New stadium plans include rail-seating

Thursday, 27 June, 2019 113comments  |  Jump to last
Everton's plans for a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock include the installation of rail seating at both ends according to a report in the Liverpool Echo.

During recent presentations by club officials, it was revealed that the club hopes to have "safe standing" seating in the south and north stands from the day the ground goes into operation.

While there has yet to be a decision made by the Government, clubs working on new stadium construction or redevelopment are factoring in the possibility that rail seating, like that now in use at Celtic Park in Scotland and some grounds in Germany, will become acceptable on English terraces.

Under new guidelines from the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) last year, the use of rail seats was addressed in the body's Green Guide document, used by all stadium managers, which referred to 'seats incorporating barriers', which the SGSA later confirmed meant that they could be installed and still meet the government's all-seater policy, provided certain strict conditions were met.

Everton hope that by incorporating rail seating, they could increase the de facto capacity at Bramley-Moore Dock well beyond the planned 52,000 all-seater capacity.  


Reader Comments (113)

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Alan Rodgers
1 Posted 27/06/2019 at 20:54:57
Great idea.
Derek Knox
2 Posted 27/06/2019 at 21:14:05
Personally not a great fan of standing, but that's probably due to advancing years, but I can understand that many people are in favour of such an arrangement.

What I don't quite understand, though, having never been to a ground where it was in operation, is this. For whatever reason, you decide to sit down for a while, the people in front remain standing, does this obscure the view of the seated person?

Or is the elevation between rows such that that would not occur, mind you people are all different heights, and the younger generation seem to be gradually getting taller?

Dermot Byrne
3 Posted 27/06/2019 at 21:16:01
Fair plan. I imagine the Hillsborough families would also see sense in this as they probably know more about this than anyone.

Could be wrong.

Tommy Surgenor
4 Posted 27/06/2019 at 21:34:45
Derek #2. I think it's a capacity thing.

The figures I have heard before are that 1.5 people could stand in a rail-seating area per 1 person that could sit. It would increase our capacity for Premier League games.

Obviously the European competitions are still against it so we would have to use the seats for that competition.

Google Toffee TV. Those guys have done a great video on it and how it works in Germany.

Kase Chow
5 Posted 27/06/2019 at 21:40:48
What the heck is rail-seating???
Derek Knox
6 Posted 27/06/2019 at 21:42:04
Thanks, Tommy, I will give it a go.
Tommy Surgenor
7 Posted 27/06/2019 at 21:52:14
Rail Seating by Toffee TV

Hopefully MK & Lyndon don’t mind me posting the link.

Brian Williams
8 Posted 27/06/2019 at 21:52:36
It's the rail seating that could give us our 60k capacity!
Geoff Trenner
9 Posted 27/06/2019 at 21:59:21
Kase #5. It’s what St Jeremy of Corbyn couldn’t find so he sat on the floor!
Rob Marsh
10 Posted 27/06/2019 at 22:13:12
I'm all for it if it puts some atmosphere back into matchday.

I believe though even with rail seating it will not be as good as the past, this is because it's the people who have changed that go to matches as much as the seating.

There were many more younger lads that went and made lots of noise back in the day, they've been replaced by their grandmothers, mothers, aunties.

Ray Roche
11 Posted 27/06/2019 at 22:14:44
Good link, Tommy.
Mike Gaynes
12 Posted 27/06/2019 at 22:17:02
I'm repeating Kase's question... what is rail-seating?
Brent Stephens
13 Posted 27/06/2019 at 22:20:32
Rail-seating...

Link

Rob Marsh
14 Posted 27/06/2019 at 22:22:47
Mike #12,

There's 2 steps, the lower step has a rail for those standing up to lean on, the higher step has seats either folded away or in a seating position dependent on occasion, if the seat is up both steps can accomodate people standing up, else sitting down just one person.

Rob Halligan
15 Posted 27/06/2019 at 22:23:30
Mike, I think it's like a handrail behind every row of seats so that, in effect, you cannot fall into the row in front of you. Though why some think it helps to increase the capacity... who knows?

Of course, I could be wrong.

Rob Halligan
16 Posted 27/06/2019 at 22:25:25
There you go, Rob # 14 just explained why the capacity could increase.
Brian Williams
17 Posted 27/06/2019 at 22:31:34
Rob#15.

Yeh, you are wrong, Rob. For the same area rail seating provides 1.5 x the capacity of seats. Therefore, if rail-seating was installed in both ends of the stadium and each end had a seated capacity of say 8k, then the rail seating would have a 12k capacity, thereby increasing the seated-only capacity by 8k in total.

It's not simply a bar behind conventional seats. Look it up.

Rob Marsh
18 Posted 27/06/2019 at 22:43:19
Read it again please, Brian. I haven't mentioned any ratios.

There's two steps, one with a seat and one with a rail

Brian Williams
19 Posted 27/06/2019 at 23:08:36
Rob, I meant you are wrong about it NOT increasing capacity, which is what you implied by saying "Though why some think it helps to increase the capacity for knows. Of course, I could be wrong."

Mike Gaynes
20 Posted 27/06/2019 at 23:12:01
Brent/Rob/Rob, thanks. That helps.
Rob Marsh
21 Posted 27/06/2019 at 23:12:10
Brian,

Crossed wires me thinks!

