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What happens if...

By Richard Dodd :  14/11/2009 :  Comments (250) :
What happens if, by some misguided view of our application, the powers that be decide against Destination Kirkby? When I posed this question in the Freshfield last evening, it was greeted with such gems as "dancing in the streets of Walton" and "a clear signal for Bullshit Bill to depart these shores"...

Now that may well be the knee-jerk reactions of the Luddites within our following but it hardly does much towards guaranteeing that Everton has a meaningful future!

In truth, a NO would, in my view, be the writing on the wall for our great club. Any hopes for incoming investment are pinned on an early move and, admirer that I am, I can hardly see Chairman Kenwright being able to continue his financial juggling act for too much longer without "help from outside".

Only the most myopic of our followers truly believe that an endless chain of billionaires have been rebuffed by Blue Bill and, whilst there may well have been interest from a few fake sheiks of the Portsmouth variety, only the involvement of big hitters such as Sir Terry Leahey and Sir Philip Green can hope to attract the kind of speculators needed to put Everton in the Top Four.

As I have stated in other posts, I have every reason to believe that the money is in place to ensure we can cover our share of the Kirkby move but I suspect its availability will disappear overnight if a negative is given by the Minister on November 27. Over and over again, the Club has made clear that there was no meaningful alternative to Kirkby. Only that deal offered the possibility of a move for a token contribution to costs. Only that deal brought with it a partnership with some of the biggest hitters in the UK economy. And only that deal has allowed the Club to continue to invest in good players whilst garnering every penny possible towards a move.

So the message is clear: Before you start up the band for that dance of celebration or look to wave goodbye to the evil Kenwright, spare a moment to think what may be in store for us if that answer is NO!

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1   Posted 14/11/2009 at 15:19:21

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Doddy, this phrase caught my eye: "a token contribution to costs".

Was it not £78 MILLION? For who is that "token"?
Matthew Lovekin
2   Posted 14/11/2009 at 15:24:41

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Richard, I have been thinking the same. The short-term gain and popularity of not going to Kirkby is likely to be cancelled out by the long term consequences of staying at Goodison in the modern era of football.

Caught between a rock and a hard place. Perhaps Kenwright is doing his best and what’s best in the interests of EFC? Only time will tell.
Jay Harris
3   Posted 14/11/2009 at 15:35:03

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Doddy, so you really believe that DK will guarantee that Everton has a meaningful future!

It will load us with debt that undoubtedly will NOT get a return.
Ray Said
4   Posted 14/11/2009 at 15:34:09

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Richard, What happens is that the board will finally have to get off their lazy arses and consider some alternatives.

To paraphrase Churchill, ’its not the beginning of the end but may be the end of the beginning’. If the harebrained scheme to leave a city that is now fast growing after 40 years of stagnation is rejected, then the owners will have to make some hard choices and start to invest in the club's final asset — Goodison Park.
David O'Keefe
5   Posted 14/11/2009 at 15:42:41

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Looks like I got a reaction from Doddy: Get your retaliation in first.

For Knee-jerk Luddites read Keioc. Did Ross write it for you?
Stephen Kenny
6   Posted 14/11/2009 at 15:48:52

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Richard, Without the usual nonsense, just what is it about Bill Kenwright that you find admirable?

I’m assuming you're an Evertonian first and foremost and that comes before any other loyalties you may have, so please explain?
Brian Waring
7   Posted 14/11/2009 at 15:45:34

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I just can’t understand why the lads who are pro-Kirkby think that, if we move to Kirkby, the streets will be paved with gold. If anything, it will see us in more debt than we are now.
David O'Keefe
8   Posted 14/11/2009 at 15:53:23

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Ignorance, myopia and blind faith, Brian. Anything looks good if you ignore reality.
Robert Daniels
9   Posted 14/11/2009 at 15:25:39

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Richard, There are no known benifits for now moving to Kirkby, almost everyone accepts this. The fact that you now think not going will spell the end for us makes no difference because going will be the end for us as well. A sort of Hobsons choice if you like... or — to be more exact — Kenwright's choice... and herein lies the problem.

Your beloved chairman (because he ain't mine) has no Plan B. So whose fault is that? Mine, yours or the thousands of fans that put their trust in him? That's right his and his alone.

Shame on you, Bill, for putting us all through this, for countless arguments between Evertonians, for the worry over moving out of the city, for making us a laughing stock with our nemisis (remember the carrier bags at the derby) "the city's all ours" etc etc.

Yes, Richard, you may be right: DK or no DK might be the end... but the buck stops with one man — and you think the sun shines out of his arse!

David McDonnell
10   Posted 14/11/2009 at 15:52:05

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I have to admit, when I first heard about Kirkby, and the vote about moving, my first reaction was Yes, this is what we need, world class stadium for free, etc etc.

I have to say, as time has progressed, the more I hear, the more I think this really could be the wrong choice. But there are people who know more about this than me on here so I'm asking, "Is it really Kirkby or nothing? Is there no way we can stay in the city?"

I watched a video on the KEIOC website showing the redevelopment of Goodison and the Bestway site (the Loop). Both options looked great and they constantly use the word 'deliverable'. What I want to know is: "Is there an actual financial plan to fund either of these?"

From what I can make out, we're putting £70-odd million in now ourselves for Kirkby. So can we not put that into Goodison? And are the council saying they will definitely help with the cost?

Please can someone give me the facts.

Chris Butler
11   Posted 14/11/2009 at 16:17:39

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Bill Kenright has never ever interfered with team matters. The problem I have with Kirkby is that it's not an attractable proposition for corporates either. I do not believe that many corparates will want to drive to Kirkby or be driven each week.

Kirkby lacks a nationwide train network. Anfield and Walton are in ideal positions in my opinion for the majority of scosue blues. GP is not to far away from Bootle and not to far from town. Plus the fact is that fans travelling by motor vehicle with only have 3 avenues to Kirkby.

Due to the majority of liverpool based fans having to travel north to get to DK creates more congestion. The main routes that will be used are the East Lancs and Longmoor Lane. It will create congestion like you’ve never seen before.

Gavin Ramejkis
12   Posted 14/11/2009 at 17:02:33

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Without rising to the usual anti-BK rhtoric which have been told by far more than myself, David, £78m borrowed from anyone is the same £78m — be it from any bank or borrower. Neil Pearse has argued that the likelihood is that it would be borrowed or levied against the prospective building it was for.

The intricacies of whether that borrowing be deemed less of a risk for:

(1) a redeveloped stadium in GP (with proven access capabilities and years of attendance trends to give in the business plan); or

(2) a Kirkby based stadium (with no discernable transport plan, with negligible off field income generation); or

(3) a new City located site (with potential for off-field income generation as a venue for various activities such as concerts and business meetings, again with proven transport access).

Thinking away from your heart, which of the three would you lend money to?

It has been rumoured that Tesco would be willing to underwrite the loan to Everton for the stadium at Kirkby... but that would be dubious given the DK public hearings stated Tesco aren’t giving Everton anything free, don’t want the naming rights.

Even so-called blue, Tesco Terry, still has shareholders to answer to and is not (as some naively believe) doing the club a favour. The supermarket in Kirkby is for Tesco not for Everton; the retail park is for the retailers not for Everton; the football stadium was hoped to facilitate a larger than normal supermarket but that blatant attempt to circumvent planning rules is why the project got called in and has nothing to do with KEIOC.

No matter what the decision is, Tesco will still build a supermarket. They have bought — albeit it at scandalously low prices —enough of Kirkby town centre not to require a return on their investment.

It is rather striking that the same "get over it" crowd will now no doubt begin the blame game on anti-DK supporters and blame them with the demise of Everton FC. The same who have used the fact the club isn’t the property of the supporters and is being run well by BK. Well — hypocrisy apart — which is it?

Is the club being run well by having no alternative to the DK project, which has been blown out of the water from the glitzy, "virtually free, world class, easily accessible, money generating" lies to a costly, mediocre, inaccessible, money burdening white elephant?

David Hallwood
13   Posted 14/11/2009 at 17:18:04

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Welcome to Groundhog Day Pt XXIII:

a) Nobody wants to go to DK or at least very few of us;

b) Goodison Park will have to be redeveloped;

c) Staying as we are is not an option — repeat: not an option;

d) There are viable alternatives to DK, but they would probably be swamped by red tape and takes years to be even given the go-ahead.

As an example, can you imagine groundsharing with the RS? — not a nice thought but I believe this is the best option, but how long would it take to get that one off the ground? Walton Hall Park backs onto and large private housing estate and residents have already come out and stated that they would do all it takes to stop the development.

Whether you like it or not (and I’m not dancing in the streets) but DK is the only game in town...

David Johnson
14   Posted 14/11/2009 at 17:34:51

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"As I have stated in other posts, I have every reason to believe that the money is in place to ensure we can cover our share of the Kirkby move but I suspect its availability will disappear overnight if a negative is given by the Minister on November 27."

Says it all really...
Greg Murphy
15   Posted 14/11/2009 at 17:39:16

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And what happens if we’re faced with the Vicky Pollard scenario a week on Friday?

Government issues a "yeah but no but yeah" decision (e.g. it’s a "yes" in substance but subject to a caveat such as a judicial review) which could drag things out for anything between another 18 months to five years?

Everton would have to withdraw surely?

And whose fault would that be?
David Johnson
16   Posted 14/11/2009 at 17:38:00

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Ten years wasted on White Elephants while Goodison falls down around his ears. Let's blame the fans... Let's blame KEIOC... Lets blame the Government... but let's not blame Blue Bill Kenwright — eh, Doddy???

Destination Kirkby was never Everton’s only option — it was Kenwright’s only option — and there’s a bit of a difference there.

Gavin Ramejkis
17   Posted 14/11/2009 at 17:41:19

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It’s ironic that Doddy says regarding funds for DK "it’s availability will disappear overnight"? Whenever have we seen BK do that before?

Fortress Sports Fund, anyone?

Ringfenced money for Kings Dock, anyone?

The Elstone stooge statements saying players will come in early when it turns out the cupboard was bare until Lescott was sold?

Brian Noble
18   Posted 14/11/2009 at 17:59:49

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I suspect the short answer to Doddy’s question is ’Not very much!’

Elstone will huff and puff, Kenwright will utter his regrets and availability of the £78M will mysteriously disappear. No serious attempt to find an alternative site or formulate plans for re-development of GP will be embarked on and having manipulated themselves into a blind alley they will sit and wait... and sit and wait... and sit and wait...

David Johnson
19   Posted 14/11/2009 at 17:58:49

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£0
Art Jones
20   Posted 14/11/2009 at 18:26:01

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What will happen? you ask...

Our Board of Directors haven’t got the ingenuity, desire, drive, or even basic nous to actually do anything of their own accord. Tesco have used Everton to get their foothold in Kirkby — hoping that by tying themselves to the Stadium they’d bypass a Public Inquiry — knowing that the plans on their own would never get through; thankfully it failed.

So, as a back-up, Tesco declared at the start of the Inquiry, the stadium and retail projects would stand on their own — not combined. It's clear Tesco’s priority has changed. Kenwright, his advisors and his fellow directors walked right into this and even foolishly let the exclusivity contract stand!

So you ask, what will they do??? Your guess is as good as mine... I know what I want them to do but I couldn’t possibly put it into print...

But they would not do any worse than they have done and eat a little humble pie and talk to KEIOC and their advisors such as Tom Hughes and Trevor Skempton, or even Malcolm Carter ... At least they’d be dealing with Evertonians who care for the club.

Chris Butler
21   Posted 14/11/2009 at 19:50:46

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After Hillsborough, a concerted effort was made to make football grounds safe for women and kids. The FA tells us that they are trying to get more and more kids to get involved in football. 10% of match attendees are under 24. I think we need to get more kids to got the match as we are losing our next generation of supporters.

Financially I do not believe that Everton will even get 40,000 fans paying £30 each week. The main idea of getting a new stadium is usually so they can attract more supporters or fit more in. Unless Everton charge about £15 an adult, we will not get anywhere near 40,000. The importance of filling the ground is vital, I think, and more important than anything else.

Chris Butler
22   Posted 14/11/2009 at 20:03:00

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At the Wolves match, there was a display Everton For All. Some may think I'm going off the point. At Spurs I was sat next to a man from North Wales. He was a season ticket holder and despite the cost involved still went to every home game.

As a young man with no responsibilities, such as children or someone to care for, it's relatively easy for me to go to watch Everton, if financially possible. It dawned on me from speaking to other people that, unless your partner or spouse is also football mad, it's very demanding to watch Everton frequently.

Nowadays you could sign up for sky for a year for the same price as 4 Everton match tickets. The reality is quite a few people I know have given up going; considering that's where Everton get most of their income from, it's worrying.

Christine Foster
23   Posted 14/11/2009 at 21:35:08

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Richard, given your statements on DK over the past couple of years I am assuming that your heart is in the right place. But your head never has been.

You have ridiculed those on these pages, including myself, on every occasion with comments such as luddites and talking drivel... You have failed to grasp a very basic point that people keep making: There are always alternatives.

The fact that BK has, by his actions, already secured the demise of this club through his misguided "no Plan B" and "DK or bust" approach, which has led to such animosity and ridicule of the fan base is a disgrace.

The fact that one peddles the lie that there is no alternative to DK is also disgraceful. It is the only alternative offered as a solution to a problem that has not even explored. When one believes there are no alternatives to solving problems then you should always look at the problem again. Its something the club have never done.

Every pillar of Kirkby has crumbled, every promise has been broken, every ruse has been used to get it over the line. Yet you still believe its the best thing for our club Richard. Explain to me why?

I do not expect a sugar daddy to come along and just tip in a few hundred milion with no shares (just an investment); nor do I see BK or the other Directors selling their interests to facilitate the future of the club.

It's ridiculous to say no-one is interested in buying the club, everything has its price. But then some want more than we can afford.

Jason Byrne
24   Posted 14/11/2009 at 22:11:44

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Great piece, Richard. There is no doubt that if Kirkby was a NO then we would quickly sink into the abyss — an abyss we would not be able to come out of. However, I feel supremely confident it will get passed and the positive vibes that would spread through the club would spread to the players, majority of fans and result in... significant investment.
David Johnson
25   Posted 14/11/2009 at 22:22:05

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"However I feel supremely confident it will get passed and the positive vibes that would spread through the club would spread to the players,"

How do you work this out? Have you forgotten the fans are against this and have been since the lies surrounding DK were exposed. What planet are you from? Speaking out of Uranus by any chance?
Colin Malone
26   Posted 14/11/2009 at 21:55:17

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EXCLUSIVITY.
Can anyone tell me what this means?
I know it means; one party grants sole rights to one sole party. No-one else can intervene.

We can all see how our city is getting more cosmopoliton / vibrant, with every company around the world wanting to invest (Abercrombie and Fitch etc etc).

So when Bill Kenwright says he's looking for buyers / investors 24/7, on what terms? TESCO TERRY'S???
Robert Daniels
27   Posted 14/11/2009 at 22:26:01

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Jason, Friday the 13th was last night.
Come on Bill its you really, isn't it? No-one can be that daft or naive .
Ha ha... "spread to the fans", don't make me laugh, what planet are you from? Oh that's right, as Dave says... Uranus. Fucking unbelievable.
Christine Foster
28   Posted 14/11/2009 at 22:07:09

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But onwards. What happens if?

If DK is thrown out (unlikely in my view but I hope to god I am wrong) the alternative should see the sale of shares by BK and other directors in the club. It should facilitate those with more vision and resources to come in with THEIR VISION and set of solutions.

Will they be any better or more palatable than what we have now? Who knows... but to many of us, what we are looking at now is certainly not.

There is a saying, Richard, that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Every brick laid on route to Kirkby has been done so without any foundation, the very basis of the argument of moving from Goodison was built on a tissue of half truths and conjecture.

Goodison has significant problems due in the main to a lack of investment by mostly same said Board of Directors for over 20 years. Why in god's name should we trust those whose mismanagement of the club got us into this situation to provide us with the best solution?

And therein lies the unfortunate root of the problem: The best solution for whom? ... Not for the fans.... Not for the city.... Not for the finances of the club from match revenue... Not from enticing stars to our club.... Not for history, tradition or roots

Everton FC is a private business that should have a social acknowledgement to its responsibilities to its fans and tradition as well as a corporate responsibility to its shareholders. Many may disagree to the above statement but Everton FC is more than a business — despite what Tesco, BK and others may think.

Unfortunately the vested interests on all parties cannot be ignored but it feels as if Everton FC is being prostituted to maximise a return, a means to an end for Tesco certainly. It's such a big decision that it has to be squeaky clean. But it's not. That's the real reason why Kirkby should crumble.

That there are those who still believe it's the best solution have not stepped back and looked at the real drivers for the change in the first place. Not the obstructed views, the poor facilities etc — that's window dressing to financial drivers.

No one at the club or on this or any other website has come to us with a financial model that justifies the move from an operational requirement. The ROI on revenue expediture alone cannot be met by the facetious expectation of a maximum increase in revenue of £5m based on full capacity at every game ,which in itself will never happen.

There are alternatives, just those that the Board don’t want to consider for whatever reasons they see fit. Sadly, it's the self-justification of those reasons and the judgement of the Board that has led us to Kirkby.

As supporters, we have been told we had a say. But how big is the man who can look at the truth and realise that maybe, just maybe he has got it wrong and needs to look at it again? If I was BK, I would quietly get someone independent of the whole bloody mess and ask for an honest review of options and the current DK option.

Just because the decision is made on the 27 November does not mean EFC have to take it up.

How big is the man?
Robert Daniels
29   Posted 14/11/2009 at 22:51:19

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Christine... good post; no, sorry — excellent actualy. "How big is the man?" brilliant.

If BK came out and said he didn't like the fact that he was tearing the fans apart, that he may have to listen to the real voice of opinion, I for one would forgive his faults. In fact, he could stay as Everton chairman forever as far as I'm concerned. But is he man enough to do it? I don't know.

Come on, Bill — you must monitor these sites, you must know what's going on... be the Blue Bill we all thought you were and say something. Please Bill because people need a leader, we're in turmoil... are you are saviour or the devil? ARE YOU MAN ENOUGH?

You could be the last great chairman who really cares for his club and listens to its fans, The man who saved Everton!

Sorry lads, I'm going to change my dealer tomorrow, this shit makes you think everyone's honest. It won't happen again cos a table for four only costs £500 in the Championship, rather than the five grand at GP, so I will be able to buy better gear from next year or the year after.

C'mon, Bill — prove me wrong please.

Colin Malone
30   Posted 14/11/2009 at 23:04:54

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From day one, its been a sham: Wyness on the radio, giving the Deal of the Century. BUT NO QUESTIONS, SHAME ON YOU RADIO MERSEYSIDE.

The vote, FUCKING BENT.

Our own Liverpool Echo, "Kirkby says Yes to ground move", FUCKING LIES.

Bill Kenwright, wanting buyers during the exclusivity deal. FUCKING LIES.

I've been watching the blues as my dad and granddad have all our lives and I'm pretty sure they will be in the same mind to myself.

If we have a proper transparent vote, and the vote goes in favour of Kirkby, I will go.

Until such time, sadly this is my last season.
Frank McGregor
31   Posted 14/11/2009 at 23:31:38

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Everton is a private business answerable to the shareholders and decisions on running the club are in their hands. I agree with Richard that if the decision to move to Kirkby is turned down it will be bad news and those responsible will no doubt run for cover.

I get the feeling the people objecting to the move have a hidden vested interest against the move. KEIOC will be the first to say "NOT I SIR — we had nothing to do with the outcome".

I am a supporter of the move to Kirkby from day one and remain the same now. As nobody has come up with a viable alternative just emotion and nostalgia. Rebuild Goodison? — give me a break.

Colin Malone
32   Posted 14/11/2009 at 23:48:32

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Frank, why did they insult the supporters by having a vote?

Frank, do you go to Goodison every home game?
Colm Kavanagh
Editorial Team
33   Posted 14/11/2009 at 23:51:06

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How many years now has this prize tulip been allowed to peddle such nonsense?

Kirkby’s dead in the water and "Mr Dodd" is being afforded the opportunity to get the retaliation in first, hardly endearing himself with fellow Evertonians with his "luddite" comments.

It’s been almost "a means to an end" with "Mr Dodd" and his ilk over recent years online.

They deserve each other if a franchise ever does appear at a retail park in the NW Lancastrian corridor.
Neil Pearse
34   Posted 15/11/2009 at 01:39:39

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What happens if...? First of all, it will be good for all concerned to have a decision one way or the other.

Then the next thing we will discover is how poor we really are. The £80M is not of course sitting under a mattress somewhere, for us to use as we will. It is in all probability a multi-stage loan completely tied to Kirkby, perhaps now it seems in some way backed by Tesco. That particular money obviously simply disappears. The bank doesn’t give you the mortgage for your house when you decide not to buy it after all.

Then I hope that Christine and others are right that ’there are of course alternatives’. But endlessly repeating this doesn’t make it so. When you are poor, you have few good options, sometimes none at all. I cannot imagine what other alternatives we could possibly have for the money we can raise (certainly less than £80M) than some relatively small improvements at GP.

I would hope most of all that a rejection of Kirkby would force the issue of a groundshare onto the table at last. Liverpool increasingly cannot afford to go it alone, so it is to be hoped that all sides at last see sense. But in truth I am not very hopeful. We will look desperate and they are not desperate enough (yet).

In terms of the bigger picture, a Kirkby rejection is of course likely to lead to any potential investors / new owners walking away. They will now be faced with a very uncertain financial future for the club. if they believe that a new ground is necessary, they will be looking at probably a minumum of £200M to find somewhere else. Not very attractive.

Of course it is also possible that rejection will lead to Kenwright trying to sell up a la Ashley - i.e. at some heavily discounted price. Ashley failed, so Kenwright might well too. This would plunge the club into further uncertainty, although perhaps there is someone decent who will emerge to take the club off his hands at a price. A big perhaps.

I believe that it would be best if the Kenwright era was brought to an end if Kirkby was knocked back. We would desperately need more money and a rethink. It would obviously be great if a wealthy new owner emerged to take the club over and substantially expand our options. But, again, this is not particularly likely.
Dave Wilson
35   Posted 15/11/2009 at 07:42:26

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What happens if... the betrayers are betrayed?

Well, Frank provides us with a good insight. The people who voted for a "no alternative" strategy — thus ensuring there isn't an alternative — will then start pointing the finger at people who couldn’t have possibly influenced the decision.

To us "Luddites", Kirkby means certain death; if it get knocked back, we will breath a huge collective sigh of relief — but there will be no winners here... only two lost years.
Brian Noble
36   Posted 15/11/2009 at 09:00:32

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To expand on my previous comment, I do believe that UNDER THE PRESENT BOARD, our club is doomed whichever way the decision goes. I have been against DK from Day One but, three years down the line, there is little alternative with the management having boxed themselves into a bum deal.

It’s been easy to assume that Kenwright’s plan is to offload as soon as DK gets the go-ahead. Don’t you believe it! He’s after ’strategic investors’ who may — or may not — find Kirkby more enticing than Goodison Park.

Knowing this lot’s form, ANY change of control will take for ever and I fear that here, there or anywhere, Everton are set to go into decline. Hold onto your hats!

Neil Pearse
37   Posted 15/11/2009 at 09:30:04

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Dave W you are right: it would be hugely inappropriate if those who were broadly in favour of Kirkby such as myself turned on the ’Nos’ in the event of its being knocked back.

Let’s not fool ourselves. Kirkby is a big political decision between central and local government, and Tescos. Everton Football Club and its potential ground is largely a sideshow, and the arguments of KEIOC etc will have had little if any impact on the final decision. We are just not the main event here.

