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FAN ARTICLES

A New Stadium Could Just Be the Ticket!

By Jamie Rowland :  10/11/2009 :  Comments (64) :
Last week, while away with work, I managed to get a couple of tickets for the Arsenal v AZ Alkmaar Champions League fixture. No special effort was made other than my colleague, a Dutch national, wanted to try and support his preferred team…and of course, see a football match while he had no wife telling him otherwise! For me, I just like football and wanted to see Arsenal's new home.

Off we went to the Emirates. The game was a complete sell-out but that did not deter us from trying and as luck would have it, we secured two tickets (at face value) for the Alkmaar end from some very drunk Dutch lads.

‘So? What’s that got to do with Everton?’…wait for it!

Upon arriving at the stadium, I was amazed how different it was from our humble dwelling back home. The Emirates is state of the art and is very similar to Wembley in many ways. It has a great transport system. Fantastic staffing levels and the wait to get into the ground was minimal. Both my Colleague and I walked around the stadium before entering, taking note of the massive, multiple corporate hospitality facilities. Each corner, a brilliant architectural curve, made largely of glass, with guests sitting down to dinner gave the impression that Arsenal was a well-to-do club with massive ambition.

The hospitality entrances are as grand as Wembley’s and they certainly give the feel that those fans are more ‘up-market’ than the rest of the hordes. For us commoners, there are toilets and information points all around the outside of the ground – free to use with little or no queues.

Inside was equally impressive. Kiosks and toilets are littered everywhere. We obviously couldn’t tour the whole interior but in the visiting supporters end (which was full), the queues at the kiosks where rarely no more than one person deep.

At opposite corners of the stadium there are two huge screens (similar to Goodison). They are situated high so as not to provide distraction. They show no adverts, only football, team news and general Arsenal information. At one point, they even gave an update regarding the planned tube service out of ‘The Arsenal’. During half time they showed all the latest goals from all the Champions League games that were currently being played around Europe – impressive I’m sure you’ll agree.

Leaving the ground was easy. The match finished at approx 9:50 and I was back in my hotel (Waterloo tube station) at 10:31… smooth… that’s an understatement. Its very much a case of ‘get you in, get your money, get you home’ – a win-win. Fans have little to moan about and the club takes some decent money (whilst employing, it would seem, half of North London).

Sadly, all of this technology and state of the art architecture goes unnoticed to the average gunners fan – they are used to it.

Next day, I was back home in Liverpool. Picked up from Lime Street and straight to Goodison to watch us take on Benfica (ahem..).

My point in this article is that we are leagues behind Arsenal (and, in my opinion, so are Liverpool; they are no closer to Arsenal than we are). Arsenal (and obviously Man Utd) have set a benchmark in the Premier League and it is this benchmark that any wise investor would use to rank other clubs against. If Arsenal score a 10, we score somewhere around 2 – and that’s when the sun is shining.

I had a swaying opinion that Destination Kirkby was a disaster and a ‘no hidden agenda’ spin from our Board but having experienced the Emirates and the way it is geared up to host a successful business and money making scheme, I am now convinced that Goodison has to be raised to the ground.

No transport system, queues for the toilet that involve a squeeze and a lot of pushing and shoving. Queues for the kiosks that, if unlucky, you will still be in as the second half kicks off. If you are lucky, you’ll get served but there’ll be nothing left. Corporate facilities that are integrated into the crowd when clearly the idea is to make you feel a bit different, a bit special (Arsenal has a similar ‘middle tier’ as Wembley that hosts all corporate ticket holders – a clear segregation)…Only 10 or so executive boxes…

I often wondered why we struggled to obtain decent investment. I wondered why we were seemingly passed over by billionaires that litter the top flight. I wondered if it really was related to Goodison Park. Do investors really put so much decision emphasis on the basis of a stadium? My trip to the Emirates has given me the all the evidence I need to convince myself that the right move is a new Stadium. We just aren’t in the same boat as other clubs. We aren’t even close.

Depressingly I am now thinking that we are in a Catch-22 position though. No impressive stadium means no investment. No investment means no stadium???

This worries me as an avid Evertonian. I can’t see how we can progress, sitting in an ancient stadium that puts serious investors off. I am not saying Kirkby is the right move. I actually would prefer a redevelopment but if we have to move, then let's move. Let's ensure that we get something that resembles The Emirates… a well oiled cog in that particular club's marketing strategy.

I am constantly looking for positives that surround our club but it's becoming more and more difficult to find them. Our PR is disastrous and its that very PR that has stirred up the issues with DK – something which, with the correct spin, could have been embraced by many more.

If you disagree on this last point and think our PR is sufficient – note the communications on injuries. What is wrong with Pienaar? Why is the Jags rehabilitation and operation on cartilage (which is standard after damaging ligaments – even Moyes stated that in his interview) considered a set back? Surely they already knew he needed the op, the knee specialist would have told them that from day one.

Arteta – another ‘set back’ when he had to have another op…the op was to remove the stitches from the first op… again, surely they knew this. So why was it portrayed as a setback? Why not just tell us upfront what they really think. Giving us false hope in this way just makes the pill that much harder to swallow. I’m fucking sick of it.

Anyway, I digress, back to the stadium and maximising revenue... albeit after just one visit (I’m sure The Emirates has its problems), I am convinced that we need a new stadium. I don’t care if we have to latch onto retail partners such as Tesco to get it… we need to progress quickly and the Stadium is the next major step. Yes, there are other clubs like us (Portsmouth etc) with ageing, shitty grounds. But I don’t want to be like them – I want more.

In summary… a new stadium would be the starting point to attracting new investment. I am convinced of this having seen the Emirates and how they enchant those with high disposable income!

Reader Comments

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Ciarán McGlone
1   Posted 10/11/2009 at 14:27:59

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I think we’d all like a big glass stadium in a good location...

I’d also likje an R8 and a diamond encrusted nipple clamps...
Stewart Littler
2   Posted 10/11/2009 at 14:54:12

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Is it not ’razed’?

Mostly agree, cept for the ’setbacks’. Jags’ cartilage was operated on when they sorted the cruciate - if it’s only a very small tear, the surgeon will attempt to sew it up rather than remove it; the risk with this is that can come apart again. This happened with Jags’, and whilst it is not uncommon, it would not be ’standard’ in his anticipated recovery period.

