The football club, the billionaire – and the bills: Everton’s race to build its new home

13/11/2022 65comments  |  Jump to last

This Guardian article recaps current knowledge of the new Everton Stadium and focuses on the questions still remaining about construction financing.

» Read the full article at The Guardian


Reader Comments (65)

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Colin Glassar
1 Posted 13/11/2022 at 19:59:45
Anyone else read this Simon Goodley piece in today’s Guardian?

Sounds very ominous regarding the financing of the new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and makes Moshiri sound dodgy as fuck.

There’s something about that fella that ain’t kosher. Don’t trust him or his sidekick.

Tony Abrahams
2 Posted 13/11/2022 at 20:16:54
I think if you were asked to dig deeper, that the Premier League might just be aware of all the Chinese whispers, Colin.

This makes me think that the last thing Moshiri wants is protests, and I'd hazard a guess that the league would love Moshiri to sell, if only to help get rid of those whispers

Now we have just got to find ourselves a suitable buyer, before Kenwright orders another Strategic Review.

Michael Lynch
3 Posted 13/11/2022 at 20:24:29
Colin,

For some reason, the Guardian seems to post an article painting us in a very dark light every few weeks. Not sure why they have an agenda against us, but I've stopped reading them.

As far as I can see, the ground is ploughing ahead at a rate of knots. If there was any doubt about our ability to pay, I'm pretty sure Laing O'Rourke would have downed tools til we paid up

Peter Neilson
4 Posted 13/11/2022 at 20:33:51
Colin (__),

I agree it makes pretty grim reading, while some of the article is rehashed old news the core truth is that we’ve not been able to get complete funding for the stadium through standard means after 3 years plus of searching.

Says something about investors confidence in club bonds. Maybe nothing to worry about, or maybe it’s another example of the planning and foresight that started the season without a striker of any note. Thank god for the World Cup break.

Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 13/11/2022 at 21:36:20
This rather strange article seems to be a typical Guardian attempt to generate doubt and uncertainty about the financing of the new Everton Stadium.

Yet the article states itself that:

Everton added it was confident its overall finances were robust and that the stadium would be built on time.

A spokesman for Moshiri said he was “perplexed” by the Guardian's questions about the club's finances and suggested there was no public interest in analysing the club's funding. He added that Everton was in rude financial health with access and relationships to a range of well-known lenders.

Which, if true, completely refutes every snide innuendo made by Goodley in this piece.

Of course, it may be a Putin-type truth, a bit like "Oh no, we're not going to invade Ukraine..."

Meanwhile, construction at the site continues apace. Anyone in the construction industry will confirm that would not be happening unless very substantial progress payments, likely against monthly submittals, were not being made on a timely basis.

I won't deny that the continuing source of funds does appear to be somewhat opaque, and this could be linked to BDO supposedly walking away from their role as club auditors (another mischievous story also from The Guardian, which they noticeably do not update).

The Premier League separates capital construction costs from the operating costs that come under their Profitability and Sustainability Rules, so anything going on here should not impact the footballing side... expect that (a la Arsenal and The Emirates) less money may be available for new players.

Tony Abrahams
6 Posted 13/11/2022 at 21:50:16
I've stated this on another thread Michael, but how can Liverpool be valued at £3 Billion, whilst some past press rumours, have said that Moshiri could be willing to sell Everton for £500 million, if the purchasers have another £500 million to complete the new stadium?

Maybe it's just a rumour, maybe it could be because of Liverpool's massive fan base, or maybe there are still moves being taken to implement a European Super League?

The last one seems the most plausible to me, because although I might be biased and wear blue tinted glasses at times, surely getting Everton at that price, with a beautiful new stadium on the iconic river Mersey, would surely be the better deal otherwise?

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 13/11/2022 at 21:56:53
We can be the Merseyside noisy neighbours Tony.

Remember Sir Alex getting irritated and thinking the transition of power would never happen?

It took a stadium and investment to make it happen.

Maybe if we get this right, we take back our club and the city.

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 13/11/2022 at 22:02:58
Your positivity is infectious Danny, even if loads of people must call you a lunatic!
Michael Kenrick
9 Posted 13/11/2022 at 22:05:09
Tony,

I think £3Billion or thereabouts may be the going rate for a Champions League club (cf Chelsea). Whilst a tenth of that or therabouts may be the going rate for a run-of-the-mill lower table Premier League club (cf Newcastle).

Just saying.

Kieran Kinsella
10 Posted 13/11/2022 at 22:41:58
Michael

I see it how you do. I was waiting for a silver bullet but there really wasn’t any. In terms of substance it is a worry if we are back to borrowing from Kenwrights offshore loan sharks as borrowing costs will be higher but that’s about it.

