Elstone – We have a burning ambition to push on

Tuesday 28 February 2017  81 Comments  [Jump to last]

Everton Chief Executive, Robert Elstone, has been speaking of the club's ambition and hopes of finally resolving the vexing stadium issue as part of special coverage by Sky Sports.

The broadcaster's cameras have been at USM Finch Farm today covering the Blues from all angles and speaking to many key figures and they kicked the day off with Adam Leventhal sitting down with the CEO and club ambassador Graeme Sharp.

Elstone talked of the renewed ability of Everton to take big steps towards rejoining England's elite group of clubs now that investor Farhad Moshiri is on board.

“One thing Evertonians are is fiercely ambitious,” he began. “We are content where we are. Is it where we want to be; is it where want to end up? Absolutely not.

“Everton fans and Everton Football Club wants to push on and that burning ambition is inherent in everything we do — in our manager. in our chairman, and indeed in our new majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri. Ambition really transcends the whole football club.

“We're on a good run of form punctuated by the disappointment of an FA Cup game (against Leicester) and you know the FA Cup is something very, very special to Evertonians and we wish we were there.

“But our League form is very, very good and clearly we're heading in the right direction and the ambition remains to push on even higher right top the very top.”

New stadium has to work commercially

Elstone was asked how the club intends to strike a balance between the “vision” of a new stadium and the wrench of moving away from Goodison Park.

“It's the most important decision we'll make in recent times. It's a decision that will live for us for generations so we have to get it right.

“It's absolutely something we need to move forward. There are lots of features and qualities about Goodison that we wish to retain and take with us around atmosphere, about proximity to pitch, around intensity, around a place where opposition clubs really don't want to come and play. If we can bottle that and take that with us then we'll have done well.

“Financially, it's a massive decision. This is a multi-million pound investment. For Everton in a stadium that we're currently filling at 40,000 seats, it's not as if we've got as huge waiting list of any army of fans ready to move in. [We] we have to make sure that it works for us.

“For us it it's also about future-proofing because ultimately Goodison will need us to keep investing and it's also about a statement of intent. Both of those things are harder to put down on a business plan.

”Having said all that, we're confident now that we're moving towards a solution for the problem that has remained with us throughout this of how we're going to afford it.

“It's a big investment — where's the money going to come from to build it. There's a lot of work gone into that and we're getting close, we hope, to resolving that problem.”

 

Reader Comments (81)

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Mike Berry
1 Posted 28/02/2017 at 16:29:11
It's obvious we are moving to a new stadium.

That said, I don't think the capacity issue will be a problem, there are many fans from outside of Merseyside who don t come for logistical reason, no easy parking, too far to walk etc.

I am sure with a new ground and transport infrastructure etc, the ground will be swamped with additional fans from outside as well as inside Merseyside.

Matthew Williams
2 Posted 28/02/2017 at 16:37:56
Prove it... win on Sunday, then I'll believe.
Gordon Crawford
3 Posted 28/02/2017 at 16:39:22
This man fills me with no confidence. We will probably end up with a 41,000-seater stadium by the sound of it.
Jimmy Salt
4 Posted 28/02/2017 at 16:46:22
One of the reasons people don't go (including myself) is that the seats are obstructed. I'm not paying to duck under a gantry or look round a post all the way through a game.

I go the odd game but would buy a season ticket if we had a new stadium.

Patrick Murphy
5 Posted 28/02/2017 at 16:47:41
I agree, Mike (#1),

The next home game against West Brom has already sold out and the visit of Hull is also heading that way. Given that a new stadium, pending on its location, will have better facilities and better views, those who are perhaps put off from visiting Goodison are more likely to part with their cash to make a visit to a ground relatively close to the City Centre.

Another aspect, is the marketing team seem to be getting better at promoting the club and today's coverage on Sky Sports News should help to gain Everton FC a few new fans or at least pique the curiosity of those who don't already have a club allegiance.

The most important aspect of it all, is to have a decent team, challenging for the top places in the league, that will ensure that any new ground is full to capacity.

James Hughes
6 Posted 28/02/2017 at 17:02:16
Patrick, just to comment on that, I have just booked the last available ticket for Hull according to the ticket office. Top balcony or nowt. so another sell-out for game. COYB
Brent Stephens
7 Posted 28/02/2017 at 17:02:40
Gordon (#3),

"This man fills me with no confidence. We will probably end up with a 41,000-seater stadium by the sound of it".

Do you really believe they'd spend big money to add just 1,500 to the gate? That's not real.

Mike Byrne
8 Posted 28/02/2017 at 17:18:16
Mike Berry (#1),

If you think parking is bad at Goodison with spaces on all four sides, how much better do you think it will at a dock? My biggest concern about the dock is parking – there is very very little around there and very few pubs or train stations within walking distance.

Brian Williams
9 Posted 28/02/2017 at 17:22:10
My guess would be 50k, with the ability to increase it to 60k should/when the need arises. Easily done these days too.
Bernard Dooley
10 Posted 28/02/2017 at 17:23:00
I am less worried about our CEO than Gordon is. Elstone has a key role in helping fulfill Moshiri's ambitious plans for the club and to keep that job he has to be part of the solution, not the problem many TW posters believe he is.

