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Is There a DK Riddle?

By Colin Fitzpatrick :  25/11/2009 :  Comments (46) :

Everton’s proposed relocation always attracts a great debate; Evertonians remain divided over Destination Kirkby and next weeks decision will, hopefully, go some way to determining, if not actually deciding, Everton’s future direction.

The pros and cons of the move have been debated time and time again, so lets leave that particular area of contention well alone while I ask the collective brains of the TW posters to discuss how Everton will, or perhaps, will not, benefit from their proposed move.

Before Arsenal’s move to Ashburton Grove the 35,500-seat capacity Highbury had 1,044,266 fans through the turnstiles generating an average income per head of £42.13 [a simple method for flattening out the range in ticket prices], which resulted in an annual matchday income of £44m. They had a capped season ticket waiting list of 20,000 so, when moving to the Emirates, they knew they had a reasonable chance of filling their new 60,000 seat home.

In their first season at the 60,000 seat Emirates they had 1,838,152 fans through the turnstiles generating £91m of matchday income or £49.50 average income per head.

Using their last published accounts LFC posted a matchday income figure of £39m. Their stadium capacity is 45,362 and in 07/08 they attracted 1,246,551 through their turnstiles giving an average income per head of £31.28. Liverpool intends to move to a new 73,000-seat stadium which will generate an additional £50m; they have a season ticket waiting list of over 65,000.

At Goodison, again using the last published accounts, Everton had 913,672 fans through the turnstile of their 40,000 seat capacity stadium contributing £20,460,000, an average income per head of £22.39. Everton has no season ticket waiting list but have planned to move to a new 50,000-seat stadium.

Now we have the tricky job of estimating what Kirkby will generate, using the available facts and making one or two safe assumptions we should be able to accurately assess the figures:

Everton aren’t forecasting an average attendance of 47,000 over all the events held at the stadium; the figure is 44,000 for 28 events; comprising a minimum of 22 Everton FC home games, at 47,000, plus up to six other sporting events at a lower attendance level [e.g. boxing, U21 football internationals, rugby league or union, etc.]      

Everton plan to increase ticket prices to reflect the improved facilities and the profile of fans will change due to Everton’s targeting of corporate and club class seating. Starting from a very low base, £22.29, I’ve estimated a 30% increase should be achievable. 

So for Kirkby Everton are estimating 1,232,000 supporters passing through their turnstiles, generating £35,863,520 or £29.11 per head. Bringing all this information together we get this:



Season Attendance


Per head


























Everton has confirmed that £6m of additional operating profit will be produced through these attendance figures at their Kirkby stadium; discuss.

Reader Comments

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Mike McLean
1   Posted 25/11/2009 at 08:32:05

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No riddle. The DK project is shit.

Attempting to label BK as the fundamental source of all evil is also shit. The one continuing tradition of Everton FC is that the Board of Directors will be visionless, pompous, and clueless. BK is just the latest in a long, long line of twats.

As to alternatives, my backyard is free most Saturday. The parking is inadequate and the facilities limited. I have to limit attendance because I need to put the washing out and entertain friends occasionally. But hell, would it be so much worse than Kirkby?
Anthony Newell
2   Posted 25/11/2009 at 08:38:02

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Mike, as long as you have a place to park my bicycle and a supermarket close by where I could do my usual post-match grocery shopping.
Chris Briddon
3   Posted 25/11/2009 at 08:43:55

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I’m confused, what point are you trying to make here.

I would also like to point out that a new stadium (wherever it may be - I am hoping to discuss practical issues not Kirkby blinkered issues) with better designed retail areas will be able to sell more produce at half-time / before the game. Too many times at Goodison I have given up on the idea of getting a dring / snack at half-time due to the endless queues and crushes and the likelihood of missing some of the game whilst waitng.