Similar story for Arteta. His knee got an infection, which lead to him needing to have a ’wash-out’, not having stitches removed. Again, would not be ’standard’ in his anticipated recovery period.

Great stadium the Emirates by the way, your story very similar to my experience with the Blues last season.
Peter Griffin
3   Posted 10/11/2009 at 14:59:19

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I think most Evertonians want what Arsenal have got. Great new stadium which, apparently, generates £3million per home game! Great footballing side to watch, great academy which constantly produces young talent.

However, Destination Kirkby is not our Emirates and doesnt come close. The great transport you talk about can’t be achieved there. The inquiry confirmed the stadium would be bog standard and nothing like Wembley or the Emirates. The corporates would likely use a new stadium in the City, but Kirkby won’t be anywhere near as appealing to them.

We should have been back at the drawing board when the inquiry exposed DK for what it was.
Peter Griffin
4   Posted 10/11/2009 at 15:09:01

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Rathbones blog on the OS can fill you in on the injuries
Daniel Marfany
5   Posted 10/11/2009 at 15:25:32

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I agree with you Jamie. I too was lucky enough to get a ticket to that game through a friend who was down on business and who, as a client promising good business, was offered two tickets. Off we went, a Blue and a Red to watch the best game of live football either of us had witnessed in many a moon and in a stadium that was like no other that we had been to. Needless to say it was miles away from Goodison Park or their shed across the park. the only thing missign was atmosphere (though I could hear the lads around you in the away end throughout the game singing English chants!). And that is what a lot of those against a move to Kirkby will argue is wrong with a new stadium. Whether Everton fans would make more or less noise I do not know but I think most would love the experience of a wonderful, unobstructed view from a padded comfy seat with acres of leg room, and all the other great features of the Emirates.
Jamie Rowland
6   Posted 10/11/2009 at 15:34:44

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Peter - if you do the maths - the average ticket price is £56- multiplied by 60,000 (and they get 60,000) - thats almost 3.5 million a game.

Ciaron...work harder and you’ll get the R8. Not sure about the nipple clamps though

Daniel...i thought that the atmosphere was okay - i liked the way that the PA guy only announced first names, allowing the crowd to scream the surnames. And yes, I did teach a few dutch guys the chant ’your support is fucking shit’....:)
Brian Waring
7   Posted 10/11/2009 at 15:51:41

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Daniel, I think you’ll find that those who are against Kirkby are more worried that we would be getting a mid - range shed in a tiny town, where the transport infrastructure is a joke. Also, I’m sure the attendance has been capped at 45,000, and could actually be capped at 40,000.
That is a far cry from what Arsenal have.
Tony Marsh
8   Posted 10/11/2009 at 15:44:01

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Totally way off the mark, Jamie. We never have and never will be as big as Arsenal. The Arsenal have been run by a stable wealthy board since the 1950s. Having a location in the Capital city also helps. Comparing the plight of Everton to the success at Arsenal is like comparing Man Utd to Blackburn.

Also, Jamie, it's not investors we need but buyers. There is a massive difference. Abramovich bought Chelsea; Lerner bought Villa; the Arabs bought Man City Someone chucking a few quid in won't help us at all. We need Kenwright gone and people with financial muscle to come in.

Can you realistically see wealthy investors throwing money at Everton while Bily Bullshit stays in control? Don't make me laugh. Kenwright would have to go... so would Moyes and that's never going to happen. So keep dreaming about those glass floors in those fancy restaurants mate as it ain't happening round these parts any time soon. I doubt we could find enough corporate types to fill them any how...

Take us to Kirkby and we wouldnt fill a black cab with corporate types.
Gavin Ramejkis
9   Posted 10/11/2009 at 16:00:23

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A pretty pointless post other than to sing the praises of what a modern stadium should be like. If you havent been please go to the Emirates and see what he means. Sadly the fat controller at Everton couldn’t find his arse with both hands and a state of the art GPS, has little or no business acumen besides bullshitting and theatrics so never in a lifetime would desperation Kirkby give one iota of what the Emirates is all about. For comfy seats read cheapest solution, for good transport read non-existent and for world class facilities well you can guess that they will too be cheapest denomination and little better than what we already have at GP, suppose you could say there will be unrestricted views as you’ll have a choice of empty seats in the cowshed.
Jay Harris
10   Posted 10/11/2009 at 16:10:08

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Jamie
on the stadium point your argument is very flawed.

The Emirates cost over 400 million and part of the funding came from turning Highbury into 400k apartments.

It is also in one of the best served areas of London for transport by train,bus,car or bikes!!

Kirkby does not even come close to the Reebok let alone The emirates.

Before we start to have ideas of demolishing GP we need a "Proper" evaluation and design for a new stadium and IMO that can only come from a board with imagination and integrity which the current board patently do not have!!
Nick Parker
11   Posted 10/11/2009 at 16:25:43

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I agree that we need a state of the art stadium with great transport links in a great location but we have Kirkby instead which is none of the above.

In an ideal world we would have our own Emirates Stadium in Liverpool itself but that will only happen if a blue wins 10 plus Euromillions rollovers on the bounce.

If we don’t get a shared stadium then EFC, LFC & Merseyside will be the losers so expect to have to travel to Manchester to see any future World Cup games etc etc
Chad Schofield
12   Posted 10/11/2009 at 15:43:11

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What utter gushing shit.

I’m sorry, but the fact that you’ve visited The Emerates or New Wembley and it was fantastic so therefore DK’s a good thing is like saying you’ve eaten lobster and liked it so fish paste sandwiches must be tasty.



  • "The Emirates is state of the art and is very similar to Wembley in many ways."

  • DK is not state of the art, think more St. Mary’s, Reebok

  • "It has a great transport system."

  • Fundamentally one of the biggest flaws of the DK project.

    "the wait to get into the ground was minimal"
    At least there’s a chance of this happening, unless you get stuck in the multi-storey bike sheds.

  • "Each corner, a brilliant architectural curve, made largely of glass"

  • Hark at the glorious sharp edges of the Tesco Dome almost like a metal box, that isn’t allowed the lights shown in the design which at least added some element of design.

