Blue Union focuses on redeveloping Goodison Park

, 13 July, 105comments  |  Jump to most recent

The Blue Union's latest meeting at The Casa on Saturday featured a presentation by architect Trevor Skempton to support the long-held belief that Goodison Park could be redeveloped, rather than requiring a new stadium.

The meeting, attended by between 70 and 100 fans, gave the group the opportunity to discuss a number of issues that they feel are pressing where it comes to Everton's present and future, including the club's retail and kit supply deals and the long-running stadium debate.

Skempton, who has offered redevelopment alternatives for Goodison Park dating back to the Goodison For-Everton campaign in the late 1990s, showed sketches and potential construction timelines that would allow the club to build a 60,000- — or even 80,000- — seat stadium without reducing capacity from current levels throughout the lifespan of the development project.

Preliminary sketches by Trevor dating back to 2009 to demonstrate the feasibility of redevelopment

Images via @simon_magner

The Blue Union did not pretend that they had a solution to the thorny subject of finance for the redevelopment such a scheme, but wanted to show Evertonians that redeveloping Goodison Park was not the impossible challenge that the club hierarchy maintain it is.

Among Skempton's ideas was a partnership with a hotel chain as an enabling partner that would include the construction of a hotel at the Park End.

Article continues below video content

"I don't think there is an alternative to Goodison Park- this is our plan A and it's time to promote it actively," Skempton said.

"Construction doesn't have to disrupt attendances, or lead to the temporary closure of certain parts of the stadium."


Reader Comments (105)

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1 Posted 13/07/2015 at 16:41:18
As above, this idea is nothing new, but it probably doesn’t hurt to repeat it to different audiences of Evertonians – although it seems this audience was fairly modest. The graphics perhaps leave a little to be desired in this day and age...

Interesting that there is no mention of the Blue Union’s main objective – persuading the current custodians of Everton Football Club to sell up and allowing new owners with plenty of money to come in. Somewhat surprising, given the recent sale of West Brom.

However, seems they have been campaigning for five years with no positive change on this front. Even the stories of Kenwright meeting new investors every week have dried up...

It would be interesting to know if any of our readers were present and can give their view on proceedings.

Brian Wilkinson
2 Posted 13/07/2015 at 16:55:46
Our board do not want Goodison Park redeveloped, it is not in their intrest to even contemplate this.

What they want is a spanking new stadium so a large part of it will be funded, once that happens, they will have ample bargaining for new investers and make a big fat profit.

What they do not want is to pay more money redeveloping Goodison, and a new Stadium will push up the value of Everton Football Club.

Everyone knows Goodison Park can be redeveloped in stages, just a shame our board will not listen to the fans and expert advise, showing how it is possible.

Patrick Murphy
3 Posted 13/07/2015 at 16:57:43
My own take on the whole issue of moving or re-developing the stadium is that there appears to be very little appetite for it either from the board due to their financial strait-jacket or from the fans who realise that any move will in all probability lead to a few star-names being sold in order to pay for it.

I can’t see anything major developing on the ground issue for another five, perhaps even ten years, unless the club is sold to a group of owners with deeper pockets than those presently in charge.

The status-quo will continue as long as Goodison is full or nearly full and the necessary safety certificates are obtained year after year.

What legacy the current board leave for the children and grand-children of current match-going Blues seems not to concern those connected with the club – a crying shame but in modern day football it’s all about what happens in the now and tomorrow will have to take care of itself.

David O'Keefe
4 Posted 13/07/2015 at 17:03:47
The Blue Union is a group that wants a successful Everton at that sentiment was expressed quite clearly and unequivocally by Dave Kelly.

The agenda consisted of the podcast, redevelopment of Goodison Park and the decision was taken to become a members organisation.

As for the primary aim considering the custodians are on their last legs as it worth lobbying them to sell up?

Denis Richardson
5 Posted 13/07/2015 at 17:54:45
Patrick 3, tbh I think most (if not all) Evertonians would support selling some of the family silver if the proceeds were to go to a viable plan to sort out the stadium issue. (And not some random pot or black hole.)

If for example a redevelopment of GP would cost £200M (complete guess on my part) and the board said this was their vision over the next 5-7 years, then I think most fans would expect us to fund some of this through player sales. (Obviously the whole amount would not be funded from players and a large portion would be debt).

It's been mentioned many times on TW but the fact is the board repeatedly have said a redevelopment is not possible but crucially have never actually mentioned why. This is what I would really like to know and it would be great if the Blue Union, TW, Echo etc would ask them WHY can't there be a redevelopment. For example, is there something in the bonds that we owe that prevents this? It's very odd (nevermind frustrating) when people put forward what appear to be viable solutions to a serious problem but the board just say "can't be done" without saying why.

Theoretically, a redevelopment is the most obvious solution. A phased project would also allow us to fund the thing over a number of years, eg, one stand at a time. It's also been discussed for a good decade and nothing has come of it from the board...

James Flynn
6 Posted 13/07/2015 at 18:00:42
I've accepted that we'll have to wait Kenright and Wood to be near death's door before anything happens with their shares.
Jay Harris
7 Posted 13/07/2015 at 18:07:32
It wont happen because there is no retail enabling complement to satisfy Earl and Green's greed.
Thomas Lennon
9 Posted 13/07/2015 at 18:18:57
With a large land grab, yes redevelop. Without, no.
Paul Kossoff
10 Posted 13/07/2015 at 18:12:27
I would love to know how much money Kenwright and his board are making off Everton each year, that would tell us why they won't sell.

The idea that no-one is buying football clubs just doesn't stand up any longer.

Stewart Lowe
11 Posted 13/07/2015 at 18:24:08
Unlike many other clubs that have a bottomless pit of money, Everton has always had to be fully self-funded. We have done it the right way, none of this buying our way to a legacy that we haven’t earned the right to in a way similar to that of Man City and Chelsea. Redeveloping Goodison Park should be left well alone.

In order to compete we need a 50-60,000 seater stadium to take us forward and keep us competitive and the only way we will achieve this is by partnering some form of wealthy business that can share the cost with a joint venture. Its all very well redeveloping Goodison Park but in order to compete at the top level we need an Everton Village where space is abundant enough to build hotels, apartments, shops, and maybe concert hall etc. This is the way forward to stay ahead of the game and Goodison Park cannot deliver this.

I know fans believe Goodison Park is our Mecca and its the place where Dixie Dean, Lineker, Sharp, Royle, Ball, Ferguson etc became legends but there is a massive history yet to be written. Stop looking at the past because if we get this bit right we will be up there with 'em once more.

Declan Brown
12 Posted 13/07/2015 at 18:24:32
If any subject shows up the naked ineptitude and lack of ambition / vision of our board, this is it.

The new stadium is a no go under this lot, Kings Dock, Kirby and WHP shows we ain't getting a new stadium unless someone outside of the club is going to fund it for us = zero chance. Would you give it to them for free so they can profit on it?

Phased development is the logical way forward, I'm not asking for four super state-of-the-art stands right away; two or three new improved ones would do for me, just if it meant that we could modernise GP and increase income from hospitality and commercial areas, just get the club moving forwards.

This is the Premier League's golden age era, money will never be as good as it is now. I can't see the next deal being as lucrative as Sky have overpaid and won't be as foolish next time round. It's a sin if not a disgrace that in this golden era the stadium has not been improved. If the phased redevelopment had've started 10 years ago think of how much better Goodison would be now?

I'm not asking for 60,000-80,000, even 50,000 capacity would do but with a significant increase in hospitality and commercial opportunities it could raise revenue. Why not start on the Park End and build upwards and back to get capacity and hospitality up to a good level before moving onto the Bullens Road then Gladys (sic) Street?

I fear we've missed the boat, the sugar daddy's can't get near the club because Kenwright won't entertain them and has no intention in improving the infrastructure of GP. We don't even own our training facilities which speaks volumes for the state of our finances. While Kenwright is here (and most likely having his strings tugged by Earl and Green) we're going nowhere.

Phased redevelopment has been a wasted opportunity, don't even get me started on the Kings Dock fiasco.

Chelsea are going to redevelop to 60,000, same as Liverpool, Arsenal took the risk and have 60,000, Man Utd are nearly 80,000, Man City are going upwards to 60,000, West Ham are getting a new 55,000 stadium, Newcastle have over 50,000, Sunderland 45,000 which can go up to 60,000 if needed, we're being left behind in an era where you have to run hard just to stay still.

Neil McAllum
13 Posted 13/07/2015 at 18:57:06
The only solution to me is to sit this out long term, liaise with government and local council to secure the 2026 Commonwealth Games (which I read in the Echo recently the council are interested in) and use this opportunity for funding to develop a genuine world class stadium.

Otherwise, anything else (be it new build or a redevelopment of Goodison) will be a compromise due to lack of funding.

Brin Williams
14 Posted 13/07/2015 at 18:58:00
I am not at all optimistic of any ground improvement/change in the foreseeable future.

Until such time as the Board come out and state openly WHY they can not accept a revamp of GP, there is only gridlock. All the fans/BU efforts to push for change will fall on barren ground until the Board acknowledge a NEED, as they see it, and the ABILITY to fund that change, whatever it may be.

