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Where now for Everton?

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Phil McNulty | 00:10 UK time, Thursday, 26 November 2009

Bill Kenwright witnessed the unpalatable present as he suffered the latest evidence of Everton's decline in defeat at Hull City - and was then left to digest an uncertain future.

If enduring a first 45 minutes described as "right up there with the worst of them since I have been here" by manager David Moyes was not bad enough, news had started to filter out that the government had rejected Everton's proposals for a new 50,000-seater stadium in Kirkby.

This contentious, controversial project was Kenwright's big attempt to allow Everton to mix with the Premier League's big-hitters, a magnet to attract the new investment that has eluded him for years and an escape from the financial straitjacket that has stunted the club's progress.

The decision by communities secretary John Denham represents a huge personal setback for Kenwright and is the third time Everton have tried and failed to leave Goodison Park - twice under the current regime.

With Kirkby seemingly dead, there is now the inescapable sense that theatre impresario Kenwright is running out of road on which to take Everton forward under his stewardship.

Artist's impression of proposed stadium at KirkbyEverton's plans for a new stadium at Kirkby now appear dead in the water

Everton defiantly insist their search for a new home will now intensify, but where it will be and how they will finance it are two great imponderables.

Kenwright's reign is now seemingly trapped in an uncomfortable limbo. He was unable attract investment before the Kirkby project was grounded - he is even less likely to do so now the financial benefits a new ground can afford have been removed.

And after two summers when transfer outlay has effectively been funded by sales, Kenwright will find it hard to offer his increasingly embattled manager Moyes the hope of any serious future transfer cash.

At first glance it looks like Kenwright's reign has reached a dead end but unlike many supporters, I do not believe he is some sort of deliberately malign force on Everton.

Kenwright and Everton's board have, however, overseen a divisive scheme that split a fiercely-partisan fan base and has proved impossible to deliver. There is little good news for Everton's owner and chairman in that.

And the brutal truth is that unless Everton's hierarchy swiftly comes up with a viable alternative to Kirkby, it is hard to see where Kenwright goes from here.

Everton could mount a legal challenge, but the word out of Westminster already is that they would not get past first base because the secretary of state's decision falls in line with planning inspectorate recommendations.

Kenwright and his chief executive Robert Elstone could explore the option of redeveloping Goodison Park - but this would fly in the face of their long-held contention that this option is financially impossible.

Everton could reopen talks with Liverpool City Council on new locations - but past relationships have been strained with leader Warren Bradley once claiming the Kirkby plan was akin to "building a cow shed in a small town."

Bradley, who is a staunch Evertonian and advocate of a shared stadium with Liverpool, insisted on Thursday morning that his door was always open. Whether Everton wish to walk through it is another matter.

A shared stadium is the common sense answer to the mutual difficulties of both Merseyside clubs as they struggle to build new grounds. It is unlikely to happen unless there is a seismic, and probably unthinkable, shift in philosophy on both sides of Stanley Park - and even then two clubs short on hard cash would need to find ways to pay for it.

The "Destination Kirkby" move, or "Desperation Kirkby" as it was labelled by those standing firm against the idea, was trumpeted as "the deal of the century" by Everton's then chief executive Keith Wyness in July 2007.

Supermarket giants Tesco, driven by chief executive and Everton fanatic Sir Terry Leahy, were going to plough in a reported £52m to help finance the stadium as the focal point of a huge retail development in Kirkby.

Knowsley Council would provide the land, Everton would have to find the not unreasonable sum of £78m to finish off the job. Sounds simple.

But the so-called "deal of the century" did not find favour with everyone, especially a group of fans who adhered closely to the old adage that if something looks too good to be true, then it usually is.

The Keep Everton In Our City group mobilised the protests, and a ballot conducted among 36,662 Everton fans in August 2007 was less than conclusive, with 15,230 in favour, 10,468 against and 10,901 abstensions.

The major point of contention among Everton fans was not the need for a new stadium, a reality accepted by the majority, but the location of the new home Kenwright intended to set up, outside the Liverpool city boundary in Kirkby.

It was an issue that provided a point of unity for the protesters, especially when Liverpool fans openly revelled in the idea of Everton leaving the city clear for their arch-rivals from Anfield.

Throw in concerns over transport links, the revelation from Tesco consultants DTZ that the new arena would be "a mid-level quality stadium" - a phrase that aroused much suspicion among those opposed to the move - and some good old-fashioned emotional attachment to Goodison Park and the battle lines were drawn.

Everton manager David MoyesProblems off the field are compounded by manager David Moyes's problems on it

KEIOC insisted on Wednesday night: "This was never a boundary issue, it was a location issue. This stadium would have been nine miles outside the city centre, further from a city centre than any other Premier League ground."

This will be seen by KEIOC as a victory for people power at "The People's Club" - and who can blame them? It is certainly a morale-sapping and damaging defeat for Kenwright and chief executive Elstone, who was championing the cause of Kirkby as recently as Monday.

Elstone was especially strident in recent times in dismissing suggestions a rebuilt Goodison Park could be the answer, or that there was an alternative within Liverpool that would be accompanied by the financial benefits of the Knowsley and Tesco tie-in.

And Everton claimed a new stadium, complete with lucrative revenue streams it would bring, was the only way forward on the path to restore one of the game's great old institutions to its former glories. Today that ambition lies in tatters.

Goodison Park is a grand stadium steeped in history and with a unique environment, but even its most ardent admirers would have to accept the old place is rough around the edges.

The trick for Kenwright has been to find an acceptable, financially viable project that would appease the traditionalists. And he has not been able to do so.

If Everton have a Plan B they must reveal it swiftly. The stadium rejection reinforces the feeling that they are being cut adrift off the pitch as close rivals Aston Villa, Spurs and Manchester City overpower them with financial muscle.

And there are also worrying signs on it as a disappointing season continued with defeat at the KC Stadium, complete with a performance manager Moyes called "shocking".

It is against this backdrop of uncertainty that Everton's troubled neighbours Liverpool arrive at Goodison Park for the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

In Kenwright's perfect world he would like to stay at Goodison Park. Everton are staying there, at least for now, after the government's decision - but the world for Kenwright and his regime is far from perfect.

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  • Comment number 1.

    The biggest question has got to be, how come villa, city (twice!!), portsmouth have all attracted investment over recent years and everton have not? Ok GP is clapped out but at least we own it and is it any worse than fratton park? The suspicion is that the real owners of everton, Earl and Green, want their money back. To me that means without DK asset stripping is on its way, bye bye rodwell, jags, arteta. I cannot see anyone wanting to invest in everton now, not at a price which would be attractive to our owners.

  • Comment number 2.

    The Keep Everton In Our City group mobilised the protests, and a ballot conducted among 36,662 Everton fans in August 2007 was less than conclusive, with 15,230 in favour, 10,468 against and 10,901 abstensions.

    Thats basically idiots like these who ruin their own football club. Had the plan got the go ahead from the fans, Everton would be at far much better place right now. Probably fighting for places at top 3. But morons exist everywhere.. at some places more than others. and at that time clearly they existed much more.

  • Comment number 3.


    KEIOC protested over the move not only because of the boundary issue but of other parts of the scheme that simply didn't add up, such as the diabolical transport scheme that suggested up to 1000 Evertonians would be getting to the ground by bicycle! Now, I'm not sure how well you know North Liverpool but the infrastructure isn't there like it is in another footballing city, Rotterdam, to support it. It was utterly ludicrous and I'm glad John Denham has had the nouse to throw the application out.

    Maybe the groundshare scheme is the way to go. With no exclusivity agreement in place now Kenwright can talk to Bradley all he wants, now.

  • Comment number 4.


    I have always assumed that Everton never attracted the big money because they are the less successful (at present) of a two-team city. Villa are the big Birmingham team, Portsmouth are just about the only large team on the south coast, ok so the argument doesn't work with Man City, but there are always exceptions.

  • Comment number 5.

    Are Everton really in such a plight? Liverpool are up to their eyeballs in debt as are Man Utd, who sold Ronaldo to balance the books and reivested a pittance in comparison. Everton average 37,000, which is FAR more than plenty of other teams, actually 7th best in the country. So how come there is such a big hoo-ha over moving ground and lacking money? Other clubs are managing. And whilst they may not be pushing top 4, is that really realistic anyway? Even with sugar daddys Villa, Sunderland, Pompey et al are hardly Premier League winning clubs. Face it, Everton, even with a new stadium will only ever push for UEFA spots, unless some guy invests hundreds of millions on new players. Doesn't make a slight bit of difference which ground they are at and how much extra revenue it will attract. Man Utd will get 75,000 every week, and all the merchandising spin offs. Everton are not as marketable and at best will move to a 55,000 ground. How in the World can they compete with Uniteds financial muscle? Im a Leeds fan by the way, so i know what trying to 'live the dream' can do to your club. Evertonians need to realise they are an average club in todays World, end of story.

  • Comment number 6.

    Good blog
    As an Evertonian from Ireland it is hard to comment on the location issue. All I wanted was for Everton to improve financially and back Moyes before he is tempted elsewhere. The thought of him leaving is enough to bring me out in a cold sweat.
    In the last two years we have improved the squad but injuries are currently setting us back. Unfortunately we can not hope to sell players at inflated prices (Lescott 24 million!!!) every year to fund improvements. As I stated in one of your previous blogs, selling Rodwell or Arteta would be a major step back.
    We need investment as Spurs, Villa and Man City are probably going to finish above us due to financial muscle leaving us fighting for 8th. I would also be worried about Sunderland and Fulham.
    I do not blame Kenwright as I believe he has tried and has the best interests of the club at heart. He has frequently stated that he will accept offers for the club but it has to be the right people. Everton do not want to become the new Portsmouth(shady foreign owners) or Leeds.
    We will improve this season when all players are fit but will not challenge for top four.

  • Comment number 7.