  • "gave the impression that Arsenal was a well-to-do club with massive ambition."

  • We be demonstrating our level of ambition with DK

  • "The hospitality entrances are as grand as Wembley’s and they certainly give the feel that those fans are more ‘up-market’ than the rest of the hordes."

  • Oh well, no worries about getting a inferiority complex at DK - unless you’re a home fan


  • Leaving the ground was easy. The match finished at approx 9:50 and I was back in my hotel (Waterloo tube station) at 10:31… smooth… that’s an understatement. Its very much a case of ‘get you in, get your money, get you home’ – a win-win.

  • You sound like a brochure... but try reading the proposals for Kirkby, it sounds far from "win-win" or even "thought through"

  • Next day, I was back home in Liverpool.

  • This is possibly more likely to be the reality on a Sky scheduled evening KO (OK, that’s being pedantic)

  • My point in this article is that we are leagues behind Arsenal

  • OK

  • "I had a swaying opinion that Destination Kirkby was a disaster"

  • You’re not the only one


  • "but having experienced the Emirates and the way it is geared up to host a successful business and money making scheme, I am now convinced that Goodison has to be raised to the ground."

  • How? They are not offering us anything close to The Emerates.


  • "No transport system, queues for the toilet that involve a squeeze and a lot of pushing and shoving. Queues for the kiosks that, if unlucky, you will still be in as the second half kicks off. If you are lucky, you’ll get served but there’ll be nothing left. Corporate facilities that are integrated into the crowd when clearly the idea is to make you feel a bit different, a bit special (Arsenal has a similar ‘middle tier’ as Wembley that hosts all corporate ticket holders – a clear segregation)…Only 10 or so executive boxes…"

    Emerates has this. Wembley has this. The plans for Kirkby do not show this at all.

  • "I often wondered why we struggled to obtain decent investment. I wondered why we were seemingly passed over by billionaires that litter the top flight. I wondered if it really was related to Goodison Park. Do investors really put so much decision emphasis on the basis of a stadium?"

  • No, not judging by others clubs who’ve secured investment.

  • "My trip to the Emirates has given me..."

  • ... a nasty bang on the head? A rock of crack that who’ve been smoking? How possibly has this turned into "all the evidence I need to convince myself that the right move is a new Stadium."

  • "We just aren’t in the same boat as other clubs. We aren’t even close."

  • Which clubs? All clubs - emotionally no, we’re Everton fans. Man U and Arsenal, no you’ve rightly pointed out they have the benchmark for English stadia. Aston Villa, Tottenham? Middlesbrough. Southampton, Man City, Bolton? Portsmouth, Birmingham, QPR...? Who exactly are you comparing us with and with what?


  • "This worries me as an avid Evertonian. I can’t see how we can progress, sitting in an ancient stadium that puts serious investors off. I am not saying Kirkby is the right move. I actually would prefer a redevelopment but if we have to move, then let’s move. Let’s ensure that we get something that resembles The Emirates… a well oiled cog in that particular club’s marketing strategy."

  • How about we have a plan that mildly resembles The Emerates before we move, would that not be a good idea? Or perhaps you’d move your family out of their home to a cardboard box in the hope that once you have then a rich person might feel sorry for you.

  • "Our PR is disastrous and its that very PR that has stirred up the issues with DK – something which, with the correct spin, could have been embraced by many more."

  • I don’t disagree. But I don’t think things require fucking spin.


  • In summary… a new stadium would be the starting point to attracting new investment. I am convinced of this having seen the Emirates and how they enchant those with high disposable income!

  • This is quite simply the dumbest post I have ever read on here. Most posts have a touch of personal opinion, there is some logic… but this is completely devoid. Would you be utterly convinced that ploughing vast sums of your future time and money would be well spent on say Weston-Super-Mere remerging as a tourist haven, because you went to the seaside once somewhere else and it was nice? Perhaps you’d like to try playing Three Card Monte… I’m convinced you’ll win.
Karl Masters
13   Posted 10/11/2009 at 16:46:06

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I am opposed to Kirkby because it will be none of the things you liked about the Emirates.

No sweeping glass curves as the corners are missing altogether.

Crush loaded onto trains in a tiny semi-rural station that can only handle 4 trains an hour.

No transport plan is even in place. It’s on ice according to Elstone, but he hopes it will be ok in the end. What if it isn’t?

It’s not 60,000 capacity, it’s 50,400 maximum.

Etc, etc, etc, etc.

The facilities are what is wrong with Goodison, not the location. Redevelop or share Stanley Park, if we can raise £80-£100m for Kirkby we can redevelop Goodison for much less. And don’t believe Elstne when he says it will cost £75m to build a new Bullens Road stand. The extremely lavish main stand at Chelsea cost £34.9m a few years ago, even in London with the premium it charges for workers, site access etc.
Brian Waring
14   Posted 10/11/2009 at 17:00:16

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Jamie, have you been to Bolton? If yes, did it make you feel all starry eyed as your visit to the Emirates did?
Steve Higham
15   Posted 10/11/2009 at 17:00:53

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Agree totally with Chad and Carl. We would all love a ground like the Emirates but its not going to happen at Kirkby. What we will land up with is a poorer stadium than the souless Reebok at Bolton. I got totally depressed when I went there recently give me the Old Lady anytime for all its faults.
Eugene Ruane
16   Posted 10/11/2009 at 16:09:54

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Yes it’s a good ground and I agree that Arsenal generally seem to go about things the right way.

One thing I can’t go along with however, is them having ’a great transport system’.

Now apologies if there’s some new train or tube station since 2007, but if it was that great, surely Arsenal supporters wouldn’t be leaving CL games in droves with 15 mins of the match to go.

From what I gather, the reason they do is because it ISN’T great and they want to get the jump on the tube.

(these comments from their supporters, below the main article, are in the main, fairly negative - http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2007/03/29/arsenal_transport_meeting_feature.shtml )

I went to the Emirates in 2007 and after the game was going to head to a mates in Palmer’s Green

The queue at the tube was just nuts, so I walked back round to the Highbury Corner side and eventually jumped a bus.

Traffic was awful (fair enough - Saturday afternoon like)

I waited a bit, then got off (as we weren’t moving) and walked to Holloway Rd.