I would dearly like to see a revamped GP but can't see it happening in the lifetime of this board. They are far too comfortable with the status quo.

David O'Keefe
15 Posted 13/07/2015 at 19:14:37
Thomas Lennon: the land grab will leave the school and the Winslow intact.
Raymond Fox
16 Posted 13/07/2015 at 18:57:53
Phased redevelopment or whatever you chose to call it will come at the detriment of the quality of the team; that seems inevitable.

That might sound short-sighted, but is that what we want to happen?

Bill Farmer
17 Posted 13/07/2015 at 19:14:26
Paul Kossoff, 10 above. I've always believed that the truth is 'they' (Kenwright and Woods) take nothing out of the club, which is why they have never applied any aspect of their undoubted business acumen to their fiduciary responsibilities.

Were Everton to be 'a nice little earner ' for them, I suspect they would apply much more commercial sense to their job as governors of the enterprise.

Sloth is as great a sin as greed in my eyes!

Alan McGuffog
18 Posted 13/07/2015 at 19:31:22
My friends... nothing will happen, whatever we may dream. Everton FC has no plan, for the foreseeable, other than to merely exist in the Premier League.
Patrick Murphy
19 Posted 13/07/2015 at 19:28:52
Liverpool Echo, 18 July 2007, Wyness: Why our out of date Goodison will only get worse

"We think within the next 10 years there are going to be some very serious issues with regard to whether Goodison could even qualify for a safety certificate.

Everton FC today said they must leave Goodison Park if they are to remain a competitive Premiership force. Blues officials believe the club are falling behind their rivals commercially due to their historic home’s restricted capacity and lack of corporate hospitality. And they claimed the cost of redeveloping Goodison into a 21st-century stadium would be immense, making that option impractical.

27 November 2010: Everton chairman Bill Kenwright today insisted the hunt for investment into Everton would go on – despite the club's move to Kirkby being rejected by the Government. Speaking for the first time since the Tesco-led Knowsley plan was rejected, the Goodison chairman told the Echo:

"The first thing to say in terms of Kirkby is that the chapter is over and the book is closed.

"The motivation has only ever been to improve the finances of the football club. They need to be stabilised, improved and expanded.

"As everyone knows, the club doesn't currently have a chairman or a board in a position to do those things.

"We have had some of the best financial experts helping us with our search for investment for some considerable time now – and that will continue.

"Inevitably the search will throw up questions about where the club will play its football in years to come.

"And the response will be: 'We are happy to be at Goodison Park while we regroup, reassess and consider all options available to us there and possibly elsewhere’.

"At the end of the day, the club's finances will be key to everything."

Seeing as the search for funding is still unresolved and the fans are mostly content to continue attending Goodison in huge numbers, I repeat my earlier post that there is little or no appetite for the stadium issue to be addressed. WHP has of course been mentioned in despatches but the problems which beset Destination Kirkby are the same problems which will likely see WHP fall flat on its face, if it hasn't already been consigned to dustbin of history.

James Newcombe
20 Posted 13/07/2015 at 19:39:01
Surely with all the TV revenue around at the moment, now is the time to do this? What are we waiting for...?
Joe McMahon
21 Posted 13/07/2015 at 20:15:13
Just picked this from a random fans forum, there were many comments; at least Bill's a Blue eh!

"We can be dismissive of modern stadiums as having no atmosphere, but Goodison Park is a reminder that the old stadiums were not always all they were cracked up to be. How Everton, who were once known as "The Millionaire Club" have managed to end up with such a sorry mess of a stadium given the fact that they have had years and years of Premier League money is a complete mystery to me."

"I went last season and had a cack view. Awful ground. I wiped my feet on the way out!"

"I went last season, sat in the lower tier, it is a proper shithole, had that many bruises on my legs from them wank seats, couldn't move in the so-called concourse, it's a dump and wants bulldozing."

"I thought I was at Bradford City in the cow shed for a minute or Gay Meadow,not at one point during the day did I think I was watching a game in the prem."

"It's a quaint old ground "of it's time" BUT this was the £29 "view" we had – worst I have ever experienced – period. Time to upgrade, Everton – this should not be allowed in the Premier League."

Denis Richardson
22 Posted 13/07/2015 at 20:14:49

So the club's response to redevelopment is that it'll cost too much? That's their answer? After years of saying it's not possible and point-blank refusing to say why they now come out with 'the costs would be immense'?

Sorry but that's too simple a cop-out to me. If it was just the money aspect, they could easily have said so x years ago and also given us some example/idea of what 'immense' is in this case.

Architects and experts have mentioned many times that the costs of a phased redeveloping GP would likely be much cheaper than building a brand new stadium so I'll take their reply with a sack full of salt. 11 years on since Kings Dock and we're nowhere near solving the stadium issue - E.L.E.V.E.N years!

At this rate, I'll be drawing my pension before anything happens.

For those saying that BK and the board take nothing out of the club. They are right as far as a salary or dividend is concerned. However, we pay in the millions in interest every year to a company in the BVI with likely ties to certain board members (interest of around 9%!). Food for thought... given the MASSIVE Sky money we now get, you have to ask why we need to take out loans costing 9% in interest... these loans have been around for a number of years and just get bigger.

Patrick Murphy
23 Posted 13/07/2015 at 20:24:33
Sorry, Denis, accept my apologies as I may have mislead readers but that quote of Everton stated today was released on the same day as Wyness's 18 July 2007 – eight years ago. But I suppose the sentiment remains the same at this moment in time.
Dave Lynch
24 Posted 13/07/2015 at 20:30:34
I have to drive past the other lot's ground at least 3 times a day in my job. I watch that new stand become more of a reality daily...

I then turn the corner and feast my eyes on our dilapidated, archaic stadium and my blood starts to boil.

Denis Richardson
25 Posted 13/07/2015 at 20:30:22
Patrick, thanks for clarifying.

I've given up on the stadium tbh - it'll take something falling off and nearly (hopefully not) injuring someone to get them to change anything. Unless the whole safety certificate warning was also total bollocks. Who really knows....

Patrick Murphy
26 Posted 13/07/2015 at 20:43:55
I agree, Denis, I also think the Safety Certificate was a ploy... but then everything connected with the Stadium issue seems to have an element of gamesmanship to it.
Paul Hewitt
27 Posted 13/07/2015 at 21:06:49
I simply think we have missed the boat in building a new stadium or redeveloping GP. It should have been done in the early 90s when we where still a name in football.

Now, unless some billionaire takes us over and personally invests in a new stadium, we are stuck at GP.

Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 13/07/2015 at 21:01:10
Clever ploy from the Blue Union. They're not interested in the club being sold, they just want the fans to stop being sold down the river.

If nobody is buying football clubs, and we have not got the money for a new stadium, then we will have to redevelop Goodison instead.

We haven't got the money for this either, so maybe it really is time for Kenwright to genuinely put Everton up for sale.

Thomas Lennon
29 Posted 13/07/2015 at 21:20:08
David O'Keefe - then it is probably too small! The school is the least of our worries, we need to move away from Goodison Road, if only to give the residents room and daylight.

Goodison was built for a far different era of supporters, we need to attract the new, richer kind rather than be a museum of the 1960s.

Bill Farmer
30 Posted 13/07/2015 at 21:13:48
I suspect this issue has only re-emerged because it's summertime and there's precious little happening on the football front.

The wheels were coming off the cart long before the Moores family turned their backs on the club and the last 30 years have certainly been a low period in this great club's history.

For his part, I guess BK will say, "Well, at least we kept them in the top division, the ungrateful buggers that they are!'' And as one of the few still around from when we did go down, I have to admit that's a great blessing.

Funny how you get more grateful for small mercies as you get deep into old age!

Karl Masters
31 Posted 13/07/2015 at 21:06:40
I read our TV income is going up £30m a season. In truly simplistic terms this means you would have enough money to pay for a £250m project in under 9 years!

I fully accept it's not quite that simple, but I'm the other hand it's not that complicated either.

Therefore, I am convinced that Kenwright and/or his cohorts (official and unofficial) are just sitting on their hands waiting for the day they sell the club for a humongous profit.

Bill may be a Blue, but the last few years have shown that either he's completely incompetent or inherently dishonest. Maybe both. In my opinion, of course.

David O'Keefe
32 Posted 13/07/2015 at 21:40:02
Thomas Lennon, when an architect says that is not the case, I tend to believe them.
Michael Kenrick
33 Posted 13/07/2015 at 20:58:59
Paul @10,

There is a puzzle here, and that is, if you're not putting any money in, then you are either (a) taking money out... or (b) relying on selling the club to realize your Return on Investment. How else do you make money owning a Premier League club?

Strangely, we are told the answer to (a) is categorically No. No directors take any money out of the club. Now, for many fans, that is hard to swallow, but to reject this assertion would be to accuse the custodians for fraud, embezzlement or worse, so perhaps we should be a little circumspect about that.

At the same time, we are told by others that the answer to (b) is also No. According to a number of observers, the current custodians have no intention of selling the club. Although at some point they would be expected to, and would then see a substantial hike on the £857 per share True Blue Holdings paid Peter Johnson for each of his shares in Everton FC Co Ltd back in 2000.