If these facilities are improved and queuing time is greatly reduced, there is an opportunity for increased revenues here as well. Have you also taken into accound reduced prices at GP for restricted views which wouldn’t be a factor in a new stadium?
Richard Jones
4   Posted 25/11/2009 at 08:54:10

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I’ve had similar experiances at Bolton and Wigan Chris both mid range stadiums.
Richard Jones
5   Posted 25/11/2009 at 08:56:01

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I think the £78million debt will eat up at least £5million of the £15illion gross figure and thats interest alone.
Gareth Humphreys
6   Posted 25/11/2009 at 09:17:40

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The figures the board are using are smoke and mirrors - if a new owner comes in and has a cheap new ground that doesn’t need any money spent on maintenance the sale price goes up and that Crook Kenwright gets a big fat profit.
Mike McIlroy
7   Posted 25/11/2009 at 09:26:27

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I agree DK project IS shit and I just feel wil be another embarassment to our great club. We’ll be forced from the city boundaries to a retail park. FFS look at Spurs’ proposed stadium, Emirates, OT even the Stadium of Fucking Light is better. Honestly the frustration of following this club brings me to tears sometimes.
Chris Halliday
8   Posted 25/11/2009 at 09:20:04

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It makes me laugh when the club seem bemused by the fans' anger at the move, when it has been championed as a cheap, business-led model that clearly will cause EFC to lose its links to the city, cause access/transport porblems for fans all for a few million a year move.

Are they that out of touch or are they as I suspect backed into a corner with no way out but to sell out. Fuck trying to compete with the Top 4 for now (no loss here anyway), this project is not sustainable for fans now or future fans, it can’t be no matter how much we need it now.

We should only leave GP for the right project that is sustainable for 100 years not the next 25, it is a project that lets the board bail out and leave the mess for someone else to deal with. End of.

Jamie Rowland
9   Posted 25/11/2009 at 09:32:51

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So basically, even with the [insert name here] stadium in Kirkby, we would only be increasing the matchday revenue (thats revenue, not profit) by £7 a head. This is then multiplied by an overall attendance number that is based on ’one or two safe assumptions’...

We can’t fill Goodison park. Maybe thats because its a bit of a dump, maybe its because we are inconsistent on the pitch. Maybe its because the away fans (barring Liverpool and United) never fill their allocation and the club is inept at handing out tickets for the upper tier at a cut price.

Fact is - we don’t fill Goodison and we dont have a season ticket waiting list.

Wyness attempted to create one, along with his promise of creating a fanbase that rivalled the top four - he failed.
Why did that fail? There seems to be enough Evertonians about...why can’t the club be in some way proactive in getting their name on a list.

Of Liverpool’s 65,000 list - you can bet your bottom dollar that only 20,000 max will take up the offer - because the other 45,000 are either duplicates, dead, didn’t exist in the first place or ’sorry mate, i’ve got to work’ type fans.

What i think the positives behind Destination Kirkby are.........hmmm.....apart from the fact that we would have a new stadium, albeit a mid-level one, will surely add some weight to our attempt to find a buyer? Again, thats based on assumption.

Its worrying. The figures - no matter how you work them, don’t add up and when you think you’ve nailed it (as in the table above) you can see that we are still miles behind the rest.
Phil Bellis
10   Posted 25/11/2009 at 09:40:36

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There are so many lies bandied about over the Tescodrome but I’m sure I’ve read...
the attendance will be capped at around 40000 (until we all get pushbikes);
Knowsley Council get a third of all income generated from the operation of the stadium

You couldn’t make it up (or could you?)
Jamie Rowland
11   Posted 25/11/2009 at 10:02:08

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Problem solved then. If we are capped at 40,000 (that's today's capacity at Goodison) and we have to give a third of that away, then we could just knock down the Bullens Road. That way we would be in the same position?
Peter Griffin
12   Posted 25/11/2009 at 09:54:27

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Average attendances:

07/08 - 36,995
06/07 - 36,738
05/06 - 36,704
04/05 - 36,834

If anybody knows last seasons figures let me know.

