The rejection of the Kirkby proposal will inevitably lead to a bout of soul-searching by all Evertonians, regardless of whether they supported the move or not. It leads to the inevitable question: "What do we do next?"
Listening to Elstone on various different news outlets today, it sound pretty clear that Everton are not in a position to appeal this decision through a judicial review. By all accounts, this would be a hopeless course of action given that the actual report into the decision makes it clear that the Kirkby proposal bulldozes through a whole range of government planning policies, ranging from out-of-town shopping to sustainable transport. The whole thing appears as dead as the proverbial parrot.
Where does that leave us then? I’ll put me cards on the table here and state that when the ballot took place I voted Yes... It was not an easy decision, nor one I took lightly but at the time (with the ‘information’ as it stood), with a heavy heart, I considered it a viable proposition. I was wrong. The whole debate that has continued to rage ever since has shown up pretty much every one of the club's claims made at the time of the ballot to be false, ranging from Everton’s contribution to transport solutions, even to the actual capacity of the stadium!
I don’t think I'm alone in having revised (and regretted) my Yes vote, a long time ago coming to the conclusion that the Kirkby project was not suitable or desirable. Admittedly, the emotion I felt yesterday was one of relief that my actions of two years ago had not contributed to Everton Football Club making the biggest mistake in its history.
But what now?
Staying put and redevelop? Find another site? Share? The feasibility of these are all up for discussion. Inevitably, the financial implications are huge because, in the current state of affairs, we cannot afford any of the above options without major investment or enabling partners, whether that be the council, private companies... or both.
Kenwright selling up and a new backer forking out £250 million for a stadium... I don’t think that is very likely. What BK mustn’t now do is have one of his "paddies" and throw his dummy out of the pram, complaining at the unfairness of it all because every month that now goes by without some sort of solution emerging will be another month we fall behind. Kenwright and his board have got to take imperative action to either find investors willing to buy and build / redevelop or they have to find a solution themselves, in partnership with LCC to sort this mess out.
Sharing a stadium has been the great taboo in this city for way too long. On every level, it makes economic sense for the clubs and the council to join forces, pool their resources, and develop something that is unique and world class, freeing up the resources of both clubs. The element of competition for non-footballing events is removed, and the money can be divided 3 ways. Issues over capacity, colour scheme, etc, can be resolved fairly easily and I can imagine private companies falling over themselves for a slice of the potential enabling developments, with a guarantee of 50,000 customers every single week.
Of course, none of the above addresses two thorny issues — there does not appear to be the will (although they might be forced into it) in either club to push this agenda seriously... and how would we all feel on an emotional level about sharing with them? There is little doubt that financially it is a favourable proposition for Everton but we also stand to lose the most by becoming seen as the ‘junior partner’ in any development. But there is no indication that Kenwright and Bradley would press hard enough for this.
That leaves redevelopment or relocation elsewhere. Financially, these are more problematic than the shared-stadium solution. Redeveloping Goodison would effectively require the vast majority to be self-funded, even accounting for naming rights etc and, until we have a new owner, that is not going to happen. Any piecemeal development runs the risk of reduced capacity during construction and that is besides the fact that it would require a hell of a lot of work to bring it anywhere near the standard of somewhere like the Emirates — let alone, dare I say it , the brand new Liverpool Stadium a few hundred yards away (if they ever get their act together).
Two stadiums right next to each other... one brand spanking new, the other made over old one... also doesn’t take a genius to work out where non-footballing events and corporate are going to go. Furthermore, unless it’s part of a wider redevelopment of the Walton area, we can forget local council funding or private partnerships.
That leaves moving to another site within the city and building a brand newie. Issues here are also financial. At present, we could only afford this with substantial enabling funds from private partners and city council. This means finding somewhere close to the city (KEOIC of course championed the Loop; Clarence Dock has been mentioned) that would attract the necessary funding. Walton Hall Park is a contender but the possibility of private and public investment required would be substantially reduced the further away from the City Centre we go. South Liverpool? Well this brings back into play all the arguments of being ten miles away from the city centre etc.