Tony Abrahams
34 Posted 13/07/2015 at 21:43:41
So if the answer to both A and B, is no, what exactly is the point of this current board?

Careful what you wish for, is a often used term, when talking about Everton being sold. But what exactly is the alternative when we are slowly getting left behind?

Johnny Rainford
35 Posted 13/07/2015 at 21:40:37
Declan #12 ... nailed it mate. Quote from the Telegraph:

"23 Jul 2001 - Everton have been given permission to build a 55,000-capacity stadium on the Mersey waterfront at King's Dock. The club have six months to prove the £155 million scheme is viable and put the finance in place but Bill Kenwright, the Everton owner and deputy chairman, is confident the move will go ahead."

As much as I love Goodison, If an average player now yields transfer funds of £49m and, with TV revenue being what it is, but for the board of that period dithering, it could and should have happened.

Kenwright has never been far-sighted enough for Everton. We used to set the benchmark by which other clubs aspired. Now we just get mocked.

Helen Mallon
36 Posted 13/07/2015 at 21:53:41
Can someone tell me why we bother with the Blue Union? Our club is run very badly, no money, an old stadium, and a merchandising dept that is very poor. So why are the Blue Union saying they don't want to see the board out, they want investment?

Well, I'm afraid they are in the minority; most want the board out and protesting and banners and flags at every game is needed.

Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 13/07/2015 at 22:14:17
Helen, they have tried that and it never really worked. More than one way to skin a cat though, let's hope this is the start of something.
Eugene Ruane
38 Posted 13/07/2015 at 21:13:33
Cards on the table - I agree with the BU and my first choice would (also) be the redevelopment of Goodison in stages.

However right now (ie: today) the club are in the position (as they often are) to ignore or casually swat away anything they find unpleasant.

There are a few reasons they're able to do that.

Basically, they play a game and they play it very well.

First of all they know 'our' weakness - our love of and loyalty to Everton FC - and use it against us.

Waffle, sleight-of-hand, moving goalposts, deflection, etc etc has many duped.

"We don't want blue against blue do we?"


"We're all Evertonians aren't we?"

'Er...yes, I supp..'

"We all want the same thing don't we?"

'I..erm...yeah but..'

"And at least Bill's a blue - right?"

' is but...'




What else is working for BK-Elstone?

Well it helps that it takes a LOT to get Evertonians off their/arses.

We must be the only club on the planet with supporters oppose to protest because our tivals have protested - see the ludicrous, self-defeating and BK friendly - 'Kopite behaviour'.

In short, they get away with the shit they do because 'we' allow them to.

Or to put it another way, the pressure on them simply isn't enough.

But there is a glimmer of hope (nb: only a glimmer)

Because there was, fairly recently, anger expressed by Evertonians and change demanded worked.

22500 blues said 'fuck that Fisher-Price badge off!' and (eventually) off it was fucked.

Now don't get me wrong, I think we're dealing with the thick-skinned and incredibly self-serving, so I'm not suggesting names on a petition alone did the trick, there were a couple of other important factors.

1) The press got hold of it.

2) It wasn't during the season, so supporters could focus on it (probably also the reason the press got hold of it - fuck-all else going on).

In my humblest of opinions, getting an idea of numbers would be a good start.

Many couldn't make the Casa on Saturday, but I'm guessing most have the wherewithal to press FOR or AGAINST online.

I'd certainly be curious (and can guarantee one FOR)

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 13/07/2015 at 22:53:00
Make that two Eugene.
Danny Broderick
40 Posted 13/07/2015 at 22:58:31
Why can't we at least get a 2nd tier put on the Park End? My guess is it would cost no more than £10 million. An extra 5,000 tickets all paying £45 (like I have for Watford at home) for 20 games a season brings in £4.5 million a year in extra revenue. (Fag paper maths, this is not profit, and some people would vacate other parts of the ground to sit there).

But even if it only brought in an extra £2 million in profit per year, it would have paid for itself within a few years, and it would be progress. Even if we move grounds, this thing would pay for itself within 4/5 years.

Our owners can't be allowed to just do nothing while hoping that the council are going to hand us a stadium on a plate. They are only custodians, the club will be around long after Kenwright, Earl, Woods and Green.

Jay Harris
41 Posted 13/07/2015 at 22:28:17
We have one thick skinned chairman living his dream and absentee board members assumedly taking large interest payments in the BVI. Why would they want to sell or put any money in?

There is no vision, ambition or energy put into the club by any of the board members. The commercial negotiations are done lazily with existing sponsors. Managerial appointments are done lazily on recommendations of friends or outgoing managers. When the Premier League is awash with money we are a rotting corpse of a club.

Of course GP could be redeveloped. It has been done by Villa, Man Utd, Newcastle and now Spurs. The only reason clubs went to new grounds is because of the level of EU subsidies (no longer available) or because the council gave them a free ride (Man City and West Ham).

We missed out big style on Kings Dock which would have given us one of the most iconic stadiums in the world for 㿊 million and in 2001 I believe engineers costed the redevelopment of GP at £40 million.

Then the current bunch of misfits brought us destination Kirkby a "virtually free stadium" which Tescos were mostly (not) subsidising and (not) the best transport links in the country because Goodison was (not) going to fail it's safety certificate.

And for the last 15 years "True Blue" Bill has (not) been looking 24/7 for investment/new owners. Seems the only place he hasn't looked is down the back of his sofa.

The only other thing that has happened under his tenure is we no longer have any fixed assets (they have all been sold/mortgaged) and we have gone from a net asset position under that "Devil" Johnson to a net liability under "Blue" Bill with the club in record debts.

Oh but there again "He is one of us"... Well he certainly isn't one of me.

Thomas Lennon
42 Posted 13/07/2015 at 23:46:20
David, ask your architect to stop talking about crammed in seats and start talking about space we would need to be equivalent to our richer competitors and to compete with them. Space we need to be able to offer our visitors to give them the same experience for the same amount of money they will spend at least at Anfield for example. Then we can talk about increasing matchday income substantially.

The lastest design is far better than the last effort, but let's push it to its limit. Let's us not build in mediocrity.

Brian Wilkinson
43 Posted 14/07/2015 at 00:00:39
I give it a month maximum, before Earl makes a statement either stating we are working on a possible plauseable site and it will be splashed in the echo and our website, or dismissing Goodison being revamped.

Even go as far as to say a week before the meeting.

Enough of the bullshit and say why Goodison cannot be redeveloped.

Tony I'Anson
44 Posted 14/07/2015 at 00:02:47
The key issue is the long-term cost of finance and revenue streams in place to repay it without adversely affecting the operation of the business.

As the short term BVI loans suggest, the returns can be quite attractive in a commercial context. But in other scenarios, lower returns could also be acceptable long term.

Lloyd Brodrick
45 Posted 14/07/2015 at 02:02:14
Doha Port Stadium will be built solely for the purpose of hosting FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. It will be a modular stadium built on an artificial peninsula in the Gulf. After the tournament it will be disassembled and seating donated to developing countries.

Perhaps there are opportunities like this via future commonwealth or world events.

Matt Traynor
46 Posted 14/07/2015 at 03:33:05
Danny #40 my understanding is that the Park End does not have the foundations to add a second tier. A double tier stand was considered but dismissed on cost grounds, and the cheapest option (which did not have the foundations to support a future second tier) was taken – even with a Football Trust grant.

Basically it would be cheaper to demolish and start again.

Jack Cross
47 Posted 14/07/2015 at 05:11:21
Michael Kenrick.
Would it be possible to have a closer look of those drawings?
Michael Kenrick
48 Posted 14/07/2015 at 05:20:57
Hi Jack,

Have you tried zooming in? Hold down Ctrl and press + + +... see if that makes them any bigger.

Works for me. Or you could right-click, Save Image As... and inspect every pixel.

David S Shaw
49 Posted 14/07/2015 at 08:26:50
I see that the drawing is dated 2009. In the 6 years that have passed since they were done we could have completed phase 1 and 2 by now, I'm sure we'd be more attractive to investors now too.

It's not like the players we bought have led us to trophies neither. All we have done is maintained our position in the Premier League. We have not progressed at all. We've only existed.

Jim Lloyd
50 Posted 14/07/2015 at 09:07:06
I'm sure that there are opportunities to redevelop Goodison and perhaps have land to develop a "village" as well. Tom Hughes and Trevor Skempton have shown how Goodison can be redeveloped.

The trouble is, in two words, William Kenwright. He came to the club with a fanfare of "Only a custodian of the club until someone with more money comes along." What a heroic man.

Well, although looking for God knows how long "24/7" for more investment, hard though he's tried, there ain't none. Funny that. Nearly every club in the Premier League has either got new owners or more investment. Certainly the 5 major competitors to Everton FC, at the time of the inception of the Premier League; Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool, have had new owners. Liverpool, have had two and recently; Man City have become just about the richest club anywhere in the Universe.

We were left behind years ago and we can't even play catch-up. The current bunch are looking for someone to build them a stadium so they can make a load of cash for themselves. Strange that Kenwright goes on about 24/7 yet how many clubs have been bought since he uttered that phrase?

Another one of his gems "the £30 mill is ringfenced" saw us lose the opportunity to have probably the most iconic stadium in England at the King's Dock. He then refused to accept the investment Paul Gregg was going to make because of "conditions" attached. My guess is because Gregg wanted Kenwright to step down as Chairman.

