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The Mail Bag

The Wreckers of Goodison Park

Comments (66)

Amidst the joy that the teams good run in the league and cup has engendered, the Ground move debate is never far away. The inquiry is over and I would be more than happy to be saying nothing until the secretary of state makes their decision. If only Robert Elstone would do the same.

In the past week he has used two platforms to run down Goodison Park (the club website and Radio Merseyside). The culmination of it all was the CEO promoting a stadium move that has been kicked from pillar to post by all and sundry calling our home ?one of the worst stadiums in the country?. This is on top of the dubious claim of 23,000 obstructed views when the true figure is 3,500.

Elstone can?t promote the move in a positive fashion as can be seen in his blog on the club website; which is nothing more than a crude attack on opponents of his boss? pet project. The transport plan is still in his words ?a work in progress? despite three years of work.

That Goodison Park is in its current state is the responsibility of the board. They have invested a total of 13 million in GP while other premier league clubs have spent a total of 1.8 billion over a fourteen-year period. That?s 13 million pound spent on a stadium with 23,000 obstructed views.

Remember that when you are considering renewing your season ticket. Robert Elstone has just had his Gerald Ratner moment.

Running down Goodison to promote Kirkby is no way to sell the move, but when all else fails?what else is there?
David O'Keefe, St.Helens     Posted 20/02/2009 at 14:06:51

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Rob Sawyer
1   Posted 20/02/2009 at 19:49:20

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I am not in favour of a move to Kirkby. However, with regard to obstructed view stats, it depends on the definition. If we mean a seat where you have a pillar obstructing at least a small percentage of the pitch, then 23,000 is probably correct as that will include Upper and Lower Bullens, Upper Street End and much of the Main Stand and Upper Tier.I would say that we have 3,500 severely obstructed views which are marked on the seating plan used for ticketing.
Rupert Tarlington
2   Posted 20/02/2009 at 20:02:01

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I hardly think Robert Elstone telling the truth that ?Goodison is one of the worst grounds in the country? is a Gerald Ratner moment ? it's only a couple of dozen people who are getting all drama queenish about it. I?ve seen nothing in the papers about it nor heard any more on local radio and I bet there won't be a protest attended by thousands (or even hundreds) at our next match over it. ;)

Most of those Evertonians who even know that he said it are intelligent enough to know he meant what he said in terms of the facilities and future expansion prospects.

It was a barnstorming performance from the CEO and great performance too from veteran broadcaster Alan Jackson who was quick to make sure that the debate was balanced ? it's only the poor inarticulate performance from Dave Kelly that is making the anti-Kirkby people turn on a veteran respected local broadcaster. Robert Elstone's performance was so good it felt like it was a one-sided biased debate.
Tony Marsh
3   Posted 20/02/2009 at 20:25:46

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I told you this muppet Elstone was a twat the first time he opened his mouth after getting the job as Kenwright Stooge. This prick Elstone came from a Rugby League background and admitted he knew nothing about football but, within days of taking up his roll, he was on Sky news bigging up the Kirkby move and saying it was the best thing for Evertonians.


Fuck off back to Morris Lindsey and leave subjects you admit to know nothing about to people that do, GOBSHITE.

Adam Harris
4   Posted 20/02/2009 at 20:20:26

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I listened to the Elstone interview and I didn?t feel he ran down Goodison.

We do have approximately 23,000 obstructed-view seats, some worse than others. The only stand we could redevelop is the Park End and that's not the stand in need of redevelopment.

One of the issues we do have as if the board get the go ahead and build a 55,000-seater stadium, who is gonna fill it when our average gate is between 33 to 38,000?

I don?t want to move to Kirkby but the alternative could cost us dear. The club needs desperately to join the commercial 21st century world and accommodate sponsors accordingly in a 21st century environment.

Not on wooden seats.
Derek Turnbull
5   Posted 20/02/2009 at 21:23:46

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If he thinks Goodison Park is bad, he wants to the design for Kirkby!!

Now that?s what I call a bad design.

Prawn sandwich brigade at the back of the Gwladys Street! The world's gone mad!
Clyde McPhat
6   Posted 20/02/2009 at 21:41:36

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I think the current economic conditions will see us at Goodison for many years to come, and we would be better off looking at ways to shore it up than to tear it down.

I keep looking at any clues from Tesco about abandoning expansion plans in other parts of the UK. That will be our biggest clue. Remember... all of this began during the heady times of global economic expansion, which as it turns out was wrought with fraud. Read the cricket story. Everything was moving forward. Wait until City?s backers decide to put their money in something that actually has a return attached to it.

Keep looking at any news stories about Tesco for clues. Forget the OS, forget the Chairman, forget his other floggers. It?s about Tesco and whether they are going to build in this environment. We?re skint. We know it. Tesco knows it. Knowsley council knows it, and so do the good folks in Kirkby. We can?t even afford to buy one of the bicycles our supporters will need to ride out to the new stadium.
Jim Reardon
7   Posted 20/02/2009 at 21:44:35

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Elstone is a gobshite, how can he state in the public inquiry that the cow shed is a world class stadium? It is, as we all know, a mid-level Premier League stadium, with no corners because they cost to much.

I was waiting for him to say the design is based on findings from consulting with different supporters groups. Oops, sorry ? that was Mr Wyness. I am sure Wyness was on Sky Sports as an observer to Sir Bobby Robson opening his new cancer research centre today.

Anthony Dyer
8   Posted 20/02/2009 at 22:05:00

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If Goodison has so many obstructed views, how come the pricing of seats does not reflect this? What Elstone fails to acknowledge is that, for most Evertonians, going to the match is the sole reason for them attending Goodison Park. In his view our away support at other grounds such as Pompey and Fulham would be well down on those that attend at City or the Emirates.

If the economic conditions remain the same or, as some analysts forecast, become as bad as Japan faced in the 90s, there will be no spare cash to spend on hospitality and over-priced merchandise.