    To add to my post, why not groundshare? It works with teams who hate eachother Milan and Inter, Roma and Lazio (real hatred). Both clubs should seriously consider it as neither are exactly doing well financially or on the pitch.

  • Comment number 8.

    I don't see a problem with ground sharing, it's not as if each week you'll have to stand next to a Kopite is it? It's not like living in a flat. I've been to Rome and Milan and their supporters are far more distasteful of each other, but they manage it.

    Anyway that aside, the over bearing question, the elephant in the room so to speak, for me, this whole time is the lack of investment. I mean Kenwright aside, as he may be the public figure head, there are people on the board with serious wealth. Do they not have the contacts, desire or ability to bring investment to the club. I mean if they want to recoup what they have put in, surely they can invest more, speculate to accumulate. It boogles the mind that a club, with such potential, a large and loyal fan base, a recognisable brand cannot attract investment. But clubs such as Fulham, Spurs, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Manchester City, West Ham, Sunderland and Aston Villa have all attracted investors in the time we have been looking.

  • Comment number 9.

    In fact further to my post, appears Elstone has confirmed to a news outlet that the club would now consider a ground share with Liverpool.

  • Comment number 10.

    we need to use our heads
    groundshare is the mature option
    it is in the best interests of the
    city of liverpool in the long term
    and also the best interests of both clubs
    to let local rivalry get in the way
    of something so important is ridiculous
    football is just a game
    and we need to have a serious debate
    about doing the best thing for the city
    and the clubs
    we know at the moment
    that liverpool is a more successful brand
    than everton
    but so what
    the clubs have a shared history
    and should celebrate that fact
    it used to make me feel very proud
    to see the friendly rivalry between the fans
    now it veers towards the ugly
    and that should be addressed
    people need to grow up and be realistic

  • Comment number 11.

    Bad news all round, not just for the Blues but Kirkby too. Out of town shopping centres like Cheshire Oaks and the Trafford Centre have killed local inner city trade. The option to redress the balance, at a time of economic meltdown, would seem at face value to be a viable path for the Kirkby project. Trading restrictions have ben cited as the reason behind this by the government, but that's just smoke and mirrors. The problem was that this was not supported outside of Goodison's four crumbling walls.
    I don't fault Bill Kenwright in this. Unlike many clubs, we have a chairman that would give the last 50p in his pocket to this club, but it's now apparent that major investment has to come from outside sources. We could bite the bullet and chase Thai funny money or sweet talk Saudi investors with free West End tickets, but ultimately this club needs money fast. Mowbray's not breaking eggs with big sticks at Celtic and that job's far more attractive than more of the same at Everton. Lose Moyes, bomb out of the Premiership. Your call Board of Directors.

  • Comment number 12.

    A ground share is definately a good idea. If two footballing giants like Inter and AC Milan can do it, with all thier rivalry, surely we can. It's in the best interests of both clubs.

  • Comment number 13.

    Maybe the KEIOC groupe should have been named "Keep Everton out of my town' by it's founder, the vocal KIRKBY resident Mr Kelly? He and his cronies have now got what they wished for, unfortunately, I don't think there will be a stampede of would-be investors hotfooting it to Goodison Park who are prepared to pander to the whims of the MINORITY of supporters, do the lunatics now have control of the asylum? if so RIP Everton football Club.
    Wear your Keioc badges with pride when we are playing in the coca cola division in a season or two!!

  • Comment number 14.

    The city should now look at a possible scheme for siting both the Everton FC and the Liverpool FC stadia on Stanley Park, sharing as many facilities as possible (but not dressing rooms, hospitality areas etc).

  • Comment number 15.

    peter coyle - was that a poem?

  • Comment number 16.

    I have witnessed what positive good a new ground can do for a club. My, then local, club, FC Groningen, left a ground that was much loved (Oosterpark) for a new ground about two miles out of the city (Euroborg). The new ground incorporated a supermarket, fitness centre etc. and a big office park to fund for facilities such as a railwaystation.

    Since the move the club have been doing a lot better, came out of debt into a healthy bank balance and consistently competed for a place in the UEFA cup, rather then fearing the drop each year. It is unfortunate that Everton chose to do a similar thing nine miles away from the city, this is always going to fall badly with the supporters. To succeed Everton NEED a site near Goodison. If that is not available (which seems to be the case) I reckon they need to redevelop their ground to drag it into this century. Whatever happens, Everton is a great club and I wish them well!

  • Comment number 17.

    Thought for the day. 2010 Commonwealth Games are in Delhi, 2014 Glasgow, 2018 not decided yet. Simple, Liverpool bids for it, gets it and the government has no choice but to support a new stadium within the city limits with tons of cash. Build it in Stanley Park, do a Man City and sell the family silver, they sold Maine Road, we sell Goodison and the Reds cash in Anfield. Then both teams rent the new 70,000 seater for buttons like the Saudis do. All the cash goes out on the pitch and we return to the glory days of the Eighties when Merseyside ruled the world. Genius, pure genius. I thank you!

  • Comment number 18.

    Liverpool should not accept a ground share. The club was conceived by Everton abandoning Anfield in the first place. There is a great deal of historical significance for both clubs with regards to individual stadiums.
    Besides, how shameful for both clubs that they will be the only big clubs in English football to have to resort to a ground share? The argument that it works in Italy is not valid. Everton and Liverpool are not in Italy, have never had to share stadiums before and unlike the Italian teams, they are not comfortable with this idea.
    Ground sharing between two such big clubs is not a good idea.

  • Comment number 19.

    Not a bad blog Phil but I think you give Warren Bradley too much credit. He seems hell bent on the groundshare and willing to hurt EFC to get his way.

    Let's not forget Everton's Goodison redevelopment plan was rejected on the basis that it would encroach on Stanley Park (a very small footprint) and this is a protected site. A short time later LFC are given permission to build an entire stadium on the site.

    I'd agree that from a neutral's point of view, if they cared, a ground share makes sense. The difficulty isn't just the general rivalry but the feeling that we would be the little brother - renting space in LFC's ground. After all they already have the go ahead and the development theoretically in place. Also the two clubs' current fortunes (LFC's woeful form notwithstanding) means we would hardly be going into a ground share as equals on the park which adds to the difficulty.

  • Comment number 20.

    The trouble with Kirkby wasn't the fact is was outside the city boundary (although there were many who refused to see beyond this), it was that the transport infrastructure wasn't there to accomodate 40,000 or more fans at once, or at least not if they arrived within an hour of each other.

    And the KEIOC gang didn't stop Destination Kirkby from going ahead, the Government did, and it was always going to because the plans were way in excess of what a small town like Kirkby could support.

    This plan was doomed from the start, for so many reasons, and it was disappointing the board saw fit to follow it to the end, however it does flag up that it was the only option the club could afford, which is sad, but true.

    Everton now need to get over this disappointment, its one that most Evertonians will not lose too much sleep over as for most of us it was a none starter anyway. Yes we'd like a brand new stadium for not much outlay, but one that is fit for the purpose, not one that is stuck in the middle on a small town with one road in, and one road out.

    Goodison is not the answer, we know that, and we really wish the kings dock scheme were still available, but its not, so we need to look at how we can build a new stadium, preferable somewhere that is accessable to Everton's many fans, somewhere that will make us proud (and preferably not bancrupt!).

    Chins up guys, we've bounced back from worse positions in the past, and we will do so again, hopefully with Kenwright still at the wheel, because whatever else you can accuse him of, you can't accuse him of not loving this club.

  • Comment number 21.

    There's been a hell of a lot of breath used, and almost as much wasted, discussing the pro's and con's of ground sharing between Liverpools two great clubs. Some views being worthly; financial backing, historic identity, location, maintaining current local identity, club loyalty, to what colour will the seats be and where do I sit during a derby match?
    I feel generally though both Liverpool and Everton fans are being incredibly short sighted. Football
    Liverpool and Everton are in the business of selling football, with an incredibly loyal support unknown in other businesses. Your current grounds are inadequate. They are used every other week!!! Blimey if any other business worked one week and then took a week off they'de be handing out the P45's in no time.
    If you both want to build on an already great fan base to generate more income this would give you both the opportunity with a major stadium. But, if Liverpool are allowed take Stanley Park for their own ground they will be seen forever as the dominant Liverpool club and Everton shunted to the side forever.
    I think both Liverpool & Everton are scared to be the first major clubs to share a ground, because others already have their own grounds. For how long?? There are many grounds around the country struggling to keep in business.
    In the future isn't it logical that these clubs might come knocking on other clubs doors to ground share just to keep their club alive?
    Wouldn't this ground share see your city as brilliant visionaries and show the footballing world that we can take a lead in the future of football and not tread the same old trodden path.
    Liverpool Council should take this lead and insist to both clubs that if Stanley Park is to be used at all it can only be used if both clubs share.
    Don't be scared. Build a 75,000+ seater stadium for the city and be proud of it!!!

  • Comment number 22.

    @philman132, I had a good chuckle at your post. Never let the facts stand in the way of a good theory, that's what I say!

  • Comment number 23.

    Re: andyh109

    no it's not a poem
    it's just that my grammar is grim
    and the whole punctuation thing
    back to the groundshare
    it is something i feel really
    strongly about
    and it would be sheer poetry
    if we let go of the past
    and moved into the future
    with a world class shared stadium
    held up as a model of creating
    first class sporting facilities
    for the clubs and the community
    the number one reason for the groundshare is
    it is the best thing for the community
    that includes the red and blue sides

  • Comment number 24.

    I think we have to get real the Kirby deal was far from ideal but it was the only option we had. I understand the stance that KEIOC took and believe they had a more than valid argument but I disagree with the options they put forward as alternatives – they simply won’t work. There does not seem to be anywhere left to turn Goodison cannot be redeveloped without purchasing the house that surround it – unless we are happy for obstructive views in a ‘new’ stadium – and that just adds more cost to an already costly venture.

