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Elstone provides update on stadium progress

by | 19/11/2014  Comments (71)  jump
Everton CEO Robert Elstone has provided an update on the club's plans to construct a new stadium on Walton Hall Park.

Speaking at the "We Are Evertonians" event at the Parklands Centre earlier this week, Elstone explained where they are up to in the process.

It's a project we've been working on 12 for 18 months now," he said. It's a site that we think has got great merit and it's a site that we'd like to develop and bring to fruition. The big-game changers — I know that's a cliche — for Everton will be a big stadium that we fill every week or it will be a new investor on the lines of Chelsea or Manchester City and we continue to pursue both of those strands.

[T]his month we're meeting a number of specialist advisors who are going to help us develop a planning application ... The late summer-early autumn 2015 — that will be a planning application for the whole site.

It's quite a complex and quite a big planning application. It will be significant in expense and we need to find a fantastic master planning company, an organisation that specialises in master planning on such a site.

We need to find architects and transport specialists so there are a series of meetings later this month and we will review firms to take us into that planning process. In parallel with that in our on-going discussions with Liverpool City Council it has been revealed that the project is a regeneration project.

The focus is regenerating the area and it's about creating jobs, new houses and it's about creating economic prosperity so the combination of all that is being folded into this master plan for the site.

We're doing that because we think the city needs that and because Everton considers itself a proud citizen of this city and we're doing it because we want to galvanise the maximum support from the City Council."

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (71)

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Tony J Williams
1 Posted 19/11/2014 at 16:42:23
What he missed out was: "We need to find some actual money to fund the whole thing too!""

Hopefully it's not ring fenced....

Patrick Murphy
2 Posted 19/11/2014 at 16:44:32
Tony - I think having watched his statement the other day, he was trying very hard not to give too much away too soon and the fact that he said that it is a complex application, perhaps, reveals that the funding will be provided from outside sources e.g. supermarkets etc.

It'll probably be the usual roller-coaster ride because it is Everton, but I honestly think the club are trying to learn from mistakes made in the past. Let's just hope whatever they decide it is the best plan for the club in the long run.

Craig Bellew
3 Posted 19/11/2014 at 16:51:48
Tony - The Arteta money will cover the costs of putting together a planning application that is all singing and all dancing and there may be a little left over too ahahahaha
Tony J Williams
4 Posted 19/11/2014 at 16:55:59
What happened to the NTL money?
Anthony Hughes
5 Posted 19/11/2014 at 16:55:08
Late summer/early autumn 2015 or when we know how much we'll get for Barkley in the summer transfer window. Seriousley I hope the board don't fuck this one up and this becomes a goer.
Paul Andrews
6 Posted 19/11/2014 at 17:01:13
Patrick @ 2

Mr Kenwright also tries very hard not to give anything away.

Especially in contributing to the funding of EFC.

Denis Richardson
7 Posted 19/11/2014 at 17:15:35
So they've been working on this for almost a year and a half and are still almost a year away from submitting a planning application - IF things go to plan?

Add to that they haven't actually, a) picked the architect yet, b) designed the thing, c) figured out how it will be paid for and the all important d) still looking for an 'Investor'.....

At least there is something being done/said on the subject, which is more than we;'ve had for a while....

Len Hawkins
8 Posted 19/11/2014 at 17:31:22
Bill scours the theatre every night after the punters go home looking for loose change amongst the ice cream tubs popcorn bags and half sucked pear drops, he currently has ٤.85 in loose change in an old margarine tub on his desk.
Kevin Tully
9 Posted 19/11/2014 at 17:34:02
To put things into perspective, we are probably looking at playing our fist game there in 2022, if things go smoothly.

This will easily be a seven year process from this stage. Objection after objection, change of Councillors and elected Mayors etc many variables, even before we take ownership of the club into consideration.

Can't see it happening myself.