Sorry to sound bitter and twisted but that man at the head of this club has just led us down the road of flogging off all that we owned.

So, although I believe Goodison Park could be redeveloped into a great, modern stadium, I don't think there's a cat in hell's chance of it happening, until we get a new Board.

Celtic had a rights issue, I think it's called and they got the investment from that to help redevelop their ground. I don't think there's a chance of that happening either with the current bunch in charge.

It's amazing that 3 bidders came forward to buy Aston Villa, a club with a rich history like ours. I've not heard ticketiboo about whether EFC have had any discussions or approaches from the two unsuccessful bidders.

I think the only option that this crew want is to have a new stadium built, paid for by someone else, and Kenwright still living his dream of being the man in charge.

I hope I'm wrong. Maybe this board will galvaise themselves into action but I'm not holding my breath.

Ralph Basnett
51 Posted 14/07/2015 at 12:25:03
Lovely pictures, but that is all they are.

I have read 49 posts on this subject all stating the obvious, Kenwright has to go for the club to move on, yet no one has actually done anything meaningful to try and make it happen.

I go to all home games and have never seen a meaningful protest, we have been on the TV enough times and there would be our platform for a protest but we invite the media to a park or a car park to let them hear our protest when we should be protesting on live TV. Less of this 'It will upset the players if we jeer about the management of the club', they earn enough to ignore it and, if they hear it, should understand what is happening.

The club needs a huge overall from the top to the bottom and whilst the owners, CEO and all who sit on the top table are getting an easy ride, nothing will ever change.

We are Everton, we only moan on ToffeeWeb when this unfortunately is the time to be like the redshite and be more positive (or negative) in our approach to outing the board.

If we don't do this then please keep producing the nice pictures, it gives us something to moan about, but only on ToffeeWeb!!!!!!

Greg Lambden
52 Posted 14/07/2015 at 13:30:35
Everybody knows it is 'technically' possible to redevelop Goodison Park and I don't think anyone has stated otherwise. You have to be pretty naïve though to think you can spend an hour with some felt tip pens and you then have a viable proposition. Where is the viable business plan?

Move on, nothing to see here.

Erik Dols
53 Posted 14/07/2015 at 13:49:32
Greg, I'm pretty sure the club has dismissed redeveloping Goodison as technically impossible -- or, to be precise: that it wouldn't be possible to get more than 30k seats. It is this claim which has time and time again been proven to be untrue by Tom Hughes and others. I will try to find the link to the exact article.
Erik Dols
54 Posted 14/07/2015 at 13:58:14
I cannot find the 30k-quote I have in head, just some quotes from Elstone who says redeveloping is not financially feasible. No explanation why. He refers to Chelsea as an example of a club who saw that redeveloping was not feasible, but ironically, since the interview Chelsea have decided to redevelop their stadium...
Bill Farmer
55 Posted 14/07/2015 at 14:10:24
Jim at 60 above, you conveniently omit to mention the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Queen's Park Rangers, Sheffield Wed, Wimbledon, Sheffield Utd, Coventry City, Ipswich Town, Leeds Utd, Oldham, Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest who were all founder members of the Premier League but subsequently changed hands only to sink... some of them without trace.

Whatever we may think of Mr Kenwright's regime, his chosen managers have kept us in relatively calm waters. A change of ownership has never been the panacea for all ills, as the fans of the aforementioned clubs will attest !

Kevin Tully
56 Posted 14/07/2015 at 14:32:45
Bill, don't forget Tranmere, Blackpool, Burnley and Preston.
Phil Bellis
57 Posted 14/07/2015 at 14:44:10
Greg Lambden (52)

Your question would be better put to the Board, would it not?
Don't hold your breath...

Jim Lloyd
58 Posted 14/07/2015 at 15:10:51

These are just sketches, not a blueprint! Years ago, Goodison for Everton produced detailed plans to show that a 55,000-seater stadium could be built at Goodison Park. Trevor Skempton and Tom Hughes produced very detailed drawings of how Goodison could be redeveloped.

Everton Football Club are the only ones who don't know it's technically possible, as they have said that it couldn't be redeveloped. What was it... "Kirkby is our only option... there is no Plan B."

Bill (#55), I can assure you that I have not conveniently forgot anything at all! True, I didn't mention the clubs you have but a fair number of those clubs sank before anyone bought them. There are other small clubs who are finding it difficult to survive, ones who used to be successful. But I'm talking about EFC, 9 times Champions, 5 times Cup winners and Once European Cup Winners Cup holders.

Yes, we are in "relatively calm waters" but in my humble opinion, we are sinking!

I am pointing out that of the "Big Five" who led us all to the Premier League, we are the only club to have regressed. I will, however, point out, that we have been bought since the inception of the Premier League.

I understand that being sold is not a panacea for all ills, In fact, since we were sold to True Blue Holdings, panacea is the last adjective I would use, I think a more appropriate adjective as what has been administered to the fans of EFC is anaesthetic.

As I pointed out, we are slipping further and further behind Spurs, Arsenal, Man Utd. Liverpool and subsequently Chelsea and Man City, we have not, as far as I am aware, had one enquiry, except some lad in a bedsit, that has led to a bid for the club.

I'm pointing out that Aston Villa, was bought by an American Billionaire, who spent a lot of money trying to make Aston Villa successful. He has subsequently sold it to one of THREE consortiums while Billy Boy is still shouting that there are no Fairy Godmothers. and has said that for a decade or so.

As I said, I blame Kenwright for the terrible loss of the King's Dock Stadium and, if it remains under the same ownership as now, I don't see us ever re building Goodison. Not because it can't be done but because certain parties want a shiny new stadium built for them so they can pocket a large profit on the shares they hold.

Eugene Ruane
59 Posted 14/07/2015 at 16:10:56
Greg Lambden (52) - Your attempt at smart-arsery lacks balance - basically all arse, no smart.

"Everybody knows it is 'technically' possible to redevelop Goodison Park and I don't think anyone has stated otherwise"

Yes they have - every response from the club has, in effect, stated that.

You continue - 'You have to be pretty naive though to think you can spend an hour with some felt tip pens and you then have a viable proposition.'

Ho ho ho what a card..... except surely that depends on who is holding the felt tip pens.

Seem to remember wonderful professional online presentations/drawings of Kirkby and the Kings dock - thing is they were fucking fantasy, so I'll take an expert like Trevor Skempton with his felties, rather than hopeless amateurs with their box of online tricks.

And by the way everybody doesn't know what is or isn't 'technically possible'

Everybody doesn't know about the foundations of Goodison or who owns what houses or land or what is or isn't structurally possible, which is why there IS something to see here.

Simple solution, if you think there's 'nothing to see here', don't fucking come here.

Michael Kenrick
60 Posted 14/07/2015 at 16:28:57

Sorry to doubt you but I cannot ever recall the club citing 30k seats as a maximum capacity for a redeveloped Goodison Park.

I believe the reason the club has never shown any inclination to redevelop is purely financial. In recent years, this has effectively been admitted.

It was back in the earlier years, when they claimed to have had architects do a redevelopment feasibility study (never released) that 'proved' redevelopment was not feasible. That's what annoyed those who saw the work of GFE, Tom Hughes, Trevor Skempton and others.

Erik Dols
61 Posted 14/07/2015 at 16:46:32
I'm sorry, my mind probably made it up. Cannot find it anywhere. You're probably right; "back in the days" they just said it wasn't feasible and lately they are more willing to admit that the reasons for not redeveloping are purely financial.

The thing why I - and I assume a lot of others based on their comments - are so against a new stadium is this. I am not against a new stadium as such. If we leave Goodison Park for a state-of-the-art stadium at a great location in the city with all the facilities that a modern stadium must hold, and with the unique atmosphere Goodison holds, I am all for it.

I can even accept that, left or right, we will have to sacrifice a little to suit some retail project, to make the project viable. But the current board have proven in Destination Kirkby that they would accept a cow shed outside the city. If that's all the current board can deliver, I am convinced that redeveloping Goodison Park is the better way forward. Even if that takes the better part of a decade in a phased approach.

Patrick Murphy
62 Posted 14/07/2015 at 17:13:27

I have been searching high and low to confirm your 30,000 seats claim but can't find anything apart from a Dominic King piece in December 2007 following an AGM wrote about redeveloping Goodison. Even once the development had been completed, Everton would then only be left with around 37,500 seats.

As an aside, I found this little nugget reported by the Echo in September 2008, Bill Kenwright tells Everton EGM: "I'd sell tomorrow to bring in a billionaire to support manager."

Bill Kenwright has pledged to step up his search for a billionaire after he admitted a move to Kirkby is the only viable option to solve Everton's stadium dilemma. Speaking at last night's extraordinary general meeting, Everton's chairman highlighted the annual summer battle he faces to provide a substantial transfer kitty for David Moyes and revealed that the club cannot continue to operate in such a way.

Though Everton have been able to smash their transfer record four times since January 2005, all they have been doing is borrowing against existing debt and the club believes that Goodison Park can no longer provide an adequate stream of revenue.