We have had approximately 36000-37000 average over the last 5 years at GP. Transport isn’t world class, but it’s good. The RS are proposing a 70,000 stadium using our current transport model so it’s obviously sufficient.

The away end doesn’t always sell out, and we have obstructed views which mostly sell for big games ie. sunday is a sell out. It seems that if the game is important enough fans, home and away, make the trip.

We DON’T have a season ticket waiting list.

If we move to Kirkby it is going to be difficult and time consuming to get too and from. It’s also likely to be more expensive as ticket prices, food and drink and for most, travelling expenses will probably go up ie. car parks, buses, taxis as the walk is so far etc.

So if it’s a nightmare to get to and costs you more money, where are the extra 10,000 fans needed for the 22 games going to appear from????

The new stadium effect will probably be negated by the fans who have said they won’t go to Kirkby. I can’t see thousands of Bolton, Wigan, Blackburn etc fans saying ooh I can’t wait to go and see Evertons basic new stadium.

Try and imagine what it will be like in 5, 10, 50 years time, as Wyness said "it’s a deal FOR the century"

All this so we can, potentially, spend £6million more a season?

Credit to KEIOC for standing up for what they believe in, and trying to do something about it. The information provided on their website would never have seen light of day if the club had their way. It certainly wasn’t in the glossy brochure they posted to the chosen ones.
Derek Turnbull
13   Posted 25/11/2009 at 10:13:50

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"The profile of fans will change due to Everton’s targeting of corporate and club class seating"

So not only are Everton trying to increase to an average of 47,000, they are actually hoping to shed some of their supporters?!?

Could this be why they are trying to stifle atmosphere there perhaps?

Are they worried the corporate clients will be put off going to the stadium if the atmosphere is too partizan perhaps?
Phil Bellis
14   Posted 25/11/2009 at 10:18:51

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Good thinking, Jamie
That would also solve the (insert this week’s number here) obstructed views - just go and stand on the Bullens pavement
Ciarán McGlone
15   Posted 25/11/2009 at 10:15:54

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Unfortunately your posts still read like a half-baked attempt at justifying your yes vote....

Having a new stadium is not a benefit if you can’t pay for that case it’s a millstone...

And the assumption that Kirkby will attract a new buyer is pure and utter star gazing.
David Thompson
16   Posted 25/11/2009 at 10:27:19

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Chris Briddon, I think you are over-estimating the value of additional food & drink being sold at a new stadium. ’Matchday Income’ already includes the figures for catering sales, so the additional 30% that Colin estimated for Kirkby will include that figure.

Even if 10,000 people at 22 games spend an extra £5, it’s only just over £1M in revenue, not profit, so it’s hardly going to make us Top 4 challengers, is it?

Colin’s point , I believe, is that DK does not make financial sense and is not worth the gamble. Selling a few extra pies won’t make any difference whatsoever.
Andy McNabb
17   Posted 25/11/2009 at 10:42:34

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Sorry Mike McLean but I have a much better venue. We live an hour outside Melbourne and have just moved to an acre block. Granted, the journey over could present problems but we have plenty of parking space and as we live in the country, access on our road is never a problem.

We even have one of those whirly clothes lines which folds up and as I’m such an anti social so and so, we rarely entertain on a Saturday. Worth considering?

Bryan Douglas
18   Posted 25/11/2009 at 11:18:56

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Nice try, Andy... the only logistical problem would be the travelling. Still, if fans set out one weekend they could always watch the match after the one they wanted to see, assuming of course it’s on the same day!

Only Everton and its astute management could provide such welcome entertainment :0)

Does this Club deserve its fans??
Chris Lawlor
19   Posted 25/11/2009 at 11:44:46

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A very contentious issue as usual and is likely to roll on and on. My biggest gripe with the club, away from football matters is the mind numbingly stupid commercial acumen.

As was stated above the club are banging on about the amount of revenue to be made at the new location whilst simultaneously ignoring the existing opportunities to make money at Goodison.

