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I voted for a New Stadium

By Jamie Rowland :  24/11/2009 :  Comments (66) :

Let me start by stating that I voted Yes for a new stadium.  See this how you will; cloud it with your own opinion... but note that I voted Yes.  I voted Yes because I want(ed) a new stadium.  I recognised the need for change and the need to stop falling behind clubs that, as stated in insult toward my previous posts, Everton were ‘neck and neck’ with at the birth of the Premier League.  I voted Yes because the club needed to know that I wanted a new stadium and I wanted to move on from the current condition that we find ourselves in.

There are clear issues with my original understanding of why I wanted to vote Yes.  I was enthralled in the spin, didn’t care about the extra distance – I just wanted a new stadium that I could be proud of.

Some years on, I am asked whether or not I regret my decision to vote Yes and the answer is that I do not.  I do regret that the vote was for Destination Kirkby and that I had to agree to that in order to let the club know that I was fed up of waiting for change... fed up of showing little in the way of ambition.

We still need that new stadium.  Liverpool City Council can provide nothing tangible in way of alternative, that is evident in the fact that Liverpool FC have failed to take up any alternative site and are happier spending money re-generating a whole area and taking up public park space.  In mentioning this, I refer to the much debated DTZ financial statement document (10 April 2008), Section 2.1.

You're probably now reading that I am a supporter of Destination Kirkby.  If so, I have misguided you with the above. I am not a supporter of Destination Kirkby.

This is because I am dead set against the club having signed exclusivity agreements with any organisation.  I see this as immoral, whether it benefits us or not.  Sadly, this is an opinion and it's really insignificant against the real issue that I have with building a new stadium in Kirkby.  I am not that interested in the other pieces of the jigsaw regarding noise, vibration, anti-social behaviour and the such like, although I sympathise with those who have these concerns.  I am a selfish Evertonian, one that wants a superb stadium with all the facilities that will bring us up into the modern footballing, business-orientated era.

I initially refused an answer to the question as to whether Kirkby is right or not.  I’ll answer that later.  I refuse to call Destination Kirkby an ‘option’ because that would imply that other options are considered — and they are not.  It’s the only way forward because the board will consider nothing without viable research that incurs no time or cost on the club.  That, in itself, means that it's impossible to table anything that any pressure group considers an ‘option’.  The club simply won't listen and that’s disgusting.

I have given a countless amount of time and money to Everton Football Club and I want some respect for it and for me, that would be them listening to other options.  The angry response that the EGM received from Bill Kenwright and the re-write of the Articles of Association further disgusts me.  The club is about as clear and transparent as mud. 

Why are funding sources so sensitive that they cannot even be disclosed during a go/no-go decision-making public inquiry? Why does the DTZ document have a whole section dedicated to the ‘enabling role of the retail element of the scheme’, yet Tesco rebuffed this during the inquiry?

With that in mind, I can’t see where the forecasted £78M (probably more now) is going to come from.  It baffles me that the Board of Directors are giving an impression that, when the bell tolls, they will stump up the funds required to begin the construction phases.  It's laughable to think that we have that kind of money and it's confusing to try and understand exactly how the club is going to raise it.

They can’t mortgage anything else.  Bellefield is debt ridden, the megastore is owned by a bank – even the Park End car park is on charge to an investment house. Goodison Park can’t be used in collateral to extend borrowing, so where will £78M come from?

Let's ‘pretend’ that we find the money; what does £78M buy us?  I posted recently that I was absolutely for us getting this new stadium after visiting The Emirates.  I was knocked from pillar to post because relocation for Everton would not be anywhere close to what Arsenal has achieved with The Emirates.  I’ll happily take back my comments because the fact that we are not building an Emirates is unacceptable.  A ‘mid-level’ stadium is unacceptable and in no way reflects my ambition as an Evertonian.

It is clear that Destination Kirkby is not inclusive of the stadium that Everton should be building.  £78M is not enough to build something that can move us forward and attract the investment/buy-out that we crave (and deserve) — Ronaldo cost more!  I understand that the ‘value’ of the stadium would be £130M but that’s speculative; what’s clear is that Tesco are not putting their hand in their pockets — instead, they are lending us (leasing) a part of their investment.

I know that there is a big difference in land costs between Merseyside and London but the Gunners stadium was nearly 5 times bigger in terms of cost than that projected to complete the stadium in Kirkby.  Again... unacceptable.  Hopefully now you can start to see my stance on Destination Kirkby and I admit that I am, everyday, becoming more and more swayed towards hating everything that it stands for.  However, this was not the case in the not so distant past.

I was asked by the Editor to be more 'honest' on my stance over Destination Kirkby and I am trying to be:  Destination Kirkby stinks.  I voted Yes and I don’t regret that because I still see that ballot as a way of saying "I want a new stadium" (I also put my hand up for the Kings Dock). I was enchanted by the spin — the extra attendances, the corporate income etc, the planning of a new site, the partnerships with retail giants, the positive aspect of having a state-of-the-art stadium with little to pay for — you know the spin, and it sounded right for the club. Selling our souls was something that we needed to do but it had to be done with intelligence.

As mislead as I was, I still want that new stadium.  Destination Kirkby, however, for me, is no longer the answer.  It's no longer the answer because we can’t afford it. We can’t find £78M and the club can’t provide evidence to the contrary.  I can’t see a new investor/buyer wanting to buy into an agreement with Tesco, wanting to sit in a office in a mid-level stadium, and I most certainly can’t see why a company would want to put their name to a stadium (naming rights) that is mid-level. 

The only points that I feel squander the chance of bringing alternatives to the table are those similar to: ‘the current major stakeholders stand to make a killing if Destination Kirkby gets a Yes’. How will they make a killing? Surely getting the stadium does not mean that Everton will instantly be bought out for an astronomical amount of profit? This is where I feel the real opposition to Kirkby falls down.