If it is knocked back, Kenwright will deserve appropriate criticism. Although as I believe we have few if any other good choices, he will have still bet on an option for the club which, even with Tescos on our side, we failed to win. Unless he can pull any other rabbit out of the hat, that puts him in a pretty untenable position so far as future leadership of the club is concerned.

Brian Noble, if Kirkby does go ahead, let’s see on the new owners. So long as a potential new owner does not subscribe to the view that fans won’t go, then having a new ground at a capped and relatively low cost is bound to make us more attractive.
Richard Jones
38   Posted 15/11/2009 at 10:35:19

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What happens if...? First of all it will be good for all concerned to have a decision one way or the other.

I agree, Neil.

Then the next thing we will discover is how poor we really are. The £80M is not of course sitting under a mattress somewhere, for us to use as we will. It is in all probablitly a multi-stage loan completely tied to Kirkby, perhaps now it seems in some way backed by Tesco. That particular money obviously simply disappears. The bank doesn’t give you the mortgage for your house when you decide not to buy it after all.

If you're talking about the Investec money, it's already been released Neil, a charge and assignment has been made.

Then I hope that Christine and others are right that ’there are of course alternatives’. But endlessly repeating this doesn’t make it so. When you are poor you have few good options, sometimes none at all. I cannot imagine what other alternatives we could possibly have for the money we can raise (certainly less than £80M) than some relatively small improvements at GP.

The same could be said of you endlessly repeating that Kirkby is in our best interest without any tangible evidence of that; just because you keep saying it, it doesnt make it so.

I would hope most of all that a rejection of Kirkby would force the issue of a groundshare onto the table at last. Liverpool increasingly cannot afford to go it alone, so it is to be hoped that all sides at last see sense. But in truth I am not very hopeful. We will look desperate and they are not desperate enough (yet).

I agree this could be explored further but I think too much water has gone under the bridge on this.

In terms of the bigger picture, a Kirkby rejection is of course likely to lead to any potential investors / new owners walking away. They will now be faced with a very uncertain financial future for the club. if they believe that a new ground is necessary, they will be looking at probably a minumum of £200M to find somewhere else. Not very attractive.

Absolute conjecture on your part, Neil, this is your opinion, nothing more. As for the £200M, where does that figure come from? I think we’re planning a build for £78M so why will it be £200M? And please don't come back with the non-existent £54M — I think that has already been discredited.)


Of course it is also possible that rejection will lead to Kenwright trying to sell up a la Ashley — i.e. at some heavily discounted price. Ashley failed, so Kenwright might well too. This would plunge the club into further uncertainty, although perhaps there is someone decent who will emerge to take the club off his hands at a price. A big perhaps.

Hmmm... I think newcasle are playing in the Championship at the moment Neil. There is a difference!!

I believe that it would be best if the Kenwright era was brought to an end if Kirkby was knocked back. We would desperately need more money and a rethink. It would obviously be great if a wealthy new owner emerged to take the club over and substantially expand our options. But, again, this is not particularly likely.

Quite frankly, Neil, this last sentence is waffle.
Ged Simpson
39   Posted 15/11/2009 at 11:47:10

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Colm "Kirkby’s dead in the water"

Simple Question....

How do you know?
Neil Pearse
40   Posted 15/11/2009 at 11:39:20

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Thanks Rich. Does anyone know how much the Investec money is and how flexible our usage of it is? I would be suprised if it covered £80M, but maybe it does.

The £200M for another new ground is not at all "absolute conjecture". A KEIOC article as you very well know put the number at £250M. The key point is that — under the present financial regime — it is almost certain that we will not be able to afford a new ground anywhere else. That is the point people have to get their heads around.

On Newcastle and the Championship — point taken of course. But £100M was a very low price for such a business franchise. And the new owner does not have to pay for a new ground.

My last sentences may well be waffle. That would be because I am trying to hope that, if Kirkby is knocked back, a potential new owner will first have to find £200M odd for a new ground as well taking on the debt and buying out Kenwright et al — and yet they will still appear and have surplus funds to invest in the playing side of the club. You are right — I don’t believe it either.

That if Kirkby is knocked back we will mostly likely be stuck for the forseeable future with Kenwright, little money and few if any options — that’s probably the most important ’what if...?’ that we should all consider.
Chad Schofield
41   Posted 15/11/2009 at 11:19:20

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Some really good points either side. Rather than try to reiterate what’s already been written, the point I’d like to look at is:

"Only the involvement of big hitters such as Sir Terry Leahey and Sir Philip Green can hope to attract the kind of speculators needed to put Everton in the Top Four."

Frankly had they wished to broker a deal or indeed come more into the fore, then they would have done so already. Whilst it’s been suggested here that a ’No’ would spell the end of the big hitters involvement, I’d say a ’Yes’ would see the back of them as well — given that they’d have extracted what they wanted.

Equally, whilst a ’No’ may mean Bill prolonging his stay as he has to seriously spend some time looking for a buyer, with a ’Yes’ I think Bill may not leave either. Payoff or not, Bill would likely be even more convinced that he’s done everything for his (and our) beloved Everton.
Tim Lloyd
42   Posted 15/11/2009 at 11:48:12

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I always feel loath to comment on the DK issue. At my present age of nearly 86 and living in Stockport now, I know I will never again go to a live match whether at Goodison or at a stadium in Kirkby.

Nevertheless, as a lifelong blue of close on 80 summers (or winters) I do feel that I would like to express my opinion.

To me, Richard Dodd talks sense. I have yet to read of a really viable alternative to Kirkby and, no matter how many aeroplanes fly overhead trailing banners for KEIOC, that simple fact seems inescapable.

So many objections to Kirkby seem to rest on matters which are not fact as so often claimed. No Car Parking. My son who spent many years in a local authority tells me that the ground would not get planning permission unless adequate parking provision was made.

Corporate organisations would not trail out to Kirkby to make use of he facilities promised at the new stadium. This of course is completely wrong. People in the Manchester area, much larger than Merseyside, ’trail out’ to comparatively distant areas if the facilities are good.

The new stadium is a ’cow shed’. How one can make that assertion regarding a building not yet built defeats me. Better to make such claims when it is constructed. To me, a layman, there seemed to be empty corners which could be filled in at a later time to provide a quite reasonable stadium.

The difficulties of getting to the ground. Difficulties? These comments emanate from people who must live close to Goodison Park. The present ground is certainly not on my doorstep, nor was it when I lived on the Wirral. I wonder just how many Evertonians travel fair distances to get to the matches.

I get the feeling so often, that to fully enjoy the game, it is necessary to spend a fair time inside a local pub both before and after the game. I feel sure if the demand is there for pubs, they will appear. The Breweies are not noted for being backward when it comes to supplying a demand.

Obviously, a ground in an attractive area with good transport links would be ideal but the present location does not fill the bill. It's a totally unsuitable area and the 70,000 crowds of yesteryear won’t be turning up to make me a liar.

I can’t think of a different solution than Kirkby. If it's turned down, then I feel like Richard, the future is bleak.
Dan Brierley
43   Posted 15/11/2009 at 12:31:27

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I also believe that the future is bleak should DK be rejected. Now even if we get a new chairman, how is he going to streamline Everton into producing an extra £20 million per year for players? Are we really that badly run that there is so much money we are not getting? I simply cannot see it.

All a rich chairman will do is underwrite more debt. which might help keep you happy in the short term, but in the long term it is going to leave us in the shit. The other option is that we get an Everton fan with the money of Abramovich who puts his own money in for the love of the club.

A rejection of DK is not going to improve anything, we just perform the same search we already did, and realise we cannot afford a stadium in any available location.
David O'Keefe
44   Posted 15/11/2009 at 13:00:35

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Dan, That rich Chairman will probably be a better businessman than Bill... or should that be Sir Phillip Green. He would do more than spend on players' fees and wages, he would finally solve the clubs stadium problem.

A rejection of DK may not solve anything, it would be the first step towards a solution. However, in light of the Maddock arselicken and Doddy’s pre-emptive strike at Keioc and the no-vote, I don’t think that you and Doddy want a solution. Despite this, your lame apologetics are preferable to Doddy’s rants.
Brian Waring
45   Posted 15/11/2009 at 13:16:38

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Or Dan, Kirkby gets the go-ahead, and we end up with a lot more debt than we have now. So, things become a lot worse than they are now.
Phil Bellis
46   Posted 15/11/2009 at 13:56:38

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I can’t be as generous as Christine and give Richard Dodd any credit for being an Everton supporter.

His mindset is alien to me and I find his puppy-like, blind and unquestioning devotion to the incompetent custodians of our club both sad and shameful

Just an observation... having worked on developing authorship identification and anti-plagiarism software, I suspect Richard had considerable help in constructing this latest missive.

David O'Keefe
47   Posted 15/11/2009 at 14:06:21

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Phil, Doddy’s mindset I’m afraid is familiar to me. The sad thing is that the man’s arrogance leaves him unable to move with the facts and over time change his opinion.

Doddy, Dan and Alan, should be commended for their loyalty even if it is towards a man who has done precious little to deserve such devotion. For everyone else, the penny has dropped.
Dan Brierley
48   Posted 15/11/2009 at 14:07:44

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Dave O’Keefe, that is a classic.

So this chairman is going to be a better businessman, and is going to fund a new stadium, and pump money into the squad without debt moving into an unmanageable position? What you are describing is a magician, not a businessman.

It's simply impossible to fund all those things through the revenue streams available. And if he uses his own money to fund it, thinking he will make it back, he is NOT a good businessman. it will take forever to get a return on the investment without affecting the teams progress.

You might not have noticed, but we simply have not had enough money coming into the club to fund a decent squad FOR YEARS. And you think the solution is to wait another 5-10 years to find an alternative? Will we need a bigger stadium in 5-10 years?

Brian, yes... debt will surely increase to fund the stadium. But when your turnover increases due to the enhanced facilities, the inceased debt becomes manageable.

David O'Keefe
49   Posted 15/11/2009 at 14:13:29

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Congratulations, Dan — your hyperbole and strawman arguments have conspired to make you look almost but not quite a bigger balloon than Doddy.

Beyond that, I won’t respond to your pathetic rant.
Dan Brierley
50   Posted 15/11/2009 at 14:19:13

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Excellent choice David. And may I commend you on your unbridled commitment in waiting for the white knight who will come riding into Goodison with sacks full of money with ’debt free’ printed on the side. And you have the audacity to infer that my point of view is flimsy? Don’t make me laugh.
David O'Keefe
51   Posted 15/11/2009 at 14:24:51

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I can see why you admire Bill, you have a lot in common — neither of you like criticism and don’t like being held to account.

Furthermore, Brierley, I believe your responses, lacking as they are in substance, are motivated purely by personal feeling. Why you may ask? Because I have criticised your arguments in the past and you don’t like it.

If you can’t deal with criticism Dan then stay away from TW and stick to the Echo’s letters pages — a place were BK is revered — and the club website. Just grow up Dan and accept that not everyone is going to agree with you, when you do that I may consider you a grown-up.
Dan Brierley
52   Posted 15/11/2009 at 14:37:24

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David, feel free to comment on some of the points related to football, and how someone can fund a stadium and significantly invest in the team with the revenue streams available.

I apologise if you don't like my writing style, but the point I am trying to make is that the only thing you have contributed, is to say ’someone should come in and give us a lot of money’, without giving credibility to your view by substantiating it with some meaningful ideas or propositions.

We all know we need to get money in, you don’t need to state the obvious. The real point is how we do it without strangling the club with unmanageable debt.

Richard Jones
53   Posted 15/11/2009 at 14:52:56

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Like borrowing £78M for a white elephant stadium in a little town and turning your back on a large percentage of your fan-base.
Colin Potter
54   Posted 15/11/2009 at 14:19:17

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Dan, Do you really believe that if we do go to kirkby, it will generate £20m a year, because that’s what your post looks like. We will be losing money, hand over fist after a couple of years.
Dan Brierley
55   Posted 15/11/2009 at 15:05:09

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My apologies Colin, it wont generate £20 million. But it will generate additional revenue which will allow us to service more debt. Why do you say we will lose money after a few years?
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
56   Posted 15/11/2009 at 16:58:55

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David O’Keefe, I think it’s a terrible sign of weakness when someone has participated in a discussion up to a certain point, where they then seem to run out of rationale thought, and can only resort to personal abuse and blanket condemnation.

I must commend Dan Brierley for holding his ground and not allowing your frankly pathetic jibes to derail him or to induce him to sink to your level.

As a whole, this thread — if you can stand back for a moment and read it less passionately — raises some serious questions for which there are certainly no definitive answers — despite the assertions of the many who claim to know the future.

The post of Dan’s that proved to be your breaking point was the one that really poses the key questions, which the No lobby seems to have such trouble answering. While I personally cannot stand the thought of us moving to the Kirkby cowshed, what Dan said is highly pertinent, and I make no excuse in repeating it below. Let’s see these points addressed rather than spouting anymore personal shite, please.




I also believe that the future is bleak should DK be rejected. Now even if we get a new chairman, how is he going to streamline Everton into producing an extra £20 million per year for players? Are we really that badly run that there is so much money we are not getting? I simply cannot see it.

All a rich chairman will do is underwrite more debt. which might help keep you happy in the short term, but in the long term it is going to leave us in the shit. The other option is that we get an Everton fan with the money of Abramovich who puts his own money in for the love of the club.

A rejection of DK is not going to improve anything, we just perform the same search we already did, and realise we cannot afford a stadium in any available location.
Chris Butler
57   Posted 15/11/2009 at 16:54:16

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Most people do not go to one supermarket. They go to the nearest one to their house or workplace. Most people do not go to the same pub all the time. The majority of people do not eat at only one restaurant...

The point I'm making is fans are different from customers. Customers of Everton pay money to help this company get richer. When you go to Tesco you don’t usually come out upset, disappointed or over the moon like you do at a football match.

You travel large distances to support the employees of this company who often do not thank you for your custom and support. If we hadn’t bothered to support this company financially and vocally (well some of us), this company would have gone out of business.

These companies sometimes make us suicidal at worst overjoyed at best. The point I’m making is that, football is not a business — it can give people who have nothing in their lives a sense of belonging camaraderie like few other things.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
58   Posted 15/11/2009 at 17:18:11

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Chris, sorry but football IS a business. It has been a business for over 100 years...

It may be a business that performs a social function — different perhaps for all types of fans — but it’s a business all the same. Trying to assert that it’s not just flies in the face of reality.
Robert Daniels
59   Posted 15/11/2009 at 17:20:11

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Didn't someone point out that we are still in an exclusitivity deal with Tescos until such time as DK is knocked back?Hasn't that hampered Bullshit Billy's attempt 24/7 to seek investment? Now my point is we don't know if there are any investors because he wouldn't've been able to do anything in case it derailed Kirkby.

Didn't Tony Marsh show how we can provide funding for a new stadium, the New Goodison in fact... surely these things can be looked at if the cowshed is dumped.

Whatever happens, I would still rather take a chance on Kirkby being dumped and looking elsewhere for investment than going there. Once we're in the cowshed, right or wrong, there ain't no way back for us... Now that's the real scary part, what if it is a mistake, like many of us fear — what then?

Richard Dodd
60   Posted 15/11/2009 at 17:34:30

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Whilst delighted to see my post has promoted such a wide-ranging debate, my enthusiasm for DK is today tempered by the realisation that acceptance of the scheme will almost certainly necessitate the sale of Jack Rodwell to ameliorate the debt which will be incurred.

You are so right, Editor, football is a business in every sense of the word. The problem for those who run it is that it is conducted in the public spotlight and affects so many more lives than those who merely own shares.

Johnny Griff
61   Posted 15/11/2009 at 17:44:23

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I can see it now. Touring Kirkby with the Auto-Glass Trophy with the team celebration in the Kingfisher. The glory that is DK awaits!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dave Wilson
62   Posted 15/11/2009 at 17:47:34

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Richard

Why stop at Jack Rodwell ?

You know very well that, if DK gets the nod, Jack Rodwell will be only one of several players leaving GP.
Richard Jones
63   Posted 15/11/2009 at 17:37:40

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Dan: I also believe that the future is bleak should DK be rejected. Now even if we get a new chairman, how is he going to streamline Everton into producing an extra £20 million per year for players? Are we really that badly run that there is so much money we are not getting? I simply cannot see it.

I disagree with first sentence; I believe the club will die a slow death if we go to Kirkby. As for how the new chairman would streamline Everton into making £20 million a year extra, well he would have to have a different mindset from the current one.

I’m sure the new one would not say silly things like Everton fans don’t buy shirts etc — after all, we were once one of the big five and before that the Mersey Millionaires... surely that's the basis of a good start, if you throw in the fact that we're a big city club, with huge tradition and history?

People have mentioned hotels and football villages — surely a new rich Arab/Russian would want to build his own stadium in a big city with cinemas, casinos etc. From my knowledge of such people, they have big egos and want to put their own stamp on things. All this bullshit about a new owner wouldn’t want to buy a new ground is rubbish — he would be buying it because of the increase he would have to pay for the share value.

All a rich chairman will do is underwrite more debt, which might help keep you happy in the short term, but in the long term it is going to leave us in the shit. The other option is that we get an Everton fan with the money of Abramovich who puts his own money in for the love of the club.

Speculating to accumulate is fine by me. Loading debt on the club just to get rid of it and make you and dodgy friends a few quid is something else. If you borrow money to build income-generating assets ie, places where people want to be for leisure and entertainment and retail, then someone with vision and wealth I believe could use Everton to its full potential and good luck to them.

A rejection of DK is not going to improve anything, we just perform the same search we already did, and realise we cannot afford a stadium in any available location.


Totally agree with this paragraph, while BK is in charge — that is why he has to go. The only good thing to come out of it is that my Everton will be where god intended for them to be — in the City of Liverpool — and a man with vision and money can put us back where we belong. So avoiding the biggest tragedy that could have ever happened.

Colin Fitzpatrick
64   Posted 15/11/2009 at 17:57:58

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First of all, Neil, the Everton’s CEO claims the Investec loan has been secured against part of the 2010-11 season broadcasting revenue, this season's broadcasting revenue being borrowed against only two months earlier from Barclays. The charges relating to these loans can be viewed here - http://www.scribd.com/doc/22199839/The-Extent-of-Evertons-Debt.

Apart from the fact that Everton, rather alarmingly, are borrowing against the following seasons income streams is bad enough; but eyebrows are slightly raised at the involvement of Investec and Teacher Stern with their association with Kia Joorabchian and Pini Zahavi and their advocating of, shall we say, innovative methods of realising future income streams for cashflow purposes.

Moving to the article in question, it’s intent is clear; it’s a wind-up from beginning to end. The use of evocative language such as “luddites” “no meaningful alternative” “a token contribution to costs” and perhaps, bizarrely, “involvement of big hitters such as Sir Terry Leahy and Sir Philip Green” are all statements designed to wind-up those fans that’ve followed the debacle whilst giving those who are still pro-Kirkby some apparent comfort in their stance. I’m only amazed he left the old dumbing down chestnut of being just outside the city boundary alone.

What will the decision be; yes, no or a definite maybe? We will soon know; it may surprise some of you that Wednesday, 18/11/09, is the anniversary of the opening of the inquiry; tempus fugit and all that!

Most will know there are two parts to the decision; the Planning Inspector's report with a recommendation to the Secretary of State (this was delivered in July), and the decision itself from Secretary of State, John Denham. The Inspectors Report examines the application from the perspective of compliance with planning regulation and it doesn’t take Nostradamus to forecast the recommendation; the applicant witnesses readily admitted breaches in compliance but argued that the regenerative element and creation of 3,000 new jobs should outweigh them.

The applicants were making a case directly to the Secretary of State but of course the opposition QC’s did their job; as can be seen here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/22231205/Lcc-Closing-Submissions.

Paragraphs 76 & 77 report what was admitted during the inquiry that only 132 jobs in the Northwest would be created under the guaranteed part of the development, Phase One and Two, up to a maximum of 308 if all phases of the application are delivered.

Apart from a massive failure to deliver a workable transport plan to the inquiry and the amount of local opposition from all neighbouring authorities, CABE also were heavily critical of the design, calling the stadium a missed opportunity, and the Government listen very carefully to their advisors, even when making a political decision.

If the decision is a Yes, Everton will have to demonstrate they have the £78m of funds in place before work on any phase can begin; their back-of-a-cigarette-packet list submitted in the application, which they refused to elaborate on, won’t be good enough. Presumably they’ve been working on this all of this year...

The prospect of Everton moving to this stadium that fails to meet the requirements of the fans and the club leaves many Evertonians cold. The stadium at 94% average attendance will generate an additional £6m of annual profit; Liverpool is forecasting £50m from their new stadium.

I ask each of you to visit the KEIOC website and look at the media section: http://www.keioc.net/index.php?page=media-information, index down to the section named “How others see their future” and see how out of step Everton are under Bill Kenwright’s tutelage... NSNO?

If the decision is a No, I don’t envisage the dancing in the streets that is described in the OP; against all logic, a decision was taken to follow a plan that had every prospect of being called in; it was... and one that had every prospect of being rejected; we’re about to find that out.

The decision this board has taken is seen by many to be one that is not in the best interests of the club, it's shareholders and stakeholders. It has taken up five years of valuable time, in which Everton clearly required improved facilities, and has cost in excess of £4m.

Those involved with the KEIOC campaign contend that the Everton Board of Directors stood by whilst shareholders and fans were misled over the alleged £52m contribution towards the stadium cost; last month the Everton CEO even repeated the claim, to Michael Durkin, saying that “Nobody should lose sight of the fact that around 40 percent of the cost of the new stadium will be met by Tesco” — an answer that sadly went unchallenged... whilst in December 2007 director Robert Earl stated that Everton were receiving an irrevocable cheque from Tesco. Everton are unwilling or unable to reveal the source of the £52m; here’s our proof:

The COST of the stadium can be found in Section 3 of this document: http://www.scribd.com/doc/21384169/Everton-DTZ-Report-Financial. The total COST is specified at £130m, note that this includes the stadium construction company’s profit of £3.8m.

In Section 4 you will find that Everton’s “contribution” to the stadium is identified as £78m; Section 2.6 identifies the source.

The shortfall, £52 million and its supposed source, are identified in sections 4.2, 4.12 and 5.3.

It may surprise some people to learn that you can claim what you like in a planning application; experts provide expert advice on what information they are given, but at a government inquiry you have to provide evidence. Tesco refused to provided evidence of the source of this £52m — a clear dilemma for Tesco...

So, on the morning of the first day of the inquiry, Tesco astonishingly claimed that it was never their case that it was an enabling development... and that the stadium and the retail developments stood on their own merits — an astonishing statement given that Tesco had stated the retail development was the enabler for the stadium on no less than fifty occasions in their application.

There followed weeks of arguing over where this mysterious £52m was coming from; eventually the truth came out; you can read it here, http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/everton-fc/everton-fc-stadium/2008/12/11/everton-inquiry-mystery-surrounds-kirkby-s-52million-economic-miracle-92534-22451792/.

The truth is the £52m is a 'value', a figure derived from the revaluation of the land Tesco bought from Knowsley Council at a secret price; you build a £78m stadium on land that is valued at £52m and that is where the £130m VALUE stadium comes from.

Suggestions that the multibillion-pound Tesco are somehow doing a £52m foreigner for Everton are ridiculous — as ridiculous as believing Tesco somehow could manage to get this lot past the inspector unnoticed... or as ridiculous that a prospective buyer wouldn’t see through this charade and wouldn’t want ownership of a stadium that couldn’t provide the means for the club to become facility led.