I'm a different Rob and shouldn't have answered your post.

Andy Crooks
22 Posted 27/06/2019 at 23:20:21
I know it is an outdated opinion but... standing at matches stopped for very good reasons. Why not sit and watch the game?
Joe Corgan
23 Posted 27/06/2019 at 23:31:15
No issues with it myself as long as there are at least *SOME* seating-only areas.

I don't actually like crowds and I'm not the tallest guy. I hate going to events such as concerts where I inevitably end up with some 6'5" behemoth in front completely blocking my view even if I'm on a slightly raised step.

The status-quo works for me but I understand it doesn't work for everyone. The video posted by Tommy (#7) is a great demonstration of how it could work at BMD and seems to be a good compromise.

Don Alexander
24 Posted 27/06/2019 at 23:37:02
Now I've never been to the latest Dusseldorf stadium but I applaud their imagination in doing their level best in re-introducing terrace-style standing facilities, but devoid of the threat of death that was always part of my hair-raising experience in all stadiums, Goodison included, in the 60s, 70s & 80s. The fact that they can be easily adapted to accommodate the all-seater scenario SEEMS a bonus.

I just hope that Dan Meis has been allowed to create a Dusseldorf-type stadium that creates basic comfort levels for all fans, in either standing or sitting scenarios.

That said, as a fall-back position, I'd love Bramley-Moore to encompass the sheer atmosphere of Celtic Park with its comfortable vertiginous stands from which a noise like thunder flows down to the pitch. It's electric.

Peter Warren
25 Posted 27/06/2019 at 23:40:08
Tommy 7 - thanks for the link... very interesting and makes sense.
Dennis Stevens
26 Posted 27/06/2019 at 23:53:21
Andy Crooks #22, I have to disagree with you.

I don't believe "standing at matches stopped for very good reasons" at all. It's always seemed clear to me that the enforced move to all-seater stadia was part of the post-Hillsborough "it was all down to out of control football fans" message coming from the authorities.

If lots of people standing together was genuinely a high-risk activity then the all-seater strategy would not have been so specifically targeted at football in particular.

Brent Stephens
27 Posted 27/06/2019 at 23:59:04
Andy #22 - sorry, but disagree. Dennis #26 nails it.
Danny Baily
28 Posted 28/06/2019 at 00:05:51
All this talk but no action. I don't think we'll see this stadium built.
Mike Gaynes
29 Posted 28/06/2019 at 00:28:20
Well, Danny #28, that would certainly resolve the seating issue.

In a side note, that PR manager has an awesome name -- Mo Maghazachi. Sounds like a player we should sign for the right side of our midfield.

Don Alexander
30 Posted 28/06/2019 at 00:37:15
Okay, it was just one match but THAT semi between us and Liverpool in 1977 at Old Trafford saw me in the Stretford End watching a lad my age (22) getting trapped by his neck against a crash barrier as our crowd surged forward (for understandable reason) to the point he went visibly blue in the face.

My dad, a powerful man stood next to him, placed himself in such a position behind the young man as to relieve the pressure to such an extent that I was able to drag him under the barrier. He was collapsed but within minutes was able to stand again. It was scary, surges were scary, thuggery was scary, but the football in comparison to today was full-blooded. Make of that what you will!

Terry White
31 Posted 28/06/2019 at 03:11:27
Don (#30), not that it's got anything to do with your story but was that the Clive Thomas semi at Maine Road?
Laurie Hartley
32 Posted 28/06/2019 at 06:17:18
Don # 30 - When I first started going to Goodison at the age of 13 with my mates, I used to stand behind the wall on the Goodison Road terraces. I remember well the surges but never gave the subject much thought until recent years.

When I look back on it now, it was really dangerous for youngsters in particular so I think the move to all seating is a good thing.

Having said that, I followed Tommy's #7 link and think that the “yellow wall” standing rail system is great for those fans that want it. It wouldn't be too difficult for the club to have a check box in the season ticket application for any fan wanting to stand and eliminate the problem for some fans that Joe identified @ 23.

On a side note, the only time I was really frightened at a football match was coming through the exit tunnel after an FA cup tie at Southport. At one stage, I nearly fell to the ground and I reckon if I had I wouldn't be posting this out 50-odd years later.

Brian Williams
33 Posted 28/06/2019 at 08:10:21
Rob#21.
👍
Anthony Murphy
34 Posted 28/06/2019 at 08:25:02
Really excited by this and looking forward to the designs later this summer. Apologies if I'm missing something but, if the rail seating is part of the original fittings with a capacity of 52k, what needs to be introduced to increase the capacity at a later date? Is it simply a change in the law?
Aidan Wade
35 Posted 28/06/2019 at 09:04:54
I think it's a good idea and believe horses for courses, seats for those who want them, a safe place to stand for those prefer to. Greater density means more voices and better atmosphere - I think.

Hopefully that 1.5 increase in capacity in these zones means a 33% price reduction compared to seated tickets as well.

Further if Everton do pioneer this in the English leagues, our fans can continue to lead by example and do the club proud.