A plus side to Destination Kirkby is that I won't get as much aggro from the wife on matchday. She can drive —  drop me off at the [insert name here] stadium while she does the weekly shop! That, I feel, is now the only benefit.

This is as honest as I can be.  I don’t want Destination Kirkby as it stands.  If the club can provide detail to convince me that this is as fantastic an option as they proclaim, then I will of course embrace that.  But then wouldn't every other Evertonian desperate for a positive resolution?

Reader Comments

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Dave Wilson
1   Posted 24/11/2009 at 06:46:43

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Quick! The horse has bolted, lock that stable door...
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
2   Posted 24/11/2009 at 06:40:44

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Good job, Jamie. I thought that might perhaps be what you were trying to say with your previous post. I’d not have much argument with any of that.

Regarding the issue of mine you reacted to near the end, even Neil Pearse has finally started to state that a Yes decision will mean a greater potential return for the major shareholders. The key is making the overall deal (the sale of the club) more attractive to a buyer...

Which, ironically, is something you want to. For me, it’s not a reason to be against DK — more a reason that explains why DK is being pushed so hard — to the exclusion of any other considerations — by the club.
Gavin Ramejkis
3   Posted 24/11/2009 at 07:18:17

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Fair play for your honesty Jamie but two things:

I want a Bentley - not going to happen as I have a wife and two sons - wanting and reality poles apart

Lots of Everton supporters want a new/improved stadium for the club hence the KD affair got such a groundswell in it’s favour and how much bitterness there is to BK’s monumental fuckup failure and lies to ruin it - the current incumbents are the most incompetant and by far the largest problem the club has - no confidence in any one of them, I have lost any faith in them to be honest or deliver anything, the documents at the hearing proved they were in it purely for selfish profit reasons, which is fair IF BK drops his "one of our own" bullshit.
Peter Griffin
4   Posted 24/11/2009 at 08:15:20

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Shame the board aren’t as honest.
Richard Dodd
5   Posted 24/11/2009 at 08:45:33

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As you would expect,I remain totally hooked on DK and suportive of Blue Bill’s handling of the matter.Over and over,I have been told that the £78M will only be avaulable to us FOR THIS PROJECT.No,it isn’t under anyone’s mattress but it’s there for the Club to draw on if the Minister gives us the OK.
Of course,if we get the nod and there’s any prevarication about this funding then even I might begin to lose faith!
Andy Morden
6   Posted 24/11/2009 at 09:18:49

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A parralell might be seen in the forthcoming general election. People are sick of New Labour and want a new Government. Thus they will vote Tory, despite the fact they don’t really want a tory government.

A truly depressing statement about modern life eh? Surely there have to be other ways for a mass of people to tell an institution they want change?

Brian Donnelly
7   Posted 24/11/2009 at 09:23:33

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You state “I still see that ballot as a way of saying I want a new stadium", but the ballot was not for this – it was specifically whether you wanted in a new stadium in Kirkby next to Tescos.

If the question had been ‘Do you think we need a new stadium?” then I might have voted yes, but it wasn’t, so I voted NO.

When the Kirkby proposal first emerged, I was probably slightly in favour – it all sounded so good. Only after thinking about the transport logistics and the fact that there seemed to be no real detail behind the proposal did my mind begin to turn. The pamphlet that was produced was the final nail in my consideration of a Yes vote – pure spin, lack of facts and assumptions that are plainly pie in the sky.

The yes votes are why Kirkby is even being considered. It has been impossible to unite Evertonians in any concerted manner against moving to Kirkby because more voted Yes than No. It pains me to say it, but this is one of the few indisputable facts in this whole sorry saga.

The bottom line is that we may end up in Kirkby thanks to voters, who don’t now, or ever thought that DK was a great idea but voted Yes because they felt we needed to do something. Great!

Ciarán McGlone
8   Posted 24/11/2009 at 09:26:30

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’I am asked whether or not I regret my decision to vote Yes and the answer is that I do not. I do regret that the vote was for Destination Kirkby ’

Make your mind up!
[apologies for the dreaded quote, followed by some nonsense]
Dan McKie
9   Posted 24/11/2009 at 09:19:50

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Im with Richard Dodd on the £78 Million. I think it will have been agreed on the basis that this project goes ahead, be it with the bank or an outside investor. Who knows, this maybe what Kenwright has been banging on about all this time. I refuse to believe that if this was such a bad idea, and Everton were going into it blind purely through lack of business skills, that companies like Tesco would be involved at all. They don’t need Everton! Im not saying we need them, but they certainly dont need us! If Evertons stadium gets knocked back and that results in them not being able to build a store in Kirkby, then boo hoo! They will probably start working on one of the other hundred sites they have lined up.
Peter Griffin
10   Posted 24/11/2009 at 09:43:10

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I honestly believe if there was another ballot now, in light of all the inquiry evidence, it would be a NO. Instead the club deceived fans into voting for something they won’t deliver.

As Brian said the vote wasn’t for a new stadium, it was for a new stadium in Kirkby. A lot of fans aren’t against moving (KD got a 86% yes vote) they’re just against moving out of our city to a "mid-level" stadium, that will be murder to get too and from, and needs 47,000 and sold out corporates every week to make £6million.

If we sell to buy now, what difference is £6million going to make to our squad?

Also, what’s the break even point for the stadium? If for example, average attendances are (an optimistic) 40,000 and corporates don’t sell out will we lose money?

As I’ve said before building a new stadium should be an exciting time. We should be inundating the club for updates, pictures and information regarding the new ground, but WE’RE NOT?

Can you imagine the anticipation of Arsenal, Spurs, Cardiff, eventually the RS fans etc etc with their developments?

All we have is a knot in our bellies.
Karl Masters
11   Posted 24/11/2009 at 10:18:37

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Well said, Jamie.