Unfortunately, one of the growth areas in the next few years will be supermarkets and they will be fighting for every available market. If Tesco needs Everton in Kirkby then the Stadium will proceed subject to the outcome of the Inquiry.

In purely football terms, what Goodison has in terms of atmosphere cannot be bought at any price. Unfortunately, we are going to throw away one of the major reasons we have been able to sustain our top-flight status for so long. Can you imagine the Wimbledon game at a soulless arena which is what Kirkby will be?

Elstone is playing Russian Roulette with the core support of EFC by saying Goodison is one of the worst facilities in the league, I am sure that more fans will think long and hard ? especially with the lack of available credit ? before renewing their season tickets. Not only the fans but corporate sponsors will be more difficult to attract in what is going to be a deep and prolonged recession.

What annoys me most is that Goodison is somehow being touted as an inherited problem that has been foistered upon the present owners. It makes you wonder what the Park End would like if Kenwright had taken over before Johnson.

Alex Salmon
9   Posted 20/02/2009 at 22:44:00

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I am sure with your season ticket just where you like it the stadium seems fine. But let's remember it is the kids who are the future of the club who do not want to be in a wooden seat missing Arteta score because of a pillar! Just consider ourselves lucky Liverpool do not have a modern stadium.

This is not a pro-Kirby post but my point is taking the cold facts it is probably the worst stadium in the Premier League for views. I have been in many a seat in Goodison, non-obstructed view officially but all actually an obstructed view.
Jay Harris
10   Posted 20/02/2009 at 22:52:40

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Can anyone name me on more than one hand how many Premier League stadiums (scouse for stadia or is it stadii) they would prefer to Goodison?

The only ones with significantly more capacity are Old Trafford, The Emirates, St James Park, Badlands and the Stadium of Light.

And given our current financial plight would we rather buy GP for £15 million (its assumed value) or build a mid-range (Elstone speak for shite) stadium for £100 million on contaminated land that you can get too easily by bike!!

Villa have a similar ground with slighly more capacity. Spurs have a similar ground with less capacity (35,000).

All the other new stadiums are too small to be considered.
Stefan Tosev
11   Posted 20/02/2009 at 23:09:03

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Tony, you know that I don't like your views about Moyes and the team or bother about them but you are getting yourself a bit ahead me thinks. You know better than me that Kirkby will never materialise so why bother :)
Mike Prendergast
12   Posted 21/02/2009 at 01:41:44

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Guys, don?t be so blase about going to the match. Season ticket or match day ticket still means you are closer than me. I have not had the chance or money to fly back home to Liverpool for over three years. I own a share and every shirt in the mean time. The excellent ToffeeWeb site keeps me sane.

I am old enough to have the scars of a bad seat at the last minute in Goodison many times due to work commitments. But from a far it still gives m the chill?s every time I see the old Lady on TV. If we move, then so be it. ( I voted No) But don?t listen to the Paper hype. Like your Gran. Goodison is old and in need of help. But still much LOVED.
Christine Foster
13   Posted 21/02/2009 at 07:00:50

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I find such comments on the OS more propaganda to attempt to put pressure on minister and show their full commitment to the project.

The fact is, as stated in the original article, the ground has been let to run down by bad management over the last ten years. The same people who now tell us we have the worst stadium. Shame on them.

To those fans who actually believe all of the crap that is said by the club as a means to justify the move to Kirkby, do you really think Kirkby on an evening match would generate the same atmosphere as the Liverpool game? Even the Setanta commentators were in awe of it and said so.

The club can and should redevelop GP there is currently NO justification for the move, financial, fanbase, transport, profitability, indeed the cost of seat will spiral, cost of getting there, parking and loss of personal time with escalate, so where is the case for it?

Lets wait and see because I think it's a 60% probability it WILL get thrown out. Of course then we will have the extraordinary prospect of seeing BK and Robert Elstone extolling the virtues of GP as a great stadium, a spiritual home and an acknowledgement that the majority of fans never wanted the move anyway?

Dave Wilson
14   Posted 21/02/2009 at 05:42:01

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Elstone is merely the messenger, shoot him if you like but there?ll be another one in his place in a heartbeat.

I?m not a Kenwright basher ? never have been ? but he is painting himself into a corner. I know several people who are fond of BK, they feel a genuine pride that he is one of us. they feel that the club is thriving on the field against all odds and rightly want BK to get his share of the credit.

But can anyone really doubt what getting the go-ahead for DK would mean for Kenwright? He would become the most reviled man in football, the so-called hatred directed at him now will seem little more than mild irritation in comparison, for thousands and thousands of blues he would have killed the soul of the club. The bit I dont get is, Kenwright knows this and is still pushing as hard for DK as he possibly can...

If DK gets kicked into touch, then what? Kenwright ? through Elstone ? has told us Goodison can't be rebuilt. On an almost weekly basis they are telling us it's the worst stadium in the prem! David calls this a "Ratner moment" and it most definitely is.

It's sickening to see the level of investment made in GP in comparison to the investment in VIlla Park, St James, OT.

Will Mr Kenwright be slashing the cost of season tickets for GP when DK goes belly up? As David quite rightly points out, by his own admission the product he is selling us is "crap"

At the risk of upsetting his fans, I can't help thinking that BK is as popular now, as he is ever going to be.

Gavin Ramejkis
15   Posted 21/02/2009 at 08:01:27

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Elstone is just the latest stooge to voice BK?s words to the press. It?s his job to do what his paymasters say and at the end of the day that?s the King of Bullshitters ? Black Bill so if anyone your vitriol should be aimed at the owner and master of this whole mess. Elstone is just doing as he is told, not a bad move if he wants to keep his job.