My stomach dropped when Elstone said "its not as if we have a huge waiting list", but reading further its all about convincing investors that if we build it, the fans will come, filling it week in week out. I am with Mike (#1) and Jimmy (#4) in believing that there are many, many Evertonians not currently attending due to the difficulty of getting tickets and there will be great demand for seats in a new stadium on the waterfront.

So what size stadium would demonstrate our ambition and our "statement of intent"?

Sunderland have the Stadium of Light with 48,700 seats selling 89% week-in & week-out based on last season's figures. Man City: 55,100 selling 99%; Arsenal: 60,200 also selling 99% every Premier League game.

I believe Everton need to think big, nearer 60,000 than 50,000, but I see the problem in proving that level of need when they present the business plan.

Gordon Crawford
11 Posted 28/02/2017 at 17:45:07
Brent, my heart hopes for a 60,000-seater stadium. My head tells me it's never going to happen, especially with Elstone and Co at the helm. But then optimism takes over and tells me everything is going to be fine.

So here's to a 70,000-seater stadium at the docks. 😉😆

Liam Reilly
12 Posted 28/02/2017 at 17:59:12
You can't create an atmosphere of the ground is only 2 thirds full.

50k I'd say is about right for the club in its current progression; but with the foresight to extend in the future without having to start over.

Bobby Thomas
13 Posted 28/02/2017 at 18:15:52
Definitely no more than 50-55k for now. Adding 10,000 with the new stadium effect (which is proven before anyone starts) is well within our capability, when you take into consideration the obstructed views and one other important consideration, which is that Everton hasn't been progressed for years.

The club has been on a leash for a long, long time. Such a statement will really begin to unlock the potential of the club and by extension, the size of the fan base. Look at Newcastle's gates now for example. They were getting fuck all previously. Check the difference between Sunderland's gates at Roker and post move at the Stadium of Light – and they went there still in Division One after blowing promotion, which was crucial to the launch of the stadium. First season they averaged touching 40k, I think, in Division One.

If we build that stadium and show, for the first time in decades, that we actually mean business, we can add 10k on the league gate, no problem. People, and the thousands of latent Evertonians, will be buzzing.

Mike Green
14 Posted 28/02/2017 at 18:35:27
Tickets for our next two home games are sold out – that's against WBA and Hull City.

Thousands of those tickets are either obstructed or the equivalent of looking through a letterbox.

You only have to look at the demand for tickets for away games, the travelling contingent we get if we play abroad and the massive demand when we get to Wembley to know that we would fill a 50,000-seater more often than not and could probably push a bit higher too.

You've got to keep your core support though and not price them out of the market otherwise you get the Emirates effect where there's no atmosphere and swathes of empty seats on a game where the tourists aren't interested.

The foundation of it all though is a successful team – build that and you could build up to almost any size stadium and they would come.

Great views, low prices, good atmosphere and a top team to watch challenging for honours and you'd have a full house every week.

Patrick Murphy
15 Posted 28/02/2017 at 18:38:14
Mike there's also the not so small matter of the visiting supporters. They might choose to avoid visiting Goodison at the moment, but would attend a new ground with better vantage points in greater numbers.
Patrick Murphy
16 Posted 28/02/2017 at 18:48:34
According to Radio Merseyside the city of Liverpool has been put foward as a replacement for Durban to host the 2022 Commonwealth games.

Liverpool has put forward its interest in hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022 after it emerged that Durban may be unable remain as host because of financial constraints.

South Africa's sports minister, Fikile Mbalula, told Reuters: "We gave it our best shot but we can't go beyond. If the country says we don't have this money, we can't." – AFP

Liverpool is interested in hosting the games in 2022. We had heard rumours that Durban might be unable to deliver the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and have already indicated to the Government that we are very willing to host them instead.

Liverpool City Council spokesperson

Dave Williams
17 Posted 28/02/2017 at 18:56:38
I have met Robert Elstone and he is a very decent and impressive man and well capable of playing his part in moving the club forward.
Julian Wait
18 Posted 28/02/2017 at 18:57:43
"We're going to build our business model around keeping exactly the same number of customers"

... said no real CEO ever!

Based on Elstone's comments, I am expecting 50,000 with expansion to 60,000; I was hoping for a bit more, especially on the upside, but this seems like expectation management to me.

Also, have they not done any REAL market research to see what the latent / pent up demand is? What they could fill if they give kids much cheaper tickets for the upper seats and corner (if there are any)? etc etc . hopefully all this stuff is in the works but Elstone doesn't exactly make you brim with confidence in that, does he?

The closing comments re finance are also a little alarming given the Kings Dock fiasco.

Mike Green
19 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:00:48
Good point, Patrick – it'd be interesting to see if you took the risk to boost the away contingent significantly, which would lift the atmosphere in general and could in turn boost the noise from the home support.
Jay Harris
20 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:04:40
Build it and they will come.

Someone needs to remind Elstone we once had a 78,000+ crowd and were getting over 60,000 in the sixties for some games.

If we have got ambition to be successful on the pitch, then we need ambition in the stadium capacity too.

Brian Cleveland
21 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:13:52
Not sure really about the argument that more will come because it will be easier to get to by transport (supposedly).

Don't forget that, if I'm not mistaken, we have the largest "walk up" attendance of any Premier League club, i.e. no transport required. Is it possible we could actually lose some of those in a move?

I'm by no means against the move, but I think that's one point that is being overlooked.

Mike Berry
22 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:16:53
Just to add to my point.