Paul Smith
11 Posted 13/11/2022 at 23:08:37
Michael Lynch, it might be the fact we're owned by an Oligarch's old accountant. It's been dodgy as fuck since Carlo's & Rafa's yacht trip and the Russian sponsors.

Now, I don't care where the money comes from but nosey reporters do and they smell a rat and readers must be reading the stuff because they're not letting it go.

Clive Rogers
12 Posted 13/11/2022 at 23:53:19
This club is on the brink of disaster. If relegation were to happen, everything would come crashing down.

Moshiri is clearly struggling to find a buyer or investment. Who would want to pay £1Billion for a club making losses year on year? Almost £400M in the last two years and probably further losses this year.

Add to this a further £400M debts and loans. Why have the accountants walked away? Why have the AGMs been abandoned and the Accounts pushed back to March?

It's easy to be constantly optimistic, but the indications don't support it.

Ed Prytherch
13 Posted 14/11/2022 at 00:36:38
There is a good chance that Everton will have a new majority owner in the near future, Moshiri will take a huge financial hit and Kenshite will be a former chairman of Everton. Moshiri has to sell all or a big chunk of his equity in the club and he will have to sell at a discount on what he has paid for it. Kenshite is laughing all the way to the bank. We just have to hope that our new owners will be people that we like.
Bill Gall
14 Posted 14/11/2022 at 02:08:14
14 April 2022

Laing O'Rourke have signed a construction agreement that will see the contractor deliver the remainder of the football club's new Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

The new agreement will see Laing O'Rourke complete the construction of the 52,588-capacity waterfront stadium giving Everton greater certainty about the cost of the remaining work.

Laing O'Rourke will now complete any outstanding works and carry out the full construction of the stadium including the public places. The contractor will also be responsible for remedial work to the Grade II listed Hydraulic Tower which will bring it back into public use as part of the fan Plaza around the Stadium.

I don't think a worldwide company like Laing O'Rourke would sign anything that they didn't know if they were getting paid or not.

Don Alexander
15 Posted 14/11/2022 at 02:19:50
To my tax-paying, legit (unless the missus does me in) way of life, the antics of Moshiri and his trusted (by him and other such dimwits) chairman are always a major cause of worry.

Some folks denigrate the Grauniad as a matter of course but they ask questions the likes of the Esk has long posited, without explicitly credible response from within the club, to anyone. I mean, our salvation financial company reportedly just happens to be registered in that world-wide renowned centre of major fiscal "adjustment" – Cheshire! Hmm!

From our two shysters, the answer's always the same; "Trust us, our accounts are perfect", without ever going any further, in the manner of a spiv.

Alan J Thompson
16 Posted 14/11/2022 at 05:41:47
Nothing at all kosher about Moshiri, halal maybe or possibly haram but never kosher.

Or perhaps just somebody's accountant as they usually are what you pay for.

Jack Convery
18 Posted 14/11/2022 at 05:44:43
Moshiri is an accountant by trade and he knows every loophole he needs to know to keep the doubters at bay. However, someone appears to be briefing against him.

Hmm… I wonder who that could be!!

Jim Bennings
19 Posted 14/11/2022 at 07:00:43
The money that Everton have spent since 2016, the club has spent to compete as a Champions League club but the failings mean it's more likely Championship.

I'm certain in summer of 2016, Farhad Moshiri would have envisaged that there was a realistic chance that Everton would be playing Champions League football by now. After all, it didn't take Tottenham long to become a regular in that competition did it?

We were vying with Spurs up until 2014.

Newcastle will likely be the next team that regularly enter the Champions League.

Christine Foster
20 Posted 14/11/2022 at 07:24:26
Goodley has form. He has penned a number of critical “just sayin”, articles specifically against Moshiri, his association with his former employer, the purchase of his home, the *refusal* of BDO to conduct an audit because of Moshiris ownership, now a "how is he going to fund" critical "analysis" of just how Moshiri will fund, with lots of already known facts.. in my book just trying to sling mud at the club and Moshiri in particular.

If he worked for the Crown Prosecution Service, the prisons would be empty.

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 14/11/2022 at 07:35:33
You're probably correct, Michael, and this just confirms that football is mostly about the short term. When Everton got Moshiri, most people thought that money was going to solve all of our problems, but the problem was that there really wasn't a plan, and how we have suffered because of this ineptitude.

The Saudi's got Newcastle for a tenth of the price of what it would have cost them to buy a Champions League club, but with a proper plan they might get there without even spending a billion pounds.