    We either sink or jump into bed with you know who and share a ground. They don’t have the money to build theirs, they are stuck with the yanks as Dubai have debt issues and hopefully the council would put money in too.

    Build a stadium like the Allianz arena that changes colour – the New York Jets/Giants are building one right now and make the seats black or white - as that seems to be the MAJOR worry for some!!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    4. At 11:06am on 26 Nov 2009, philman132 wrote:

    ...Portsmouth are just about the only large team on the south coast...


    Apart from Southampton who were bought by a Swiss billionaire this summer.

  • Comment number 26.

    All this talk of a ground share is hillarious, Everton were offered the opportunity to share the new ground on Stanley Park but they refused they obviously think that they're too good to share so why should Liverpool step in and bail them out now. If the shoe was on the other foot you know Everton wouldn't be quick in coming forward to help Liverpool.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm going to attract criticism here but I'm an MK Don's fan and I was a Wimbledon fan from way back when.

    We've recently had the luck, money and support to be able to build a brand new stadium in a large wasteland space inside the city but that was unused. It's been a great boost to the local area (I live half a mile away) and the attendance is good.

    The move to Milton Keynes was a bid by the club to survive and then grow. We did. We're growing and 'Franchise FC' is becoming as notorious as the Crazy Gang. I think what Everton fans have to accept is that for the club to survive and to grow, they have to move. Not to the extent that we did but still, a move is necessary, whether it be to Kirby or elsewhere. If Everton fans can accept and support this, then Everton could become a great club, if not, Portsmouth are symptomatic of what can happen.

  • Comment number 28.

    And Re #24, surely purple seats are a good compromise?

  • Comment number 29.

    I'm sincerely worried.

    Moyes has his shortcoming, but he's done a lot for us over the the years he's been here. We've had a certain amount of consistency in recent years, and I think (when they're not all bloody injured!) we have a very good squad, certainly capable of breaching the "top 4" (although not winning, of course) or being in Europa league spots each and every season.

    The rub of the matter is that this may all come crashing down around us. We're already financially stretched and it's getting worse. We're being overtaken by teams that may be more appealing fiscally to investors, but, in my opinion at least, lack the history and romance of Everton Football Club. For me that's a great shame.

    What do we do now? To be honest, I'm not sure. In my worst nightmares, we continue with no investment, need to sell our quality, Moyes leaves and we become a middling team briefly before fighting for our Premier League place every season (and perhaps losing it).

    The optimist in me, though, hopes someone will see the capacity for greatness still within this club and be willing to put some much needed money into it, and we can keep up with the top end of the Premier League, in the hope that things will become more equal in the future and our Grand Old Team can win the league.

    It's all in the air at the moment.

  • Comment number 30.

    Everton's ground currently sits at just over 40k, putting them about middle in the prem for capacity. Despite this Everton do not consistently fill their ground out. In fact they are in the bottom half of the league when it comes to filling out the capacity, on average the only fill just over 91% of their ground week in week out, and rarely fill out their ground according to stats.

    So what will moving to a new stadium bring? Sure there is the honeymoon period that will attract more fans for a short period but the worrying fact is if they cant fill their 40k ground out now then what will they do with a new 50k?

    If they had a team of big names of were playing great football then there could be the possibilty of expanding the club as that what attracts the kids, (Man city are an example their fan base (based on their average attendance has gone up) but neither of thos two points can be attributed to the club.

    In its current set up I can see why they are struglging to attract investment. Although a club with fabulous tradition and run in a very good way they just dont have that box office appeal of many of the other clubs. That said if someone a la Abramovich or the arabs come in they should have a very good chance of turning them into a top club. The credit has to go to Moyes for keeping them where they are, it might not be pretty but its damn effective.

  • Comment number 31.

    I think that the two clubs should share a ground. From my time spent in Liverpool, I've always viewed it as a friendly rivalry with Liverpool fans seeing Man Utd as their main rivals these days... It makes sense for the city of Liverpool to have one of the great stadia in the UK - especially as part of a World Cup and Commonwealth Games bid! Red and Blue seats to make purple is a great idea too!

    Alternatively: One alternative not yet mentioned though...why not let Liverpool bankrupt themselves and build their new ground and then move back to Anfield?

  • Comment number 32.


    Purple seats? I can't see either side going for that one.

    There is a good question which someone threw up earlier about the groundshare about where they sat for the derby. The answer is simple: one match is designated as a 'home' match for Liverpool and the other as the 'home' match for Everton. Split the tickets halfway and have one half of the ground full of Red and the other half full of Blue.

    For normal home games, for example, Everton at home, the away fans can have a portion of the Liverpool section and vice versa. Only problem with that could be segregation issues, but I think the idea of a groundshare in general is much more plausible and appealing then either Liverpool's new airport terminal or Everton's rejected IKEA stadium.

    Liverpool fans also question if Everton would be able to fill the ground. Perhaps we wouldn't as I would concede we attract less fans than Liverpool but plenty of Blues don't go because of the facilities at Goodison. A new stadium would be a much more attractive experience and I think we'd get quite a number of fans going more regularly. If we had a 70,000 seater stadium I think we would be able to attract at least 60,000, given that some don't go purely on the basis they're watching behind a pillar for the entire match.

  • Comment number 33.

    @ Tommysbighead (post #21) - great comment there.

    I think if Everton really are that hard up and there are no other solutions in their price range, the only logical solution is to share Liverpool's new stadium.

    It seems the effects of the credit crunch are still lingering in the footballing world (at least for the majority of clubs who don't have the luxury of billionaire owners).

    In the short term (next 5-10 years at least) this could be a life saver for Everton, allowing them to play in a huge new stadium and hopefully attracting more fans, without putting themselves into debt, which would take many years to pay off. It would also buy time for the club to look for wealthy investors and search out alternative locations for a stadium of their own.

    Granted they would have to pay LFC for the privilege, but it would seem to me to be a small price, well worth paying.

    Evertonians need to start thinking with their heads instead of their hearts. Forget history, heritage and rivalries. The future of your club could be at stake!

  • Comment number 34.

    Everton are a club which badly needs to move forward.

    They made progress under Moyes for a couple of seasons, but as we've seen this season, they are still a vulnerable club which desperately needs investment in the team.

    You get the sense with Everton that they're not far away from becoming a major force and a move to a new stadium would have been a big step forward in their progression.

    It will come for them I'm sure. But at the moment, they've hit a wall both on and off the pitch. Progress has become stagnant. They're neither moving forward nor back.

    I think Moyes has reached the maximum he can achieve with the current squad and a new stadium is vital for their future. They've come to an important transitional point where what happens next could make them or stagnate them.

    This is a really important time in the history of Everton Football Club.

  • Comment number 35.

    To peter coyle.
    A question completely off topic - why is your comments only covering have the allocated space?

    On topic, i am not sure ground sharing will happen in England like it does in Italy - different culture.

  • Comment number 36.

    Post 26 as Liverpool are effectively beng kept from administration by the goodwill of RBS they really aren't in a position to bail anyone out!

    As an outsider the situation seems very simple to me.

    We have two clubs in Liverpool with a strong tradition who are struggling to keep up with competitors both in England but also elsewhere in Europe.

    Neither club has the money to build a new stadium and despite what Liverpool fans may believe as things currently stand neither is going to have the funds to do so anytime soon without outside assistance.

    The obvious solution is to build a new "City of Liverpool Stadium" in consort with the Council and maybe an outside financial supporter that would look to use the stadium in quiet periods.

    My own suggestion would be a leisure or entertainment company. Who would look to incorporate a new big hotel into the equation with the stadium being used in the summer for other events as well as other sports. I would use the example of the Ricoh Arena that has both Rugby and pop concerts on site as well as a hotel and casino attached to an exhibition centre there (see website below).

    Every summer concerts are held at the Old Trafford cricket ground as well as other stadia in the north west. This could mostly be hoovered up by a new stadium.

    It is a couple of years since I drove out of Liverpool City Centre along the docks towards the airport but surely there must be a sufficent spare en route to the airport that could hold all this and more and also aid the development of the area.

    As post 11 says both the Trafford Centre and the Cheshire Oaks make a much better "shopping experience" than Liverpool and I include Liverpool 1 in that by the way.

    Surely there must be a way around this apparent Gordian knot?

    Someone raised the quesion of the seats surely the answer is simple you have one end with blue seats and the other end to look and feel like a Kop with red. It can't be beyond the abilities of officials of either club to remember which end to stand with their back to when being interviewed by the tv?

    At present football grounds are a huge under utilised resource where commercial activity goes on on very few days or nights of the year. A ground with double the number of games and additional events makes simple economic sense.

  • Comment number 37.

    All those asking for investmetn to be found are missing the point. Investment will only come when there is something worth investing in.

    Everton are getting by, they are not making money and have far less potential to make money than most teams in the premiership and anotehr half dozen in the championship.

    It is to the current board and managers credit that they have kept the club where it is through hard work and good decision up to this point because on a purely financial basis they are probably around 15th-20th in the country.

    Goodison Park is clapped out, it is costing more and more to maintain/repair each year and it's corporate facilities are a joke. There is no room to expand at all (needed for facilities if not seats). The only redevelopment that would work as more than a stop-gap measure would be to knock it down and built from the ground up, that would leave the team homeless for probably 2 seasons.

    Moving in with Liverpool will not happen, yes other clubs share stadiums but how many are recent developments? Very few and most were or are city owned stadiums so the benefit does not go to the clubs directly from commercial activities.

    in 99% of cases like this I would say moving out of town shouldnt be a problem, however it is here, the reason for that is that if they move out there is a giant next door inside the city who will hoover up all the fans. That is the one issue I would have with the whole idea. A site in teh city is the better solution for a change, however is there anywhere affordable? probably not.

    So then, Everton will continue as they are and in 10 years will be nowhere near the top.