I am sure there will be lots of adequate space allocated for parking on match days, a rail link for locals is already in the plan for the Bramley-Moore Dock site, when it happens.

For those outside it will be easy to travel by train to Lime Street with bus/taxis far more viable with costs than on to Goodison as now, plus the added simplicity.

50,000 ? it will be a sellout every home game and waiting lists to boot, so additional seating may have to be looked at.

Tony Abrahams
23 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:17:58
Interesting news that, Patrick, about Liverpool putting themselves forward to host the commonwealth games, four years earlier. Moshiri, and Joe Anderson, both seem to be in a hurry, so maybe this might just fall into place?

We Don't want a running track, I know, but this bid for these games would kick-start everything and I can't see the point of Liverpool as a city, wanting to host these games if the stadium is not going to show-case our famous waterfront?

Patrick Murphy
24 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:20:37
Tony (#23),

I agree, however, I'm a little concerned that, if the City of Liverpool doesn't get those games in 2022, albeit by default, would that mean that Everton wouldn't be able to afford the Docks? We'll find out soon enough I suppose.

Richard Reeves
25 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:32:13
Julian (#18),

I agree, With the money from naming rights, the TV deal and other sponsorships that will probably be available the gate receipts are almost insignificant in comparison so at such a time when there's so much money in the game it would be the right time to reduce ticket prices or offer deals to increase the fan base and fill up a new stadium.

I'd prefer 60,000 with room for expansion and ways of getting the stadium filled than 50,000 with room for expansion.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:34:59
Mike (#22),

Goodison Park is possibly closer to Lime Street Station than Bramley-Moore Dock is, but I do agree we can fill a 50,000-seater stadium right now. I would never have thought that possible ten years ago, but something's changed, and it does amaze me that so many people go to Goodison now, despite the awful views.

Shutting my eyes, I can see a new train station, a new landing stage, with maybe even a few hovercrafts being called into duty for Everton's home games? If it costs £3.40 for a car to travel through the tunnel and back, before you pay car parking fees, then this is definitely going to be a viable way for a lot of people to be going to the "New Goodison Park" by the sea!

Paul Mackie
27 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:49:07
Make the new stadium accessible by rail and I'll buy a season ticket and travel from Leeds every home game. No way I'm paying £40 + travel to do that now when I'm going to have a shite view. Fairly sure I'm not the only one in that position either.

Good to hear all the people running the club acknowledging that what makes Goodison a nasty place for teams to come are the atmosphere it can generate (when the team gets the crowd up for it) and the proximity of the fans to the pitch. I'm filled with something that might be hope. I'd feel a lot more hopeful if Elstone wasn't involved though.

Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:55:45
Patrick, I used to be such a cynical person but the older I get, the less bothered I feel about most things, and just consider everything as being part of life.

My views have changed because the person in-charge has changed but I know what you mean, and we can't be really happy until a proper announcement has been made. That said, Patrick, I'm watching Tangled with my 3-year-old daughter, and listening to the song, "I Had A Dream"!

My own dream is that with Usmanov, in the back-ground, even the most expensive stadium in the world would appear cheap. 1st Reason is because of how much money he has, or 2nd Reason being, because of how much steel this fella owns?

Take your pick but either will do for me, mate, as long as we don't get a fucking big running track!

Joe McMahon
29 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:59:58
Goodison Park is not fit for purpose, for a Premier League club in a major city. Everton have enjoyed the riches of being in the premier league since it's inception which makes it even more of a disgrace.

I only attend the odd away game as I can't commit to a season ticket and by the time home games are on general sale it's means paying rather a lot for a shity wooden seat and /or an obstructive view.

I also think (IMO) that a much better stadium will bring in more people including away fans. Look at Brighton's stadium tonight and look at the facilities of Goodison.

I do also think Liverpool FC will get any Commonwealth Games stadium (à la Man City).

Colin Glassar
30 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:11:35
I think it's a miracle we get so many bums on seats at Goodison tbh. The amenities are crap, the stadium is falling down, the view from some sections is abominable etc – but I still love the old dump, so many memories.

Build a new comfortable, state-of-the-art stadium on the Mersey with a 20,000 (new Gwladys Street) all-standing Blue Wall which will scare the shit out our opponents and the rest of the place will fill itself.

Moshiri – give us a winning team and we will fill your stadium to the rafters.

Rob Halligan
31 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:13:54
Joe McMahon, why do you think the RS should get the new Commonwealth Games stadium, if one is built?
Bobby Mallon
32 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:16:14
Mike Byrne @8 ,

Are you really only worried about a pub close by? There are lots in the town centre.

Richard Nelson
33 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:21:46
I was talking to my lad the other day about the time we got up for the Swindon game in 1994 (6-2). We travel 240 miles round trip and we were 2 of about 50 in the old Park End. The attendance just over 20,000.

Tried getting tickets for the Hull game on Sunday... sold out! Flabbergasted... HULL..!

Joe McMahon
34 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:22:26
Rob (#31),

I don't want them to (I never said I did), I can just see it happening. If all goes to plan, Everton will have a much better stadium than Liverpool FC at Anfield. With that in mind, do you honestly see them staying there if a Commonwealth Games stadium is built?