Money is great, but I'd sooner have owners with strategy and a plan, especially after the way we have been run for so long.

Christine Foster
22 Posted 14/11/2022 at 07:54:38
Ah Tony, even the Fans Advisory Board have not seen the Strategic Review…

What a plan it must be – so commercially sensitive the board don't know what to do with it. Stuck in the bottom drawer with the Arteta money...

Tony Abrahams
23 Posted 14/11/2022 at 08:17:34
I think it's very clear to see what the plan has been since Kenwright, saved us from oblivion, Christine. Rob Peter to pay Paul, sell two training grounds even though it's a lot more expensive to rent one, but he was in survival mode, and his plan made him a very rich man.

Moshiri is the concerning one, he stated that he didn't want Everton to take up too much of his time, and we are now suffering because of the stupidity of a very rich man, and the sanctions that have been put on his boss.

I'd like to see more articles like Goodley's because I believe that Moshiri has secrets to hide, and I'm certain Farhad would not enjoy being kept in the weekly news whilst there is so much scrutiny on his master.

We need owners with a plan beyond delivering a new stadium, and surely every single Evertonian in the world can see this?

Danny O’Neill
24 Posted 14/11/2022 at 08:24:59
The plan and strategy is key. Man City had one. Chelsea had one. Yes, they put the finances into it, but there was a strategy and vision.

Our owner came in and naively gave his money to people who thought they'd won the lottery and didn't know what to do with it.

Because there was no plan. No vision. No strategy.

Vision. Mission. Goals. Objectives. It feeds down and it reports up on whether they are being met. Accountability.

Christine Foster
25 Posted 14/11/2022 at 08:29:06
Tony,

Moshiri has already left the building in my view, all he is thinking about now is the recovery orb return on his investment. That means he has left day-to-day control with you know who, and he won't sack Lampard because it will reflect on him.

New owners will only happen once Moshiri has secured some sort of deal that no doubt keeps him on board as a minority shareholder to maximise potential because, right now, I cannot see anyone forking out two lots of £500 million to buy the club and pay for the stadium.

I think Moshiri will take a bath to get out; the sooner both he and Kenwright are gone, the better… I will take my chances with the devil.

Chris Williams
26 Posted 14/11/2022 at 08:38:03
I think the Guardian might smell a rat about our funding, and is digging. If it's all okay, then there is no problem.

The Guardian reported issues with their auditor, which the club denied. This article says the club is now believed to be looking for a replacement. If true, it could indicate an issue. If not, then no problem.

It also comments about not taking up local authority funding. It might just be possible that they chose not to because of the issues in the Council that have since come to light, and are now common knowledge.

The Guardian is part of an international network of investigative journalists and published the Panama Papers and the Pandora Papers, about offshore activities, among others, so they maybe have access to sources.

If it's all okay then no problem. But it's all a bit opaque, isn't it?

Dave Cashen
27 Posted 14/11/2022 at 08:53:56
Christine and Tony,

Do I detect a hint of skepticism? If I didn't know better, I would think neither of you believes that a Strategic Review was ever actually conducted.

I'm reminded of the Cadbury Wispa advert years ago when Griff Rhys Jones told us that the recipe is so sensitive, "Even the people who make them, don't know how they make them".

100% in agreement. A Strategic Review which is veiled in secrecy sort of defeats the object.

If indeed one was ever conducted...

Jim Lloyd
28 Posted 14/11/2022 at 09:48:55
The impression I got from reading this article (and looking at the pictures printed in the article) was that this "reporter" is a snidey prick with ears. The pictures (even of the stadium!) made Everton Football club and it's supporters, looky dowdy and dismal.
Not that this has anything to do with him trying to paint a picture of course.

He may well have information backed by fact but he gave an impression of not being able to hold his water with glee.

Anyway, I've been reading the comments on here and it's been filled with many excellent posts. Though to have comments about whether the club should change manager or not is slightly like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

In my view, as supporters we have limited information but there's enough excellent comments on here, pointing out a common denominator in our demise in the last Quarter of a Century. That is the ever-present chairman of a great club, charting a course to it's present sad state.

In the great scheme of things in the high finance of the Premier League, Everton FC have been been involved with people like "Our Friend" Sir Philip Green, and that bloke who owned Pizza Hut or similar, and institutions in the Virgin Islands to borrow large chunks of cash, on the strength of flogging the proceedings of season ticket sales for a couple of decades.

What we can do, is vent our wrath at the self-centred "world's best Evertonian" who has led us to where we are now. I hope we, as supporters of this club, do whatever we can to make our voices heard, that Kenwright is killing our club.