In an emotional speech, Kenwright said he would have no hesitation in stepping aside if a suitable buyer came along, and Keith Harris – the banker whose Seymour Price firm brokered Randy Lerner's purchase of Aston Villa in July 2006 – is seeking investment for the Blues. If, however, that investment does not come along, Kenwright is adamant that Destination Kirkby is the only attractive proposition for Everton, even though his heart would love nothing more than to see Goodison redeveloped.

"This summer has been the worst I have ever known in the transfer market," said Kenwright. "But it is going to get worse and worse. The Arabs buying Manchester City will make things all the more difficult for a club like Everton.

"There was a chart on Monday that showed the top 13 owners in football. We weren't in it. It does not include Tottenham, who are owned by (the sports and media investment group) Enic, nor were Blackburn, who had a wonderful millionaire behind them.

"There wasn't even a Sunderland, who have got four multi-millionaires behind them.

"I'm a pauper when it comes to other chairmen. A total pauper.

"Every summer I borrow, I bounce balls up in the air to try and support this man (Moyes).

"Is moving to Kirkby anything to do with my shareholding? Nil. Anyone who believes that, you've got the wrong chairman. I cannot go on like this. We need a new owner and we will continue to try to find one." 

Evertonians cast long, envious glances towards Manchester City on Monday when they were taken over by Abu Dhabi United Development Group and Kenwright would love nothing more than to step aside for a similar group.

"I would like the club to have a billionaire who could support David Moyes with more money," said Kenwright. "I don't want to be the chairman that takes this club to Kirkby and I didn't want to sell Wayne Rooney. But I am and I probably will be.

"I do not want to be here next year. I don't want to be standing in front of you saying "it's been another tough season" and "I don't know where the money is". I want you (shareholders and supporters) to have everything you want, which is a billionaire.

"Whether it is a Sheikh, whether it is a Russian, an American, whether it is any one of the 14 or 15 people I have met in the last 12 months. I want to give you that. I want you to give that billionaire to every single one of you. I would sell tomorrow.

"Why? Because he and I fight every summer. We are a cabaret act when we meet players about this football club and the salaries and the transfer fees that we can afford. We had nine and a half hours together on Monday getting a substantial transfer in.

"That was not easy. It was nothing to do with a chairman who wants money. That was a chairman who wants to fulfil a promise to this football club. That's all I want. I so want every one of you to have your billionaire. It's not me and I apologise it's not me."

The many opponents of the move to Kirkby have long argued that Goodison could be redeveloped, and acting chief executive Robert Elstone presented three scenarios that would see Everton staying at their home of 116 years. One involved demolishing the ground and building a new 35,000 capacity arena, another saw Goodison being demolished a bit at a time to give the club 50,000 seats and the final suggestion was rebuilding the Bullens Road stand.

However, the cost for each project was astronomical and would cause enormous disruption, and for the money they would spend on redeveloping the Bullens Road, Elstone said Everton could make a similar investment to get a new stadium in Kirkby.

"We believe that there is no other financially available option in Liverpool," said Elstone.

"We have been offered only two other sites in the city, and they were not viable. If we try to develop Goodison Park, we will have to revise our club budget and expectation.

"This club has always punched above its weight with a great manager in control. It is unwise to continue to rely on that to be successful as a football club. There have been several sites over 12 years of searching, from Kirkby golf club, the King's Dock, Scotland Road and now Kirkby.

"But there is no site in the city. Liverpool FC have been looking, Tesco has been looking at us. There is nowhere. It will cost £230m to rebuild Goodison Park, and that is not viable. The board will not put this club at risk and we retain our commitment to Kirkby.

A motion to end the exclusivity agreement with Knowsley Borough Council and Tesco over the Kirkby plans, plus a demand to re-consider development of Goodison Park, or find a new site in the city, was defeated on a card vote that ensured the club's major shareholders, including Kenwright, would prevail. The voting was 622 in favour of the motion and 26,553 against, 97.71% of the votes.

Kenwright, however, did pave the way for future discussions with Liverpool City Council when he invited council leader Warren Bradley and Labour leader Joe Anderson – both of whom spoke at the meeting – to come up with a workable proposal for a new stadium in the city boundaries.

Jim Lloyd
63 Posted 14/07/2015 at 16:58:13
I agree Erik. If the Kings Dock had materialised, (I think there was a massive vote in favour for it) we'd have our iconic stadium and probably new owners queuing up to buy the club (not that we necessarily would have needed them) and likely a massive increase in following.

But I think Kirkby showed up what this Board are up to. If this Board had the bottle, then say £20 million a year over ten years would probably do it. But all this lot seem to be able to do, is hang around hoping some retail scheme will come along that will include their new stadium.

I'd love to see us have just a half of the forward planning that the other lot over the Park have but I think we will be waiting a long time.

Patrick Murphy
64 Posted 14/07/2015 at 17:26:53
September 4th 2008, Elstone said:

The first option was to re-build the current ground on the existing footprint at a cost of £130m. He said this option would which would reduce capacity to 35,000 from the 40,500. The club could be in the new ground by 2012 but in the meantime, it would involve playing home games at the grounds of rival clubs, the JJB in Wigan, the Reebok in Bolton, Deepdale in Preston or even Anfield. The result of that would be a loss of £6m a year, and even when complete the club would take £1m less in revenue than at present.

The second "extremely challenging" option was a £230m new 50,000-seater stadium over an expanded footprint which land including Gwladys Street school, around 100 homes and a business, moving into the ground by 2013. Moving out of the ground while work continued would cost £200m, with a loss of £6m a year.

He said it would be "extremely challenging" to successfully acquire the land and at best the club could hope to be inside the new ground by 2013. It would involve building the new stadium while still playing at Goodison Park with spectators only able to sit in three stands. Or alternatively moving out while the new ground was built which would cost £200m, but would see the club lose £6m a year while the stadium was built.

The third option was to a new Bullens Road stand at a cost of between £50m and £70m, which would and would create 4,000 additional seats and bring in an extra £2.5m a year.

None of the options was acceptable, said Elstone. "All these options we believe are not acceptable and will not deliver," Elstone said. However, as part of £78m cost of moving to Kirkby the club is expecting to recoup cash by selling the naming rights for the new stadium, and also selling Goodison Park.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
65 Posted 14/07/2015 at 17:33:51
More great finds, Patrick, to jog the old memory banks.

I'm sorry we're still having issues with the hieroglyphics that special (or not-so-special) characters get turned into when material is pasted into posts. I have to go through and change them manually, so bear with me. The other option would be hold these posts until I get to them but that would feel like you were being muzzled.

Patrick Murphy
66 Posted 14/07/2015 at 17:38:47
MK Would you like me to submit the BK I'm a pauper piece to you directly?
Jim Lloyd
67 Posted 14/07/2015 at 17:37:56
Many thanks Patrick, although at one point I was looking for my hanky as Kenwright's speech at that AGM, had me in tears.
Michael Kenrick
68 Posted 14/07/2015 at 17:42:45
Patrick, I think perhaps with the longer ones, if you could send them in as an article, but say which thread it relates to, we can clean it up and post it to that thread. That might be easier for people to read, with a little loss in spontaneity!


Greg Lambden
69 Posted 14/07/2015 at 17:20:31
Eugene (59) - Firstly, the club have never said its not 'technically possible' to redevelop GP. They may have however said / suggested its not financially viable. These are two different things. If i'm wrong, please supply a link that shows otherwise.

Secondly, it really doesn't matter who's holding the pens if the drawings don't come with at least an idea on how you might pay for it. I could 'technically' make my 3 bed a 6 bed but sadly I'm unable to finance it. You do know what a business plan is right....?

Thirdly, its now 2015 and imperfect building foundations / structure doesn't have to rule out redevelopment. It would just add to the cost and / or adjust the scope but would make it still 'technically possible' to redevelop.

Fourthly, I had to come here to read the article to establish there's nothing to see here.

Finally - someone doesn't share your view on the stadium subject so you spit your dummy out again. Pick it up Eugene, clean it off and stick it back in your gob mate.

Jim Lloyd
70 Posted 14/07/2015 at 17:47:23
Greg, it is you who's saying there is nothing to see here... move on. You may or may not have meant it but it sounds dismissive. If you don't wish to participate in the discussion then that's your right, but the way you wrote your post makes it read as though everyone should move on.

It also looks as though you have dismissed the idea of the Blue Union's support for redevelopment and used the sketch to further your view that this is a non-starter

As it is there are many interested Blues who what to see what the Club's stance is on the various ground moves or redeveloping Goodison Park. Business plans are a lot further along the road. Trevor Skempton had an input into St James Park, so he is not just doodling but giving a flavour of what can be achieved.

Dennis Stevens
71 Posted 14/07/2015 at 18:28:55
You've got a view then Greg? I just thought you were here to criticise & dismiss the opinions of others.
Jack Cross
72 Posted 14/07/2015 at 18:53:33
Michael Kenrick.

Thanks for your help Michael.

Eugene Ruane
73 Posted 14/07/2015 at 19:45:26
Greg – Wow that's a lot for someone who suggested they were moving on and there was 'nothing to see here'.

As for all your Clarence Darrow-ing, you (conveniently) miss my point – that your contention that 'everybody knows it's technically possible...' is bollocks as everybody knows no such thing.