Bobby Mallon
35 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:28:13
Joe @29, so there will be two new waterfront 55,000 seat stadiums then. Are the council paying for Liverpool's?
Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:38:25
That Anfield was a fucking shit-hole when we left it in the 1800s, so they will deffo be fuming if we build on the docks!
Andrew Presly
37 Posted 28/02/2017 at 21:04:31
Robert Elstone is very lucky to be coming along for the ride that is the Moshiri / Usmanov era.

All doubts I have about our dreams being realised are based on his and Kenwright's continued presence at the club.

The latter I can just about see being of some symbolic value if put kindly but Elstone? Na.

Eugene Ruane
38 Posted 28/02/2017 at 21:12:14
My guess (and that's all it is) is that at 50,000, in the dock, we might be able to regularly fill it (hotels, tourists, visitor weekend packages etc) but more than that and I see empty seats (obviously success or lack of it playing a part).

And a 50,000-seater anywhere else? Between 5,000 and 15,000 empty seats depending on exactly where.

As for smiler Elstone, there are few people I find shiftier. Given his years of obvious bluffing and empty marketing bluster-speak, imo this self-serving careerist's motives would be more subtly displayed with a forehead tattoo reading 'only in it for me.'

Patrick Murphy
39 Posted 28/02/2017 at 21:20:35
Eugene (#38) You could well be correct about Suntan Bob as apparently he plays this first thing every morning when he arrives in the office.

All About Me

Dan Davies
40 Posted 28/02/2017 at 21:24:53
Somewhere in the region of 52,000 with a capability of extending to 72,000 over time sounds really good!
Graham Mockford
41 Posted 28/02/2017 at 21:30:45
In some ways, the actual capacity is a bit of a moot point. It's about optimising net revenue to repay the investment.

We could fill a 60,000-seater stadium easily if the pricing structure was designed that way. West Ham are averaging 56k per game on the back of really competitive pricing.

To some degree their hand is forced because the stadium was built and they need to fill it; otherwise they have a bit of a PR disaster and no one wants to play to half empty stadiums. Of course because of the hugely preferential commercial terms they have received its no problem to them and they have probably increased match day revenue significantly.

We would be building from scratch so getting the cost / revenue equation is important. For instance building 60k capacity as opposed to 50k would be more expensive and would have higher operating costs.

The revenue increase is not linear based on attendance and revenue per head starts dropping at a certain level of demand. Ultimately they will have the accountants with their numbers modelling the various scenarios. Unless you are privy to the numbers, knowing the optimum capacity is just guesswork.

Paul Turner
42 Posted 28/02/2017 at 22:14:49
Just read on BBC News website that mayor Joe has put the city forward to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games... time to get the Bramley-Moore stadium planning under way...? Imagine Everton as European Champions hosting a major event?! I can dream...
Colin Gee
43 Posted 28/02/2017 at 22:36:58
My heart wants to stay at Goodison, but my head says it's time to move on. As much as I don't want to leave Goodison, the fact is that we have to move; every home game has sold out this season and that's with all those obstructed views.

If we go to the docks then we have to build at least 60,000-seater stadium. Imagine no obstructed views and how many more will come, imagine the Banks of the Royal Blue Mersey...

Imagine Everton captain Tom Davies scoring the goal that wins Everton the League in season 2020-21 and sends the RS down back to where they belong.

For those who say we won't fill it, of course we will!

Don Alexander
44 Posted 01/03/2017 at 00:40:03
The current match-day experience involves all sorts of feelings and emotions by virtue/vice of the where Goodison is and the memories we all share. For too many years, it's been in a decrepit area, to put it mildly, but the whole area thrives on match-days. As grotty as some of the nearby pubs are they bounce before and after a match. Similarly take-aways and caffs. Population surrounds Goodison, if not strangles it. We're amongst real people.

The image of a state-of-the-art world class stadium on the banks of the Royal Blue (shitty grey in reality) Mersey is superficially enticing but the present reality of the desolation in and around the Bradley-Moore Dock cannot be under-estimated in terms of match-day experience. I just hope the catalyst of a new bankside stadium proves not to be the white elephant it might be if other investors, chiefly a cash-strapped council, then decide they can't afford to upgrade the whole surrounding area into a space where people want to be, socially at least, but preferably by living there too.

And if anyone's interested me Ma's family lived from 1910-83 on the dockside off Bankhall, Street. I remember the vibe actual residents brought to what was admittedly in its latter years a decrepit area. In comparison those decrepit days seem like Las Vegas to what's there now.

All I'm saying is that it'll take more than a tram-line to the city centre and a ginormous car-park to make the BM area attractive for the true fan seeking social life and an attractive vibe before and after a game.

Gary Russell
45 Posted 01/03/2017 at 00:45:37
Mike @ 8,

Am I missing something here? Goodison is less than a 2-mile walk away from Bramley-Moore Dock. Kirkdale Station is also 2 miles away, Bankhall Station 1.5, and Sandhills Station 1 mile to the north. To the south, Lime Street is 2 miles away. You have pubs within 30 minutes all around, and the town center on the doorstep.

If this happens, a large number will not have to change their match day boozer. So all this shite about pubs and trains, is errrr... SHITE! Parking is another story, but who knows what they might come up with. I'd guess parking is a major pain for any ground and city.

Great point about the away fans, Patrick. The Mancs and Liverpool allocations could be what, 10,000, more? Newcastle and some other teams have large away armies of fans. It is something to look into closely, the match day experience for ALL fans.