Of course, Sir Terry Leahy has been critical of the Government of late; mentioning faceless bureaucrats in Whitehall deciding where the people of Kirkby can or can’t shop and the Government's poor education policies that are delivering people with poor numeracy skills into the workplace. A bit rich from a man who thinks £78m + 0 = £130M; you can read Terry’s views on Kirkby here: http://inquiry.knowsley.gov.uk/Proof%20of%20Evidence/KEIOC%20A%204%20Appendix%203.pdf

The question left for Evertonians is; did the Board know the true source of Tesco’s £52m contribution? If they didn’t, they’re simply guilty of having the fiscal acumen of Mr Dodd and his friends and have no place running a football club; if they did know then they are guilty of something far more serious.

The 2006 Companies Act introduced changes to company law in relation to the codification of the directors’ fiduciary duties. They have a duty to promote the success of the company; in assessing what will make the success of a company, the directors need to consider the following factors for each transaction they contemplate:

  • The likely consequence of any decision in the long term;
  • The interests of the company’s employees;
  • The need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers and customers;
  • The impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment;
  • The desirability of the company maintaining its reputation; and
  • The need to act fairly as between the shareholders in the company;
  • A duty to exercise independent judgment;
  • A duty to avoid conflicts of interest;
  • A duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence – this sets a subjective test (being the care, skill and diligence of each individual director based on his own experience) and an objective test (being the care, skill and diligence that may be reasonably expected of a director in a company). This creates an onerous obligation and director should take great care in exercising their powers;
  • A duty not to accept benefits from third parties – this duty does not, however, take effect if the accepting of a benefit would not give rise to a conflict of interests;
  • A duty to declare an interest in a proposed transaction or arrangement with the company.
It would appear to be at best questionable that this relocation to Kirkby is in the best interests of the club, its shareholders and stakeholders... or that it promotes the success of the club. It is, however, apparent that the presence of the stadium was used as a device to deliver a 450% increase in retail over what was allowed under Knowsley’s planning regulations; this is of no interest or use to Everton once it has been determined that no actual transfer of £52m to Everton towards the COST of the stadium will occur.

Evertonians are in a lose / lose situation with this decision. No matter how much they attempt to hide, the Board of Directors will have to face the shareholders at an EGM; unless they do the honourable, that is...

One final point: I see my old mate Colin Potter has posted a comment; one absolutely staunch Evertonian — e.mail me with your number Colin; I’ve changed phones.
Neil Pearse
65   Posted 15/11/2009 at 18:17:04

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Guys, on Rodwell. No idea whether we have to sell him or not (or anyone else) to get the debt down. But those worrying about the debt and having to sell players are missing the point.

Unless you are completely happy with our CURRENT facilities at GP (I assume no one is in this category), then at some point pretty soon we have to borrow a substantial sum of money to upgrade our facilities. There is no conceivable scenario under which for a new stadium that will be less than £80M, and it is likely to be substantially more. A substantial upgrade of GP will also require major spending and hence new debt (and perhaps the sale of Rodwell too if we are that poor).

The fundamental problem is what Dan has referred to: we need substantially upgraded facilities but are not generating sufficient cash to pay for them without going into more debt. Whether Kirkby or GP or the Loop or ground share or the moon — we will need to borrow more money.

There is no scenario (apart from suddenly finding a rich sugar daddy) in which we do not go into more debt to upgrade our facilities.

I agree that it is alarming if we are so poor that we have to sell players to make this possible. I agree with Colin that is not great if we are so poor that we have to borrow against core future revenues. But it is what it is.

These are not facts about Kirkby. They are facts about the fundamentally poor financial state of our club, developed over many years. And no doubt indicating years of poor management.

These facts actually explain why we can only afford to move to a relatively cheap stadium outside the city. They strongly suggest that there is no way currently that we will be able to afford anything better.

Waiting and hoping for a rich rescuer is a possible strategy. But that is what it is if we don’t go to Kirkby. Don't kid yourselves. It is simply wishful thinking that we are suddenly going to find either new money behind the sofa, or a cheaper option than Kirkby.

Yes, this is a very depressing situation indeed. We should all at least be able to agree about that.
Greg Murphy
66   Posted 15/11/2009 at 18:53:27

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Colin Fitz - intriguing post all round.

Good to be refreshed about things I’d forgotten I knew.

A recent while ago, KEIOC seemed quite confident that the decision would be a "no" (I think it was at the foot of the BBC article).

Am I reading too much into things when I say that I’m now detecting that KEIOC are no longer so confident?

Basically: what’s your gut instinct?

A "yes", "no" or "caveat decision"?
Colin Fitzpatrick
67   Posted 15/11/2009 at 19:05:13

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No change in position Greg; we’d be amazed if this went ahead.

We’re using the same advisors who told us the application was a sham and that it would be called in; they’re advising us that the Inspector's report is a No and it’s down to a simple political decision.

Sir Terry did throw his toys out of the pram the other week, twice in fact. If common sense prevailed you’s say to Tesco, "Build your store, reduce the retail to lessen the economic impact on the surrounding areas, and you can have a 25,000-seat stadium that befits the available infrastructure" — which there is, bear in mind, nothing in the plans to improve.

But that would all be too easy and Tesco want it their way or no way. Tesco played hard ball: "all or nothing" — they repeatedly told the inquiry — almost as many times as they said in the application that the retail was an enabling development!!!

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
68   Posted 15/11/2009 at 19:12:24

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Fantastic post, Colin. I took the liberty of emphasising some of the key points that seem to get lost all too easily. If I read it correctly:
  1. Everton are to pay for the entire stadium build, once estimated at £78M.
  2. The perceived value of the land is £52M.
  3. The overall ’value’ of the stadium will be £130M

So... for Jamie Rowland and his misguided comparison on a different thread: £400M for the Emitrates in the Big Smoke... or £130M (actually £78M) for a cowshed in Kirkby.

And to think at the start of the Premier League era, when Bill Kenwright was already a Director of this club, we were neck and neck with Arsenal...
Neil Pearse
69   Posted 15/11/2009 at 19:01:40

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Thanks Colin for the exposition on the £52M. Once more it shows that we we should be concerned with cash rather than accounting fictions.

But you are beyond optimistic if you think there is a winnable case against the club’s directors on the basis of the 2006 Companies Act. No action was even taken against the likes of Fred Goodwin on this basis, so I think Kenwright & Co. can sleep pretty soundly.

Once we think cash rather than accounting nonsense, the directors will have a pretty defensible case anyway. All they will need to say is that we need substantially upgraded facilities and that they couldn’t find anywhere else for a new stadium that was going to involve an ultimate cash outlay of less than £80M. Case dismissed.

More generally, although it is regrettable that Wyness in particular said things that were implausible at the time and have since proved false (and may even have been known to be false at the time), these things are past and irrelevant to the business choice we face right now.

The choice now is simply about the actually available £80M Kirkby versus actually affordable alternatives - including taking the choice to wait in hope for a rich rescuer to expand our options. What Wyness said two years ago reflects badly on him (and probably also on Kenwright), but matters not a jot to the current decision that we face right now.
Richard Dodd
70   Posted 15/11/2009 at 19:16:00

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As a humble Evertonian, I am happy to bow to the superior eloquence and endless financial acumen of Colin Fitzpatrick. Like most ’ordinary’ Evertonians, I happen to believe that Chairman Bill has — all in all — done a decent job whilst he has been at the helm and I have lost count of the times he has said that HIS PREFERRED OPTION was to stay at Goodison Park.

Unfortunately, neither Colin or his knowledgeable chums in KEIOC have ever come up with a single suggestion as to how they would finance such a stance but then it’s so easy to be destructive!

All I know is that if the answer is NO, they will have what they’ve wished for... and the rot can set in.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
71   Posted 15/11/2009 at 19:31:34

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Doddy, I’ve warned you before: if you want to post on this website, DO NOT write "Like most ’ordinary’ Evertonians, I believe... "

On here, you speak for yourself, whatever your belief might be. If other Evertonians agree with you, they may be emboldened to say so, and that’s fine. But just drop this presumption that you are speaking for some implied majority ’ordinary’ of Evertonians. It doesn’t strengthen your claims: it just makes you out to be a pompous fool.
Richard Dodd
72   Posted 15/11/2009 at 19:45:30

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With all due respect, Michael, and at the risk of suffering a further ’block out’,I suggest that you are no longer facilitating an interesting and meaningful debate but rather orchestrating an anti-establishment lobby.

Again, I apologise for offending your rules but it is surely not offensive to put forward a viewpoint which differs from the majority who post but MIGHT POSSIBLY reflect the views of other Evertonians?

Dave Wilson
73   Posted 15/11/2009 at 19:38:24

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"And MAY even have been known to be false at the time"
"What Wyness said two years ago reflected badly on him (and PROBABLY also on Kenwright)"

Come on Neil you must remember the promotion film.

You're right, it is irrelevant now, but let's not rewrite history. Wyness was merely the messenger, the lies were all Kenwright's and without those lies, the endless debates would probably never have taken place.
Neil Pearse
74   Posted 15/11/2009 at 19:54:03

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Totally unfair and inaccurate Richard. Read just above — Michael makes a strong editorial intervention to ensure that Dan Brierley (generally pro-Kirkby) was heard. I think this thread has had a very good balance of different viewpoints on such an important matter. It does your case no good at all to suggest otherwise.
Neil Pearse
75   Posted 15/11/2009 at 19:59:03

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You may be right Dave. On how close Kenwright has been to Kirkby I’ve never been able to judge whether he knows exactly what is going on or has kept his distance. I actually fear the latter. Which may be even worse.

The club should simply have stated what is still true: this is a good deal in terms of cost and is anyway all we can afford.

The ’endless debates’ could then have been about what they should always have been and have largely ended up being on here: about different views on likely revenues; and whether it is worth waiting in hope for something better.
Colin Fitzpatrick
76   Posted 15/11/2009 at 19:29:06

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First of all Richard; KEIOC are not directors of EFC, the directors have a duty of care, a responsibility to the shareholders of the club. They are the ones who will need to provide the answers.

Neil, I’m sorry, many people believe there’s a case to answer here. Everton repeatedly relied on the information in the document known as the DTZ report; I’ve provided the link. It clearly states, in the cost sum analysis, that the COST of the stadium is £130m. If Everton’s putting in £78M where does the remaining COST come from if Tesco, who admitted as long ago a November 2007 that they weren’t giving any money but their contribution was derived from the overall value of the project, aren’t making a contribution?

When at the planning application stage, the mistake was made, they relied on the statement that the greater quantum of retail was required to provide the £52m cross-subsidy to the stadium... no retail, no stadium; no stadium, no retail was the mantra. Unfortunately when it was called in they couldn’t pursue that line as they new full well it would be exposed, and it was.

The moment the board became aware that no cross-subsidy was being made available, and I’m being kind here, they should have walked away at that point in time.

But no, they didn’t... and to make matters worse, they told Liverpool City Council that the only sites they would consider would be those, which could provide a similar contribution to that of Kirkby, which LCC believed, was £52M! They then had the audacity to say LCC didn’t offer them anything?

Neil and Richard you can hypothesise and attempt damage limitation all you want; irrespective of the decision, questions will be asked and answers demanded.

Watch this, listen carefully to the language used -

As my old mate Colm would no doubt say, Tiocfaidh ár lá.

Karl Masters
77   Posted 15/11/2009 at 19:57:08

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The whole thing stinks to high heaven and can best be summed up when you recall that Wyness told us he really believed 1,000 Evertonians would cycle to the match in Kirkby! He then put on his red nose, boarded his unicycle and left the room juggling with 4 wads of £100k in £50 notes.

He picked up £450k in one of his years at Goodison. I guess for that, he’d be prepared to say pretty much anything.

His successor, Robert Elstone, is more likeable, but his pained expression as he very carefully and deliberately worded his response to questions on this subject last Sunday, suggested to me that he can see no further than Kirkby as an answer. Basically, if it’s a No, he’ll be stumped along with the rest of the Board. Oh, the rotten borough of Goodison!
Robert Daniels
78   Posted 15/11/2009 at 20:17:34

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Well said, Michael, regarding Richard, and well said, Neil, to point out Dan's view has been heard.

Just thought I would throw a spanner into the works with this, has anyone seen an image of Brighton's new stadium. I think it is almost built now and the total build cost, so I've been told was £130 million — that's right, that giant of football, Brighton, have just built a stadium for £130MILLION.

Now, Richard... tell me ours isn't a cowshed.

Greg Murphy
79   Posted 15/11/2009 at 20:14:30

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Thanks Colin,

Guess it’s just a tedious waiting game now. I’m very pessimistic and I do fear it will get the go-ahead.

After a rather comfortable (well, relatively) 12 months of being able to "park Kirkby" (no pun, ahem), it’s now back to being front and centre of the mind and, like the summer of 2007, my Everton life has now become one big "refresh button" exercise on-the-hour every hour (KEIOC, TW, WSAG, NSNO, NewsNow...any news yet, anywhere?).

Gonna be a long, long 13 days (with the small matter of our brethren rolling into town at the end of it all, not to mention a visit to OT in the middle of it).

Truly the thought of Kirkby getting a green light just 48hrs before the other shower pitch up at Goodison just fills me with dread (I know we’re not meant to "care what the red side say" - but it’s not really true is it?).

On the other hand, there is a chance that all things Kirkby could finally be laid to rest in just 13 days’ time and we could mark the occasion (because can’t be a celebration - just a total frustration) with a nice Derby win.

Right, T-minus-13 days and counting...
Neil Pearse
80   Posted 15/11/2009 at 20:28:01

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Interesting stuff Colin, but why should the Everton board have "walked away" when they "realised the cross-subsidy was not available"?? In the real world of cash, nothing had changed. It was still costing us £80M odd. Just like before.
Gavin Ramejkis
81   Posted 15/11/2009 at 20:31:16

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Can I ask a question and seek clarification from Neil P and Colin Fitz as you appear to give a better fiscal response.

The debt incurred for DK, if it does get the nod and then allows BK and his pals to exit stage left, will surely be passed on to the new owner. Can either of you describe your thoughts on this as an attractive proposition given the debt the club has already?

And finally, Richard Dodd, if you open a can of worms then expect all points of the compass to respond, please don’t stand like some martyr claiming undeserved rebuke.

Richard Jones
82   Posted 15/11/2009 at 20:29:00

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Come on now Neil, Doddy is Doddy and his gushing admiration of Kenwright is almost homo-erotic, but you are taking your laid-back "what can he do" stance a bit too far. If, in the face of all this evidence, you are now going to use Wyness as his scapegoat for all this — at least allow him that honour.
Neil Pearse
83   Posted 15/11/2009 at 20:39:54

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Richard J - Far from being happy about Kenwright’s ’distance’ from Kirkby, I am intensely critical of it. My comments on Wyness are in no way meant to provide any scapegoat for Kenwright. In blunt terms: he should not have let his CEO say silly things such as "practically free". Especially when "a good deal and all we can afford" was perfectly true and available.

Kirkby can be the best available option that we have even if Kenwright has many failures as a Chairman. The two issues are not the same.

Gavin, my view is it really is all relative. The new owner is going to have to spend money on upgraded facilities one way or another. What they should do is look to see the cash cost/revenue return on Kirkby versus other actually available options. (I know you will like that answer!)

Nothing wrong with debt. It just depends what you are incurring it to achieve, and how much risk it is placing on the club given inevitable uncertainties. In risk terms, our total existing debt plus Kirkby debt is a gamble. (It would be pretty bad for example if we were relegated.) But so is keeping the debt down by selling players and not spending any money on new facilities.

Any new owner who is fazed by spending around £80M on a brand new ground hasn’t got enough money for us anyway.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
84   Posted 15/11/2009 at 20:45:04

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Richard Dodd, your response is a perfect example of why your appearances on here cause friction. Try reading what I cautioned you about again, or do I have to repeat it?

It’s not the views that are the issue, as Neil so rightly points out; it’s you claiming to speak for ’ordinary’ Evertonians. DO NOT DO THAT ON THIS WEBSITE!!! And do not make false claims about our position... unless there is something you are not telling us about your personal remit to now represent "the establishment".

You did get suspended before for making exactly this kind of false statement about this website. Just don’t go there... instead, why not actually answer some of the questions raised about your Original Post?

For example, what is about £78M that is "token"? Or have you still not moved on from the original "establishment" bullshit that the new stadium was going to be "virtually free"... "The Deal of the Century"???

Why don’t you address some of the lies we have been told, Richard?
Colin Fitzpatrick
85   Posted 15/11/2009 at 20:41:09

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Neil, come on you’re embarrassing yourself, you know full well why they should have walked away; you’re putting Roger Philips to shame in your attempt to play devils advocate.

Gavin, the accounts are out this week, lets look at them before we go any further; we know two things already, one, they’re reporting record turnover and two, they’re reporting record levels of debt; particularly total debt. If you take a close look at the last two charges you’ll see a difference in what they are; perhaps a clue as to how Barclays may have taken action to rectify the debt position. By way of explanation a memorandum of satisfaction against charge number 43 is about to be submitted.

If the decision is a yes or a no frankly I’d make the same offer for Everton; no need for much of a due diligence to know that Everton are in the shit; heavily in debt, few assets other than intangibles and either no new stadium or a stadium that fails to meet requirements that they can’t afford to pay for; I’d offer BK £50m take it or leave it and the next one along will offer £51m.

Greg – 12 sleeps mate!
Colin Malone
86   Posted 15/11/2009 at 21:10:46

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Colin.
I'm sure I speak for most Evertonians. Thanks to you and Tom Hughes and the rest of KEIOC for all you have done.
If DK gets rejected I will be dancing in the street.
A BIG MASSIVE THANKS.
Neil Pearse
87   Posted 15/11/2009 at 21:11:36

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Colin, still don’t get why we should walk away from perhaps the only chance we have to get a new ground - but let’s leave that one there. Perhaps you expect more honesty and uprightness in these matters than I do (on all sides).

I pretty much am in full agreement with you on the fundamental wretchedness of our financial position. Although of course we are not alone in the Premier League on this. £50M may be a bit low, but as a business proposition I certaintly wouldn’t be breaking the bank either.

It does puzzle me therefore if you think we can’t even afford Kirkby how you think we are going to be able to afford much of anything else. Anyway, 13 more days to go....
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
88   Posted 15/11/2009 at 21:24:26

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Same warning for you, Mr Malone: do not presume to speak for "most Evertonians" on this issue, please.
Colin Fitzpatrick
89   Posted 15/11/2009 at 21:24:47

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Neil, there’s no puzzle; I’m not a director, employee or a paid advisor, so I have no need to provide an answer that some people have been handsomely paid for.

Being the only game in town isn’t a plausible defence. It’s like an unfortunate being up in court for incest and relying on the defence that his sister was the only bird around!

The time to sell was when our stock was high; finishing 5th and FA cup finalists and we couldn’t find a buyer? I shudder to think who could be looking at us now.
Karl Masters
90   Posted 15/11/2009 at 21:06:35

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In answer to Richard Dodd’s original question of what if?

Well, how about our Board try again? How about they talk constructively with LCC about expanding the Goodison footprint? How about they open a dialogue with LFC about Stadium share? How about they apologise to Bestway and have a proper look at Scotland Road?

I can already see Neil Pearse getting his, ’ BUT WE HAVE NO MONEY ’ mantra out, but Neil.... sometimes we have to do a bit of lateral thinking, think about what we have got and how we can make best use of it. EFC’s single greatest asset is US, THE FANS. So, to raise £15m to fund stadium redevelopment how about:

1/ The Club open a ’People’s Stadium’ Fund, overseen by independent Third Parties to avoid any shenanigans as, let’s face it, some of us are just about out of trust. The aim is to find 50,000 Evertonians who will pay £240 in 24 x £10 monthly installments for a brick with their name and date of birth on it to be built into the new stands at Goodison. This neatly gives us all the opportunity to be part of the Club for years to come, for our children to visit the brick in decades to come to remember us by or even to view their own brick.

* No share dilution is required
* No messy Fans’ on the Board stuff
* It appeals to the very strong Heritage angle of our Club
* It is affordable (you can all afford tenner a month for 2 years)
* It’s achievable (if there are 900,000 Evertonians worldwide according to the Club, that’s only a take-up of 1 in 18 of us)
* It lowers the build costs by paying for some of the materials
* The maths is 50,000 x £200 = £10m (£40 of the £240 you pay is used to pay for the brick itself and admin costs)

2/ £3 of every ticket sold is put in the fund. With around 800,000 fans through the turnstiles at Goodison every season, that will raise £5m in 2 years.

In 2 years you can raise £15m. That’s enough to put another tier on the Park End and put in extended corporate facilities in that stand. Or enough with borrowing another £15m to do something major with the Bullens Road stand. (Don’t believe Elstone when he said it would cost £75m to rebuild the Bullens Road stand. How can it cost only £3m more to build an entire stadium at Kirkby and Chelsea built a lavish main stand for £34.9m?)

Now I know that this is not enough for an overnight answer, but it’s how other Clubs have redeveloped their stadiums... gradually, over a number of years... Aston Villa being the best example. We have to start somewhere.

Kirkby is not the answer and I hope it’s a No followed by some proper strategic long-term thinking, not lazy, short-term quick fixes — like Kirkby has been all along.

Gavin Ramejkis
91   Posted 15/11/2009 at 22:35:11

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Karl, this Evertonian likes the way you are thinking and I’m sure there are many more lateral minds out there capable of finding ways and means to fund different propositions as alternatives to DK. It still requires a massive about face or change of ownership right at the top which is what worries me most about it’s likelihood of happening.
Karl Masters
92   Posted 15/11/2009 at 22:54:18

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Something tells me, Gavin, that if it is a No or a Yes, there will be some changes.

If it’s a No, I don’t think we’ll necessarily like all of them in the short term, but in the long term they will be beneficial. Two Spurs fans will want their money back and the likes of Rodwell may have to be sacrificed to enable that. A return to the drawing board would be better in the end though.

If it’s a Yes, I also expect some changes, but I think we will see two things happen:

Firstly, the Green and Earl thing will crystalise and we will become more aware of their true intentions and why they have invested as they will come out into the open.

Secondly, BK will sell up, although not for a while, probably to a Portsmouth like investor and we will be in no-man’s land both physically and metaphorically with a very uncertain future.

In short, Yes will mean major medium- and long-term damage; No will mean short-term damage to the squad, but long-term gain if the Club finally get their heads out of their lazy arses and do what almost every other Club did years ago and re-develop.

None of it is very palatable and whatever the result, there will be no dancing in the streets for me.

Colin Malone
93   Posted 15/11/2009 at 23:12:54

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Point taken Mr Kenrick. I respect match going supporters' views, not the radio listeners or Sky pundits. I'm annoyed that from day one, it was not a level playing field.

I'm ashamed that my local radio/newspapers/ media, were telling porkies, as I've mentioned above.
Richard Jones
94   Posted 15/11/2009 at 23:51:10

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Totally agree, Colin, one of the most anoying things for me has been the quietening of the Post and Echo, but more intriguing has been the nationals and the radio.

I hear that KEIOC we’re treated with contempt by Talksport, they had a debate arranged with Wyness and we’re let down last minute, they we’re told it was cancelled for some big fight that was being promoted, low and behold the debate took place with Wynass and some guy from Southport!! KEIOC had never even heard of him.

Anyone who heard the debate on BBC Radio Merseyside would remember how Elstone was given an easy ride by Jackson and how Tony Kelly was talked over and patronised.