Those above saying 23,000 obstructed views, can I ask you how you believe the same club that has claimed the stadium is falling down and not able to meet it?s H&S certification despite those blatant lies being blown clean out of the water on this website? Do yourselves a favour if you must; get off you arse and pay for a stadium tour, visit the stands with one of those hand held clickers and count for yourselves, no way on this Earth are their 23,000 obstructed views at Goodison.
Tony Kelly
16   Posted 21/02/2009 at 08:07:00

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Robert Elstone also stated on the radio that other team?s who have moved stadia, such as Leicester, Southampton and Man City, are "good role models" ? what a tosser! Dave Kelly came out of the debate with a massive points win.
Neil Pearse
17   Posted 21/02/2009 at 09:18:36

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Guys, just one obvious response to the question: how dare they criticise GP when they haven’t put any money in it for the past decade? BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN PLANNING TO LEAVE.

It is true, instead of buying Baines, Jagielka, Yakubu and Fellaini, the Board could have pumped £35M into improving GP. Before leaving and getting no return whatsoever on this investment. Any takers?
Neil Benton
18   Posted 21/02/2009 at 09:50:22

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A front-line Knowsley politician took great pleasure in telling me last week that they would ?get the nod? for Kirkby ?because its 2000 jobs will help to swell PM Brown?s quest to establish 100,000 new openings before the end of August.? According to my source, Tesco will plough ahead with the development regardless of the financial situation in the belief that it will see them in good stead later. On such flimsy politics do vital decisions hinge!
Dave Wilson
19   Posted 21/02/2009 at 09:49:48

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Neil, you're talking nonsense and you know it, only since Leahy came along with the "deal of the century" has any serious effort been put in to moving

You get angry when people blame the board but who?s fault is it? We were not the ones leading everyone up the garden path with "ring-fenced" funds...
Denis Byrne
20   Posted 21/02/2009 at 10:13:37

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I like an obstructed view..
Neil Adderley
21   Posted 21/02/2009 at 10:32:44

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Neil Benton:

’A front-line Knowsley politician.......’

That’s an oxymoron if I’ve heard one.

As for the ’2000 jobs’...........Any chance you could break that figure down? And could you factor in the jobs lost if ’Tesco Town’ is built while you’re at it? The witness for Tesco reckons 300 jobs would go in Walton alone, while the CAO put it to the Inspector that any uplift in jobs through DK would be countered in the negative by job losses across the region. Maybe PM Brown has been struggling with his numbers recently but surely even he can work that simple equation out.

Incidently - did anyone else notice that the Liverpool Echo has removed a certain possible libellous accusation from Dave Prentice’s synopsis of Elstone’s blog on their website, regarding a plot between LCC and KEIOC:

The original paragraph read:

’And the council colluded with KEIOC on a report designed to influence the club ballot on the ground move.’

Hopefully there’ll be a clarification in the hard copy edition in the near future and who knows, a platform for KEIOC to challenge the misinformation within Robert Elstone’s original blog.
Kevin Mitchell
22   Posted 21/02/2009 at 10:23:54

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Yes, David, I was surprised at Elstone's speech on the OS but was also pleasantly surprised at the negative response he got by the majority of posters; hope he got the message.

If the Kirkby disaster gets turned down, I would pay space shuttle prices for a front seat view of Kenwright, Elstone, Earl telling us what plan B is. My fear, as someone else has pointed out, is that the current climate will play into Tesco?s hands. I wonder by the time we find out in the summer if we can get refunds on next year's season tickets?

Ste Lewis
23   Posted 21/02/2009 at 11:28:52

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My early impressions are that Elstone appears a very capable CEO and the personal attacks seem harsh. Is a parking warden a cunt or are they just doing their job?
David O'Keefe
24   Posted 21/02/2009 at 15:11:53

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Judging from Elstone's recent conduct, he knows which way the inquiry is going and is getting his retaliation in first. My advice: don?t let him of the hook.
Rupert Tarlington
25   Posted 21/02/2009 at 16:53:23

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This is clearly another ?Kirkby debate? mailbag item so methinks it's necessary to re-iterate the main points in the DK debate and the main points leading from the inquiry. I?ve noticed some posters tend to ?muddy the waters? somewhat ? waters that are normally pretty clear. I thought I?d pop in with a post with a few facts and wreck a few Saturday nights lol!!!

The reason why the inquiry was called was because DK didn't comply 100% with local and regional guidelines ? notice I said ?comply 100%? not ?didn't comply at all?... and I said ?guidelines? not ?laws?. Right, now that I?ve got that statement outta the way I hope I?ve ?unmuddied? the waters somewhat. ;)

It will be a matter of judgement by the Secretary of State following on from the recommendations from Wendy whether the substantial regeneration from this city region project in a time of deep recession (recession is a bonus!) outweighs the relatively small negative consequences ? I?m feeling calm, relaxed and unangry - if that helps. ;)

The main points from the objectors are that;

1) DK will adversely affect Liverpool City Centre/Liverpool One.

2) Everton FC have alternative options.

3) Skelmersdale's regeneration will be halted if DK goes ahead.

All other points are of mild consequence in relation to the ambitious £400m city region regeneration project. I think the applicants have played a blinder on all those above three points.

1) The LCC planning chief, the CAO and... wait for it... Grosvenor ALL admitted to varying degrees that DK will NOT affect or have little affect on Liverpool City Centre and Liverpool One ? an amazing fact to come from the inquiry ? a combo of great work by the amazing Patrick Clarkson QC and I have to say amazing gaffes by LCC, CAO and Grosvenor. The inspector CANNOT report that DK will have an adverse on Liverpool City centre and Liverpool One when those that represent these constituencies say themselves they will not/or hardly be affected. This is something that I wasn't expecting to emerge from the inquiry but it has and I?m delighted ? what a bonus!

2) The LCC planners agreed with the club's experts and admitted to the inquiry that there are NO viable and deliverable alternative sites available in the city for the club. Add to this fact that LCC, the CAO, Grosvenor are NOT objecting to the stadium ? this is further delightful news. ;)

Also it must not be forgottEn (and this will be clear to Wendy) that:

Liverpool City Council re-confirmed that Liverpool FC had ruled out Loop/Bestway along with every other site put forward by them, prior to granting permission on Stanley Park... Priceless!