Steavey Buckley
10 Posted 19/11/2014 at 17:44:25
I do believe the stadium project should be separate from the owners of Everton Football Club and put into trust; so anyone can own part of the stadium, with the annual profits going to help the manager in attracting new players, their salaries and help for the academy.
Nick Armitage
11 Posted 19/11/2014 at 18:02:59
Steavey Buckley – great idea. A rights issue to fund a stadium, I'd buy in but doubt the shareholders would want to relinquish control of such a valuable asset.
Dennis Stevens
12 Posted 19/11/2014 at 18:04:44
I don't believe the exercise is anything other than a bit of window-dressing in the hope of finding a buyer for the club. If there's no sale of the club it won't happen because the Board won't put a penny behind it. If the club is sold it won't happen because the new owner will realise they can get a better, quicker result for less by redeveloping Goodison Park.
Steavey Buckley
13 Posted 19/11/2014 at 18:27:03
I do believe Nick it would be wrong to allow the funding of the new stadium by the present owners, who would just put the cost on to the balance sheet, to the detriment of the footballing side, yet, claim full ownership.
Paul Roberts
14 Posted 19/11/2014 at 18:15:27
1. Having messed up twice before, the board won't want to mess up again.

2. These processes take years. I've personally been involved with small projects that have taken over a decade to come to fruition.

3. Without a stadium, it's hard to attract investment. Without investment, it's difficult to fund stadium. Catch-22.

Colin Glassar
15 Posted 19/11/2014 at 18:43:36
Well, I worked as a project manager for many years, all over the world, and a project can be put together in a matter of weeks IF the finances are there. If there's NO money/funding available you can think of all the pie-in-the-sky ideas you want but it will never get off the ground.

I wouldn't be surprised if Billy boy gets the Polish builder who built his shed to whip up a blueprint for the new stadium.

Tom R Owen
16 Posted 19/11/2014 at 18:48:03
Perhaps Fortress Sport are providing the finance...
Eugene Ruane
17 Posted 19/11/2014 at 18:18:04
Christ, the art of speaking without saying anything.

"ItÂ’s a site that we think has got great merit and itÂ’s a site that weÂ’d like to develop and bring to fruition"


Well go and find 𧸖 million and bring that to fruition.

"The big-game changers — I know that’s a cliche — for Everton will be a big stadium that we fill every week or it will be a new investor on the lines of Chelsea or Manchester City and we continue to pursue both of those strands"


Specifically HOW big?

And they werenÂ’t Â’new investorsÂ’, they were buyers, which is why theyÂ’re now owners - thereÂ’s a big difference.

"Our intention is try and progress towards a planning application"

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, why not say fuck-all until you can finance something.

"ItÂ’s quite a complex and quite a big planning application. It will be significant in expense and we need to find a fantastic master planning company"

Sorry but (more) Echo space-filler waffle waffle waffle.

Paragraphs of wishful thinking, stating the bleeding obvious and basically putting the cart before the horse.

A horse we donÂ’t have the money to buy.

Martin Mason
18 Posted 19/11/2014 at 19:17:55
Everton don't have the finances to build a new stadium on its own as no club does nowadays and the application would have to cover means of financing the building of new stadium. In this respect, the council are critical in that only they can approve the additional development required to do this in terms of land and infrastructure for cash.

We're unlikely to get a free ground like Man City or an Investor like Chelsea did but to finance a new ground for us there will be need for roads, car parks and retail outlets and the danger is that it could just be Kirkby all over again

Tony I'Anson
19 Posted 19/11/2014 at 20:11:59
Steavey #10, all surpluses would remain in the fan controlled financing vehicle to pay down the debt quicker.
Colin Glassar
20 Posted 19/11/2014 at 20:23:28
It's all gobbledygook Eugene. Elstone has become a master of spin, buying his boss time so he and the rest of the 'board' don't have to spend a penny on the club.
Tony I'Anson
21 Posted 19/11/2014 at 20:34:08
Someone said on Saturday that the best time to plant a tree is 29 years ago.
Tony I'Anson
22 Posted 19/11/2014 at 20:37:43
Would you donate 𧶀 to stadium finance, or put the money into having Z-Cars playing on the moon?

It's a serious question. See

Brent Stephens
23 Posted 19/11/2014 at 20:49:11
Tony #22, is there an option of paying 𧶀 to put a certain chairman on the moon? He could whistle Z-Cars while he's sitting in his tin can.
Sean Kelly
24 Posted 19/11/2014 at 20:45:17
I think I hear that can being kicked further down the road. Having worked on it 24/7 for the past 18 months, he still need to find architects, needs to find a bus, needs to find Billy's sofa and needs to find a scapegoat for example the council.

FFS it's a stadium we want – not a new fucking city. I won't see it in my lifetime not with this board anyway. I think billy bullshit is holding out on winning the euromillions lottery draw. That may be our only hope.
Please please please me, Elstone – fuck off, and take Billy with you.