It was strange how when the debate swung to where these benefits of moving to Kirkby were, it was swiftly brough back without answer to "What are the alternatives?"
Dennis Stevens
95   Posted 16/11/2009 at 00:20:51

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It’s sadly comical that there are still prople who think DK is a good idea, even though the information officially available should be enough to make it clear that it’s a disaster that could end the club.

The same people who think this stadium is such a bargain seem to think that to build it elsewhere would double the cost. Whilst sneering at the possibility that anybody would want to take control of the club, the same people seem to think the new stadium and the debts that go with it will be like a magical honey-pot for potential buyers.

One can’t but think that, if Kenwright’s first thoughts were for the club, we would now be playing at the Kings Dock and wondering whether the take-over that we, rather than Manchester City, have just experienced will turn out for the best or not.

The simple fact is that a bad idea such as DK does not become a good one, just because those responsible claim that they can’t think of anything better.

Ste Traverse
96   Posted 16/11/2009 at 01:08:09

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Talking of the Echo, the self-styled paper that "speaks for the City"...Was I the only one who was dismayed at their atitude when this joke project was called-in? They admitted they were "hugely dissapointed" with the decision, which meant that one of the things this City is most known for, Everton FC, may not be leaving Liverpool after all. For me, that was disgusting and proved to me this Red biased paper would be made up to see us leave this City.
Chad Schofield
97   Posted 16/11/2009 at 01:42:30

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Dennis Stevens, not for the first time nodding as reading your comments. Fundamentally, it’s that simple — DK as the plan stands has never been a good idea, so just because it’s the only idea that the board say they can muster — and the exclusivity deal allows them to look at —does not make it a good one.

If Bill decided he was going to sell Howard, Nash, Turner and Ruddy and stand between the sticks himself in order to save money it would not make it a good idea no matter how any times we were told it was the only option we could afford.

From Colin Fitzpatrick’s excellent initial post there was a link (graciously saving me from X Factor & I Was a Celebrity) which led to another link with an interesting quote:

"I knew it was going to be great but after spending five minutes looking at the plans I was just completely blown away by it.

"It’s amazing and the best thing about it is that it’s so different to any other. We will have our own identity stamped all over this stadium and that’s how it should be."

"We expect the best and this will be the best."


Who said this:

a) Bill Kenwright
b) Keith Wyness
c) David Moyes
d) Phil Neville
e) None of the above?

Click here for the "shocking truth".
Stephen Graham
98   Posted 16/11/2009 at 03:30:12

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Having read and read and read the articles and comments and links and news copy concerning DK, which are impressive in style, content, argument, passion, and even fear, I feel that it has all been said well, on both sides, to the degree that there is no longer any ambiguity between the lines, no longer any lack of clarity on the issues, but there remains a general lack of agreement on the what the outcome would be should DK persist.

I can only say that from the bottom of my heart that the phrase the best describes how I feel and worry and fear about a ’Yes’ to DK is from a movie where the writing on the wall says "The end is fucking nigh"!
Russell Buckley
99   Posted 16/11/2009 at 04:02:58

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Being an Aussie, the location of the stadium isn’t my biggest concern. It's the standard of the stadium and atmosphere it can generate. Kirkby does not fit the bill.

If it gets turned down it is a massive blow to the club as it means we have wasted heaps of time. On the plus side it will force the club to open their minds again and look for alternatives.

If by some miracle we were bought out then the entire ball park could change. Just read and article from Mourinho the special one stating he sees his future in England and this time he wants a real project that he can build over time. Nothing against our Davey but someone get in Mourinho’s ear.
Eugene Ruane
100   Posted 16/11/2009 at 05:02:59

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Dodd - "I have every reason to believe the money is in place"

That’s EVERY...reason.

If that is true, then I have every reason to believe you work for Bill.

Don’t get me wrong, i’m NOTsaying you do work for Bill.

I’m saying I HAVE EVERY REASON to believe you do.

I also have ’every reason’ to believe that the inmates of Rampton are allowed unsupervised access to computers.

Not saying you’re truly nuts.

Just that I have every....etc
David Johnson
101   Posted 16/11/2009 at 05:09:12

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Two things.

1.We are told 47,000 would mean an extra £6m per year.Can any of you whizz kids work out the likely ticket hike from this?

2.What is the break even attendance given that Everton have never avaraged anything like 47,000 on a regular basis?
Gavin Ramejkis
102   Posted 16/11/2009 at 07:35:26

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David, it's even more complex than just the 47,000 as it also requires sell-out corporate take-up too — when was the last time that happened even with the meagre offerings at GP?
Paul Gladwell
103   Posted 16/11/2009 at 07:58:50

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How strange it is after 132 years, splitting into two clubs, two world wars, Heysel ban, etc, we have managed to win trophies, create record after record, some unmatched by everyone, we now have supporters telling us the end is nigh if we don't move to a poxy flat pack miles from the thriving city center.
Greg Murphy
104   Posted 16/11/2009 at 07:30:03

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Col - (well that’s one sleep out of the way!),

Regarding your emphasis on the fact that the decision comprises two parts (the planning inspector’s recommendation; the political recommendation - if I read things right).

Absolutely no reason to doubt your confidence that the (already submitted) planning inspector’s report will be a substantive "No"; and indeed, once anyone re-reads the facts, it’s hard to see how anything other than a "No" can have been reached.

However, if the second, purely political, decision is then a "Yes" (which presumably overrides the planning inspector’s decision?) then the Government will have some pretty neat explaining to do, surely?

I’m interested in the PR that will accompany this announcement. Presumably the "PR package" will comprise the usual component elements (press release; summary of key points; full report; appendices etc).

Surely within this disclosure it will have to be exposed that the planning inspector’s recommendation was a "No" (if nothing else the inspectorate will at least wish to let it be known that it did its job properly). Therefore, if the Government issues a purely "political Yes" recommendation, overriding the "planning No" recommendation, then it will have to adequately explain how it reached such a conclusion (and, as you say, it’s hardly a project that will create thousands of jobs — approx 300 at most).

Call me naive but I just can’t see how this Government, six months before an election, will be prepared to be seen to be acting so flagrantly (yeah, I know, I’m even doubting myself as I type!) especially as it could lay down a planning case precedent that could have serious ramifications in future years.

When you also factor-in Leahy’s known leaning towards New Labour, the Government would be on risky ground if it was seen to be acting so arrogantly. Therefore the whole thing, to me at least, screams "fudge tomorrow".

For how can the Government issue anything other than a cleverly spun PR-line that "while it is minded" to give its approval it must submit the matter to further due process (e.g. judicial review?).

Of course, if the Government is actually afraid of kicking-up a stink then one would genuinely have to ask, certainly locally, who would have the appetite to do so?

The local media is in EFC’s and Leahy’s back-pocket (in fact the Echo now comes out so early that it’s unlikely it will be able to carry any news of the Friday decision until its much-devoured [not] Saturday edition).

Kilfoyle and Howarth won’t say anything and nor will, presumably, the rest of the local Labour ranks; Knowsley Council won’t say boo; the national media couldn’t give a toss; and you’d really have to wonder how far Cameron and his crew would be prepared to make an issue of the matter if they don’t wish to be seen to be standing in the way of "much needed - yawn - urban regeneration". So that only leaves Warren Bradley, as usual, to be the complainer in chief.

Anyway, the only stink-kicking would happen months or even years down the line (far too late for Evertonians sat in gridlock on the M57) when another developer would be able to point to the precedents set in the EFC/Tesco/Kirkby farrago.

Regardless of all that, though, I just can’t see how the Government can make a firm decision if, as you say, the planning inspector’s report was a "no". The Government will surely have to take the only route out that is open to it (for as much as it won’t want to be offering favours to Leahy, it also won’t want to block one of their favoured sons).
< />So, what price a "caveat" decision? And where will that leave us?

Peter Rogers
105   Posted 16/11/2009 at 09:02:42

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After all is said and done, both sides have their own agendas and both are not always putting the club first.

What I do know is that, as it says on my arm "Born a blue, Live a Blue, Die a Blue" — no matter what happens, where we play, what league we are in, I will watch and support Everton Football Club. So what I can't understand is all these people who keep saying, "If we move to Kirkby / if we don't move to Kirkby, I will never go again". All this will achieve is taking away much needed finances from the club we all love.

So, to put it bluntly, I don't give a fuck where we play as long as we are playing. Maybe we should be putting are efforts in to getting more coverage of the fact that the vast majority of supporters want Kenwright to sell and new investors in our club.

Dan Brierley
106   Posted 16/11/2009 at 08:31:58

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I dont think anybody is saying the end is nigh, Paul, I certainly am not. The question I am asking is what is going to be the consequence of another 5-10 years of the same level of investments made each year on playing staff? Is the standard of our squad still going to be needing a stadium for pushing for Champions League?
Gavin Ramejkis
107   Posted 16/11/2009 at 09:49:16

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Unfortunately Dan, unless the dreaded "exclusivity" clause is dropped then very little. The club haven’t given any true indication as to what alternatives have been investigated and dismissed, a good original starting point for any project. To at least have alternatives to revert to wouldn’t be too much to ask would it?

Before anyone asks, "But what about the cost?" has anyone under the Freedom of Information Act requested what the club has spent so far on DK to give a fair idea on the various consultancy fees that have been spent? I dare say this would be in seven figures given KW was paid hansomely by the club alone.

Sadly, you need a good deal of investment just to tread water in football today. Unless the company suddenly derives some way to start making vast amounts on and off field then it will only happen through a change from the top and new blood and new ideas.

Don’t forget players get injured, get old, retire, leave for better offers. If the club can’t offer what others can in terms of salary and prestige then they will leave and need replacing. With a tiny squad the current sell-to-buy method has a finite lifespan too.

Colin Potter
108   Posted 16/11/2009 at 09:58:04

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Dan Brieerly, Sorry for the late reply. I think the club will start losing money because of a number of reasons, location, traffic chaos, parking etc... I, and I suspect maybe a couple of thousand, won’t go on principle. The club itself admits that on a 40,000 gate they will only make £6m a year.

Another question, where do you think extra support needed for monetary survival will come from??

Paul Gladwell
109   Posted 16/11/2009 at 10:58:33

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I agree with what you say, Dan, it is a big worry. However, my own personal opinion is if Kirkby does go tits up we will see Bill selling up very quickly.

I do not fall for this garbage that no one is interested in us and strongly believe we are not for sale... YET!

Eugene Ruane
110   Posted 16/11/2009 at 10:48:30

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Peter Rogers, you say..

"No matter what happens, where we play, what league we are in, i will watch and support Everton football club. So what i cant understand is all these people who keep saying if we move to kirkby / if we dont move to Kirkby i will never go again"

Let me explain it for the trillionth, gazillionth, time.

Those people - LIKE ME! - don’t think an Everton FC that plays in Kirkby, will be Everton FC.

And if we don’t think it’s Everton FC....why would we go?

In fact some of us even think it’s a possibility that after 10-15 years or so, they might even change the name to Knowsley Everton (If that happens - lucky for you that your ’tat’ doesn’t say ’EVERTON FC )

Anyway, the point is we don’t or won’t think it is US that is being disloyal to Everton, but Everton FC being disloyal to Everton FC.

I’m not asking you to agree OR understand (I don’t for a second expect you to).

But for fuck’s sake, the reasons have been explained here so many bleeding times that to now be saying "I can’t understand blah" is simply dumb

Fact: You will NEVER understand why, just as I will never understand any Evertonian prepared to entertain the idea of Everton FC playing in Kirkby.

That’s just..how it is.

Richard Dodd
111   Posted 16/11/2009 at 10:55:08

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In an effort to sum up the response to my question ’What happens if....’it seems only Karl Masters offers us a positive way forward. Of the other hundred or so replies, most seemed to feel we are doomed if it’s YES and damned if it’s NO.

To most, the opportunity to slag off Bill Kenwright was just too good to miss whilst even the handful of DK supporters (myself included!) feared the move might have to be at the expense of selling our best players.

I have to admit that I have been greatly confused as to whether the opposition of the likes of KEIOC is stimulated by a genuine fear of stepping over the administrative border or concern for the well-being of the club if it gets deeper into bed with the likes of Sirs Leahey and Green. Perhaps, by now they are confused themselves, but at a time when almost every club is looking for the involvement of ’big hitters’ — and they don’t come much bigger than those two — it seems odd that some Evertonians should wish to rebuff them, and even doubt their financial acumen in their attempt to help our club forward.

Of course they will hope to turn a profit on the deal — how else can they justify risking their companies’ capital? But to see them co-joined with Kenwright as devils incarnate is nothing if not ridiculous.

So now we must wait for the big decision. I’m glad I asked the question but sorry it provoked so much venom. I’m speaking for myself when I say that Mr Editor!

Neil Pearse
112   Posted 16/11/2009 at 11:28:56

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This does get a bit in the end like the irresisistible force meets the immovable object. On the one hand there is the view that Kirkby will be a disaster because people won’t go; on the other the view that we need new revenues and cannot afford anything else.

The way out of course is what I call the ’wait and hope’ strategy. Kirkby is so bad that, even though we can’t afford anything else right now, we are better wiating and hoping that some rich new owner will come along and expand our options. This seems a reasonable position to hold although — given that I think fans will go to Kirkby if we have a decent team — it’s a bit too risky for my tastes. The saviour might not come.

What I still don’t understand is this mystical faith that ’there must be other options’ (if only the exclusivity agreement hadn’t prevented us finding them...). Let’s review what we can probably all agree on.

One: we are finding it a very real struggle even to raise the £80M for Kirkby, securitising future core revenues and even possibly having to sell players. We are very poor, and Kirkby getting knocked back is not going to make us one pound richer.

Two: there is no known or conceivable 50,000 capacity new ground in a city centre that could cost us £80M (unless some form of unheard of ’enabling’ factors come into play — which is surely only remotely likely on something like the groundshare option).

Therefore: without major new investment from presumably a new owner, we are not going to be able to afford a new ground which isn’t Kirkby. I like your thinking Karl too, but we need much more than another £10M or £15M.

Our options currently are: (1) Kirkby; (2) wait and hope; (3) incrementally improve GP for whatever we may just be able to borrow against this (it certainly won’t be £80M). There are things to be said for and against all of these options.

But there is no other ’magic new ground’ option, and it really would be best now after all this time to stop dreaming about it. Without new ownership and new money, it simply isn’t going to happen.
Rob Hope
113   Posted 16/11/2009 at 12:32:59

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to reprimand someone for saying like most evertonions, seems childish to especially after the silent majority voted for Kirkby FACT. The pole was done through a third party who organise the general election.
So as far as I can see Doddy IS speaking for the majority. Just cause they're not on here, well who can blame them with the response.
Oh and that fool from KEIOC not once has he outlined were funds are coming from. His whole argument is flawed, on one hand he says we can't afford Kirkby but on the other we're going to redevelop Goodison by deliverable methods. Im sorry but these clowns lost all my respect when they're speaking utter bollocks like that.
Joe Cody
114   Posted 16/11/2009 at 12:41:17

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Richard, you say that Sirs Leahey and Green "will hope to turn a profit on the deal — how else can they justify risking their companies’capital"

How much money has Green put into Everton? If the answer is none, then how can he turn a profit?
David Johnson
115   Posted 16/11/2009 at 12:37:09

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Back to the origional question.

"What happens if, by some misguided view of our application, the powers that be decide against Destination Kirkby"

I will dance in the street’s as It dawned upon me about 9 years ago that Kenwright is not the man for Everton. Sadly for some of you the message is only just starting to hit home.
James I'Anson
116   Posted 16/11/2009 at 13:02:27

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Rob, You reprimand "that fool from KEIOC" for not outlining where the funds are coming from, yet Everton refuse to tell the public enquiry where the funds for Kirkby are coming from.

Flawed arguments, clowns, bollocks, respect lost and all that.
Chad Schofield
117   Posted 16/11/2009 at 12:01:20

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Neil, neat summary, though whilst you point out the dangers of "Wait and see", this seems to be be the case for the ’Yes’ lot too. "time will tell [as to whether DK works]" but "better the devil you know [in terms of BK]" — albeit that not all DK fans/acceptors back BK and know we need new investment which will only happen once the club has put itself £80M further into the red — the new owner will have to service this debt not have any say in the plans but a debt, then at least they get potentially £5-10M a year if all goes absolutely perfectly (?!!!).

Maybe just maybe once we have the extra debt then Sirs Leahey and Green will come through and we’ll be rich beyond Billy’s wildest dreams.

Mr Dodd, these men (not Bill — he’s just a fan) are fantastic businessmen... only a complete fool would say otherwise. However, there is nothing to say that that they will become more entrenched if at all — equally it will not be KEIOC’s fault if they bail out — as businessmen they will do what makes business sense (this is not necessarily soley fiscal and certainly not purely emotional). If they don’t plough in their money then I guess we’ll just wait and see whether a wealthy investor will come a rescue us.

Which brings back to to the quote I used in from my last last comment from Steven Gerrard regarding their stadium proposals. If you had no emotional ties to Everton and use wished to purchase a corporate package, where would you go for:



Or:—

Or:—

http://www.redsquirrelevents.com/events/football-tranmere-rovers/117

"It may well be the case, as some believe, that a new stadium for £80m still represents value for money and in the absence of any viable alternative represents Everton’s only option. However, such a stadium in a location that fails to attract the level of interest from fans, the corporate hospitality sector and the conference and banqueting market is of little use as a revenue generator or as an aid to the future aspirations of a top flight premiership club." - KEIOC Our Position Explained

http://www.sportingo.com/football/a9022_destination-kirkby-lies-deception-as-everton-fans-misled-over-relocation-knowsley

http://www.toffeeweb.com/season/09-10/comment/editorial/article.asp?submissionID=8442

Pablo Mc
118   Posted 16/11/2009 at 13:45:34

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In response to Gavin’s question:- "Has anyone under the Freedom of Information Act requested what the club has spent so far on DK?" — yes indeed, I asked Mr Elstone that very question at the EGM (the last one before Everton banned them).

His (rather surprising) response was that we had spent "between £1 and 2 million, probably closer to 2" and he claimed that all the "experts" consultants etc. had been paid for by Tesco as it was their project.

That was of course a long time ago, and I’m not sure that would also include the work they did in estimating costs for the various ways that Goodison could be developed (yes, that’s right folks, the same people who would be paid millions to build Kirkby were asked to estimate the costs of rebuilding Goodison — I wonder why their estimates were so high ?!?)

Hope that helps Gavin :)
Colin Potter
119   Posted 16/11/2009 at 14:23:08

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Great post Colin Fitz!

Sorry I haven’t youre e-mail address.
Mine is colinpotter1@blueyonder.co.uk Drop us a line soon.
Ciarán McGlone
120   Posted 16/11/2009 at 14:56:23

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FOI doesn’t apply to Everton.

Regarding the original article... Can Mr Dodd please explain his reasoning as to why the club would go into meltdown on the basis of a refusal? As part of this answer, can he also explain how the investment process can be linked to a stadium that is ignoring it’s sink areas, dividing fans and creating potential loss of customers?
Chris Butler
121   Posted 16/11/2009 at 14:37:24

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The problem with English football now is that we have virtually no talent coming through the ranks aged about 10 to 14. Due to most children but not all having game consoles and lots of other electrical appliances, they no longer look on playing football as a leisure activity.

Unfortunately football is becoming a buisness. Micheal Kenrick says it has always been a business; I agree it's always had that side to it. But until the eighties how many clubs went into administration or had huge financial problems like today?

Why I disagree with the way football is going today is that it affects young men's role in society in my opinion. Knowing this first hand from witnessing people I know, young men who 20 years ago would be standing on The Kop or Gwladys Street terrace are now hanging round street corners.

Also, I do worry where Everton will get their next generation of supporters. I was fortunate enough to visit Rome two years ago. Being a football fan and wanting to witness a different style of football, I decided I'd go to watch Roma v Juventus. I didn’t want to spend 100 euros to sit in the side stands or stand near the away supporters.

Having heard about the violent clashes against Manchester United I decided to keep my mouth shut wandering round the ground. I bough a ticket for the Curva Sud, equivalent to our Gwaldys Street except with no stewards. Amazingly for a high profile game the price was 12 euros.

I nervously made my way on to the half-full terrace. When I reached my seat, it amazed me I had an unrestricted view of the whole match.

As kick off approached, this being a Sunday night game, I could see flares being let off in the Juventus sector. About 20 minutes before kick-off, I realised what I'd let myself in for... a group of about 4,000 fans made their way onto the terrace and made their way to the section where I was.

I nervously hoped nobody would speak to me as unbeknown to me I'd got a ticket with the hardcore Roma Ultras. About 10 minutes before kick-off, fans around me started firing flares onto the running track around the pitch.

With Roma legend Francesco Totti injured and a few other Roma players injured, I predicted a Juventus win. Then 1 of the most amazing things happened — who should walk into our section??? Francesco Totti and a few other players I didn’t recognise!!!

So, just imagine that Arteta meeting the fans in Gwladys Street. What amazed me is he seemed to engage with them normally not as footballers tend to now and ignore the fans.

A card show was held up before the game which unfortuanately me being within it i could not witness it. But even though Roma were beaten 4-1, the fans never stopped singing and the players gave their appreciation to the fans both before during and after the game.

Jason Byrne
122   Posted 16/11/2009 at 15:17:46

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Its been over NINE months since the inquiry finished and over FOUR months since the Inspector's report landed on the Secretary of State's desk. The November 27 date was only ever the last possible date it could be announced and many applications get decided well before the final date. My own theory is that DK will get the nod in its entirety (it can only be accepted or refused as it is) but with conditions attached... eg, transport provision improvements.

If DK goes against every policy under the sun, as opponents claim, and if the Inspector AGREED outright with that view, then it simply would not take as long as it has done for politicians to come to a final decision; they would have said NO ages ago because the applicants would not have had a legal or moral leg to stand on to challenge plus the good people of Kirkby deserved a speedy resolution to the case which had already dragged on for a considerable amount of time.

Neil Pearse
123   Posted 16/11/2009 at 15:54:48

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Ciaran, didn’t you read the rest of the thread?

On your first question, you will have seen a number of us state the view that, if Kirkby is knocked back, the most likely scenario given our fundamentally weak financial position is that we will be left with few if any options sitting hoping for a new owner to come along and replace Kenwright. I don’t know whether that counts as ’meltdown’, but it’s not joy either.

On your second point, of course if you believe that Kirkby will be a disaster and fans won’t go, then of course no new investment will be forthcoming. Obviously. But if you don’t believe this, then having a new ground at a relatively low and capped cost may well just attract the new owner and investment we so desperately need.
Harry Reynalds
124   Posted 16/11/2009 at 16:04:01

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Can I ask the Yes guys a question?

If the government said yes, BUT the stadium had to be forever limited to 40,000 seats, would you still be for it?
Ciarán McGlone
125   Posted 16/11/2009 at 16:15:23

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Doesn’t really answer my questions Neil.

Well, it does — sort of... What you’re basically saying is that a rational argument cannot really be forwarded for the scenario that Mr Dodd presents... as it’s merely a matter of opinion..

That’s fair enough — but I really wanted to know how he came to this opinion...
Neil Pearse
126   Posted 16/11/2009 at 16:24:02

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Hey Ciaran — What? Where is the absence of a rational argument? Certainly from me, I have given chapter and verse as to why I think that this negative scenario is highly probable (no money, can’t afford anything else, doubtful that a new rich owner will emerge etc. etc.). I think this is broadly what Doddy thinks too (although he can speak for himself). You may disagree with this for all sorts of reasons, but hard to see why it is irrational.

