Blain first met Moshiri two years ago and he travelled to London again this month to meet the British-Iranian businessman and the club's Chairman for an informal chat.
As well as reaffirming his commitment to the Director of Football model at Everton and a focus on youth to bring the average age of the Blues' squad down, a key takeaway was the issue of the proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock which Moshiri still sees opening in 2022.
The funding model for the project has still not been finalised, a delay which has already contributed to the targeted date slipping by a year and it was Blain's assessment that Moshiri envisions the capacity of the new ground being between 52,000 and 55,000, lower than the target capacity of 60,000 favoured by the majority of supporters (not to mention John himself) if recent polls are an indication.
You can read John's full report of the meeting at the EFCSA website.
Reader Comments (73)
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1 Posted 25/07/2018 at 06:31:55
The starting point, surely, has to be 55,000+
2 Posted 25/07/2018 at 06:41:43
Who knows what advice they've taken. I'd love to know how those pulling the strings see or plan the consumption of the sport in the next decade or two, i.e. media vs attendance.
3 Posted 25/07/2018 at 07:15:00
I moved away from Liverpool and now live overseas. Looking at tickets for a home game this season to coincide with a trip back, I was quite surprised to see how difficult it now is to buy tickets for the game, even the membership access gives you restricted view tickets if you're not fast enough.
What's the explanation for this? Are we a better team? Is it an affordability thing?
4 Posted 25/07/2018 at 07:35:56
I will let the stadium/finance "experts" pull apart the plans we don't have.
5 Posted 25/07/2018 at 07:38:43
Expectations have been raised after his departure jostling to try and achieve a top 6/7 position that we would achieve under the majority of his reign.
There are many other reasons for sell outs at Goodison, Season tickets/matchday tickets are priced less comparable to those of other clubs in the North West, both Manchester clubs and Liverpool.
Also if season tickets holders or club members cannot make games, they have the option of putting their seat back for public sale via StubHub.
With expectation levels raised and the nucleus of good players it is difficult to obtain tickets more readily.
6 Posted 25/07/2018 at 08:58:35
A stadium that's too big loses money and the big increase in revenue comes from better hospitality as opposed to more cheaper seats. So 52-55,000 seems okay to me.
7 Posted 25/07/2018 at 09:01:30
"If you build it, they will come!" They, I would hope, would show some faith in us fans and build the stadium with the most seats they can.
I too was a season ticket holder from 1999 to 2009 and had the misfortune of enduring some really dire football during those years but now I struggle to get a ticket unless a mate can't go and I borrow his.
So I say show some faith and give us a world-class stadium on the banks of the Mersey with the biggest capacity you can.
8 Posted 25/07/2018 at 09:21:35
"Farhad Moshiri has a deep understanding of football."
Really? You could've fooled me... Ronald Koeman for starters. The ridiculous amount of money wasted last season is another pointer to shocking mismanagement. The recent appointment of the new CEO is another terrible blunder. Who is she??
To even have the thought that a new stadium on the Dock Road could ready in 3 years when there isn't a bucket of cement in sight is another indication of Moshiri being delusional or daft.
Not a chance a scheme of the magnitude of Bramley-Moore Dock could be started and finished in 3 years when the club still don't have planning permission or funding in place, let alone the build time.
I don't understand why any one listens to this crap any more. The Stadium saga is becoming more and more like Brexit. Is there anyone out there who is qualified enough to verify that a 3-year timescale for this proposed Stadium project is actually feasible in its current state??
I just don't see it happening. Not all of the LCC are even in favour of EFC building on the docks with an LCC-funded loan. There is plenty of opposition to Bramley-Moore still to be negotiated before a spade hits the ground..
Moshiri is not a fool but he is foolish when it comes to football-related matters. We are all the eager to see a new stadium come to fruition that we are prepared to believe any old crap spouted by the club.
All I can say is seeing is believing. I haven't seen a thing yet to convince me this stadium has the green light.
