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Keeping Everton in Our City • View topic - ENQUIRY WEEK 8 - DAYS 29-32

Keeping Everton in Our City

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 Post subject: ENQUIRY WEEK 8 - DAYS 29-32
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:30 pm 
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Day 29 – Forged Evidence?
The Kirkby residents presented their proofs of evidence and were subjected to limited cross-examination.

Mr. Jim Gittens presented his document referenced Krag/P/1.

Mr. Patrick Clarkson during cross-examination attempted to get Jim to agree that matches were not very often and activity only lasted for a few hours.

Jim did not agree that matchday activity was limited to only a few hours at a time so therefore its impact would be minimal. He told the inquiry that matches would be at the weekend and evenings, during resident’s quality time.

Mr. Clarkson wanted agreement that for 99.9% of the year there would be no matches.

Jim said that you have to disregard the hours between 11pm and 6am.

Mr. Clarkson stated that he would be putting the figure of 99.9% in his submission.

Jim explained that residents would be affected in their free time, after work and at weekends; this would be premium time.

Mrs. Jenny Wharton and Mrs. Ann Murphy from the Women’s Group presented Krag/P/2

Mrs. Burden was nodding in agreement when Jenny talked about the importance of open space for children and the effect that sleep deprivation has on them in the classroom.

Ann talked of how transport issues would affect care providers and services.

Mr. Clarkson began his cross-examination by asking Jenny about good and bad diets affecting worklessness.

Jenny explained that patterns of eating that had gone on for generations. It was a cultural thing that people don't live on a diet of protein rich pulses.

Mr. Clarkson asked Jenny to agree that the area suffered from high heart disease rates, Jenny replied that this project would add to the problem.

Mr. Clarkson then asked if her class of 8 year olds would welcome the opportunity to go to a football match? Jenny replied that they would and they can go to them now.

Mr. Clarkson asked, “don't they have fun when they go?”

Ann Murphy interjected at this point by telling Mr. Clarkson that Jenny wasn’t a football supporter.

Jenny explained that she didn't think residents should be burdened with the stadium. Mr. Clarkson made his position clear by explaining that people should be given the chance to go to the match. He said that little boys would want to go and little girls would if Ronaldo or Beckham were playing wouldn't they?

Jenny responded that she would rather they participated.

Mr. Barrett representing Knowsley Council brought up the Everton In The Community programme. Jenny replied that it was a stand-alone charity and it shouldn't need a stadium to allow access to these services.

Mr. Barrett suggested that a high profile football club would promote sport and lift the town's profile. Jenny said that Everton and Liverpool hadn't done that in their current areas.

Mr. Dodds of KRISP was next to attempt cross-examination. He asked Jenny about the current use of the greenspace and that he had been there over 100 times with 62 businesses and seen no one. Jenny instantly replied “well I have.”

Mr. Dodds put it to Jenny and Ann that the current town centre was not wheelchair friendly. People have to get served outside shops. Ann replied that this was not the case. Her sister uses a wheelchair and has no problems whatsoever. Ann invited Mr. Dodds to come with her and see before adding that the old Kirkby stadium was wheelchair friendly but that a hoist was needed for the new sports facilities.

Mr. Peter Ross presented Krag/P/3

Peter explained that the primary proof refers to PP17, OS1 and OS2.

OS1 - fails on every count. Urban greenspace, sport and recreation

OS2 - fails on every count. Urban greenspace

OS4 - protection of playing pitches or other formal sporting facilities. There will be a deficit of 7.99 hectares, therefore non-compliance. There is no benefit to sporting interest.

Mr. Barrett pointed to Hallam's evidence which suggests there will be some amenity green space left but did agree that there is some conflict with policy. Sport England though, sees replaced provision as adequate

Peter put it to Mr. Barrett that Sport England policy was to protect land for professional sports pitches.

Mr. Barrett replied that benefits have to be weighed against negatives.

Peter stated that only the positives have been pushed forward, the negatives are in his proof.

Mr. Barry Fearnhough presented Krag/P/4

Barry is a Grange resident who used to live in Walton. Residents there had to put up with anti-social behavior and were trapped in their homes on matchdays. Barry claimed that car minding is extortion but it exists, that the controlled parking zones didn’t work and that there was little evidence of segregation of away fans. Barry told the inquiry that his father and neighbours were attacked for confronting fans urinating on cars. Barry claimed that if KMBC didn’t recognize there will be anti social behavioral problems, how can Kirkby residents have confidence in their council. Barry explained that fights still happen at pre-arranged meeting places away from the ground and that it was not always football fans but aggressive local youths. Barry closed by stating that these proposals are wrong and potentially damaging for Kirkby. Mr. Ian Ross of Everton had said prices would go up in Walton when EFC move.

Under cross-examination all Mr. Clarkson wanted was Barry's address and what number he lived at.

Mr. Barrett put it to Barry that Merseytravel and Merseyside police's views should be given considerable weight. Barry pointed out that they do get it wrong; look at the battle of Everton Valley.

Mrs. Dot Reed presented Krag/P/5

Mr. Clarkson asked if Dot had received a DVD about the proposals? Dot replied that a neighbour obtained one from someone in Tower Hill.

Mr. Clarkson put it to her that she would have known all about the proposals from attending Krag meetings. Dot replied that there were rumours about demolishing houses; George Howarth had said there were no plans.

Mr. Clarkson informed Dot that they could all be re-housed together but Dot replied that she wanted to live where she lived. Mr. Clarkson replied that that was a matter between her and the housing co-op.

Mr. Barrett said that there were fortnightly meetings with CDS Housing Association but Dot told him that they don't listen. Mr. Barrett mentioned replacement dwellings, Dot said that their options had reduced from 6 to 1 and they were now getting told where to live.

Mr. Barrett asked if she was speaking for all 72 residents but Dot stated she was only speaking for people in Spicer grove, not Cherryfield Crescent.

Mr. Barrett asked about a petition from Karen Bulger of Cherryfield Crescent, Dot immediately replied that it was forged, no-one in Spicer Grove had seen it, let alone signed it.

Mrs. Pauline Pendleton presented Krag/P/6

Pauline is worried about the cheap alcohol available in Tesco. She lives on Tithebarn Lane but wasn't consulted.

She feared fans will get to know Kirkby’s roads and alleyways, passageways through to Kirkby Station. She felt that away fans wouldn’t respect Kirkby and Police protection will be toward crowd control.

Mr. Barrett said that information had gone to all households and that there had been a wide consultation exercise. Pauline replied that there was no face-to-face consultation with residents of Tithebarn Lane. The information was inadequate as a consultation base; everything was geared towards the town center

Dr. Tim Stratford presented Krag/P/7

Tim explained that there has been great difficulty for Krag to have conversations with the Local Authority. Their councillors wouldn't speak, they had been told not to.

Tim stated that the consultations were very one sided, it felt like the plans were just being sold.

There needs to be a separate inquiry into dates (TEV/INQ/16)

Tim explained that Everton In The Community is a discreet charity. The community centre is hands on in the community; it has a strong network.

The inquiry closed for the day.


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 Post subject: Re: ENQUIRY WEEK 8 - DAYS 29-32
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Day 30 - Expert unable to identify source of Everton finance

Mr. Roger Lancaster, counsel for the combined authorities, introduced Mr. Christopher Hubbard, a chartered surveyor, to the inquiry.