Mike Owen
29 Posted 14/11/2022 at 11:05:40
I have been far from convinced that moving to the new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is the right thing for us to do. Even if deals were in place to cover the total cost of building this stadium, I would be worried.

Because I have doubts over whether EFC will, for 25 years, be able to afford the annual repayments – certainly without jeopardising our ability to sign top-quality players.

I have been a bit bemused that the club should get a company to start construction when we have only sorted out part of the funding, not all. That might be okay in normal, stable times. But in this turbulent financial period we have entered, I am not so sure.

As for what has led to this article, I am sure it is merely a consequence of The Guardian taking an interest in a certain Russian Oligarch, probably the most famous one.

Finally, I trust the club won't be completing a deal to sell Goodison Park until the new Everton Stadium is complete. Otherwise, it could be jumpers for goalposts.

Tony Abrahams
30 Posted 14/11/2022 at 16:59:19
Before that strategic review, we was told that Barrett-Baxendale, was looking for alternative employment, but somehow Everton have managed to retain her services, for another 12 months.

I saw a post yesterday from Ed P, and he said that Everton would soon have new owners, so what do you know, Ed!?

Dale Self
31 Posted 14/11/2022 at 17:16:49
Yes, Jim, and note that black and white photo of Moshiri – that is for dramatic effect along with the big bold 'No backers' and 'Offshore loans'. Ooooh, that's enough for some retarded Groaniad readers (lookers?) to draw some conclusions right there.

Fuck that guy, not reading it. Let me know if I'm off there but fuck him, he's a hit man and listed third on any by-line that has ever been taken seriously.

This is the example of the dodgiest dealing in the Premier League? Please.

James Hughes
32 Posted 14/11/2022 at 17:51:51
A load of media talk as far as I am concerned. The money hasn't been ringfenced like erm before.

The staduim is on course to be completed and Moshri has enough contacts to get this completed. Season ticket holders will be in their seats in the new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

That will not ease our perennial problem as we still need to change the board.

Denise Barrett-Baxendale is great for EitC but hails from an Education – not Businees criteria.

Boys Pen Bill – nothing to add, the greatest Evertonian ever, in his words, please Bill just go.

Rob Halligan
33 Posted 14/11/2022 at 17:54:10
As Michael # 3 says, if there was any problem, then why haven't Laing O'Rourke downed tools?

By the way, I'm loving watching all the weekly videos from various drone users, showing BMD getting higher and higher, bigger and bigger, and the first roof truss installed last week.

One of the drone users also shows a constant stream of lorries entering the building site loaded up with building materials. Now I'm no expert on this, far from it, but if I'm correct, wasn't the infill of the dock the most singular expensive part of the project? I'm sure I read it would cost £100M just to infill the dock, though I stand to be corrected on that.

I'm pretty certain all the steelwork is now complete, but again could be wrong. The rest of the east and west stands are primarily going to be concrete, so once the roof is finished that leaves all the interior fixtures and fittings. No idea how much that will cost though, but I'm guessing nowhere what it's cost for the infill and all the steel.

Then again, maybe no money has changed hands yet, and Moshiri is going to write a cheque when it's all done. Just hope it doesn't go boing boing!

James Flynn
34 Posted 15/11/2022 at 17:23:42
Simple page-filler.

90% boilerplate with 10% sprinkling of a few well-known Moshiri finance facts.

Tom Hughes
36 Posted 16/11/2022 at 02:04:59
Rob #33,

Laing O’Rourke will continue for as long as each phase is paid for. There is a long way to go with the construction. The side stands are nowhere near structurally complete, the end stands need their whole lower sections and there is no roof whatsover. So we're still a long way off yet.

The financial model was always vague. It was supposed to be the owner funding the initial phase personally, with a loan secured to support the bulk of the rest, backed by a stadium naming rites deal to help cover it. No loan has been achieved, the USM naming deal is a non-starter (for the foreseeable).

The owner (and his now less visible/sanctioned backer) should quite easily have the funds to complete the build (depending on how the current crisis has affected their personal wealth and cash flow). However, the issue will always be what actual debt will eventually be passed on to the club and how that affects the viability equation going forward.

Moshiri recently told the Shareholders Association that the stadium costs have gone up to £750m. That's a 50% lift, with no obvious alternative to USM for naming rights (which by definition was practically limitless, and the main thing holding this together). So it's hardly a surprise that some people are questioning the stadium finances. It has all the same "money-no-object-scattergun" approach hallmarks as the team/managerial spending of recent years. In both cases the resultant debt eventually attracts attention.

Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 17/11/2022 at 09:44:02
I drove past this morning, and I swear – I saw angels in the architecture, swimming in infinity, singing We Shall Not Be Moved!
Brian Harrison
38 Posted 17/11/2022 at 10:04:09
Despite us being rightfully excited as the new stadium is coming on leaps and bounds, I think the article by the Guardian is really concerning.

Moshiri has stated that the cost of the new stadium has risen from £500 million to £750 million, and he didn't have or was unwilling to fork out the original £500 million. Despite Moshiri hiring 2 top American banks to find the investment needed, 11 months later and still no investor on board.

According to all the financial experts, any club proposing such a massive outlay normally make sure all the funding is in place before embarking on the building. But Moshiri has started the project without the funds to finish it. So, at some point in the coming weeks and months, he either has to find an investor or sell, or pause the construction.

But if he is forced to sell then the new owner will obviously deduct off whatever is left to finance the new stadium from what they will pay Moshiri.

We seem to have heard nothing from our owner for months, either on the new stadium or the predicament the team is in, but at some point, he will have to make a statement as to whether he is prepared to finance all of the stadium build if no investor is found – and pretty quickly.

Paul Hewitt
39 Posted 17/11/2022 at 10:13:59
Brian.@38. It's a fixed price of around £550 million. Can't go any higher.
Michael Kenrick
40 Posted 17/11/2022 at 10:40:15
Brian @38,

Methinks you may have been hanging on a little too tightly to the highly dubious nonsense posted at the utterly dreadful Goodison News site, especially the spouting forth by their so-called 'finance expert' and buying into their blatant and unashamed fear-mongering agenda.

First you say "Moshiri has stated that the cost of the new stadium has risen from £500 million to £750 million" and then you claim "we seem to have heard nothing from our owner for months" – which is it? You can't have both.

You also claim"he didn't have or was unwilling to fork out the original £500 million" – when did he ever say that? "Moshiri has started the project without the funds to finish it" – you do not know that. I doubt if anyone outside of Moshiri (and his circle, if there is one) knows that for a fact.

More completely fallacious presumption follows: "At some point in the coming weeks and months, he either has to find an investor or sell, or pause the construction" – or he simply carries on funding it, as he has been!!!

It continues: "at some point, he will have to make a statement as to whether he is prepared to finance all of the stadium build if no investor is found." Er... no he won't.

Brian Murray
41 Posted 17/11/2022 at 10:49:04
Tony,

Jimmy Gabriel is watching over us while Dan Meis has a tea break.

Brian Harrison
42 Posted 17/11/2022 at 10:54:49
Michael 40

My comments are from the Guardian newspaper which is attached to the heading of the post.

So, if he is willing to carry on funding the stadium, why has he employed 2 USA banks to find investors or buyers?

Seems like you are quite happy with an absentee owner who can't even be bothered to attend games so why should I expect him to communicate with the fans?

I don't know if the stadium costs are fixed at £550 million as Paul Hewitt suggests; I know they agreed a fixed price for the steelwork but I haven't read anywhere about the whole stadium being at a fixed rate.

Well, I am sure that we will find out in the coming months whether the Guardian article was right or not about the funding of the new stadium. But I wouldn't imagine the 2 USA banks are searching for investors if Moshiri has the funds to pay for the stadium.

You ask me to verify what is attributed to him in this article – I can't, and equally you can't disprove it, as he has said very little since his boss was sanctioned.

Rob Halligan
43 Posted 17/11/2022 at 13:55:46
Normally when news breaks about the financing for the new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, every rag under the sun wants to report on it, yet it's only the Guardian that are reporting this, that I can see anyway. So it's probably all a load of bullshit.

Tom Hughes says that Laing O'Rourke will continue for as long as each phase is paid for. Whilst I'm not saying Tom is right or wrong about this, surely if Moshiri thought there was any problem whatsoever, then surely he would ask for construction work to stop until such problems are resolved?

Now again, I'm no expert when it comes to financial matters (The missus sorts all our finances out in our house), but I've a feeling Moshiri has more than enough to pay for the whole damn thing. He must be getting interest on his wealth, is he not getting millions in dividends every year, and perhaps most of all, did he not get any money off Usmanov, prior to his assets being frozen, to pay for it!

I think Moshiri is holding out until the stadium is finished before selling up. He will probably get the majority of his dosh back from the sale, and the only money he will be down on is that on buying players. All sounds so easy so I am probably way off the mark!!

Barry Hesketh
44 Posted 17/11/2022 at 14:04:15
Rob @43,

I've been contemplating the reasons for the Guardian's article, and I'm only guessing, but could it be it is anticipating where any potential new buyers' money will end up?