9 Posted 25/07/2018 at 10:15:51
West Ham have this issue at the Olympic stadium. You can regularly find tickets advertised for £5 to see their home games, as they struggle to fill those last seats. At this price, these seats simply never give a return on the investment. It's far better to fill 55k, than not fill 60k. If demand in the future really outstrips the 55k, then simple economics means the ticket prices go up, making the return on the asset even higher.
The club won't be looking at it from the fan perspective of can we fit every fan into the stadium that wants to come (hence the silly cheap tickets to attract any fan who may be tempted because they won't pay the usual full value). The club will be looking at it from the "What size makes the most return on investment?" angle.
10 Posted 25/07/2018 at 10:33:10
Man City do have adult and junior season tickets cheaper than Everton sell.
11 Posted 25/07/2018 at 11:07:54
Meis said the absolute maximum for the site was 60,000, the fans poll consensus said the absolute minimum they would want is 60,000.
To compete at the top, we need to make a statement that we are a top club. One which a player never moves solely to play in front of more fans in a better arena.
Moshiri should be going all out for a 60,000 stadium, it is a once-in-many-lifetimes opportunity.
12 Posted 25/07/2018 at 11:58:21
The points I would make is a very large fan base Everton football club have, not just local but throughout the world, add a new ground without obstructed views and I do not see a problem with that target. The potential is also there to attract new fans, right in the heart of the Mersey front, with the right marketing like the Beatles tours, match tickets could be made available for tourists to attend a game.
You could also throw in say 500 tickets to local schools and attract future potential supporters, speculate to accumulate. Take a step in a different direction to other clubs, if needed have the away end extendable when needed, to allow away supporters the chance to watch their team.
I am sure it annoys loyal season ticket holders who attend an away game to be allocated just a few thousand tickets. There are lots of different ways we could maximise the new ground.
Certainly within the first few years and a new ground, demand will be high for season tickets and have no doubt whatsoever that a 60,000 stadium would sell out. I previously said minimum 55,000 but now I think it needs to be nearer 60,000
13 Posted 25/07/2018 at 12:52:37
14 Posted 25/07/2018 at 12:58:25
A relatively minor consideration is that with Fifa seriously touting England as hosts for the 2030 World Cup we should be seeking a stadium with the facilities and capacity to host group matches and a semi-final as we did in 1966. For this, an iconic stadium design with a 60,000 capacity would be a requirement. Being chosen again as a venue over one of our old outdated stadiums down the road would be excellent for raising our global profile.
15 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:09:07
I don't understand why it would be a disaster if a 60k stadium didn't sell out for every match. The fan base of Man City, Arsenal and even West Ham has increased since moving to their new stadiums so it isn't unreasonable to expect the same to happen for Everton.
Throughout its history, the capacity of Goodison far exceeded the average gates but it was never seen as a disadvantage. Until the late 60s, Everton had the best ground in the country so this is the opportunity for the club to get back where most of believe they should be.
On completion, the new stadium should have the best facilities in the country so that it can generate income other than from Everton home games. Wembley is being sold off and the FAs intention is to play international matches around the country so to have the finest stadium in the NorthWest could be advantageous. The Welsh Rugby Union'ss income from concerts etc at the Principality Stadium is substantial and this is an area that could further help fund the stadium.
My big fear is that it will be more Aldi than Waitrose and it will be a disappointing building.
16 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:09:57
2 months on, also some extra space being made at the Park End, in what looks like extra drinking, food space. Makes you wonder what the real plan is.
17 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:17:00
19 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:20:25
20 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:21:46
I assume you mean the work being carried out at the park stand, which is to create extra space for disabled supporters, which also includes two lifts up to their disabled area.
I wonder if this is to take them away from the area in front of the away fans, which I have always thought to be a bad place for the disabled fans anyway, or is it as well as that area?