  • Comment number 38.

    Why don't Everton purchase the houses to the west of Goodison Park, rebuild the school with better facilities in a suitable nearby place and redevelop Goodison?

    Given that they have the highest percentage of walk-up support in the Premier League, this is surely the best option.

  • Comment number 39.

    I wish people would stop banging on about aground share. Real scousers on the whole are not in favour. It's all very well people having their say but if you aren't frmo the city then you won't understand the feeling that both sets of fans have towards their rounds. It's part of our identity and if we both stay in the ones we have - fine. f we both move - fine. But as a Liverpool fan, I don't want my club to share with Everton. End of.
    The only benefit of sharing I can see is that Everton could fit their trophies in the broom cupboard and we could make use of the space under the stairs.

  • Comment number 40.

    We can all quote Roma/Lazio and AC Milan/Inter as ground sharers but let's be honest, how many clubs would go for this? I can point out millions of other examples where it wouldn't work or wouldn't be popular. It's not popular amongst the majority of the people of Liverpool. If Liverpool build a new stadium, I for one hope that we don't let Everton share it apart from twice a season.

  • Comment number 41.

    Wouldn't it be better for Everton, Liverpool, the city of Liverpool, the fans and the country as a whole, if the council told both clubs, you can build the best ground in the world, but you're sharing it?

    One super stadium that would rival Wembley (though maybe with around 70,000 seats) for its facilities and be better than any other ground in Britain, would guarantee a Euro final, a few world cup games, generate massive revenue for both clubs and save each of them 50% of the building and maintenance costs.

    The world and football has move massively in the last couple of decades, we wouldn't be talking about a San Siro, but the next generation of stadium, just look at Arsenals ground, at least twice as good as any stadium in the world that is more than a decade old.

    It's time to put the (ludicrous) bitterness aside and look at the big picture, a super stadium the envy of the world with shared costs, or 2 quite nice new grounds that will cost each club a fortune to build and just as much to maintain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Keep saying Liverpool Everton ground share often enough and it really does make sense.
    I get the feeling reading the previous blogs that fans are coming round to believing it is the best option.
    Imagine one huge iconic stadia representing the might of Liverpool / Everton football. Bringing football in the city together. Sounds better than what you've got right now doesn't it.
    Put away the hatred some fans have been infected with since their dads dad day (and some can't rememebr why?) but maintain that friendly rivalry you're best at.
    You don't get many chances at making this kind of change so go live the dream and be the envy of the world!!!

  • Comment number 43.

    The fact is this... Liverpool is not a massive city from a purely physical point of view. To be able to sustain 2 top flight teams for this long is an achievement in itself. However, nothing lasts for ever and the world is a changing place.

    For top flight football to be maintained for both clubs (and lets be honest, deep down thats what every scouser, red or blue wants) Then a groundshare is the best way to do it.

    It's time to grow up.

  • Comment number 44.

    Liverpool City Council leader Warren Bradley has insisted options exist for Everton to work with them to find a new stadium - he should outline them immediately to Bill Kenwright and Robert Elstone.

    Understandably lots on a potential groundshare, and while I understand the emotions involved in such a momentous decision for Everton and Liverpool, surely this has to be the way forward.

    The question is - can Everton and Liverpool pay for it? My understanding is that Everton have never been openly opposed to the idea whereas Liverpool have been. Why not at least explore the possibility?

    Merseyside has no chance of being involved in the 2018 World Cup bid because of the uncertainty over the futures homes of Everton and Liverpool. What an embarrassment for the city and the clubs.

    And to Bobnweave...those are strong words against KEIOC. I would be very happy if someone from KEIOC came back and answered them.

  • Comment number 45.

    Ian_the_Chopper (post 36)

    Well said. A groundshare makes too much sense for people to ignore for stupid reasons, there has not been one good argument against it so far.

  • Comment number 46.

    There are so many things wrong with the anti-Destination Kirkby brigade but what I least understand is the problem with moving 4 miles down the road.
    Does Knowsley mean you are not Scouse? Well then Gerrard, Baines, Hibbert, Phil Thompson, Peter Reid, Kevin Nolan, Ryan Taylor, Lee Trundle, Alan Stubbs, David Nugent, Joey Barton (hmmm) etc etc can all declare themselves non-scouse.
    Kirkby is very much part of Liverpool, as is Huyton and Bootle (which is in Sefton - so no Carragher, Mcmanaman etc). You need to get a grip.
    A sad day for Evertonians

  • Comment number 47.

    Hi All.

    Shame for Everton they not having much luck at all and dam shame they never beat Hull as well.

    congrats to Avram Grant on his new position, just what pompey needed in my view. A good manager for sure and will steer Pompey clear of relegation, hopefully at the expense of hull and that idiot brownorangeman.

    the chavs mamange yet again to bore the pants of the paying public with yet another 1-0 snoozefest win.
    lampard it seems has made a miraculous recovery to face Arsenal.

    best of luck to the everton for the rest of the season.

  • Comment number 48.

    All you have to do is compare the information given to season ticket holders before the original ballot and the information that was in the official planning application.

    It's quite simple, we were lied to, and unfortunately thousands of Evertonians were conned into voting "Yes".

    This has led us down a road that has taken years of our time and millions of pounds of our money.

    Kenwright's time is up. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.

  • Comment number 49.

    A good argument against sharing a ground with your fiercest rivals is simply "pride". That is what football is all about is it not?

    It will never happen, it's pointless discussing it.

  • Comment number 50.

    Would 'Man Utd supporter' AhsanX like to tell us what he really knows about this issue that entitles him to call Evertonians opposed to the move 'morons'?

    There were a great number of issues, but before I go into some of these, you should bear in mind that the government rejected this as it was in breach of laws regarding competition amongst retailers. If the fans had backed it 100%, it would still not be happening!

    Everton is a club with the highest percentage 'walk-up' match day support in the premiership. The transport plan showed that they would have to gather at park and ride points throughout the city as the residents parking zone was promised to be the most stringent of any football ground. It was planned that you would have to walk 45 minutes to the ground. If fans didn't want to queue to get to the park and ride stop then queue for the bus and do the same on the return journey, they could go by train. There is a single track towards Kirkby with no room for expansion and very little scope to improve train frequency. The transport plan said that fans would still be waiting to board trains 75 minutes after the final whistle.

    As a result of the transport plan, the club would not be able to have the full 50,000 capacity. The capacity was likely to be similar to Goodison Park. As the £10m per year extra revenue (which would've been no extra profit after financing, extra policing costs etc) relied on full houses, the club would have even less money than now.

    Everton would've been moving away from their core support and away from a growing city into a town outside it. Instead of being 2 1/2 miles away from the city, they would now be 9. A backward step.

    This is a day that will prove to be good for Everton. Evertonians were promised a world class stadium which has been watered down so often in a desperate attempt to get it pushed through. The club has lied throughout - to supporters and even to the enquiry. A stadium that started out as 'virtually free' was going to cost the club a £78m contribution' the last we heard. The proposal declared that Kenwright and the board are not prepared to sell the club whilst the fans are told regularly that he is looking '24/7' for investment. A great stadium would've sold itself without the lies.

    The worst day in the club's history was the day they lost the iconic King's Dock. The initial cost plus financing would only have cost the club the same as Kirkby.

    Kenwright failed to deliver a top quality stadium and now he has failed to deliver a shoddy imitation. He must publically declare that the club is for sale so that the club can have a hope of progression. The miracles on the pitch have ended and the club is now paying for having a net zero spend in 2 seasons.

  • Comment number 51.

    Carl. You make a very good point about Kirkby. Would anyone like to tell, say, Phil Thompson, Alan Stubbs and John Conteh that they are not Scousers because they come from Kirkby? I wouldn't.

    It was a freak of the boundary in my opinion, although KEIOC made the point that the ground would have been nine miles away from the city centre.

  • Comment number 52.

    Last night was absolutely gutting. The Kirkby news, and then the result - out of interest, does anyone think that this information coming out could have been some other time than right before we were about to play.

    I have been a supporter of the move, not because it was a great deal, it seems there were many questions about that, but because there have never been any realistic alternatives that i can remember being put forward since Kings Dock fell through (No that would have been a nice stadium). Please no-one mention the loop site, and Goodison redevelopment is a non starter (though maybe we'd be done by now if we'd have start, one stand at a time, under Perter Johnson instead of his fancy dream move).

    A groundshare could be good, but until their own stadium becomes a financial impossibility Liverpool will not countenance it, and I stuggle to see Everton coming up with their own money. However, Spurs it seems are going to get a loan for silly money to do it - is there any way Everton could do that? But as i write that, even if we could, should we?

    The next question is, whatever happens, will their be a vote again? I don't think Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City or Sunderland ever had a vote, nor it seems did spurs before submitting their plans - they just got on with it, and got planning permission and tried / got financing. Is it having a vote that enabled fans to feel so entitled to have a say. Would the vitriol spouted on the 606 boards against Kenwright be so bad if he hadn't done that, or would it be worse? I hope he sticks around - it's clear he doesn't have any money to invest in the club but i still believe he has the best interests of the club at heart.

    As for going it alone, I always thought the Festival Gardens sight would be excellent for a staduim, but I recenttly heard the land has been marked for houses. Shame Everton couln't at least get the city coucil to support them in selling Bellefield for residential development. That combined with the constant public talk of a groundshare, whilst knowing full well Everton are in an Exclusive Agreement with Tesco+Kirkby and Liverpool were progressing with their own plans was absolutely no help. If Liverpool can free up that land (and get away with passing over for free) then all that is needed is some architects drawings, an enabling business partner and somewhere between 75 and 300 million pounds.