On Harry’s 40,000 — that’s a good and tough question. I honestly think that — if it was really ’forever’ — it may make the economics pretty marginal. Then again, we are going to have to move at some point, somewhere (or massively rebuild GP). But it would certainly give me pause.
Ste Traverse
127   Posted 16/11/2009 at 16:49:08

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Neil, why do you keep saying that 3rd rate effort in Kirkby would attract a new owner? 1) It's in an unsuitable location. 2) Awful transport links. 3) Likely to be capped at a low capacity. 4) Loads of life-long fans, disillusioned at the way the club has handled it, vowing never to go near the cowshed. 5) It will only generate an extra £6m a year if full to capacity every game. As I said in a previous thread, that stadium has the words "no ambition" written all over it.
Chris Butler
128   Posted 16/11/2009 at 17:01:28

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First off, the belief we will get 47,000 fans in a ground that nearly half of our season ticket holders did not want is madness. Kirkby is an unfair destination as its cutting a large chunk of our suppport. Anyone who's been to the Reebok knows that it takes you about 50 minutes to get out of the car park.

Fans also need pubs; until recently, all the pubs round Goodison were full to the rafters most games. I thinks its highly unlikely that many pubs will get planning permission from the council for a retail park.

Sorry for going off the point here boys but if anyone is intrested in helping me organise a South Liverpool Supporters Club providing travel to away matches I would be grateful. It's primarily for fans who do not wish to go on an official overpriced coach but do not want to travel with a bunch of thugs and racists... ie, quite a few people that go on happy als. Anyone wishing to help me, e.mail me: chrisbutler10@hotmail.co.uk

Neil Pearse
129   Posted 16/11/2009 at 17:19:00

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Ste, it’s a bit pedantic but my view is that Kirkby is ’more likely’ to attract a new owner.

Firstly, GP hasn’t. You might believe that this is because Kenwright has been turning them all away, but I don’t.

Secondly, without Kirkby the first thing a new owner would face is finding a very substantial and uncertain amount of money to upgrade our facilities. There may be another club where a new owner has come in with the first task of building a new ground (LFC — haha!) — but I’m not aware of it. At best, it’s currently a big deterrent.

Thirdly, nobody can know for sure until it got going, but I don’t share your pessimistic view of likely attendances at Kirkby. Nor might a prospective new owner.

Obviously, like Ciaran and others, if you believe that Kirkby will be a disaster in the most basic way, then all bets are off.
Karl Masters
130   Posted 16/11/2009 at 18:17:09

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Neil.

I fully appreciate we need more than £10-15m to rebuild Goodison, but you have to start somewhere. You are continually looking for the quick and easy solution - new owner, new stadium, Paul McCartney leaving his fortune to Bill Kenwright type of solutions. Maybe these solutions do not exist as solutions.?

Get the Park End enlarged with a big increase in corporate facilities. This brings in more revenue and meams you can begin putting money aside for phase 2 etc. It also gives you time to get the footprint expanded. It’s called doing it gradually in sensible, well managed steps.

What I find amazing about this is that this idea is hardly unique, I have not just had some sort of Damascus moment! It’s how just about EVERY other club including Manure, Chelsea, Villa, Newcastle, West Ham, Birmingham, Spurs have done it. Only Arsenal ( and its crippling them ), Man City ( through sheer good fortune ) and the likes of Boro, Sunderlandm Derby, Coventry, Southampton, Hull and Leicester have built new stadia and that was through necessity, bnit choice as their old homes were beyond saving. How many major honours have these NEW STADIUM teams won since moving? NONE! And some are in major decline.

We should have been rebuilding Goodison properly after the Taylor Report, but we have had a series of conservative, lazy, incompetent, visionless people in charge who even managed to fuck up the Kings Dock when it fell into their laps aftyer LFC refused it saying it was too small!

It’s back to basics time should it be a No. Save and generate the money, build when we can, but above all have a proper, joined up long term plan ( like Man Utd did from the 70’s to the current day with only one piece of their jigsaw left to replace ). These Get rich quick, short term fixes are far too risky.
Robert Daniels
131   Posted 16/11/2009 at 18:36:25

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Says it all really, Karl... Here, here.
Dennis Stevens
132   Posted 16/11/2009 at 18:09:47

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Rob Hope — you’ve got your FACT wrong. The silent majority certainly did not vote for Kirkby. The club selected the electorate, offered only one candidate to vote for, supported by an expensive, glossy PR campaign full of untruths & inaccuracies & still couldn’t persuade a majority of those invited to vote to support the proposal.

The majority you & the Board have hung this venture on is a majority of those who voted, but not a majority of those invited to vote & obviously takes no account of those of us excluded from the vote. I doubt any other business would proceed with a scheme that met with such an unenthusiastic response from it’s customers.

Neil Pearse — surely any business man worth having in charge of the club isn’t worthy of that description if he thinks taking over Everton once it’s in Kirkby is a good idea. We are more likely to end up a White Elephant club in a White Elephant stadium.

What you seem to forget is that anybody who takes over will be buying the new stadium as well as the club & probably a premium on top, with money that they may well feel they could invest better themselves. Why would any credible businessman want to pay over the top to inherit the mistakes made by the current incumbents?

DK arose because smart businessmen saw Everton’s situation as a great business opportunity — a shame that all these businessmen aren’t on the Board, perhaps & then the club may have got a better deal out of the scheme as well.

I suspect that, if DK should fall through (& it certainly should), there will be people who see the club's situation as a great business opportunity still — let’s just hope that next time we have a Board who can deliver a decent deal for Everton.

By the way, I think Pompey have had about 3 changes of ownership where there can’t have been any illusion about the need for a new or redeveloped stadium — although it remains to be seen when or if they’ll get one. There are probably others but as Evertonians we may well be unaware of them, However, I can’t really see the relevance other than as a scare-mongering tactic. It does seem to me that much of the support for DK seems to be based on fear rather than genuine enthusiasm for the scheme.

Phil Bellis
133   Posted 16/11/2009 at 18:37:21

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Jason
Why, then, hasn’t the converse applied?
Why wait all this time to deliver a resounding Yes if it’s deemed from the onset such a wonderful proposal with neither flaws nor valid grounds for objection? Hmmm?
Dennis Stevens
134   Posted 16/11/2009 at 18:44:16

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Karl Masters — Here! Here! You’ve got it spot on there.
Paul Gladwell
135   Posted 16/11/2009 at 19:17:45

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Neil, forgive me if I am wrong but if Kirkby was reduced to a 40,000 capacity then we would actually lose money as we need a far higher average attendance to actually make money.

I just don't know where an extra 12,000 blues are going to pop up from, do you have any idea? As I have yet to meet someone who has said he will start supporting Everton if we move to Kirkby, but I have met many who have said that will be it for them, and numerous blues who won't renew their season ticket and turn into a casual fan.

It is the same with the corporate facilities, just where are these rich blues coming from? The few we have now are barely half-full most games; some people are living in cuckoo land regarding us filling Kirkby.

Peter Griffin
136   Posted 16/11/2009 at 20:19:34

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Building a new stadium should be an exciting time for the fans. We should be over the moon. We should be inundating the club for snippets of info, updates, pictures, plans etc etc.

The fact is we’re not.

Even the people who are apparently pro-Kirkby lack enthusiasm. Why is that?
Dennis Stevens
137   Posted 16/11/2009 at 20:35:59

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Peter Griffin — quite right!

When one thinks back to KD, the overwhelming feeling was one of enthusiasm, apart from those who felt any departure from Goodison Park unacceptable — a perfectly reasonable view, but not one shared by the majority at the time, it seemed.

DK would appear to be the opposite — abhorred by many & accepted by some, but with little enthusiasm, as far as I can detect.

Rob Hope
138   Posted 16/11/2009 at 21:42:54

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Dennis, I'm sorry but the vote was cast, 60% in favour... like it or not, that is a genuine fact, all the other arguments like it was rigged with propaganda etc bears no relevance. I for one am bright enough to know what I'm being told and what I believe.

How can anyone say what might've been, how do you know all these other fans would have voted differently. It's just all hypocritical.

For your information, I could vote but didn’t as I can see arguments either way... but if pushed probably would've been a Yes vote. So there is one POSIBLE vote against your argument.

My point being you can't say what could've been to back up an argument because other match-going Evertonians may have voted EITHER way.

I remember going to Nurembeg to an out-of-town stadium and that stadium was full and I enjoyed the whole experience. All I'm saying is maybe people are pushing their own ends and not what is best for Everton. They knock the stadium etc but if it was offered on Walton Hall Park would they want it?

Also the question if the capacity was capped then I would say No as it wouldn’t allow us to grow.

Chris Butler
139   Posted 16/11/2009 at 21:54:47

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The Park End could not be made bigger in any way. The Park End for the last few years has served in making our ground look modern and attractive. Not to mention that the area around it is vital for people making their way to Bullens Road and Goodison Road.

I think the stand that needs the most regenerating is the Bullens Road stand. I think it's unfair on fans situated in parts of the lower Bullens and upper Bullens. They pay for expensive tickets and are rewarded with obstructed views. I now have realised why, bar a few teams, hardly any teams sell their allocation at GP.

To regenerate the Main Stand is going to be hard. Goodison Road and City Road have numerous buisnesses and homes around them. Also it would create a lot of hassle for the local Walton residents.

I have never really been one to go for a drink down County Road after the match and then make my way into town. Due to my upbringing, I’ve always had a love of nostalgic areas and places that ooze history and memories.

Do we want to go to a stadium miles away from some of ours beloved city? First of all the 4 miles thing is that from the city centre or GP? DK has not been re-thought as I'm not briefed on the exact dates but many factors have came in after we voted.

I do not agree with the stadium share as currently in terms of support we lag well behind Liverpool. Goodison holds many brilliant memories for my Dad and me and plently of other fans. The memories of legions of fans wandering up Scotty Road to the match still lives with my Dad today. The queues going round onto Goodison Road to get into Gwladys Street.

We still retain one of the most iconic stadiums in the world. I cannot speak for out-of-town fans or foreign fans but do they prefer Goodison or DK?.

Robert Daniels
140   Posted 16/11/2009 at 22:18:59

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Rob, if it was on Walton Hall Park I would be made up.

At the time of the vote, I had already let my feelings be known as regards the stadium in Kirkby. I thought then that it smacked of desperation and still do now, I had a table in the Park End and had sponsored Osman's shirt. Which i was told on handing my money over that I would receive at the end of the season.

I spoke to Blue Bill and informed him in no uncertain terms that in my honest opinion it would be a grave mistake to move to Kirkby. He said he would love to stay at GP but it wasn't feasible.

Rob, I never received a vote; for some strange reason, the computer missed me out, and as much as I protested to the point of allmost being arrested, I never was allowed to vote FACT!

By the way, I never received Leon's shirt either. Blue Bill... don't make me laugh. Dictator more like.

Colin Fitzpatrick
141   Posted 16/11/2009 at 23:08:28

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Hello Greg, that fool from KEIOC here; just read your post; you’re getting excited aren’t you!!

The government will indeed need to justify their decision if they go against the planning inspectors planning regulation-based recommendation and it (the decision) needs to be watertight or planning anarchy will ensue.

Tesco has concentrated on their best gambit of regeneration and job creation while the opposition counsel concentrated in exposing the true impact and net job gains for the region, particularly the impact on jobs and on centres in neighbouring authorities which planning regulations are their to protect; another indicator is that all the neighbouring authorities have complied with those regulations when conducting their own developments; Kirkby are the odd man out.

People are starting to get excited over the announcement, it’s understandable... but let’s not get too carried away with all the hype and spin. The game’s afoot, yes, KEIOC’s too, but don’t lose sight of one very important point; no matter how you dress this up, it remains a very poor solution to Everton’s stadium problem and the straw-clutching response — that it is the only solution available so we should support it — won’t make it any better.

Someone, I think it was Karl, has identified that new stadia aren’t everything they’re cracked up to be. At the public inquiry Everton waxed lyrical about new stadia and the new stadium effect, how teams who had moved were so much more successful, in financial terms, for having relocated. KEIOC disagreed; we used exactly the same source of information to prove this is incorrect when applied to Everton’s forecast of achieving a 30% uplift in attendances to generate an additional £6m of profit. The applicants tried, unsuccessfully, to have our evidence thrown out; here’s the particular piece that opposed the theory that new stadia are successful, you can draw your own conclusions:

http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/5892/newvoldstadia.jpg

You mention Terry Leahy’s leanings towards Labour, perhaps the relationship's not what it was under Blair if we are to believe just one of his latest tantrums the other week:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/6318562/Tescos-Sir-Terry-Leahy-attacks-Government-education-record.html

The government in an election year will be treading very carefully on this one; someone else mentioned, I think it was Jason, about the length of time it’s taking, his reasoning was that if it was a No the answer would have been known; the decision officer, Michael Taylor, has said it has been the biggest application they’ve worked on apart from Heathrow.

Whatever the decision, I think we all agree, the lawyers will be taking a very close look at the decision and the process; they can’t apply for a judicial review simply because the Secretary of State has either approved or declined the decision.

But, in line with many, my opinion is that the decision is academic; the only reason Everton are involved in this is to deliver a massive retail complex beyond what is allowed by local, regional and national planning regulations and the only reason we have this sole proposal on the table is because Everton repeatedly misinformed LCC over their requirements for a £50m cross-subsidy, as you can see here:

http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2007/08/10/city-sites-for-everton-fc-were-rejected-a-year-ago-92534-19603874/

http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2007/08/11/everton-chief-in-plea-to-fans-over-kirkby-move-92534-19609551/

I’m amazed at some people calling for KEIOC to deliver solutions to Everton’s problems; there are alleged experts in and attached to the club who are highly paid and are meant to be doing this. They feel the answer is to move to this:

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/5614/trollydolly.jpg

and they feel confident that they can achieve a 30% uplift in attendance whilst overcoming an acknowledged problematical location in relation to where the majority of existing fans live, are in full knowledge that there is a significant amount of fans (customers) with grave reservations about the stadium, that there exists no demonstrable demand for this stadium and that all leading Premier League clubs are taking a different approach. I’m not confident, if anyone is that is clearly their prerogative.

I suppose you can talk and talk until you’re blue in the face about possible solutions... but the fact is this board has committed to this solution; my solution is simply get rid of the chairman and replace him with someone who has vision and the ability to obtain investment. Our current chairman is either unable to do this, is a nominee or a creature; whichever it is I’m not really bothered, I’m just looking at the results and the one above isn’t particularly appetising as an Evertonian.

11... sleeps mate!
Phil Bellis
142   Posted 16/11/2009 at 23:49:51

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"I for one am bright enough to know what I'm being told and what I believe."

Enough said...

Neil Pearse
143   Posted 16/11/2009 at 23:57:51

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Colin F: "My solution is simply get rid of the Chairman and replace him with someone who has vision and the ability to obtain investment".

Well, that’s that sorted then! (And we’ve all been wasting our time all these months arguing about it all on ToffeeWeb...)

Seriously Colin, you very well know that it is nowhere near that simple. It’s a very nice dream that Kenwright only needs to step aside to enable us to have that rich, visionary, ethical new owner who will buy us the nice shiny new stadium. But it’s not really very likely is it?

(Hint: they will need £400M+ to pay for the new stadium, the equity, the debt and the investment in new players. Perhaps not so simple after all...)
Dennis Stevens
144   Posted 16/11/2009 at 23:44:09

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Rob, no need to apologise — simply accept what you said was in FACT wrong, when you claimed that vote reperesented "the silent majority".

As we’ve both said, a majority of those who voted said Yes, this is a FACT — that "majority" was only a large minority of those offered a vote, this is also a FACT. The electorate for the vote was selected by the club, this is also a FACT, and so excluded many Evertonians who may have wished to express their opinion.

I’ve not suggested that the vote was rigged, so I don’t know where you pulled that one from. I’m not claiming that all those who didn’t get a vote would be opposed. I’m simply stating the FACTs that you seem so keen on —- and personally I think that the FACT that the Board could not even persuade a majority of those selected to have a vote that this deal was good enough to vote for clearly indicates that DK didn’t generate anything like the enthusiasm for moving that KD did.

Subsequently, much more has emerged about how poor the transport arrangements will really be, how little money the club will make (at best), and how much more debt the club will have to take on compared to the original proposal. Nothing’s emerged to make it look like a better deal than that which couldn’t generate more than a "largest minority" in favour.

You may be right, perhaps some people are "pushing their own ends rather than what’s best for Everton" — but are those people the ordinary Everton supporters or the Board?

My only concern is what’s best for Everton and I fail to see how taking on a huge debt in the hope of a very modest retrun makes any sense, especially when the scheme seems designed to be unsuccessful — who would build a spectator sport venue in a place that’s very difficult for spectators to get to & from?

Your comment about location is very valid — the same stadium, warts & all, placed in a more central location such as Stanley Park, would be immediately more viable, simply due the improved accessibility of the location.

As for growing — we’ll be shrinking out at Kirkby. Once people realise that they no longer need to commit to a season ticket to ensure a decent view and they experience the true horrors of the transport arrangements, they will start to cherry-pick the matches they attend: average attendances will fall... so any capacity cap won’t really matter.

Robert Daniels
145   Posted 17/11/2009 at 00:02:13

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Has anyone read the link from the Echo regarding the Queens Speech on Wednesday? According to their man in Westminister, they are about to announce a Yes to DK. It sounds like it's a reliable source to me. They also go on to mention the tram link from Liverpool to Kirkby which raised its head again in this morning's Daily Post.

I believe this now to be the result and that traitor that fuckin' liar has took us out of this city. I for one will never set foot inside it unless it's to deliver a can of petrol.
BILL KENWRIGHT, YOU HAVE JUST RUINED MY BELOVED FOOTBALL CLUB. HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME.

Dennis Stevens
146   Posted 17/11/2009 at 00:11:40

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Neil Pearse — your response to Colin makes some valid points, but why would moving to a new stadium in Kirkby & saddling the club with massive additional debts attract this same new owner? (Hint — they’ll need just as much money to pay for the new stadium, the equity, the debt and the investment in new players...) Perhaps that DK scenario won’t prove to be so simple either.
Neil Pearse
147   Posted 17/11/2009 at 00:22:33

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Dennis — Because Kirkby is cheaper than the alternatives. Much. It may or may not make the difference in terms of the new owner — but that is the difference. Especially when it’s been secured and the potential new owner knows exactly what it will cost.

That’s a huge difference from buying a club when you know you will need a very large sum for new facilities — but you don’t know how much or even where they will be.

Karl, I wish you were right, but I think while your steady incrementalism would have been great if we’d started it a decade ago — but it would leave us falling further behind our major rivals if we took that approach now. We need to make more of a leap. Kirkby is sadly the biggest one we can afford.

Of course, if the prospective new owner agrees with many here that fans just won’t go to Kirkby — then of course they won’t buy us, and Kirkby will indeed turn out to be not at all simple (or very simple but not at all a good idea). That goes without saying.
Colin Fitzpatrick
148   Posted 17/11/2009 at 01:00:23

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Neil, attach whatever caveats you wish but that is the solution. I don’t want to be unkind but whilst you and everyone else is chatting merrily away, that’s all you’re doing; chatting.

A third rate stadium in a backwater that by its own admission won’t generate anything like the revenue of other main Premier League clubs stadia, that the club will be saddled with for a quarter of a century is unlikely to attract the personage that will enable us to compete in the brave new world of the digital platform football market of the 21st century.

Being facility led and all that bollocks won’t enable us to compete either and it’s no good hitting me with your particular brand of financial double dutch gobbledygook. Not too long ago you thought DK was a good idea; take a deep breath; go and lie down and understand Kirkby is not about Everton, never has been and never will be — it was about delivering a massive retail park, nothing more, nothing less.

As unfathomable as it may appear to you at the moment (and whether I or anyone else agrees with it or not is neither here nor there) the only way left to compete is to obtain the levels of investment that have been / will be obtained by City, Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool etc. Cheap isn’t on the agenda; that’s for Wigan, Bolton etc; apologies if I should know Everton’s place is with them and not the aforementioned.

The fact that you think someone out there hasn’t the resources to do this doesn’t surprise me in the slightest; that’s why you’re chatting about it on ToffeeWeb.

Liverpool will be sold in the future; have you worked out how much it will cost someone? £1bn? Pretty much, you think that’s an unattractive proposition for someone?

It’s a different world in the Premier league these days... like I said, chat about it all you want but the factor holding us back is apparent.

Ste Traverse
149   Posted 17/11/2009 at 01:32:53

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Neil, If maybe a new owner got us a far better stadium that generated far more money than an extra pathetic £6m a season, that's in a more suitable location — then they might not have to put their hand in their own pocket for players as much. I agree with Colin, it's time the chairman stepped down and bring some fresh ideas and vision to our club.
Stewart Littler
150   Posted 17/11/2009 at 01:34:47

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It’s funny... one minute, our players are being paid Championship wages, the next, £6m is a ’modest’ amount of money! I’d argue it might allow us to pay ’Premier League wages’!

And to Colin F — whilst I don’t wish to enter a debate on a subject of which I undoubtedly have far less knowledge than your good self, just a couple of points:

1. Your illustration, for me, on unsold seats at stadiums has absolutely no use as a comparison tool — if I can see if Sunderland sell more seats now than they did at Roker Park (which I believe they do), this will tell me whether their move has ’worked’. In other words, IF DK went ahead, with a capacity of 50k, and we averaged 46k, your graph would simply show us as having 4k unsold seats. It wouldn’t show that we’re 10k up on average attendances.

2. On KEIOC being asked to deliver solutions — are they? Or are they simply, after watching a video that was as ludicrous as any I’ve ever seen, simply asking for an explanation on how it could be delivered? The video which demonstrated (if I remember correctly) two potential sites, and also a revamp of GP was excellent insofar as the three solutions looked good, but ludicrous in that there was no mention of affordability or deliverability.

So if I’ve watched this video, produced by KEIOC, and think any of the three are better options than DK (which I did), do I not have the right to ask if it is REALISTIC? You see, I think the club’s experts have looked at these options, and realise, quite simply, that they will COST TOO MUCH.

Neil makes the point that underpins my post — Kirkby may not be ideal, it might even be called worse than that. But we CAN afford it.

And to the person who claims it takes 50 mins to get away from the Reebok — try parking on the road on t’other side of the motorway roundabout and you’ll be away in no time. Kirkby will probably take a long time to get away from unless you use your head in the same way.

Colin Fitzpatrick
151   Posted 17/11/2009 at 07:50:16

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Stewart,

You’re missing the point of the graph, but perhaps I simply didn’t fully explain myself; it’s not meant to be taken in isolation it’s meant to be used in conjunction with mitigating factors such as acceptability of the stadium amongst the fanbase, location and demand, in terms of ticket sales. On the left we see Arsenal, they built a fantastic stadium that had overwhelming support amongst its fanbase, much the same as the KD had with Evertonians; they relocated around the corner from where they traditionally draw their support and they had a 20k+ season ticket waiting list. Everton advocate moving out to Kirkby to a stadium that in no way you could ever describe as fantastic, it has been heavily criticised by CABE and has generated significant opposition within the fanbase, the chosen location will offer challenges for the fans, particularly when departing the game and Everton can offer no demonstrable demand for an additional 11,000 seats other than a desire to sell them to generate increased revenue.

Using the graph, which demonstrates how the operators of all these stadia achieve average ticket sales and taking those mitigating circumstances into consideration KEIOC forecast an average attendance of 38,000 at Kirkby. Everton chose 47,000 and you have chosen 46,000. All the stadia no doubt operate marketing plans to fill their stadia, as Everton no doubt will, yet most fail to approach anything like the 94% capacity Everton need to generate £6m and, I’ll remind you, LFC are projecting £50m a season from their new stadium.