Pretty much every Evertonian wanted something done about the stadium, but we wanted a forward step, not a backward one!

As you rightly say, many people were seduced by the spin. The reality though for the likes of Leicester, Derby, Southampton, Boro, Coventry, Sunderland ( mostly ) and Reading has been an unobstructed view of their Team’s decline on the pitch. Even Arsenal have not won anything for 5 seasons and for all their pretty football, Gunners fans are getting fed up. Man City’s case is a one off in all ways.

A new stadium in itself guarantees nothing except debts. The right stadium with the right design and location could be a powerful weapon, the wrong design ( spaced out fans too far from the pitch deflating the atmosphere ) and the wrong location could spell disaster.
Alan Kirwin
12   Posted 24/11/2009 at 10:16:04

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Like many I don’t fully understand where the £78m is coming from. We obviously don’t have it now. Presumably the sales of Goodison & Bellefield are expected to contribute. Then what?

It would appear that the money may be asset-based borrowing against the projected value of a premier league club with a new stadium. But there are fears & complications.

The complications are all around the true feasibility of DK from a logistics, transport, capacity & fan support perspective. Much of the KEIOC data suggests that it will be a logistical disaster, making the journey far more difficult & time consuming for most fans as there is no new train service, few parking spaces etc etc.

The fear is that, if Everton’s hope or projections for near-capacity attendances at every game don’t materialise, then the club will not only be losing money compared to its current position, but have another large loan to fund for its stadium contribution.

That then raises the spectre of unknown parties having hold over Everton (as with Rangers now) or the club facing the risk of administration.

It just looks like one unholy mess. The club has to shoulder the blame for pretty much all of it because it has been economical or misleading with the facts and often played fast & loose with its promises and expectations.

Peter Griffin describes it perfectly. Unlike fans of other clubs there is ZERO excitement or anticipation amongst Evertonians. Just knots in our bellies. Evertonia is a pretty sad place to be right now.
John Hughes
13   Posted 24/11/2009 at 10:32:07

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Good honest article and I think the reason you where knocked from pillar to post in your original article about the emirates was because you almost said that it was against all odd that we must move and Kirkby was it. I voted No to Kirkby. I voted yes for the Kings Dock. If that tells you one thing it’s that my standards and expectations are a lot higher than the club are aiming for.
Here is a hypothetic (unfortunately) scenario for you.
Everton football Club issues a ballot Vote using exactly the same criteria for the Kirkby vote.

Option 1 – The phased re development of Goodison Park incorporating hotel and retail space.

Option 2 - New Stadium Built in partnership with a retail partner in Kirkby

Option 3 – A new stadium built in Kings Dock in partnership with retailers and hotels.

My question is would Option 2 even get a single vote?
Karl Masters
14   Posted 24/11/2009 at 10:36:57

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I think we should all arrange to simultaneously jump off a table and cause an earthquake in China to show the world how dissatisfied we are with DK.

There is more chance of that happening than our Board considering any other ideas and trying to make them happen.
Brian Donnelly
15   Posted 24/11/2009 at 10:56:07

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Peter G

To look at the figures for the break-even point on the new stadium, we need to make some assumptions:

Crowd average – say 40,000 (extremely optimistic in my view) instead of the 47,000+ that EFC envisage.

Price per seat - £35 - probably lower than the reality as EFC have stated that they expect to be able to price the seats higher than the current situation.

Then for the 19 home league games:
19 x £35 x 7000 = £4.7 million lost revenue.

This is without the catering sales that these 7000 people would generate. In other words you have probably lost most of your £6m gain around about an average of 40,000 and that’s with all the corporate side sold-out – what’s the chance of that?

Furthermore we can’t even be sure that the £6m is still valid – the cost of borrowing has shot up & EFC are not exactly forthcoming on any detail. So this financial win win situation looks more to me like a huge smokescreen – the winners of DK being others rather than EFC.

All I can say is that financially I will gain, because I won’t have a season ticket anymore!

You are so right about the lack of enthusism for DK (even from the Yes voters).

Ciarán McGlone
16   Posted 24/11/2009 at 11:03:46

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To be honest I’ve little sympathy for Jamie’s position..

The information was there from the beginning that the powers that be were filling us full of shite....A little less naievty and we wouldn’t be in this position!

So, top marks for admitting your marking for making it in the first place.
Nick Entwistle
17   Posted 24/11/2009 at 11:36:08

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Cognitive dissonance...
Chris Butler
18   Posted 24/11/2009 at 11:47:54

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We are the Mosside of Premier League clubs we are actually one of the poorest clubs in the Premier League in the 3rd poorest postcode in Britian. Being raised in L4 on the other side of the park we’ve missed out on so many oppurtunties. Both merseyside clubs need to accept that only a joint ground would be acceptable as they struggle finacially like us at the moment.

We are not a glamorous club by any meansbut that is nothing to do with out ground. Chelsea is a dump never been there due to price but they have done well and they’ve got a shit ground. Most corparates want to go to a ground where they don’t have to walk past in their opnion the rif raf to their entrance.

Kevin Sparke
19   Posted 24/11/2009 at 12:22:14

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Good honest piece Jamie; if a little confused.

I never got a vote despite being an active supporter for 35 years and a season ticket for a substantial amount of that time - I’ll exercise my litte bit of democracy by not bothering to go Kirkby... (Cheers Bill)

I’ve stated my reasons many times, so I’ll not bother here - but by moving to Kirkby Everton FC are downsizing to fit their new profile as a Coventry City, Southampton or Bolton - a natural mid-table Champioship team with a mid-table stadium.

When the government give their nod of approval - which they will... expect some nasty future surprises.