The inspector CANNOT say there are viable, deliverable alternative options available in the city.... because the applicants AND LCC say there aren't any!

3) Skelmersdale has a slightly smaller population than Kirkby, its proposed scheme is also not (a) 100% compliant with the development plans and (b) is... well... all talk and... dead in the water because of the collapse of the residential market. It was a ?plan? that started BEFORE DK, it STILL has no planning application submitted and the people in Skem who are to lose their homes because of it... angrily don't want it to happen in any case... oops!

Let's not forget too that the ?work in progress? traffic and travel plan was not objected to by Merseytravel and the Highways Agency or anyone else of significance for that matter and DK will be very close to a new big bus station, a railway station, a motorway and plenty of park and ride/walk sites ? and don't forget the tramline which will get the nod shortly after.

If anyone wants to reply then please do in a calm, relaxed and unangry way please - a fact to rebutt my claims would come in handy too... but you won't find any. ;)
Stephen Graham
26   Posted 21/02/2009 at 16:55:14

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Keith Richmond
27   Posted 21/02/2009 at 21:50:21

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Leicester, Southampton and Manchester City all remained close to their city centres when they moved to new stadia.
Neil Adderley
28   Posted 22/02/2009 at 00:31:02

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"Rupert" - Predictions are the domain of the attention seeking wretch - as you know all too well..........

I seem to recall that under another name, there’s been that many I couldn’t say which one or two or three etc. etc. it was but you and them were 100% cocksure that this fiasco wouldn’t be ’called-in’ for a Public Inquiry. All of you were having none of it, no way would it ever be ’called in,’ not a chance. It was nailed on to be waived through with a nod and a wink to Sir Terry of Tesco by Hazel Blears.

You and all of your imaginary friends must have felt anything but calm, relaxed an unangry when that decision was made public. Not a ’guffaw’ was heard for many a while after your multiple public humiliation. And here we are once more and not one of you have learned anything from the first indignity as again you have seemingly come to the joint decision of putting your collective necks on the block again.

You are a very strange and no doubt miserable little man.

Crack on though.
Rupert Tarlington
29   Posted 22/02/2009 at 01:49:06

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Neil, what a delightful re-write of history, I dont remember ever declaring dk would definately, absolutely have nil chance of getting called in. I remember infuriating a few people though on small forums with the talk of "Labour MP, Labour council, Labour Govt" and "BK’s Labour donations" etc etc etc - that was fun ;) In fact I remember doing a few posts rebuking dear old Keith on over baking the impact of a possible call-in decision.

I’m delighted that a call-in was made because the inquiry has exposed so much of the ineptness of the positions of certain cllr’s and organs - I notice you couldnt rebutt the facts I posted earlier, I wonder why that is Neil? ;)

Stephen Graham
30   Posted 22/02/2009 at 02:59:30

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You appear to be on a fishing expedition with nothing but a dead worm. Nobody’s biting.

Try another ’pool.
Christine Foster
31   Posted 22/02/2009 at 02:46:19

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Rupert your quite correct in surmising that DK was called in because of the non adherence to planning guidelines not being 100% as you put it. However its the distance away from the 100% that is significant and not your flippant assertion that it is insignificant because it is not "law" In any new proposed project it is the adherence as far as possible to the guidelines that prevents any project call in. This was deemed so far removed from the guidelines set down for councils and planning approval committees that it was called in.

The stadium has always been an enabler to the project and as such never been scrutinised in singularity but solely as part of the project. Its impact on the development is of concern to the inhabitants of Kirkby who are by no means as insignificant as you make them out to be..

It is well documented that the transport system is poor and a work in progress. Although no one has actually said exactly when that will be complete. No one wants to make that call do they?

Ignore crush loading (what happens god forbid if there is a train accident or derailment on a crush loaded train? who will pick up the blame Rupert for the possible extensive loss of life?
But of course we are only supporters and rather insignificant in your view.

So let me return to some of your other points, the stadium and rejection of the sites offered to LFC being the loop. Following you logic, do you seriously think for one moment LFC would have gotten into bed with Tesco for a Stadium in Kirkby? No? Then why should we? Its patently clear they have no money to build either.

So if they reject the loop for whatever THEIR commercial take on it does not mean the project has no validation or appeal. Personally I would take a smaller capacity stadium that would be filled every other week that a mediocre one in Kirkby.

Finally there is one perspective that I find baffling. Everyone including yourself who is support of DK says its STILL the best deal. But your assumption is based on the clubs desire to move which has NOT been vindicated by you or the club itself. Many disgraceful comments regarding the safety of the ground, the lack of investment, the poor management, poor communication and LIES that the fans have been told are WELL DOCUMENTED. World class ? Deal of the Century?

The Vision the board has is one that is fraught with risk and one with little upside (Possibly 6m ?? if playing to full houses every week???) So one has to question the validity of the case rather than blindly accepting the spin.

Should the development be approved I would ask that the club give the final say back to the fans. After all, its supposed to be done in our name isn;t it?

Open it up Rupert, the original vote was for the club to explore the possibility of a move to Kirkby. That was all. Is it not right that should a decision of such magnitude to contemplated with such a split in the fanbase?

Rupert Tarlington
32   Posted 22/02/2009 at 13:57:05

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Christine, the question on the ballot paper was something like "do you think the club should relocate to Kirkby? - yes/no" - it couldnt have been any clearer, only 28% of eligable voters voted ’no’ and I suspect most of them didnt vote in an angry keioc-ish way - they simply voted ’no’ and i’m sure most of them will be happy to come to our games in Kirkby, the rest either voted ’yes’ (the bigger amount) or didnt care enough either way to vote. Also dont forget the ballot was looked after by the well respected and independent Electoral Reform Services...