In the realm of the digital platform where Internet and TV will place greater demands on the matchgoing fan, in terms of timings of the games, and ease of access for the armchair supporter, hand on heart, who has offered the most realistic forecast, KEIOC, Everton or yourself?

With regard to the video, it offers two solutions, a phased redevelopment of Goodison Park and a new development on Scotland Rd, I’m glad you like them and I’ll remind you that it was produced by Black Widow to accompany KEIOC’s submission to the public inquiry that stated, whilst Tesco’s monetary contribution towards the stadium is nil, other innovative financing methods such as equity seat right, debentures and straight forward equity financing or perhaps stadium leasing could physically benefit Everton financially but these have all been ignored as Kirkby isn’t about Everton’s requirements it’s about Tesco’s need to deliver a massive retail park. If you can provide me with the links to where Everton have conducted a cost sum analysis on any potential alternative I’d welcome it.

You seem happy and are perfectly willing to accept Everton’s explanation of how they can afford £78m, break it down into its constituent parts and explain to me which elements contribute what; I’ll start you off, tell me how 7 acres of land in Walton can generate £15m towards the cost of the project; I don’t understand how you’re so willing, so ready, to accept any figure from Everton’s experts yet when KEIOC use the same broad brush approach they’re criticised.

The problem with all of this is the vision and the [lack of] ability of this present board, I’m not an advocate of some silly sack the board move but if Everton are to survive at the top of the premiership we need something more than cheap and affordable. We could go and play our games on Stanley Park using a few coats as goals, that would be cheap, that would be affordable but it is neither suitable or sustainable for a top flight premiership club.

On the parking Stewart, there will be a two mile car parking exclusion zone around the Kirkby stadium on matchdays, it has been described by the club as being the most heavily enforced scheme in the country; but don’t worry too much, modal share targets in relation to public transport usage in preference to car usage mean that in the event of the targets not being met the stadium capacity will be automatically capped, therefore it will make travelling to and from the game easier; still confident on that 46,000 figure????
Neil Pearse
152   Posted 17/11/2009 at 08:10:06

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Colin - in one way I think we are in complete agreement. I think we need a new owner with new money and new vision too. I just don’t think that typing it on ToffeeWeb is going to be enough to make it suddenly happen. We might need something else first — like a plausible and affordable solution to our ground problem.
Greg Murphy
153   Posted 17/11/2009 at 08:12:16

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Col,

No, not excited (that died for me on 31st August 2004).

Pensive is the word.
Neil Pearse
154   Posted 17/11/2009 at 08:12:38

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And Colin - your position seems to be (which again I have some sympathy with) that we are going to be very hard pressed to scrape together the £78M.

You are then naturally asked: so how can we afford anything else? You then say (so far as I can understand): a rich new visionary owner will come along.

Colin, I so much want this to be true, that I would love to know on what you base this belief?

The alternative scenario - quite consistent with your in my view accurate analysis of our financial situation - is that we can afford very little indeed, perhaps Kirkby only just, and that a saviour might not be just around the corner. What then?
Paul Gladwell
155   Posted 17/11/2009 at 08:02:04

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Colin I think you are being a bit fair too expecting 38,000 average nevermind the pie in the sky 46,000.
Do the club have any plans for a survey to find out about possible attendance figures?
People are saying that is it for them, some saying they will not renew but just pick and choose, whilst others will go no matter where we play.
Now if it happens you can guarantee alot of the anti kirkby fans will calm down,see the new shiny stadium and get the game, however how long will the novelty last?
I live on the Wirral in a very strong Everton area but gradually over the past few seasons I have seen a large rise in people preferring the warm pub with the foreign channel and Kirkby will only fuel this more when faced with a dull fixture in cold weather and a costly long taxi ride, the pub will be the winner.
Stewart just where on earth do you think the extra 12,000 fans are coming from? you could maybe add an extra few away supporters intent on visiting our new home but that is about it.
Colin Fitzpatrick
156   Posted 17/11/2009 at 08:23:30

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Neil,

After decades, not just with this current regime, of under investment in the clubs infrastructure we’ve arrived at where we stand. My understanding of the situation is that we’re so far behind the pack and that the solution offered is so far from being adequate that the only alternative is to bring in outside investment to rectify all the problems. Kirkby just brings with it a whole host of additional problems.

I agree this is a simple to say solution but what other solution is there; this board have no vision, no ambition and no ability to attract investment, others have; time to address the root cause of the problem in preference to putting in place the temporary fix.
David Johnson
157   Posted 17/11/2009 at 08:56:33

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"Dennis — Because Kirkby is cheaper than the alternatives."

Ha ha this made me laugh Neil as it reminded me of a mates know all dad who once bought a radio cassete player from one of those guys on a market stall.You know the type of stall I mean.Britney Spears microphone and the Del Trotter speil and all that.got it home and it had no fucking insides in it.ha ha.
My old Granny used to say dearest is sometimes cheapest.
Ciarán McGlone
158   Posted 17/11/2009 at 09:34:36

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Neil,

Your ’chapter and verse’ appears to simply be a list of presumptions which you think will result in a ’probable’ negative scenario for the club..

What I was actually looking for was a reasoned argument as to why these presumptions are likely and a cogent argument on how thye will result in the ’probable’ negative outcome you suggest..

As far as I can see we’ll at worst continue in the current trend...of selling to buy....and at best have 78mill to spend on either the team or an alternative.

I simply don’t understand your doomsday scenario, nor see the reasoning behind it.
Neil Pearse
159   Posted 17/11/2009 at 09:42:04

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Colin - We totally agree that we are in a poor situation and that we desperately need new investment and ownership. You are just much more optimistic than I am that it is likely to show up any time soon. I very much hope that you are right and I am wrong!

Ciaran - You have committed the oldest fallacy in the book: that if you do nothing, things just carry on the same. They don’t. The £78M for a start is not simply sitting there under the bed, so all of it is not automatically available for anything else than Kirkby. If we do not have more money to invest in players, some of the current ones will at some point soon leave. Probably Moyes too. And meanwhile our competitors are not simply sitting there doing nothing - they are investing more in their facilities and their players. Whether or not it is doomsday or not, it is not a happy scenario.

That is why the likes of Colin and I think we desperately think we need new investment, even if differ about how to get it.
Ciarán McGlone
160   Posted 17/11/2009 at 09:39:25

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’(Hint: they will need £400M+ to pay for the new stadium, the equity, the debt and the investment in new players. Perhaps not so simple after all...) ’
-------------------------------

Neil, are you purposely clouding the issue?

The main reason we are proposing to move is ’apparently’ for financial gain in order to improve the team...

Now, if your scenario comes true than why would an investor need to build a new stadium as well as invest in players and clear the debt?

The reason why we have no money at the minute is because every single one of our revenue streams is eaten up by debt repayment and interest...So if that debt is repaid then obviously we free up revenue streams that can go towards team investment..

SO, logically that autiomatically brings into question your suggestion that a new investor woulf also need to build a new stadium AND put up large amounts of money for investment in players..

Now, of course we’d all love a new stadium - but if increasing our attendances is a gamble - then why bother if we don’t need to?

In the circumstance you’ve suggested surely an updating of goodison would be the preferred option - keeping the 40k attendance but sprucing the place up..

Can you see where your figures don’t stack up?
Ciarán McGlone
161   Posted 17/11/2009 at 10:02:49

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’Ciaran - You have committed the oldest fallacy in the book: that if you do nothing, things just carry on the same. They don’t. The £78M for a start is not simply sitting there under the bed, so all of it is not automatically available for anything else than Kirkby. If we do not have more money to invest in players, some of the current ones will at some point soon leave.’
-----------------------------------------

The above scenario...IS THINGS CONTINUING IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY!
Karl Masters
162   Posted 17/11/2009 at 12:22:31

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The way I see our situation is very simple:

We have just about enough seats - for now at any rate - with 40,000. We have not averaged over 40,000 since 1975, although we came close in 1978 and 2004. We also have a stadium that is rich in history, in an accessible location, that is safe for mass spectators and generates an atmosphere than can inspire our team and intimidate visitors.

What we do not have is enough corporate facilities or enough good facilities for the fans to maximise matchday revenue. Chris Butler says the Park End cannot be enlarged, but frankly this is nonsense as there is loads of space behind it and it can be raised in height with another tier to the height of the Main Stand.

It would not take more than £15m (what we paid for VDM and Richard Wright and in fees and wages to put it into some perspective) that I have already outlined could be raised quickly with a bit of imagination (somewhere above in this very long thread) to take off the roof, add another tier and build a large Banqueting and Function suite onto the back of it.

You would then start generating money to start work on the Bullens Road stand (Tom Hughes’s innovative ’building from behind’ design both maintaining capacity at a sensible level and keeping the costs reasonable being the best way IMO) once LCC have moved the school and some of the houses - something Warren Bradley has said to me is possible.

Then you use the increased revenues to re-do the Gwladys Street and so forth round to the Main Stand.

It might take 10 years, or even longer, but at least we would get there eventually. Neil P says we need a ’Leap’, steady progress, but I’m sorry Neil, I don’t think we should be taking a leap into the dark with no safety net. Your reasoning that somebody will buy us in Kirkby is questionable and how do you know it won’t be a Gaydamak or an Icelandic Potato Head?

Goodison is not falling down, we can improve it, but that’s if you want to. If you have your mind fixed on DK like the Board do, you cannot and don’t want to think of the other possibilities. Elstone trots out it will cost £75m to re-build the Bullens Road, but got the figures from the same consultants who have everything to gain by DK going ahead. Do you not think they grossly inflated it to serve their own ends? If it’s costing £78m to build a whole stadium then it’s patently nonsense that one stand can cost £75m, when other Clubs have built them for a fraction of this.... the Park End cost £1.8m by the way and even if that was 15 years ago, inflation would not have raised it much beyond about £5m or £6 today.

Re-develop in phases and should an Abramovich or Stadium share ever come along, we can always reconsider. If they don’t at least we know we are going the right way, whereas Kirkby will be one big blind alley.
Richard Dodd
163   Posted 17/11/2009 at 12:56:58

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Well said, Karl! And if DK gets the chop,that’s exactly what should happen!

Peace in our time.

Brian Noble
164   Posted 17/11/2009 at 13:02:04

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Couldn’t agree more, Karl. But that plan is exactly what the stupid bastard should have embarked on when he fucked up on King’s Dock. If he’d got started then, we’d be well onto the final phase by now.

My guess is that if DK is a no-no then the whole subject will go back into mothballs — just as it did after the last balls-up!

Karl Masters
165   Posted 17/11/2009 at 13:21:04

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I must be doing something right if I can get Doddy and Brian to both agree!

Neil Pearse
166   Posted 17/11/2009 at 13:16:35

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Well Karl, I am pretty sure that is all we will be able to afford to do if DK is knocked back - so we will be in agreement!

I am in no way an expert on stadium construction costs, but I don’t find it at all implausible that it is very much cheaper per seat to build something from scratch on an open greenfield site than to heavily modify something already in existence in a cramped location and under severe time pressures (to avoid revenue loss). Anyone who has done a major structural rebuilding of their own property can testify to that.

I suspect that we won’t get that much improvement at GP for whatever we can afford if Kirkby is knocked back. And I don’t think that will be enough in the medium term to keep us competitive in the upper half of the Premiership. If Kirkby is knocked back I will still be praying for Colin’s rich visionary new owner so that we can make the ’leap’.

Anyway, maybe we will soon see.
Karl Masters
167   Posted 17/11/2009 at 13:28:37

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We all want what’s best for Everton , Neil. All we disagree about is how it should or could be achieved.

I accept that building from scratch is always easier, but even if the whole Park End was unusable for a season ( and that is very unlikely if you stated the project in mid May ) the capacity would drop to 34,400, so we would only be losing 2,500 people a game if you look at the current average of 37,000 - £30 + £10 spent at Ground ( being generous there ) x 2,500 x 20 matches = £1m total. That’s not a massive amount is it? With the Park End completed and an extra 4,000 seats and extra facilities we would either be able to demolish Bullens ( 10,000 capacity ) and stay with 34,400 capacity or work from behind, as Tom Hughes has suggested, bringing the capacity up to around 49,000 before beginning work on the Gwladys St end of the ground. Etc, etc.

I’d love an easy answer. I’d love an Abramovich ( although Platini will hopefully soon do something to re-level that playing field ), but sadly in life, these things are very rare.

The mistake many Yes voters made was thinking DK was one of those opportunities, and who can blame them after all the ’Effectively Free’, ’Best transport Links of any Stadiumin the Country’, ’Goodison won’t get a safety certificate’ soundbites that they were fed by Wyness and Leahy?

Of course, ’Too good to be true’ is exactly what has now been realised by many. I just hope it’s not too late.
Karl Masters
168   Posted 17/11/2009 at 13:42:43

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Sorry, it’s £2m, not £1m, but still only the wages of a VDM for a year.
Nick Parker
169   Posted 17/11/2009 at 13:41:24

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NO means we stay put and probably decline (unless local and national government get their act together and force the shared stadium idea) but better than going to some shitty two bob box on an a retail park and decline because we are in the arse end of irrelvantsville and no fans or corporates want to come watch us and who would?
Chad Schofield
170   Posted 17/11/2009 at 13:45:32

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I applaud you Karl for getting, Brian, Doddy and Neil to come round to the Plan B that only was after the vote. I suppose it’s now a case of waiting what the result is - and then if it’s a nod to Kirkby, then perhaps some more proactive approach than just talking about it... of course they’ll be the "it’s too late" brigade.

I’ve said it before Neil, I applaud you tenacity... but you do seem to make some of the infuriating comments "That is why the likes of Colin and I think we desperately think we need new investment, even if differ about how to get it." - I don’t think anyone’s ever said "we’re fine as we are and don’t need investment or a new owner."
Alan Clarke
171   Posted 17/11/2009 at 13:55:44

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Are you a myopic follower Dodd? You seem to think we’ll get an endless chain of billionaires coming forward once we move to Kirkby.

Nobody has provided any compelling evidence to suggest that we’ll suddenly find investment just by moving to Kirkby. Who are these mysterious billionaires waiting to punce and give us all their money when the club moves to a shithole outside of a city where major investment is taking place? Anyone who believes that our stadium is the reason behind a lack of investment is the most myopic of followers.
Neil Pearse
172   Posted 17/11/2009 at 14:07:40

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So what do you think are the main reasons we haven’t got a new owner yet Alan?
Greg Murphy
173   Posted 17/11/2009 at 14:03:04

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Verbatim excerpt from Gordon Brown’s pre-Queen’s Speech podcast "scene-setter":

"Next week we will be outlining our legislation for the next parliamentary session - a programme that’s in line with our core values of fairness and responsibility.

"Our focus, as ever, is the return to economic growth and forging a stronger, fairer, Britain - for the many not the few.

"We will reduce government borrowing in a fair and responsible way and take forward our strategy for growth, with targeted investment that creates jobs..."

I can easily see how local urban regeneration planks ("in communities that need it most" by any chance?), like the Tesco-led revitalisation of Kirkby, can be shoehorned into this narrative.

However, I really don’t think that the Government gives a toss whether "Destination Kirkby" eventually does go-ahead, just so long it can claim any passing PR kudos for "being seen to be" on the side of urban renewal.

The whole tenor of tomorrow’s speech is based on how he’s single-handedly rescued Britain from the brink of disaster a year ago and there are now green shoots of recovery all over the land - eg, here, there, everywhere...and even in Kirkby!

In short: Ian Hernon - a lobby correspondent since 1978 - hasn’t just plucked this from this thin air. Especially not after Jim Hancock made such a gaff. There really must be some truth in his Queen’s Speech forecast regarding DK and it’s not very hard to see how it can be easily levered into a commentary listing passing examples of growth. Therefore I would expect that there will indeed be some element of Kirkby-type rhetoric in tomorrow’s royal huff-n-puff.

I just hope that whilst it allows Brown to claim credit for localised regeneration it will still be ambiguous enough and loaded enough, with caveats and nuance aplenty, to ensure that DK never sees the light of day.

Thus allowing the Government to claim that they didn’t stand in the way of progress.

And possibly providing Everton with the perfect "exit strategy" should it wish to seize it in the post "exclusivity agreement" era (which surely will end once an announcement is made in full).

The ball is in Everton’s court.
Richard Jones
174   Posted 17/11/2009 at 11:22:57

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Nice to see you finally agreeing with the secretary of KEIOC Neil totally. I can understand now all the arguments for have disappeared other than we may get a new owner.
Alan Clarke
175   Posted 17/11/2009 at 14:13:33

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Why are we "more likely" to find one Neil?
Neil Pearse
176   Posted 17/11/2009 at 14:27:05

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Nice try Richard, but I don’t think we are quite there yet!

Getting a new owner is not a small thing, so disagreeing about whether we are more likely to get one with Kirkby or without is rather a big thing.

Also, I assume that you think we have some good affordable alternatives if we don’t go to Kirkby. I disagree on that too.

What I agree with is that we need a new owner, and that without one we will be confined to some incremental improvements over time at GP.

Still, I am glad to agree with Karl and others that this thread has largely had honest Evertonians sincerely disagreeing, but out of strongly held views on what is best for the club in a complicated and difficult situation.
Pablo Mc
177   Posted 17/11/2009 at 14:30:40

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Can anyone (Colin Fitz maybe ?) advise me whether the following scenario is still plausible even if (pray, pray, pray it doesn’t) DK is given the green light....

Tesco : Phew! Can’t believe we got through that! OK, on we go then... have you got that £78m then lads?

EFC : Erm... hang on a sec... (checks pockets)... did I give it to you Robert? Did we leave it in the car?

In other words, at what point do Everton have to "pony up the dough" and what if they can’t do so?

Is there still the hope of it all falling through for this reason even if the green light is somehow given?
Chad Schofield
178   Posted 17/11/2009 at 14:20:38

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Neil,
Because Everton, or Bill, is tied into an exclusivity deal enabling a retail park in Kirkby that Green could benefit from?
Ciarán McGlone
179   Posted 17/11/2009 at 14:43:36

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’So what do you think are the main reasons we haven’t got a new owner yet Alan?’
-------------------------------

Quite obviously, because we haven’t got the added attraction of an extra £80mill debt for minimal benefit (if any), a complete division of fans — and a white elephant that any new owner will be tied to for the forseeable future..

Neil, Your false dichotomy — between Kirkby getting the go ahead and resulting in new ownership, and not getting new ownership while at Goodison — is frankly laughable...

At Goodison we are a far more attractive option.
Alan Clarke
180   Posted 17/11/2009 at 14:36:46

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Neil, to answer your question, years and years of bad management at the top have led to our demise. This predates both Kenwright and Johnson but they’ve both exacerbated the problem. Our club is debt ridden because of this. We missed the gravy train when the Premier League was first set up. Now we are so far behind the top clubs and in so much debt, we are not in any way an attractive investment. It is incredibly naive to think moving stadiums will suddenly find us a billionaire. The problems with Everton are multi-factorial and run a lot deeper than an old stadium. The move to Kirkby would be like polishing dog shit from an investment point of view and does not make us any "more likely".
Neil Pearse
181   Posted 17/11/2009 at 14:32:03

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Alan, would you prefer to buy a business knowing that the needed new facility cost £80M and was approved and on the go? Or when you knew that you still had to find it and didn’t know what it would cost (to the nearest £100M)?
Richard Jones
182   Posted 17/11/2009 at 14:57:46

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I think I gave you a good reason earlier on in thread Neil, without reply.
Alan Clarke
183   Posted 17/11/2009 at 14:54:05

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I’d say in that case Neil our chances of finding investment change from miniscule to minute by moving to a new stadium. So I apologise, you’re right, we are more likely BUT there is still very little chance of us finding this fantastic magical investor. The truth is we’re fucked, no one in their right mind would want Everton.
Neil Pearse
184   Posted 17/11/2009 at 14:54:59

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Alan, this is obviously the season of peace and goodwill because I agree with virtually every word you wrote.

However, even though I regard myself as pessimistic by nature, I part company with the counsel of despair at the very end of your post.

Since I think we desperately need a new owner and new money (for all the reasons you suggest), I spend my time thinking about how best to make that more likely. For the reasons I state above, I think a new ground should help.

If that doesn’t, I don’t think sitting at GP falling further behind is going to help very much. What else exactly are you proposing to get us out of the mess which you so accurately portray us as being in?
Neil Pearse
185   Posted 17/11/2009 at 15:01:21

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So we have been at GP for the last few years Ciaran — why hasn’t the saviour arrived?

Richard — sorry if I missed your response. I assume it was that Kenwright has stopped all potential buyers — which is an argument we’ve had quite a few times before.

Alan — I am not sure how I feel about finding someone who is even more gloomy about our future prospects than I am! I fear you may be right.
Ciarán McGlone
186   Posted 17/11/2009 at 15:16:04

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’Alan, would you prefer to buy a business knowing that the needed new facility cost £80M and was approved and on the go? Or when you knew that you still had to find it and didn’t know what it would cost (to the nearest £100M)?’


Again, you are making the unexplained assumption that a new owner would need to build a new stadium... I also notice you didn’t answer my query as to why — in addition to building a new stadium — they’d also need to both pay of the debt and make a substantial personal investment in playing staff...
Ciarán McGlone
187   Posted 17/11/2009 at 15:18:11

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’So we have been at GP for the last few years Ciaran - why hasn’t the saviour arrived?’
--------------------------------------

ah, logic eh!

Because we’ve been at Goodison for the last few years and no investor has arrived - then that’s the only possible reason that we’ve not had investment!
Chad Schofield
188   Posted 17/11/2009 at 15:23:05

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Neil, shall I just repeat the same possible reason?

Because Everton, or Bill, is tied into an exclusivity deal enabling a retail park in Kirkby that Leahy and Green will benefit from?

If Bill’s not selling then how can someone buy?
Neil Pearse
189   Posted 17/11/2009 at 15:52:19

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Ciaran - I am not saying that a new owner has not appeared JUST BECAUSE we’ve been at GP. I am saying that a new owner has had plenty of time to appear while we have been at GP - and hasn’t. So why are they going to appear now?

Ciaran, my major point is that a new owner would have to pay a very substantial sum to take us over and make us better. Yes, much of this is for the new ground which isn’t Kirkby. I do believe we need a new ground - because I doubt that GP can be developed at low enough cost to generate sufficient revenue. It would also now simply take too long (I know of course that blame for that can be put squarely at the door of the existing management - if Kirkby is knocked back, in effect they bet on the wrong horse).

Chad - I think that the exclusivity agreement has not in reality prevented any new owner coming forth. Even Kenwright has in effect contradicted himself during the period of the exclusivity agreement by making it known that he was willing to sell and that we were looking for ’investors’. It was even splashed all over the sports pages. Everyone knows what it means.

I’m with Alan on the much simpler and less conspiratorial explanation - we are not very attractive to a buyer for a whole host of reasons. I hope Kirkby will make us more so. I understand many of you think it will make us even less attractive. That’s the disagreement.
Karl Masters
190   Posted 17/11/2009 at 16:16:40

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I wonder what the record number is for posts on Toffeeweb? This must be up there.

Just shows to go the feeling DK brings out, and as somebody said earlier, if it was so good, we’d all be looking forward to it. The fact that a great many of us clearly are not and the fact there is so much controversy around it should have red lights flashing for some.....
Ciarán McGlone
191   Posted 17/11/2009 at 16:40:02

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Neil, You’re all over the place with this line of reasoning... Firstly I never said that an investor would appear now. Secondly, if you admit that Goodison might not be the only reason why an investor has not appeared, how exactly can you promote the idea that a investor will appear if we depart from Goodison... Your opinion seems to depart from itself here... either Goodison is the reason or it isn’t.