EG a lower cap on capacity than previously thought; extortionate car parking prices for those who are able to find a place and long, long walks for those who can’t. Long delays post kick off etc

Still... that’s democracy for you - vote for one thing and get something else...
Jamie Rowland
20   Posted 24/11/2009 at 12:47:04

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John Hughes, I would have voted Option 3, for Kings Dock, any day. I voted yes to Kings Dock — again, being to naive to believe that it would come to any fruition.

Sadly, we are the only club left that doesn’t have an open board (sometimes, like we see with Liverpool, that can be a bad thing). The sheer fact that we know nothing and everything is always kept under lock and key makes alarm bells ring for me. I thought, and here was my mistake, that in the media franzy that surrounded Destination Kirkby, everything was on the table for all to see. How wrong was I.

I voted yes because it did seem to be the Deal of the Century. Now, of course, with the efforts from fans etc, the picture is not as rosy. In fact its far from it.

As I have stated in the past, I am not that bothered with the transport issues etc.etc. I’m more concerned that we have sold our souls to the wrong devil.

I’m sure that the club has plans to finance £78m but at what cost is that planning going to come at? That's the scary part. Loans have already been secured on everything (extent of Everton’s debt document) - including land behind the Park End, Bellefield and even Finch Farm... There is nothing left to finance?

The fact that the club has no interest in entertaining discussion and seemingly can’t wait to say ’told ya so’ is a massive dissapointment. I love Everton and I have always pledged my support against the simple notion that we have always been honest. We’ve worked hard and we’ve struggled without complaint. We have never used the excuses we hear from our red counter parts and we have never been as arrogant either.

But Its not an honest club anymore. It's a disaster and the more i think about the ramblings off the field, the more I worry that the next corner we turn is going to be the fatal one.

Alan Clarke
21   Posted 24/11/2009 at 12:52:48

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I voted NO but not because I didn’t want the same as you Jamie. I’d like a new stadium and all the riches that some people think it will bring. Nearly everyone was in favour of Kings Dock.

I remember sitting up late into the night for the weeks prior to the vote trying to find as much information out as possible. There was fuck all information available. No design, no information on transport and no information on how it would be paid for. All the club had provided us with was a 4 page leaflet with people like vested interest Terry Leahy and Andy Johnson saying how great it would be. AJ - he doesn’t even play for us now!

In hindsight I’m even more amazed that anyone voted YES given the total lack of information put forward. Would any of you agree to move house without knowing what house you were moving to?

Since the vote as more facts emerge about the project it shows either the club totally decieved the fans or don’t know what they’re doing. Shit stadium design, shit transport system, attendance cap, no staging of other events which would provide priceless income. Plus that whole fiasco with Wyness.

And still, there seems to be no accountability for any of this. For those who voted YES but would now vote NO, what are you going to do about it? I feel you owe me.
Tommy Coleman
22   Posted 24/11/2009 at 13:06:01

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It doesn’t sound to me like the funding has yet been found and agreed. This from the website Robert Elstone
blog :

"Accordingly, we believe a ‘yes’ decision is the right decision for Everton. A ‘yes’ will precipitate further discussions with our partners, firming up of the final pieces of the stadium specification and a focus on the funding of the new facility. Hard work, lots of challenges, plenty of excitement, new opportunities and, ultimately, a goal to be proud of. "

I can see the worst case scenario of us getting the ’Yes’ to build then us running out of money half way through because spiraling costs. Bill Kenwright style.
Jamie Rowland
23   Posted 24/11/2009 at 13:06:52

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Is that cognitive dissonance towards DK, my article or both?
Dave Lynch
24   Posted 24/11/2009 at 13:11:01

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It was very clear from the onset that the sums for DK did not add up. It was also very clear that the vote/ballot was rigged/manipulated in favour of a yes outcome. It was even more clear that we had been lied to in the past via KD.

Being "enthralled with the spin." Is not an excuse for voting yes. More like being blind to the truth. Many posters more knowledgeable than me warned of the pitfalls of this move. Both monetary and location wise. The truth was out there, you just had to open your eyes.

Honest article though and for that I commend you.

Eugene Ruane
25   Posted 24/11/2009 at 13:12:42

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Sorry Jamie, but I’m with Ciaran on this.

You remind me of one of those punters who buys an ’18 ct, solid gold’ chain for fifteen knicker, from one of those shifty bastards outside Harrods.

"Stand on me my love, this is SOLID 18 carat, white spanish gold. Why is it only fifteen quid? Coz I need to get rid before I get my collar felt - ’old up yer money so I can see..." etc

Then later on when they find out it’s painted lead, cry "I’ve been fuckin’ done!"

Well, as the cool people used to say in the 80’s, no shit Sherlock.

Was all the information there for you when it came time to vote?

No it certainly wasn’t.

However you DID know the ’salesman’ wasn’t to be trusted, but you still ’bought the chain’.

NB: And just watch how fast the gold comes off if it does get the nod.
Peter Griffin
26   Posted 24/11/2009 at 13:28:02

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In the week of one of the most important decisions in the clubs history, go on the clubs official site to find information. Nothing on the home page. You have to go to match, scroll down to the item second bottom on the list for a section called "The Kirkby Project"

I haven’t heard any "excitement" or anything "to be proud of" from anybody at the club. I don’t know a single fan who is looking forward to an approval.
Larry Boner
27   Posted 24/11/2009 at 13:29:50

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Anybody, anybody ,who voted yes for the Kirby move can not possibly understand what the history of Everton means to the City of Liverpool. To give all of the 130 years of this club for a shed in Kirby, or for that mind, a 60,000 state-of-the-art stadium in Kirby, would be the biggest mistake any club could make, let alone one founded in this city.

I was born and bred in this city as was EFC,without Everton LFC would not have existed, we will be coming full circle except if DK goes ahead only LFC will exist in this city, what a legacy to leave for the young Evertonians now, who have based their pride on Everton being the original club of Liverpool.

The nightmare is looming and the Derby insults will just be the start.