    So, that said, do we sell our soles to the next Arab / American who says he will stump up the cash (even if they ultimatly don't sytump up a penny and any 'cash' they raise is ultimatly put back to the clubs (Liverpool/Man U). Or how about to a swiss business man fronting an off shore consortium of unknown people? What about just kenwright and the existing board going to the bank for a few hundred million? It's clear kenwright hasn't got it and the rest aren't willing to use any money they have. Would it really help if Kenwright publicly names his price, over / undervaluing shares in the process?

    Unless Everton are able to come up with a repayable loan or rich benefactor and get something going beforehand, finances will catch up with Liverpool and the current plans will become untenable. It seem political will is there for a ground share if all parties would agree to it. There will be no vote of course, but 100 million form each club (everton still need a small loan, but we should be able to do this), free land. Add to that another 100 million from local government and the NWDA - LCC having a desire to see their city in any world cup bid, plus an offer of a home for the National Football Museum - please don't let this go to Manchester, from a historical point of view it should be in Liverpool. I even think local mp's could force a few national government pounds away from London for once for a groudshare, after all, it's already been bought up in parliament once or twice. So gradually it begins to look like the deal of the century. But then again, where have we heard that before...

    Oh, and I've seen a few people suggesting Liverpool goes for a commonwealth games and then have the national goverment build the stadium. As i understood it, the London-centric national Government invested little in the Manchester games and it was pretty much local taxes and businesses that made it possible. City only got the stadium because the Athletics association wanted something nearer London.

  • Comment number 53.

    The problem with the stadium was not that it wasn't technically in Liverpool. Even if it had been in Liverpool it would still have been on the extreme periphery in a retail park. Plus the stadium would not have been "world class" as promised, it would have been a "basic mid-level Premier League stadium" as stated by the planning application.

    A club such as Everton did not deserve a basic mid-level Premier League Stadium on the periphery of the city, in a retail park.

    The financial aspects of the stadium were flawed too. Having to average out at around 47, 000 a game to increase our current revenue by only a paltry £6m a season makes the whole move pointless anyone. Especially as the stadium would never have averaged that attendance with the amount of Everton fans against the move, plus the frankly shambolic transport plan.

    The city is still, and always will be, ours.

  • Comment number 54.

    David Moyes is a great manager, not a magician. Arteta, piennar, lescott, etc hes made some great singings with limited resources. however 15 million on fellaini? a big waste of money. And with the likes of villa and spurs improving each season, it doesn't look like it will get much better for them unless they get some money from somewhere.

  • Comment number 55.

    On KEIOC, they came across as arrogant in a recent debate on the 606 boards in which some members participated. However, i will give them one thing - they said they would have opposed the ground being at Speke too, which, whilst inside the city boundary, is just as far / further from the city center. I agree with Bobnweave a bit, and the feeling is definatly that although the final plans may have been different from the brochure everton fans voted on, there was also a huge amount of misinformation, spin and lies from KEIOC too. What was really needed was an independent voice following the plans and arguments to help Everton Fans know what to believe. Good job for a reputable journalist. Phil - people would accuse you as bias either way - the number of posts on these that suggest you suport this team or that team, but where was David conn when we needed him. I guess I'll have to post that elsewhere. Also, it was sad to see a Mirror journalist (i dislike the paper but felt sorry for this guy) get panned for writing a positive article about Bill Kenwright in all this. Maybe that's why people stayed away from the issue.

  • Comment number 56.


    He does have a point in that its 8-9 miles from the centre but we did try for Kings Dock, albeit half-heartedly, a few years back and there just isnt any space (even though they chose to build ECHO Arena in near exact spot).
    The point being that 'the city's all yours' is just nonesense. If thats the case, I'd guarantee a 'Knowsley' team would beat a team from 'Liverpool' all day long.

    Its ridiculous

  • Comment number 57.

    I am not so sure, a bigger stadium is the main issue in resolving Everton's long term future. A 40,000 stadium capacity is solid! For christsake, Stamford Bridge have about 41,000 and Chelsea are routinely winning trophies. The only stadiums that are substantially bigger are the ones at Old Trafford, The Emirates and St. James' Park, THATS IT.

    Get a good pricing analyst to obtain the maximum revenue obtained from gate receipts on a given matchday and you are sorted. Until you have the global exposure of the Manchester's, the Liverpool's and the Barcelona's of this world then YOU CAN START THINKING of a new stadium, until then focus on your playing, non playing staff, and youth academy to get to these heights. Get some clever marketing strategists and globalise your Everton brand in America/Asia before embarking on a very expensive relocation and construction of a new stadium. Get a naming rights deal in place and sell it to the highest bidder....whatever, but DON'T BUILD A NEW STADIUM. Liverpool & Chelsea are the only clubs in the Premiership that are at a stage who can afford even contemplating such thoughts, nobody else.

    I am afraid Bill Kenwright is one of the smallest fish in the pond of the established Premier League club. Without Moyes, I wouldn't want to envision where Everton would have ended up with that lack of investment. Kenwright is clutching at straws here, hoping to sell his club for a big profit (I would do the same). Good luck!

  • Comment number 58.

    The Allianz Arena in Munich is about the closest modern equivalent to a groundshare I can think of. And what a stadium that is. And the balance between the clubs is slightly similar - Liverpool = Bayern, Everton = 1860 Munich. Not an exact match before a war starts!

    Can't believe one of the major quibbles so far is seats. Paint them white...

    And the nonsense about derby games, where do you sit etc? If it's a home game, it's a home game. It's no different to this Sunday's game being played at Goodison, and the next derby at Anfield.

    Many have just said 'it just won't work in England'. Why not?

  • Comment number 59.

    To be honest I feel sorry for Everton, their the only non top 4 side with any original class and skill worthy of the top 4, if you took all the money and investment away from Spurs, City, Sunderland and Villa Everton would by far outclass them and finish higher in the league i.e. last season. The trouble is foreign investment is ruining English footy, and it's also going to screw Liverpool over soon. People grumble about the top 4 etc., say what you like about rafa's signings but it's not like Benitez has spent 200 milion a season, he's attempting to do what Fergie did in 1986-1991, slowly rebuild year by year a decent sqaud from nothing, but it seems all that is completely useless now Spurs and City get joke transfer budgets each year. Can Everton even compete for a top 7 finish anymore if things carry on? FIFA need to seriously do something about the state of premier league footy.

  • Comment number 60.

    Not being from the area, supporting either team or generally having read the debate prior to recently, I can't offer an opinion on the finer details.

    But from what I've read, the groundshare seems the common sense solution. I understand Everton's concerns of being the smaller team but that wouldn't necessarily be the case with more revenue from the stadium. Also, Phil Thompson offered his opinions on SSN earlier, and one of his main problems was how they would sort out the merchandising and where to put all the offices.

    Surely a problem that can easily be overcome by using both ends of the ground.

    AC Milan and Inter use that method and the seats don't have to be red or blue. One end would be blue and the other red which the teams would always use, then on the side make it neutral.

  • Comment number 61.


    Not sure what planet you are on but Milan and Inter are bigger teams than Liverpool and Everton and they manage just fine. I'm guessing you're a Liverpool supporter, with the mess your sorry state of a club is in wouldn't you welcome the help? The Italians, both Milanese and Roman fans hate each other a lot more and they manage just fine. Thought the Scouse rivalry was famed for how friendly it was?

  • Comment number 62.

    What now for Everton?

    Relegation to where they belong: The Coca-Cola Championship!

  • Comment number 63.

    To be honest I feel sorry for Everton, their the only non top 4 side with any original class and skill worthy of the top 4, if you took all the money and investment away from Spurs, City, Sunderland and Villa Everton would by far outclass them and finish higher in the league i.e. last season.

    Spurs don't have foreign investment and we finished 5th two seasons running and have reached two carling cup finals, winning one, which is probably more than Everton have managed.

  • Comment number 64.

    The colour of the seats is one of the smallest issues to overcome.

    The real problem for fans is one of identity that having black, white or brown seats will not alter. Fans of all clubs want their club to have their own stadium, and their club to own it. A ground share removes these two things, for if it were to happen, it would have to be council owned for either club to accept it.

    The other side of this is financial and logistical - can both clubs contribute an equal amount of money that is sufficient to meet both clubs stadium aspirations. How big a ground is suitable - it's widely accepted that Liverpool are after more seats than Everton. For non football events, how should any revenue be split? If Liverpool can successfully argue their reputation is a bigger draw for advertisers and stadium tours, should they get more money from these things? Should their be a single stadium staff and ticket office, with club offices at each end or should both clubs have their own staff, shop, box office. Both clubs are sponsored by alcohol providers - even if they were both happy for both beers to be served, would this reduce the value of future sponsorship deals? Should executive boxes be sold for all games and events, or should each club sell boxes for their games only (this could be logistical problems for non football events if the same box is used by different people at everton and liverpool games - is it even possible to sell it for non football events, and who gets the box at the derby?) If boxes are sold for all evens, can either club claim a bigger share of profits for being the bigger draw? How would they be priced - everton tickets, season tickets and boxes would likely be cheaper than liverpools (I doubt either clubs want a Chelsea of the north, price wise, but Liverpools board, and especially owners, are more likely to press for the highest possible ticket prices).

    Yes, it happens in Munich and Milan, but it doesn't mean these financial and logistical issues are easily overcome. The colour of the seats will nt be 100% blue or 100% red but finding balance there really is the least of all issues.

  • Comment number 65.

    Spurs don't have foreign investment and we finished 5th two seasons running and have reached two carling cup finals, winning one, which is probably more than Everton have managed
    joe-strummer - the 2 consecutive 5ths we're longer ago than evertons, longer ago than evertons 4th place too, and yes, you reached 2 carling cup finals, and we reached last years FA cup final, and had a good UEFA cup run ended by Fiorentina. Lets say we have achieved similarly IN RECENT YEARS, but please don't pretend Everton haven't achieved anything. If you look longer than this century especially.

  • Comment number 66.

    To toffeexile.. I do not think Everton had any control over the timing of the announcement. The result at Hull only made it an even worse night for the Everton board.