Mr Hubbard explained to the inquiry that whilst he was no stadium expert, and that personally he was neutral on the subject of relocation, he had experience of source funding on other large projects and that it was normal for the developer to identify those sources. Mr Hubbard was concerned that Everton had refused to reveal precise details of their ability to fund their contribution to the stadium; they had simply provided broad-brush descriptions such as “stadium naming rights” and “the sale of Goodison and a development on Bellefield”

Mr Hubbard told the inquiry that he had been unable to identify the source of Everton’s finance for the stadium and questioned the impact of the recent decisions by Liverpool City Council and the Government to refuse planning permission on Everton’s former training ground, Bellefield.

Mr. Hubbard then moved on to query the alleged £52M cross-subsidy and expressed surprise that the level had not changed when the developers had reduced their application from 72,000 sq m to 50,000 sq m. Mr. Hubbard then suggested that perhaps further reductions could be made, even down to no retail; just a food store.

Under cross-examination Mr. Hubbard queried the justification of providing a cross-subsidy (derived from the public purse) to a private company who may well sell their business to wealthy suitors, a matter the Secretary of State would no doubt take a view on.

Mr. Hubbard concluded by informing the inquiry that overall he would be more reassured about this application if the commitment to invest in the existing town was actually included in the proposal.

Mrs Wendy Burden closed the inquiry for the day.


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 Post subject: Re: ENQUIRY WEEK 8 - DAYS 29-32
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Day 31 – Depth of Public Feeling Revealed
Mr. Graham Stock representing the interests of Grosvenor addressed the public inquiry.

Mr. Stock explained to the inquiry that Grosvenor were not opposed to the regeneration of Kirkby but the scale of the proposal was unacceptable in planning terms.

Mr. Graham Stock representing the interests of Grosvenor addressed the public inquiry.

Mr. Stock explained to the inquiry that Grosvenor were not opposed to the regeneration of Kirkby but the scale of the proposal was unacceptable in planning terms.

He told the inquiry that the RSS identified Liverpool and Manchester as the regional centres in the retail hierarchy and highlighted the requirement that “developments should be consistent with the scale and function of the centre they related to.

Mr. Stock described the catchment area for Destination Kirkby, identified by the applicants, as inappropriate and in contravention with PPS 6; He said that a fundamental requirement of the policy was that catchment areas should reflect shopping patterns and that it was unlikely that the £200m needed to support this development was available.

Mr. Stock expected the development to have a significant and dramatic effect on the main regional centre, which is Liverpool.

Mr. Patrick Clarkson, QC for the applicants, cross-examined Mr. Stock.

Mr. Clarkson asked Mr. Stock for a clarification of Grosvenor’s position.

Mr. Stock explained that Grosvenor did not have a position on the construction of a football stadium; their main concern was the size of the development, specifically the amount of non-food retail space; this would inevitably draw substantial expenditure from Liverpool and as a result would impact their interest in Liverpool One, however he did not think Liverpool One was at risk from this proposal.

Mr. John Barrett cross- examined Mr. Stock on behalf of KMBC.

Mr. Barrett asked Mr. Stock if Grosvenor’s assessment of an appropriate catchment area for Kirkby was based on the performance of the current town centre?

Mr. Stock answered that a survey could only show what was happening at that moment in time. Grosvenor wouldn’t shackle Kirkby to the current town centre as they did support appropriate redevelopment; but he once again confirmed, “It was fundamental that the catchment area for a development must be appropriate” an appropriate increase in floor space would not be objected to.

Mrs. Wendy Burden asked Mr. Stock about the expected level of “claw back”. Mr. Stock replied that the level would contravene planning policy, as it would have an impact on the regional centre, Liverpool, where Grosvenor had rightfully built their development. He agreed that the current economic downturn would have a detrimental effect on securing the necessary expenditure to service a new development.

Mr. David Dent of the Ramblers Association, addressed the Inquiry.

Mr. Dent told the inquiry the Ramblers Association had existed since 1935 and that he is Knowsley Footpaths Secretary for the association.

He said he thought Destination Kirkby would destroy the good walking footpaths in the area around Valley Road. He thought there were some very pleasant and paths in the area and he thought the pleasant nature of the environment would be destroyed as people would have to walk past the football stadium or through the shopping development to access footpaths to other areas.

He felt the proposal did not confirm to the planning requirement to protect the paths and walkways of an area.

Mr. Stephen Harrison, a local resident, addressed the Inquiry.

Mr. Harrison thought Knowsley Council had changed their approach over Destination Kirkby, originally open minded they changed to supporting just one option, the Tesco plan. He felt that the council had overstated the difficulties surrounding the alternative schemes for regeneration of the town centre.

Mr Harrison described how he had been endeavouring to obtain the release of the full results of the He felt the results of the consultation had not been made fully available to the public by the council; as this was such a major issue it clearly should have been.

Mr. Harrison explained that, in his opinion, Destination Kirkby, specifically the stadium proposal, would overwhelm the towns transport infrastructure particularly the rail network, his main concerns surrounding fans being crush loaded after the games when attempting to travel back to Liverpool; explaining that these problems couldn’t be addressed as they were insurmountable.

To counter this statement Mr Barrett for Knowsley Council told the inquiry that Merseytravel and Network Rail had approved the transport proposals – KEIOC will explain more about this interpretation of “approval” a little later.

Ms. Rona Hazelhurst next spoke against the application.

Rona explained that the sheer size of the development appeared inappropriate for Kirkby and that the consultation had failed to make local people aware of how the development would change the town.

Rona was unable to recognise the version of Kirkby as portrayed by the applicants and was extremely concerned that the applicants had failed to reveal details of the exclusivity deal to the inquiry.

For the town she feared the increase in traffic and the loss of greenspace would be detrimental to the lives of Kirkby’s residents and she preferred a scheme that would redevelop the existing town centre.

Mr. Chris O’Brien was next to address the inquiry against the proposal.

Chris was concerned about the impact of such a large Tesco on local traders, which he described as struggling to survive. A further concern was the loss of greenspace that he saw as a lovely entrance to the town; he feared that the inclusion of the stadium was little more than a ploy to make the development acceptable.

Mr. John Fleming addressed the inquiry.

John is a local resident, an active member of the Kirkby Residents Action Group and is heavily involved in the local community.

John raised concerns about the ability of the Everton in the community programme to address the real needs of the local community. He felt that this was something of a trade off, the people of Kirkby lost their greenspace but gained a community programme; John expressed his reservations surrounding this trade off, querying that perhaps the money spent on securing this proposal could have been actually spent on the community in a much better way.

Tony Barton, a local resident who is an opponent of the scheme addressed the inquiry

Tony explained how he worked with the young people of the town and why he wanted appropriate progress for his town and his children but not what was being proposed in 'Cherry Meadows'.

Tony described how there appeared to be a complete lack of evidence as to how a scheme of this size could benefit the town’s people and that this all or nothing threat was little more than bullying. He said “While Kirkby wasn’t perfect it wasn’t the dump described by the applicants and the town centre still served the local community in fact if Tesco swallowed their pride and simply built a new store in the town centre it would revitalise it along the lines of the St Modwen plan. What was being proposed was not redevelopment but the development of a completely separate town centre.”

Tony told the inquiry that whilst the people of Walton moved to the area in full knowledge of the presence of a stadium the people of Kirkby did not.

Mr. Ron Martin addressed the inquiry.

Mr. Martin opposes the application and as a pensioner he was aware that many of the town’s older population were concerned for their safety if travelling by train on match days.