As for specifics...

Ok, you say 'Eugene (59) – Firstly, the club have never said its not 'technically possible' to redevelop GP. They may have however said / suggested it's not financially viable. These are two different things. If I'm wrong, please supply a link that shows otherwise.'

[makes note of 'suggested'...]

First, let me explain something. For the most part, I choose the words I do for a reason. So here's the words I chose in this instance – 'Yes they have – every response from the club has, in effect, stated that' — You see the phrase 'in effect'? (like your 'suggested').

The reason I specifically chose this phrase is because I know the club's ruse is the same as that used by the suspect who says nothing when arrested – because he believes silence won't/can't incriminate him.

And you know what, he might (on occasion) be right.

However, Everton FC, not having the brains of the average suspect, choose not silence but to say... a little bit. And saying a little bit and... no more, speaks fucking volumes.

The club (actually) saying 'it isn't viable', then shutting up, says a lot of things. Or rather allows us (me!) to. It says 'it's too expensive' or 'we don't own the land' or 'Bill won't make enough cash' or 'it's not technically viable' or 'we've done a secret deal with X for WHP' or...

Get it?

It says everything and it says nothing – that is the trick.

I couldn't give one flying shite about the content of anything they actually said, because I understand it's the bare minimum and simply intended to deflect and confuse.

As for finance, I know less than just about anyone (not false modesty, that's a fact) but even I know that right now, a £100M stage-by-stage redevelopment of Goodison, is a more realistic option than a £300M (or whatever) brand new development in WHP (unless... there's something we're not being told).

(So yes it does matter who is holding the fucking felt tips).

As for – 'someone doesn't share your view on the stadium subject so you spit your dummy out again. Pick it up Eugene, clean it off and stick it back in your gob mate'.

Can I just to say how hurtful that is, you genuinely upset me with those comments and I shall think twice before posting again.


Steve Jones
74 Posted 14/07/2015 at 20:21:03 we wait for the customary ToffeeWeb sharpening of torches and lighting of pitchforks to set about Greg for his clear question does occur?

What does rebuilding the old lady do for us that makes it worthwhile?

We don't get great per-seat matchday revenues as it stands... are we going to make a great deal off a few thousand more low-return seats? Enough to make it worth the investment?

Are we going to regularly fill hospitality suites and exec boxes when the unhappily more recently successful team across the park will have its own new corporate offerings?.

Will we be able to compete with the easier-to-reach city centre events venues when we're sat out in Walton?

Much of the revenue for the value-add bits of Goodison that underpinned the regeneration of the old lady was banking on new income from the Football Quarter as I understood it? That concept seems dead-in-the-water so, genuine question: Where is the new revenue coming from that makes the redevelopment attractive commercially?

Patrick Murphy
75 Posted 14/07/2015 at 20:33:42

We as a club won't be doing anything anywhere until we find someone to fund the stadium, as Mr Leahy made clear about the Destination Kirkby project when he stated that the Club was going to put circa £35m into that project.

So, given a few years have passed since then, we could probably count on a figure of circa £50m to £70m being set aside at the present time. That's the situation this club is in, we'll just have to carry on regardless until the Old Lady eventually crumbles around our collective ears.

Tony Abrahams
76 Posted 14/07/2015 at 20:49:41
Your research is fantastic Patrick. if we could find a PLAYER, as good as "our chairman" I reckon we would have a chance of winning the league next season.
Eugene Ruane
77 Posted 14/07/2015 at 20:33:52
Steve (74) 'one question does occur..'

Er yeah, in answer to your five questions:

1) 'What does rebuilding the old lady do for us that makes it worthwhile?'

Well it depends on the end result of course, but it would surely be cheaper than a brand new state-of-the-art (remember that?) ground. So it would save money.

2) 'Are we going to make a great deal off a few thousand more low-return seats? Enough to make it worth the investment?'

Depends on how many extra seats and whether or not we fill them (an extra 10,000 would give us roughly 7 mill extra a season plus whatever corporate brings in (at 100m, pay for itself in 14 years).

3) 'Are we going to regularly fill hospitality suites and exec boxes when the unhappily more recently successful team across the park will have its own new corporate offerings?'

No idea, but only the world's very top teams get (revenue) guarantees.

4) 'Will we be able to compete with the easier-to-reach city centre events venues when we're sat out in Walton?'

No idea what that really means - we're Everton, we're not in competition with the Beatles museum.

5) 'So, genuine question, where is the new revenue coming from that makes the redevelopment attractive commercially?'

I will answer that HALF-sarcastically.

Key question and I can only answer -- from the same place as the money for WHP (only we'll need much less of it).

Five questions, five answers -- more response than the club have given you in 10 years.

(By the way, Greg got my pitchfork for telling people there was 'nothing to see here' -- 'heresy' is a little dramatic and over-claiming things a little....)

Kevin Tully
78 Posted 14/07/2015 at 20:43:10
Steve # 74 - You are correct to say any business case must be taken into consideration, but sometimes there are other issues that require some serious thought.

The fact is, Goodison Park is no longer fit for purpose. It's a relic that is half a century out of date.

Whether anyone is a fan of the board or how the club is run is really quite irrelevant in this case. If we want to move forward as a club, the current custodians have to put forward a deliverable solution. Anyone who is in denial regarding this desperate situation is fooling themselves.

If the owners of EFC keep on kicking the can down the road, then future generations may not see us in the top division of English football.

It really serves no purpose identifying green space to build a new ground on, then hoping someone will pay for the bricks and mortar. This was always a ploy to bat away serious questions about their motives and plans for the club.

They have to give up control, or come up with a deliverable solution to the fucking massive elephant in the room. Talking about commercial returns and filling seats down the line is the least of the problems facing the club at present.

Don't take my word for it, look at every other club in the Premier League.

Tony Abrahams
79 Posted 14/07/2015 at 21:12:03
Kevin, I've just read on another thread that whilst Everton's net debt came down last year, our actual debt went up to £107 Million?

With debt like this, I wonder how we can continue to afford to pay, for Kenwright's remortgage?

Greg Lambden
80 Posted 14/07/2015 at 21:34:28
Eugene - My god don't you ever go on man.

Steve (74) - More wooden spoon than pitch fork. Eugene is of sufficient intelligence to understand what I was saying in my original comment, he just likes to inject a little drama into proceedings - bless him.

Eugene Ruane
81 Posted 14/07/2015 at 22:25:29
Greg - 'Eugene - My god don't you ever go on man'

Maybe, but for someone recently advising everyone to 'move on there's nothing to see here', you now appear to be having difficulty taking your own advice.

And strangely, It appears it's me that is keeping you here.

(To be honest, I'm rather... flattered.)

Andy Crooks
82 Posted 14/07/2015 at 22:44:31
Bill (#55), you have succinctly summarized the hold Kenwright has on us. He offers "calm waters", and plays on fear. "Be careful what you wish for", should be our fucking motto.

The list of clubs who have failed... Leeds, Forest, etc. should be engraved on a stone tablet and placed outside Goodison Park as a warning to anyone who dares to aspire or dream.

Alan Ball was not tempted by the calm waters of Everton. It is not Kenwright or ruin. It is not mid table or obscurity. There might be another way and those who suggest it deserve our respect.

Karl Masters
83 Posted 14/07/2015 at 22:54:16
Erik and Patrick. It was Peter Johnson who said that the maximum capacity of a developed Goodison would be no more than 30,000.

This was stated back in 1997 when PJ was trying to gain support for his new stadium proposal on the site of Kirkby Golf Course. He said that modern planning laws would not allow seats to be as tightly packed in as they are in the Gwladys and Bullens stands.

I recall being incredulous at such a simple dismissal of redeveloping Goodison at the time. However, 18 years later and no further forward, my view on PJ has changed a bit. What if we had moved back then to a 55000 seat stadium for the millennium. Tree lined car parks, even sombreros, but I bet we'd have been better off financially than we are now. Much better.

Just saying like....

Patrick Murphy
84 Posted 14/07/2015 at 23:08:38
Cheers Karl, I didn't look that far back to be honest but it shows what a long and winding road we have been of for so long.
Dave Kelly
85 Posted 14/07/2015 at 22:22:46
Michael, I was present at the meeting, I Chaired it !!!!

I'm a little unsure about how the urban myth that "The Blue Union main objective – persuading the current custodians of Everton Football Club to sell up and allowing new owners with plenty of money to come in. Somewhat surprising, given the recent sale of West Brom."

The Blue Union was set by a coming together of Evertonians 4 Change (remember them), The Peoples Group, School of Science and Keep Everton in our City. Its purpose and function was to pool knowledge, knowhow, expertise and finances on issue of common interest to all Evertonians. "Support the Team: Oppose Stagnation" became our battlecry.

The Peoples Group continued their Twitter campaign to highlight the lack of investment within the business. Fair play to them they quickly had meetings in Liverpool with Robert Elstone and Derek Hatton with a further meeting in London with Bill, Derek and Evertonians 4 Change.

School of Science continued promoting its Website and KEIOC carried on working with Liverpool fan group Spirit of Shankly on the Football Quarter concept.

