Liverpool

Everton blames Walton Hall Park delay on Liverpool council

Goodison Park Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Mr Elstone insists the onus for the "regenerative project" which would bring huge financial benefit to the area could not exclusively be placed on the club

Everton's chief executive has blamed Liverpool City Council for a lack of progress on building a new stadium, saying the club "cannot do it on its own".

Robert Elstone said the club needed the council to commit to investing in the project before it could go ahead.

Plans for a new ground at Walton Hall Park were announced in September 2014.

But Liverpool's mayor said he had yet to receive any detailed proposals for the project.

Responding on Twitter, Joe Anderson wrote: "Re EFC, CEO comments at AGM that they are ready on stadium. I am looking forward to receiving their planning and financial proposals tomorrow."

In a statement he added: "This is a council that helped Everton by purchasing [training ground] Finch Farm. We are trying to find a solution, so to say we are not working in partnership is an insult.

"We are still willing to talk but to say they have not got true partnership is not helpful."

'Bigger prize'

Mr Elstone was speaking to shareholders at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall, and said without the local authority it would be hard to bring the "challenging funding project" to fruition.

"This is about regeneration of north Liverpool. It's a big prize for Everton but an even bigger prize for the city."

He said the council had failed to recognise the project was a "transformational opportunity".

It was "not an Everton project" and the authority would generate a profit from its lending, he added.

"If the onus is on us to deliver it we can't do it in isolation."

Mr Elstone also told the meeting Everton had reduced its net debt by over £17m to £28.1m in 2013-14.

Everton's 41,000-capacity Goodison Park is one of the oldest football stadiums and has been the club's home since it opened in 1892.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The club saw proposals for new grounds at King's Dock and Kirkby fall by the wayside and is now focusing on the Walton Hall Park site

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