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Stanley Park

Comments (45)

So Liverpool FC have until April to finalise their stadium plans to the council before their current planning permission expires.

Although Kenwright will probably deny that Stanley Park exists, I hope Everton get something together to provide the council a Plan B for the site. I have a feeling though that a ground share might be the first choice for Liverpool's new owners.

Tommy Coleman, London     Posted 25/10/2010 at 13:43:59

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Nick Entwistle
1   Posted 25/10/2010 at 14:52:05

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Not sure why our good name should be sullied with the shared facilities of a Championship side.
David Thomas
2   Posted 25/10/2010 at 14:49:15

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Unless someone is willing to invest a significant amount of money on Everton's behalf to build a stadium, it seems rather pointless even considering going for planning permission. The council want assurances from Liverpool by April that they have the funds and they wish to go ahead with the scheme. If they don't have this then planning permission might be removed. As Everton cannot offer these assurances either, it would seem a pretty pointless exercise.
Jimmy Hacking
3   Posted 25/10/2010 at 15:34:10

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Everton aint going no-place in our lifetimes, get used to it.
Dennis Stevens
4   Posted 25/10/2010 at 15:48:53

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It seems unlikely either club will develop a new stadium on Stanley Park or anywhere else, either individually or in tandem. I'd have thought that redevelopment of their respective existing facilities is the most likely way forward for both clubs. However, I can't see it happening for Everton until there have been some significant changes at Board level.
Brian Lawlor
5   Posted 25/10/2010 at 15:52:29

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How are we suddenly going to conjure up the money to build a stadium?

By the way, can you let your Seamus know that Tim Cahill didn't mean to blank him after scoring in the Derby. (See previous letter from mailbag yesterday.)
Jon Gorman
6   Posted 25/10/2010 at 15:55:09

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I'm happy to let the club worry about that. I'm happy with Goodison: I know where not to sit if I want to see the game and I've got a favourite pub in the Queens.
Jon Cox
7   Posted 25/10/2010 at 18:47:27

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Brian (5) could you expand with your comment. I saw this as well and was not happy about it.

If there's something you know and we/I dont, then tell us.

As far as the ground goes it's re-develope all the way. And anyway who wants a ground that isn't called Goodison. Not me for one.
Dave Charles
8   Posted 25/10/2010 at 19:10:34

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Some councillors past and present are redfaced now. Even the new MP, as a councillor, voted for this underhanded scheme put together by Parry and and this city council. The previous MP (Kilfoyle) was for this at first and then began to hide when it began to look doomed. He once said it would be good for the area as it would create jobs in the area. Months later it was poorly paid part time jobs no-one wants.

Kilfoyle also thought going to Kirkby would be good for Walton as it would take away congestion on a match day. Strange that because he thought a 60,000+ stadium would help the Anfield area only a mile away...

Anfield lost a sports centre on these broken promises. I can't see Liverpool's new owner putting money into the Anfield area. It's far cheaper to redevelope which most r/s fans would go for now.

Forget the left-overs of Stanley Park and maybe a slow redevelopment of Goodison will have to do.

Tom Hughes
9   Posted 25/10/2010 at 23:11:11

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I can understand some people's relative disappointment at the prospect of "redeveloping" as opposed to building afresh (or even sharing a mega-stadium in the park)... However, it needn't be a "make do" solution at all.

Redevelopment is the only option that offers updated facilities in bite-size, affordable phases. It is also the only one that gives complete continuity, in terms of history/tradition/identity and time-proven transport and infrastructure. It is also the only one that offers the opportunity to create something unique combining contemporary and classic stadium design... and on the site of the world's first true football stadium. There are more than a few positives there. Real, high-value positives that will not be readily transferrable to ANY new build!

The club should commission a design competition for all stadium design companies working in conjunction with the city planning department to explore ALL the options for the current site. I think people would be more than pleasantly surprised at the outcomes.

Dennis Stevens
10   Posted 26/10/2010 at 00:21:28

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Far from being disappointed, Tom, I'd be overjoyed if the current or any subsequent Board undertook an imaginative, sensitive, phased redevelopment of Goodison Park. The disappointment kicks in when one considers the the likelihood of that prospect becoming realised in the forseeable future.
Jay Harris
11   Posted 26/10/2010 at 02:32:49

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Tom... as always, the voice of reason but, as you well know, it will fall on the deaf ears of Mr 24/7.

