the old lady has gone and should have been done years ago.

Also, most clubs now are not redeveloping but wishing to move even Chelsea, Aston Villa and now Tottenham are all looking to move to brand new grounds. It begs the question, what really is the cheap fix?
Mark Billing
83   Posted 19/11/2008 at 23:32:22

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Colin
Your second paragraph - West Ham anticipate an extra £12m revenue from rebuilding one stand and filling in the corners; only 5k extra seats on a very tight footprint. We’re going for either £11m or £6m (the Deloittes report) extra revenue from a whole ground move and 10k extra seats. So explain to me why the WHU template is not appropriate - it gives the club the extra revenue that they’re seeking but without needing to go to Kirkby. And if they spend slightly more (redevelop two stands say to +10k seats), then we should get double what Kirkby purports to offer for the same additional capacity).

Your second paragraph - the landlocked nature of Stamford Bridge and Upton Park - look at aerial shots of them pre-redevelopment; remember that the West stand at SB was added where a partial rebuild had already occurred - don’t remember the ground closing whilst it was undertaken? Is Priory Road any more or less landlocked than Bullens Road. Come on, all this was covered and you’ve surfed over it and ignored it - look them up on google earth or find some aerial photos. And as for redevelopment of GP requiring a fight with the neighbours, has it escaped your attention that there’s a Public Inquiry taking place at present - you know, a ’fight’ over development proposals.

In respect of your first paragraph, can you see the discrepancy in the rate of return on capital invested between the WHU and EFC proposals? Why will Everton’s cash only work half as hard as West Ham’s? Still trust the Board’s figures, given out-turn costs from two completed schemes and a projected out-turn from a third which is line with previous? If you say that you trust Everton’s, why? Give us a positive reason to embrace them!

For your fourth paragraph, we ought to be able to afford to redevelop two stands at GP for the same loan as we’ll end up with at Kirkby (assuming we can afford the loan required for Kirkby which I don’t believe we can), including the necessary uplift in capacity/facilities to generate our target additional revenue. Do the rest of the ground when success dictates and money permits. And we don’t need to knock it all down and start again, so 4 x £35m or 4 x £50m is a simple calculation but it’s the wrong product.

Next, err, why ’not a great problem’ to increase the capacity at Kirkby? Knowsley determined the planning application on the basis of 50k capacity. Any increase requires a new application, new Environmental Staments, new Public Inquiry (the neighbours just might complain!!) - and the anti’s are accused of being simplistic!

And non of the clubs cited are close to moving grounds; Spurs’ latest is redevelopment more or less insitu; Villa are intent on redeveloping the North Stand (look at the land they’ve cunningly aquired behind it - that’s cheating!) and Chelsea denied a Battersea move was imminent, stating that they were still assessing all insitu redevelopemnt options first. They say you couldn’t make it up, but it appears as if you have! :D
Karl Masters
84   Posted 20/11/2008 at 17:43:52

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Thank you, Mark.

Colin. You obviously believe in going to Kirkby, but really is it any more than blind faith? You keep asking why would the Club lie about figures?

Two likely reasons are:

They have not bothered to FULLY explore other options and don’t want you to know that they are flying by the seat of their pants. Because if you did find this to be true you would most likely be appalled and want them removed from their posts.

Secondly, various people for various reasons
( Wyness because he had reportedly bougfht up land for providing Car parks, Earl because there has to be something in it for a Spurs fan to put money into Everton, likewise Philip Green if he has put any money in via BK , BK himself who has now decided he wants out and would like to get his money back, Elstone because he is hoping for the job permanently and Terry Leahy and Tesco won’t get their ginormous shopping centre without it )
all have too much to lose by saying anything other than Goodison can’t be redeveloped and that Kirkby is perfect for EFC.

It’s what you’d expect them to say and also what they think an Arab investoror or similar will expect and demand before buying the Club.