Pablo Mc
28   Posted 24/11/2009 at 13:39:47

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As has been said earlier Jamie, a very honest article, and I too will be honest - my immediate following thought was "what a fucking idiot !".

The ballot paper made it VERY clear exactly what you were voting for - relocating Everton Football Club to Kirkby - no matter what YOU claim you were voting for, that IS what you voted for.

The one person I know who had admitted to voting Yes (and he’s not the brightest at the best of times) was full of arguments why he had done it - nearly all of them involving the "information" given in the glossy brochure that the club had provided with the ballot paper - and within 5 minutes, every single one of his arguments had been shot down in flames and he admitted that he had been duped and taken in, and regretted his vote - and this was before the enquiry, before KEIOC was even formed. You don’t even have the excuse of being taken in by the brochure - you were voting for something completely different !!

I’m not sure if anyone (KEIOC maybe ?) have a link to an online version of that glossy brochure but I can even remember the very line where his face fell and he realised he’d been had....It was a quote from Lee Carsley and went something like this :

"I believe Everton Football Club needs to move to a new stadium [in Kirkby] in order to progress"

In other words, Lee Carsley had never even SAID the words "in Kirkby" and they’d had to crowbar them into their own progaganda leaflet in order to try to sway people !!! That to me summed up how incredibly desperate they were, and at that stage I (naively) thought there was no way they would even get 10% of people to vote for it, so I am utterly utterly amazed that we find ourselves in the situation we do, days (hours ?) away from the biggest decision in the history of our football club.

I never thought it would come this far and I’m sorry Jamie, but brace yourself for more honesty - it’s because of idiotic decisions like yours to vote Yes that it has.
Brian Noble
29   Posted 24/11/2009 at 14:12:38

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Everton may well ’have access’ to the £78M they will need to deliver DK but if it all has to be borrowed then interest payments alone will negate any new income they get from the move.

My gut tells me that Bullshit Bill will breathe a sigh of relief if a No vote saves him from Kings Dock Mark2 and the danger of the club imploding Southampton style!

Karl Masters
30   Posted 24/11/2009 at 14:24:26

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Brian. You’d like to think that Bill is hoping for a No so he can wriggle away from Tesco, but in all probability he must know that a No will see Green and Earl calling in their money and what then? Selling the likes of Rodwell?

I think it’s bad news wahtever happens. However, I would still rather see us have to sell players and not go to Kirkby than go there. In the long term, that would still be better. Hopefully a No will see an investor buy the Club for sensible money (£50m or under) and start work on redeveloping Goodison, something that should have started properly 10-15 years ago.
Richard Jones
31   Posted 24/11/2009 at 14:25:01

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Wow Richard I bow to your knowledge here, where is the £78 million coming from we would all love to know? perhaps you can tell us where the £54 million is coming from too?

I dont think you can loose though here either it goes through and football’s equivelant of the great Rock n Roll swindle moves forward, how will you know what money has been put into what, if it doesn’t I’m sure you’ll be on here holding court to anyone who will listen about how Bill and the board have had the rug pulled from under them.
Ken Buckley
32   Posted 24/11/2009 at 14:23:53

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I have followed the DK affair with interest from the start. Initially I was a big ’don’t know’ The vote was for the location of Kirkby and that was a ’No’ . But along with it the club said it was the best option for it and one they could afford. The then CEO Mr Wyness stated many times ’ There is no alternative’ .

My thought was that just because I didn’t agree with the location should I vote to hold the club back from what could be our only chance of progression. Since that time the waters seem muddier than ever and arguments are still put forward for and against and, even after following the public inquiry carefully, I am still not sure what is fact or perception.

If the nod is given and it is built will it turn out to be the launch pad for the success we crave or just one big mistake due to restrictions that may have been put to it. Will it live up to the boast that was put out at the time of the brochure for having the best access and egress of any stadium in the north west?

I noted that a two mile radial no parking restriction around the stadium on matchdays was mooted and I wondered how this might fit with the club looking to attract some 40 odd thousand fans to games. I could not imagine the builders of places such as Cheshire Oaks agreeing to something like that as it might impinge on how well any traders proffited if they did take up a unit.

Still if the nod is given then things may become a little clearer.

Nick Entwistle
33   Posted 24/11/2009 at 15:00:36

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Hey Jamie,

I refer the cognitive dissonance to your post-vote justification as described in the artical.

You may well have cast your vote as a protest, but that seems strange considering the ballot was to give the Everton board a mandate for this stadium specifically.

But hey, I’m just frowing out an idea... maybe right, maybe wrong.
Alan Clarke
34   Posted 24/11/2009 at 15:23:09

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In light of what you’ve said, Ken, how could anyone vote Yes? There was far too much uncertainty. That line of "No alternative" was a great manipulator of the masses - force people to believe we’re screwed if they don’t vote Yes.
Jamie Rowland
35   Posted 24/11/2009 at 15:18:36

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’My thought was that just because I didn’t agree with the location should I vote to hold the club back from what could be our only chance of progression’.

In a round about way, that was my thoughts at the time. I do also admit that the spin was appealing.

I dont think it was quite the same as buying gold painted lead from outside of Harrods but i agree that the wool was pulled over my eyes with the blind belief that a new stadium (for free) was part of the answer to the ’why aren’t we great anymore’ question.

Sentiment plays no part for me...history is exactly that and if it concerns you so much you should really be arguing why we aren’t breaking any records in building this stadium like we did when building the last. Our history often quotes the great ’Everton firsts’ (like undersoil heating)...This stadium wont boast any of that other than perhaps ’the first time its taken 3 hours to get home from the match’.