After all, it would be unacceptable to many, in the current climate, for the funds received from the sale of Everton FC, to end up with the owner of a very expensive yacht.

As usual, the hurdles between Everton FC and any progress seems to depend on so many unfortunate and unforeseen factors.

Michael Kenrick
45 Posted 17/11/2022 at 14:06:34
Sorry, Brian @42, but we must be reading different copies of the Guardian article if you got all that from Simon Goodley's piece.

"You ask me to verify what is attributed to [Moshiri] in this article" No, sorry, I didn't ask you that. I've read my copy again, and the statements you made, and I can't see that there is a basis for any of the quotes I called out from your post.

"If he is willing to carry on funding the stadium, why has he employed 2 USA banks to find investors or buyers?"

I would imagine that's his prerogative as owner. What is described may have constituted a preferred funding model. Paul the Esk, in his Monday podcast, is equally sceptical. But the undeniable fact remains that the construction is proceeding and is (presumably) being paid for.

(You know this sounds like Tony Marsh in overdrive and his lovingly crafted claims that it would never be built. It still may not be completed – anything is possible in this crazy world. But currently it is under construction, with no hint that costs are not being met.)

The money appears to be coming from Moshiri. Paul the Esk mentions Bluesky Capital Ltd in the Isle of Man, where money trails are probably a lot more opaque than if it was being done through a company registered at Companies House. But must Moshiri really respond to your impertinent demands that he tells all? Isn't it sufficient that he keeps to his word and continues to fund the construction?

Back in April, we carried a piece on the stadium costs, asserting that Everton have 'clarity of costs' with Laing O'Rourke agreement. I know the concept of "fixed price" was discussed in that thread without any clear conclusion. I was hoping a shareholder who 'heard' from Moshiri that the stadium cost was now £750M would come out of the woodwork to confirm this.

Oh, talking of Paul the Esk, I did find this marvellous quote from one poster on something I was considering fact-checking:

"Who cares what he thinks, he's the most anti-Everton Evertonian on the planet. The man's a loon who claims to know more than the national and local press. Pretty much everything he says is going to happen doesn't happen. He's a melon."

I must agree that he is one of the foremost doom-mongers imaginable when it comes to Everton and all the things he says the club absolutely must do or dire catastrophe will result.

Tom Hughes
46 Posted 17/11/2022 at 17:39:30
Michael #45,

I am a shareholder and also a member of the Shareholder's Association committee. I wasn't part of the on-line meeting with Moshiri, as I was away at the time but I think the rest of the committee were present. I'm not sure how closely they follow these pages.

I think it is also mentioned in subsequent meeting notes, with further minuted discussion in the Association's following monthly meeting.

Someone mentioned the word 'propaganda' and that could be accurate. But if it is, it's Moshiri-led. That in itself is not unusual for club owners talking up the value of their investments or quality of their stadium projects.

However, he was talking in the direct context of having to pay Laing O'Rourke for each phase of the build and that the total cost had risen to £750m. I'm also not sure if being literal or somehow conflating whole project costs with construction costs is that different in this case.

Michael Kenrick
47 Posted 17/11/2022 at 21:32:27
Tom, Many thanks for confirming that.

It's very interesting that this snippet has not been pounced upon by any journalists, which perhaps is a sign of how tight the ESA has been able to keep things! It's a headline writer's dream.


Tom Hughes
48 Posted 18/11/2022 at 08:57:03
I totally agree Michael, especially given the content and motive of this article.

When I attended the following meeting, I was astonished at the news. The question had been asked about how the project was going and if funding was in place etc.

Apparently Moshiri said that he was about to put the cash forward for the next phase and was very open about informing the committee that costs had risen. He then backed that up by giving assurances that he would cover all construction costs till the end of next year.

I am not sure what the relevance of that timeline is with respect to the construction schedule. I think the general feeling was that he had delivered so far and has always met the club's debts before, and that therefore his answer covered the stadium funding question, for at least the bulk of the build.

It appears that most fans are not overly concerned because they know the owner's wealth covers those costs. They just want to see the stadium built regardless of what that does to its viability equation and where that debt ultimately lands. Moshiri has said before that he doesn't expect to recoup all of his investment in the club, so who knows?

Brian Harrison
49 Posted 18/11/2022 at 09:45:03
Michael 47

So Tom Hughes has confirmed that the cost of the stadium has risen by 50% to £750 million, as the Guardian article suggested.

I also found it strange that as an editor of an Everton FANS website you call me impertinent for asking our owner to answer some of the questions raised in the article.