Tony Everan
36 Posted 28/06/2019 at 09:18:33
I like the idea, I grew up with it on the push and shove on the Gwladys Street, standing seemed to make the crowd feel like a unit behind that goal. I think the standing adds to the atmosphere. One major thing is it has to be done 100% safely, and completely stress tested.

Saying that, I feel for the Ronnie Corbetts who are 'safe standing' behind the John Cleeses.

Brian Williams
37 Posted 28/06/2019 at 09:47:39
Anthony, I "think" the 52k capacity was for the stadium being all-seated. I think the rail-seating is an ingenious way of increasing that capacity to 60k minimum without increasing the stadium footprint. This is just my opinion with no proof or other knowledge of it.
Len Hawkins
39 Posted 28/06/2019 at 10:26:20
I'm 5'-11" and invariably after finding a spec behind some vertically challenged folk as kick-off time approached, a bloody Desperate Dan style character would push his way through and plonk himself in front of me. And he'd then chain smoke his way through a pack or two of Capstan Full Strength with the breeze blowing the smoke into my face.

A meat pie which first bite the greasy gravy runs down the front of your shirt and a cardboard cup of Higson's brown ale poured the same way as you took the first swig and someone knocked your elbow.

Todays supporters don't know the half of it – you went to the match like a new pin and came home like one of the Town Centre Applejack Club.

Gordon Crawford
40 Posted 28/06/2019 at 11:39:51
Brian that’s exactly how it is. Though they were saying that’s it’s 62,000 with rail seating.

Also did anyone read that UNESCO were trying to stop the stadium being built?

Sam Bull
41 Posted 28/06/2019 at 11:55:18
A few people mentioning surges of people in standing, but the rails will prevent surges.
Rob Halligan
42 Posted 28/06/2019 at 12:19:19
Len, did nobody ever piss down the back of your legs?
Ray Roche
43 Posted 28/06/2019 at 12:26:32
Gordon @40

I mentioned this on a thread yesterday and my post was removed, however there is link to an article on the matter at the top of the article.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

44 Posted 28/06/2019 at 12:35:58
Gordon @40.

"Did anyone read that UNESCO were trying to stop the stadium being built?"

That's a distorted embellishment about a recent story that UNESCO has 'concerns' about the development of the docks area which 'may have' consequences for the city's World Heritage Site listing.

Link

The BBC report clearly states UNESCO's concerns are for the entire development plans, NOT specifically Everton's stadium build as your post implies.

In response, both Joe Anderson and Peel Holdings, the developers, are quoted in the report as saying the development can go ahead without compromising the World Heritage Site listing.

For balance, in an equally recent report Dan Meis said the stadium will be “unique yet respectful” of Liverpool's Unesco World Heritage Site status.

Link

Brent Stephens
45 Posted 28/06/2019 at 12:39:47
Rob # 42 "Len, did nobody ever piss down the back of your legs?"

Gentlemen would roll up an Echo and piss down that, so nobody got wet.

Rob Halligan
46 Posted 28/06/2019 at 12:47:30
Ah, Brent. Know your own tricks best. 😁😁😁
Brent Stephens
47 Posted 28/06/2019 at 13:01:48
Gentleman to a fault, Rob. Gentleman to a fault.
Iain Johnston
48 Posted 28/06/2019 at 13:23:30
During the '79-80 Man U game at Goodison (0-0) someone pissed in my sisters hood. Dunno how she was 15 and lanky!

Dennis #26 wholeheartedly agree mate.

Ray Roche
49 Posted 28/06/2019 at 13:32:57
Gordon @40 and Jay@44

Here is an article from 22:30 last night. There ARE concerns that the World Heritage status could go if the development, including the Stadium, do not meet the concerns of UNESCO. (Who didn't give a tom tit about the Echo Arena or the black match box at the Pier Head.)

Gordon is right to have some concerns, I personally think that most of these big outfits are corrupt to their very core and that a brown paper envelope would make all these "concerns" disappear. You only have to look at Qatar buying the World Cup for recent evidence of corruption.


Ray Roche
50 Posted 28/06/2019 at 13:40:07
The article. Like a dickhead I omitted to add it.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/liverpool-brink-losing-world-heritage-16497155

Steven Astley
51 Posted 28/06/2019 at 13:55:30
Seems a big faff, particularly how it converts back for European and International games. I would just prefer all seating.
Stan Schofield
52 Posted 28/06/2019 at 14:23:40
Andy @22: I don't agree that standing was ended for good reasons. It was a knee-jerk reaction after Hillsborough, rather than a well-considered assessment of risks taking account of what reasonable further safety measures could be considered at the time.
Rob Marsh
53 Posted 28/06/2019 at 14:59:18
Stan #52

Completely agree with you, Stan.

If at Hillsborough all of the gates, barriers, locks etc been properly designed for all eventualities and the staff properly trained, it wouldn't have happened.

We'd still have the Gwladys Street the way it was (probably?), although I always the thought the old Gwladys could have done with a few more uprights on the terrace to control excessive crowd movement.

I can understand the safety sentiment, but if everything is properly designed and people properly trained, there's even no need for rail seating, we could have a normal terrace (as they do in Germany).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1OuDRMvlnM

Tony Everan
54 Posted 28/06/2019 at 16:01:49
Rob 42, Brent 45,

In around 1980, I thought that golden waterfall running past me in the Gwladys Street was a design feature.