Got another bus there, but hit (shopping) traffic at Crouch End AND Muswell Hill

Got to my mates about 6.40...fuming!

I hear you say "You should have gone to Finsbur......"

Maybe, but I’ve been down there many times after games and waited fucking ages in that long tunnel, while short, fat, pretend weekend-coppers and station staff behave not unlike Fiorentina’s brave boys in blue (with twat hats!)

Eg: "MOVE BACK!...Nobody is going anywhere until.."

"WE FUCKING CAN’T YOU SOFT TWAT!"

Etc.

And there’s now 22,000 more to deal with.

Kevy Quinn
17   Posted 10/11/2009 at 17:29:13

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When I was at our away game at Old Trafford last season. The same struck me about how far we are away from the top teams. All around Old Trafford there are fan zones with Sky Sports news on with soccer Saturday on. Well heated well lit plenty of seats etc for you to spend your money. All of which the club makes. Not to mention the £3 for a warm tin of Bud in the away end.

We may be limited for space around GP but if we had all the space in the world I couldnt see the current board coming up with anything to generate any worth while money making ideas.


Colin Potter
18   Posted 10/11/2009 at 17:32:50

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Excellent response Chad Schofield, You are so right. He has written a load of gushing shite !!!
Phil Bellis
19   Posted 10/11/2009 at 18:18:33

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I had some great nights out down the King’s Road in the company of Jean Shrimpton, Pattie Boyd and Luan Peters
They were (still are) absolutely lovely girls, amazingly unaffected by their beauty
Happy days
(No 2 in this new series of pointless posts)
Ste Traverse
20   Posted 10/11/2009 at 18:52:22

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Jamie, I take it you're still believing what the club said just before that sham vote in 2007 that Kirkby would be a "world class stadium" ... er, you must not have seen the pictures of that mid-range pathetic effort then have you!

We would have had our very own Emirates years ago down at the Kings dock had it not been for an almighty cock-up by the out of his depth Kenwright and his cronies in the boardroom.

Karl Masters
21   Posted 10/11/2009 at 19:10:48

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Jamie Rowland. Your name has been spinning round in my head while I ate my curry for tea and then it came to me.

You’re the fella that got savaged on here by Big Al Kirwin in the Summer for a post about Everton doing ’Build- a Bear’.

Now actually, I had a lot of sympathy with you over that one as my 4 year old daughter loves Build-a-Bear and she is even going to one of those Kids’ Parties there in a couple of weeks time. Thee is a market for this sort of thing, just depends on your interests I suppose. ( Alan Kirwin would be first there with his hat on if they did ’Build-a Wine Cellar stocked with chilled Rose withan Everton crest on it’ no doubt! :) )

But honestly, this post. You have fallen for the original spin which makes everybody think a new Stadium for us would be something like the Emirates with its fantastic facilities and design, even if the tube situation round there is usually a nightmare. Just cos its new, doesn’t mean a thing.

You should equate Kirkby with something like a cross between Ewood Park and Wigan’s ground, in a rubbish location similar to Bolton’s or Wigan’s, but it will be bigger and harder to get to and from. That is basically it. About as far removed from the Emirates as a Build-a-Bear is from Alan Kirwin’s Christmas list!
Andy Crooks
22   Posted 10/11/2009 at 19:21:29

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Well said, Chad. I’m sure it’s been written about on this site but I haven’t seen it, but is the gradual redevelopment of Goodison Park a viable option? Has any feasibility study been done? Is there a Plan B?

If the prevalent views on ToffeeWeb are any kind of representation of many Everton supporters then Kirkby will be half empty. Bill Kenwright’s view seems to be it’s Kirkby or oblivion. Mine is it’s Kirkby AND oblivion.

James Bowman
23   Posted 10/11/2009 at 18:32:34

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We missed the boat at Kings Dock, that was our chance to set the benchmark the Emirates has now set. It has got so dire that our inability to secure a major site within the centre of Liverpool has driven us to a need for a 2nd class stadium in a small town. The Emirates wins because of its location, most of what is needed is there.

If EFC could gain a site within an suitable distance of Liverpool's exsisting transposrt system, then it wouldn’t be an issue. I feel it is desperation that is driving us to Kirkby, due to the board's lack of investment in GP.

At some point in the past, the board has made the decision to move and sidelined any possible re-development money for GP. It has gone on so long that if we dont move, health and saftey will probabley close us down!

It just pains me that the board will not redevelop GP and wait for the right time and location to build a top class stadium. After all, a redevolped Goodison is better than Destination Kirkby.

Karl Masters
24   Posted 10/11/2009 at 19:47:34

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Andy:

The Club claim they cannot expand the footprint of Goodison sufficiently to have room to build what is required. On the face of it, this seems to make sense with a school close by on one side and houses on 2 more sides. Only the Park End has significant space behind it.

However, Tom Hughes produced a design that only required about a dozen house behind the Bullens Road stand to be demolished and the school to be re-sited.

Of course, moving a schooll is usually nearly impossible as is forcing people to move. However, on this occasion, the school is due for closure/relocation in the next 2 years and the Council apparently own the houses. I have an e-mail from Warren Bradley, LCC Leader, who when responding to some questions I asked him about a year ago, stated that the Council were prepared to give ’every assistance’ to Everton in expanding the footprint of Goodison Park. Therefore, the demolition of the houses and the scrap yard on the corner ( apparently again the council have control over this land ) would appear to be relatively minor obstacles. Elstone said that redeveloping the Bullens Road stand would cost £75m, but Chelsea built a very lavish Main stand for £34.9m a few years back and London costs are far higher than in the provinces.

So, whatever way you look at it, the Club do not want to redevelop Goodison. Why? Who knows, but there has been a long held assertion that a certain biilionaire has been backing / propping up BK in the hope that a giant Retail park ( sure you know where now! ) will be built where it should never be allowed and this will both make his Retail Empire stronger and Efc more attractive to some foreigner billionaire and therefore make BK’s shareholding woth significantly more. All conjecture of course.