The only way forward IMO is for the council to get the funding for a joint superstadium and sports complex together with commercial enabling facilities and then enter into a joint mortgage or subsidised lease with both clubs.

BTW, I can't see that happening either.

The men of Vision have no vision.
Gary Sedgwick
12   Posted 26/10/2010 at 02:59:50

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The only park we are going to is the "Park and Ride" to be bussed to.... God only knows where. :-)
David Thomas
13   Posted 26/10/2010 at 08:38:26

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You say it can be done in "affordable phases", but who is going to pay for these phases? As far as i was aware the current board members do not have sufficient funds?
Derek Thomas
14   Posted 26/10/2010 at 09:13:09

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Don't worry, be happy...

Billy Bullshit, even as I write, is busy ring-fencing the money for either option.

Watch this space!

As for the rs, they can fuck off to a green field site in Norway and get 60,000 Shankley red Norwegians to every game

The City's all ours!
Eric Myles
15   Posted 26/10/2010 at 09:31:20

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Jimmy Hacking should have written
"Everton aint going no-place in Kenwright's lifetime"
Tommy Coleman
16   Posted 26/10/2010 at 09:35:59

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If we are to believe the Everton board regarding redevelopment of Goodison ( which I don't by the way ), we can't afford th rebuild costs and the footprint required is used by houses and the school. No Plan B remember. I just hope they sort out the safety certificates Kenwright said the stadium would fail in the near future.
I think Kenwright is deparate for a shared stadium as his new viable plan A and I think Liverpool's new owners will go for that because it is the cheapest option as they only took them over to earn a quick buck.
Tom Hughes
17   Posted 26/10/2010 at 09:55:27

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David (#13),
Phases are affordable in the sense that you don't have to find funds to build an entire stadium in one go, but only a small section at a time. This may take the form of a whole new stand or just a new or extended tier with resultant increased revenues helping finance subsequent phases. Furthermore, if other value-adding facilities are built into the new capacity (hotel/conference/exhibition/residential or whatever), then much of the cost can become self-funded, as in the case of the proposed building at the Park-end for instance. This approach also gives the opportunity to gauge demand for new capacity/facilities reducing the chance of building expensive unwanted seats. Contrary to popular belief, this has been the favoured route for the majority of clubs. With many far lesser/poorer clubs than us having undertook the complete overhaul of their stadia. There are issues, particularly on the Bullens Rd side, but none are in anyway insurmountable...... of course there has to be a will to pursue this avenue!!!
Phil Martin
18   Posted 26/10/2010 at 10:38:41

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I've always thought very highly of your input. Someone who knows what they're talking about and can back up their opinions with logic, experience and fact.

If only we had a chairman of such qualities. Now I'm just off to pick up that Bentley I've alway wanted. Told the garage the money has been ringfenced and that they should watch this space.
David Thomas
19   Posted 26/10/2010 at 10:46:35

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Thanks for the reply.

I have to ask the same question though. Who is going to pay for a new park end stand or the works to the Bullens Road etc? Have any hotel chain etc ever showed any interest in a venture in this area? Do you think everton could survive without the match day revenue whilst these stands are under construction? I would be very surprised if you could build a new stand for example solely in the summer break.
Dave Roberts
20   Posted 26/10/2010 at 11:27:50

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As I recall the Main Stand was built in one summer break (but it shows though doesn't it?)

As for enabling facilities, I just can't see anybody wanting to build a hotel in Walton. I don't think the market would be there. It could be busy occasionally on a Friday night before a home game depending on who we were playing but I just don't see the market opportunity or business sense to make it a viable enabling partner.

Hotels run on very tight margins and they depend on being generally full to capacity. I just can't see that happening in Walton for any number of reasons.

Retail is obviously a non starter or Leahy would have gone for that to get his club a new stadium.

As for residential, what precisely does that mean? Apartments built into the stadium or housing rebuild in the area? Everton don't own the land so I don't think there is much or any financial benefit in building houses, not as there is at Bellefield.

Any redevelopment of Goodison will inevitably be piecemeal I'm afraid and can only ever be a temporary solution.