I simply dont accept there’s a major split in the fanbase, I dont see protests, marches or hear chants against the move...I simply dont see it. When a protest was called by keoic ;) and publicised in the local media and across all the websites only a couple of dozen turned up with thousands of Evertonians walking past it - harsh but true i’m afraid.
ed fitzgerald
33   Posted 22/02/2009 at 14:00:26

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Over 23,000 obstructed views hmm? I don?t think so. We are back in Wyness territory here throwing figures around to suit the clubs purposes. Let?s not forget wild claims about increasing the capacity to 75000, world class stadia and the best transport infrastructure of any ground in the North West.
An obstructed view gives you a misleading opinion of the events unfolding before your eyes. The Club are in no position about to comment about the lack of clarity given the propaganda that preceded the initial ballot. Perhaps that?s what Elstone was referring to as this obstructed the view of at least 15000 who voted yes. I wonder if the view was as clear as it is now whether the vote would go the same way.
We are rightly concerned about the football at the moment but Elstone, Kenwright and the clubs PR should be ashamed of themselves. I have just read Dr.Evertons Magnificent Obsession by Dave Prentice and Dr.France if you want to find out just how little regard this lot (The Club) have for our history and traditions read the book.
george bozman
34   Posted 22/02/2009 at 14:20:13

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Apart from the obstructed views and the price of the pies what is actually wrong with GP?
Phil Bellis
35   Posted 22/02/2009 at 18:27:56

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The person posting currently as ’Rupert’...
I simply don’t believe moving from a vibrant, commercially progressive city to a mid-range, single-use, not effectively free, without the best transport infrastructure in the North West stadium on a retail park in a small town for a possible extra £6 million per annum based on a hoped-for 15000 increase in attendance will benefit the club
By the way, did you script the Lord Snooty strip in the Beano during the 60s?
Tom Hughes
36   Posted 22/02/2009 at 18:48:42

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Everton’s lord haw haw
In all the latest polls on all websites, including the echo/daily posts..... Kirkby can’t even get over 7%. Only 15,000 voted for Kirkby, and that’s when they were told a whole series of lies.... all long since exposed. Kirkby is sinking without trace..... Meanwhile your name’s not Rupert, and you have never got one of your predictions correct yet. (Hazel will never call this in?!).....all harsh but true!
Neil Pearse
37   Posted 22/02/2009 at 20:06:50

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Tom (and others) - this is strictly not related to the question of whether Kirkby is a good move for Everton or not, but can you enlighten me on why you think it is "sinking without trace"?

Quite the reverse surely? In the current economic environment it would be very surprising if any major investment in the UK economy (especially in an economically deprived area) was turned down by the Government. Why do you think this one will be?

In the context of the business regulatory book being rewritten every day in almost unimaginable ways (natioanalising the banks,waving competition laws to force through mergers etc.), the regulatory infringements in Kirkby look trivial in the extreme.

I could be wrong, but the only real scenario in which I see Kirkby "sinking" is if Tesco pull out. Not impossible in the current climate - but again if anyone has the cash Tesco has, and they will be under great Government pressure to continue.

Or do you mean that Kirkby may be approved but somehow we won’t be able to find the money? That’s certainly possible too in the current environment. But we are talking about a relatively small amount for such a major project, and again one can imagine some combination of Tesco and the Government enabling us to keep the thing afloat.
Neil Pearse
38   Posted 22/02/2009 at 20:30:47

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Given that the Government effectively owns them, they could even make sure that RBS or Lloyds lent us the money, if they wanted to make sure the project went ahead and provided the jobs.
Karl Masters
39   Posted 22/02/2009 at 21:37:01

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It remains a mystery to me how Everton can afford to borrow £78m ( and it will likely be nearer £100m when the Retail element of the project is reduced ) when we can’t even raise a couple of million to buy a player in the Transfer window.

Furthermore, even if by some miracle we play to 50,000 crowds every week the Club will only net an extra £6m a season - their figures and mentioned more than once so presumably they have actually done a calculation on that one. It would take 25 years of handing over that £6m just to pay off the loan with interest. That means Moyesy would get no extra cash for teambuilding!

So what’s the point in doing it at all? We could easily not make the extra £6m a year and be even worse off than now financially. And playing in a suburb with a substantial amount of alienated fans. Just to build some facilties for the Corporates ( whose budgets are gonna be very meagre for some time to come ) and get rid of some pillars whilst losing one of our biggest assets - Goodison’s famed bearpit atmosphere.

It makes no sense. Even the foreign investment angle must be questioned now. Not just bevause of the economy, but as Gaydamek at Pompey, Shinawatraat Man City, Ashley at Newcastle, the Icelandic group at West Ham and the Yanks at Liverpool have shown they are more interested in themselves and will have no compunction in leaving the Club and its supporters high and dry if it suits them. Even Abramovich is growing restless.
Tom Hughes
40   Posted 22/02/2009 at 22:09:36

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Infringing all planning legislation to the point whereby the proposed retail size is several hundred percent bigger than that allowed for is not a minor infringement at all.

What about Skem’s retail plans which are already funded and within planning legislation due to Skem’s real isolation and needs. They have stated already that their plans will collapse in the face of such competition. What about St Helens’ planned retail expansion also? What about Sefton’s? These are ALL already fully compliant and with planning permission in place. What about the success of Liverpool 1 and the city centre in general which has been invested in to the tune of billions and is already up and running? Can it afford upto a third of its natural catchment being robbed from it? What about the thousands of city cntre workers from all over Knowsley, not just Kirkby who are reliant on its success? This isn’t just a case of we can have this and we all will benefit..... hence the reason why ALL neighbouring authorities have objected, the whole balance of the city regions economy will shift, and in this time of retail edginess do you really jeopardise what already exists and cost billions? Kirkby is sinking because it was built on lies from day 1. It cannot break double-figures in any poll now because none of it adds up! It never did! Where is the pro-kirkby website or even thread? Kings Dock had one..... Kirkby never has!
Neil Pearse
41   Posted 22/02/2009 at 22:30:22

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Tom, you miss my points entirely. We are currently facing probably the worst economic recession for a century. We are in completely uncharted territory, and our politicians are doing unheard of and unprecedented things to prevent total catastrophe (rescuing banks, rescuing auto companies, introducing protectionist measures which break their own laws, forcing through shotgun mergers against their own competition policies etc. etc. etc.). "Compliance" means nothing in our new world. Survival is what we are now about.