Mr. Reg Chapman, another local resident, was next to address the Inquiry

Mr. Chapman’s concerns surrounded the citing of the football stadium close to the town centre, he explained that its presence would completely change the town on matchdays.

Mr. Chapman was concerned that his town was being portrayed as Beirut and that the stadium would do little to regenerate it.

Whilst he felt that most people wanted more shops and facilities in the town centre they didn’t want a development of this scale.

Ms. Lisa Barton addressed the inquiry, she described Kirkby’s community spirit and how people felt threatened by this proposed development and that moving to Kirkby had been a once in a lifetime opportunity and that her former school was being destroyed to make way for an unwanted retail and stadium development.

She could not understand why Knowsley Council was opting for this proposal when local people and businesses were trying to improve the situation.

The inspector announced a break after which the evening session would resume with Ms Barton finishing her address.

Ms Barton Continues

Lisa gave her opinion that the council had once again ignored the local residents and that Kirkby rather than being in urgent need of regeneration it had in fact made progress despite the presence of a major supermarket.

Rather astutely Lisa told the inspectors that it wasn’t up to the residents to prove their case, it was in fact up to the applicants to prove theirs.

Mr Hammil, addressed the inquiry, he couldn’t see how Destination Kirkby would be good for the residents of the town. The associated congestion, increased on match days, would make his journey to work, at the Royal Hospital difficult. Once again a resident pointed out that despite the absence of Tesco, since they last decided to vacate the two stores they once had in the town, and despite the poor depiction by the applicants Kirkby was a good place to live.

Mr Ian MacDonald, of the Independent Blues, an Everton supporters club, addressed the inquiry.

First of all I’d like to thank you all for allowing me to speak on behalf of many Everton fans or should I say customers as we are constantly told that football is a business.

Let me tell you a bit about the background of the supporters group I’m here to represent the Everton Independent Blues. It’s been nearly 15 years since we formed our group and in that time our coaches have never missed an away game anywhere on the British mainland even a Friday night friendly game in Yeovil.

In this period we have raised thousands of pounds for such charities as Scope, the Merseyside deaf and blind children, Bowel Cancer and helped many families with sudden deaths of their loved ones.

We are the biggest supporters group on Merseyside. Everyone who travels away regularly to support Everton knows of us.

In my time of following the Blues with this supporters club, I feel qualified to say how the hardcore away fans and many of the match going home fans feel on this move to Kirkby issue.

Speaking of Kirkby I want to go on record and say this area is as much Scouse as any in fact many of many closest friends who I have travelled with for years come from Kirkby and bizarrely guess what every one to a man does not want our club to move to their door step.

Even our chairman’s Dad is from Southdene who we buried last year had say no to the Kirkby move sticker on his coffin. Now why do you think that is? It’s because they know what’s right long term for the club they support so loyally and without much reward these days in silverware won.

I feel like David fighting Goliath standing here but if the ordinary man cannot be heard speak about concerns they have with big business then we may well as all pack in and live in a suppressed society. It’s frightening to come here and plea on behalf of so many to do the right thing, I may not be up to the task but I will try my best, and I feel proud to live in a country which allows the ordinary man to be heard. I may be repeating some things you may have already heard in the inquiry from more formally qualified people but I feel the voice of Evertonians needs to be heard regarding a move that possibly could quickly erode our club and fan base.

I’m here talking about Everton FC and it’s fans, the fourth most successful football team in England, a club that has so many firsts in the history of the game including being innovative, ambitious, forward thinking and proud. This proposed move has none of these attributes.

I’d like to tell you about the local media unbalance during the voting period to get the nod from the customers to destination Kirkby, Was it right and fair? Now you could say well at least you had the opportunity to vote?

Well over the years previous owners of the club have given a vote on a move to the fans. Even the wrongly vilified Peter Johnson – who many see as having dragged our club into its recent financial problems - gave us a chance to vote .So it’s taken as an unwritten given that Evertonians will always have a say on our future homes – we are, after all, the People’s Club.

Just before the start of the voting period the Daily Post did its own on line vote for or against the Kirkby move carefully making sure only one vote was allowed per computer. It found that 95% the vote cast were against the move; clearly Everton’s PR had to move quickly to ‘win’ the fans over.

We were living again with lord Haw Haw at times. Goodison is falling down, they tell us. We will end up playing Marine we are warned, and a front page plea by the CEO of Tesco’s to think with our head not our hearts – these are scare tactics in the local press aiming to give the impression that Everton have no other option. It was do or die!

Every time worried desperate fans came with alternatives to this move they where rubbished. Pompously being told that Evertonians who were against the move should come up with their own business plan to keep the club in the city. Well after two years of asking where is the Kirkby business plan? Not the shareholders of Everton or even this inquiry is allowed to see it as in a lay mans term ‘It does not stack up’.

Look at the Brochure given to 33,000 fans that qualified to vote. See the headline banners on the front of the local papers in stark contrast to plan B’s championed by fans hidden in the middle pages then rubbished by the club in the same text. Front page news of the Tram system being brought back as an aide to the stadium in Kirkby, another seduction at the time to hoodwink the ordinary fan into believing that this stadium would be easily accessible – something that has been established by this Inquiry already as being untrue.

Fact is since 2002 the price has doubled to 328 million for a tram system to Kirkby from the town centre and as of last year there is no funding available for any shortfall. I did know whether to laugh or cry when I found that Mr. Cannon - an advisor of the Everton board who previously brought an EGM against the same board I might add because of lack of investment in the club, told us we would be relegated if we don’t move to Kirkby - is also an advisor to Knowsley council. See the picture with Sheena, Ron and others from Knowsley council. Mr. Cannon has the glasses on in the background. We’re in the midst of a financial meltdown, however, so perhaps Mr Cannon can’t be blamed for wanting his fingers in as many pies as possible

Image

Then I remember seeing the deal Everton made with the Echo and Trinity papers.See copy. The same Mr. Cannon now states that everyone is worried in football about declining season ticket sales next season but go to Kirkby where we need 47,000 to break even. Saddled with a debt we won’t be able to pay back. Is it a fact that Trinity papers who print our local papers also sponsor the club print the match day programme and also the magazine ‘The Evertonian’ plus now own the Everton official website? See copy

In the past any reporters who do not tow the line are snubbed at the training ground having no stories to fill the blue half of the back page. This is the ‘Peoples club’ so famously muted by our present manager .Yep Pravda would be proud of the one sided propaganda emanating from our local press during the voting period, shameful. To the point a delegation of fans had to meet with the editor of the Echo to cry foul, but we are just fans. The propaganda against Liverpool’s current owners is in stark contrast.

Yet still after all the misleading information on the voting brochure, you know ‘World class stadium, effectively free, deal of the century, fantastic transport links ‘ All of which after the vote have been found very misleading still 10,000 out of 25000 voters said no. What business would still carry on with the proposed business plan? (Would Tesco stop stocking a product if 40% of their customers voted to keep it on the aisles?) A desperate one, a board who are looking to sell after planning permission to get a fantastic return on their original investment using tax payers monies with ‘free land’ and help from Tesco’s builders. The move is touted to raise a mere £6m extra income per year for Everton Football Club – yet will double the share prices courtesy of the mysterious £52m cross subsidy at the expense of the taxpayer.

So I ask you who is this move really for .Is it for the fractured fan base, which has been divided with bitter feuds on who is right.