Karl Masters
21   Posted 26/10/2010 at 11:53:51

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Start with putting an upper tier on the Park End of say an extra 4000 seats. This would probably take around 6/7 months so start in January,finish in August or start in May finish at Christmas, take your pick.

You lose up to 6000 sats for half a season, but with 4000 new ones you would very quickly make up the loss.

Operate with those 4000 extra seats for say 2 years giving the eqivalent of 8000 seats for a year revenue.

Then put an extra tier above and behind the Upper Bullens. This would take about a year, but the loss of 10000 seats for up to a season would be offset by the extra 8000 spaces you had gained in the previous 2 years.You would gain roughly 4000 seats by doing this, but lose 2000 seats in the lower Bullens as this area would be converted to Executive boxes behind the Paddock. Assuming of course the footprint had been expanded ( school is closing soon anyway, Council do own the houses and could assist - indeed Waren Bradley actually said they would be prepared to do this ) there would be the space to build lage corporate facilities onto the back of this stand making it enormous. The capacity would then be 46000 ( 40000 + 4000, -2000, + 4000 ) and you would have both extra seats and capacty to generate money to work on the Gwladys Street End when it could be afforded.

What is really needed is some money to get the ball rolling. Oh for a Board with some vision and just some money to get it started. £15m would do the Park End extension. The cost of Bily and his wages for a couple of years.....

Of course, look at the likes of Aston Villa and Newcastle. They started with far worse stadia than Goodison and have achieved it and there was no billionaire involved there, just Boards of Directors with vision, common sense and a business plan.
Ray Robinson
22   Posted 26/10/2010 at 12:11:37

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Dave (#20) - unless my memory fails me,which is quite possible), I have a recollection of the main stand being built in two phases. I seem to recall a part section built (or was it yet to be demolished?) at the Gwladys St. end DURING an actual season, which seems to suggest that it took longer than one close season to build Someone confirm / put me right please!
Phil Martin
23   Posted 26/10/2010 at 12:12:07

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Dave Roberts,

Sorry I dont agree with some of your post. Yes a hotel and/or housing is a non starter. For the reasons you raise, location and the fact EFC doesn't own the land.

However GP has a distinct lack of top class coporate hospitality. It only has one restaurant and few function rooms. More corporate boxes are a must. Unrestricted views everywhere in the stadium is also essential. Better and bigger facilities like toilets/ fully stocked kiosks are also fundamental. There are thousands of fans who wont pay £500 for a season ticket when they have to contend with pillars, lengthy half time queues and people pissing into the sinks.
If we can expand the Bullens road and Gwladys street, then we can incorporate a bigger club shop, and an Everton museum.
As its been illustrated by others many times before. We could easily have a top class 50-55,000 seater stadium at GP. If that's temporary then so be it. But it would at least allow us 20 years to find a longer term solution without being handicapped like we are now.

Note there's no hotel or apartments built on the Emirates stadium site or Old Trafford or City of Manc.
Chris Hockenhull
24   Posted 26/10/2010 at 13:06:28

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Ray Robinson. Yes you are correct. The main stand was built in two phases. Literally after the final match of the 1986-69 season they started to take out the seats and during that summer the first third was build toward the Street End/ Church. So for the beginning of the famous 69 -70 season we had the first part completed and the old stand partly there for one last (and fitting) season (complete with blue buiders shed during the season!). The rest was completed at the end pof the championship season. After that the camera stand position was switched over to the Bullens Road side. I always thought Goodison looked great on the telly when it was shot from Goodison Road. Despite it being 'state of the art' for its time in 1970 (escalators were a big thing I recall when it opened) I never liked it and thought it looked totally out of place to the rest of the ground. It became dated very very quickly. At the time Everton stated they did want something similar to Old Trafford in the way there were no posts etc but the 'experts' said because things were a bit landlocked (sounds familiar) they didnt have the room to go further back and build the cantilevor (spelling suspect I think) style that everyone now seems to have. I suppose construction has come on a bit since 1960's. If I recall we had a former Apollo astronaut visit to open it but in true Everton tradition thye did it close season when no one else was around to winess the famous visitor. I guess they felt that with it being so far away to see games on the top balcony only an astronaut would do or maybe Im being cynical here!!
Tony J Williams
25   Posted 26/10/2010 at 13:11:55

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The Park End was not done within the summer. You only have to look at the DVD for the cringewortjhy "Great Escapes" and the Park End was under construction when we played Wimbledon.
Karl Masters
26   Posted 26/10/2010 at 13:39:11

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The new Park End took from February 1994 ( we played Chelsea on the 4th with the old stand still in use ) until August when we played Villa in the opening game of the 94/5 season to construct.