Alternatively, they may just be clueless. Aston Villa had a very restricted site, but have rebuilt Villa Park in the last 15 years and maintained a decent enough team on the pitch. Proof it can be done, not all at once, but it can be done..... if you want it enough.
Dennis Stevens
25   Posted 10/11/2009 at 19:59:49

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Not only just about all of the above comments, including "gushing shite", but having been to the new Arsenal stadium I can honestly say it’s not what I would want for Everton. "Just as well" you may say, seeing as we won’t be getting it. However, although it looks great & seems to be a good quality stadium, my preference is for a traditional four-sided football ground rather than the bowl style. I also think the seating actually allows far too much space - I prefer the crowd to be close to the action which encourages a better atmosphere.
Keith Glazzard
26   Posted 10/11/2009 at 19:48:20

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Jamie - the stadium question and the ’Hibbo’ question take up a great deal of space on this site. The solution to the former will have longer reaching effects.

GP as a glass domed super stadium, here and now, the ideal. A Madregal (Villarreal’s ground) out in the boondocks seems to be the opposite.

Returning to GP after many years away, several times, you couldn’t but notice that, not so much the Old Lady herself, but the vendors of local delicacies around the ground were doing such a good job of catering that we had to walk across the shite that their paying customers had discarded on the pavement.

Billionaire investors will no doubt be spared this pleasure when they come to appraise the facilities.

And we all look forward to Ciarán’s next post about the state of his — or possibly someone else's — nipples.
Rob Hope
27   Posted 10/11/2009 at 20:16:29

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People don't know how Kirkby would fare at all. If you look at the Emirates, a large proportion of costs would be down to the purchase of London land. The land in Kirkby is ’free’ in a round about way.

The building cost are greatly reduced as Tesco's own builders who built Celtic's ground are said to be doing the building.

Look, I'm not saying Kirkby is the answer but, in my opinion, all it's flawed upon is it's out of the city. Can anyone really say if the same option was available on the loop site we would shout it down?

My view is we need to think sensibly and not throw our toys out the pram at whoever raises a point for Kirkby ... after all, the MAJORITY voted for it. Some would have changed their minds BOTH ways.

However, for the record I passed up my chance to vote an im still undecided. Heart says No, head says Yes.

Phil Bellis
28   Posted 10/11/2009 at 20:30:20

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Rob
OK, I’ll bite...3 questions for you
If Kirkby is not the answer, what was the question?
The majority (it’s rude to shout) of what voted for it?
Would you be interested in purchasing some magic beans?
Larry Boner
29   Posted 10/11/2009 at 20:13:00

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When Arsenal drew up the plans for The Emirates their waiting list for season tickets stood at 26,000 !!!!

We have NO waiting list, in fact our TOTAL SEASON TICKET HOLDERS DONT ADD UP TO 26,000.

Now Arsenal have been in their new stadium for approx 3 seasons they have a CURRENT waiting list of 46,000!!! Their prices are almost double Evertons, they have not moved away from their spiritual home.
Spurs have a waiting list in excess of 25,000 for season tickets. Their board has been preparing for a new ground by buying up the real estate around White Hart Lane and will build the stadium right next to the current ground, Haringey council supporting them in any way they can.

We are going to be left out in the cold, almost literally, by alienating the very people that keep this club afloat and making it virtually impossible, in this day and age where convenience of access is everthing, to even get to this shed in the middle of nowhere.

I read an article on the FC Cologne website regarding their new ground (which Kirkby is based on !!!) and when they were looking for football stadia to base the design on, Goodison Park was one of those grounds, citing atmosphere, crowds close to the pitch etc.

Go on their site and look at the ground, spot the difference between Kirby and Cologne's Rhienenergiestadion, all their new stadiums built on the footprint of previous old stadiums.

Brian Waring
30   Posted 10/11/2009 at 20:35:01

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Rob: "Some would have changed their minds BOTH ways." Okay Rob, if someone had voted NO on Kirkby when they had the glossy brochure, all the spin etc, what has happened since then, that would have made them change their minds to a YES?
Rob Hope
31   Posted 10/11/2009 at 20:45:37

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phill
majority voted FOR Kirkby FACT.
the rest doesn’t make sense.

Brian maybe another summer of NO investment and now starting to fall behind likeminded teams. Sorry to see a wider picture, but i respect ur view.
Phil Bellis
32   Posted 10/11/2009 at 21:10:51

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Rob,
OK.
the majority of...
1. season-ticket holders and shareholders?
2. match-going Evertonians?

A very sizeable minority of those at 1, above, voted No in spite of the media bias, heartfelt pleas from Terry Tesco, glossy brochure, Batman searchlights and downright lies

I know of no match-going Blue who will admit to voting Yes, never mind one who voted No and is now willing to change
Phil Bellis
33   Posted 10/11/2009 at 21:18:04

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Sorry Rob...omitted to mention those who had a chance to vote and couldn’t be arsed
Alan Kirwin
34   Posted 10/11/2009 at 21:25:16

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Ciaran, I’ll happily lend you my nipple clamps. Not all they’re cracked up to be.

Oh yes, Emirates is beautiful & befits Arsenal, a great club & one with class. We are miles away.
Chris Butler
35   Posted 10/11/2009 at 22:06:45

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I went to Arsenal last year found a wonderful cafe with cheap prices london considering cheaper than a lot of cafes in Liverpool. The Police and stewards at the Emirates we very helpful, unlike Goodison. I also think Everton miss out on revenue as there are no hotels nearby for travelling blues and visiting away supporters.
Chris Butler
36   Posted 10/11/2009 at 22:11:17

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I think its disgraceful the way Everton treat fans really. As watching MOTD highlights on Saturday. Manchester City supporters are given waterproofs or things to dry their seats if they're unfortunate to not be under the roof. Everton have never handed out any free flags, free scarves or more importantly free away travel.
Dennis Stevens
37   Posted 10/11/2009 at 22:44:32

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Rob, the 2 main flaws with DK, as I see it are that it will be the most inaccessible stadium in the country & that it won’t make any money, which was the reason for moving in the first place, & taking on all that extra debt too!

By the way, the majority of Evertonians certainly never voted for DK — many of us weren’t offered a vote. In fact, the Board couldn’t even persuade a majority of their selected electorate to vote in favour & the proposal has only become less attractive as time has exposed it’s inadequacies.