Ray Said
55 Posted 28/06/2019 at 16:19:31
Unesco – a very precious outfit to start with – are now pushing the boundaries of their influence by interfering not only in the actual World Heritage Site but by trying to create a World Heritage Site 'buffer zone' adjacent to the actual site and trying to dictate what development can occur in the zone around the World Heritage Site as well as in it. If they had their way, we would have old empty buildings and no new jobs, business or homes.
Rob Marsh
56 Posted 28/06/2019 at 16:26:18
Tony #54

With these seating rails, there's a decent chance there will be lots of "water features" around the new stadium.

Anyone wanting to start their own will have lots of cover to do it in, looking at that picture above.

Ed Prytherch
57 Posted 28/06/2019 at 17:00:33
Love the piss stories. A friend was leaving the ground and found that a pocket of his pack a mac had been filled, presumably with the help of the Echo.
Brent Stephens
58 Posted 28/06/2019 at 17:09:52
Ed #57 - was a male or female culprit suspected?
Rob Marsh
59 Posted 28/06/2019 at 17:14:52
Brent #58

Back then, they were identifiable, If it happend today it could be shemale. Things the way they are, be careful what you say!

Brent Stephens
60 Posted 28/06/2019 at 17:17:48
Thanks for the warning, Rob. Everything's in hand.
Gordon Crawford
61 Posted 28/06/2019 at 17:20:31
Jay 44, going by this quote, it seems that they tried to stop the stadium proposal “Unesco has said it was "regrettable" the council had ignored previous recommendations against building a stadium at Bramley Moor dock.”

That sounds to me like they tried to stop it.

And yes, I do have concerns that these people are hindering the development and capacity of our new stadium.

James Hughes
62 Posted 28/06/2019 at 17:26:45
Just asking the question, would Unesco prefer a derelict area of Liverpool, or an area redeveloped that allows the proper preservation of the bits they deem worthy?

To preserve the bits they deem worthy isn't going to happen for free...

Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 28/06/2019 at 17:40:31
I've said it for years: having World Heritage Site status is not the long-term answer for the city of Liverpool when we have got so much scope right along the waterfront.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

64 Posted 28/06/2019 at 17:55:34
Ray @ 49 and Gordon @ 61.

Within Ray's linked report, once again Peel and Joe Anderson respond to UNECO's 'concerns'. That is very different from the stark claim Gordon made earlier that the illustrious body was 'blocking the building of the new stadium'.

There will be a lot of posturing and arm wrestling to protect each others interests, but as Anderson says both time and funds have been dedicated to ensure any development complies with UNESCO's 'demands' whilst also denying that it is an 'either/or' situation. Either there is no development and the UNSCO status is retained, or development goes ahead and the status is lost to the city.

There is room for compromise. As Anderson also adds, "the city centre is not a monument that can be preserved in aspic – we are a bustling, dynamic, thriving 21st Century city that continues to evolve."

The downtown and dock areas have been hugely, magnificently, transformed since the Tory 'managed declined' era of the 1980s seemed intent on destroying the heart, soul and spirit of the city. It should be allowed to grow and develop, whilst preserving the docklands history which it has tastefully done to date.

By anybody's reckoning, the area leading to and around Brmley-Moore Dock is rundown, barren, stark. Development there can be mutually beneficial to both the city's economic and social growth, as well as retaining and promoting its history.

Ray Roche
65 Posted 28/06/2019 at 18:24:39
Jay. Your last two paragraphs. Spot on. Jobs and regeneration are more important than this so-called World Heritage Site.
Ray Roche
66 Posted 28/06/2019 at 18:25:58
In the Gwladys Street End.

I said to my mate, "I need a piss."

"Piss in his hood in front of you."

"Won't he notice?"

"You didn't!"

Rob Halligan
67 Posted 28/06/2019 at 18:47:42
Could have been a problem if anyone was dying for a number two!!
Rob Marsh
68 Posted 28/06/2019 at 19:56:47
Jay Wood #64

You have to wonder how much of the money that should be spent on the fan experience and atmosphere in the ground will be spent on tarting it up to World Heritage Site standards.

It looks like Unesco have the council by the balls. It's sad if it is the case, we don't build these things too often and we need to get it right when we do.

Marcus Leigh
69 Posted 28/06/2019 at 21:12:37
I totally understand and respect why the all-seater legislation was brought in. But having spent many, many seasons standing on the Gwladys Street End terrace and loving the thrill of that mercurial closeness, the electricity of physical contact, the undeniable sensation of being part of the 'tribe', the bond, the togetherness, the pushing and pulling, the connection with everyone around you - nothing can or ever will compare with that. Nothing.

In my opinion, all-seater stadiums killed football stone dead. But at least I'm old enough to remember what it was like to 'feel' being a Blue. How it was when it visceral. Hopefully the plans for the new ground will bring some of that back. Hopefully...

Paul Burns
70 Posted 28/06/2019 at 22:46:10
As for the World heritage nonsense, the stadium would be right next to a sewage works.

Don't recall the phony, self-appointed body handing out these plaudits moaning when that was built. Or threatening Norton's scrapyard or Barry's skips.