I think I saw something a season or two ago about Brighton's new ground and how they bent over backwards in that regard. If done properly, Everton away could be a game many others fans look forward to going to. I'd argue more for a 60,000 gaff.

Joe O'Brien
46 Posted 01/03/2017 at 01:11:04
Lads, isn't it great that we're not talking about Stonebridge? That option looks like isn't died a death. Would be happy with a 55k with the option to extend... the shite have 54k, so just to rub assault salt into the(ir) wounds.
Jim Potter
47 Posted 01/03/2017 at 01:52:59
I see the Mayor is talking about the city of Liverpool being willing to step in as host of the Commonwealth Games if Durban choose to pull out because of budgetary problems.

Now I may be getting ahead of myself but doesn't this begin to indicate where some of the future funding for our new stadium might be coming from?

Obviously we need financial help for such a huge undertaking as a new home – but what kind of venue will we be left with when a running track will be an essential prerequisite?

Yes, I know they can cover these up and even place seating over the track – but it doesn't bode well for the close, intimidating and atmospheric stadium Moshiri mentioned that he wanted.

All conjecture currently, and beggars can't be choosers, but it may not be the bearpit I'd hoped for.

Mike Galley
48 Posted 01/03/2017 at 08:49:43
Just a thought with regards to any potential parking problems with regards to a new (bigger) stadium. Something will be done with the left over site that the old girl currently stands in.

How about we keep it, and convert it into a massive EFC themed car park with some sort of park and ride facility to the (hopefully) new Bramley-Moore stadium.

We could possibly sell parking season tickets and let it out to the other shower when they're playing at home.

I've no way of knowing if this is financially viable so please go easy on me if it's not, but it could solve two problems and keep a link with our historical home at the same time.

Anybody got any thoughts on this?

Brian Hennessy
49 Posted 01/03/2017 at 09:21:38
Graham @41 hit the nail on the head – If you get the pricing structure right, I think we will need a stadium above 55,000.

I hope I am wrong but, having listened to Elstone yesterday, I think we are quite a way off any stadium announcement and I fear finances are not yet in place.

Alan McGuffog
50 Posted 01/03/2017 at 09:35:58
Joe I certainly hope Stonebridge / Gillmoss is dead in the water. I still have this gut wrenching feeling that sometime soon Our Glorious Leader will say "You know lads, we all wanted BM, but it's a no go. But wait till you see what we can have on the East Lancs !"

It will be the end of any dreams we may have. Eugene said a 50,000 stadium anywhere but BM would see 5-15 thousand empty seats. He's an optimist. If we end up in Legoland Gillmoss, we will be fortunate to achieve averages of 30,000. Why would fans continue to support a club with no ambition.

We cannot afford NOT to move to an iconic stadium on the waterfront . (I coulda been a contender film buffs )

Derek Thomas
51 Posted 01/03/2017 at 10:01:13
I don't give a rats arse about LCC or the Commonwealth Games; who's going to pay for that, most Councils are borderline broke.

If they want us to have a running track, for which they will have to make a serious cash contribution to, which isn't going to happen. Then they might as well take the 3-400 m and throw it in the river.

Even Elstone mentioned 'Close to the Action'.
No
Fucking
Running
Track

David Graves
52 Posted 01/03/2017 at 10:03:47
Agree with the suggestion that pricing structure is key.

A colleague has just returned from watching PSV – £60 for the ticket which includes a £20 voucher to be spent in the club shop and a £10 food and drink voucher! Why can't we do the same?

Tony Hill
53 Posted 01/03/2017 at 10:40:41
Eugene Ruane is correct. Analyse what Elstone says in these quotes and the manner of his saying it. Then be worried.

I draw from this that he has nothing substantial at all to offer and that the new stadium remains a fantasy.

David S Shaw
54 Posted 01/03/2017 at 10:41:11
60,000 with expansion to 80,000.

You don't need to sell out every game, in fact if you do then it means the stadium is too small.

If we're talking about getting a 60,000 stadium now, how many will we need if this stadium does progress us by a couple of levels in the decades to come?

Regular Champions League football, top quality players, a whole generation of new fans with attractive prices, 60,000 will not be enough in the future if this stadium works.

Kevin Tully
55 Posted 01/03/2017 at 11:16:11
People said: "We can't sell out Goodison Park with 40,000 seats" (plus obstructed views)... We have, all season.

They also said: "You can't sell out the corporate facilities we have now." We did, with even off-site provision sold out.

We heard how nobody wants to buy Everton merchandise – another red herring. None of these things have happened because of silverware, just renewed hope.

I could go on, but one thing we need to bear in mind is that this club has been starved of success and on-field investment for a generation. The Premier League is going from strength to strength, with no signs that the bubble is about to burst. For too long we have been held back by people without any vision for the club.

This is the first time 'ambition' and Everton have been mentioned publicly. We even instigated the formation of the Premier league and were left on the platform, waving goodbye to that particular gravy train! You couldn't make up some of the mistakes that have blighted the way the club has been left behind by it's parochial mindset.

We now seem to have a man in charge who has a vision that is befitting a club of our stature at last. I only hope he isn't listening to the men who have overseen this club morphing into a West Brom or a Stoke City.

Make no mistake, this City is football mad. We have a window of opportunity to capture the imagination of the whole of Merseyside and the wider football supporting public. A chance to put the lovable neighbours back in their place.