I voted yes, to not hold back on progression but fully understood that the yes was attributed to a solution in Kirkby. I regret that part. Voting Yes however for a new stadium was obvious - the kirkby element was a downside but the main argument (at the time) around the ground was that it moved us out of the city - that argument was not valid for me personally. So I voted yes.
Phil Bellis
36   Posted 24/11/2009 at 15:35:58

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"But Its not an honest club anymore."
I hope you’ve come to this conclusion since you voted Yes and didn’t hold this belief pre-vote.
You were lied to and you foolishly believed the lies. It happens in life, trust me.
One hopes you didn’t get married just because you wanted a wife.
Brian Waring
37   Posted 24/11/2009 at 15:45:54

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Jamie, I can see where you’re coming from. You wanted a new stadium, and wasn’t bothered where it was located, as long as it was what it said on the tin, world class, virtually free, best traffic infrastructure etc. You were probalby being just a tad naive to believe all the spin. I, and I could probalby speak for a lot of the other lads on here, never fell for all the crap, because there has been plenty of examples from Billy liar, as to why the man can’t be trusted.
Ciarán McGlone
38   Posted 24/11/2009 at 15:48:08

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You’re still trying to justify your original position while meekly apologising..

The original problems were obvious and cogent - and that’s before the location is even considered...the primary problems were simply matters of ’information’..

There was absolutely no information on which an informed decision could have been made...and you failed to recognise that..

Stop trying to disassociate voting for a new stadium, from voting for Kirkby - they were the same thing.

And no amount of sophistry will excuse the fact that you failed to do even a basic investigation of the hard and cold facts.

If you had, you would’ve realised there was none.
Jamie Rowland
39   Posted 24/11/2009 at 16:04:19

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Ciaron, I am not apologising —- I am admitting a mistake.

I did fall for the patter because at the time the argument being bandied about amongst fans was in relation to the sentiment of not being in the city boundaries. That was, for me, a dud argument. (For others it is relevant — and that's okay).

So, when faced with the patter and the counter argument of ’what about our heritage’ — I voted yes.

In hindsight, it was wrong to vote for Kirkby given the problems that the club faces but I didn’t know/understand that at the time — i just wanted a new stadium.

I will apologise for not doing more research but at the time I was of the thought that it was clear-cut — as naive as that may well be.

Phil Bellis
40   Posted 24/11/2009 at 16:31:31

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Jamie...thank you for conceding the sentiment but, dud argument or not, I have a nightmarish vision of arriving at Lime Street or JL Airport with the (future) grandchildren and being greeted with the legend

’Welcome to Liverpool - Home of the Beatles and Liverpool Football Club’

Those who undertstand...
Ste Traverse
41   Posted 24/11/2009 at 16:58:32

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Pablo, The club's trick of wheeling out the most popular players and manager at the time of the vote, putting words into their mouth encouraging us to vote in favour of Kirkby, was the cheapest lowest stunt ever under Kenwright’s leadership, and theres been lots to choose from. It disgusted me.
Karl Masters
42   Posted 24/11/2009 at 17:06:39

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I wonder whish football club John Denham supports?
Karl Masters
43   Posted 24/11/2009 at 17:07:50

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Having just looked him up on Wikipedia, I see he is a keen Southampton fan.

Hmm.... well he should know what damage a new Stadium can do then, let’s just hope he calls it right.
Pablo Mc
44   Posted 24/11/2009 at 18:05:13

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Ste Traverse - it was a really low trick yeah (especially as it was clear from the timescales that none of those players would be playing there even if it all flew through) but my own "favourite" of Mr. Kenwright’s is very personal to me.

On Goodison Road, on the Saturday before Wayne Rooney was sold, I gave him one of the leaflets I’d been distributing up and down Country Rd all morning, opposing the sale. Mr Kenwright told me to my face (making sure that everyone within hearing distance could hear him of course) that "Wayne was on the phone to me this very morning, crying his eyes out because he has to go "

That was the point it all changed for me and I became 100% sure that the man was/is a charlatan and liar who will (and has) done anything he can to keep hold of his train set. Shameful :(
Neil Steele
45   Posted 24/11/2009 at 21:21:57

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Another in a long list of justifications from ’yes’ voters for their idiotic and inexplicable actions. " I want a new stadium so I voted yes"!! Jaysus, you couldn;t make it up! I voted ’yes’ for the Kings Dock, because it was a project befitting of the club, superb, worldclass in every way...everything this sack of shite ’project’ was supposed to be but isn’t. I’d still like a stadium like that...I didn’t vote yes to the 3rd rate cowshed to make that point though. Cheers anyway, cheers to all of you ’yes’ voters with your loony logic.
Graeme Bradman
46   Posted 24/11/2009 at 21:53:41

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I think you have just hit on one of the main problems with the debate prior to the vote. At that time KEIOC focused on the city boundary issue. The club backed by a majority of the local media responded by labelling those against as being poor weak emotional fools. Those of us who had spent the summer of 2007 doing our research new by the time of the vote that the Kirkby location was a potential disaster, but we did not have forum to develop our arguments.
Karl Masters
47   Posted 24/11/2009 at 22:21:45

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Is there anybody out there apart from Mad Dicky Dodd, the Board of EFC and Tesco who actually thinks DK is a good idea anymore?

Seriously. I won’t abuse anybody who is, but I am just curious to know.
Keith Richmond
48   Posted 24/11/2009 at 22:34:42

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The flip side of the logic in this article is that voting ‘No’ to DK equates to not wanting a new stadium. I haven’t yet come across an Everton supporter who doesn’t want a new or renovated stadium.

For those of us who were not given a vote it’s reassuring to know that nearly everyone who voted ‘Yes’ actually took the trouble to catch a bus or train to Kirkby and walk around the place to see the site and local facilities for themselves before casting their votes……, they all did, didn’t they?

Regarding those who voted ‘Yes’ who now regret it, it’s not only the ‘No’ voters to whom something is owed as suggested in an earlier post, it’s also owed to those regular attendees who weren’t given a vote.