The two new stores look great, but why are they forever out of stock on any normal sized clothing, why in god’s name are there no cash machines at either location????

Its simple things like this that should be fundamental to any commercial enterprise yet year on year they are passed up.

Maybe we do need some of Tesco’s business acumen to kickstart our less than impressive commercial side.
Alasdair Mackay
20   Posted 25/11/2009 at 11:55:04

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Okay so what yoiu are trying to say is that Everton’s £6million additional income does not tally with your calculatiuons and should be closer to £15million?

A couple of points.
The 30% increase is your estimate and may not be a true reflection of what teh club actually has in mind.
You have mentioned that the club has estimated average attendance to be 44000, but then you have calculated the projected profit based on 50000.
Just in the interests of fairness.

A 15% increase in prices would be £25.75 with a season attendance of 1,232,000 and a income of £31million. The inevitable increase in running costs of a larger stadium may bring the profit down.

Also, the stadium attendance increase is not where Everton will be looking at making their money. They will be aiming for a lot more than a £6million increase in corporate revenue from a new stadium and an increase in re-sale value of the club as a whole as a consequence will be where BK makes his money.
Colin Fitzpatrick
21   Posted 25/11/2009 at 13:05:08

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No Alasdair, the £6m is profit, as stated by Everton, the £15m is an estimated increase in turnover, based on the increased revenue from higher ticket prices and more corporate activity; it should be remembered that matchday income is just that, ticket sales and programme sales, this is a category identified in everyone’s accounts, catering is another and don’t forget Everton has outsourced this activity to Sodexo. Although, due to a lack of disclosure by the club, the £6m profit could also reflect increased payments from Sodexo.

The 30% may not be what the club has in mind, it could be greater or less, it doesn’t represent a 30% increase in ticket prices it’s mainly a reprofiling reflecting a similar commercial operation to what they currently have at Anfield.

I haven’t calculated the projected profit, I’ve calculated the turnover based on what Everton have said, 22 Everton games + 6 other events @ 44,000 avg attendance.

Hope that’s a little clearer.
Jamie Rowland
22   Posted 25/11/2009 at 14:08:49

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Would we get 44,000 a game?


The assumption that kirkby will attract a new buyer is star gazing - very true. But its an extra attraction, that Goodison does not offer.
Ciarán McGlone
23   Posted 25/11/2009 at 14:14:13

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Star Gazing = wishful thinking.

Therefore it’s not an ’extra attraction’...

Goodison is more favourable to any half sensible investor...Anybody who thinks buying Everton in Kirkby is a good idea, on the facts, is the sort of half brained moron we could do without..
Jamie Rowland
24   Posted 25/11/2009 at 14:22:40

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Come on - please! Goodison is tired. A lick of paint isn’t going to restore it to its former brilliance.

Kirkby isn’t the answer - but surely if you were someone with cash looking to invest (and its beyond me why any businessman invests in football!) then you wouldn’t want your first job to be putting your hand in your pocket to build a new stadium and buy back the charges on the megastore, park end car park etc. Or is that a more attractive deal than buying a club that already has the new infrastructure?
Colin Fitzpatrick
25   Posted 25/11/2009 at 14:19:42

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Jamie, the short answer is I don’t know as I don’t know the qualitative and quantitative methods Everton employed to reach their estimation, KEIOC did their research and this indicated 38,000. Without the additional six events, which, as stated, don’t exist at the moment, you can calculate the additional turnover.
Colin Malone
26   Posted 25/11/2009 at 14:30:28

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If DK gets the nod, they are planning to replace the Z-Cars tune with, Oleta Adams's hit song:
I don't care how you get here, but get here if you can.
Steve Taylor
27   Posted 25/11/2009 at 14:24:01

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Couple of problems here;

Has anyone tried the overpriced crap that is available at GP?
Do you think that it will be any better at DK? Don’t think so!

Where is the estimation of how many season ticket holders will not migrate to Kirkby? This number may end up shocking a few people. If you dont believe this, talk to people at the game, and ask them how they would feel about paying an extra 30/40% for the same old broken promises and missed opportunities, in a brand new mid-level concrete box.