Tell them where to go and mind their own business.

Brian Wilkinson
71 Posted 28/06/2019 at 23:19:38
Ray@66, classic mate.
Len Hawkins
72 Posted 28/06/2019 at 23:29:37
Rob #42,

No thankfully never got christened. But once ended up flying down the steps at Bloomfield Road when the crowd surged forward.

Paul Birmingham
73 Posted 29/06/2019 at 00:52:22
All good comments and we are showing our age, but that's when it was the times, going the match and the smells, tastes of Higson's, and the rest, etched your early days.

Happy Days!


Eric Myles
74 Posted 29/06/2019 at 01:50:20
In my day on the terraces, I always stood with my back to the aptly named crush barrier so there was no real problem with forward surges, only lateral.

I remember a Granada Reports show from Maine Road when fencing was first introduced around grounds. A safety expert's opinion was that "these fences will kill people". It turned out he was right.

Ed Prytherch
75 Posted 29/06/2019 at 03:54:43
Brent # 58 - I believe that it had a pink tinge

I was 13 when I saw us lose 3-0 at home to Burnley in 1960. The attendance was 74,000. Me and some other boys were lifted over the wall for our safety and we watched the game sat in front of the wall.

I was back over there on vacation a few years ago and I went with one of my brothers to the last St Helens game that was played at Knowsley Road and we were standing. It would not have felt right to be sitting.

Brian Murray
76 Posted 29/06/2019 at 07:00:01
Two pertinent questions that need asking but are still not obvious to the club. Why give the away fans rail seating a big platform to create an atmosphere! Why not do as Man Utd and especially Newcastle do and have the away fans out of sight up in the gods? Preferably behind a Perspex screen.
Tom Hughes
77 Posted 29/06/2019 at 07:40:11
Ed, #75,

The irony being that you can still stand at St Helens new ground. and most other Rugby League grounds.

Tom Hughes
78 Posted 29/06/2019 at 09:25:04
The problem regarding Unesco is the size and rather arbitrary nature of its World Heritage Site boundaries. No-one wants to see fine old buildings lost, but almost all of those on the dock estate have either been preserved, were lost years ago, or were of little architectural value anyway.

The last remaining features are the actual bodies of water and quaysides themselves, and there lies the crux of their argument. They're actually advocating the protection of a space. A type of space that is notoriously difficult to develop for anything other than marinas, residential or high rise commercial as the available footprints are often so tight, and the greatest area is given to water.

Again, lots of these spaces have already been lost, and indeed most of the original central docks were infilled over 100 years ago to build the Pier Head and its Three Graces, and the original Customs House long before that, but several more central docks have been filled in the past 30 years and, as a result, the perceived value of these remaining monumental central dock quaysides has been elevated.

Bramley-Moore Dock is at the periphery of the World Heritage Site, next to equally historic docks that now accommodate a sewage plant (a wholly insensitive development in practically every sense that I think just predates the World Heritage Site designation). At just over 1 mile from the Pier Head, the site is at the very edge of where the club can derive any real geographic or logistical benefits.

Having attended the recent previews, and sat through a presentation where the transport plan consisted of 0.8-mile walk to Sandhills (as Vauxhall Station isn't happening) or over a mile walk to town, and there will be some shuttle buses (because private bus companies will see it as a commercial opportunity), it could probably be said that, at best, there are only limited logistical and transport benefits at this site (if any). Which, to be honest, combined with the obvious planning minefield, to me begs the question as to how this site got past the first stage of any selection process in the first place.

The latest costing appears to be in the region of £600M, for just 52k capacity. Expansion to 62k via rail seats is fanciful (imo), would require a change of the law, and even then, at 1.5:1 ratio, would require 20,000 rail seats (out of 52k). In any case, Colin Chong indicated that it has been a struggle modelling people movement in and around the site at just 52k, so again is 60k+ realistic?

The club are faced with a £30-40M bill just to preserve those Quaysides by raising them above a flood plain (?). The USM King Canute stadium, on the (broken) banks of the Royal Blue Mersey?

If the stadium is going to be the redevelopment catalyst for the whole Liverpool Waters scheme beyond Waterloo Dock, then why didn't we go for the already filled-in sections south of Trafalgar Dock, and adjacent to the 10 Streets development? Only half-a-mile from the Pier Head, much closer to all transport hubs, faster turnarounds for shuttles and more realistic walking distances. If we're the enabler, why have we plumped for the least convenient, most problematic and expensive site, that might never allow for expansion? In otherwords, there are more issues than just World Heritage Site status and Unesco, which we've always known about.

Tony Abrahams
79 Posted 29/06/2019 at 09:48:45
Probably because all the buildings closer to town will all take care of themselves, Tom, and if you don't believe the future will bring more railway stations, then I'd have to totally disagree about that.
Paul Burns
80 Posted 29/06/2019 at 11:00:42
Tom I've been saying the same thing for ages, Clarence Dock is larger, already filled in and closer to town.

The mind boggles and you have to suspect that this is all just a supporter appeasement exercise (again) designed to take minds off the team never winning anything.

Stinks to high heaven, worse than the sewage works.