21 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:24:54
As for the new stadium, at my age I don't want to be reading that a new stadium is the pre-requisite of a decent team – we should be striving for that now rather than in 4/5 years when some will maybe be past attending games anymore.
22 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:37:06
I accept in the UK, for a Premier League club with ambition, a 50k capacity stadium is a bare minimum. Anything over that is a bonus. Surely, as Juve are showing, it is what income streams you generate over and above and outside the stadium which make the difference, not a mega capacity stadium in isolation.
23 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:38:23
Building a less ambitious stadium capacity (say 54,000) with a contingency to add a further 10% later will always be cost prohibitive – materially more in time and treasure, and not least disruption, than going for it at the outset.
I believe 60,000 would be filled,at least for the first 2-3 years. Just look at West Ham. A team as bad as ours,but they went from 32,000 to 52,000 and their new stadium isn't popular and is some distance from their core base. Beyond the first few years honeymoon period, attendances will be directly influenced by the performance of the team. Just look at the empty spaces at the Emirates when Arsenal had a relatively lean time last season.
The only club that can be confident of filling seats irrespective of results is Man Utd and they are not a football club, they are a visitor attraction (for lots of people anyway).
Another dimension would be the attraction of Bramley-Moore to draw in internationals and European finals. A stadium beside the river on such a world famous waterfront would certainly be attractive at 60,000, but won't get a look in at 52,000.
Show some balls and go for 60,000.
24 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:40:54
Any questions? See the crest.
25 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:47:13
1. The shape and intimacy of the design. I'd much rather have a 50,000-55,000 seater with tall, imposing stands close to the pitch. It'll help massively with atmosphere and noise.
2. Corporate hospitality and broadcast facilities. Like it or not, we have to make room for a good number of boxes and other corporate seating. It's just business. Same with broadcast facilities and studio space.
3. Alternative uses, such as concerts. The number of seats in the stands may be affected by design elements allowing for concerts and other events. Again, I'd argue that these are an important part of putting the stadium on the map as well as a very lucrative revenue stream.
Could we do all of the above and still have a 60,000 capacity for Premier League matches? Maybe. But if not, I'd accept 55,000 and the added advantages mentioned above.
26 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:49:32
Forget about any meaningful comparison with Juventus mate. Yes they have a 40,000 ish capacity, but they are the Man Utd of Italy( visitor attraction) are located in wealthy Northern Italy,and the AVERAGE price of a ticket for their home games is over €100! Compare that to Everton's average yield of about £18?
Precisely because our fan base is essentially ‘working class' means that our new stadium cannot be rationalised by building thousands of corporate seats, because we won't sell them. We don't have the pool of corporate HQ's looking for entertainment options as the London clubs do, and we don't have the wider appeal of Liverpool and Man Utd.
This is precisely why our ‘optimal' capacity will need to be at the top end of the scale, so that ticket prices can be kept in keeping with the fan base's ability to pay. I'm afraid we are Aldi, not Waitrose!
27 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:49:43
I feel we could do so from local fans alone, to say nothing of the RS-type "tourist fans" who would no doubt materialise if we had a period of sustained success.
28 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:53:24
29 Posted 25/07/2018 at 14:31:03
I appreciate both your posts, with points well made. In the time between my own post and before I read Peter describing Juve as 'the Man Utd' of Italian football, I recalled some piece on Juve – possibly even way back before the creation of the Premier League, possibly by an Italian journalist – that described Juve as Italy's most loved club and, by way of comparison, a combination of Man Utd and (spit!) Liverpool.
The inference was that emotionally and stylistically Juve touched people in the same way United did (post Munich air crash) and in the exciting way they traditionally played football. The nod to Liverpool was that they also played with power and (as our 'bours once were) were serial trophy winners.
They are clearly Italy's most elite club. They have had some serious competition for the Serie A title in recent years, but always see off the challenge. How many consecutive Serie A titles it is now? 7... 8?