Patrick Murphy
26 Posted 19/11/2014 at 20:55:12
An estimate of five years was put on the project by Greg O'Keefe of the Echo when asked when a new ground was likely to be up and running and that was with no major setbacks in the process.

But given the aggressive nature of the sales pitch towards season ticket holders and potential season ticket holders in the past 12 months it would suggest to me at least that the intention to re-locate is a real one, however, if Bill Kenwright and Robert Elstone were to oversee another failed ground move surely their positions would become untenable?

Paul Hewitt
27 Posted 19/11/2014 at 21:13:13
This is all pie in the sky nothing will happen so don't bother getting excited.
Dennis Stevens
28 Posted 19/11/2014 at 21:11:16
What even more untenable, Patrick?
Kunal Desai
29 Posted 19/11/2014 at 21:10:28
Quite simply funding is key to any project. Even if there is a budget of x amount, that budget could always increase dependent on further resource and materials. I bet they have not even considered alternative resources and materials should the project come to a halt or become a risk. More chance of Moyes winning the La Liga title with Real Sociadad than Everton getting a new ground under the stewardship of these fools.
Andy Meighan
30 Posted 19/11/2014 at 21:15:46
Believe it when IÂ’m actually sitting there watching us playing. Til then... yawn.
Luke Rustad
31 Posted 19/11/2014 at 22:40:08
Elstone hasn't overseen over a failed ground move yet. Let's allow him the chance to fail before blaming him for our history of stadium debacles!

I don't see anything wrong with updating supporters with progress, albeit with very little to announce.

Karl Masters
32 Posted 19/11/2014 at 23:16:38
Not fools, Kunal. More ruthless chancers.

That especially applies to Green and Earl with Billy boy not far behind. Elstone probably more genuine, but being kept in the mushroom house.

In my opinion, of course.

David Hallwood
33 Posted 19/11/2014 at 23:31:34
I wonder who the youngest TWebber is? it certainly ainÂ’t me. But one thing is certain is that he (or she) will be dead and gone and theyÂ’ll still be talking about a new bleedinÂ’ stadium.

Not a chance of it being built, especially as thereÂ’s another financial crash of the horizon.

Eric Myles
34 Posted 20/11/2014 at 00:48:08
I hope they don't use the same planning specialists they employed on Desperation Kirkby. Or the same stadium architects.
Steve Carse
35 Posted 20/11/2014 at 01:37:43
There is not a cat in hells chance of Everton ever getting a new stadium. So let's drop the whole facade and press for investment in GP.

For a fraction of the cost of a new stadium, we could have an upgraded Main Stand with fewer obstructions and a two-tier Park End with the requisite corporate and entertainment facilities.

Give us these two things and I could live with the Bullens Rd and Gwladys St remaining as they are, as a testament to the traditions and the history of this once great club.

Steavey Buckley
36 Posted 20/11/2014 at 01:54:01
Steve, where's the money coming from to develop GP? If the money comes out of the budget, there will be black hole. And not enough money for the manager to plan his transfer dealings. One hand tied behind his back. Because the budget is the only source of revenue.
Michael Penley
37 Posted 20/11/2014 at 01:57:14
But Steve, things have to change don't they? Otherwise how would people like Elstone justify their salary? New logo, new kit each year, new stadium. Who cares about tradition and heritage? Change is good. That should replace NSNO as our new motto.
Peter Barry
38 Posted 20/11/2014 at 03:42:49
What nobody at the club has answered and what they keep avoiding is "Where is the money coming from?"

We keep being told we haven't got a pot to piss in but then suddenly they talk about building a multi-million pound stadium it just doesn't pass the 'smell' test.

David Ellis
39 Posted 20/11/2014 at 03:50:34
The finances of the club have improved dramatically over the last 24 months. We have now significantly paid down our debt and our revenue is up around 50% in that period. This means we have much greater ability to finance (i.e. borrow money to finance) a new stadium than we did when we were looking at Kirkby. That was de-railed, not because of the money, but because of planning objections.

So it's entirely possible that we can raise enough debt to build a new stadium if we get the land from the local authority, naming rights, some kind of real estate/retail play within the development, sale of the land containing GP etc and mortgage over future season ticket sales and TV revenue streams.

In the short run it will make the club poorer – Arsenal had to go through a period of cost management – hence no trophies since they started building the Emirates. But in the long run it should pay off and we have to do something otherwise Goodison will simply crumble.