John Maxwell
38   Posted 11/11/2009 at 02:59:47

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Going slightly away from the main point, I know many Arsenal fans and a lot of them don't really like the Emirates Stadium, the stadium has been designed for their corporate clients. I've been there twice and sat in the lower tier away end and it's a really bad view looking through the goal across the pitch, if you look up you can see the middle tier which is where the "richer" supporters live, they paid around £3k + the cost of a season ticket for the privilege and get their free pint at half time, my old company also had a box full of their clients.

I think this leads me onto my main point: football has changed, I grew up watching the game from the terraces in the late 80s and 90s, I loved the atmosphere and the camaraderie back then... Football had to evolve from those times and perhaps I've been left behind? I certainly don't enjoy the matchday as I used to.

But it's all about building a club for the future and giving the next generation something to have and be proud of, so before all those people who won't take their kids the extra 4 miles, then maybe you need to change your attitude and mentality.

Everton will be Everton forever — get behind the club instead of deserting it.
Russell Buckley
39   Posted 11/11/2009 at 03:58:14

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I’m an Aussie to I haven’t had the ties to the City when looking at the stadium issue. When Kirkby 1st raised with all the promises that came with it from the board my thoughts were well I’d still prefer Goodison to be redeveloped by that we needed to get more money into the club by whatever means.

As time has progressed I’ve gone from being somewhat in support to being against Kirky. This project keeps sounding worse and worse and there is no way its a sustainable option for the club.

Is there any of us left who think the revised version of Kirky is of a standard to offer this club potential to prosper over the next 50yrs. I work as a town planning consultant and am amazed that unlike here in Australia its up to individual clubs to finance their own stadiums with no government support.
Dave Wilson
40   Posted 11/11/2009 at 06:02:37

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Joe Maxwell

You still dont get it mate, it wont be the lifelong fans deserting Everton, It’ll be the other way round
Ste Traverse
41   Posted 11/11/2009 at 06:33:05

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Chris Butler. Everton have given free away travel. Once. As much as i am one of his biggest
critics i have remind you Bullshit Billy did put on free coaches for that FA cup replay at Fulham in February 2004. It didnt matter to much as we still lost.
Ciarán McGlone
42   Posted 11/11/2009 at 09:07:12

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Are they diamond encrusted Alan?

I don’t want any aul shite..
Derek Turnbull
43   Posted 11/11/2009 at 10:31:27

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Re you point about corporate facility "clearly the idea is to make you feel a bit different, a bit special"


At Kirkby Everton want to put the corporates on the last couple of rows of the equivalent to the Gwladys Street. So where the fans will want to be starting off songs they will have the corporates on the rows directly behind them. Neither want each other there.

Kirkby is just wrong, a complete lack of thought everywhere you look.

If Everton cared about us and genuinely thought Kirkby was right we’d see evidence of this by fixing these errors and removing corporates away from the end stands.
Eugene Ruane
44   Posted 11/11/2009 at 10:24:28

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John Maxwell, you say...

"But it’s all about building a club for the future and giving the next generation something to have and be proud of, so before all those people who won’t take their kids the extra 4 miles, then maybe you need to change your attitude and mentality".

I have a better suggestion - maybe you should change how you absorb information.

Question: Have you ever read ANYBLEEDINGTHING on this issue?

I’m serious - do you know ONE single thing about the design of the ground you’re happy to send ’the next generation’ to?

Do you know the cost of anything/everything involved?

Do you know the ’plans’ for getting supporters to and from it?

If you did, you’d realize your paragraph above is like saying "People should eat only the very best food...stuff like Campbell’s meatballs, Iceland Pizzas and Lidl’s own-brand sandwich paste".

In my opinion, anyone prepared to force DK on ’the next generation’, should be reported to social services

(is there a ’shitty two-bob ground in the middle of nowhere’ offenders list’?)
John Clarke
45   Posted 11/11/2009 at 10:50:30

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I live in Sydney but recently travelled to Melbourne to the new Etihad stadium. I follow Sydney FC in the A-League and we were playing away against Melbourne Victory.

As I took my reclining seat in the new stadium and summoned a beautiful blonde waitress and ordered a bottle of chilled Chardonnay and a dozen oysters, I couldn’t help but think how wonderful the stadium was.

As Sydney scored the first of their three goals, I shouted "Hoorah, well done Sydders!" and took a long drink of my Charders. Deliciously chilled I must say.

I caught the eye of another blonde waitress, the stadium makes sure there’s almost one per paying customer. "Could you feed me an oyster please, darling" I said. She smiled and so did I as the oyster slid down my throat.

I took a look around the ground, there must have been seating for 80,000 and every seat had an unbelievable view. Glass, steel, materials that are yet to be invented, seemed to be everywhere in the stadium. this was state of the art and ahead of it’s time.

Sydney won 3-0 and the Melbourne supporters cheered us all. As I climbed into the limousine that took me back to my hotel (15 minutes), I began to think back to the days I lived in Liverpool and supported Everton. I became quite angry... Why can’t Everton have this.

I sometimes wonder if they’re just being stubborn and they don’t want a wonderful state-of-the-art stadium in the city of Liverpool.

After all, I think the Etihad stadium only cost $38.90 or 19 pound seventy in English.

Everton, come on, get your act together.

Paul Joy
46   Posted 11/11/2009 at 12:22:28

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It's not Arsenal's stadium I want — it's their team.

Tony Marsh — got to disagree with one point — we were part of English football's aristocracy up until the end of John Moores's involvement, right alongside Arsenal; since then we have been in consistent decline.

Total agreement over Kirkby.
Chris Butler
47   Posted 11/11/2009 at 12:29:04

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Everton miss out on catering facilities as well. Yes, no football ground is in the Michelin Star. Blackburn has a wide range of choice in terms of food. Bar a hotdog which I have had twice and a overpriced steak pie, the food is largely inedible. Our concourse facilities also let us down due to nowhere to put your drink or food... it's appalling.
Chris Butler
48   Posted 11/11/2009 at 12:55:12

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The belief that taking jobs from one part of the city to another is beneficial is ridiculous. Numerous County Road businesses round the L4 area have complained at kick-off times, ticket prices... but the main one is the move to Kirkby. Institutions such as The Winslow, The Brick will struggle.