And only if it is the reason for a lack of investment can you promote the absolute idea that kirkby will attract an investor..and without that absolute you're on shaky ground.

So which is it...??

Now on to you assertion that a new investor would need to build a new stadium anyway — I asked this question several feet up the page — as yet I'm awaiting an answer.

You suggest an investor would need to pay the debt, AND invest in players AND build a new stadium...

Now, if the reasoning for building a new stadium is to increase the revenue for players... then surely any one of — paying our debt, OR investing in players, OR building a new stadium will increase our revenue streams to sufficient levels..

So why do you keep promoting the erroneous idea that an investor needs to do all three of these on a purchase of this club?

I agree it certainly supports your pro-Kirkby stance... but it’s also flim-flam.

So please explain.
Ste Traverse
192   Posted 17/11/2009 at 16:48:43

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Neil, despite the foundations of Desperation Kirkby crumbling one by one over the last 2 years, you're still desperate to defend it. It's become embarrassing. Give it up man.
Chad Schofield
193   Posted 17/11/2009 at 16:49:08

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Bill makes a habit of contradicting himself.

Do you mean he contradicted himself with that statement because it came out that he and the board members are not willing to "dilute their shareholding"- therefore were either looking for a hefty donation or he wasn’t really looking?

Or did you mean he contradicted himself some other way?
Dennis Stevens
194   Posted 17/11/2009 at 17:06:00

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Neil Pearse - "Because Kirkby is cheaper than the alternatives. Much"

I appreciate that a better stadium than the one planed would cost more, but it would also cost more if it was built in Kirkby. Please explain why building the same stadium currently proposed for DK would necessarily cost more if built elsewhere.

By the way the reason we haven’t been bought out by any new owners in the last few years might have something to do with the club not being for sale, as was clearly stated at the inquiry.

I do find it odd that people who scoff at the idea of Everton’s White Knight riding in on his charger to save the day if we remain at Goodison Park seem to think it’s worth gambling the club’s future on the peculiar expectation that this White Knight will gallop into Kirkby instead. The sort of business man who may want to buy Everton after DK has gone through is the last person I want running the club. I’d much rather have somebody who isn’t prepared to pay over the odds for other people's mistakes because he is confident he can do a better job for the money.
DK would be a big leap — but not a leap forward.
Phil Bellis
195   Posted 17/11/2009 at 17:30:32

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Neil, I’ve read many of your posts since the Kirby fiasco began. Are you also a flat-earther and a firm believer in a creation date of 4000 BC?

As Ste says, above, ’give it up, man!’ Your refusal to remove the blinkers has made you so predictable, and, sorry to say, boring.

I believe you reside Darn Sarf? When you get up to Goodison, ask fellow-Evertonians, in the stands, in the pubs. What they think of leaving a vibrant, progressive City for the alleged to be possibly viable, depending on a full house (how many is that, now?) every game, projected £6m per annum. I think you’ll find your opinions are a bit non-populist.

I’ll give you the opinions, expressed to me, of 2 MPs whose constituencies border Liverpool
1, a red, "I’ll laugh my cock-off if Everton leave Liverpool"
2, a rugby man "Who in their right minds would allow a business the size of Everton to leave their City?"

Stewart Littler
196   Posted 17/11/2009 at 17:59:44

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Colin, sorry for the delayed response. As I said at the outset of my post, I am 100% confident you have more knowledge on the whole subject than I do. My points were:

(1) I never said I expect us to average 46k. I simply plucked a figure out of the air to demonstrate my point regarding your graph. As it happens, I would, hand on heart, say none of the 3 figures are likely to be accurate re our potential average attendance, though 46k and 47k, are IMO too high.

What should be borne in mind is that for every current sell out, we would probably touch those kinds of figures. For games such as Villa the other week, the figure would probably be not too dissimilar from what we currently achieve. So an average may come in at around 42-43k.

MAY being the operative word - for all the people who won’t go anymore IF we go to Kirkby, there will be others who will start going more because of Kirkby (and before anyone ridicules this, I know people like this, who won’t pay £30 to sit behind a post, but would to have a clear view of the pitch, Colin, as more of an expert than me, you will know better how many obstructed views GP has? I’d plump for 4-7k???)

(2)You make a point re Liverpool’s new stadium bringing in £50m per year. Very good. Can you remind everyone why building work has not yet started then? And the cost of this wonderful stadium? I ask because I honestly don’t fully know, but if I was having a guess, I’d say cos they can’t afford it and somewhere around £300m.

(3) I am not happy to accept such figures from Everton. Frankly, I do not have the time to do the amount of research needed to understand it all. But you and KEIOC obviously do, and you are to be applauded for that. Many have criticised Everton for their PR campaign which lead to the Yes vote. But KEIOC’s video was PR promoting an alternative. And as I said, it was very good, apart from the absolute absence of any explanation of how it could be delivered.

Now for fans like myself, who don’t have time to read all the ins and outs, IF KEIOC had done some cost analysis, or whatever it’s called, and included it in the video, they might have been able to demonstrate to a far wider range of Evertonians, such as myself, that an alternative is not only imaginable, but deliverable. They couldn’t, so Kirkby, remains the only deliverable option.

Karl, I can sort of see your logic, and agree that this perhaps should be the way to go regardless. But I cannot see how you think the Park End would only cost £5-6m nowadays? Wembley cost £900m FFS, yet some people think we can overhaul GP for next to nothing. And as for GP being easily accessible — yeah, if you live in L4. Otherwise, I would reckon it provides challenges just like Kirkby would. To put it another way, do you think plans for a 50k seater stadium would be approved on the current site if it was currently wasteland/parkland???

Ciaran, we are more attractive at Goodison? I think this is just the heart talking. If you mean we’re far more attractive in the location we currently have, then you’re probably right. But the facilities at GP are only superior to those of Pompey and Burnley in the Prem (haven’t been to Wolves or Birmingham yet so can’t comment until later in the season).

And if you’re spending the amount of money needed, you’re likely to be the type who would be embarassed at this. Will a brand spanking new stadium 8 miles from Lime St be more attractive? Who knows?

Karl Masters
197   Posted 17/11/2009 at 18:27:40

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Like Neil Pearse, I reside ’darn sarf’, but I can tell you that it’s not simply a case of whether you live in and around the Goodison area that determines whether you think DK is a good idea.

I usually drive up from Kent and you might think that turning onto the M57 to Kirkby and pulling up by the stadium would appeal to me. However, that rose tinted view is not going to be reality for me or anybody arriving by car via a motorway. With
a 2 mile parking exclusion around DK I’ll be forced to park God knows where and either walk a very long way ( nice not on a cold or wet day ) or be crush loaded into a park and ride bus. After the game I’ll have to jostle with the masses for a bus back to the distant car park or walk a long way back again.

Currently, I drive in on the M62, and either go in to town first, which I find fascinating, or turn down Queens Drive and round to Stanley Park car park if I am pressed for time. I park a 5 minute walk through a Park from Goodison which is quite pleasant and ertainly preferable to a 2 mile hike or squeezing onto a bus.

So, actually, us out of towners have at least as much to worry about as the locals, plus a 4/5 hour drive each way. I’d never be churlish enough to say I’d never go, but I can see it being a right ball ache and me going once a season plus London aways just out of loyalty and no more.

Of course, if I had to go through the difficulties of accessing and leaving DK to watch a match in something like the San Siro, I may consider it worthwhile, but an enlarged version of Ewood Park, with not even a proper Home End, is just about the final straw.
Karl Masters
198   Posted 17/11/2009 at 18:46:59

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Stewart. Yes it is incredible to think that a Board that included Bill Kenwright only spent £1.8m on a new Park End 15 years ago. It is aIso the only significant investment the custodians of our Club have made in GP bar the Street End roof and the seats in 40 years and that in itself is a disgrace.

I reckon such a very basic single tier structure would indeed only cost £5-6m today. It is a very basic design and totally out of sync with the multiple tiers in the rest of the Stadium. But that is actually irrelevant anyway as what I am talking about is enlarging it. 4,000 extra seats would wipe out the restricted views elsewhere at a stroke.

And yes, I think palns for a 50,000 seat stadium in Walton would sail through. Plans for a 65,000 seat one over the road have already got through relatively easily. There is a 100 year plus track record of managing enormous crowds there as it is a multi-arterial location, easily accessed and left as I mention above.

Kirkby can never match that because it is in the extreme North of Merseyside, and as such can only be accessed in a limited number of ways. It is on the way to nowhere as it’sat the end of the line, whereas numerous bus routes pass near Goodison as well as it being much more central. Even EFC have admitted that one. They just haven’t worked out how to solve it! Probably because they can’t.

Gavin Ramejkis
199   Posted 17/11/2009 at 18:48:15

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Stewart, the cost of Wembley was atrocious and shows how much of a rip off it was when compared to the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff which was built on time and in a similar era, Wembley went on and on with contractors basically taking the piss. The estimate for the work on the Park End isn’t a new stand, it's the removal of the roof section and addition of an extra tier and facilities then the roof to be put back on.

I think £5-6m is a reasonable estimate but am sure the likes of Tom Hughes or Trevor could give a better figure, but as a comparison the entire conversion of Eastlands cost £35m, that was removal of athletics track, lowering pitch and replacement of one end stand to match new double-tiered other end and three-layer sides.

Your view on access to L4 is a personal perception too, I live closer to Kirkby yet have driven to GP for years with no problems and park close due to my passengers needs. Kirkby is closer but would prospectively take longer and no way would I be allowed to park nearby thus alienating my passengers.

Have you ever been to Kirkby? Have you seen how small the place is? Imagine that with 40 thousand people trying to come and go in a short space of time with nowhere to park. I’ve heard all this but the motorway is right next to it, but go to Bolton and see how long it takes you to get in and out of the car park and you can see the motorway from it, likewise Reading, right next to the M4 but an absolute mare to get in and out.

Gavin Ramejkis
200   Posted 17/11/2009 at 19:03:22

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Karl, what's worse about the Park End is that I understand it was paid for by grant money too and not by the club.
Paul Gladwell
201   Posted 17/11/2009 at 19:12:01

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Stewart, that obstructed view shout is garbage mate. Maybe not for all but it is a thinly veiled excuse for Can’t be arsed. If you want to see the blues enough you will, the posts are not that bad and have been there long enough.

Have a look at our average gates, you will find whoever wants a good enough view you will get one as there are plenty of empty seats mate, our obstucted views I think are 4,000 though I may be wrong on that.
And if you think that loads of blues who have not given two fucks year in year out all because of a post in the way will all of a sudden start going and fill in for people with decades of season ticket loyalty then more fool you.
These people are casual fans they pick and choose and Kirkby will increase a lot more of those type with its transport problems.

Karl Masters
202   Posted 17/11/2009 at 19:23:26

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Gavin,

I actually said it woud cost £5-6m to build what is there now.

I said £15m to totally redevelop and build the necessary very large function suites etc on the back of it.

And like I said yesterday, some inventive lateral thinking could raise the money without affecting the Team.

Anyway, we do agree on it, just didn’t want the ’It’s not possible to build it for that’ thrown in again. I’ve said enough on this subject I think, other than I respect all the views, even if I don’t necessarily agree with some of them.
Paul Gladwell
203   Posted 17/11/2009 at 19:26:35

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And as for the transport Stewart I live in the Wirral not L4.
For the Benfica game I picked my mate up at 7:15 at the Halfway House, Prenton as he was working late, drove over, parked in Iceland car park, had a pint in the Abbey and made kick-off.

If this was Kirkby, my mate who was working would not have even went the game and I would have got in late for kick off given the two mile walk I would have made from my car to the ground.

Goodison is a great ground to get to given the buses and trains we have on offer and has proven this for decades mate, Kirkby struggles with 2,500 workers each rush hour, god help it if we have the dream on 47,000 figure.

Chris Butler
204   Posted 17/11/2009 at 19:44:22

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It seems to me that the majority of people do not want to go to Kirkby so why Bill Kenwright has spoken for us I don’t know. Seeing as "We’re not going to Kirkby" is also chanted at away games, its seems bizarre that they're even considering it.
Greg Murphy
205   Posted 17/11/2009 at 19:40:46

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That’s quite right Gavin, the Club levered £1.3m from the Football Trust (set up in 1975 - with contributions from the Pools companies) for the construction of the Park End. Quite how much the whole construct was I don’t know; but I would imagine that £1.3m went a very long way towards the total cost. EFC currently only refer to the amount as a "contribution".

One of the only two things I ever agreed with Peter Johnson on was his dismissal of the unambitious Park End stand as a "wasted opportunity" (the other being the sacking of Mike Walker).

From the moment John Moores turned off the tap, right through to the demise of PJ, there was a succession of non-management cum mismanagement down the decades at EFC that combined to bring us to the mess that Kenwright inherited (notwithstanding his presence on the board before and during the PJ years).

As I’ve often said (and I apologise for it but think the scatalogical metaphor is entirely appropriate), the faeces, to put it politely, were piling up all around Everton for decades and Bill Kenwright then went and stood right in the whole stinking mess - up and over his socks - and has been traipsing his poo-prints, like an untrained pup, all over the gaff ever since!

http://www.evertonfc.com/history/goodison-in-depth.html?page=full
Karl Masters
206   Posted 17/11/2009 at 20:02:06

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Greg

It was stated in the Matchday programme that the cost was under £2m and that they were very pleased to have secured 2/3 of the funding by way of a grant. As you know, they originally published a picture in April 1991 (Chelsea programme I think) showing a continuation of the multi-tier Bullens Road sweeping round onto the Park end with a capacity of 10,000.

Less than 3 years later, they stated in the Southampton programme of December 1993 that 40,000 was easily enough seats (lack of vision or what???) and announced a 5,900 seater single tier stand instead. Work commenced in February and ws completely finished in 6 months, proof of what a simple structure it is.

Like you say, the bunglers have ruled the roost for a very long time.
Colin Wainwright
207   Posted 17/11/2009 at 20:52:46

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I cant' be doing with all this "It's all we can afford" nonsense folks. A cheap mistake is still a fuckin' mistake, and I for one am not happy with waiting to see how DK turns out. Too late then. I’m already thinking of what to do if the four fuckin' horsemen do ride over the horizon on the 27th November.
Stewart Littler
208   Posted 17/11/2009 at 20:50:05

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Karl, Cardiff’s new stadium is the newest one I can think of. It cost approx £50m and is a pretty simple design, with roughly 27k capacity. Makes me think the Park End would cost more like £10-12m, 3 times that for a double stand. Suppose there’s no way of knowing for sure.

As for your point re a history of coping with massive crowds — of course that’s gonna sway the application. My question was if it was wasteland/parkland — i.e. a stadium had never been there. Me thinks it might be a little more difficult. It can take me as much as 90 minutes to get home after the game and I live 20 miles away — I’m not saying Kirkby would be better, in fact it’d likely be worse, but don’t paint the picture that getting the ground is rosy at the moment.

Gavin, I went Bolton last season. Parked a mile and a half away. Was home (in Wigan) 90 minutes after the game. No big deal.

Paul, is it really? See, these are real people who have told me that the SPECIFIC reason they are not going the game is cos of the view. As someone said earlier in the post, the days of Sky and now internet viewed football have made it easier for people to use little niggles such as these as an excuse.

And as for the Benfica game, there were less than 30k on and a night fixture to boot — course it’s easier to get to. I left at approx the same time, and made kick off. If it had been at Kirkby, I’d have left earlier or ran from my car — what was it you said about thinly veiled excuses for Can’t be Arsed???

Colin Fitzpatrick
209   Posted 17/11/2009 at 20:58:47

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Stewart,

You’re still just picking figures out of the air for potential average attendance; KEIOC’s isn’t a gut feeling it’s based on data from other stadia, current demand and potential demand; 38,000.

According to Everton there are over 22,000 obstructed view seats at Goodison, this is what they attempted to tell the inquiry, shocking but true; it’s generally accepted that approximately 10% of the seats are obstructed.

Stewart I’m not really interested why Liverpool haven’t started construction... the fact is, when they do, it will be one in line with all the other top Premier League teams, that is a city-based super stadia as opposed to a down-market effort on a retail park; take a look here, http://www.keioc.net/index.php?page=media-information, index to the bottom of the page and weep.

KEIOC never put there video out at the time of the ballot, KEIOC were prevented by the club from sending information with the ballot forms, the wonderful ERS allowed Everton to send a brochure promoting Kirkby and Kirkby alone. The difference between KEIOC’s campaign and Everton’s is obvious; we didn’t tell any lies; only one group told the fans of the £52m from Tesco etc etc.

I think you need to watch the two videos again; http://www.keioc.net/index.php?page=keioc-the-movie, the first clearly informs the viewers how those stadia could be funded, the second gives you an idea of how much work Trevor and Tom put into helping produce it. At the public inquiry KEIOC produced a cost and a range of funding options that did away with Everton’s need to be involved with Tesco. Here are those options, based loosely of Everton’s own plans.

ESR Funding £110M - Stadium Naming Rights £25M - Sale of Goodison Park £7M - Sale of Bellefield £4M - Syndicated Debt £19M- Equity Funding £30M -Supporters Trust fund £25M

This amounts to £220m; Everton didn’t challenge it; in fact it was met by a stony silence.

Like the rest of KEIOC Stewart I’m no expert, I just made the effort to sort the wheat from the chaff out; there’s a lot of chaff believe me.
Ciarán McGlone
210   Posted 17/11/2009 at 21:19:06

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Stewart,

The reason we are a more attractive for an investor at Goodison is that Goodison is not a gamble.

If you can’t see that Kirkby is a big and very genuine problem for a lot of Evertonians, then you’re frankly burying your head in the sand.

Not only is it a gamble for a new investor, it’s a gamble that comes at a hefty price... the £100mill debt that will pay for this gamble and the additional money that our board will be factoring into the cost of the club... because I certainly can’t see the likes of Robert Earl allowing the stadium to be included in the club assets at cost price..

So you tell me... what’s more attractive for a potential investor... a guaranteed crowd at Goodison with crappy facilities... or a gamble in Kirkby and paying £150mill for the pleasure of realising someone else’s mistake?
Paul Gladwell
211   Posted 17/11/2009 at 21:25:10

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Stewart, tell your friends they don't have to sit in obstructed view seats there are enough good seats all round for all but a few games per season if you look at our attendances.

I have friends similar and if it was not the view it would be something else and kirkby will offer loads more excuses, seat prices, lack of pubs, no parking, huge taxi fare etc.

As for the Benfica game,read what I said again, I had to leave that late as my mate finished work at that time.

And by the way I can leave the same pub at 2:20 on a saturday game and still make the kick-off too, Goodison has a tried, tested and very good transport structure Kirkby has not.

Gavin Ramejkis
212   Posted 17/11/2009 at 22:00:35

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Stewart, I drive from Upholland, pick up disabled family members and another passenger in Skelmersdale, drive down the M58 and Dunnings Bridge Road to GP, park close to the ground as two of my passengers cant walk v far and then the return from the ground never takes me no more than 40 mins to get back to Upholland after dropping passengers off. If I was to go to the likes of Bolton I would have to park in the car park, which I would be allowed to do, unlike DK, and would spend over half an hour getting out of the car park alone, parking further away isnt an option. 90 minutes from Bolton to Wigan goes to show you how shite a walk and drive is, Bolton to Wigan town centre is only 4.6 miles, you could actually walk to Wigan quicker than that.

Kirkby wont offer me the parking I need and the club wont answer how I get around that giving me the impression they dont give a toss. If DK gets the nod I wont go to Kirkby as it is giving two of my family the equivalent of a two fingered salute so they will lose four season tickets. If I chose to go it will then be away games to clubs who understand and are mindful that some supporters both home and visiting arent capable of parking miles away and making their way by foot,
Ste Traverse
213   Posted 17/11/2009 at 22:54:02

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Ciaran, I totally agree we are more attractive to a buyer at Goodison than Kirkby as they then have 3 options, 1) re-develop Goodison 2) re-locate to a more suitable location or 3) move to Kirkby, whereas if we move to Kirkby they're stuck with that shed for the next 50 years.
David Johnson
214   Posted 18/11/2009 at 02:37:04

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Karl Masters

"the Park End cost £1.8m by the way and even if that was 15 years ago, inflation would not have raised it much beyond about £5m or £6 today."

According to the Bank Of England Inflation Calculator £1.8m would cost you £2.8 m today.

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/inflation/calculator/flash/index.htm

How much aid did we get to build the Park End?

Have building costs rose above average inflation figures?

and finally maybe I should be putting these questions to Robert Elstone as he’s obviously using a different inflation calculator to the Bank Of England one I’ve been using.
David Johnson
215   Posted 18/11/2009 at 02:46:00

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He’s obviously borrowed one off Bill :)
Stewart Littler
216   Posted 18/11/2009 at 02:43:23

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Colin, thanks for the info. I will make some time to watch the videos again - can’t right now as the work servers won’t let me! Don’t get me wrong, and as I said earlier, I ain’t no expert, and on the one hand, we’ve got a new stadium, which is an undesirable location, with all the problems that brings versus staying at GP, which every Evertonian loves but knows won’t last forever.
There will be many Blues out there who have limited information available to them regarding other options, and I think this is why there has been no demonstration or something - my point was that KEIOC, who I appreciate is made up of people giving up their time, have obviously devoted a lot of time and effort to the whole affair, but don’t seem to have reached a very wide audience with their versions of alternatives - that’s certainly the boat I am in.

Ciaran, I can totally see the problems. I’m simply trying to balance things up by weighing them against the problems we currently have. And you’re right, it would be a gamble. A very big, potentially costly one. Any change always is. But as I said earlier, I think you’re letting your heart do more of the talking - the kind of ’investors’ that are coming into the PL certainly won’t know where Kirkby is, possibly won’t be entirely sure where Liverpool is, and will simply look at numbers - and if Everton tell them the new stadium will fetch in 47k supporters on average, and it’s new and shiny, that will be more attractive to them than GP with it’s average of 35k or so. Whether it does or not is an entirely different matter, but to a non Blue with no ties to the area, I reckon they’d go for the new over the old every day of the week.

Paul, just re-read and apologies, I missed the bit where you said your mate finished late. I retract my comment relating to that. But I’ve looked at the attendances and our lowest PL home attendance this season is a few hundred over 35k, which is all seats apart from the obstructed (Colin F advised around 10% = 4k approx and Wigan didn’t fill their end by some amount).

Gavin, I don’t know the answer to this, but are the club not planning to have on or near site parking for disabled supporters? I’m pretty sure there is a provision in the DDA for this?? P.S. there was a typo back there, it should have read 60!
Gavin Ramejkis
217   Posted 18/11/2009 at 07:00:02

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Stewart the attendance figures from the club are projected against what the stadia would require to achieve a small profit. If anyone was to buy the business they don’t simply take the buyer’s word for it they perform due dilligence and part of that due dilligence would use recognised statistical reporting on the subject matter which would include the statistics Colin has used, they simply can’t be ignored. Hoping to achieve and actually achieving are two completely different things. That would be tantamount to the club using the same sort of lies they used to the supporters to buyers - world class stadium, most accessible stadium in the country, virtually free, etc. People with that sort of money aren’t thick as mince.