You also castigate Paul the Esk, someone whose posts are generally well received by most T/W patrons, because in your view he is a doom-monger. To be perfectly honest this owner has had us in the Bottom 6 for longer than any other owner for 60 years, so if we tend to look at the negatives rather than the positives, can you blame Paul for that?

Also, Tom said at the shareholders meeting that Moshiri guaranteed funding till next year, which Tom said he didn't see the relevance of that date. You would have thought he would have said the same as he did when he took over the club, which was we need a new stadium and I will pay whatever it costs to build it.

Michael Kenrick
50 Posted 18/11/2022 at 11:46:11
Brain,

Again, your copy of the article seems very different from mine.

It cites the project cost as £500M, which is what has always been quoted. Please help me find where it even suggests that costs have risen? I can't see any mention of a 50% increase or the new £750M figure.

You, like Paul, demand that Moshiri goes public in answering the questions you pose. Why isn't it enough for him to say already what he has said, which (as you quote yourself) is that he will pay whatever it costs to build it??

The article itself even states: "Assuming the final tranche of funding arrives, there should be no problem for either Everton or Moshiri." So exactly why all this doom-mongering? Because we've been in the Bottom 6 too often? Sorry, that connection seems at best a little confused.

But listen to Paul's latest Talking the Blues podcast from Monday and you get the same impertinent demands being made of Moshiri, Kenwright, and anyone who thinks different from the Three Wise Men and their persistent portents of doom.

I can't shed any light on the timeline but it might have been in relation to the monies for the "next phase" (unspecified). If construction continues apace, I imagine the new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock will be substantially complete by the end of 2023, with interior finish work likely remaining.

But that's a long way off – although it seems they've done a remarkable job on the construction so far... I say just let them get on with it.

Brian Harrison
51 Posted 18/11/2022 at 11:59:33
Michael,

I just think we will have to agree to disagree on this matter, just a couple of things:

Forget the Guardian article. Tom Hughes in his post said at the shareholders meeting Moshiri said that the cost of the Stadium had now risen to £750 million. And in replying to Toms post you thanked him for that information and asked quite rightly why this hadn't been seized upon by journalists and you're now back to denying the cost has risen to £750 million.

You ask why all this doom-mongering and yet you quote the piece which says 'if' or, in their words, assuming the next tranche of money arrives, there should be no problem.

Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 18/11/2022 at 13:08:22
I was told by a friend, who is currently working on the new ground as a crane driver, that all the main steelworks on the ground will be completed by March 2023 and all the cranes will off the site by then, this was a couple of weeks ago.
Michael Kenrick
53 Posted 18/11/2022 at 14:57:42
My God, Brian, you are hard work...

Where on earth do I deny that the costs have risen to £750M???

You claimed it says as much in the Guardian article that you now want to thankfully forget. I asked you to show me where it says any such thing. You politely demurred. Fine.

The bottom line is the man who said he would pay for it is doing exactly that: Paying for it. The same man says the cost has risen to £750M. I would be the last person to deny that.

How about a compromise: why don't you, me, Paul, and everyone else start panicking when he actually stops paying?

Deal?

Eric Myles
54 Posted 19/11/2022 at 02:44:59
Michael #5,

You're quite right in saying that payments must be being made to the contractor, non-payment is a material breach of contract for which the contractor has the right to stop work, or to slow the progress of works.

Bill #14,

I would be much happier if that quote referred to a construction contract. While a contract is a form of agreement, an agreement is not a form of contract.

Paul #39,

I remember that figure of £550 million being quoted for the Design and Build by Laing O'Rourke but, as in every contract, even Lump Sum Fixed Price, there can be cost escalations.

For example, most times there are Provisional Sums or Prime Costs included for such things as finishings works which the client may not have settled on 3 years in advance.

Also, there may be specialist subcontract items such as security which the main contractor may not be responsible for, or items that are owner-provided. Was the infill of the dock part of the Laing O'Rourke contract works, for example? Such items could possibly explain Moshiri's expectation of increased costs.

Rob #33,

I read on these pages the same figure about the infill being £100 million and being the singularly most expensive part of the project. I challenged it then and do now, I don't believe it would have cost that much and it certainly wouldn't be the most expensive part of the construction. I think the figure relates more to the initial monies guaranteed by Moshiri to get the works started.

Eric Myles
55 Posted 19/11/2022 at 02:47:45
Another thing, Moshiri may well be quoting his overall costs as £750 million, not just construction costs. So that would include architect and engineering fees, land acquisition, survey and government fees, etc.
Eric Myles
56 Posted 19/11/2022 at 02:50:53
Couldn't edit the previous post but wanted to clarify that it's based on Tom Hughes's quote by Moshiri that refer to "stadium costs" not construction costs.
Danny O’Neill
57 Posted 05/12/2022 at 09:47:26
Coming back to this one.