I do not have any affinity with the area of Walton, far from it. I was raised a Tony Hibbert's cross away from The Kop, before moving to Netherley. I enjoyed playing football with both Reds and Blues on Saturday mornings in Stanley Park. I can also remember travelling supporters to Anfield getting off their coaches to join in a kickabout with us, West Brom being the best.

Not wising to offend anybody from Kirkby here, but Kirkby lacks any character that the surroundings of Goodison does. People are forgetting that Kirkby is not Islington — it's had more problems than any area of Liverpool bar Toxteth or Croxteth.

Ciarán McGlone
49   Posted 11/11/2009 at 14:22:16

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’(Is there a ’shitty two-bob ground in the middle of nowhere’ offenders list?) ’

------------------------------

My nipple clamps nearly fell off there....
Jamie Rowland
50   Posted 11/11/2009 at 17:16:15

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What is the point to posting - if you just think other people’s opinions are ’gushing shite’.

Please! give it a rest you sad wankers

I haven’t been swallowed up by the ’state-of-the-art world stadium’ that was drummed in the blurb for DK. What I say is that the visit to the Emirates opened my eyes to the need for a new stadium that represents something like what Arsenal have.

I then said that if it's DK (purporting to the fact that it could be made like Arsenal) then it's DK. And a new stadium could attract some of what Arsenal have. There was nothing more to my article other than suggesting that we are falling behind because we live in an ancient stadium that looks Third World in comparison.

I then suggested that the reason we can't attract investment (or a buyer, Tony) is because we have nothing to attract them to the club. FInishing 5th clearly isn’t enough.

The article does not spark debate about DK — it states my thoughts after visiting something that is vastly different and much greater than what we have at Everton. The line that suggests that we are way behind was the clinching point but because many of you (not all) only want to read negativity and actively seek to shoot others down is just terribly sad and also makes me think that the other reason we rarely progress is due to this attitude.

What I have concluded and I KNOW I’M RIGHT is that Chad et al — you're full of it and while you think its perfectly fine to look to pick arguements over anything that is simply somebody else’s opinion, you have no place at a club I have supported all my life. Had I said ’we are right off target compared to Arsenal — they are leagues ahead in everything they do’ in a pub to you, you would have agreed. I write it down and you get all excited and have the urge to pick the bones out of what was an opinion.

Really quite sad when I was merely suggesting that we need to aim to Arsenal’s level of growth — including the stadium — in order to reach that next level that Evertonians like me (clearly not like all of you) want to achieve.

DK could be a disaster — I don't know and only time will tell. I am a fan of getting a new stadium, especially after experiencing the Emirates... but that doesn’t mean I think DK is the winner. What it does mean is that we have to progress from Goodison and the letter box stands (such as the Bullens Road), otherwise you can forget ambition.

BUT THEN YOU DIDN’T WANT TO READ THAT — YOU SEEN ’DK’ & ’WE NEED A NEW STADIUM TO BE RICH’ and put 2 and together to get to 5 and decided I needed a slagging off — nice one. Call ya’self an Evertonian...?

Jamie Rowland
51   Posted 11/11/2009 at 17:35:03

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Karl Masters: (separate response because yours was sensible!)...

I personally dont think, from a fan perspective, that kirkby is right. It is like Wigan and probably will only have one pub (aside from the Johnny Todd!)...

My article was saying that I am now convinced that the only way forward is a new stadium and if we can get it for free (although that is also debateable) then even better.

What I THINK (opnion — just for clarity) is that with our squad, consistent appearances in Europe and coupled with a new stadium, some willing investor may take notice.

That's not to say it would definitely happen but a new stadium increases that chances because it moves us closer to the benchmark... doesn’t it?
David Booth
52   Posted 11/11/2009 at 18:08:55

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Jamie, congratulations on a well written and well meant post. The points you made were highly relevant and well stated.

What a shame that some chose to ignore them and go off topic/get personal.

Much as I love Goodison, we have to move with the times and it made me very envious to ready your report of how things are at the Emirates.

Clearly, they have inherent advantages over us in terms of London location, land values for the sale/redevelopment of Highbury and transport infrastructure. But we must still not let the grass grow too long under our feet.

I’m against moving to Kirkby for all sorts of reasons. It is clear however that we haven’t got any time to spare in finding a solution.

If we don’t, we will lose so much that our heritage enables us to still just about cling on to and will be regarded no more highly than the likes of Bolton, Middlesbrough, Derby County and Southampton — all of whom have lovely new stadia from an Argos catalogue.

I don’t think we’ll quite have anything to rival the Emirates, but is a 50,000 seater, within the city of Liverpool and without a built-in supermarket too much to aspire to?
Chad Schofield
53   Posted 11/11/2009 at 18:43:24

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Jamie,

I went through point by point of what you wrote.
They were the words that you put together, however you wish to purport or conclude.

You can conclude all you like about being right, but quite frankly my opinion is that you’re not.

If you said on here ’we are right off target compared to Arsenal - they are leagues ahead in everything they do’, then I’m sure people would agree (I’d even be one of them) - though being a public forum you have to expect not everyone will.

You simply did not "merely suggest... that we need to aim to Arsenal’s level of growth", otherwise my point by point break down of your post would have made no sense whatsoever and frankly you would be dismissing DK all together (in my opinion). The current plans for DK resemble nothing like those of The Emerates... so why mention it, a pig some make-up and wishful thinking does not maketh Reese Witherspoon.

In your initial post you were "convinced that Goodison has to be raised to the ground." so you’re absolutely adamant that it’s new stadium or bust. "DK could be a disaster - I don’t know and only time will tell." so are you resigned to that plan? You are "a fan of getting a new stadium, especially after experiencing the emirates...but that doesn’t mean i think DK is the winner"... so what plan is a winner in you opinion? Just a new stadium... without the funds available to Arsenal that is similar to The Emirates... and then we’ll get funding. BUT to Karl you explain that DK’s not right for fans, but then spout the virtually free caveatting it with that it being free is debatable.


So, basically, if I have this straight, you’re saying:

We need a new stadium to get a buyer. Once we have a buyer then, and only then, will Everton be able to compete properly with the likes of Arsenal and Man Utd

Seriously I am interested.