I for one, will probably not go. Simply because it is not going to be what we were promised/voted on, and I have no faith in the Everton marketing machine to make it work. Fact of life!

When did "Only the best is good enough" become "Anything mid-range will have to do"?

Sad fact is that we probably wont now have enough money to even move to DK, given the current financial situation worldwide.

Stay were we are for now and ride out the storm. Do we really want a rich new owner? Just look at the shite with Stadler & Waldorf, and then there is the train wreck that is Portsmouth!

P.S. Don’t be bluffed by the statement that GP will be unable to get a safety certificate in the near future. That is a lie!
The only thing that could do that is if it becomes structurally unsound.
Current legislation, and any future changes to the law, cannot be applied retrospectavely to existing stadia. Fact!
Colin Malone
28   Posted 25/11/2009 at 14:53:05

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I agree, all the talk about GP safety.

What about the safety of supporters traveling to Kirkby by public transport?
This has not been adressed.
Two sets of supporters traveling on the same buses and trains from the center of liverpool.
supporters are still going to arrive just before the kick off, not an hour before to acommondate mersyrail. so around about 2.30pm for a 3.00pm kick off, the northern line is not the place to be, with BOTH sets of supporters on the same train.
Jamie Rowland
29   Posted 25/11/2009 at 15:28:22

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Robert Elstone’s 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. ’

So does the line ’focus on the funding’ mean that the club hasn’t got the required £78m?
Jamie Rowland
30   Posted 25/11/2009 at 15:29:17

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Colin, Ciaran,

I think that your comments about the transport of both sets of supporters via the same train etc. are valid but the fact that most London based clubs have this ’problem’ (on the tubd for example) and deal with it very well would be argued.
Colin Malone
31   Posted 25/11/2009 at 15:39:39

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If you go to KEIOC website, you will see the graph, the distance from major center to all premier league grounds is at most 3 mile.
Kirkby is 8 or 9 miles.
Alan Clarke
32   Posted 25/11/2009 at 15:47:49

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I’d heard that the hold up in the decision making process behind Kirkby was the consideration of objections from the neighbouring councils. Contrary to popular belief amongst Evertonians, LCC don’t want Everton to leave their area. I have been told the other councils that neighbour Knowsley do not feel it is right that so much money is put into Knowsley for regeneration and not theirs.

No one really seems to have touched on this. Am I cluching at straws in the hope LCC may actually be able to prevent us from going?
Anthony Bailey
33   Posted 25/11/2009 at 15:59:55

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If I was an investor I certainly wouldnt invest in the club after it had moved to Kirkby. Actually it depends on what type of owner we want. If you want someone to come in, with little to do, probably wont be able to develop the club off the pitch but may be able to provide more on the pitch, then yes I guess Kirkby would provide that.

However, if a potential owner wants to come in make his mark then he/she/they will definately want to invest in Goodison. There they have the ability to take a ’surviving’ club and stadium and provide a model to make as much money as they can out of it so that if they wished to sell it, they would make much much more from the club. As the chiefs have said Kirkby at best will provide an extra 5/6mil. Now as far as Im concerned that isnt very much at all. Any investor isnt going to be impressed by that. Hell Im not even impressed with it and Im not even thinking about putting money in. A real business man would look at what would make him the most money in the long run even if it means shelling out a fair bit at the start. Id rather buy the club for 50mil and spend 150mil on a stadium that would be world class with much brighter money making prospects than buy the club for 100mil+ and setlle for meagre (if any!) profit year on year (before player trading of course).

Bryan Douglas
34   Posted 25/11/2009 at 16:31:01

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Jamie Rowland
Posted 25/11/2009 at 14:08:49

Would we get 44,000 a game?