As such, they have a huge national (and international) fan base beyond the confines of Turin. Commercially, the revenues they generate dwarves Everton's returns. Such revenues are not overly dependent on the relatively modest stadium capacity Juve have.
Even taking on board your points, my own original point remains: it is silly to conclude that a club shows a lack of ambition if they build a new stadium with 'low' capacity, as some are claiming.
I'm an eternal optimist. Like you, Martin, I believe we could regularly fill – from our local audience alone – certainly a 50k capacity stadium, possibly a 55k, even a 60k capacity stadium.
But I'm not as hung up on the final number as some appear to be. I'm more concerned with the quality of the stadium (and match-day experience) than its capacity. I can't wait to see an iconical stadium, in a prime city location, smacking visitors to Liverpool right between the eyes as soon as they arrive.
We will only get to compete with the Big Boys when we vastly improve our other revenue streams. The stadium alone – whatever its size – is not enough.
30 Posted 25/07/2018 at 14:39:35
31 Posted 25/07/2018 at 14:40:32
32 Posted 25/07/2018 at 14:47:19
West Ham only get near filling their stadium because they sell a VAST number of tickets at crazy reduced prices, as in £5 per ticket. No stadium is viable on ticket sales like that. The only reason West Ham can do it is because they lease their stadium for peanuts, and didn't have to fork out £500M+.
The difference between a 55k stadium and 60k could be upwards of £50M extra on the build cost. There is no point building them if you are selling them off cheap.
33 Posted 25/07/2018 at 14:55:03
The club cut one of the turnstiles out for the main stand last season (the turnstiles closest to the Gwladys Street End). It has caused ridiculous delays to the Main Stand entrance at times in our section. Last season, I would get to a 3pm kick off at 2:20pm and still not be guaranteed access until after the game kicked off.
Everton will never do anything simple — our motto should be Nil planning No to optimism... haha!
34 Posted 25/07/2018 at 14:57:56
Make a statement.
35 Posted 25/07/2018 at 15:19:25
I would go frigging ballistic if that is our level of planning.
"And if, ya know, your capacity"🎶
36 Posted 25/07/2018 at 16:25:35
37 Posted 25/07/2018 at 16:41:18
I am not suggesting for one moment we build such a stadium but for me 55,000 is plenty big enough and if it's regularly filled to capacity, then make the additional funds on the corporate seats and boxes.
I know I am in a minority but I occasionally watch Barca and very seldom have I seen the stadium full to capacity (unless it is Real Madrid) and even at the Nou Camp the atmosphere can be flat in some games.
38 Posted 25/07/2018 at 17:29:32
39 Posted 25/07/2018 at 17:44:22
You then decide the stadium cannot be built in that timescale and ask "Is there anyone out there who is qualified enough to verify that a 3-year timescale for this proposed Stadium project is actually feasible in its current state??" Well you, by your request, there are clearly not.
Understand scepticism totally and perhaps should be grateful you are asking questions to give some basis for your opinions.
40 Posted 25/07/2018 at 17:50:11
And no, I don't have any facts to back up my outlandish theories — just a gut feeling that, as long as Humpty Dumpty has a role to play, we will never get out of the 'Plucky little Everton' mode.
41 Posted 25/07/2018 at 17:53:45
42 Posted 25/07/2018 at 18:11:33
I'm thankful that some posters, on here, weren't running Everton in the 1930s. If they had been the Gwladys Street stand would never have been built because the ground capacity was rarely reached, at that time.
43 Posted 25/07/2018 at 18:50:26
44 Posted 25/07/2018 at 18:52:15
I actually think the capacity is restricted by the site not ambition. I think theyve been told this and Meis has the job of softening the blow
I also think well sell out almost every match in the current climate and will have 40,000 plus season ticket holders
Isnt it true that one built, it cant be extended? (sure I read that on here)
Finally I dont believe we will see it in that timeframe. I drive past every single day...just look how long its took to sort out the new paving there.