Dennis Stevens
81 Posted 29/06/2019 at 11:04:15
I think, Tom, that for the umpteenth time the club have seized on a "solution" and are determined to make every possible justification for following through on it – right up until it all falls apart, again. In the meantime, another decade is wasted in which Goodison Park could have been expanded and redeveloped. One day, perhaps, the penny may drop!
Anthony Murphy
82 Posted 29/06/2019 at 11:09:17
Tom, I’ve always wondered why too. It was the obvious choice and I’m sure that would have been the preferred option from the outset.

Tom Hughes
83 Posted 29/06/2019 at 13:11:37
Tony, #79,

If we are the catalyst development to kick-start the whole northern section, then evidently those other developments have not really taken care of themselves thus far, and if so, perhaps we could've negotiated a better deal and location. Conversely, if that site is spoken for and those developments are about to be in place, and we are being asked to bookend the whole scheme with a far higher value development than was originally envisaged, shouldn't this also have come with major financial incentives as enablers part-funded by those schemes?

The Liverpool Waters scheme was first announced over 12 years ago. Yet, there is very little if anything new to show for it beyond Prince's Dock, as Waterloo Dock was already underway and half-occupied. I think a lot of the redevelopment has stalled because of the transport issues, and I had believed that Vauxhall Station was meant to address some of this. It's the eternal Catch-22 conundrum of many brownfield sites. Redevelopment is stifled by lack of infrastructure, and infrastructure isn't built because there is nothing to serve.

Normally, the infrastructure is built to help attract the investment. However, despite Everton's proposed massive investment, Colin Chong said that the station is not happening. Several asked how this could be? Maybe he said it to shame the powers that be, but that's where we are as regards the nearest train station, and walking distances to transport hubs as things stand. Bramley-Moore Dock is less than half-a-mile closer to our national rail hub at Lime Street than Goodison Park is, which at least has several direct bus services to and from Goodison Park.

Yes, there are potential transport solutions regarding re-routing or extending some bus services and/or providing a dedicated fixed rail system for the whole Liverpool Waters scheme... which is what I was expecting to hear about in some detail at this stage in the process. All we got was vague references to shuttle buses (private), and quite long walking distances. The Northern Line is a great asset for any stadium, but Kirkdale Station is actually closer to Goodison Park than Sandhills is to Bramley-Moore Dock, so what are we actually gaining in transport terms apart from a few more trains per hour? Regardless of how many stations are built and when, it is still only one line, and one island platform.


Tom Hughes
84 Posted 29/06/2019 at 13:22:34
Dennis #81,

I agree. There's a long history of the club making the problem fit the next offered solution that comes along. This one came along with the funding incentives from a Commonwealth Games bid. That has long since vanished, and the club are now talking of a £600m bill — for just 52k seats. 10 years ago, they rejected the loop site because they said 55k was too small.

Tony Everan
85 Posted 29/06/2019 at 13:23:14
Paul #70,

Perhaps the president of Unesco has got an undeclared interest in Barry's Skips?

Tony Abrahams
86 Posted 29/06/2019 at 14:05:38
I take your point, Tom, and think it's also much easier to walk to Goodison Park from Lime Street, rather than Bramley-Moore Dock.

I think Usmanov, is the man with the steel, so the more long term investment that this project achieves, then the more money they will all make when they start their plans?

I think once Everton build on Bramley-Moore Dock, then everything between the stadium and the city will definitely become prime land, and everything the other side of our new stadium, all the way to Millers Bridge, will also become a much more sought-after location.

Maybe I'm a dreamer, Tom, but the trains will come, because this overall development will quite possibly become the biggest in the whole country, which I'm not sure would ever be the case if Everton had chosen to build much closer to the city centre.

Tony Abrahams
87 Posted 29/06/2019 at 14:11:16
Was that the loop site on Great Homer Street, Tom?

"We would have to build bridges" is what Wyeness said, simply because, without outside investment, Kenwright could not have built anything.

You only have to look at how bad the outside of Goodison Park, had deteriorated before Moshiri arrived, so I always prefer to look at our chairman's actions, over anything the man has ever said.

Dave Abrahams
88 Posted 29/06/2019 at 14:31:50
Tom (83), at an Everton AGM two or three years ago Joe Anderson stated that a railway station was in the plans for the Bramley-Moore Cock area, whether Everton's stadium was built there or not. Surely a politician wouldn't tell porkies, and a Labour man as well!!

By the way, I've always believed that Goodison could have been totally rebuilt and I think it was yourself (?) who submitted plans for the regeneration of Goodison Park many years ago in the Echo and have continued to argue this point.

Maybe with a different chairman?

Alan J Thompson
89 Posted 29/06/2019 at 16:33:23
Sounds to me merely an excuse for building a 52k capacity stadium.
Alan McKie
90 Posted 29/06/2019 at 17:17:51
Sod UNESCO and World Heritage Status. Liverpool as a City has to progress. We are living in the 21st century. I agree we should respect the surroundings with our new build. But the people of the City also have to prosper through jobs etc. The Beatles alone did more for the City than everything since.
Laurie Hartley
91 Posted 29/06/2019 at 19:17:31
Tom # 84 - I now live 2 hours drive from Melbourne so I hope you won’t take offence at my post on what is a far more important issue for the people of Liverpool than expats like me. But here we go.