What today’s decision does bring into sharp relief is the missed opportunity that was the Kings Dock, with each passing year looking more and more like the biggest mistake in our history was not funding this by whatever means possible.
Kenwright is now on strike three... he has fucked up two stadium moves. He needs to get his arse into gear by finding a buyer who is prepared to take on the club and build a new stadium or developing a sustainable relationship with the council and others who can fund it. Lack of action either way will prove to be disastrous for Everton Football Club
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1 Posted 26/11/2009 at 16:49:43
The influence of any retail partners, help from the council, investors, buyers will never be as vital as that of the supporters. No fans, no club. So rather than than take petty swipes at each other on internet forums, have a think about ways of moving the club forward. I’m sure we all have diverse backgrounds, education, knowledge and areas of expertise but we share a common goal, and that’s to support our club and help make it successful again.
2 Posted 26/11/2009 at 17:42:18
I too have given Goodison Park more than any other single thing in my life. I too saw the move as bitter/sweet, and blindly followed the rhetoric the Club dished out. My 18year old Son who has spent a fraction of the time sat in his Parkend seat was adamant we should not move. I said we needed to go to keep abreast of the chances the game has experienced lately. He simply says kick BK out and keep our redevelopment achievable.
Today I wonder who’s the wiser? The 50 year old who made the emotional decision to move "for the good of the Club" or the boy who refused to budge from his crumbling set simply because he was told all that glitters resides in Kirkby.
Like you rightly pointed out Steve the Kings Dock ‘ring fence’ may prove singularly the worst decision since CBS knocked back The Beatles. And what makes matters worse is Kenwright made such a Dick of himself by making yet more promises he so obviously could not deliver and that was back in 2001! (Will he never learn?)
That only adds ammunition to my Sons position, which I choose to ignore. And even though Kenwright has little sway over Government decisions he has to accept responsibility for steering his ship into troubled waters without any contingency for “What if?”
Frankly I put my faith in the Directors of the Club who ultimately have now let me and every other YES voter down! And I dread to think what this white elephant has cost us in real money, the loss of additional playing staff, our league position and 3 years of sustainable growth?
Steve, I can tell also you my Son and I nearly came to blows on many occasions because of our polorised views about this mess. Today I resigned my position with my Son, maybe Bill Kenwright should follow suit.
3 Posted 26/11/2009 at 18:08:59
You mean aligned, don’t you?
4 Posted 26/11/2009 at 18:26:15
History and tradition are hard currency in football.
And why be a biatch to the RS in a shared stadium which they are hard up to afford it anyway. Could bring both clubs down.
5 Posted 26/11/2009 at 18:57:47
6 Posted 26/11/2009 at 18:58:13
Although I doubt very much that KEOIC had much sway in the Government’s decision I hope they will remember this day and the small part they played the the inevitable demise of our beloved club.
Quite frankly, there has never been a Plan B to the DK project simply because it (whatever "it" might have been) is unaffordable. Even ground sharing is a non-starter because EFC couldn’t make a meaningful contribution and we’d end up as virtual tenants to the RS.
All the talk of new investors, business partnerships etc. is not for real. There is not and never will be a White Knight charging in to save us from the impoverished BK. The business case does not exist for £200+ investment in EFC . The people with that sort of money don’t tend to fritter it away.
Developing GP is a non starter. Even if the footprint were big enough (by making hundreds homeless with no school for the kids) the time period would make it far too costly and the loss of revenue over the years such a project would take would cripple the club finances.
Sadly, today rejection (whilst not altogether unexpected) signals the inevitable decline of EFC as a EPL club. There are no viable alternatives and now the ludites who opposed DK can watch us rot and slide down the leagues. Are KEIOC supporters still laughing in the City?
My guess is not for too much longer .
Will the last person out of Everton Football Club please switch the lights out. We’re all washed up.
7 Posted 26/11/2009 at 19:28:41
One: Revamping GP is too expensive. Means: we really can’t afford it so we are not going to do it.
Two: We need a new site, but that is all about affordability not land. Means: it doesn’t mean what sites we find, we probably won’t be able to afford them.