Ive massively got my doubts that itll go ahead.
45 Posted 25/07/2018 at 18:57:54
And some of the fans on here are completely deluded and blinkered with blue-tinted glasses. They have no grasp of business economics and would be happy to saddle our club with enormous debt to build a great white elephant that wouldn't be filled. Then what happens? oh yeah, we have to sell all the best players to balance the books each year and go into a downward spiral on the pitch. Viscous circle, as fans then start to stay away and the club goes into melt down.
Yes, an extreme scenario, but there is no logical reason to build this magical 61,878 capacity stadium, based on some fairy tail hope that we will suddenly become a top 4 regular, win cups and sell the thing out. The gap between us and the top 4/6 is enormous, and will not be breeched by us having an extra 5k seats. 5k seats will bring in maybe £2M per year if we can fill them regularly. Yet going from 55k stadium to 60k stadium can raise the build cost from £500M to £600M+. Those extra seats are disproportionately expensive compared to the basic seats. That extra investment just won't be paid back from ticket sales. the ticket income would barely cover our interest. So in reality, those extra seats could damage us financially, and impact our ability to invest in the squad and improve our league position.
Some fans really need to get a grasp on reality and stop living in the clouds. A 55k state-of-the-art stadium with a great atmosphere will do wonders for the club. a 60k stadium will do nothing extra for us, except add financial pressure.
46 Posted 25/07/2018 at 19:00:30
£1.5M wouldn't cover the interest on the additional capacity. Stop spouting nonsense.
47 Posted 25/07/2018 at 19:09:57
Spot on buddy, I want the new ground to have an atmosphere that puts fear in the opposition before they've even kicked a ball. Not 20,000 seats filled with cardboard cut outs like the Nuo Camp or a flat atmosphere like the Olympic Stadium.
Below is a list of the past 5 years average attendances:
2013 - 36,356
2014 - 37,732
2015 - 38,406
2016 - 38,132
2017 - 39,310
That's an increase of 590.8 (I'll be genourous and round it up to 591) fans. Going by that projectory, it will take us:
- 21.4 years to eventually fill a 52,000 seater stadium
- 26.5 years to fill a 55,000 seater stadium
- 35 years to fill a 60,000 seater stadium
What's the point in throwing away 10s of millions for an extra 5-8 thousand cardboard cut out holders.
I'm sure upon building it, they will build it in a way that if they need to, they'll be able to increase the capacity as and when needed.
Plus as a bonus them saved millions could potentially be invested into improving the squad, for me that is more the priority.
48 Posted 25/07/2018 at 19:10:33
Tony obviously tells it as he sees it and I'm inclined to agree with him that Bramley-Moore is a pipe dream and nothing more. Arguing about seating capacity is academic until the planning and finance is in place and if Moshiri keeps throwing the club's money away on dodgy signings, the project will never get underway.
Good to meet ya, Tony!
49 Posted 25/07/2018 at 19:16:07
James: no, I'm not an economist and judging by the nonsense you spout, neither are you.
Ticket sales is only one income stream. I'm sure a modern stadium will have plenty of other ways of emptying fans' pockets, over and above the ticket price.
50 Posted 25/07/2018 at 19:26:02
If it is to be ready by 2022-23, they need to get a move on.
51 Posted 25/07/2018 at 19:41:38
52 Posted 25/07/2018 at 19:58:11
53 Posted 25/07/2018 at 19:59:43
54 Posted 25/07/2018 at 20:19:27
55 Posted 25/07/2018 at 20:54:34
Your calculation completely ignores the fluctuations in away support, the near 25% obscured views at Goodison and that we have a waiting list for season tickets.
Even Goodison, with its limited facilities and access, would attract much higher attendances if, for example, the Park End stand was doubled in size.
57 Posted 25/07/2018 at 21:02:00
Is it not built yet?