I sat at this inquiry the other week and Mr. McVicar was asked why you question the need for a 50,000 stadium in Kirkby but your employer the Liverpool council was drawing up plans for the same number at the Kings Dock. My answer to this is that we will have a fractured fan base at Kirkby but at the Kings Dock we had 86% voting for with an ideal location to grow the fan base up. Let me tell you fans have fallen out with each other over this issue such is the emotion. In a city whose footballing rivalries are usually divided by red and blue, this stadium scheme has added an extra divide between Everton fans – what business would risk alienating it’s customer in such a manner that they vow never to spend a penny with them again?

Emotion, now that s a good word to sum up a fan. Do you get emotionally attached to your food store or clothes shop to follow it anywhere when open the same with your bank, now they are business in the true form football is based on a sense belongingness, a tribal like feeling.

We are told now early in this inquiry that we have 13 million fans worldwide but have no waiting list for season tickets at Goodison? Then it’s stated we have a current data base of 90,000 passing trade in the main Evertonians who get mail for new mobile phones, car loans, club merchandise etc but only 33,000 got a chance to vote on this life changing issue. Why was that?

Is it because many of our fans can’t afford season ticket lump sums but live nearby and buy tickets on a week-by-week basis? The University of Leicester did a survey of football fans and found that Everton have the biggest walk up support in the top league .Now would those same fans want to walk to Kirkby on a cold and wet November night?

Whilst in Chicago last summer following Everton some of us went to do a tour of the famous Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Fields. A club steeped with as much tradition and history as Everton in the baseball world and again much loved by its local community. When asked by the tour guide for any questions I asked the 100 strong crowds of fans “do you think you should tear this down and move to the outskirts of town “? Well I may well have said all Americans are fat and warmongers. I explained where I came from and what is proposed for our club .The Chicago cub fans said we would regret it, leaving behind your roots and devaluing your tradition .It will not feel like your old club its just big business getting their way thinking fans will just follow. They went on that many sports club moved out of town and now regret it .The New York Yankees are building a new stadium 300yds away in some of the most expensive land in the world .Ask yourself why did they just not move to a cheaper area with a blank canvas?

I’ve spoken to all the local supporters groups who travel away and none of them want this move. These are the people who have visited Bolton’s, Wigan’s and Readings ground a look into our future if we move to retail park with a stadium that has no special look or feel to it, described as a IKEA flat pack ground, soulless. In locations similar to Kirkby that are a nightmare to get to and away from.

Many feel so strongly about the move that they will no longer support the team on match day even our previous CEO Keith Wyness said we will lose about 20% of our match going fans .So based on our average attendance over the last three seasons that’s 7,000 lost fans but its ok because Everton PR are telling us we will get an extra 12,000 fans so that’s an average gate of 40,000 but in their words we need 47,000 to break even.

Now exactly where are these 12000 extra fans coming from? What local research has been done to get this figure? The two million in the Manchester corridor we’re told, but many of these will already be supporting Blackburn, Wigan, Bolton or the Manchester clubs sports fans in this corridor are watching Rugby. Only on one occasion in my lifetime have we averaged over 50,000 in 1962/3. Forty five years ago!

It’s so worrying that our club just seems to pick figures out of the sky and any request for their evidence to back them up is met by refusal – even at this Inquiry they have refused to give full details of their evidence on the business plan. NONE of these proposals are actually cast iron certainties, it’s all written as “suggested / proposed / potential”

But what do our present custodians care, the major shareholders don’t live on Merseyside, one lives in London, one in Florida another most of the time in Marbella. A Tesco CEO who tells us he’s an Evertonian lives in Potters Bar so will they be here when the fall out begins around the City each week?

Even during this inquiry I see learned people on various payrolls to get this project through telling us what’s best for the future of local people .I ask you do they all live here? These people are paid to get in football terms a result.

But many here are fighting against the project at much cost to themselves because they are passionate about where they live or about Everton. Do you find it strange that there is no bodies of fans wanting this move - if the club was truly as precarious as the board want us to believe? If the club “needed” this move or the weight of feeling among the fans was that this was the right move, then why aren’t I opposed by a fan spokesman in favour of this move?

We have a song that includes “We don’t care what Liverpool say”, but on this move believe me many of us do .In the school yards, the pubs, the work place, Moving to Kirkby is a stick the reds in this City beat us with .At the two recent games against Liverpool their fans were taunting us with chants about leaving the city so they can have it all to themselves, now ask yourself why do they want us to leave our roots and go to a mid range level stadium with so many other negative factors. In a nutshell when we had a proposed move to the Kings Dick waterfront every Liverpool fan I knew was gutted at this quantum leap, now they come to our derby games laughing at us with their Tesco bags and cruel taunts to hurry up and get out of the City.

Because they know that moving to Kirkby will kill 130 years of history, and leave them as Liverpool’s only team. Would Liverpool FC ever consider a move to Kirkby to leave Everton as the only team in Liverpool?

May I remind you all we are not a one horse town we have two clubs in this City less than a quarter of a mile away from each other but owners a million miles apart in what is best for their clubs .One hopes to move a few hundred yards from its roots the other nine miles away from the City centre .The furthest Premier League ground away from its city centre is proposed.

Liverpool City centre that has no Everton presence, people who visit our great City especially in the year of the Capital of culture would not know Everton existed. In essence our custodians have already moved in their heads out of the City .I use the word Custodian to describe our ‘owners’ in the past these people did what was best for the club long term. But sadly in the last twenty years Everton has been neglected by its owners, not one penny has been invested by the present board; only using money to buy up shares. And there lies are existing problem. Would you neglect your home to the point where you want to move away and build a new home quite inferior to your rivals that will never be considered for any semi finals or a World Cup venue like we had in the past because the design and transport issue are inferior and unworkable. I’m no luddite I accept we have to address our stadium issue sooner rather than later but I keep saying for the long term benefit of the fan base .I would have hired a JCB to dig the footings for the Kings Dock because that at the time was a quantum leap for Everton, the right price the right move.

I’m going to be Nostradamus for a minute and take you to the future of a match day experience for an Evertonian based in the Wirral, North Wales and the City if we move to Kirkby.

If you live on the Wirral you have three choices to get to Kirkby.

The train journey will take you to Moorfields approx time anything from twenty minutes to an hour depending on where you live over the other side of the Mersey then you will have to change line to Kirkby station which has only one line so you must wait as this six carriage train has to go one way at a time.. Queue with hundreds of other blues waiting for the Kirkby train. Miss first one due to overcrowding & forced to wait for the next one. Delayed at Kirkdale for 30 minutes while first train that we couldn't get on is emptied at Kirkby. Arrive at ground for 2.55. Leave seat & join massive queue at Kirkby Station. Manage to get on 4th train, one hour after the final whistle blows. Train journey takes 1.30 hrs & arrive home about 7.30. No pint & no meet-up with mates. Going to the match would become an arduous journey, often in this country’s worst weather conditions.

Drive: Leave home at 1.00, driving from Wirral: Extra 20-30 minutes on journey time. Park 45 minutes away from ground. Walk to ground. No time for a pint in one of the very few pubs around the ground. Time spent so far, about 2 hours. Leave seat & spend 45 minutes getting back to car. Drive home is now 1.30 hrs due to traffic congestion. Arrive home about 7.30.

Now, when we play the bigger Southern teams they opt to go by train how will this line cope or will they be put on buses from Lime Street to join the ever bigger traffic towards kirkby .Outside the stadium how will the away fans be segregated from the home fans? We will all have to wait in pens queuing for over an hour at least after the game,’crush loaded’ onto trains? In the autumn and winter in the cold and rain with no shelter will not be an experience many will choose to do again especially with children .Is everyone forgetting the none football visitors or residence of Kirkby on match days including night matches. What do these good people do, stay in or not visit the retail venue because of all the hassle?