Three: We would consider a groundshare with LFC, although we would have to look at the financial side of this very carefully. Means: we are now desperate and maybe we could afford this if lots of money is thrown at it by the LCC etc. - but otherwise not.
Two things can be deduced from this. Elstone is a sane man who lives in the real world that our club is actually in. And (under current financial constraints absent a white knight) we are now in a pretty dark place.
8 Posted 26/11/2009 at 19:40:50
9 Posted 26/11/2009 at 19:48:01
DK was a one off opportunity. For whatever reason people opposed it it was our only affordable option.
Staying at GP will mean our inevitable decline. DK would have given us some future, maybe not what most Evertonians would wish for but beggars can’t be choosers.
10 Posted 26/11/2009 at 19:57:51
We started at Stanley park, played at Anfield and then moved to goodison. It would be fitting to come full circle and share stanley park. There was a time when the Everton shared a football programme with Liverpool, and when the Everton team would go to cheer on Liverpool when they brought back a trophy and vice verse.
Everton and Liverpool fans need to put this bitterness to one side and look at the bigger picture. While we squabble amongst ourselves Man Utd Chelsea and Arsenal move further a head of Liverpool and the likes of Man City and Spurs move further a head of ourselves.
Both sides are falling behind and having to fight over the crumbs left by the big spenders. Wouldn’t people rather it be like the 80s when everton and Liverpool were winning everything rather than nothing, or would they rather see there own team be relegated than see Liverpool have some success?
Everton and Liverpool could be like Inter Milan and AC Milan should they come together, if not i can see us becoming more like Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield Utd.
11 Posted 26/11/2009 at 21:13:03
I don’t like the RS as much as any Blue but I’d have no problem sharing a stadium as long as we were equal tenants.
12 Posted 26/11/2009 at 21:18:46
13 Posted 26/11/2009 at 21:12:59
Why should clubs in Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield and other cities have their own grounds and Everton cant.
We would be seen as the junior partner in any joint effort and nothing more than tenants.
Advocates of a shared stadium always quote AC & Inter as a model to follow, if you look into this a little further you will see Inter are currently looking at ways of funding the development of their own ground.
Forget the ground share and look for a new site nearer the city centre or re-develop GP
14 Posted 26/11/2009 at 21:13:50
15 Posted 26/11/2009 at 21:20:56
Blah, blah, luddites, blah blah decline, blah blah, etc
Get over it. DK is DEAD. So stop your bleating, stop talking the club and Goodison Park down and try and contribute to coming up with a solution.
16 Posted 26/11/2009 at 21:53:12
Speke would be just as stupid as I know Speke reasobly well and the only space is a small one. Also the problems evident in Speke are just the same as Kirkby except the city boundaries. Also why don't rather than having a 50 000 seater why not have what's worked for schalike and have a large standing area as that would boost up attendances. To David it was a stupid option mate and a stadium should make no difference its 1 happens on the pitch that matters if we get relegated.
17 Posted 26/11/2009 at 21:02:37
Now in my fifties I witnessed the transformation as Shankly inspired LFC to firstly overtake us and then everyone else.
A unholy contract appeared to be struck with our red bretheren that no matter what position they found themselves in we would dutifully follow at a significant distance behind, even during the last period of sucess in the eighties we lost cup finals to them.
My solace was our supporters, how proud I was when in the early days of SKY a report showing Everton had by far the highest percentage of attendant game fans from the local area. Absolutely nothing against people from other areas, I now live 110miles away but to me it was further proof of the genuinely unique position this club holds ,with Dixie, School of science, league founder members, our holy trinity, nil satis and on it goes.
In addition the numbers that turn up, the shade cast by the stratospheric sucess of our neighbours together with the dross on view for the majority of the time since the seventies means Goodison should have been empty.But it was’nt, I feel it was this uniqueness, this identity that has carried us through.
We have stared over the abyss today and by the grace of god have stepped back, I no longer want us to be servile to our neighbours but the first and most important we must do is find a way of influencing what our board decides, our loyalty has been a double edged sword enabling the club to survive but providing security for unchallenged management. THIS is the most important change we must have, a stadium change can wait.