No, try 12 (not thousand)
Ciarán McGlone
35   Posted 25/11/2009 at 16:46:23

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’Come on - please! Goodison is tired. A lick of paint isn’t going to restore it to its former brilliance’


I didn’t say it wasn’t. What I said was that for any sensible person it is a far more attractive investment opportunity than being stuck in a 200 year lease (or whatever) with a half empty stadium, and a bill for interest payments that cannot be covered by revenue streams..

Goodison isn’t losing us money, and isn’t a hair brained scheme that’s more than likely to backfire...

Therefore it’s logically a more atractive position to an investor.
Ciarán McGlone
36   Posted 25/11/2009 at 16:50:41

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Oh and by the way..if the banks can get a positive result from the house of Lords on their ludicrous bank charges, in the current climate of banking criminality..then anythings possible..

I smell it getting the nod..
Eugene Ruane
37   Posted 25/11/2009 at 16:39:53

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At Goodison, we normally get between 34 and 38 thousand.

It goes up and down ’depending’.

At DK?

Ok, let’s say a few more go, because Kirkby is easier for them, or because there’s no obstructed views.

But let’s also say a few pack-in going (holds hand up) and never go.

Then add to these, a few who START to go, but as the travel is too horrible (and/or the atmosphere) they also knock it on the head.

I personally believe that when the dust settles, Everton’s average attendance at Kirkby will be......between 34 and 38 thousand.
Peter Griffin
38   Posted 25/11/2009 at 16:59:02

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Chris Lawlor - Is this the "Tesco’s business acumen" you were suggesting we may need earlier?

"Tesco has launched legal action after mistakenly paying nearly £1million for six bicycles"
Graeme Bradman
39   Posted 25/11/2009 at 17:25:30

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You can’t compare Kirkby with any of the london grounds. Most of them have a choice of rail routes and none of the London clubs are at the end of a line. Fan’s going to Highbury have overground stations comming from at least 3 different directions bringing there support in from Hertfordshire etc.,and the underground stations don’t just bring people from inner London but from all stations from Cockfosters. Kirkby has one single line with one platform allowing 1 train every 15 minites in 1 direction.
Karl Masters
40   Posted 25/11/2009 at 18:12:05

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So, to summarise the previous 39 posts:


Nil satis nisi optimum?
Karl Masters
41   Posted 25/11/2009 at 18:18:09

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Oh and


( Mad Doddy excepted )
Gareth Humphreys
42   Posted 25/11/2009 at 18:53:47

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Anybody know if we are defo going to hear about this by Friday? I can just see Friday coming and going and we still will not know anything about it.
Colin Fitzpatrick
43   Posted 25/11/2009 at 19:11:30

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It’s tomorrow Gareth.
Alan Rawlinson
44   Posted 25/11/2009 at 19:21:52

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It’s been rejected!!
Tony Dove
45   Posted 25/11/2009 at 08:20:43

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I may be jumping the gun but all the informed wisdom is that Destination Kirkby will get the planning go ahead this week. Whether that is in a diluted form, which would of course make the scheme even less plausible than the original, is irrelevant.

What I do know for certain is that a majority of Evertonians would feel a whole lot better if they felt that the planning decision was not necessarily the end of the road. The issues of e.g. Judicial Review and funding are not in our hands. However we could strike a big blow for KEOOK if we exposed the reality of the original ballot in which Blue Bill managed to lobotomise the majority into not voting at all. Derren Brown could not have done better.

Billy Bullshit will obviously not agree to another formal vote so we have to take the matter into our own hands. A simple way to achieve this would be, at some prearranged point in the Spurs game, for all those against DK to stand up. I doubt whether you would need a head count although there are enough cameras in the ground to provide one.

I am sure others will have other and better methods of protest but lets get the ball rolling. On the planning front a decision in favour will almost certainly lead to a Judicial Review, which would take another 18 months to resolve. In that event we would want to hear from BB that the exclusivity agreement does not extend to that part of the Planning process.

Eddy Bernard
46   Posted 25/11/2009 at 22:33:04

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Tony Dove


There is a god after all

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