Transport to the stadium by Bus, well just double the time of the trains, sitting in traffic jams, queuing up for hours after the game again in queuing pens.

HOW THE SMALL SHAREHOLDERS WERE TREATED AFTER THE VOTE.

And so after putting the fear of God into many fans with the impending doom and demise of our club if we voted no just five thousand more fans trusted our board and what they said. There was NO plan B .The board where given a mandate to explore further the Kirkby move. In the coming weeks and months after the vote it was beginning to unfold that what the fans had been promised was not entirely true .The world class stadium became a mid range stadium, the effectively free stadium rose to a minimum of 75million with costs rising. Tesco stated they were not giving us 50 million to help build the stadium. But it was stated on the local Echo front page as the deal of the century and Tesco where giving us 50 million, see copy. The Best-served transport structure was becoming a nightmare and unfeasible on match days. The extra revenue from concerts etc was not true, they where never allowed in the application. So many things did not add up from the pre vote razzmatazz.

For example Everton’s CEO Mr. Wyness said - What we will be providing is "A world class iconic stadium befitting of a club of Everton’s stature.

In the planning Application - "EFC knew it could only afford a mid-range stadium"

It was then the Shareholders Associations decide to call an EGM to ask the present custodians questions about what was the real deal and if this proposal would damage he club long term. Surely a shareholder deserved to know what was the devil in the detail on this proposal. Enough shareholders signed the petition for the EGM to be activated .On the night of the EGM being a shareholder I was there to witness a very angry emotional debate where searching questions went still unanswered. Just what is our business plan for destination Kirkby, does anyone in this room know this?

That night again in my opinion we were misled in the amount of monies needed for a alternative plan B of redeveloping Goodison .Two hundred million plus was the figure given to us and yet I have seen two re-developing Goodison plans with sums less than half of this from world renowned architects with a stage by stage rebuilding plan which would not lessen the existing capacity .Oh the figure of 34,000 was given to the shareholders as the capacity with their redeveloping plans. A the end of the night a one man one vote was undertaken and a landslide against the move was found .In the company’s articles of association a ‘show of hands’ on issues is allowed. Sadly the majority shareholders, the board, would have none of it and undertook a vote based on shares held .The custodians won hands down because of the amount of shares they have. That night we were no longer the ’peoples club’ but a club owned purely by businessmen for their own gain in my opinion.

A few days later the board changed the rules of the article of association making it nigh on impossible that further EGM’s could be called to question the board .The small shareholders count for nothing now and are suppressed.

There has been no annual AGM; the boards saying the EGM was suffice. Would Tesco shareholders be happy with this? I’m sure there is a law against this but it would be costly to oppose our owners and the small shareholders numbering over 1200 are just in the main ordinary fans

This is a very important factor and issue on the proposed move .We read in the documents that Everton are not looking for any outward investment during the proposed move. And I hope not because if they are looking to sell I believe the owners of Everton will be just carpetbaggers. People who pick the club up on the cheap and instead of protecting the club long term will just sell up if this move occurs using funding from tax payers via cheap land. Then very puzzling I sit at the EGM last year and the Chairmen says he is actively looking to sell and even has enlisted a man by the name of Keith Harris of Seymour Pierce to sell the club on their behalf. So again I ask are we or are we not for sale? If we are then surely this is why the move has been so aggressive for self gain .I would feel better if Everton’s present board categorally state we are not for sale and they have an undertaking that they will not sell for the next ten years. So they will see what happens to Everton if we move to Kirkby .If the deal is as good as they told us what would be the problem in writing this into any contract?

If God forbid this move happens what will become of Goodison, we have not been told. Will it be a car park for Liverpool fans, a housing estate? Just what are the plans for our spiritual home? And what of Walton? Will there be loss of jobs? Will businesses suffer? In a nutshell a seventy million pound plus business is moving out of the area with no new jobs in the new location.

What would Knowsley say if Jaguar moved to another council area?

Liverpool council more than at any time will bend over backwards to keep Everton in the city, they will extend the Goodison footprint, the school on Bullens Road is closing, the van garage at the back of the Park End section of Goodison is owned by the council and they can be re-located plus we own Goodison although mortgaged to the hilt. This location redeveloped WILL heal the wounds of this projected move.

The promise of jobs in Kirkby for the local construction industry in my experience in the building trade not many locals work in these projects, Barrs have their own Scottish workers and sub contractors they use around the country.

Many times it has been asked of me if past donations and advisory capacities to the present government by directors of Everton and Tesco will affect the out come of this enquiry

I hope I have transferred the feelings of many here tonight about this proposed move .I am asking you good people to help protect our club from a move that will have horrendous long term implications .I have always said this move is for short term gain with long term pain .We will not grow as a club in Kirkby only erode .Our match going experience will not be a pleasant one with so many obstacles to get too and from the proposed site. Increased prices in a stadium so many do not want .I want you to go away and consider the damage that it will cause to this great institution which is Everton FC .Let a suitable development occur for the good people of Kirkby which will enhance the area, surely a leisure /community complex is better for a town of forty two thousand than a football stadium which will become a white elephant in years to come.

The proposed new stadium isn't in any way outstanding never the promised iconic. See the CABE report.
The move will put the club in debt by a further £70M+ plus an existing debt of nearly sixty million. How do we service this total debt?
There will be major transport problems of nightmare proportions at the proposed site.
There's little or no likelihood that we'll be able to increase our attendances by the 30% necessary to break even.
Prices for games will increase significantly in an accepted low-income area
As regards the voting mandate given by Evertonian’s - disregard it .On the glittering tin shown to us was not was we found out later inside it would be cruel to say it was fools gold. The deal of the century in Kirkby for Evertonian’s was misleading to say the least.

We are constantly told that this is the only deal so accept it .I for one do not accept this, its bully boy tactics. Being the only deal now on the table does not make it right long term for the club.

You ask Mrs. Burden at this inquiry what harm will be brought by this project, well the good people of Kirkby will feel under siege on match days, the town centre will erode and Everton our club will erode .We will not blossom and grow in this location.

Bring our divided Everton family together and recommend against the stadium proposal, protect our fans against the draconian actions of the present owners who gave misleading information to get their way.

I think most people are happy to move somewhere IF it's the right move There have been very few successful ground moves; Leicester, Coventry, Southampton, Middlesbrough, Sunderland to name but a few were all relegated in the build-up to a move or shortly thereafter. Other opportunities I’m sure will arise for our club to address our stadium whether we move away from Goodison or not .It has to be the right move long term. McDonalds ask only three things when giving franchises’ out. Location Location Location, Kirkby is the wrong location for the future fan base of Everton. Its only right for businessmen to increase their share values short term and sell up .I don’t think Everton’s chairmen is a bad man but in my opinion he is now looking for self gain and to get out of owning Everton with the best deal for himself and fellow board members.

Please help us find the right decision and that decision is to recommend his stadium proposal to be stopped. Don’t let good Evertonians have to choose to stop watching the team they love because they feel duped and cheated.

We do need to move. We don't need this move, at this time. Everton would more likely end up in administration than in the Champions League.

In time many Everton fans will thank you if you recommend throwing out the proposal but many Liverpool fans will curse you. I wonder why?