    Interesting point about the former International Garden Festival site along the banks of the Mersey. I have barely seen it used for anything ever since the Festival ended in the mid-80s, so that could have had potential at one time.

    The big fear for Everton is that they now just stagnate with a chairman who admits he cannot compete with other richer owners, but without an attractive enough product to attract investors or a buyer.

    And where do Everton fans think this leaves David Moyes?

  • Comment number 67.

    David Moyes is a very good young manager. Far too good for a club like Everton.

    He'll be gone in the summer. One of the big clubs in England or Scotland will snap him up. :o)

  • Comment number 68.

    Seems to be a lot of people backing the ground share option between two of our country's biggest clubs. Most of these backers seem to be fans of other clubs, judging by their user names at least, would Man U fans want to share Old Trafford with Man City and paint the seats white? Or Arsenal and Spurs sharing? Can't see it happening to be honest, one of the few things that remains pure about football these days is the tradition of the game, why try and completely remove that and turn it into an entirely corporate affair? Football is nothing without people wanting to watch it, it would be nice to hear of a club actually listening to the only people that really matter for once.

    I love the quote from Sir Bobby Robson where he says football has nothing to do with money or corporations, but is all about the first time your dad takes you into the stadium and you fall in love with the team. To that end, what do Everton fans want? Can't Goodison be renovated one stand at a time?

  • Comment number 69.

    read a funny liverpool news articles about crashing out of the champions league here

  • Comment number 70.

    Toffeexile - some good points that can be addressed one by one.

    Even though the council would need to provide funding for this to go ahead - ownership of the stadium itself could be 50-50 between both clubs. By this I mean the premises itself, not revenues (which I'll come on to in a second)

    Capacity - yes a possible gap here, would 60,000 be acceptable for LFC? Not sure, but would Liverpool genuinely fill 70-75,000? If Everton could get 50,000 out of 60,000, that would be ok. And if it was a world-class stadium, I think they could. One of the reasons for lack of capacity attendances at Goodison are the poorer facilities, and of course, obstructed views.

    Other revenues - a challenge certainly - but Liverpool FC could still sell Liverpool tours and vice versa. For concerts etc, maybe Everton would be getting the better deal out of this, but with the close season so short, we're talking 2-3 concerts max. If not, divide it on ratio of annual revenue to be fair.

    Ticket office could be either end or in one office - whatever's easiest.

    Alcohol providers? I'm sure an agreement could be reached. Any matchday revenue at Liverpool home games they keep, and vice versa. I think a lucrative deal could be struck.

    Executive Boxes - don't really understand the argument here. Evertonians would have boxes for their home games, and Liverpool fans for theirs. Derby games would be no different to how they are today - one team is at home.
    For exectuive boxes for non-footy events, well again, not a huge problem. Can either divide 50-50 or on revenue.

    Season tickets/ Matchday prices - surely that's still up to the clubs? Supply and demand here - yes Everton may have to go in at lower pricing, and this will reflect in revenue too. The season ticket in this sense isn't just paying for your seat, it's paying for the quality of football or demand for tickets.

  • Comment number 71.

    God, I am amazed by all these comments. Many of the posters here, make it sound like a new stadium is the mother of all things. YOU HAVE A 40,000 STADIUM CAPACITY. That is a great size considering the club's stature. A 50,000 stadium capacity is not going to change your fortunes around. You will obtain approximately 20m quid more over the course of a season, assuming you are selling the tickets at the same, absolute, static prices as you did the year before and filling up.

    Ask yourself this, do you really have a demand for an increased stadium capacity? Does your ground fill up consistently? If so and you feel you have a small stadium, you will have to increase your price on those match day tickets to compensate for the increasing demand. ITS SIMPLE SUPPLY-DEMAND ECONOMICS. Kenwright will have to make it clear to the fans who don't understand this concept; if you want success you will have to pay for it.

    The Kirby stadium proposal sounds ridiculous to me; undermining the local businesses in the area; all the hassle Everton fans have to make to get there, many of them by bike (absolutely ridiculous commitment the owners are supposedly taking for granted in exchange for their loyalty). Goodison Park is perfectly fine, just modernize and update it.

  • Comment number 72.

    I live in Sheffield and try telling the locals a ground share would be good here and you are likely to be lynched, even though it makes complete financial sense esp given the state of Hillsborough compared to Bramall Lane these days.

    Man Utd & City shared after OT was bombed out in WWII, it can be done and seems the obvious answer. Which takes me to the geography point, oh well lets not talk about Trafford / Manchester issue.

    In all events economics are going to be the key here, at least if Liverpool as a City wants to retain two Prem clubs, as Sheffield and Bristol before found two sides in the top tier are not guaranteed and once out it's tough to get back.

  • Comment number 73.

    Firstly, David Moyes doesn't seem to have good people skills. For the past 3 months, all he has done is complain about how injured his squad is. How will that make the rest of the squad feel? Some of these players are still young. He has complained over a lack of investement, which to some extent I agree with, but he spent £16 million on Fellani. To me that was a huge panic buy. Two decent players could have been bought with that money, especially with the size of the squad being so small.
    Lastly, I just want to ask one question.... If Liverpool asked to move in Kirkby, do you think the answer would have been no?

  • Comment number 74.

    I don't what these people at the Everton board are thinking. Their focus should be on completely other things. Improve your scouting network across from your little English borders and have a base in central Africa, or wherever and monitor events occurring around over there. Get into partnership with a local club or football academy that would benefit both parties and where Everton would be the benefactor of acquiring some of these players on an optional basis in exchange for a premium.

    Get your academy to the highest standard possible (although it is probably very good already), find out about Ajax's famed youth academy approach, take a peek at Sporting Lisbon's brilliance and how they have succeeded in producing players who are out of this world, technically speaking (Ronaldo, Figo, Nani, Simao).

    There are three core strategies that are going to make a club succeed, of course clubs combine them:

    1) Either the club is the best producer of footballers (Ajax, Sporting, South American clubs)
    2) Or its the biggest buyer (i.e Man City, Chelsea)
    3) Or it plucks the best youth players from around the world (Arsenal)

    Since you don't do any of those things, a bigger stadium is not going to change anything for your success, the only thing that will change your level of success is the day when David Moyes says adieu!

  • Comment number 75.

    Executive Boxes - don't really understand the argument here
    My limited experince of executive boxes has been here in the US (i've been here for 3 years now. Here, a box is sold for the season and the name of the company / person buying the box is put at the entrance to it and they have access to all sport and non sporing events. This model may not be used at football grounds, though i understand it is used like this at Wembley, but would be impossible or at least harder in a shared stadium. YOur other stuff - yes there are possible solutions but when it comes to club finance, will the clubs agree on them.

    Goodison Park is perfectly fine, just modernize and update it.
    Last i was there it needed a heck of a lot of modernization and updating. i'm hoping to be back over christmas for the Burnley game and will check it out. Size is not so important, but we need 3 new stands. The extra size and new boxes are needed to generate the revenue that we all want to build our club and help Moyes get better players. We can't do this at goodinson as it is and those old structures would be hard to modernize. We need 3 new stands.

    As to Moyes and everton's future. I think, with our injuries we'll be lucky to get top half and it would be amazing to get a Europa spot. We won't go down though. The new paleyrs will come back, but like with Yak, Arteta and Jags will take time to regain fitness and form. Probably hit our stride in March.

    Moyes will stay at least one more season, but some will see this as extra ammunition for the vocal Kenwright Out movement. If there is a casualty from this, it will sadly be him. I still believe they are in the minority but, like KEIOC, they shout loudly.

  • Comment number 76.

    Ian Rimmer...fairly obvious wind-up so I would suggest no-one bites on those words of wisdom.

    Interesting point about the capacity of any shared stadium. Would there be a disparity in attendances? As a very random example, would Liverpool be playing in front of 60,000 on average and Everton 40,000? Would anyone want to play in a stadium with 20,000 empty seats or could Everton also fill 60,000 on a regular basis?

    I'm just throwing that one out there so let me know what you think. And, hand on heart, do you think a shared stadium will really happen?

  • Comment number 77.

    Reading many of the comments on here, as with other football blogs, really makes me smile. It's as though the football world and it's supporters, whichever the club, seem to exist im some sort of football bubble, totally cut off from the reality of the real world going on around it. We have had multi billion dollar banks and businesses going bankrupt and others tottering on the edge of it, only being saved by massive government injection of capital,while football supporters seem to think that football, and whatever club it might be, are immune from the same economic forces at work affecting all business. Despite the relatively vast sums of money slushing around in the game, the same Woodbines, cloth cap, scarf and rattle mentality of the terraces, and delusions of grandeur, is still the overriding level of business acumen at most football clubs. Every club seems to think that if only some Arab/Russian billionaire came along we would be a top four club. Correct me if my arithmetic is wrong but only one club can win the PL and only four can be in the top four. And what happens if this money is pulled out? How long will clubs like LFC/MUFC be able to sustain their present level of debt if they are not winning things? Nothing against Everton but you are a mediocre mid table club at present, with a very good manager whose best days are behind you and with very little likelihood of that changing soon. Not exactly a great prospect for investment. But not just for you but to all football supporters; take a look at the real world; pull your scarf from over your eyes. I suggest that football is fast approaching it's sell by date for many clubs and as a product generally beginning to lose it's appeal and certainly it's return on investment. For Everton, surely ground share is the best and only real option?

  • Comment number 78.

    First a few to Phil.

    You wrote the other week about how you think Rodwell should stay, have recent developments changed your mind? Most people can't see Moyes staying if things stay as they are, so the main reason you gave for him to stay (ie moyes excellent teaching) would not be there. Should he really commit himself to a club based on a manager who soon may not be there? And even if he wants to stay can Everton afford to keep him? I can't see Kenwrite turning £20mil (being talked about) down when he can't even afford £78 mil for a stadium on his own!