A 60,000 seat stadium is required. Once we see Champions League football, Mr Moshiri will be kicking himself he never made it 75,000.

Brian Harrison
56 Posted 01/03/2017 at 11:25:37
I am sure that, if we move to the docks ,then there will be a contingency plan to expand the stadium depending on circumstances. We will probably build a 50,000-seater with the ability to increase to 60,000 or more at a later date.

I think most fans are desperate to hear the club announce where and when we will be moving to a new ground. Also, with Liverpool now throwing its hat into the ring for the Commonwealth Games, that may increase pressure to get on with the move. As I would imagine the Council wouldn't want to have to build a purpose-built stadium just for the Commonwealth Games.

Graham Mockford
57 Posted 01/03/2017 at 11:34:46
Kevin (#55),

I really think the reason attendances have gone up in the last couple of seasons is the discounted pricing structure introduced for kids, juniors, seniors etc along with an overall reduction this season of 5%.

Whilst this is a good thing as we are playing to full houses, making it affordable for more of our core support, it does suggest we are having to stimulate demand and there is a ceiling not far off at Goodison Park.

Building a new stadium with a better location, facilities would further stimulate demand but talk of 75,000 is pie in the sky. Only three teams Dortmund, Man Utd and Barca get close to this.

I suspect, but am only guessing any new stadium would be c50-55k.

Kevin Tully
58 Posted 01/03/2017 at 11:52:36
One word, Graham – success. How many new supporters could we attract? I don't know, and I don't suppose anyone can say really. The club deserve a lot of credit for their pricing structure, especially for younger supporters. Surely this is our chance to extend that sort of scheme to 3 or even 4 times the size? A huge family enclosure if you like.

Add into the mix double the current capacity for away support, then I would say 60,000 is easily achievable. I think we will sell out 32,000 season tickets this season, I have always believed we could sell 45,000 with a little success and the right facilities.

David S Shaw
59 Posted 01/03/2017 at 12:43:22
You have to consider how you expand not just the number it can expand too.

You want a choice of what stand to be able to extend from, plus you want that extension to be in proportion to the rest of the ground for it to still look decent.

So if you just want to extend by 10,000 how would you do that? 4 very tiny tiers holding 2-3,000 each? Or one huge tier adding 10,000, both would make the stadium look unbalanced.

If you plan for 20,000, then 4 additional tiers of 4-6,000 would give you choice of stand plus balance. Equally, it also means that you can do a worthwhile one-off expansion of 4-6,000, and the stadium will still look good having a 64-66,000 capacity. Plus you still have room for more expansion when and if we become accustomed to that.

Graham Mockford
60 Posted 01/03/2017 at 13:26:35
Kevin

I said earlier that 60,000 could be achievable but only with exceptionally priced ticketing even if you are successful.

But the bigger you build, the more it costs. Understanding how demand varies with price is the key to building something that is commercially viable.

Arsenal and Spurs have both built / are building capacities of 60k.

Man City operate on crowds of 46k and they will probably increase that to 52k or so with the addition of a third tier on the stand similar to what they did at the other end two years ago. They often struggle to sell out non PL games and hence heavily discount tickets for such games.

I would suggest their supporter profile is most similar to our own in relation to our own although they probably pull from a bigger catchment.

I might like to think I was sitting in a sold out 75k stadium every week I suspect my original estimate of 50-55k is nearer the mark.

Bernard Dooley
61 Posted 01/03/2017 at 15:22:54
Graham, Man City are listed as having a current capacity of a shade over 55,000 and their average Premier League attendance last season was 54,041, so they are 98% filling it for each match. So I can see why they would want to expand it further.
Graham Mockford
62 Posted 01/03/2017 at 15:58:16
Bernard

You are right, I was a year out of date. The attendance rose from 46 to 54 last year upon completion of last years new third tier.

They have the option to extend the other end of the ground and I think you are right they probably will, but they have done it in a staged manner.

And of course the point was well made by David that you build in such away that future expansion is possible.

I repeat I'd be amazed if we built a 60k stadium.

Jamie Crowley
63 Posted 01/03/2017 at 16:11:44
I think I may be the only person on planet earth who doesn't want us to build a 60k-seat stadium.

Personally, I prefer the smaller venues. I'd use an American example (yes, yes, I know... fraught with peril) of the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park.

It's imperative, to me at any rate, that we do not build a soulless, fit-as-many-as-you-can stadium. The atmosphere is everything. Once you get over 50k, you lose some of that in my opinion. Atmosphere – that bear-pit locale – surely translates to more home results?

I've seen meccas built, only to have the top tier empty or sparse. I'd prefer a venue that sells out every single game while accommodating demand just enough for an increase; keeping that demand sky-high by selling out continually.

All the while keeping the soul of the place intact.

Sell-outs are paramount. "Small" with real atmosphere and an aura about the place.

1,500 square-foot homes say... "Home". 5,000 square-foot homes are just shit structures where no one interacts and family, as well as whole rooms, get lost and unused. Perhaps a weak analogy, perhaps not...

David Graves
64 Posted 01/03/2017 at 17:06:50
I agree with the comparisons between our selves and City. They've had success, spent massively and yet still don't selI out for Champions League group games. I don't believe that we would sell 70 or 80k tickets.