The idea from some on here that the fans could somehow finance the stadium and own it via a trust, presumably then leasing it to the club, is clearly in the realms of fantasy (unfortunately).

Peter Barry
40 Posted 20/11/2014 at 04:18:08
I should add that I am amazed at the naïve gullibility of so many TWers who seem to fall for the Stadium BS every time it it is floated.
Eric Myles
41 Posted 20/11/2014 at 05:44:47
Steavey #36, if they can find loadsa money for a new stadium surely it is easier to find a fraction of the money for a redevelopment?
Michael Kenrick
42 Posted 20/11/2014 at 06:17:29
Dave, it seems this myth has entered the Evertonian folklore thanks to some wonderful spinning of the Annual Report: "We have now significantly paid down our debt."

With all due respect, I don't think that's true. Back in May 2013, we had total debts of around 㿜M.

In May 2014, we had total debts of around 㿝M.

I can't find any evidence in the Annual Report that we have paid down the debt at all.

Back in May of this year, we had an extra 㾾M floating around in the bank... which I feel sure we have subsequently spent. Our borrowings remain substantial.

Paul Andrews
43 Posted 20/11/2014 at 07:02:07

A myth indeed.
And one that a lot of people are buying in to

David Ellis
44 Posted 20/11/2014 at 07:10:33
Now you've got me scurrying back to my copy of the accounts which I will examine tonight. I thought debt was down to the 㿅M-ish range but of course I may well be wrong.

As to the comments on naviety – I don't think TWers are naive. We like to debate what we can debate but I don't think anyone is convinced any of this will happen any time soon or indeed at all. It's early days.

Tom Hughes
45 Posted 20/11/2014 at 06:45:22
I am not against moving per se, and not overly averse to WHP. It is actually easier for me to get to, although I have some reservations about its inherently lower public transport provision when compared to GP. My main concern is not even the endless lack of substance in this and previous "announcements", however....

It is the continued lack of compelling evidence to show why GP cannot be redeveloped – possibly for a much lower cost – with a fraction of the planning and other worrying imponderables and unknowns to consider. Why is this option dismissed out of hand, when the vast majority of clubs have chosen this route for good reason, and when the overwhelming body of evidence points to its viability?

James Hughes
46 Posted 20/11/2014 at 07:08:25
Michael please, please don’t start paying attention to details and facts, you know the multi-millionaires on our board don’t like it. The truth merely muddies the picture.

Dennis’s comments (#7) remind me of the programme W1A where they have a meeting about having a meeting.

The stadium will come when they find the end of the rainbow (so hope I am wrong tho’).

Eric Myles
47 Posted 20/11/2014 at 07:32:36
Michael #42, you are propagating a myth yourself with your "total debts" figures, those numbers you quote are nett debt. Total debt is about 䀆 million.
Derek Thomas
48 Posted 20/11/2014 at 07:58:40
Tom; we all know why the phased redevelopment is a non-starter. For all the usual suspects to get their big pay day, they feel that the best way is a new build.

Tom Hughes
49 Posted 20/11/2014 at 08:13:53
You may be right, Derek... if this is indeed merely packaging the club for the highest value "off-plan" sale, it has to be questioned.

As is the choice of site ahead of more centrally located options with intrinsic greater benefits in terms of planning, enabling, and public transport infrastructure.

So far, we could be forgiven for thinking the process to date has consisted of the club simply getting a generic stadium design drawn up (with a large home end apparently), and the Council saying we have a park nearby that we want to sell off if you fancy it. No real indication of how it can be funded, how the transport can be improved and how this option is so obviously superior to all others, including redevelopment of the current historic site, which has so much that can be built upon.

Sean Kelly
50 Posted 20/11/2014 at 10:25:35
Calm down, calm down folks... according to me four-year-old grandson it's all sorted. Apparently Billy has put a new stadium on his list for Santa and Santa never let's you down. By the way, Billy told him.
Denis Richardson
51 Posted 20/11/2014 at 11:09:45
With our 㿊M-odd extra Sky money for the next 2-3 years, at least (assuming of course disaster doesn't strike and we go down), I don't understand why we simply cannot redevelop GP, one stand at a time. I think this is basically what the RS are planning to do at a cost of around 𧵎M.

Maybe there is some clause somewhere in the bond or other documents that prevents this but until someone from the club comes out and says why this cannot be done, I'm scratching my head as to why we're bothering to waste time searching for new sites.