Just rewind the tape. According to the leaked e-mails the club was in "financial meltdown"; the bank was threatening to "call in the debt", there was claim and counter-claim between the CEO and the Prince of Spin, Ian Ross. The club was lurching from one disaster to another.

Anyway, I digress, The Blue Union organised, in my opinion, a couple of successful protests, because that's what our supporters demanded. We planned another, and cancelled it because that's what our supporters wanted.

Around this time, we often got accused of only appearing after a run of poor results. We consciously made the decision to get involved in local, regional and national fan activism. To promote fan engagement, affordable football and safe standing, if you like this would become our bread and butter.

Currently the consensus within the fan base and the City in general is that Walton Hall Park is dead in the water. That other options and alternatives needed to be put on the agenda.

Given the vast experience within the Blue Union from those in the group who originated from the KEIOC campaign, the natural thing to do was revisit the whole stadium fiasco of the last 15 years or so.

The only viable, achievable option is the same one that the GFE and KEIOC have promoted, it's "The Grand Old Lady".

In answer to your question, approximately 84 Evertonians attended the meeting. Two votes taken, one to actively pursue the redevelopment of Goodison Park, and the other was for the Blue Union to introduce a membership, one whereby our members can vote and shape the policies and direction the Blue Union campaigns in the future.

Over 50 of those present left their names and contact details and over £300 was donated to assist in future campaigns.

Steve Jones
86 Posted 15/07/2015 at 01:20:10
Eugene and Kevin,

Appreciate the replies and, of course, I get the point that in what you say there is a case of 'do something' as opposed to the continual board 'exertions' to achieve little barring a demonstration of few bouts of accute idiocy.

I'm not sure that refusing to push forward with a Goodison rebuild equals an intent by the club to allow the ground to disintegrate, Kevin, so I'm not sure your point there is valid? Also, pointing to one set of abject failures is no kind of justification to embark on a project that, at face value, looks to offer the potential for delivering another.

Eugene said: "Depends on how many extra seats and whether or not we fill them (an extra 10,000 would give us roughly 7 mill extra a season plus whatever corporate brings in (at 100m, pay for itself in 14 years)."

Clearly you're using arbitrary figures there but that still looks very much like you are saying that IF all works flawlessly and we get seats filled with new Evertonians who spend freely... then sometime around 2030 we may be able to chip in a sum equal to two or three average players wages at today's rates.

I came up with figures very similar to Eugene's.... which is why I'm asking the question: Whilst likely feasible to some greater or lesser extent, and well planned technically, is the reward on offer worth the trouble of doing this?

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
87 Posted 15/07/2015 at 06:57:44
Thanks for posting, Dave, and putting me straight on how the Blue Union has been developing and evolving.

I guess the 'urban myth' was engrained from those earliest meetings and is now outdated? Although there are still a fair few posting on here who appear to hope for and believe in the changing of the guard as our main chance for moving forward from the stagnation that has taken hold.

Placing too much emphasis on that, even risking 'personalizing' the campaign, can perhaps be seen as having been divisive, especially when so many continue to give the current regime so much more than the benefit of any doubt... something I still find strange considering the damning information the BU provided to the fans about how the club was being run.

One of my small hopes for websites like ours, and social media as the focus has shifted over time, was to provide information to a greater number of Everton fans, and have their understanding broadened by having the opportunity to read and hear things from people in the know.

Redeveloping Goodison Park has to be infinitely better for the Club than the current plan, which is going nowhere. It is both ironic, and a sad indictment of the intervening stagnation, that the work of GFE which we archived here back in the early days of ToffeeWeb may yet prove to be the path forward.

Eric Myles
88 Posted 15/07/2015 at 08:03:38
Wasn't Kenwright opposed to Johnson's proposed move and a supporter of redevelopment through GFE?
Greg Lambden
89 Posted 15/07/2015 at 08:05:21
Dennis (71) - Yes I have a view on the stadium issue. My view is simple - we can only do what is financially feasible.

I have an open mind. I'd support a shiny new stadium in the city or Goodison Park redevelopment if it made sense.

My understanding is that the scale of work required at GP would be paid for by us with very little opportunity of contributions from 3rd parties. If we can't afford this then we can't afford it.

As I said previously and before Eugene hit me with his little wooden spoon, there is nothing to see here.

Jim Lloyd
90 Posted 15/07/2015 at 07:44:24
Steve (86) "Is the reward on offer worth the trouble on doing this?"

Well, a simple reply would be "Yes, it is!"

I've been going to the match since the late '50s / early '60s and we would have games where the crowd figure would be in the 70,000s. On occasions, kids would be passed down to the front and sometimes on to the cinder track, there were that many in and the number of fans in the Goodison Road was massive.

Time moves on and people's allegiances may change to watching on the telly, listening to the wireless, or not bothering at all and taking up the domestic delight of shopping with the missus; we lose fans.

They're not the only reasons, as all-seater stadiums were forced on clubs, massive increases in players wages with consequent massive increases in admission prices... and I don't think it helps retain fans when the times of matches are so arbitrarily altered to make it extremely arduous or difficult to get to the match.

Then there's the football on offer and whether it brings success to the club you love and it doesn't help that when we have gone through lean times in the '70s to mid '80s, to what happened to us after Heysel (could be argued that was are own fault. The '90s and the absolute desert of success following the '95 FA Cup final. All this and we have to put up with the unrivalled success that has been the fortune of the club over the Park.

It seems to me that for decades we have been in a spiral that has only one result. Failure.

You may feel that it's not financially viable to modernise the ground or increase it's capacity and that is fair enough. But what I see happen if we don't modernise and increase capacity, then we are in a vice.

The club appear to believe that a new ground is the only way forward and they seem to have thought that at least 55,000- to 60,000-seater capacity was necessary / wanted.

The club has mooted at least 4 sites, maybe 5, with the most attractive to me being the King's Dock; and the most unattractive being sited in a retail park outside the city boundary.

The club must have realised that the current state of the ground made it imperative that they had to move. If the ground was suitable for purpose, then they obviously wouldn't go the the massive cost and upheaval of moving.

So, after 2 failures to move when they wanted to, it makes me think that they believe Goodison as it is, isn't fit for purpose.

I assume that they still believe this to be the case, as our tentative move to see if WHP could fill the bill, is yet another, in my opinion, pipe dream.

We are therefore left with a ground that has about 3-4,000 restricted views and little or no retail, catering, hotel or any other form of money-raising outlets.

It seems to me that it is a fact that everyone recognises the the current state of affairs is unsatisfactory.

Personally, I do not see any way forward by just waiting for Godot. I see the only solution for us, to even have any chance of improving our situation and attracting more fans, is to re-develop Goodison Park.

If LFC, with all the attractiveness they have to investors, suitors fans and what not, could not build a stadium on Stanley Park, I think the chances of us funding a stadium are as remote as me winning the lottery... and I don't participate.

For all the criticisms cast at Blue Union, to me they are a group of many fans who want to see our club break free of the turgid apathy and do-nothing, no-plan Board that we have.

It, in my opinion, has been made clear that Goodison Park can be re-developed and increased in capacity.

You ask "Is the reward on offer worth the trouble of doing this?"

Without a shadow of a doubt, it is. If we don't, we stagnate.

Steve Jones
91 Posted 15/07/2015 at 08:49:29
Jim (#90),

That's a great answer and, like I said, I do understand the view that says 'we need to do something and this is the most likely to succeed' which is what your, clearly heartfelt, piece boils down to.

Problem is though that, rather than be a force against stagnation, what happens if the financial returns from the Goodison rebuild does nothing but move us forward at our current level... locked in our stagnated state?

I want success as much as the next fan, but, I'm looking at Spurs paying out half our wage budget again, the RS doubling it and that's before you get to the real serious teams!. If we want to compete at that level, we're not going to do it adding a couple of million to the bottom line on its own.

If breaking into that group permanently is the benchmark grade for avoiding 'stagnation' then the stadium upgrade doesn't look like it's going to take us close to that.

Erik Dols
92 Posted 15/07/2015 at 09:37:52
Patrick Murphy and Karl Masters, thanks so much. You both seem to have better memories and better search skills than I have. I never thought I had to go back to 1997/PJ for my 30k claim, would have sworn that it was Elstone who said it. Memories can be a silly thing.

The finds of Patrick are a great read, although they also provide food for thought. How can the views about the cost of redeveloping Goodison of Tom Hughes/Trevor Skempton at one side and the club/Elstone at the other side be so different?

Tony Abrahams
93 Posted 15/07/2015 at 08:24:45
Nothing to see? Is that why so many act blind?

Eric Myles
94 Posted 15/07/2015 at 11:17:00
Steve #91, we were being sold down the river with Desperation Kirkby for less.
Eugene Ruane
95 Posted 15/07/2015 at 11:24:03
Greg 'nothing to see' Lambden informs us -- "If we can't afford this then we can't afford it. As I said previously and before Eugene hit me with his little wooden spoon, there is nothing to see here".

Ok let's go through this, let me attempt to illustrate why I find this so narrow-minded, dumb and wrong.

Right this minute, the vast majority of Evertonians are aware that there is nobody on the planet with a wheel-barrow full of cash saying "Here you go Everton, build (or re-build) yourselves a ground." And on that basis, as far as Greg Lambden is concerned, that means end of discussion.