18 Posted 26/11/2009 at 22:59:22
Inter may well be looking at the option of having their own ground, but having a shared ground certainly hasnt done them any harm. I thought they were the Italian Champions.
Maybe one day when Everton are English Champions and have enough money we can start thinking about having our own stadium but for now the best option is to share.
19 Posted 26/11/2009 at 22:58:12
Nick, if only that were true, we would be challeging for the top four consistently. Sadly, however, as the cases of Chelsea and, latterly, Manchester City show, history and tradition are meaningless in the Sky era. It’s all about the now - and who has the money to spend on players and wages. We are sadly lacking in that department so our attempt to challenge the new order is futile. A little statistic from today’s Times illuminates the position nicely. For the sell out derby game this weekend, we will take around 900,000GBP. On the same day, Arsenal will rake in close to 3 million for their game with Chelsea. Over a season, Everton are worse of by a whopping 40 million.
20 Posted 27/11/2009 at 00:00:01
Kenwrights yes man would be more appropriate, but the thing is even if the majority of blues support this and I dont what about the shite .
There is know way they or there fans would ever consider a ground share not now or not ever.
Anyone who thinks there is the remotest of chances of this happening are living in cloud cookoo land . IT AINT GONNA HAPPEN!
So why are we waisting all this time and effort discussing it on this site, because Wynstone sorry Ellness sorry whoever is Bills fools mesenger at the time says so.
Get real boys its just spin again so dont even go there.
WE need new ideas or a proper evalueation of what the redevelopment of GP will cost or a new site working with the city council [note i said city council not knowsley yippee} to find an alternative site , so lets cut the crap and drop this shared stadium idea now , the idea thats only in the mind of Bill and anyone daft enough to think it could happen.
Come on blues unless you live outside the city you would know were only going to waste more time, so dont even bother to debate it . Lets find a real project that could happen!
21 Posted 27/11/2009 at 00:37:54
22 Posted 27/11/2009 at 01:19:33
DK was not ’a one-off opportunity’
Kings’ Dock was - and who fucked that one up?
23 Posted 27/11/2009 at 01:37:22
24 Posted 27/11/2009 at 02:46:08
Now the board are going to have to eat humble pie and review all those proposals and action one of them.
25 Posted 27/11/2009 at 06:25:39
We can find as many alternatives as we like in Liverpool - unless they come with a price tag for us of less than £100M (if that) we can’t afford them. I’d love to believe we can find such a thing, but it’s hardly likely is it?
As David Conn writes in today’s Guardian - ’Everton run out of options...’. We are now betting on a rich saviour.
26 Posted 27/11/2009 at 07:27:21
Whatever David Conn says in the Guardian DK was not a viable option either as it failed just about every planning regualtion under the sun. Are you going to blame KEIOC/No voters for that. The plain fact of the matter is the it is the clubs leadership who are at fault and the man at the helm should for once admit his own culpability.
27 Posted 27/11/2009 at 09:02:30
If we could afford to go into debt to the tune of £150m for a cow shed in kirkby, we can afford to re vamp Goodison park. If you ask him nicely, I am sure Tom Hughes will spell it out for you. He’s been on this site often ehough doing so.
28 Posted 27/11/2009 at 10:42:35
Liverpool City Council need to show some leadership here - come up with a way to build a stadium owned in some way by the City and the two clubs - it’s a 50-100+ year investment with a guaranteed annual income stream.
The poster who suggest Everton share LIVERPOOLs ground is crazy - would never work (unequal); not withstanding that LFC don’t have any money to build one either!
29 Posted 27/11/2009 at 10:47:11
EFC could not justify bank borrowings of £100M+ and get a return on investment. Redevelopment of GP is far too costly to even consider. The existing footprint is way too small and we would need to get LCC to issue a CPO on all the houses in Goodison Road, Gladys St and Bullens - highly unlikely and who pays the compo?