I’m getting a feeling in my stomach that I haven’t had since before those last-day Wimbledon and Coventry matches in 1994 and 1998 respectively. If the decision is ‘No’ I’ll breathe a sigh of relief at a narrow escape. If it’s a ‘Yes’ then a certain Spurs fan will get his pound of flesh and what could euphemistically be described as a very interesting experiment, unprecedented in the human geography of football in this country, will begin.

Dennis Stevens
49   Posted 24/11/2009 at 22:25:46

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A much better piece, Jamie - although I still disagree with much of what you have to say, but well done for saying it anyway, especially as it’s a tad more fathomable than the previous piece.

I do have some sympathy with the "Yes" voters beacuse my intitial feelings were that it was a case of Hobson’s Choice. However, even by the time of the vote I was developing a healthy cynicism towards the whole project, especially after Wyness claimed we’d see an increase in revenue of approximately £10 million - I figured that after debt repayments & additional costs we wouldn’t have much left to support Moyes, if indeed anything at all. This still seems to be the scenario : a huge gamble in the slim hope of a modest return.

You didn’t need to vote "Yes" to show your enthusiasm for a new stadium in principle - the KD proposal had shown that a clear majority of Evertonians would be willing to move from Goodison Park if the right opportunity was presented. Sadly, KD was screwed up & DK would probably screw up EFC.

In the case of DK the lack of enthusiasm was plain to see even in the Poll they conducted : the club selected the electorate & offered only one proposal to support, which was heavily promoted & although they won the vote, the "Yes" vote was actually less than half of those offered a vote - hardly an overwhelming mandate!

Oh, & you’re probably wrong about there being no new firsts with DK - I fear that if we proceed with this scheme DK will host Everton’s first ever appearance outside the top 2 tiers of English football, let’s hope the long term ramifications are not even worse than that.

Kevin Mitchell
50   Posted 24/11/2009 at 22:53:08

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Jamie, one simple question: why has it taken two years to realise you and the other gullible selfish Yes voters have fucked up big time? Was it a coma?

You say relocating outside of Liverpool wasn’t a concern to you, that tells me everything I need to know.

Since the vote (bent in my opinion) there has been fact after fact given on this and every other site of the horrors of the true facts as they came out.

Sounds like you're feeling guilty and sorry for yourself. Well brace yourself because if it gets the nod there’s going to be a lot of tears shed.

Colin Fitzpatrick
51   Posted 24/11/2009 at 22:56:52

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Sorry, I didn’t want to get involved in this but I have to refute what you say about KEIOC; it has never been KEIOC’s case that it was a boundary issue; this was the clubs attempt to dumb down the debate through the media.

KEIOC’s case was primarily a planning concern that the proposed application did not meet the KRUDP and the RSS, then it was an issue concerning the proposed stadium’s location in relation to the hub of the city centre, the finance and finally the fallacy of Tesco’s alleged contribution.

It’s a little insulting to suggest KEIOC have failed Evertonians, one look through their website will see the plethora of information gained over the years, even today they’re still working hard for Evertonians, this evening they’ve spent six hours dealing with the media.

Roger Domal
52   Posted 24/11/2009 at 23:17:40

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This is a time warp. I’ve seen this column and responses about 50 times in the last couple of years. However, one thing strikes me as new now. There are NO DK supporters left. And imagine in the two intervening years it takes (or 3 or 4) to build this outhouse, we drop out of the Top Flight. Not unrealistic. What then. Are we not Notts?
Graeme Bradman
53   Posted 24/11/2009 at 23:23:10

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Sorry no offence intended. You guys have always put forward well thought out logical argument, However many people at the time concentrated on issues like Liverpool FC being the only club in the city etc, and this was jumped upon by people like Alan Jackson and others in the media as the main issue. Even business folk like Bill Gleeson in the Daily Post used this against us making out that it was our hearts ruling our heads. The media as always were too lazy to explore the issues in any detail, and we were left with Toffeweb to express our views.
Colin Fitzpatrick
54   Posted 25/11/2009 at 00:11:02

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No problem Graeme, your analysis of the media is spot on, let’s hope they make amends this time around!
Frank McGregor
55   Posted 25/11/2009 at 00:14:01

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Colin,I realise that you put a lot of effort into the articles you post and you may have the best of intentions; however, to suggest that KEIOC was primarily a planning concern certainly does not come across that way. From my prespective it comes across as an organisation that has an ulterior motive or hidden agenda as the old saying goes, "follow the money and you will find the real reason" for the objection.

I believe that it has in fact failed Evertonians. It would be refreshing to have a more positive discussion on how we can best move the club forward to an alternative venue but please don’t come up with re-build Goodison.

Tony I'Anson
56   Posted 25/11/2009 at 00:22:52

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Re where the money is coming from, we all know that you get nothing for free in life and this is no exception. I remember raising an eyebrow at the deal of the century line.

Re EFC contribution to pay for the build, Rodwell will cover more than half of it when sold to Chelsea. £15mil for Arteta and we are nearly there.

Our best players are our only assets not mortgaged to the high heavens. These would have been worthy sacrifices for the right stadium in the right location on ground that Everton actually owned outright.

Colin Fitzpatrick
57   Posted 25/11/2009 at 00:33:53

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Frank, "follow the money" "organisation that has an ulterior motive " explain?
Chad Schofield
58   Posted 25/11/2009 at 04:25:17

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Hello Jamie,
Don’t worry I’m not going to "jump all over you" and I didn’t get to read you removed response... frankly it’s in the past and I’m really not into the whole petty vendetta thing. I certainly understand your initial post far more than perhaps the last and whilst to me it seems as though you slightly contradict yourself on some of the follow ups I’m not going to have a go... it all does feel like a sorry state of affairs.