Redeveloping GP would be affordable if done over a few years, a stand at a time, and would obviously keep us in our natural home. Even 㾻M a year put towards it would get the process under way.

Colin Glassar
52 Posted 20/11/2014 at 11:08:46
God, Sean, I can just picture it now... Billy Liar sitting on Father Christmas's knee in the grotto (in Lewis's?) circa 1962, in his wooly shorts and school cap, looking like a scouse Just William.

"So, what do you want for Christmas, William?"

"I want a twain set and a teddy bear and I want to own the Boys Pen and then EFC when I'm a big boy."

"Fuck off, soft lad, that'll be the end of us"

[Said with a Damien like stare:] "You'll see, you fat bastard, I'll make you all pay for not taking me seriously." A crocodile tear rolls down his pinkish cheek as he gives Father Christmas a sardonic grin. The scene ends with thunder and lightening...

Dave Lynch
53 Posted 20/11/2014 at 12:09:50
Who was it who said, "An enigma, shrouded in mystery and wrapped up in a puzzle"? That's the ground move for me.

I've emailed the fool and asked him. "I'm 53, smoke and drink too much and have a twat of a diet, do you think I'll ever get to see a game at this fabled new stadium?"

I don't expect a response...

Phil Walling
54 Posted 20/11/2014 at 12:29:10
Usually accredited to Winston Churchill, allegedly 'borrowed' by JFK but often claimed as an inclusion in 18th century Masonic ritual.

Whatever the truth, Dave, I'm a tad older than you and even if I keep running marathons, I shan't live to see 'New Goodison'!

Ste Traverse
55 Posted 20/11/2014 at 13:22:16
Elstone says...

"Everton considers itself a proud citizen of this City."

That's priceless considering Elstone made it public he wanted us to quit this City and move to Kirkby not so very long ago.

Eric Myles
56 Posted 20/11/2014 at 13:46:03
Ste #55, a proud citizen that is going to eliminate a large swath of public park?
Steavey Buckley
57 Posted 20/11/2014 at 17:32:19
Eric, the redevelopment of GP is a non-starter, because it won't be sanctioned by the chairman and board of directors of EFC.

A new stadium is all that is the on the table. And that is a big 'if' if I am reading other comments properly.

Tom Hughes
58 Posted 20/11/2014 at 17:58:36
I don't think even BK would state publically that he wouldn't "sanction" redevelopment. The idea is to find the best solution based on merit and basic cost benefit and to then vote on it.

They might have reason to engineer a situation where redevelopment is not considered, in another Hobson's choice of a ballot.... ie where a third party comes along to incentivise a move, or where board members might have a vested interest in moving..... but won't declare such.

Steavey Buckley
59 Posted 20/11/2014 at 18:36:59
Tom Hughes, BK has publicly stated that the redevelopment of GP is a non starter. The next question then should be asked, if a new stadium is not going to be built in the next 5 years, what is the future for GP?
Joe McMahon
60 Posted 20/11/2014 at 19:31:35
I'm 45 and I was hoping to be sat in a new stadium before I was 50!. It ain't gonna happen. Makes you wonder how long Goodison, Bullens in particular will actually last?
Tom Hughes
61 Posted 20/11/2014 at 20:22:01
That's not saying he wouldn't sanction a redevelopment though. He was merely stating a stance based heavily on the pre-ordained outcome that was Kirkby, and now WHP.

At no point has he or the club ever been able to say why redevelopment is a non-starter though.... he also once paid for GFE to prove that it could indeed be done (when it suited him). Very little has changed since.... except of course even our neighbours have now realised that redevelopment is often the best option..... even after stating categorically that it wasn't for the previous decade.

Patrick Murphy
62 Posted 20/11/2014 at 20:57:47
I have just re-watched the statement that Robert Elstone made on 17th November and I paraphrase what he said regarding the possible redevelopment of Goodison "I think that it is absolutely our opinion, that it would probably be too expensive, too challenging, too difficult, uncertain predictability as to whether we could achieve it."

So he accepts that the redevelopment of Goodison would be a non-starter on what seems to be mere opinion rather than any hard facts – or more likely that Everton FC couldn't even afford to do that on their own – which obviously means the club is subservient to other party or parties. Not really ideal but I suppose beggars can't be choosers.