DK was the only affordable option and the money does not exist for a new site. Likewise, LFC’s new pipe dream was costing £400M+. How could EFC possibly raise 50%?? We certainly wouldn’t want to be junior partners!
Quite simply, we’ve got no money for anything else. So please get real and accept we’re between a rock and a hard place. There will be no White Knight. Haven’t you heard? Even Dubai is skint.
I never said that the KEOIC campaign was responsible or even the anti-DK residents but they never helped. With a united front planning regs can be over ruled but no chance when lobby groups and local councils are lined up in opposition. I believe that in 10 years time all Evertonians will wish we had moved to Kirkby. I will probably be pushing up daisies by then but that doesn’t stop me regretting this only opportunity for the future prosperity of EFC.
30 Posted 27/11/2009 at 11:09:36
The problem at Everton, however, is that the only prospective purchasers out there are only prepared to pump money and give Kenwiright a modest return on his investment. That’s not enough for Mr Kenwright - he’s staked all his savings and pensions on this enterprise and if he wants to enjoy his retirement staying at the Sandy Lane with his pal Michael Winner, he has got to make serious money from any sale of the Toffees. But I suspect that the Manchester City model that will be followed at Goodison will be that of Peter Swales having to virtually give the club away to Francis Lee because the hole that he was in was much too deep. If Mr Kenwright is prepared to accept the modest return he has already been offered, major investment will be forthcoming.
31 Posted 27/11/2009 at 15:08:28
32 Posted 27/11/2009 at 20:21:55
33 Posted 27/11/2009 at 22:02:32
The fact is Bill Kenwright would not've told us that there were no other options unless he had something riding on it. The fact is many other people found this not to be true at all and quite rightly challenged him.
The greed shown by Knowsley council was despicable. Just remember that Kirkby has had a lot of money invested in it and not worked out.
I'm not sure what happens at the shared stadium... for example do the Everton owners get money from Liverpool's gates? Increasingly, Liverpool FC are causing the bitterness. Liverpool have caused this hatred between the fans. Liverpool FCs top employess lack of respect towards Everton is astounding. This is just the council in my opnion as they know Liverpool attract more visitors than Everton and are happy to let them run the city.
34 Posted 27/11/2009 at 22:14:48
Chelsea had no money before Abrahmovic appeared and Man City had nothing before Shinawatra and the sheiks moved in.
Maybe the Kirkby rejection will flush out a major investor who can take us forward with a new ground built to their liking.
A ground share is not the answer, th club will lose its identity and the clubs might even merge. If that ever happens the wheel will have come full circle
35 Posted 28/11/2009 at 14:09:09
I don’t know if you saw the comments on Skysports website? The RS are making out we are the poor relations and they’d be doing us a big fever? There must be somebody out there with the brains to solve this?
BLUE 4 EVER
36 Posted 28/11/2009 at 21:35:01
37 Posted 29/11/2009 at 00:20:24
38 Posted 29/11/2009 at 09:33:30
Let's start playing some decent football. If we can perform better who knows what will happen. Hopefully we can again make this club attractive for investment. Let’s just finish the season and look at the options then.
39 Posted 29/11/2009 at 22:48:49
The sacred nature of the city boundary and surrendering the city to the RS were holy writ to who? For example, KEIOC — a perfect example of the love that dare not mention its name. Well the name was Liverpool, not OC, and as far as I can tell South Liverpool is part of OC.
Colin Blake raises interesting points about the asset value of football clubs. He obviously knows more about this than me. And seems to know who has offered Kenwright good money to buy the club, but apparently not enough. Come on Colin — name names and figures. Don’t be, what’s the word, shadowy.
It couldn’t have been Shinawatara as he was still PM of Thailand when he put in a bid for the RS, to general surprise, but in his retirement he managed to acquire Man City. He faces charges of money laundering in Thailand but to my knowledge the City deal isn’t part of that. But a banker’s cheque from Abu Dhabi into a Swiss account could just have come in handy to pay the electric bill that quarter.
Colin claims that Kenwright has staked everything he owns in his Everton venture (I paraphrase of course — the potentially libelous words are his).
Colin — how do you know? Please tell us.
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