Brian Donnelly made me laugh with his response and I certainly feel very much like Keith Richmond - a "No" is not even a dance in the street moment, but simply a sigh of relief.

Colin Fitzpatrick, I can only commend you on the work that you and KEIOC have done and continue to do... however, I would argue that saying that a group called Keep Everton In Our City’s main objection was not the fact that Everton are planning to relocate outside the city boundaries, seem to stem from the same logic of those who voted ’Yes’ but actually meant something else to DK.
Colin Fitzpatrick
59   Posted 25/11/2009 at 07:51:38

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Hello Chad, a name is just a name, calling a group "keep everton in or around our city centre, preferably the north of the city" isn’t that catchy!! I think you’ll agree this is mere semantics, actions speak louder than words.
Jamie Rowland
60   Posted 25/11/2009 at 09:42:17

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"Gullible and Selfish"... please.

Misguided I’ll accept, stupid for not doing more homework I’ll accept... but not direct insult because I voted different to you.

As has been discussed, KEIOC was seemingly new - popping up in a counter attack to moving the club out of the city boundary. Colin, this may not be true but the impression at the time was exactly this.

People have mentioned that I should have checked the facts before voting...
What facts? — we’ve already established that the media showed support, top businessmen showed support... and the argument against was shown to be nothing more than one for ’protecting the heritage’.. Indeed, that was wrong, but had you asked me at the time my response would have been along those lines.

I don’t care too much that we were once world beaters, that we used to win the league, Goodison was once heralded as the greatest stadium blah blah. Its history — and its nice to have, as is the Everton Collection — but in reality it adds fuck all to the current situation. So in making the decision, I cast sentiment to one side — which, at the time, removed the KEIOC argument because of what was being said.

Others who voted No, if they could be honest, did they really vote No because they seen disaster? Or was it hearts ruling heads? Its very easy now, after seeing the fall out, to say you did it because you read the evidence and forecasted disaster — but I’d laugh at that response in the majority of cases because the information wasn’t broadcast enough before the vote — as cunning as a plan as that may seem by the club.

Chad Schofield
61   Posted 25/11/2009 at 11:24:56

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Yours and KEIOC’s actions have been great - and amounted to far more than debating on her or other forums. Unfortunately, a name is not just a name when it comes to something like this.

Semantics it may be, but if the RSPCA helped children as well then perhaps using the acronym for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would not be the best name.

The name KEIOC allowed it to be dismissed as merely a group who simply were against Kirkby because it is outside of the city boundary. People of Jamie’s dispostion needed to do no more research as the club could simply tell him that this was the case and the name proved it. Perhaps a cheesier simpler Destination Kirkby No Way (DKNW), or even FDKYLC would have given the group a broader appeal on the acronym scale (if there is such a thing).

That said, the board of The Peoples’ Club have not exactly shown their Nil Satis Nisi Optimum credentials and simply borrowed Leahy’s company’s well know slogan.
Pablo Mc
62   Posted 25/11/2009 at 11:50:43

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Jamie : "People have mentioned that I should have checked the facts before voting...
What facts?"

You shouldn’t have been looking at for facts AGAINST the project, you should have beem looking at the complete ABSENCE of facts supporting it !! The glossy brochure had a couple of pictures that could have been knocked up in a few hours (and were at night with the now-fabled - and since knocked back - "bat lights") and various quotes from players etc. saying that we "need to move forward".

There were NO facts presented in the brochure whatsoever, regarding costings, seating plans, accessibility, transport, etc. and it was - at least to me and everyone bar one person that I spoke to - evident from the content (see my earlier comment about the Lee Carsley quote) that it was pure desperation and conjecture on the part of the club !

The "Yes" voters voted purely based on that glossy brochure with the bat lights, and the various soundbites at the time - "effectively free", "Tesco giving us £50m", "best transport links in the country", "no plan B".

You/they shouldn’t have been looking for facts AGAINST the plan - you should have been looking at the facts FOR the plan, when you are voting on the most important decision in the history of our football club.

You didn’t and neither did the other Yes voters or they wouldn’t have voted the way they did because those facts they were looking for simply weren’t there and never have been.
Alan Clarke
63   Posted 25/11/2009 at 13:40:10

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Some of my family voted Yes and I’m sick of hearing about how they’ve made a mistake. It’s all very well people like Jamie coming on here and saying it was a mistake to vote Yes. You and all the other idiots who voted Yes should start doing something. Why don’t you organise a protest or at least a petition? Why don’t you create something in the press to say how unhappy you are about being misled? Why don’t you put your hands in your pockets and contribute to help KEIOC’s campaign? It might be futile but at least try and make amends.

I think you’ve let all of us No voters and our Evertonian ancestors down big time and it’s on your conscience if we end up some no-mark club in a shit stadium outside of the city the club belongs to. It’s my club you’ve potentially ruined.
Jamie Rowland
64   Posted 25/11/2009 at 16:07:22

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Other than vote no...what have, barring KEIOC campaigners, the other 40% done to protest?


So infact, as silence is often considered consent, the lack of protest except that coming from KEIOC speaks volumes...
John Keating
65   Posted 25/11/2009 at 16:57:39

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Sorry Jamie I don’t think its a good article at all. If DK is passed it will be in part down to you and those other YES voters whatever their reasons. In my humble opinion it will be the beginning of the end of our club.What I find absolutely unbelievable and scary is that as an Evertonian you have no place for location and history. I really feel sorry for you, however you will have to live with the consequences of your actions
Steve Taylor
66   Posted 25/11/2009 at 18:21:38

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My biggest fear over DK.

If we move, and the ’investment’ to make us a premier league winning side, and/or regular champions’ league participants, does not come in, where do we go from there?
My fear is that the club would be dead within a generation.
Would Terry Tesco care?

Football finances and incomes are lorded over by a SKY funded cartel, and some very big clubs are going to go to the wall in this country before too much longer.

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