Mr Clarkson QC, for Tesco and Everton FC, cross-examined Ian MacDonald

Mr Clarkson enquired, “How many people are you speaking on behalf of?”

Ian answered that he represents 145 members and confirmed, when asked, that the Independent Blues did have a constitution. Of the members 85% were against the plans to relocate to Kirkby.

Mr Cornwall, another resident of Kirkby, addressed the inquiry.

Mr Cornwall explained that he lives close to the proposed car park, which would be used on thirty occasions a year. He went on to describe how gridlocked Whitefield Drive used to be when they held events at the old Kirkby stadium and that the road system was still the same. He feared that Destination Kirkby could leave to a surge in crime in the town.

Mr Degier, a local resident, addressed the inquiry.

Mr Degier opposed the plans, as they would have a negative impact on the health and lives of the town’s residents.

Mr Harrison, yet another local resident, addressed the inquiry.

Mr. Harrison was amazed that the applicants and the council had promoted the town as “finished” he also questioned the role of Mr. George Howarth MP by suggesting that he hadn’t listened to the views of all residents when supporting Destination Kirkby and that Mr. Howarth’s description of the “vocal minority” was the “vocal majority” who are against this application.

He couldn’t see how the people of Kirkby could benefit for a development of this size and that rather than it being the deal of the century for Everton fans it was the deal of the century for Tesco due to the land giveaway by the council.

Mr McCormick, another local resident, addressed the inquiry.

Mr. McCormick explained to the inquiry that he did not recognise some of the claims being made by the applicants, Kirkby certainly didn’t appear to be under performing to him.

He felt that the threat of no regeneration in the existing town centre unless retail park was a success would see many people who had originally supported the proposal turn against them.

Mr Abbott, a resident of Kirkby, addressed the inquiry.

Mr. Abbott told the inquiry that whilst he was in favour of regeneration of the town centre, it should not be at the expense of greenspace. He explained that their was a danger of residents becoming prisoners in their own homes.

Mr Rimmer, another local resident, addressed the inquiry.

Mr. Rimmer is employed at Sonae UK, he felt that the proposal to close roads around the stadium could have a detrimental effect on the timekeeping of Sonae employees and possibly the 27,000 people employed in Kirkby Industrial Estate. Mr Rimmer recited a poem about the proposal.

Mr White, the final Kirkby resident, addressed the inquiry.

Mr. White appeared to support the inquiry; he informed the inquiry that Everton had never played in Everton and therefore he couldn’t understand people when they said they wanted the club to stay in

The Inspector closed the evening’s proceedings until tomorrow.


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Day 32 – The misinformation train runs out of steam at Kirkby
As anticipated, on the day KEIOC were afforded the platform so readily denied by the local media and the club itself, the applicants attempted to suppress the evidence KEIOC provided against the stadium proposal.

Mr Patrick Clarkson QC, acting on behalf of Everton, addressed the planning inspectors and asked for the evidence provided by Mark Grayson and Colin Fitzpatrick to be dismissed on the basis that it was information on the financial management and performance of Everton Football Club and did not relate specifically to the planning issues surrounding the applicants proposal.

This must have been somewhat puzzling for the inspectors as the KEIOC group evidence had been before the inquiry for over five weeks without any objections being raised whatsoever. It was equally puzzling for KEIOC as Everton’s CEO had been allowed to wax lyrical about the clubs finances in his proof of evidence so it was strange that it was relevant then but somehow not relevant now.

Mr Dave Kelly, chair of KEIOC group, argued that the evidence in question related to Everton’s ability to finance their proposed move to Kirkby and outlined financial alternatives that made the alleged cross-subsidy redundant.

After deliberating over morning tea Mrs Burden delivered the inspector's decision on Mr Clarkson’s request for dismissal; this was that KEIOC’s evidence before the inquiry would not be dismissed, it would be, and in fact had been, read in full by the inspectors. Mrs Burden asked for information, already heard by the inquiry, be avoided.

Mr. Trevor Skempton, an architect and an expert on urban design addressed the inquiry in his capacity as an advisor to KEIOC. Trevor explained that one of the most aspects of a stadium was its location and that alternatives to Kirkby having “substantial merit” had been too readily dismissed and that all thirty-five alternative sites were better suited than Kirkby; even a somewhat tongue in cheek proposal using Birkenhead.

Trevor lamented the missed opportunity that was the Kings Dock and explained that architects and engineers could turn restrictions, identified as reasons for dismissal, at alternative sites, into advantages. Telling the inquiry that Everton’s natural location was within the city he spoke about removing one the most historic landmarks from Liverpool.

Making no apologies Trevor described the support of football clubs as emotional issues with their stadia usually akin to grand theatres but viewing the Kirkby stadium was a low cost construction in a poor location and with little character; it represented little more than multiplex cinema. He was concerned about the provision for affordable seating for the next generation of Evertonians and the measures to address the creation of atmosphere in the new stadium. A quintessential space eater, Trevor was unable to foresee the seven-day a week role of the stadium in the town.

Turning to Goodison, Trevor explained that whilst requiring much overdue renovation he explained that an expansion of the footprint could be achieved through the assistance previously offered by Liverpool City Council. Trevor next covered other potential sites within Liverpool including KEIOC’s plan b, which is the Scotland Rd site, and described the restrictions there as similar to the hugely successful Millennium Stadium at Cardiff. He closed by explaining that KEIOC embraced the principle of a shared stadium that would truly offer the ability to be facility led but that for their own reasons both football clubs’ were reluctant to endorse or discuss.

Mr. Patrick Clarkson QC cross-examined Trevor on behalf of the applicants. Mr. Clarkson, “Are you an Everton season ticket holder?”

Trevor, “Yes.”

Mr. Clarkson, “ Are you a member of KEIOC?”

Trevor, “No, I objected as an individual, the Inspector asked me to join forces.”

Mr. Clarkson, “I want to know who I can ask about KEIOC”

Trevor “It’s a wide umbrella of people”

Mr. Clarkson, “Who are they?”

Trevor “There is a committee but I’m unable to give information about supporters or attendees.”

At this point Dave Kelly interjected, “Mrs. Burden, this is inappropriate questioning, Trevor is here to discuss alternative sites; I'm more than happy to discuss these questions with Mr. Clarkson.”

Mr. Clarkson, “I want details of KEIOC.”

Mrs. Burden agreed that Dave Kelly could later take the stand and answer Mr. Clarkson’s questions.

Mr. Clarkson, “What are alternative sites exactly?”

Trevor, “These are headline sites that Everton have said they can't consider due to their enabling needs.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Are you an employee of Liverpool City Council?

Trevor, “No, but I have been a consultant; the most recent time was Liverpool One”

Mr. Clarkson, "In relation to Liverpool Football Clubs relocation to Stanley Park, was there a requirement to examine alternatives?”

Trevor, “Yes, but Liverpool’s needs are different; they were picking out Aunt Sally's.”

Mr. Clarkson, “But they proffered alternatives?”

Trevor, “Alternatives, yes.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Mr. Potts' and Mr. Tulley's alternatives, they indicated that there are no alternative sites?”

Trevor, “I couldn't support that.”

Mr. Clarkson, “What were Liverpool City Council’s efforts to provide the Stanley Park site for Liverpool FC?”

Trevor, “I'm being drawn into another clubs proposal. It's conjecture to imagine why Councillors supported a stadium in a listed park.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Liverpool City Council’s position. It's not a planning issue that requires Everton to stay in the city is it?”