No conspiracy theories, just common sense and sadly the way of the world. Their numbers don’t stack up, but with apathy from some and blind faith from others it’s likely they’ll get what they want... in the short term anyway. In the long term, I don’t expect they are too worried. Kirkby may be brilliant for EFC, but then again it may not. A gamble ad a big one at that.
Colin Wordsworth
85   Posted 20/11/2008 at 21:05:26

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Boys

I fear it is more of a gamble to stay as we are than move to DK.

If you were honest with yourselves, it is not the costings or design or even the fact that DK is on a retail park......it is all down to location .

The huge hole in the keioc argument is the lack of viable costings for GP, it is notup to the club to do this but the opposition and i feel their case is hugely weakened by this.

Everything the club says at the moment is pounced upon and dissected. I don’t know whether any of the costings are right are wrong....but do you?

Well no.........I don’t think you do, so why are the club wrong. It is too easy to point fingers and accuse somebody of lying, nothing has been proven.

Mark re variation, in the grand scheme of things....not a great problem!
Karl Masters
86   Posted 20/11/2008 at 21:42:19

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Of course we don’t know the numbers are right or wrong, but other Clubs who have been more open tend to indicate that the £71m figure is way OTT. We also know the likely cost of DK and that doesn’t equate with Everton’s estimate for one stand.

Actually, whilst I don’t think the location is ideal, I don’t mind moving from Goodison, but if we are to do so it has to be better than the Kirkby location which ticks hardl any boxes.

A shared stadium is still the best logical option.


Colin Wordsworth
87   Posted 20/11/2008 at 22:20:38

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Karl

The lack of viable figures from the no side seriously undermine any argument.

To me it is common sense to suggest any redevelopment of GP will cost more than Kirkby, so then what?..... the shared stadium!

I agree in an ideal world that this is the most viable option, but there are two big problems, money and the RS.

I am aware that it has been discussed many moons ago, even to the fact that purple seats would be installed!..... but we were dissed by the RS!

So, at the moment, value for money wise, there is one option only and until there are any others, to me DK is the only choice.
Mark Billing
88   Posted 20/11/2008 at 23:20:29

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Colin
I was passive about DK until I became more informed at last year’s AGM of the costs and lack of benefits, and the transport issues. So for your information the location wasn’t the issue (except in relation to the [in]ability to get there).
And if the variation isn’t difficult in ’the grand scheme of things’, then neither will land aquisition and development be at GP, by the same logical reduction of the problem? ;)
Karl Masters
89   Posted 20/11/2008 at 23:26:40

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Time will tell, Colin... we will have to agree to disagree I think.

Of course if it?s the wrong choice, it will be too late to go back.... well probably for at least another 50 years by which time we?ll both be debating the merits of moving the Pearly Gates from where they have always been to a Supermarket Car Park on the outskirts of Heaven :)

Good night.
Colin Wordsworth
90   Posted 20/11/2008 at 23:32:06

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Karl

Good night, oh to have a crystal ball!

Mark

I feel the location is the issue for the vast majority of the no voters, the transport issue, to me is not a great excuse. There are a few years to address the potential problems yet!

With regards to the ’variation’, there is a vast difference between the new build at DK and Goodison. Far easier at DK.....sorry.

Tom Hughes
91   Posted 21/11/2008 at 07:37:31

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Colin,
Location, location, location applies to stadium planning probably more than any other building type since the logistical dynamics are so critical..... so yes, much of the argument against Kirkby stems from location, both physically and emotionally. Yet you dismiss it as if it's a minor detail that is easily addressed.

Kirkby?s transport capacity is so far off that required, it's transport strategy was instantly instrumental in reducing the planned capacity from 55k to 50k and even then it still hasn?t been OK?d. Yet, you seem to think we can resolve all these issues and even get planning permission to increase capacity despite documentation that says in black and white that capacity will NEVER be over 50k. Even Tesco could not afford to shift a city?s transport focal point for a fortnightly event venue... and that quite frankly is what?s required.