On another theme,why on earth would we want provision for 10,000 away fans at our home games? I'd rather have a smaller capacity with the away fans tucked away up in the gods as per Old Trafford and the Emirates!

Paul Burns
65 Posted 01/03/2017 at 17:14:22
I see local worthy, Joe Anderson, has put Liverpool forward to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 because Durban can't afford it. According to him, we can build a stadium on Peel Holding's land at the docks. Something in there sounds a bit familiar?

Seriously, Joe Anderson had better not start trying to hold Everton to ransom by insisting that a running track be part of any new stadium bid by us. We're not having a white elephant athletics track anywhere in our new football stadium and Joe can whinge all he likes.

I can't believe he is considering building a second stadium in the same vicinity so I can only assume this is his intention and it seems to have passed under the radar so far of the implications of his statement. Evertonians must make sure this nonsense is strangled at birth and Anderson makes it crystal clear just exactly what he is up to. We will not pay the price for one of his vanity projects.

Rob Halligan
66 Posted 01/03/2017 at 18:26:23
Is right, David (#64). OT holds 76k yet we one get just over 3k. The Emirates holds 60k and again we only get about 3k.
Lev Vellene
67 Posted 01/03/2017 at 18:50:00
I won't mind if they build a stadium for 50-60k, as long as they plan for expansions at the time. Like building supports for a third tier (or whatever), even if they don't do more than two at the time. Some good forward planning could let us expand easily when the time seems appropriate.

So design a three-tier stadium, but just finish two. Then only the roofing might need removing for expansions, unless they made the roofing fit for a three-tier stadium from the start anyway...

Paul Burns
68 Posted 01/03/2017 at 19:21:01
There are loads of people who have stopped going but would go to a new stadium.

Elstone waffles about ambition then displays absolutely none. That weak grin in the photo sums him up, a cheap mouthpiece out of his depth.

West Ham have never had a home crowd even approaching 50.000 until they moved. This has been replicated on many occasions by other clubs.

Don't take us for mugs.

Graham Mockford
69 Posted 01/03/2017 at 19:47:33
Paul

West Ham have filled their stadium by having the cheapest ticket prices in the Premier League.

A season ticket can be bought for £289, U16s are £99.

I'm sure we could fill a stadium of 60,000 on a similar basis. The difference is West Ham got their stadium for a steal of £4m per year rent and very little capital investment.

We will have to finance our own. Just because you could fill a 60,000 stadium doesn't mean it is the right commercial decision.

Stephen Coles
70 Posted 02/03/2017 at 12:57:52
Everyone seems concerned about the capacity etc. I'm concerned by the fact they still don't know how they are going to fund it. If we can't afford it then it ain't going to happen.
Tom Hughes
71 Posted 02/03/2017 at 13:08:38
Do I detect a slight reticence in Robert Elstone's remarks? A perhaps familiar reticence, that usually signaled the demise of yet another failed stadium plan? Plans that had previously been unveiled to great fanfare, usually when pressure was growing for answers to searching questions from fans and shareholders?

Of course, the financial and cultural backdrop is supposed to be much healthier now, so perhaps it is just the natural caution and restraint of a CEO angling to get the best deal at a critical point in the process. Or is this to prepare us to accept a Commonwealth Games bid with ensuing athletics track or compromised design, or god-forbid Stonebridge Cross? Time will tell.

On a personal view, I have some slight reservations regarding Bramley-Moore Dock. Public Transport is absolutely key to any stadium-planning process, and proximity to the city-centre is important because of the concentration there of bus and train services and hubs. Everything is relative of course, but Bramley-Moore is not as "on top of town" as some people have said on this thread. This really isn't an edge of city-centre stadium site. It is almost 2 miles from Liverpool's One's bus station, and 2.3 miles from Lime Street Station, making it only marginally closer than Goodison Park is to the city centre.

On top of that, there are almost no bus routes serving the site within easy walking distance, compared to many existing routes serving Walton in all directions. The one saving grace is that the Northern Line is relatively close to the Dock, and Sandhills Station serves direct routes to all stations on this network, with over 20 trains per hour, but this is further away from BM than GP is from Kirkdale station.

A new station at Vauxhall would be slightly closer to the stadium, and would help alleviate that situation, but would still leave the vast majority of Liverpool districts with no direct public transport service to the new venue.

Thankfully, this section of the Merseyrail system has high capacity, and if supplemented by extended bus services via the city-centre might help make this the non-car-led venue we really need. This is very important for any new stadium to avoid gridlock, particularly post-match when the inconvenience caused can deter fans from returning. This would be especially the case for a waterfront stadium, where all access is from one side only. Yes, I understand the attraction of a waterfront site, but this certainly isn't the Kings Dock in terms of access or amenity, and should not be confused for it.

The Liverpool Waters developments could change much of that perception and add further required infrastructure. I expect Peel and LCC hope that a stadium complex could form a catalyst to jump-start that scheme, as has happened at similar sites elsewhere, but it is not a given. Therefore, the club should seek assurances that something bigger than the current token "Soccerbus" can be provided by local operators.

Steve Ferns
72 Posted 02/03/2017 at 13:36:43
The Council have already said that they would build a new train station, presumably on the Northern Line. As it is, Sandhills is actually quite close. As someone who lived in the City centre, I used to walk home from the game regularly, and sometimes I walked straight down onto the Dock Road and then home.