A chance missed with only 6000 seats ( half as many as the other end ) and not the 2 tier 10000 seat stand promised with artist's impression in April 1991.

A certain Mr W Kenwright was on a Board of Directors that shamefully only paid £300,000 towards its meagre £2.1m build cost. The rest came from a grant!

If knocking down a stand and totally rebuilding it only took 6 months, then adding another tier would probably take a similar amount of time. A re-work of the Bullens Road is a much bigger job and would probably need 2 close seasons and a season in between, ie 15 monts, to carry out. Much like the Main Stand _ May 1969 to August 1970.
Tom Hughes
27   Posted 26/10/2010 at 13:11:58

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Dave (#20)

I disagree about the viability of a hotel in Walton on several counts. Firstly, in general terms even in this period of economic downturn, there is still surplus demand for hotel space in Liverpool. Only recently major new hotels have received planning permission in the city-centre with several more in the pipeline, and GP is only 2 miles from town and on a major arterial route (lets face it, there are even hotels in Kirkby). LFC were also including a hotel on their scheme, and Anfield is probably more downbeat and less accessible than Walton. The city has quite a massive football and general tourism influx. New exec boxes could be convertable to rooms, and as elsewhere they could prove a popular pull for potential hotel investors...... especially with another major footy venue nearby. (see the football quarter articles). Several clubs are doing precisely this. This potential was also highlighted by the city council.

Plus I have to say you're judging Walton on its current state. Personally I believe the place has great potential, with good solid victorian housing stock and a fully occupied high street serving a substantial and strong community....... Lots to build on there!?

There are multiple options on developing the land in and around the school, similarly to the way Spurs are advocating with WHL. The space at the Parkend alone can support a substantial multi-storey development too. That could go a long way to funding expansion of the Parkend stand, since unlike retail enabling on other people's land this gives a full, and not partial return. There are schemes on the drawing board to fully utilise both these spaces, and they could be long term development solutions leading to major redevelopment of the stadium, and nothing piecemeal at all..... many of the world's greatest stadia evolved precisely in this way. People shouldn't be blinkered by what's there now, as previously mentioned by Karl many other clubs have had far bigger hills to climb with their stadium development. New roofs alone would release over 36k totally unobstructed seats, that's not a bad starting point!
Ray Robinson
28   Posted 26/10/2010 at 14:25:38

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Chris #24, many thanks for confirming my recollections. I also seem to recall that the Main Stand pre-dated cantilever technology by a few years and that the Kemlyn Road Stand at Anfield was one of the first to benefit from the new build method. Bloody typical!
Tom Hughes
29   Posted 26/10/2010 at 14:40:49

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The Kemlyn Rd stand is older than our current mainstand. Everton's brief to the architects who designed the current stand was simply to put as many seats on the awkward-spaced plot as possible. This they achieved. Many of the obstructed views could be solved by a goal post truss supported roof, removing the 2 front roof supports, and making the whole of the top Balcony and most of the mainstand unobstructed in an instant. An exec balcony could readily be hung beneath the top balcony and the worst affected obstructed views removed from the rear of the mainstand. In otherwords, there are relatively cheap solutions that would result in a completely transformed stand at a fraction of the cost of an equivalent new build. It isn't a particularly attractive structure at present, but it at least has a grand scale, and could offer great views and viewing distances with the modifications mentioned.
Ray Robinson
30   Posted 26/10/2010 at 15:06:32

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Tom - thanks, obviously my memory is playing tricks re the Kemlyn Road Stand
Anthony Hughes
31   Posted 26/10/2010 at 15:08:21

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Some really good, detailed and informative posts on the possibilites of stadium improvements. But under this existing, inept board we have no chance. We can't even find a few million quid for players let alone the large sums which will be required to carry out any alterations.
Tom Hughes
32   Posted 26/10/2010 at 14:50:02

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Dave (#19),
As I said, smaller and poorer clubs have and are doing precisely what I (and others) propose. The club was going to have to find £78m minimum for Kirkby since as was shown, very little was going to be forthcoming via the mythical enabling schemes or sale of GP. Starting this process would require a fraction of that amount, and at the end of the day if they were going to find it for Kirkby they can find it for GP.