In THIS context, local planning regulations are utterly trivial and irrelevant from a governmental point of view. As economic activity stagnates and unemplyoyment relentlessly rises, the idea that the Government will turn down a few hundred of millions of pounds of new investment in a deprived area to be "compliant" strikes me as highly improbable.

For one thing, the political PR would be a nightmare: "Local MPs aghast as Blears halts massive Tesco investment in deprived area; Cameron demands answers from Brown..." Really - it would happen.

Jobs may or may not be lost in any numbers in Liverpool or Skem, but I assume you cannot seriously be arguing that the NET effect of all the new investment in Kirkby would be an OVERALL loss of jobs or slowing of economic activity in the region?? I don’t believe anyone was so foolish or mendacious as to argue this at the inquiry - even LCC.

All neighbouring regions have objected to protect their own patches - no more no less. Good for them. But from a national and total regional point of view it would be bizarre to believe that it would be better to forego all the new Tesco money. Especially now.

As always, let’s separate the issues. DK may be a bad thing for our football club (and Karl makes some excellent points above). But that does not mean that the Tesco development is going to be turned down by the Government. That is an entirely separate issue. And ’compliance’ in the current environment has nothing to do with it.

Tom, you present no arguments whatsoever to suggest that Blears will turn down Kirkby in the current dire environment. Whether there are any pro Kirkby Everton websites certainly isn’t going to make any difference!
Rupert Tarlington
42   Posted 22/02/2009 at 23:01:03

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Tom obviously hasnt read one of my earlier posts in this very thread which explains perfectly the situation about dk and its relation to planning GUIDELINES. DK doesnt fully comply with local and regional GUIDELINES on retail floorspace issues and the fact the whole of dk isnt in the existing boundary of Kirkby Town centre, however dk more or less fully complies with other aspects of local and regional GUIDELINES on issues like job creation and regeneration. The NorthWest Regional Assembly the body which overseas the regional policies thinks that dk broadly complies with regional policy - In the wonderful world of Tom that doesnt matter though - a detail best overlooked. Interestingly the long delayed and dead-in-the-water Skem residential based scheme also doesnt fully comply with regional policy...
Tom Hughes
43   Posted 22/02/2009 at 22:54:17

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You present no arguments to support the notion that you can just build more shops and all will be well. Nor that the other major developments proposed or already in place can survive in the face of what is such an unbalancing development. The legislation is calculated to preserve the natural balance of the local economies and infrastructures and not to jeopardise it. These aren’t large employmnet generators nor civil engineering schemes despite their value. Comparing it to preserving the banking system..... something that is already in place and supporting the whole economy is hardly an accurate analogy compared to tesco’s speculative punt for an out of town retail development that contradicts all current legislation and threatens so much already in place, long established and recently expensively enhanced. The point about "pro-kirkby websites", or more accurately the complete lack of them (or even threads) is to demonstrate the almost complete absence of support for the scheme. That mightn’t make any difference to the scheme but it must be a concern for anyone advocating it.
Neil Pearse
44   Posted 22/02/2009 at 23:13:02

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Tom - are you seriously suggesting that the NET AND OVERALL effect of the Kirkby development will be to retard economic output and reduce employment in the region? Seriously?

From a governmental point of view, in the current environment, the net effect is all that matters. If they believe that two jobs are created in Kirkby and one lost in St Helens - they will go for it like a dog after a bone. If the Government believes the net effect is positive, they will approve the scheme. It would be virtually immoral in the current environment (as well as politically suicidal) to do anything else.
Tom Hughes
45   Posted 22/02/2009 at 23:13:08

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Reading your inputs it’s impossible to imagine how DK didn’t sail through planning nevermind getting called in on multiple infringements and objections..... mind you, you told everyone that wouldn’t happen too! Let’s face it, you can’t even get your name right! "Wonderful world of Tom".....? hahaha.....That’s rich coming from our resident multiple-personality.
Neil Pearse
46   Posted 22/02/2009 at 23:21:16

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And so to separate the interests of Tesco and the Government (no sinking likely there), and the interests of our football club (big questions raised by Karl).

My own view is that the main event with Kirkby has not been the additional income per se (although, God knows, we need additional income), but the potential to unlock new investment through a new owner. I have always believed that Terry Leahy was making a rather broad ’hint’ when he said that Kirkby may well bring new investment and ownership.

In that likeliood, the £80-100M would not have been a major issue as it would be funded by the new owner through the total purchase. But of course, as Karl says, the issue now is whether in the current global environment any new owner/investor is at all likely. One possibility is that he is already basically ’nailed down’ if Kirkby goes ahead. But nothing much is nailed down in the current crisis!

Before everyone rejoices, the scenario we are now contemplating is one in which we will remain in GP, totally unable to afford anything more, and probably at most able to afford minor incremental improvements at Goodison. Moyes will have to get even better at performing his magic tricks!
Tom Hughes
47   Posted 22/02/2009 at 23:25:45

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Are you suggesting you can just keep building shops and everything will work? Is this the great economic rescue plan? Do we just open up another box of shoppers to fill it or do they desert those shops already struggling? For a start St Helens is in direct retail competition with anything built on that site. St Helens’ population is several times that of Kirkby and it’s plans are in place and fully compliant.... as are Skems. You can’t have ALL of these schemes. It’s not like big road building or infrastructure projects...... The system has to balance out, not shoot itself in the foot by saturating the market with duplication and competition when it’s already struggling. What is the nett effect then? Its a bit like for your previous analogy asking the Government to build lots of new banks in direct competion with those collapsing........ No, they supported what already existed!
Rupert Tarlington
48   Posted 22/02/2009 at 23:29:03