18th June 2016! This is why I never believe those in political office!
58 Posted 25/07/2018 at 21:13:27
59 Posted 25/07/2018 at 21:44:58
You need to re-think - it's 4 years to the start of 2022-23, not 3 as you state!
60 Posted 25/07/2018 at 21:46:57
For example if its the RS or Man U there might be demand for 70 or 80 thousand seats,
But if we were playing the likes of West Brom there might only be demand for 40000.
It us a question of hitting the optimum.
61 Posted 25/07/2018 at 22:01:19
I think we can get 50k every week without trying. We would get 60k every game if the team is half decent. And I dont mean CL level. Just the quality of the Moyes era or the royle era would be enough. If we were top 6, wed be able to fill well past 60k.
Nothing scientific here, I just know plenty of good blues, ex season ticket holders, who stopped going the game due to pressures of life, and would return for the new stadium. I expect lots of others would say the same. Were only looking to get 15k+ on top of the the gluttons for punishment who came every week to watch us in the dark days.
62 Posted 25/07/2018 at 22:46:03
63 Posted 26/07/2018 at 10:23:07
64 Posted 26/07/2018 at 10:57:25
We're all arguing about a stadium that I'm doubtful we'll ever see built.
65 Posted 26/07/2018 at 11:30:19
66 Posted 26/07/2018 at 11:46:02
67 Posted 26/07/2018 at 11:52:19
It may well be that a 52,000 stadium would cost £400 million and would cover a certain footprint and have a certain amount of facilities. 55,000 might have a bigger footprint and have more / less facilities because of this, and it may cost £450 million. 60,000 might cost £500 million - can the bigger footprint be accommodated at Bramley-Moore?
I personally think we should build as big as we can. There are teams like Liverpool, Man U, Newcastle etc who would probably bring 9,000 fans if we let them. The income from seats above 55,000 might only be a couple of million p.a. now, but in twenty years that might be £10 million a year that brings in (with inflation).
We should be as ambitious as we can be. This will probably be the only time we move in our lifetimes. Lets not get it wrong and regret it.
68 Posted 26/07/2018 at 13:18:20
On another note I hope when the new stadium comes it has better facilities for people with disabilities. I'm trying to find out particularly what's being done for children with autism. My son is nearly 15 and is 6ft 4 inch tall. He finds it difficult to sit still for 2 hours and the seating is to close together. It has caused issues with him banging his knees on the chairs in front.
69 Posted 26/07/2018 at 18:27:25
I've even considered paying fancy prices for hospitality, but there's none of that available either.
I'll be really disappointed if we end up with 52,000 capacity, but at least all the seats should have a decent view of the pitch.
70 Posted 28/07/2018 at 17:07:45
I don't think some on here understand how many people would buy season tickets if you could get some seats together, or match day tickets for that matter.
Living in the city I have loads of friends who would like to get to the game with their family but can never get tickets together or without a restricted view.
60,000 for every home game is not a pipe dream.
71 Posted 28/07/2018 at 22:24:05
It should be a standard build at all grounds. Deffo at Goodison Park, and hopefully improve the match day experience.
After pre-season thus, I'm looking for rays of hope on the horizon... A rank couple of weeks, even by pre-season standards, past.
72 Posted 28/07/2018 at 22:30:06
73 Posted 28/07/2018 at 22:48:25
We used to take my father to the game in the mid 90s in a wheelchair following his stroke. We were at the front in the Park End there, to the side of the goal nearer to Bullens. I don't remember any problems apart from the rain! Access etc. were fine, could've used an extra toilet or two perhaps. My sister was active in the EDSA at the time.
I've not been in that stand since those days so wouldn't know now but Everton seems pretty good in that area from what I've seen.
74 Posted 28/07/2018 at 23:14:41
Each knock-on year could be an additional cost, perhaps is EFC, waiting for a miracle from the USSR?
75 Posted 02/08/2018 at 13:23:30
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