Colin Glassar
63 Posted 20/11/2014 at 21:04:47
There will be a man on Mars before that lot (the board) sort out the stadium issue.
Steavey Buckley
64 Posted 20/11/2014 at 21:14:52
Joe, Bullens Rd along with the rest of GP maybe becomes a listed building, with a conservation order placed on it, never to be altered, and Everton will be obliged to play there always.
Tom Hughes
65 Posted 20/11/2014 at 21:39:55
Steavey. ... similar was tried with Villa's mainstand. It was still demolished and a new stand built in its place. Also, Ibrox's Leitch mainstand was redeveloped extensively despite its listed status, and the problem of preserving the existing facade. The Bullens Rd or Gwladys St wouldn't pose similar problems.... and the the other two stands certainly wouldn't.
Richard Pike
66 Posted 20/11/2014 at 22:24:41
Tom (65): the loss of that Trinity Road facade at Villa Park was a real shame. I was surprised its demolition was allowed, and I wasn't alone. Also Highbury is now a residential development that had to incorporate the two side stands as they were listed, and over in Chicago the city managed to completely redevelop Soldier Field a decade ago without touching the colonnades along its sides. So these things are not necessarily a show-stopper.

That said, you are right in saying it is unlikely to be an issue at Goodison. If we're honest, the historical interest aside it has little architectural merit.

Tom Hughes
67 Posted 20/11/2014 at 22:38:43
Richard, you're right about the Trinity Road facade..... Unfortunately they wanted a much bigger capacity on that side and greater depth was required. A bit of imagination may have allowed its retention but they decided not to.

Goodison's architectural merit lies in its internal features and functionality..... and the fact that the it boasted 4 double-decker stands at a time when so many had none. It it's its collective quality that has the value. The exterior was always intentionally austere, the good stuff was always on the inside.

Eric Myles
68 Posted 21/11/2014 at 04:21:17
Steavey #57, a new stadium will not be funded by these owners. BK and the board, and their friends, are looking for someone else to foot the bill and think planning permission for a new stadium will make the Club a more attractive sale so they still don't have to put in a penny of their own money while walking away with a handsome profit for no investment.

That is why they are not considering the option of redevelopment, not because it is a non-starter.

Tom Hughes
69 Posted 21/11/2014 at 08:31:11
I think you're right, Eric. The "non-starter" stance is to deflect away from the way we have been run, and the approach to the whole stadium issue all along. It has never been justified because it can't be.

While we have done nothing on this front, ALL other clubs have managed to add quality capacity and facilities, often on equally or more problematic sites. Most with lower turnovers than ours, and without sugar daddies. Therefore, there can be few excuses for our continued failure to date. Saying it's a non-starter is the only true non-starter.

Winston Williamson
70 Posted 21/11/2014 at 09:21:02
I thought that it’s been obvious for a very long time why we’re not re-developing GP. Eric is spot on... either we have no money or are unprepared to make that type (or any type) of investment.

By ’we’, I refer to the board members. A new stadium would be funded by sponsors, outside investment and debt.

Charlie Parker
71 Posted 23/11/2014 at 17:21:15
This is my first post to this forum but I have used the forum for some time and supported the Blues for many years (too many to mention).

I am reading about a new stadium located in Walton Hall Park. I am someone who dose not relish a new stadium for the sake of it. I am very traditional in my footballing views and am reluctant to leave Goodison Park.

After the previous fiasco of Kings Dock / Kirkby etc, I am wary. But if a move becomes inevitable, I hope for two things:

1) That we retain the Goodison name;

2) That we build a traditional-style stadium to encourage a great atmosphere – unlike some soulless stadiums that are built these days.

Tom Hughes
72 Posted 24/11/2014 at 11:19:25
I took a few neutrals to the game on Saturday, as we had a family celebration on the previous night. Two Celtic fans, two Boro fans and a couple of others. They didn't have the greatest seats in the ground... Upper Gwladys St in the corner with the Bullens... but they absolutely loved it. Even with a column running right through the centre of the pitch. They felt like they were right on top of the action and could see all the moves opening out despite the obstruction. One of the Boro fans in particular was really surprised to hear that we would even consider moving.

I don't believe we necessarily need the vast expense of a whole new ground, and we certainly don't need a non-descript basic bowl at the expense of what we already have. A new and larger Upper Bullens with a row of exec boxes would probably meet all our short- to medium-term needs. There needn't be any loss of capacity during construction, and much of the history and character will be preserved. It might not look quite as attractive on a sales brochure for the club though.

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