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Just after dk was called in (because it didnt comply with every comma and full stop of the guidelines) I recall the Knowsley council leader Ron Round said that roughly 43% of the jobs created at dk would go to Knowsley’s neighbours - chiefly North Liverpool and South Sefton, of course most jobs will be for Kirkby itself with many reserved for the long-term unemployed and sick. Interestingly Ron Round was at 10 Downing St with Haze and the PM just 3-4 weeks ago signing the Liverpool City Region MAA...
Tom Hughes
49   Posted 22/02/2009 at 23:37:37

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What Terry Leahy says might be slightly biased towards what Tesco get out of this whole deal, don’t you think? The question about gaining investment/new owners should perhaps be what would be more attractive to an investor.....? a top 4-6 positioned club for just the cost of the majority of the shares (not the relegation haunted club in a ramshackle stadium that is shamelessly being promoted by some), and consequently more free cash to invest in the team as he wishes NOW when we are so close to being great again...... or for the cost of those shares plus approx £130m total cost of Kirkby where we can’t all get to easily to fill it. It’s not difficult to identify what the sellers would prefer! At Gp he inherits all the history, heritage, infrastructure and goodwill..... at Kirkby he gets none of that. He could then spend that £130m on something far more worthy of that history and tradition that doesn’t register a value on any spreadsheet.
Neil Pearse
50   Posted 23/02/2009 at 00:34:49

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So Tom: if Everton in GP is so attractive to new investors / owners, how come we haven’t had one?

Your maths also seems to have gone a little awry. Not only have we now moved from £78M to £130M - possible, but what is that based on? And of course if the money saved on Kirkby is all to go on new players, I assume you now believe that radically upgrading GP will cost nothing? (I have to say it was notable on the otherwise very impressive KEIOC video that not even vague costings were given for either upgrading GP or building the Loop. The problem is that we actually have to be able to afford what we are planning to do.)
Phil Bellis
51   Posted 23/02/2009 at 00:35:22

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Ah, Ron Round...the perspicacious politician who also claimed, in Sept 08, that ’Goodison Park will be condemned in just five years’
Wouldn’t use anything he said to back up an argument
Neil Adderley
52   Posted 22/02/2009 at 23:53:26

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Neil Pearse - You seem to be confusing major infrastructure projects - new airport runways, highways and motorways, hospitals, schools, nuclear power plants - projects that have been in the past and no doubt will be used in the future to kick start the economy - with a Tesco Extra, a couple of roundabouts, a huge car park and a row of boxy retail units with a second rate stadium attached. The actual planned ’infrastructure’ works are costed at just £10m to be paid for, if the application for funding is excepted, by the NWDA. You didn’t also believe Terry Leahy when he said (in the same ’open letter to Evertonians);

’The success of Tesco has been based on creating maximum benefit, and then sharing it between communities.’

Did You?

Do me a favour. Crap jobs, crap wages, crap conditions and ONLY half of those 600 are guarenteed for the long term unemployed and those 300 only for the first year.

If Tesco’s sums are to be believed, Kirkby town centre’s turnover would increase by an astronomical 402% from the present £66m to £301m. This of course would be dependent on the catchment of shoppers expanding from the current 40,000 to 396,000 - the whole of Knowsley has a population of 150,000 - now, maybe you can begin to envisage the impact this development would have on surrounding centres (including Kirkby town centre itself), towns and cities, the people within them and obviously their jobs. According to a Tesco witness, up to 300 in Walton alone.

’Rupert’ - Just when I thought you couldn’t get any more ridiculous:

’jobs for the sick?’ LOL!! You beaut.’
Rupert Tarlington
53   Posted 23/02/2009 at 02:19:19

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Neil (Adderley), I think I can take the jibe that i’m ’ridiculous’ from someone who is clearly in a state of turmoil over the relocate issue. I’m trying to understand your ’situation’ ;)

It is simply your opinion that the jobs will be ’crap’, you had better tell dear old Haze that the jobs are crap then - a while back she performed a stunt in a Tesco supermarket in her constituency as a checkout girl and assisting shoppers - she doesnt seem to think Tesco and retail jobs in general are crap, they can be an important stepping stone for many people. Just type ’hazel blears tesco’ into google and you’ll find a delicious you tube report of her wonderful day out in her local Tesco’s. Another minister in her department John Healey is another who gets excited by something called ’retail led regeneration’. ;)

And stop contradicting yourself, you cant complain about 300 jobs lost in Walton when I suspect you would be overjoyed if a big affordable stadium could squeeze in that little landlocked loop (Skempton thinks upwards of £230m...), would you be worried about 300 jobs lost in Walton then? Methinks nay.

And yes...long term ’sick’ as in Incapacity Benefit claimants who will benefit from the wonderful dk opportunity too.

Tom Hughes
54   Posted 23/02/2009 at 01:56:06

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Converesely, how come every major premiership club including some that have been relegated, some that have much smaller fanbase’s have found investors? The club changes its statement’s daily regarding whether or not it is actually for sale..... witness the public inquiry for instance..... could it be something to do with major stakeholders having a vested interest in this retail development getting OK’d? A new owner now might not want to go out of town. My maths isn’t awry at all..... £130m is the additional asset value the club are stating will be added to the club by DK’s acquisition...... and therefore additional value to be realised at a sale, presumably to pay back those who have underwritten the club’s dealings. Funny how you can even mention such given that "practically nothing" grew to £78m post vote..... when did you querry that particular piece of maths? yes I can remember well when EFC’s stance was that the cost to Everton could be as low as £10m.