Trevor, “The city council is supportive of the Loop site.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Would that support be from the leader of the council who attended KEIOC meetings?”

Trevor, “As far as I’m aware both leaders support sites in the city. Everton’s needs are contrary to the planning situation in Liverpool.”

Mr. Clarkson, “They are both Everton season ticket holders are they not?”

Trevor, “I couldn’t say.”

Mr. Clarkson, “It is your case that Everton Football Club should stay in the city?”

Trevor, “Yes; the removal of an important cultural element from one authority to another is aggressive.

Mr. Clarkson, “It is not a planning issue for the city that Everton should stay in the city so you would disagree with Liverpool Council?”

Trevor, “Yes, on this issue.”

Mr. Clarkson, “One site, the Bestway site……”

Trevor, “Yes, it was looked at late in the day.”

Mr. Clarkson, “If you'd been thorough, you'd know that Liverpool FC were required to look at the Loop.”

Trevor, “Why should Everton base their enquiries into sites on activities done by their enemies? Liverpool looked at the Bestway site only as a box ticking exercise; the rejection of the site shouldn’t affect Everton’s decisions; that’s an extraordinary idea that EFC should base their decisions on the decisions of their bitterest rival; anyway Liverpool’s requirements are different than Everton’s, Liverpool were looking at sites for a 70,000 plus seat stadium."

Mr. Clarkson, “It was 60,000, that was their planning application.”

What followed was a heated exchange between Trevor and Patrick Clarkson concerning the capacity of the stadium required by Liverpool FC, Mrs. Burden interjected and asked Trevor to supply proof on this matter, which he agreed to do so. KEIOC can reveal that Trevor later submitted four pieces of documentation that proved Mr. Clarkson had been, once again, badly advised.

Mr. Clarkson, “The production of the HOK report, were you involved?”

Trevor, “Only in terms of being asked by Liverpool City Council people, [Birchnall and Kelly] to identify the site at the beginning of 2007. It came up in discussions with the city council and Bestway. The council suggested it as a home for Everton"

Mr. Clarkson. “Was the Bestway site introduced to bounce attention, during the ballot, away from Destination Kirkby?”

Trevor “The Loop site had potential, before the ballot.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Was the HOK report a device to bounce the ballot against the proposals?”

Trevor, “No. Malcolm Carter [of Bestway] wanted the best possible outcome. He was frustrated by the exclusivity agreement, he couldn't speak to Everton so he spoke with HOK.

Mr. Clarkson, “How did you get the HOK report?”

Trevor, “I saw it by email and drafts of it. It was written to confirm assumptions.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Were you an advisor on the Loop, as an employee of Liverpool City Council?”

Trevor, “I gave some advice to the council, yes.”

Mr. Clarkson, “So, your approach at this inquiry is contrary to your employers. The Loop is a hopeless idea."

Trevor, “No, it’s a serious runner. Whilst building over the link road would require highways permission but this is all part of the development of a large and complex site; there are problems, as with any site, but these were not insurmountable and could create solutions that would improve the look and operation of the stadium.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Did you hear Mr. Kierle's evidence? He didn't rate it.”

Trevor, “He was working to a different brief.”

Mr. Clarkson, “His brief was to read the HOK report. On page seven it states that orientation is a requirement does it not?”

Trevor, “In a large stadium, low sunlight is not a problem.”

Mr. Clarkson, “HOK says a North South orientation is important”

Trevor, “It’s not important.”

Mr. Clarkson, “What about the layout of the stadium?”

Trevor, “It would offer unrestricted channels of movement, this would be the main advantage; extraordinary for the City centre, there was a lack of houses surrounding the site.”

Mr. Clarkson, “There is restricted access around the site.”

Trevor, “By its very nature all access is restricted. The facilities available in the City centre would offset bridging costs; it’s sensible and economic, very comparable to Newcastle and the Millennium stadium.

Mr. Clarkson, “What about the foundations; they would need to be outside of the site?”

Trevor, “No, this isn’t true, Liverpool Council would discuss additional land, bridge and tunnel access.”

Mr. Clarkson, “So Mr. Bradley has said you can have land off site?”

Trevor, “That is my understanding, yes. Between the Loop and John Moores University.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Has there been a second follow up HOK report?”

Trevor, “No, but during the inquiry there have been further investigations. There is a limit to what can be submitted. The Loop is an option for the future.”

Mr. Clarkson, “How much would all this cost?”

Trevor, “It would be in excess of £200 million.”

Mr. Clarkson, “By whom?”

Trevor, “Figures have been discussed.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Do you have authority to say what EFC should pay?”

Trevor, “That cost would be comparable to similar stadia. What must be understood is a modern stadium has to be a mixed-use building, a hive of activity seven days a week. The club needs to engage with long-term partners not simply enablers as in the current proposal. The HOK report was just confirmation that the Loop site isn’t a fantasy.”

Mr. Clarkson, “What about Birkenhead, is that a fantasy, is it in the KEIOC constitution?”

Trevor, “It’s unacceptable to KEIOC but even then preferable to Kirkby.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Moving on to Mr. Kierle’s options for Goodison Park. Your cross-examination was temperate and respectable?”

Trevor, “Yes, he’s a genuine fan and I respect him for his knowledge; however I disagree with his assumptions of the limitations of Goodison Park particularly the need to vastly increase the footprint.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Are you experienced in stadium design?”

Trevor, “Mr. Kierle's experience is in fit-out, mine is in provision. Athletics stadiums are not comparable. 20 – 25,000 capacity at best. I prepared feasibility studies for Newcastle. Formally commissioned to extend the Nou Camp. I was city architect in Newcastle and was asked to respond to the proposal to move to the retail park in Gateshead."

Mr. Dave Kelly, chair and spokesperson of KEIOC, took questions from Mr Patrick Clarkson.

Mr. Clarkson, “Mr Kelly, what are the aims of Keep Everton In Our City?”

Dave, “Well, to keep Everton in Liverpool and offer alternate sites to the proposed stadium at Kirkby.”

Mr. Clarkson, “How many members does the group have?”

Dave, “Erm; None"

Mr. Clarkson, “None!”

Dave, “Not one; KEIOC has no formal membership, it does however have access to approximately 13,000 supporters on the databases.”

Mr. Clarkson, “How does one join KEIOC?”

Dave, “Being an Evertonian is a good starting point”

Mr. Clarkson, “Does KEIOC have a constitution?”

Dave, “There is no need, as I said we do not have a formal membership.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Does the group have officers?”

Dave. “Yes, four, chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Were they elected?”

Dave, “Yes.”

Mr. Clarkson, “When?”

Dave, “At last years AGM.”

Mr. Clarkson, “So essentially you’re speaking on behalf of four people?”

Dave, “No.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Who then do you speak on behalf of?”

Dave, “Tens of thousands of Evertonians opposed to the move to Kirkby.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Your campaign, it’s been expensive hasn’t it?”

Dave, “Very.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Leaflets, ten or twelve planes flying banners”

Dave, “I thought it was ten but I’ll bow to your superior knowledge”

Mr. Clarkson, “Mailshots to shareholders, billboard advertising, organising an EGM, lawyers, funding political parties, this must have cost tens of thousands of pounds?”

Dave, “Absolutely.”

Mr. Clarkson, “Where did all this money come from?”

Dave, “Donations from supporters opposed to the move, our website is also very popular amongst supporters.”

Mr Clarkson, “Your organisation is not representative though is it?”