Having seen and heard first the excitement then the utter disappointment of my dear departed father (God bless his soul) over the Kings dock fiasco, I can understand your cynicism regarding the latest proposal - it is well founded. You also raise some very pertinent points regarding transport and location.

However, I think their is reason for optimism this time round and for all the people of Liverpool based on what I saw evolve with my own eyes during the development of the Melbourne Docklands. In my view the similarities between that development and the proposed development of the Liverpool waterfront are striking.

For example:
The area had deteriorated as containerisation business moved west and was becoming an eyesore.
The Victorian state government developed a proposal to develop the area and came up with a 25 year plan.
The first phase of the development was the construction of the AFL Docklands stadium which the scaffolding business I worked for.

That kickstarted the whole development and was a great boost for the building game which had not long come out of a recession.

The following two websites are well worth a read for all Evertonians.

Melbourne Docklands - Before and after - scroll down page for image that changes.

Before & After

Melbourne Docklands - Development Timeline. After reading the first page click on the Docklands History tab and scroll down to Timeline after.

History & Timeline

If you can find the time to read through those websites you will understand the reason for my optimism.

For me the other key factor is Farhad Moshiri. No disrespect to him but men who have achieved billionaire status through their own efforts, follow the money. And I am absolutely convinced that when the stadium commences there will be a lot of money invested in the Liverpool Waters development.

That is why I can see nothing but good coming from this project for EFC and definitely for the people of Liverpool.

Dermot Byrne
92 Posted 29/06/2019 at 19:46:25
Laurie...just a great post. To be honest skimmed the links but seems so similar to Everton/Peel Holdings.
Tony Abrahams
93 Posted 29/06/2019 at 20:11:36
Since the day you first mentioned Melbourne’s rundown dock area, and then showed us the magnificent transformation, then this has always been something that has always given me hope, Laurie.

I’ve already seen off-plans for three apartment blocks facing The titanic hotel, and I’m also aware that Everton, have paid so many Million pounds to purchase Terry’s Timber, so I think that plans are already well in place.

Far-fetched it maybe, but I’ve heard that they want to transform all the way as far as Millers Bridge, so to think there won’t be more railway links, doesn’t make sense, especially because there is already a lot of this network already in place, especially between Bramley Moore and Liverpool city centre.

Laurie Hartley
94 Posted 29/06/2019 at 21:42:46
We are a resilient clan, us Evertonians, Tony. They say that it is the hope that kills you but I reckon it's the hope that keeps you going.

As you know I am a Birkenhead lad (North End) and, strangely enough, that is why I love the Liverpool waterfront - I used to travel across the river every morning to go to work in Old Hall Street.

I used to love that trip especially during the spring tides – It still makes my hackles stand up thinking about it to this day.

Keep the dream alive – it will be very exciting for everyone when the stadium construction starts and, because of the location, I reckon when the Liverpool Waters development is finished it will be better than Melbourne. It will be magnificent.

Tony Abrahams
95 Posted 29/06/2019 at 21:47:35
I hope so Laurie, but I would also argue that most things look better in the sun!

I can also see this development eventually going over to the other side of the Mersey, simply because of the magnificent gateway it will one day create!

Andy Crooks
96 Posted 29/06/2019 at 22:10:29
Stan and Brent, I absolutely respect your views and I know that I am in a tiny minority.
I was badly crushed as a kid at an international. Now, that was in the seventies and I know that things are different now in many ways but.. why would anyone want it? Is it not just to cram more people in? To offer less value per ticket? To create a better atmosphere for SKY? I honestly believe that this is a backward and dangerous step.
Andy Crooks
97 Posted 29/06/2019 at 22:16:16
Perhaps I should add; I have raised my concerns with, I must say, my fairly disinterested wife, who compared me to Mr Wodehouse in Jane Austen's Emma.
Brent Stephens
98 Posted 29/06/2019 at 22:18:10
Andy that sounds frightening. Personally I wouldn’t want to be in a standing area - too small for it. I think the point being made was that the changes were introduced for other reasons.
Brent Stephens
99 Posted 29/06/2019 at 22:22:51
Andy, from this day on you shall forever be Mr Woodhouse to me!
Brian Williams
100 Posted 29/06/2019 at 22:33:25
Andy, rail seating is perfectly safe mate and nothing like free standing on any terrace you may have stood on. One of the reasons for rail seating is to increase atmosphere.
What's the first thing you do when Everton score? You jump to your feet and usually turn and embrace somebody either side of you.
Singing and chanting is more prevalent from standing supporters.
There may well be an element of more tickets sold etc too.
What I would suggest, with respect Andy, is that the main reason it just doesn't appeal to you is exactly the reason it doesn't appeal to me (for me) and that's that we're too fucking old mate.
But 8-10k late teens to late twenty somethings standing in the BMD home end and chanting and singing in unison in support of our team will be a sight to relish.
And us old fuckers can sit in the equivalent of the top balcony and enjoy it mate! I can understand why it's not for you (or me) but others will relish it, and it's safe mate!
Laurie Hartley
101 Posted 29/06/2019 at 22:37:49
Dermot # 92 - thanks. Big prize to be won for all stakeholders when this kicks off.