I can assure you that Bramley-Moore is a hell of a lot closer than Goodison Park. I would say it's a 30 min walk at worst, and I did it in 20 mins myself. There is already a couple of pubs around there, and more would open up if we do end up there, and that's without factoring in all the trendy wine bars as part of the Waterways project.

The dock location is great. It is on the edge of the city centre, although not right on the top of the town, and it's easily in walking distance of Moorefields (next to where I lived) and probably 25-35 minutes walk to Lime Street.

Terence Beresford
74 Posted 02/03/2017 at 16:57:05
I contacted Everton a few years ago when full houses where a rarity. I wanted them to reduce the cost of obstructed views. My thoughts where knock a tenner off or make them half-price as that would help fill the stadium.

Their response was if we did that, people would not pay full price as they would wait until obstructed views where the only tickets left and then buy those but it would be really late in the day, possibly up to kick-off.

I hope I'm here to witness the new stadium on the River Mersey with the biggest all-standing section behind the goal in world football. People will come from all over for that alone.
Dave Williams
75 Posted 02/03/2017 at 18:43:24
Elstone is merely a spokesperson who currently has nothing of interest to divulge because the negotiations are in progress.

Anyone who has experience of negotiations like this will know that all parties will be sworn to secrecy until a deal is done. Then, and only then, will any information be released into the public domain.

Questions put to Elstone in the meantime will be met with the equivalent of "No comment" and it is unfortunate if this comes across as waffle to some.

Be patient – Moshiri means business!

Peter Lee
76 Posted 02/03/2017 at 20:04:17
I made all the points previously which Tom raises about this waterfront site, It is also sitting alongside one of the biggest sewage treatment plants in Britain. It is elegantly designed but there are times when it is unable to contain the smell. Wouldn't fancy sitting in that for two hours.

Elstone (Do you think he has had anything to do with the pricing policy which has seen us steadily increase season ticket sales and fill the stadium this year?) is rightly saying nothing about funding.

Spurs have apparently predicated funding for their new stadium on selling naming rights for £400m. Recent reports cast doubt on their achieving that and suggestions are that spending on the team will suffer.

Moshiri is unlikely to stump up a significant element of the stadium cost as a "gift" to the club. We are not in a position to take on that sum as debt. Until the extensively structured finance is rock solid, nothing can be certain and nothing concrete can be said.

Alan McGuffog
77 Posted 02/03/2017 at 20:51:12
We seem, as a club, to be fixated with shite. The alternative site at Gillmoss / Stonebridge would also be sited close to a sewage works. Ah well, where there's muck there's brass.

If we have to play by a sewage plant, I wish it were by the biggest and best on the docks. Sadly I don't have any confidence in Everton FC to deliver anything but second best – second best stadium next to the second best shite works.

I do hope I'm wrong.

Patrick Murphy
78 Posted 02/03/2017 at 21:19:20
Reading through so many of the posts on here and on other similar threads, you can see that whatever Everton FC manage to do, it will not please every fan of the club.

Building a stadium is probably the most demanding undertaking that any football club would be involved in, particularly for a club like Everton who have not yet latched on to the demands and opportunities that the 21st century affords.

We, as a group of fans, move from uninhibited hope and expectation to downright doom and gloom, especially when the topic of a new ground is debated. Everton FC will end up in a stadium that it can afford and that might mean that we will not get as good a stadium as many would like.

The bottom line is the club, mostly due to its own past failures, is going to have to move somewhere and pretty soon, in other words they are going to have to make the best of a bad job. There is no way on earth that Mr Moshiri is going to bankroll a stadium; he might be able to attract some of the funding from friends and partners but it is the club that is going to be saddled with the long-term debt.

An iconic stadium on the Mersey waterfront is what most fans want, but would they want it if it crippled the club in the process? I want to own a Tudor Mansion in acres of land, but I will have to make do with my small terrace, as I can't afford the dream house.

We can only hope that something positive happens on the stadium front in the next few months and that most of us are satisfied with the outcome. If the management at the club don't have a Plan B – should the waterfront site not come to fruition – it will have proved yet again that running a major football club is beyond their capabilities... with or without Mr Moshiri.

Dermot Byrne
79 Posted 02/03/2017 at 21:28:17
Managing expectation, Patrick? In the end, we'll dream, be disappointed, dream again etc. Of course, there are the emotionally fragile who dare not dream and pour cold water on everything. I feel sorry for them. They are just perpetually disappointed. So let's dream of a Lucas Stadium on the waterfront for a bit longer. There is always plenty of time and space to express disappointment.
Patrick Murphy
80 Posted 02/03/2017 at 21:35:06
Dermott (#79), I'm not trying to manage expectations; I'm one of the dafties that dares to dream.

If it was left to me, we would have the biggest stadium in the world, with a squad full of galacticos taking to the field when it opened, but I do understand that there are practical reasons which might prevent those dreams from becoming a reality.

Dermot Byrne
81 Posted 02/03/2017 at 21:38:14
Same hymn sheet, Patrick.
David Hayes
82 Posted 03/03/2017 at 05:37:31
Got to agree with Tony (#53), it's all fantasy, seeing is believing. How many times have we heard this cod's kak before? And yet still bang on as if it's fact, this time.

Did it take many lower leauge clubs with new grounds 25 years to still be speculating and making possible plans? I would love it to happen, let's see it start then rejoice.

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