In a similar vein, the consultants who said Kirkby could be built on the cheap yet claim just one stand at Goodison Park would cost more than £70m. When compared to Chelsea’s build you could give the club two very good, well equipped stands.
Colin Fitzpatrick
218   Posted 18/11/2009 at 07:34:36

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Stewart,

That’s a fair observation about KEIOC to be honest; in the early days the group had a dilemma, concentrate on fighting the already established publicity machines of Tesco and Everton through a campaign designed to educate and encourage protest amongst the fans or take the route of becoming a pressure group and concentrate on simply halting this development. The first route could've perhaps ensured more popularity amongst the fans but probably little else whilst the second would give some opportunity to concentrate on understanding what was going on, we’re no experts, and attempt to influence a reaction from people, groups, authorities that could affect the outcome. Rightly or wrongly we chose the latter but we’ve attempted to keep people up to speed through our website, www.keioc.net, there’s a few interesting pieces just gone on!
Paul Gladwell
219   Posted 18/11/2009 at 07:45:08

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Fair enough Stewart I respect your views.
But my final take on it is I see these type each week in my locals, some are friends, they will say they are skint and spend the rest of the day in the pub watching the game.
They refuse free tickets if it is cold or dull oponents and that is up to them.
It does annoy me as I want people at the game, but I have to realise some people just dont care about the blues as much as others and the only way you will get these people at Goodison or Kirkby every week is with a successful entertaining team and if we dont have this at Kirkby there will be a hell of alot more excuses to encourage more of this thinking on a cold January midweek game than Goodison could ever give.
Pablo Mc
220   Posted 18/11/2009 at 09:33:12

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Colin Fitz : "our website, www.keioc.net there’s a few interesting pieces just gone on!"

I’d say that "interesting" was a slight understatement ! One article stating that KMBS could be in contempt of court if they don’t provide details of emails between them and Everton, and another involving Knowsley Councils alleged misappropriation of land in the DK project being forwarded to the European commission to determine whether state aid rules have been infringed!

A poster on The People’s Forum also claims that there is paperwork indicating that, as part of the land deal, Knowsley will be paid ONE THIRD OF ALL INCOME FROM THE STADIUM ! No wonder we’re only looking at £6m a year maximum - that’s just incredible if true !
Ciarán McGlone
221   Posted 18/11/2009 at 09:44:11

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’I think you’re letting your heart do more of the talking - the kind of ’investors’ that are coming into the PL certainly won’t know where Kirkby is, possibly won’t be entirely sure where Liverpool is’
-------------------------

No offence Stewart...but you’re letting your ass do your talking..

Anyone who seriously suggests that a potential buyer won’t do their due dilligence and will simply accept the figures of Kenwright and Elstone..and ignore the widespread dissent of the actual customers...is being ridiculous.
Phil Bellis
222   Posted 18/11/2009 at 12:47:13

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Queen’s Speech 11:03
"My government is mindful of the need to pick up one’s oven chips and own-brand burgers en route from the match; to facilitate and provide for this immense contribution and stimulus to family life in the North West, we give our approval to the Tesco/Everton development in Kirk-by"

Only kidding...she actualy said "bad idea, poor stadium, wrong location"
Colin Fitzpatrick
223   Posted 18/11/2009 at 14:26:03

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Hello Pablo,

Yes indeed, as you are only too aware this is a very murky business at times. There’s a lot more of this to come; the same government commissioner is now investigating a blocking charge against KMBC, seems reasonable enough seeing that they’ve addressed other FOI requests and this one has simply dragged on and on.

The mystery surrounding the land and the equally mysterious £52m clearly warrants much investigation, the reluctance to deliver any evidence concerning the agreements between KMBC, Tesco and Everton save for the basics gave rise to much suspicion.

There’s a very interesting article on the KEIOC website, click the media information link and select Item 4, number four. That story in the Daily Post is from June 2006; as they saw the document from Sheena Ramsey then we see no reason why we can’t see it now; wonderful thing this FOI act!!!!

Perhaps it will answer the question why everyone appears at a loss to explain why a stadium operating at 94% capacity only delivers a mere £6m additional profit. I’m certain there’s a perfectly logical explanation for it.
Pablo Mc
224   Posted 18/11/2009 at 14:31:40

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Cheers for that Colin.

That whole Media Information page is amazing - a huge amount of interesting reading in there!

Kudos to yourself and KEIOC for all your efforts - whichever way this goes you’ll be able to hold your heads up high as true Evertonians.
Chris Butler
225   Posted 18/11/2009 at 15:40:35

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Let's decide what we want; a ground, for example, like Newcastle's — an improved ground that was made higher rather than bigger. Or do we want a ground like Sunderland's? I have never been fortunate or unfortunate enough to have gone. I’ve been to The Reebok twice and was frankly unimpressed.

Some of the new grounds are appaling new facilties do not make a better day out of stadium. I am hoping to go to Manchester City this year; hopefully everyone that's going will show Lescott what he's missing.

The JJB concourse is good for a sing song but a nightmare for going to toilet. Honestly, bar the Emirates and White Hart Lane virtually none of the grounds I've ever been to have been much better than Goodison. Bar the Bullens Road stand, most of Goodison is ok view facilities wise. I’ve have sat in Upper Bullens, Lower Bullens, The Park End and Gwladys Street.

The stewards at Spurs were immense really for the first 35 minutes of the game we stood up. About 10 minutes before half time they pleasantly asked us to sit down. When we did stand for most of the second half, we were not waded into like certian stewards did, we were just politely asked to sit down. Spurs concourse and food facilities were also immense.

Spurs away this season had the best atmosphere from our fans along with the best stadium in my opinion. At Wembley and the Emirates there are numerous signs and information points to help you.

Greg Murphy
226   Posted 18/11/2009 at 16:01:33

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Phil - don’t know about you but I wanna know what John Denham really meant at 12.42 (link).

He’s sat on the front bench as I type, so he’s clearly not busy!

I’m trying to suss out whether his face is saying "yes" or "no" or whether it’s just wind.

I didn’t catch when Bercow said the Queen’s Speech economy debate would be - but I’m buggered if I’m monitoring the minute-by-minute minutiae til Wednesday at the latest.

http://page.politicshome.com/uk/queens_speech_live_blog_comments_and_reaction.html
Robert Daniels
227   Posted 18/11/2009 at 16:10:47

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Just seen a link on the Newsnow site from another fans website SOS and they have come out in full support of KEIOC in a statement.

Now just an idea, Michael, couldn't you organise a vote with ToffeeWeb members to decide how many are in support of Kirkby and how many are against it, this could be done by way of e,mail and ToffeeWeb could do the count.

Then, once a clear vote either way has been declared, then announce it to the world ie ToffeeWeb members are in favour or not as the case may be.

If all fans websites came out with a statement re DK, this would be a true view of the feelings of the true fans and would send a clear message to Mr Kenwright. One way or another.

Dennis Stevens
228   Posted 18/11/2009 at 16:47:04

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Ciarán, you’re quite right about any owner going through due diligence. However, tbh, anybody who wanted to buy Everton because DK impressed them & felt they could develop the club there, is the last person we need to take over - they’d obviously be as incompetent as the current incumbents!
Richard Jones
229   Posted 19/11/2009 at 07:26:15

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And.... I think you would agree Dennis slightly insane!!
Brian Noble
230   Posted 19/11/2009 at 12:09:22

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No mention of DK in the Queens’s Speech. As if! It does seem, however, that Tesco are very active on the sporting front.

This morning I received a letter from the other great love in my life — Lancashire County Cricket Club. (Don’t tell the missus I said that!) It contains details of a £47M deveopment plan to ensure Test Cricket stays at OT.

’It is because this project is so important that we have entered into a partnership with Traford Council and TESCO’, they tell me. ’Many local people are supportingthe building of a Tesco store on Chester Road as they will see it will deliver real local benefits not only in shopping choice and convenience but also via the substantial number of new jobs etc etc.......

’We ask all members to write letters in support of our proposals as without the cross subsidy of £21M from Tesco the re-development will simply not be able to go ahead.’

It seems that deja vu is alive and kicking and Leahey will soon rule the sporting world. Is nothing sacred, I ask?

Meanwhile the wait goes on.

Greg Murphy
231   Posted 19/11/2009 at 14:22:04

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Brian,

The term "The Queen’s Speech" is a bit of a generic misnomer these days and doesn’t just refer to the bit where Liz takes the mic.

It’s a bit like Christmas, you roughly know when it starts and when it’s all over but it’s not all about Dec 25th. The "Queen’s Speech" debates continue until next Wednesday and the legislative (and any other business) un-packing gets done gradually as the cross-bench conflabs continue.

http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/occasions/stateopening.cfm

If matters concerning DK are to be unveiled as part of the Queen’s Speech package, then I’d expect that it will be done during the debate on the economy (Brown will nakedly attempt to showcase a range of examples, both local and national, to demonstrate that he’s rescued the country and confident resurgence is underway - and perhaps DK will [however scandalously] fit the bill).

I’m not sure when the debate on the economy will be though.

When you weight it up, though, Ian Hernon was hardly sticking his reputation on the line (unlike Jim Hancock’s bizarre predictions in July [concerning the Labour Party Conference] which are still heading towards Row Z) by saying that matters pertaining to DK will be revealed alongside the Queen’s Speech process (in any case, he did actually say that DK would just form part of Brown’s legislative programme).

The Queen’s Speech process has to continue til next Wednesday with five days of debates and the DK decision has got to be by next Friday anyway - something we’ve all known about for months.

The key time, though, (in my cynical opinion) was the immediate debate yesterday afternoon which I fearfully watched from behind a cushion, basically in case a Brown produced, not so much a rabbit, but a water-vole from his magician’s hat.

Denham has surely made his decision now and if it’s a green light (that’s the big question - and that’s where Ian Hernon’s reputation will stand or fall) then it makes perfect chronological and coincidental sense for it to be included as part of the Queen’s Speech panto as Hernon has asserted.

I very much hope, though, that this time next week Ian Hernon’s previously spotless lobby-correspondent copybook will have a dirty big blot on it.

Greg Murphy
232   Posted 19/11/2009 at 14:52:39

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Brian,

I’ve just checked; the debate on the economy is next Thursday 26th.

So if Hernon’s correct, that matter pertaining to DK will form part of the Queen’s Speech programme, then the decision would either have to be revealed next Thursday or, more likely, beforehand in order to facilitate cross bench examination.

If by some chance we get through next Thursday and DK hasn’t been part of the Queen’s Speech guff then not only will Hernon’s reputation be a bit tattered but there will be some nice headlines to listen out for on the Friday.

Here’s hoping.
Jason Byrne
233   Posted 19/11/2009 at 18:51:18

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Perhaps the most worrying thing for those most vociferously against the Kirkby move is the fact leaks have now come from both Ian Hernon and Jim Hancock, both of whom have been Westminster/Whitehall furniture for at least 30 years.

And before you laugh about me including Jim Hancock after his mis-timing gaffe — well that's all it might be — mis-timing, his prediction of a DK go ahead after nods from several well-placed reliable sources may mean he might have the last laugh.

Neither Ian Hernon or Jim Hancock are biased in favour of any particular outcome which makes their view of how they see the situation unfolding very interesting — and worrying for the anti-DKs.

Phil Bellis
234   Posted 20/11/2009 at 01:07:55

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Jason
as a Whitehall ’mandarin’ I am not at all worried - weak proposal, transparent misrerepresentation, bad timing, inadequate vision is(are) the word(s) on the (Downing) street
Stewart Littler
235   Posted 20/11/2009 at 08:18:43

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Gavin & Ciaran - I’m not saying they won’t do due diligence. What I am saying is that by doing that, they’re not suddenly gonna go ’oh, lots of fans don’t want this and accept the view that KEIOC for example take’. The dissent may be widespread, it might not be, but we’re not exactly burning effigies on Goodison Road are we? Where do you think they’re gonna go for evidence of this widespread dissent Ciaran, ToffeeWeb? The Wilmslow?

Paul, I know those sorts myself, we all do. Football has become infected with them, but then clubs are asking some people for near enough a day’s wages just to watch the footy. And you’re right — if there is a decline on the pitch if Kirkby comes along, it will hit harder than if we stayed at GP.

Chris, all I can say to that is you must not have gone to Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge, Villa Park, Eastlands, hell, even Craven Cottage. People keep telling me that the atmosphere won’t be the same — what cos Goodison’s bouncing right now? Atmosphere has been disappearing from football for some time now, and anybody who tries to tell me that the atmosphere at Goodison in recent years, or any other ground for that matter, has been better than even the 90s, has a very short memory.
Dennis Stevens
236   Posted 20/11/2009 at 13:30:19

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If the approval is given, is that the end of the line - or do the opposing local authorities etc. have the option of taking the matter to a judicial review? My fear is that, whichever way the decision goes, this issue could drag on for years. It would seem to me Everton’s best way out of this mess is if it’s a "No" & Tesco then revisit their plans & jettison the stadium development, otherwise the suffering will just drag on.
Stuart Downey
237   Posted 20/11/2009 at 14:01:02

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I’ll throw my hat in the ring....

The club has a mandate for DK. Although there may be many people, especially on this site, that (especially now) don’t appear to want DK, there was a vote in the affirmative. The club asked the fans and they said yes.

Second... As the writer says... You must be a fool if you think that Kenwright has been turning down good investors.

Third... I think you’d be a fool if you thought Kenwright was turning down a more VIABLE option in Liverpool.

Ultimately there are questions over the viability of DK, but it will work, whilst Terry Leahy is in charge of Tesco, I believe you’ll get a commercially viable deal. However, there’s no way we can afford anything if we tried to do it on our own backs, and that rules out most ventures within the City.

Also, the Council have said no to most of what was asked for. The options are limited, and change is needed, sooner rather than later.

As a personal view, of course I’d rather Goodison was re-developed and we could stay there. But no, I don't think we should.
Colin Fitzpatrick
238   Posted 20/11/2009 at 14:55:05

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Stuart,

I won’t respond to most of what you’ve posted, I think it’s all been well a truly covered in the thread but I am intrigued when you say, “the Council have said no to most of what was asked for. The options are limited, and change is needed, sooner rather than later.”

Undoubtedly the Everton board has known for decades that change is needed and clearly sooner rather than later becomes more and more important with every passing season but it’s the bit about the council saying no that confuses me, what have they said no to exactly?
Chris Butler
239   Posted 20/11/2009 at 16:30:25

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First of all, many people are complaining about DK. I accept that not everyone can afford a season ticket or go to the match a lot. But really out of our average 35,000, about 21,000 are season ticket holders. If you go to away games due to living outside of the city, you are entitled for Everton to listen to your opinion.

The problem is me being orignally from another country myself, I respect foreign blues. But the reality is, unless you're a paying customer, Everton are unlikely to listen to your opinions unfortunately.

I was originally born in Bosnia but left during the war; my dad was born in Liverpool. For a long while he refused to go due to the removal of the terraces and prices. The problem is that 35,000 are the ones that give Everton their revenue so that leaves about 5,000 odd-gamers — where do the other odd thousand come from?

When a sizable proportion of our season ticket holders are unhappy about the move...

Gavin Ramejkis
240   Posted 20/11/2009 at 19:03:50

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Stuart, despite Colin’s answer I do feel compelled to point out a glaring hole in your reasoning. Never at any point has Tesco Terry been the CEO of Everton Football Club, he is responsible and answerable to the shareholders of Tesco and nothing else.

Your commercially viable argument doesn’t make sense when that is taken into consideration that the only commercial aspect Tesco Terry is interested in is return of interest in Tesco’s investment in Kirkby. The stadium would give him the leeway to have a larger supermarket and sell more goods, nothing more and nothing less.

BK isn’t part of Tescos and neither is Everton FC so that profit has nothing to do with grants and favours from Tesco. The retail park won’t give the club a penny, Tesco have said in the enquiry it isn’t giving Everton a penny. Why do you think Tesco Terry will give Everton a deal when the hearing said they won’t?

Chris Butler
241   Posted 20/11/2009 at 22:33:54

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To Stewart, we have gone from being one of the best sets of fans home and away to the worst. Spurs created a brilliant atmosphere against us in the Carling Cup. Some games are so boring that neither side sings.

But it's when we go to certain teams our support seems to be great and other grounds awful. Eastlands is quite a lively ground, I think, with City's hardcore right by you. Aston Villa's away support is top quality.

I think next season, maybe around Christmas, we should get a vocal standing supporters club. People have said "create your own atmosphere". At away games, you get a group of young and old lads who get an atmosphere on the concourse cos you can no longer stand with who you want.

The reality is I accept we do have supporters that don’t sing at away games but all that most fans who do sing want is to be round like-minded people so it's enjoyable for the standers and the non-standers.

Our away support bar Spurs and Bolton have been poor. The problem is at the new ground there will be nowhere for any vocal supporters to go, Stewart. With Corporates behind one goal and away fans the other. It has been made impossible for fans to stand and sing in upper tiers as well.

It's like what United's fans were complaning about that they put corparates in the Stretford End. Also, in the last few years, more and more supporters home and away have started to stand the whole game.

Julian Simcox
242   Posted 20/11/2009 at 13:58:13

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Has anyone out there any inkling of why the Kirby decision is taking s long? Could it be that it’s being delayed until after the General Election?
Colin Malone
243   Posted 21/11/2009 at 08:48:03

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Julian.
Imagine if they get the nod for Kirkby before the derby game. The ref would have to bring the players off while they get rid of the Tesco bags. Strange but it might be true.
Brian Noble
244   Posted 21/11/2009 at 10:07:06

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Returning from John Lennon Airport yesterday with a relative who had not been to Liverpool for years, I decided to take the Riverside View route and was struck by the acres of deserted land which made up the Garden Exhibition for the City of Culture year. I’m sure it’s been suggested before but would not this now wasting away space make an ideal site for New Goodison?

I can’t see the LCC getting another tenant so it’s dead land but surely the rates they might gain from it alone would merit their gifting it at a peppercorn rent. Of course, Everton and LCC would have to find enabling partners to bring such a project to fruition but I would have thought it a better bet for innovative development than Kirkby!

Jamie Rowland
245   Posted 21/11/2009 at 23:13:36

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Back to the original article... what happens if it's a No...

I’m not sure. In fact, I can’t see anything like a decent forecast for our club if the answer is a No.
That's partly because we wouldn’t have a financial partnership with any retail supremo’s (I’ll come back to this) and its also because the current club leadership... including the occassionals that have dipped their toe in (Wyness) have not really considered anything else.

While any article on here that relates to the need of a new stadium automatically makes you a big fan of DK, the simple fact is our board has put all their eggs in one basket and are hoping that it doesn’t get dropped. It is this that worries me the most regarding an attempt to answer your question Richard. If the answer is no, I really do think that its back to the drawing board. I dont think that there is a plan B. Regardless of the KEIOC effort!

On to the Kirkby ’backing’ from retail moguls... Where exactly (this is a genuine question, not a sarcastic one) does this shortfall come from? I have read the blurb from the club...i.e. deal of the century, stadium for free. I have done the maths (available) myself and come at a shortfall of around £50m - and I have seen on this site figures of around £52m... and now there is a shortfall being mentioned (by Michael Kenrick) of £78m.

I am not doubting any figures - I would just like to see the qualifying maths.

As for where we will get that from... who the fuck knows? It must be under someone’s mattress or a plan has been written and lodged with a bank that states such garbage like ’and extra 10,000 a gate will produce and extra £5m a year profit’... and the shortfall is financed on that over 1000 years!

All this DK arguing makes no sense to me. What is clear is that we need a new stadium to keep us up to date and make the club more appealing to outside investers/buyers. That doesn't mean I like the idea of moving just 4 miles up the road to Kirkby (which by my car's odometer, from Park End to East Lancs, to M57, to Valley Road, Kirkby is over 6 miles)... I actually think it will ruin the atmosphere (but that's clearly already lacking at Goodison of late).

One of the biggest problems in all of this is the complete lack of meaningful communication. What is plan B. What have Everton got on the table should the answer be No?
What are the exact details of the retail partnerships — what contribution are they making? What is the contingency for the project? Wembley was over budget by a few £100m’s... Emirates was over budget — the olympics has broken budget three times already... Capital of Culture, run by LCC, was well spent up some 5 months before 2008 even arrived. So what planning has Everton actually put in place?

DK wont unfold properly until we get that all important answer - whether its a Yes... or a No...
Ray Robinson
246   Posted 22/11/2009 at 12:10:25

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Sorry, I’m new to this thread and haven’t read all the comments but I would like to pose two basic questions.

How long does it take for the result of the original poll to lose it’s validity? After all in politics, we have a General Election at least every 5 years or earlier than that if the Government suffer a lack of confidence!

Secondly, how many Evertonians would endorse DK if a second poll was taken now?

I almost couldn’t bear the thought of another vote on Kirkby but how can anyone at EFC maintain with confidence, after the time that has elapsed since the original poll and in the light of further informed debate, plus the fact that the UK is still in the midst of recession, that the club still has an effecitve mandate to move forward on DK?

If we had another vote now, I suspect the vast majority would be against the move — me included — who voted "Yes" last time round.
Anthony Bailey
247   Posted 22/11/2009 at 19:36:43

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I am not particularly sure as to whether the Yes decision would make us more attractive to new investors, or at least not the right type of investors.

If I was going to buy land for a new house to live in for years and be a part of and proud of I’d much rather buy a blank canvas so to speak rather than pay for what someone else had already planned, of which in reality, is poor at best.

I don't truly believe BK has been looking for buyers. He may have had his eye out for someone with more money than sense to invest with little return control wise, but I dont for one mimute believe BK has been out scouring the globe for potential suitors to sell to for the best interests of the club. Whilst I think it is fair for him to try and get some return from his investment he is now slowly but surely dragging the club down and dividing its supporters.

I didn't get a vote but I would have naively voted Yes in the ballot, because of the spin and bullshit that came out of the club. There is no way in hell I would vote Yes now. The plan seems flawed in every instance and whilst I've never really fully backed KEIOC in the past, I have to say they have done an excellent job of opening my eyes to this sham.

I think Karl's development plans sound good and should have definitely been taken forward ten or so years ago. However, I now feel a slightly more drastic overhaul is needed, or at least a slightly more rapid one. We can't keep debating and waiting — we need progress to start now... otherwise we will be so far behind that it may be nigh on impossible to catch up.
Tony Dove
248   Posted 23/11/2009 at 09:24:12

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Kirkby — Kiss of death.
Chris Butler
249   Posted 19/11/2009 at 11:26:30

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With many people still opposed to DK, I thought it my duty to make sure these people were heard. Bill Kenwright has said that Kirkby is the only option for Everton. Could it be that Bill Kenwright knows something we don't?

As a conspiracy theorist, I do not believe Kenwright is looking for investement. Maybe investors have told him they won't invest unless DK happens, despite what the fans think.

It has baffled me why clubs such as Birmingham City and West Ham have had recent investment with virtually no success. As an investor looking on Everton's success with minimal finances, it would attract me.

There does seem to be something strange going on as for the last 5 seasons we've challenged the top four. I would think that it would be an investor's dream, and up a coming club.

Everton, unlike clubs such as Newcastle and Spurs, have not had numerous managers and numerous tits-up signings. I go back to my point what Everton's reputation is with other owners and other clubs officials. There must be something putting off potential investors that we do not know about.

I do not understand why for example Manchester City were bought twice by rich owners when they needed far more investment than Everton did last season.

Keith Glazzard
250   Posted 19/11/2009 at 18:01:35

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Our very own TW Rumour Mill reckons that the Queen's Speech would have Destination Kirkby (or similar schemes) in it. Unless I missed a bit (entirely possible), we didn't figure.

Can anyone with more experience of the political system with its obvious interraction with the economy tell us if the run up to the next election could affect us?

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