Can't afford it right now? -- Then shut up.

Dumb -- and here's why it's dumb, because it's ideas and plans that actually change the status quo (or, to put it another way, no change is guaranteed if no-one has ideas and puts them out there).

"Yeah but how is the idea going to provide the finance?"

I don't know, it probably can't, but maybe (maybe) someone else has an idea as to how it can. Maybe the discussion sparks something in someone.

Here's a completely invented idea that is never going to happen (probably) and I mention only because it illustrates what I mean. Everton get a visit from the falling down football grounds inspectors and are told "You have five years to sort out safety stuff." They talk to the council about funding for a new ground and when fat Joe has bust a gut laughing and slung them out, they suddenly decide re-development of Goodison is now (to quote the Echo of the future) 'as viable as fuck' and suddenly they decide they can afford it (as it's by far the cheaper option).

Okay, as I say, fantasy, but as improbable as it is, not impossible (remember, this is a board who REacts rather than plans and acts).

As the years (decades) pass, there are quite a few situations that could happen to force the hand of the club, re the current state of Goodison and if they have nothing and no proper plan (re potential state-of-the-art new ground investors) the plans above (drawn 'in an hour' with felties) could become options A,B

Ernie Baywood
96 Posted 15/07/2015 at 13:08:46
Is there something to see? There may not be, but I'm not simply going to trust the club... and contempt for their utterings has been well earned.

An architectural concept is a good starting point but it's very early in the piece. All it shows is that it could be possible to redevelop.

The club have looked at this in detail. I'm convinced of that. The club give us limited info, stating it's not feasible. The only thing that soundbite tells us is that it is possible. Otherwise surely they would have ruled it out in stronger terms.

So if the club won't show their hand then who can force it? I struggle to believe that we, amongst our support, wouldn't have all the skillsets required to conduct a feasibility study. Have we ever put that call out for volunteers? If supporters gathered a crack team, then the club simply couldn't refuse to assist.

Richard Reeves
97 Posted 15/07/2015 at 21:27:01
Re-development of Goodison and support of the Blue Union gets my vote every day. I can't understand why anyone would take the side of the board after everything they've done.

We all need to support this because there is a bigger picture here and it's money that keeps disappearing, we need to force the issue and make the board accountable for the massive amounts that come in from TV rights yet don't seem to be spent.

The people in the background aren't in it for nothing and it's about time it was exposed. No, I haven't got any evidence, lets just say it's a gut feeling or an uneducated guess.

Neil Madden
98 Posted 15/07/2015 at 22:26:33
I think the Blue Union needs to get back to its original purpose and forget about proposing plans for ground redevelopment or anything else for that matter. It's fanciful and ultimately a waste of time. There are enough Evertonians out there who cannot stand the sight of Bill Kenwright (others are entitled to a contrary position but I know where I stand) for it to have one aim and one aim only; namely to send Blue Gravel Bill and his Cockney Spiv backers packing.

Surely any meeting should be to solely think up ways of putting pressure to bear to get the present incumbents of the boardroom out of Goodison Park.

Views are entrenched now and there is little point in debate between the fans on Kenwright. We all know where we stand. We're all grown ups. So please, pro Kenwrighters, please don't waste your breath with the usual "better the devil you know" or "would want to buy us anywhere?" replys to this post. 20 years on the board and over a decade as chairman is a belly full for plenty of us.


Dave Kelly
99 Posted 16/07/2015 at 08:22:40
Neil, honestly The Blue Union hears you. It hears all the Blues making similar noises to you. In my opinion the "Kenwright Out" lobby is a minority one. It doesn't enjoy the consensus of the fan base.

I base my opinion on a number of factors. Not particularly scientific but indicative of the apathetic attitude of that engulfs the fan base.

1: The amount of emails in The Blue Union inbox is 70%- 30% anti Board. That may come as a surprise to many, NOT. You are spot on with those with a pro- Board perspective...... all the usual drivel. "He's one of us " He mortgaged his house" my favourite "Be careful what you wish for"

2: A little over a month or so somebody set up an online "Kenwright Out" petition. The last time I looked it had a little over 300 signatures.

3: Read my post earlier in this thread. The Blue Union was never set up to be a Kenwright out group, honestly. It was set up as a coalition of fan groups to pool resources, knowledge and finances on issues not individuals.

For campaigns to be successful, you need to have a critical mass behind. You need to enjoy the support of the majority. If you don't, you need to educate, agitate and then organise. It's a tried and trusted process, perfected over a 100 years by trade unions.

The Blue Union have never claimed to be representative of the majority. We are a minority, albeit a vocal one. We are a relatively small, well organised and highly motivated group. We will continue to try and enlighten our supporters. We will continue to campaign on making football affordable, safe standing, fighting and opposing discrimination.

We will continue to "Support the Team and Oppose Stagnation"........

If and when the situation arises for "Kenwright Out" to be the top of the Agenda, we will react and respond to it; given that we are the only campaigning group of Evertonians, we would be foolish t do otherwise.

One final point, did you attend our meeting on Saturday?

Bill Farmer
100 Posted 16/07/2015 at 09:04:29
Dave, I see what you are getting at but what would 'the critical mass' you call for be able to achieve, even if it 'was behind us'? Anarchy and a void that would lead to the club 'going down the pan', just like most of the clubs who formed the original Premier League have done?

Until joining this forum recently, and just like the majority of Evertonians, I have never had the slightest interest in the politics of club ownership, preferring to concentrate on what goes on 'on the field'. But I am grateful for the enlightenment although it all seems quite negative and depressing. Without the appearance of a Russian, American or Arab billionaire, how can things ever change for us?

Of course we have fallen behind the Big Six because all of them have proved attractive to the breed mentioned above although Newcastle have one of Britain's richest men at the helm and God save us from his sort, I say.

I think the best we can hope for is to attract a minor billionaire such as Stoke, Southampton and Hull City have managed to do... Oh, I forgot, the Tigers got relegated, didn't they?

Erik Dols
101 Posted 16/07/2015 at 09:55:33
Yes, Bill, there is a chance new board/ownership will pull us down the drain like some other clubs. Just like there is a chance they will increase revenues and get us in the mix for a CL spot regularly. It’s impossible to say up front.

There are a few things that Bill K (or the Board, or whatever you want to read there) has done quite good over time and one of them is to create, or at least not to disturb, an environment around the first team that makes us one of the most stable clubs. He took us from relegation candidates to a steady mid-table/challenging for Europe team while by-and-large avoiding the pitfalls you see so often.

There are also some things that can be done better and they are quite obvious. Our merchandise deals are an absolute shame, just try to buy a kit outside of Merseyside. We could and should have profited from our exposure in the USA. We have Tim Howard, we had Landon Donovan. We’ve been on pre-season tour there for quite some years. I am convinced that we could pull in an extra £10 mil a year at least this way.

The stadium debate is getting ridiculous after all those years. Imagine where we would be if the club decided after the Kings Docks debacle to put aside £5 mil a year for a phased redevelopment of Goodison.

And there is the thing you so keenly avoid: the only option of new ownership, new board, you mention seems to be a billionaire, where indeed for every hit you have multiple examples of total misfits. But there is also the option of ’just’ a multi-millionaire, one who wants to run the club properly. I am convinced that a well-run board can take this club further without having to invest in it themselves. Everton has a huge commercial potential which is untapped for so long.

Bill Farmer
103 Posted 16/07/2015 at 10:23:36
Eric, of course the club could be better run by 'real' businessmen' and who can deny that the greatest error ever was not to find a way to embrace the King's Dock opportunity. A sin, in fact.

But 'merchandising' only tickles at the edges for whatever we may feel, Everton has no global fanbase and that's more to do with our sad playing record throughout this century than the non availability of shirts.

As I have said before, BK is not a 'bad owner' in the mode of Ashley or the Venkeys but he could certainly apply more energy and openess to the task. My considered view is that only that long sought - after billionaire can make much of a difference !

Michael Kenrick
104 Posted 16/07/2015 at 20:41:04
Bill (#103): "Everton has no global fanbase" — there's a fair few True Blues scattered to the four corners who will read that and say "Hang on a gosh-darned minute there, pal!" (Or whatever the local patois).

Last month, we had an equally bizarre assertion in the other direction, that there were all of TEN MILLION Evertonians around the world!!!

I don't believe either are true, and I don't really think anyone knows the true number. But I do know we have some global fanbase.

Dave Kelly
105 Posted 16/07/2015 at 22:31:44
Bill (#100) I don't really see not having any money been the problem. Having no money or ambition is.........
Tony Abrahams
106 Posted 16/07/2015 at 22:55:14
He's not a bad owner Bill, but he's a terrible salesman!
Brian Wilkinson
107 Posted 12/09/2015 at 05:56:30
Dave, did the BU have anything to do with the protests at Southampton and Barnsley?

If so, I honestly believe it forced Bill's hand into not selling John Stones.

Had those protests not gone ahead, I really do believe we would have lost Stones.

I think Bill would get full support if he did not bullshit about new investers, new ground, just be honest to the fans. If we haven't a pot to piss in, say so. As long as Bill is honest, supporters will understand; what they will not stand is our board treating us like idiots and bullshitting us.

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