As far as loss of revenue, it has already been shown that there needn't be any significant loss in capacity throughout the process. Indeed, high-value capacity (corporate/exec-boxes) can be added immediately if necessary...... and it wouldn't be necessary to build whole new stands in a close season, as new tiers can be built above/behind/alongside existing structures to minimise losses during construction phases. This has been achieved at many venues..... at the same time we're currently operating approx 3k below capacity, meaning there is added Leeway there too.

My feelings are that the club needs only a moderate capacity increase in the short term, with a good injection of new corporate facilities and improved concourse areas throughout at the same time. Further additional good quality capacity can follow in later phases (as demand dictates), and this need not affect Moyes' immediate team plans and can be implemented now. There's a lot more in GP that can be preserved and built on..... IMO, there is also great value in doing so. Funnily, the current owners of Liverpool did precisely just that at Fenway.... and that's in the home of the most advanced stadia in the world. (Fenway and Wrigley Fields are US's versions of GP)
Larry Boner
33   Posted 26/10/2010 at 15:39:43

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Have a look at White Hart Lane and see how Goodison could have developed over the years, a very similar Leitch-type construction that I would trade for Goodison now. Similar capacity, but with income generating corporate boxes all round the ground, the monies raised used for transfer funds ? I think £1.2M per game?The board light years ahead of ours in planning and commitment, already bought up the required property near to the current ground to build their new stadium, with no effect on the team building.

A plan existed for the improvement of Goodison which would have taken the capacity to 55,000 I think without any loss of capacity during the construction. This entailed building a two-tier stand behind the Park End stand (14,000) then demolishing the Park End, moving the pitch towards the stand, then progressively upgrading all parts of the ground. I am sure there are details on the KEIOC site. With the selling off of the car park you can now forget that.

I don't see the current board doing anything.

Kevin Tully
34   Posted 26/10/2010 at 16:08:09

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A very important announcement is due in December this year re; who will host the 2018 World cup.

Liverpool & " The New Anfield " as promised by agents H & G, was one ground were matches would be played, this was part of the bid.

If England win the bid, where does that leave the City of Liverpool ? The council will not want to lose out on the tourist revenue, and surely they cannot favour one team over the other for grants etc. for regeneration / rebuilding.

Will the Government step in with a plan for a shared stadium ? It will be very interesting to see if we come off worse again as the poor neighbours. I believe we should already be lobbying at director level for a share of the World Cup cash. After all, we already have plenty of world class stadia in the P.L. so the Government could regenerate Walton & Anfield, without having to spend massive amounts elsewhere.
Larry Boner
35   Posted 26/10/2010 at 18:29:48

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Kevin Tully ? Everton FC and the people who occupy the boardroom, plus the supporters of EFC, have no right to expect Goodison Park to host any international, England friendly, semi finals or finals of any competition. The board and we, as supporters have let what was once one of the top club grounds in Britain to fall behind almost every shit hole that I used to frequent years ago as a travelling Evertonian.
It is to my utter dismay that I had to attend Euro 96 games at Anfield, after, as a 15 year old watching Brazil, Portugal and a World Cup semi final in 1966 at Gooodison.

As a club we have gone backwards over the last 40 years, there is nothing on the horizon that makes me think we will ever be anyway near to the innovators we were when this club was in its infancy, truly a disgrace.

I see Blackburn Rovers are close to completing due diligence, with a take over imminent, what does that tell us about the current state of Everton and the people who are tasked with moving the club forward?

The founders of Everton FC and the legion of Evertonians, now passed, must be turning in their graves.

Just what the fuck has happened to this club??

Dave Charles
36   Posted 26/10/2010 at 18:55:48

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All this talk of the Main Stand reminds of my dad. He's passed on now and he would look at the Main Stand and say, ' John Moores must have been crying handing over the cheque for that thing'. He was convinced the original plan was to be like Old Trafford, a type of canter-leaver stand with no obstructed views.