Oh and "sad wankers", "you have no place at a club i have supported all my life" and "Call ya’self an Evertonian"... it’d be interesting to see you say that in a pub.
Paul Gladwell
54   Posted 11/11/2009 at 19:46:14

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Jamie, Everton Football Club cannot move to a stadium that could be a disaster, it has to be 100% right or nothing. We are risking far too much heritage to gamble on a souless flat pack, once you are there, there is no going back.

Everyone knows something needs to be done, but it has been proven time and again on here that for less money Goodison can be redeveloped gradually.

Kirkby is not free, the capacity is likely to be 45,000 and do you honestly think we will fill that each game when for the past few seasons we cannot sell out the derby or Utd? and have an average of 34,000.

We have a hardcore fanbase and certainly not a fanbase to sell over 100 pricey corporate boxes. Out of the eleven we have above the family enclosure nine where empty against Athens.

Finally Jamie, I am quite sure people are willing to invest in Everton, are we not more appealing than Birmingham? Once Kirkby is decided either way I am sure we will see things happen.

Graeme Bradman
55   Posted 11/11/2009 at 19:52:38

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John Maxwell

Moving 4 miles may not seem like a lot. It may seem silly for people to threaten not to go (I am not one of them), but what if a few thousand do stop going either because they are making a point, or more likely they find it so difficult to get home it just becomes too much hassle. If this happens how will we get the 48,000 to make the project financially viable.

If you currently walk from town or from within 3 miles of GP you can't. If you get a train only a few of you will be able to. If you travel by bus you will have far fewer to choose from and will in many cases have to change buses on route. If you take a cab you will have to walk back into Liverpool, hope there is a rank by the Copple House and for a majority of journeys pay a higher fair than you currently do.

And finally, if you go by car, you may be better off than you are now but are likely to have to park on the other side of Kirkby in the industrial estate (I have not yet tested the walking times to the proposed car parks).

If you are poor on your feet, wait for a Park and Ride then sit in a line of cars waiting to get out onto the East Lancs Rd or one of the motorways.

All points other than those made about car use are facts!! Mr Elstone knows it hence his much heralded transport working party which has so far failed to come up with a plan. Is this a good recipe for increased support and corporate hospitality?

Paul Gladwell
56   Posted 11/11/2009 at 20:06:33

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David Booth, Everton have not and never will be mentioned in similar breath as those clubs — that is one bad shout, mate.

As Sir Alex said when speaking about us, football goes around in circles and the big clubs always come back around. The lot of them together have probably won less trophies than we have won titles. Have some faith we have been around far too long through far worse times.

Ste Traverse
57   Posted 11/11/2009 at 20:57:51

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Why do so many fall for the clubs spin that a new investor is dependant on a new stadium? A nothing club like QPR acquired billionares while playing in the ramshackle Loftus Road.
Dennis Stevens
58   Posted 11/11/2009 at 20:45:05

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Jamie, having been told your original post is best described as "gushing shite" you then seem to try & clarify with a load more shite - you don’t seem to know what’s going on, you don’t seem to know what you think & your only clear opinion seems to be that you like Arsenal’s new ground. You also seem to think that Everton having one will somehow be a panacea for all the clubs problems, unless it isn’t, of course.

Some of us "sad wankers" have shown more than a passing interest in the DK proposal for over 2½ years & so are maybe a tad intolerant of apparent life-long Evertonians who seem largely oblivious to any aspects of the proposal other than that it’s new & in Kirkby.

You’re probably quite right, I shouldn’t have any place at the club you support, as the next level you would be taking us to is the Championship rather than the Champions League - & the saddest thing is YOU KNOW YOU’RE RIGHT!
As for your "Call y’self an Evertonian?" jibe — take a look in the mirrior!

David Booth
59   Posted 12/11/2009 at 12:52:32

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Paul (Gladwell): I think you may be misinterpreting what I was trying to say... We think alike I think!

We will always (well, certainly within our lifetimes) be fortunate enough to be able to regard ourselves as among the elite.

However, IF we don’t manage to develop a new stadium that reflects that unique heritage and our aspirations for the future, we are in danger of being perceived by many as just another club with an identikit stadium.

A new ground with nothing ground-breaking about it will not do. Nil satis and all that...

Oh, and I quite agree about the cyclical thing — I’ve been trying to remind some of the glass half-empty correspondents on here about that since the start of the season.

We’ll be back, but it may take a little time and some changes to the money-money-money mantra that seems to dominate our great game at present.
Rob Hope
60   Posted 12/11/2009 at 13:35:01

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Ok, will people answer this: if the exact same stadium was offered to us on Stanley Park with the same financial implications would they shout it down so fiercely? My thought is no.

My belief is the tie to the city is what gives it a disadvantage, however maybe that is the sentiment in me. Most businessmen — most of our Board, including Kenwright — can see the business incentives... That is why it will happen ASAP, depending the big YES.
Dennis Stevens
61   Posted 12/11/2009 at 15:05:59

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Rob, the same stadium on Stanley Park would not have the same financial implications because it would be in a far more accessible location, so average attendances would be higher & so the projected figures would become more deliverable. However, I still think a phased redevelopment of Goodison Park makes more sense than a new build (I’m not even considering a shared stadium option as it’s not going to happen, not as far as I can see anyway ).
Jamie Rowland
62   Posted 12/11/2009 at 15:07:52

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Message removed by The Editor
Jamie Rowland
63   Posted 12/11/2009 at 15:17:05

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
64   Posted 12/11/2009 at 15:46:46

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I’m terminating this thread right now. It’s descending into drivel, mostly from Jamie, who has gone over the edge.

Jamie had a point but he made a mistake of conflating it with the possibility, poorly stated, that DK may be the answer... or it may not be!!! How confusing was that?!?

Chad decided you were using the Emirates to justify DK — which I think was a completely wrong conclusion — and went off on one, jumping all over Jamie, making him spout loads of absolute shite in return, and that is why I’m terminating this thread.

I’m not sure what the solution is but Jamie, you spouting all this "I’m a wonderful Evertonian" shite was the final straw for me. I admit your views have been misconstrued, but you have to accept that was an unintended consequence of your vacillation and lack of clarity regarding what on the face of it could be taken as a favourable comparison between DK and the Emirates.

People reacted negatively because everyone knows DK will not hold a candle to The £400M Emirates.

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