DK isn?t the only option because it doesn?t even exist and requires the giant leap of faith that has prompted the biggest planning objection and public inquiry in local planning history. GP does exist and is invested in to the tune of millions of Evertonian man-hour memories. It is the club?s responsibility to fully explore ALL the options...... THEY cannot demonstrate that they have, otherwise we would have all options costed by independent sources. There are fully costed plans for redevelopment, and more to come, the club simply are not receptive to them..... yet!

Similar arguments were used in the 60s/70s in an attempt to move the Cubs and Red Sox away from their city based ballparks in the US. Now their stadia are cherished, and those that did move out of town are all moving back...... yet we are proposing the opposite!!?? No logic except Tesco?s.

Colin Wordsworth
92   Posted 21/11/2008 at 20:08:51

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Tom,

Say DK is built and there are minimal transport problems ? then the planners objections, if any, would be greatly reduced. The application re licensing the venue would be easy also.

I have stated before to you that location was a huge issue with me, but had to think what in my mind is best for the long term future of our club. To me, still at the least cost it has to be Kirkby.

If you have accurate up-to-date costings for the full revamp.... why have they not been released? Surely this is the best agrument available against DK if at a similar cost!
Mark Billing
93   Posted 22/11/2008 at 03:02:46

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You say ?I feel the location is the issue for the vast majority of the No voters? ? maybe so... but not for the 12 lads that I attend the match with and between us we know of but one recalcitrant Yes voter ? so conjecture again! Come to The Clock and I?ll introduce to 12 lads who will not go to Kirkby.

Transport is not an ?excuse? ? it?s a reality. My house to GP in 30 minutes; my house to DK in over 1 hour ? the transport issue is paramount! There are NO years to address the potential problems ? it needs to hit the ground running, get real!!!

Equally there is NOT a vast difference between extension at GP and new build at DK ? again, get real!!!
Colin Wordsworth
94   Posted 22/11/2008 at 16:28:22

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Mark

Come and sit near me and we all want the move.....

Without being rude I feel you are the one that needs to ?get real?, so what if you have to travel for an extra half hour... I will probably have to as well, but if the stadium was built elsewhere in the city it could be a longer journey.... NO ARGUMENT.

Re your last paragraph, I don?t think you understand what I am trying to say!
Tom Hughes
95   Posted 24/11/2008 at 14:54:35

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Colin,
Why do you believe that Knowsley will be so forthcoming once they have got their shops, despite written documents saying the opposite?

Why the faith in this council and not LCC who have stated they will be receptive to planning applications etc?

What if the transport proves to be a nightmare, there is NO evidence to indicate that it wont be?

Why the faith in the transport strategy that has been discredited so many times already and has been instrumental in decreasing the capacity planned for already?

Why simply dismiss the FACT that the vast majority of blues will be more inconvenienced at Kirkby than at the more central GP by saying "so what if we have to travel an extra half hour" as if this is an irrelevance, completely ignoring one of the main issues surrounding any stadium development?

More inconvenience generally means less bums on seats...... that's why there aren?t 35,000 applications for tickets at Wigan tonight despite it only being 18 miles away from GP (just 33 mins according to autoroute). It would appear demand drops quite dramatically with distance. The hardcore will go anywhere of course, but they won't fill Kirkby on their own..... and according to most forum surveys, a good proportion of them won't bother with Kirkby in any case.

I would be more than prepared to come and sit by you to find all these blues who want to move. Give me your seat row and number and I will do just that next match and I will try to get a ticket near you.

Colin Wordsworth
96   Posted 24/11/2008 at 23:12:05

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Tom

Just returned from JJB..........enough said!

Col
Tom Hughes
97   Posted 25/11/2008 at 14:05:02

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Colin,
I too have had the misfortune of sampling the JJB..... agreed, enough said!
Colin Wordsworth
98   Posted 26/11/2008 at 19:28:32

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Tom

I agree it is awful! We were awful!, a bad night all round!


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