Paul’s article is now getting down to the nitty gritty. I think that thread will have some mileage.

Albert Perkins
102 Posted 29/06/2019 at 23:00:20
In the 60s, I stood on the terraces and have a number of broken ribs and a displaced collar bone as proof. Wear them with pride.

Talking about transport, I used to ride the overhead railway with my dad in the summers to hang out with him on the docks. Had a cuppa at Dirty Mary's and talked with the pigeon fanciers in bird shit corner. And then there was the Boy's Pen.

Michael Kenrick
103 Posted 30/06/2019 at 01:20:20
Go on, Albert... tell us about Blue Bill. The spotty lad in the glasses who used to hide at the back.
Ron Sear
104 Posted 30/06/2019 at 08:08:54
I wonder if Steven Pienaar or Bernard would be able to see a game in an all standing zone given the average height nowadays?

I know that at 5'-6" I'll have to stick to a seating spot. Parents taking their kids are a no-no as well.

One reason why I stopped going to away games: without fail, there was always some massive overweight hulk in front of me.

Andy Crooks
105 Posted 30/06/2019 at 11:55:23
Brian, I guess you are right. Without noticing, I have gone from a young fogey to an old one. By the way, are you up for a beer in August?
Stan Schofield
106 Posted 30/06/2019 at 12:45:57
Andy@96: I get your point sbout the potential for crushing. On the old terraces, in a fully packed stadium it could be unnerving, especially for a youngster. But it depended on where you were in a ground. There were reasonable steps that could have been taken to improve safety in a 'proportionate' and incremental way, focused on areas where it was needed. Instead, as has often been typical of government, they have waited for accidents to happen before doing anything, and then have knee-jerked once accidents have happened.

The fencing-in that occurred and that was rapidly accelerated after Heysal was in part a knee-jerk response to Heysal, amongst several knee-jerk responses to it. That knee-jerk of fencing in was partly responsible for the deaths at Hillsborough. Knee-jerk reactions can kill people.

There are ways to have standing terraces in safe, well-though-out ways, involving the right people in the process of design of remedial measures. This has always been the case, and is an appropriate way of doing things compared with the comparative I'll-considered responses of politicians.

This is an ongoing problem in other spheres of protecting people from hazards. A current example is the Grenfell Tower fire, and what might be done by government to manage such hazards in the future. I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing on ToffeeWeb, but for further background on this, please see a submission I made earlier this year to the Grenfell Public Inquiry, which you can also find published in the online journal The Grenfell Enquirer (hosted by Gill Kernick).

Brian Williams
107 Posted 30/06/2019 at 12:55:25
Andy, I certainly am mate. I'll be wherever we're meeting. Look forward to seeing you again, mate.
Dave Abrahams
108 Posted 30/06/2019 at 13:06:48
Andy and Brian, I'll be going down to the Excelsior in Dale Street to ask the manager if it is okay if we get the back room again after the Watford game.

Derek Knox, is that okay with you, as you went to the trouble to sort out The Excelsior after the Man Utd game, I don't want to step on your toes. If that's okay, I'll ask the manager and if he says okay, I'll let everyone know on here (ToffeeWeb), then anyone who fancies coming is more than welcome.

Brian Williams
109 Posted 30/06/2019 at 13:19:29
Sounds good to me, Dave!
Andy Crooks
110 Posted 30/06/2019 at 14:04:20
Brilliant, Dave.
Tom Hughes
111 Posted 01/07/2019 at 13:41:39
Laurie #91.

I'm not a bit offended by your mention of Melbourne. It is a great example of a similar project, and its potential effects as a redevelopment catalyst. I actually cited it myself several years ago when advocating a waterfront stadium on central docks.

There have been several others too. There are some slight differences though, in that I feel the Melbourne's docks were surrounded by the city centre, thus meaning much shorter walking distances to established infrastructure.

Also, in terms of the stadium itself, the Melbourne stadium has a closing roof and even moving stands making far more flexible for multi-use. making it more of a destination than just a football-only facility.

Dennis Stevens
112 Posted 01/07/2019 at 13:48:46
Sadly, I'm old enough to recall the feeling of helplessness when trapped in a huge crowd on a bank of terracing, seemingly moving in an arbitrary and uncontrolled manner - carrying you along with it, whilst you try to keep your feet and catch your breath. However, we will never see the like again at top-flight football grounds and quite rightly so too.

Nonetheless, many of us actually prefer to stand at the match and, of course, a great many do so in seated areas. This can be a source of great conflict and is also potentially very dangerous. I just hope that we don't have to see deaths resulting from people standing in seated areas before the decision is taken to provide people with a safe choice between all-seater areas & safe-standing areas.

Dave Abrahams
113 Posted 02/07/2019 at 14:37:00
I've made the booking at The Excelsior, Dale Street, for after the Watford game on 17 August 2019. There could be an announcement on ToffeeWeb tomorrow.
Sean Kelly
114 Posted 02/07/2019 at 23:12:25
This won't happen anytime soon. folks. Pipe dream. Where's the money for it? Here's the compromise. Stadium vs recruitment – and who is going to man the pumps to keep the water out? Every redshite will be diving like Tom Fuckng Daly on our waterlogged pitch.

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