Sounds a bit similar to the Park End story years later. A nice two tier stand replaced with a meccano model. At least the views are OK in the Park End.

James McGrady
37   Posted 26/10/2010 at 19:35:28

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The whole concept of a hotel at either Goodison or Anfield bemuses me.
OK Chelsea have one, but they are located in an affluent area of London.
Yes Liverpool might get some foreign fans making a long trip to see them but really who would stay in Anfield or Walton, I'm sorry but they are both in the 4 most deprived areas of Liverpool.
There are plenty of good hotels in the city centre now.
David Thomas
38   Posted 26/10/2010 at 19:53:22

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I really hope you are right. I agree with most of what you say about the actual construction works, my only query as with most of these schemes is the funding. I think the only way the club could afford to start these works would be to sell one of our star players or take out a further bank loan.

One thing i would disagree with you is the hotel concept. I really cant see there being sufficient demand for a hotel in Walton. I believe everton have the highest "walk up" percentage of supporters and if so would suugest to me that a hotel by the ground would not generate sufficient demand for a hotel chain to consider it financially viable. Even taking account of fans of Liverpool there are only 38 guaranteed games each season overall for both grounds (19 each) so who fills the hotel the other 327 days of the year? I cant see tourists coming into Liverpool and deciding to book themselves into a hotel in Walton instead of the Crowne Plaza or the hilton etc.
James McGrady
39   Posted 26/10/2010 at 21:00:19

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A hotel would only be useful for Champions League nights. I can't see that happening any time soon or being people wanting to go back to the hotel at 5.15 on a saturday.
Tom Hughes
40   Posted 27/10/2010 at 00:22:29

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There are far more clubs than just Chelsea with hotels built into or alongside their stadium.... several already utilise exec boxes as hotel rooms too.

In terms of hotels in general, Liverpool has enjoyed amongst the highest occupancy rates in the uk for years, with several periods when it is almost impossible to get a room... That's why new hotels are getting planning permission all the time and why existing chains are building more.

That isn't to say that would be the only route to investment, the whole lounge/exhibition/conference/commercial possibilities are there also as demonstrated by the current self-funding Park End development. I would hardly say Kirkby is Monte Carlo, but there are a few hotels dotted around it. I can't imagine it has much to do with Kirkby's attractions but Liverpool's.

Anthony Hughes
41   Posted 27/10/2010 at 07:40:37

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With the future plans Peel Holdings have for the regeneration scheme Liverpool Waters along the docks area it's a shame we couldn't have negotiated ourselves into this set up.The plans look really impressive and a stadium set amongst this would have been ideal.
John Andrews
42   Posted 27/10/2010 at 23:04:15

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Tom @no40.
De Vere Hotel attached to Bolton Fc in the middle of nowhere.
Tom Hughes
43   Posted 28/10/2010 at 00:09:48

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Yes, they also can convert exec boxes at the Reebok to hotel rooms with rooms overlooking the pitch proving quite an attraction I should imagine. A few clubs do this, and several others have hotels..... it really isn't beyond the realms, and certainly not in a major tourism city still with a general shortfall of hotel space, and two major stadia on top of each other..... not to mention the potential of the footy quarter proposals too.
Matthew Mackey
44   Posted 28/10/2010 at 15:53:05

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Surely Stanley Park belongs to ALL the peoples of the City of Liverpool. Why then is the council, the very people we pay our taxes too, allowing it to be ambushed and manipulated by a club that represents (at best) 50% of its population? What will the other (majority) 50% + (ie Evertonians) get out of this deal?

Remember, this is the same council that basically shows Jack-shit enthusiasm to find a potential new home for the oldest footballing club in the City.
Tom Hughes
45   Posted 28/10/2010 at 16:28:22

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They offered Kings Dock to EFC, and that quite frankly craps all over Stanley Park as a piece of real estate and location generally. You can blame the council for all sorts, but offering LFC planning permission for part of an under-utilised and mainly derelict park, in a seriously run down area is hardly comparable to offering EFC a plot on one of the biggest development hotspots in Europe...... with enough enabling packages to make it practically a freeby. The planning department have repeatedly offered the opportunity to discuss development options..... They're still waiting! I'm not sure they can (or should) do much more tbh.

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