I rarely have the chance to claim insider knowledge, but had an interesting conversation yesterday.

Although Liverpool's owners apparently said they would only be around for about 10 years before capitalising on their investment, apparently they are losing key people in certain business areas… to Everton.

And also apparently, they are very mindful that with the new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock on the horizon, they will lose out to hosting big events. Not just with BMD already highlighted as a potential venue for the UK and Ireland's Euro 2028 bid, but for things like concerts and boxing.

Allegedly, Merseyside police are already keen to shift focus to the new venue as it is difficult to police large crowds and events in the streets around Anfield, Walton and Kirkdale.

All gossip, hearsay and speculation. So don't quote me.

Joe McMahon
58 Posted 05/12/2022 at 10:27:18
Danny, that all makes sense.
John Burns
59 Posted 05/12/2022 at 13:58:34
Nice one, Danny. It's great to see it developing on a day-by-day basis from the train. Everton even announced today that the build has become a building (not sure what that means).

But I'm still not 100% sure it will be built. I hate saying that, but there have been too many disappointments in the past to be totally convinced.

Rob Halligan
60 Posted 05/12/2022 at 15:20:21
John # 59. You’re not Jonathan Tasker using a pseudonym, are you?
Kieran Kinsella
61 Posted 05/12/2022 at 16:03:08
John & Brian,

I read in The Echo that at this point it would cost more not to build the stadium than to finish it because, if it isn't built, Everton have to pay to return the site to its prior state. So unless Moshiri and the club actually both go bankrupt, I can't see a situation where it isn't finished.

Even then, presumably if they did both go under, someone else would swoop in and acquire the rights to finish the half-built stadium and presumably the club that is key to its use.

Danny O’Neill
62 Posted 05/12/2022 at 16:15:00
It's happening and less than 2 years away.

We abandoned that pit in 1892 and moved to better things.

We're moving to better things now, near the heart of our city and one of the most famous waterfronts in the world. We will be centre and front of our city. The bird is blue.

They have their big stand, new Kemlyn Road, false Kop and the other big stand that has closed off the Anfield Road. And Stanley Park. You can have it. I'll still go the Arkles out of respect for my Grandad. But the smile will be larger and a lot smugger.

This is a positive thing for Everton. Let's be positive about it.

Barry Williams
63 Posted 05/12/2022 at 16:54:43
Michael Lynch - 3

I noticed the toxicity of the paper towards Everton back in the Moyes era - they couldn't seem to write anything positive. A team punching way above its weight in financial terms at the time (how that has changed!) - you'd think a 'left-wing' paper would have been right behind that particular scenario - nah, not a bit of it!

Danny O’Neill
64 Posted 05/12/2022 at 17:33:53
It goes back further Barry.

How much did we upset the apple cart when the media were craving for a Tottenham title in the 1985 run in? Well we saw to that one.

And how we ruined the chances of the dream final in 95. We saw to that one too.

Spriti. Forever

Sorry. I'm on the bitter pills tonight.

Bill Gall
65 Posted 05/12/2022 at 17:36:29
I really enjoy watching the videos of the new ground being built.

The best views to me are from the drones showing the stands from outside, with workmen walking around that shows the size that this building is going to be, they look like the miniature Lego figures from my grand kids models of large castles

John #59, I believe Moshiri has given his word that he is willing to see this building through even if he is unable to get backers or some form of partnership. Remember when he took over in 2016 his wealth was $1.8 billion. The lowest he has been was in 2018 at $1.7 billion. Today, in 2022, his wealth is up to $2.8 billion.

This is definitely on my bucket list even if it means sitting outside on the West End listening on a radio.

Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 05/12/2022 at 17:46:35
Those purported lies and myths, highlight how easy it was for William Kenwright, to kid the masses.

Everton punched well above their financial weight? They usually came around 7th and I’m certain they had the 8th highest wage bill in the league.

We should have been screaming for better (some did) but we became plucky little Everton instead, and it’ll soon be 28 years, since we last won a trophy.

The man who claimed he never took a penny, got very rich though. What a player.

Barry Williams
67 Posted 05/12/2022 at 18:22:58
Danny O'Neill @64

True, mate, but we know the media are sensationalist and biased – often appealing to the lowest common denominator – but I hate the Guardian because it purports to be above all this – and that is a load of old.... [Add your own expletive!]


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