    The way I see it Everton have 3 main options
    1 - ride out the recession as a selling club and hope to get a billionaire willing to splash some cash to buy a team in a few years
    2 - Stick with Kenwright and swallow more humble pie than any team in PL history and groundshare with their bitter rivals
    3 - Stick with Kenwright and try and find the money to upgrage Goodison (which kewnwright says he can't afford)

    Now fans of any club in evertons position would probably take option 3 if do-able, I know that as a UTD fan I'd rather see us relagated than ground share with city, i know a chelsa fan who dreads romans departure because of thier ground problems, but would also perfer relagation than to share with Fulham. Yes groundsharing is the logical thing to do, but when was the last time football was logical? Not in my lifetime

    That leaves an upgrade as the only option, Kenwright can't afford it, he needs investment, so why isn't he asking the Tesco owner? He is apparently blue through and through and was willing to use his companies money to fund a new ground/complex, well why doesn't kenwright convince him to put his OWN money where his heart is? He's not exactly poor now is he? and if he can't afford to pay for it all, well every little helps right?

    Most rich fans in the same position would do somthing, so why hasn't he?

  • Comment number 79.

    re:post 39
    i was born on scotland road
    lived for twenty years on walton lane
    which is liverpool four
    is that liverpool enough for you
    does that make me a real scouser
    if so
    you will be surprised to hear
    that i wholeheatedly support a groundshare
    it is time for people to use their heads

  • Comment number 80.


  • Comment number 81.

    As a Man U fan, the prospect of leaving Old Trafford is unthinkable. But Everton and Liverpool must face reality. They are both strapped for cash and both want a new ground. Why is ground sharing not an option? It works well for two of the most famous clubs in the world; AC and Inter Milan.

  • Comment number 82.

    HALFTIMEPIE wrote:

    Proves my point precisely. Now where's me cap and where did I leave my Woodbines and me bicycle clips?

  • Comment number 83.


  • Comment number 84.

    "A shared stadium is the common sense answer to the mutual difficulties of both Merseyside clubs" - Yes, I actually share some common sense with Mr McChief!

    And it would be fitting if at this economic juncture both clubs were to let common sense have some head, so to speak. The payback will come later, and filling a large stadium once a week rather than once a fortnight would have to go a long way toward stabilising the financial situation of both clubs.

    The eventuality of the one slipping into the Championship (or worse) would of course have to be planned for, but a shared interest in both clubs staying in the PL would be good for them. Still, having 20,000 empty seats for an Everton home game would nonetheless be 40,000-odd more than there would be if they weren't playing there.

    Cooperative rivalry is the way to go and it should not be sabotaged by tribalism.

    As for Moyes, he has proved his worth, so if he moves out, it will be upwards (that's not "northwards", so sorry, Scotland). No obvious vacancies at the time of writing, but as the season comes to a close, the headhunters will be firing up their cauldrons outside of GP.

  • Comment number 85.

    To laughingdevil...happy to answer those points. Recent developments have not changed my mind because a lot of my comments about Jack Rodwell were based on footballing matters rather than Everton's financial position.

    Despite the hype, none of which has come from Rodwell who is a very modest and level-headed young man by all accounts, I actually do not think he is good enough yet to move to Manchester United or Chelsea should they want him.

    He may well be in time, but not yet. As I said in that original blog, this is not a similar case to Wayne Rooney, who could have walked into most teams in Europe at the age of 18. Rodwell still has a long way to go, and he can do that by being brought along in a common sense fashion at Everton while playing reasonably regularly, as opposed to spending weeks on end sitting on the bench somewhere else.

    I would only be guessing about David Moyes leaving, but I would ask this...where would he go? You tell me.

    I do not expect Moyes to leave Everton soon, but why shouldn't Rodwell stay whatever happens?

    On the point about Bill Kenwright turning down £20m for Rodwell, only he can say whether he would do that, but what a defeatist signal that would send out, effectively admitting Everton will fall easy prey to the chequebook at the first sign of serious interest in their promising young players.

    I would hope Kenwright would resist that - but only he could answer it. Hope this covers your questions.

  • Comment number 86.

    Its a no-brainer- share for goodness sake

  • Comment number 87.


  • Comment number 88.

    The answer?

    Share a stadium with Liverpool.

    1 Neither team can afford to go alone.
    2 Both need a new bigger ground.
    3 Gives the city a stadium to be proud of.

    Each team has opposite ends of the ground as their "home" end.

    To the rest of us uou're all scousers FFS!!!

    Share a stadium.

    Do yourselves proud!

  • Comment number 89.

    Tranmere is a bit further away as the crow flies.

    Can I just point out that the stadium failed on a few planning points, this has been glossed over for some reason. From a fan's point of view, it failed on providing sustainable transport as was pointed out by fans many times.

    Full report can be found here:

  • Comment number 90.

    People are asking, why do clubs like Man City, Portsmouth and Notts County attract external investment. The common theme is they have either acquired a new stadium ( City) or they have bene granted planning permission to develop a new stadium.
    If any investor for Everton purchased the club, the first thing they will have to do is find £500 million to fund a new stadium. Even to the Man City owners, that is a hell of a lot of money. Abramovich has even baulked at a new stadium,
    I am not the biggest fan of Kenwright but he is only trying to do what is best for the club.
    The people who were against Everton moving to Kirkby were also the people who were against Everton moving to the Kings Dock. When talk starts about sharing, guess what, they will be the people against sharing a stadium.
    If we stay at Goodison it will be 10-15 years before the Health and Safety Executive revote out H&s License so that is the timeline we have to make something happen. Is the answer, updating Goodison, clearly NO. It is not a financially viable way forward - as much as we all want.
    Where will Everton be in 10 years - god knows.
    Lets just hope for a result against the RS on Sunday to bring a bit of sunshine!

  • Comment number 91.

    Its time for some out-of-the-box ideas, which may seem nutty, but to attract investors there needs to be some sizzle with the steak. My suggestion would be a shared raised stadium built in the Rivrr Mersey, with footbridge access making it a Green friendly stadium, with an all year around permeable grass pitch, and electricity generated by hydro electric, power, and external large screens for non ticketholders to watch from the riverbank linked to commercial development of restaurant and shopping walk along the river

  • Comment number 92.

    I like others, cannot understand why we have not attracted investment. My hunch is that the Everton board do not seek it strongly enough or are put off by some factor.

  • Comment number 93.

    I must confess that I am not apprised of what UK government stimulus plans there are over there to combat the recent economic turndown, but I would have thought right off the bat that the shared ground proposal would have been just what the doctor ordered. Despite the fact that the Liverpool City Council approved the Stanley Park site for their red taxpayers while denying equal favouritism towards their blue taxpayers, it should therefore be deemed appropriate that here would be an opportunity for them to shed any vestiges of guilt for past misdemeanours and straighten the whole matter out once and for all.

    What better way to provide stimulus to a sagging economy than to sanction and subsidise a project that would provide benefit to thousands of job seekers, create a stadium not only for football but for other types of entertainment that would be the envy of Mancunians if not the entire UK, and have it all centred in a parklike setting that would become the centrepiece of what the City of Liverpool was all about. A city of vision that possesses the wherewithal to put aside bitter rivalry by cultivating co-operation and cordiality by sharing the fruits of their efforts to want the best for both sides, who after all are Liverpudlians both.

    When you're thousand of miles distant from your birthplace, you take interest in the well-being of both teams that can claim the same heritage as yourself. I'm a third generation Evertonian, but I also take pride in the fortunes of both teams and I become concerned when one is treated less favourably than the other for whatever political reason. Sport is all about contesting against an opponent on equal terms, take that equal terms out of the equation and you no longer in my opinion have a sport, but the fact that it has now become more a business doesn't have to mean that the respect for one another has to inevitably go by the wayside.

    Come on, show the same kind of grit and consideration for each other that was evident during the Blitz, which is why Churchill claimed it was Our Finest Hour. You all deserve better, but you won't be able to achieve it with this dog-in-the-manger stance.

  • Comment number 94.

    65. At 5:11pm on 26 Nov 2009, toffeexile wrote:

    Spurs don't have foreign investment and we finished 5th two seasons running and have reached two carling cup finals, winning one, which is probably more than Everton have managed
    joe-strummer - the 2 consecutive 5ths we're longer ago than evertons, longer ago than evertons 4th place too, and yes, you reached 2 carling cup finals, and we reached last years FA cup final, and had a good UEFA cup run ended by Fiorentina. Lets say we have achieved similarly IN RECENT YEARS, but please don't pretend Everton haven't achieved anything. If you look longer than this century especially.


    I'm not pretending. The post I myself was responding to was referring to the last few seasons, hence why I only included the last few seasons worth of information.

    I know Everton have won loads in the past so wasn't trying to come across as someone who thinks football started in 1992.

  • Comment number 95.

    It is a no-brainer-A mega-stadium for the City of Liverpool shared by the two teams. It is done in Italy and on this side of the ocean in the NFL.It would surely be a World Cup Venue should the English bid succed

  • Comment number 96.

    Have to agree with all the comments about sharing a stadium. I can't see the logic in 2 cash stapped clubs forking out 100's of millions of pounds to build 2 stadiums that would be used twenty-odd times each during the season. A 60,000 seat state of the art stadium in Stanley Park has to be the best solution for both clubs and eventually both sets of supporters would get over it. Does it really matter what colour seat you sit on?

  • Comment number 97.

    Everton 0 Kirkby 1.

    No one seems to have picked up on the fact that the residents of Kirkby never wanted this plan in the first place.

    Well done to all those who campaigned against this scheme that was foisted upon them.

  • Comment number 98.


    Thanks for the response, personally I don't think Rodwell is yet good enough, but could be, a lot of the "big 4" now invest a lot in potential as its cheaper, wiltshire, ramsey and walcott at Arsenal being good examples.