Also, KEIOC’s vids were intended to illustrate what shape and form expansion could physically take, and/or what a Loop development could look like. They are broadbrush artists impressions only. Costing references for stadium developments are readily available via any stadium design publication..... but why offer them for a concept when the work scope is not definitive nor detailed. However, I can assure you the club are now aware of comparative costings, it is just dependent on what scope is specified. Personally, I believe the club only requires a few thousand new premier seats and a few hundred new box seats in the medium to long term, with the vast majority of existing obstructed views eradicated by new roofs, none of which is prohibitive in terms of scope or finance at the current site. The vastly superior infrastructure and public transport at Walton comes for free..... with no threats to ever decrease capacity due to their shortfall. Should a new owner be acquired now at the current share value..... alternatively, that amount currently required for DK can be channeled into the likes of the Loop with over 100,000 passenger per hr public transport capacity to ensure it gets filled.
Rich Jones
55   Posted 23/02/2009 at 07:19:57

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Neil I think its a bit rich coming from you to question anyones maths on here, despite claiming to be a financial expert your maths have been left-wanting on more than a couple of occasions and when questioned, you disappear for a couple of days only to turn up again spouting the same old crap!!
Rich Jones
56   Posted 23/02/2009 at 08:43:12

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Hmm yes Rupe, Madden, factory cat, whoever, this would be the same electoral siciety who allowed club properganda to go out with the vote whilst KEIOC brochures were not allowed and allowed Kenwright and his lackys to send out the data and decide who was to vote, would they allow the tory’s to send out brochures with your polling card and not the other parties I dont think so, Im sorry Rupe I dont recognize the ballot as legit, even more so now its been declared on what we we’re voting for does not reflect what is on offer.
Phil Bellis
57   Posted 23/02/2009 at 09:47:27

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Jesus ’Rupert’
You’re a repetitive sod and an insomniac, too, methinks(!)
Get a grip, you wum!
A real Evertonian wouldn’t be arsed Googling ?hazel blears tesco? but rather ’Mikel Arteta Injury’
Neil Pearse
58   Posted 23/02/2009 at 10:22:38

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Thanks for the usual abuse Rich - what IS your problem? Please cite examples where there have been problems with my maths. I am waiting. By the way, since when do I have to come on Toffeeweb every day so that I can respond to your latest piece of empty and meaningless abuse?

Please save me by not repeating again the inaccuracy that Tom once more has propounded - that the £130M increase in asset value will auomatically be paid by a new purchaser of the club. Obviously it won’t. Businesses are not valued on their net assets.

A new owner will offer what they think the club is worth, not what the paper accounting says it is worth. Or would you like to buy some of my RBS shares at five times the current share price?
Neil Pearse
59   Posted 23/02/2009 at 10:31:05

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Neil Adderley - in the current crisis there is no such thing as a "crap job", so don’t be silly. Are you claiming that the Tesco investment in Kirkby will NET AND OVERALL reduce economic activity and employment in the region? That is all that matters.

Again, please let us separate the issues. It clearly can be the case BOTH that the Kirkby investment overall will be good for the region AND that it would be bad for Everton Football Club to relocate there.
Phil Bellis
60   Posted 23/02/2009 at 11:05:24

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Neil Pearse...nail on head. After all the arithmetic, projections, facts, figures, pie-charts etc you are quite right in separating the issues
The regeneration of Kirkby and the its effect on employment in the region is not the concern for Evertonians - it’s what is best for our club
This is what our argument/discussion should be based on; we can disagree on whether the proposed move would have any effect on procuring investment and what level that investment may be

Only time will tell and none of us can foresee the future; there are so many agendas and so much simulation and dissimulation by the powers-that-be that I, for one, can only go by instinct
Rich Jones
61   Posted 23/02/2009 at 11:13:37

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You really are a sensative sole Neil, Ive read my post and can’t see any abuse at all. I’m sorry Neil I’m not going to do all the calculations again for you to disappear and turn up again days later asking me the same thing. Can I ask you 1 question Neil why do you want to go to Kirkby, list all the advantages one by one, give me increased revenue figures for financial advantages one by one. Lets see it on this thread Neil.
Phil Bellis
62   Posted 23/02/2009 at 12:03:21

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Rich...we’ve already had the figures from the club hierarchy whose every declaration is believed 100% by those so inclined
(mind you, there has been some discussion on here about the morality of it being OK in business to blatantly lie about everything to everyone for ’business’ reasons)
So...£6 miilion extra (gross/nett?) per season based on an increase of 15,000 fans per game (increased/current ticket prices?)
There you have it, for what it’s worth - I can only add there are 2 LLs in bollocks
Neil Adderley
63   Posted 23/02/2009 at 12:15:38

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Neil P - Recession or not, credit crunch or not, a ’crap job’ is a ’crap job.’ It is silly to suggest that due to the current downturn stacking shelves at a supermarket is suddenly something to aspire to.

The objectors at the inquiry do indeed argue, based on the figures in the Tesco application and set within the current local/regional and national planning framework, that DK would have an overall negative impact on the region.

I’d point you towards the Closing Submissions by all parties.
EJ Ruane
64   Posted 23/02/2009 at 13:04:19

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Just out of interest Rupert Tarlington/Gerrard Madden/Eddie Honda/moderator Java 2000/Shergar/Lord Lucan/Rafa/ Fat Keith/Robert Elstone/ Luvvie?s bezzy ? have you ever posted or responded to any other TW posts apart from Kirkby?

Tip: If you want to convince people you?re not some shifty twat with a vested interest in the move, this might help.
Mark Stone
65   Posted 23/02/2009 at 16:42:29

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"I would be more than happy to be saying nothing until the secretary of state makes their decision. If only Robert Elstone would do the same"

In fairness to Elstone, he is the CEO of the club. I can see why he might be called upon to talk about it ... and why you might not.
Stephen Graham
66   Posted 23/02/2009 at 14:47:10

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Reading the posts from ’Rupert Tarlington’ is saddening, actually. This person, who appears to have ’some interest’ in DK makes no attempt to win objectors over, and indeed simply mocks and denigrates us. If this is some person related to the Club, who doesn’t listen to or acknowledge our objections, then we have a bigger problem. Our club is not interested in us. Can that be true?



We don’t want to move to Kirkby, regardless what any past ’poll’ suggested!

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