    Agree that letting him go would send out a bad message, but Kenwrite as allready practially admitted they have no cash in the summer so they may have no choice. Everton have always struck me as one of the better run clubs and I can't see them holding onto players when they can't afford them.

    As for Moyes, personally I think he'll be gone in the summer if there is no new investment or forward movement on a stadium, how many years can we expect him to dig everton out of hole after whole? As for where he'd go? Wouldn't mind him at Utd when SAF retires to be honest, he's a top quality manager and can do well on a budget so I think any team in the PL with a vacancy would be interested if they thought they could get him. Personally I think he should go to either Spain or Italy at a mid-table club there, would bring back a world of expriance with him, of course they's always the Scotland job, that is currently becoming available with tottenham-esque regularity!

  • Comment number 99.

    From the offset have to admit, I am an Everton fan (at this moment in time, sadly, but I wouldn't change it for anything) but, I also try to be as objective as possible about things.
    While the Destination (now more like Final Destination) Kirkby project was a fantastic opportunity for Everton, it is the equivilent of those old guys who used to have respectable construction jobs, who are now too old so they have to work at B&Q. It would not have suited Everton to be the chintzy centre piece of, what is essentially, a bog standard periphery retail estate.
    And not just because Everton FC deserves better, as mentioned I am trying to be objective and, objectively, I see many pub owners out of pocket because fans can only slip in for a swift pint early before having to sardine their way through an overcrowded and insufficient transport infrastructure to their new-Goodison, which would be the Ikea equivalent of what we have already. Less lines and pillars, but still essentially performs the same task. How many local businesses profit from Everton being where it is? I'm assuming as many, if not more than who would benefit in Knowsley.
    I'm of mixed opinion on a ground share. Financially it would make sense; but are these proposals of a North-West SuperStadium really that realistic? It would be good for someone to try and challenge the dominance of the capital, but keep in mind that the other reason London is, seemingly, the centre of the world is that the big media organisations are based there. Hence why it was easier for MoTD2 to do a spot on how great Fulham are (due to a fairly decent start to the season) than it was to send someone up to Liverpool to do a spot on how great Everton did three seasons in a row.
    The issue of Kenwright has always been the same for me. It's great to have someone who loves the club in control, and his pockets are deep, the problem is that there is not enough in them.
    I believe that he is looking for new investment, but, he seems to be doing it in the same way a young widow/widower looks for a new taking his time, hesistating, looking back nostalgically and always comparing them to the past. Unless Andrei Kanchelskis has his hands on some oil billions from somewhere I don't think we can find any Russian billionaires who will share Kenwright's vision; investors want to buy investments, not memories.

    That said, and as mentioned, Everton's situation is a lot better than Liverpool's. While Everton need investment to progress, Liverpool need investment not to regress. As mentioned, they are being kept from administration by the good grace of RBS (let's not say how the taxpayer essentially owns LFC) and while Liverpool extended their loan deal by paying of a fair amount, it was just that, a fair amount, and there is substantial debt still to pay before they can finance their own stadium build. That said, when you owe a bank a small amount of money you're in trouble; when you owe a bank a large amount of money, they are in trouble. Liverpool will probably get the finance or investment they need to pay off the bankers.

    Objectively speaking. My conclusion is inconclusive. There are compelling arguements for all issues. Yes Everton need a new stadium, No we don't want to leave Goodison; Yes, a groundshare is an excellent idea, No, it probably won't happen, Yes, Kenwright is a good chairman but Everton need more money. Another thing to keep in mind is, would this all be being touted at the massive problem it is if there were not on pitch problems too?

    And to the idiot who suggested all Moyes has done is complain about injuries, I read, hear and see his comments after every game and if injuries do get a mention it is only fleeting. And, as they say, credit where credit is due; if the players are not performing the manager will not praise them. His hands have been tied with regards to selection for nearly two months now, and setback after setback is hitting these players (e.g. Mikel Arteta; argueably Everton's most influential midfielder, needing further operations on his knee due to an infection that affects one in thousands of people who have the same surgery, or Phil Neville, maybe not the most graceful but certainly a good organising force, and a model professional, also needing further surgery) Everton do not have an injury problem, they have an injury call it anything else is just ludicrous. Manchester United v Besiktas is proof of what happens to a club when you play without 5 or 6 key, influential players, and that is not a squad choice for Moyes at the moment! You only need to look across Stanley Park to see what a difference there is in the team when players that keep the tempo, the workrate, and the morale up are out. Without Torres and Gerrard Liverpool are a good team, but they don't have their spark!
    That said, Moyes still insists on the same commitment, quality and work rate from the players he does have, and that is what he isn't getting at the moment, which is probably why he misses the players who are experienced and profesional enough to fit that bill.
    Just imagine yourself as manager of a business. You've invested time, effort and money in recruiting, and training eleven members of staff, and your organisation is running like a well oiled machine. Then suddenly six of your staff come down with illnesses that keep them from working for 4-9 months (maybe more) and you have to hire temps at short notice to share the workload. Those temps will not have the training, the experience, or the knowledge of what you expect from them. They'll have to learn it on the job and, by the time they've had time to become accustomed to it your old team members are coming back and the year is nearly over.
    That is how Everton's season is going to be and, quite frankly in that respect I think Moyes has been very reserved about his complaints about injuries.

    End Rant

    BTW...If you bothered to read all that, God bless you for your commitment and I apologise for being a waffle.

  • Comment number 100.

    "I have always assumed that Everton never attracted the big money because they are the less successful (at present) of a two-team city." (Post #4 by philman132)

    A two-team city, eh? Well, there's your problem right there; no wonder you cannot find a solution to your new stadia problems. You Everton and Liverpool fans have your fervent royal blue and crimson red heads buried so far up your own rear ends that none of you can see a possible solution staring you in the face. Because you all seem to have forgotten there are three football teams in Liverpool, not just two, so a groundshare arrangement doesn't necessarily have to be with your arch rivals across the park in an arrangement similar to the two Milan, Rome or Munich clubs. Surely a groundshare arrangement with Tranmere Rovers - or even St. Helens rugby club - would be the way to go rather than a groundshare arrangement between the two arch rival Premier League sides? And you Everton fans have no excuse for not considering such a scenario because your team just got beat by a team that has exactly that kind of groundshare arrangement - and the KC Stadium has worked out extremely well for both Hull F.C. (the rugby team) and Hull City A.F.C. (the team that just kicked your asses). IMO there may be more lessons that can be learnt by Everton from that 2-3 defeat than just tactical soccer ones. In the KC Stadium at Hull both Liverpool and Everton may find the blueprints to their own new stadia dilemmas.

    Because groundsharing with a lower tier football team or a rugby team eliminates all of the obvious problems of having to share facilities with your arch rivals in the PL. The lifespan of a football stadium is about 80-100 years, which means that almost all the old association and rugby football stadia in Britain (that, unlike, say, Old Trafford and Villa Park, have not been constantly modernized and which are also not situated in locations that permit surrounding property to be appropriated to allow for necessary expansion and structural improvement) have come to the end of their expected lifespans. If both Goodison Park and Anfield now need replacing then I'm quite sure that Prenton Park is also at the end of its expected useful lifespan too; probably more so, since Tranmere Rovers have never had the kind of maintenance and modernization funds to sink into their ground that Everton and Liverpool have had over the years.

    I also thought that if St. Helens did not vacate its Knowsley Road stadium by 2012 it would have to forfeit its place in the European Super League because its current stadium (built circa 1890) is now considered by that league to be too sub-standard. So the city of Liverpool has four football teams that all need new stadia ... not just two! The obvious solution for both of the big PL clubs would be a groundshare arrangement with one of the smaller non-rival football clubs rather than with each other. Tranmere Rovers play in dark blue and white, so a groundshare with Everton in a new 45,000+ capacity stadia with a blue and white color scheme would surely work for it; while St. Helens play in red and white, so a groundshare with Liverpool in a new 55,000+ capacity stadia with a red and white color scheme would similarly work for that team.

    I understand that St. Helens is already pursuing plans for a new stadium but what kind of capacity stadium can St. Helens justify building all by itself - I would imagine 20,000 maximum? Surely having access to a 55,000+ capacity stadium in a groundshare with LFC would be a much better arrangement for that club? Similarly, when the Cowshed at Prenton Park finally causes Tranmere's H&S license to be revoked what is Tranmere going to be able to do all by itself in the way of building a new stadium? If Everton and Liverpool cannot afford to do it by themselves today, what are Tranmere going to be able to do when their time inevitably comes? It takes almost as much construction cost to build a new 20,000 capacity stadium as it does a 70,000 capacity stadium; the hardest part of the problem to solve with building any new stadium, no matter which team plays in it, lies in finding suitably located real estate with sufficient parking, transport services infrastructure and available access routes, and the purchase cost of that real estate is usually the biggest component cost in the overall cost of the new stadium facilities.

    Raising capital and finding financing and sponsorship for a stadium construction project is also difficult, particularly in a recessive economy. So how much better is it that the city of Liverpool go through the process only twice instead of four separate efforts. All four clubs should seriously consider a double groundshare solution with the Liverpool City council kicking in a large chunk of capital to aid these two projects, not only because these four clubs constitute a very large portion of the city's sporting heritage but also because that sort of government spending is exactly what is needed to stimulate a recessive economy back to growth again. The problem of aging stadia in Liverpool isn't going to go away by itself. St. Helens need a new stadium by 2012 otherwise they are out of the European Super League; Liverpool F.C. and Everton are "Top 8" PL clubs that both need new stadia ASAP because the majority of their immediate PL rivals - Arsenal, Man. United, Man. City, Aston Villa and Sunderland - all currently have much superior facilities, while Tottenham Hotspur have a new 60,000+ replacement for White Hart Lane planned, and it is only a matter of time before Chelsea find a creative way of resolving their own maxed-out stadium capacity dilemma.


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