Dave, “I believe that it’s very representative, the fact that the chairman and owner of Everton Football Club and the leader of Liverpool City Council have invited KEIOC to meetings on the proposals proved this. I’m happy to discuss KEIOC all day long but I’m not sure how it relates to specific planning issues”

The planning inspector interjected and put an end to the quite embarrassing spectacle of a once again badly advised Mr Clarkson clearly getting nowhere with an attempt to discredit KEIOC.

Mr. David Thompson, a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, addressed the inquiry on behalf of KEIOC. Dave explained to the inquiry that he viewed the Internet travel survey, used by Everton to determine how supporters travelled to the Everton v Birmingham City game in 2007 that in turn formed the basis of the applicants forecast on how fans would travel to the proposed Kirkby stadium, as deeply flawed as in addition to the Goodison location being completely different to Kirkby the data produced failed to take into account different travel modes for different match times; Dave explained that he believed that whilst supporters at weekend games would use public transport those attending evening games would use their cars. With the threat of an attendance cap hovering above Everton’s head he questioned many of the statistics that the applicants had produced at the inquiry and said he felt they had underestimated the problems that their proposals would bring to Kirkby and Everton’s supporters particularly as the arrangements were inadequate in general verging on the ludicrous when it came to a bus station that would need to accommodate bus departures at the rate of one every fourteen seconds for over an hour to meet the applicants own forecast.

Dave questioned the logic behind a forecast that suggested car use would fall but that the amount of people attempting to use the train would remain static in relation to the applicants previously mentioned survey and that no apparent provision was made for away supporters as this was apparently a police matter. Dave specifically highlighted the treatment of fans wanting to travel by train, indeed having to travel by train. Supporters were being expected to stand for up to ninety minutes in the open, the improvements to the station being only a roof over the platform and not the external holding pens, after which the passengers will be subjected to being “crush loaded” onto trains.

Dave’s overall assessment was that if ever there were a plan designed to obtain planning permission rather than address the needs of the travelling supporter then this was it and he felt what was being proposed would discourage supporters to attend the stadium at the required level.

Mr. Clarkson declined to cross-examine Dave Thompson. Mr. John Barrett, counsel for Knowsley council, explained how Merseytravel was satisfied with the applicants proposals could be granted planning permission. Dave agreed that Merseytravel had apparently accepted the proposal but this acceptance was conditional on the basis that the match day services did not affect normal travel provision for local people, clearly it would so this assumption was incorrect.

In perhaps the most bizarre event of the inquiry Mark Grayson took the stand, introduced himself as an Evertonian, a shareholder and season ticket holder and then invited Mr. Clarkson to cross-examine him on the evidence he was earlier so desperate to have dismissed from the inquiry.

A somewhat crestfallen Mr. Clarkson declined to take the opportunity to discredit Mark’s evidence when he refused to cross-examine him. An opportunistic Dave Kelly asked Mrs Burden if he could clarify a few points in Mark’s proof of evidence but Mrs. Burden explained that as there had been no cross-examination he would be unable to do so. Dave immediately thanked Mrs Burden for her guidance and announced he was pleased that Mr Clarkson, by refusing to cross-examine, had clearly accepted Mark’s evidence in full.

A quite furious Patrick Clarkson made it clear to the inspectors that his decision not to cross-examine should not be interpreted as an acceptance of Mr Grayson’s evidence, that in his view was irrelevant to the inquiry and which he rejected in its entirety.

Mrs. Burden told Mr Clarkson that it had been agreed that Mr.Grayson’s evidence had been accepted by the inquiry. In a demonstration of petulance Mr Clarkson muttered he did not accept it.

Mr. Colin Fitzpatrick, a supporter of KEIOC and a lifelong Evertonian, addressed the Inquiry. Colin explained, much to the relief of the planning inspectors, that he had no wish to cover information already covered during the inquiry and that it was perhaps surprising to some when he stated that KEIOC are in full agreement with Everton’s chief executive when he claimed that the club should be facility led. Colin explained that KEIOC was something of a broad church and that as a businessman he could not disagree with some of the decisions Everton had taken in recent years in order to progress their on field activities, but he explained that he could not embrace this proposed move as he felt it would have a detrimental effect on the club and the people of Kirkby. Colin explained that his concerns surrounded the insistence that new stadia are an answer to a football clubs ability to generate significantly increased levels of turnover and invited the planning inspectors to look closely at appendix ten of his proof of evidence in addition to the information, all supplied by Deloitte, that indicated average gates at new stadia, once the so called new stadium effect had subsided, were in the region of 77% of capacity leading to KEIOC’s belief that, combined with factors such as a known 40% opposition to the scheme and the poor transport on offer, attendance levels will be in the region of 38,000 per match, far short of Everton’s forecast of 47,000, the basis of which has never been explained other than it is a desire.

Dave Kelly asked Colin to explain about the alternative funding proposals promoted by KEIOC.

Colin addressed the planning inspectors and said he was mindful of the fact that during the pre-inquiry meeting he specifically remembered Mrs. Burden explaining that unsubstantiated evidence would carry no weight at the inquiry and stated that Everton’s funding options had not been substantiated, in fact it had been admitted that not one single penny had been secured, it was merely a wish list. Colin continued to explain that some of Everton’s funding options, whilst perhaps over ambitious, could clearly be contributory factors to funding a new stadium; the sale of stadium naming rights, the sale of Goodison, debt finance and equity funding are all established methods of raising capital.

The recent planning refusal on the sale of Bellefield represented a £8m shortfall for Everton but would hopefully be addressed in the near future.

Colin then put forward KEIOC’s proposal to supplement this funding list at the expense of Tesco’s alleged £52m cross-subsidy. He explained that two sources were endorsed by KEIOC, a supporters trust style programme that would contribute the cost of a small section of the ground which supporters could aspire to and from which additional income during the season, from facilities within, could continue to contribute to the club and an innovative funding product known as Equity Seat Right (ESR) which would securitize the money derived from 10% of the stadium seating for the benefit of the club and the holders of the seats. The annual loss in this income would be offset through the presence of hotel, conference and banqueting facilities, again another proven method of increasing contribution.

Dave Kelly asked how much could be raised?

Colin explained that KEIOC would expect to raise only a modest amount of funding through a supporters trust scheme, somewhere in the region of £23m; it was simply an acknowledgement of Everton’s status as the people’s club. Colin told to the inquiry that Liverpool supporters are currently attempting to raise £500m though a similar scheme and that an underwritten amount of £23m is far more realistic and achievable. In a somewhat tongue in cheek comment, in reference to Robert Elstone’s earlier statement to the inquiry, Colin stated that now he knew that Everton had over 13 million fans we’d only need a couple of quid off each and we’re there! Colin stated that there were over 140 such schemes in operation throughout British Football, Manchester United having over 30,000 members of their trust, and public figures such as Andy Burnham, the Government Cabinet Minister and well-known Evertonian, endorsed and promoted such schemes.

Explaining the principle of Equity Seat Right (ESR) Colin stated that this was a proven method of financing stadium construction costs without the need for an enabling development contribution. Colin told the inquiry that similar financing systems had been used for The Emirates stadium, Wembley stadium and Twickenham and revealed that having spoken at length to the representatives of the ESR methodology they indicated, taking the clubs spectator and regional demographic into consideration, that somewhere in the region of £110m could be raised, more than double that will be allegedly provided through Everton’s association with Tesco and that this would be real money not value.

Colin stated that by combining and applying these funding elements a sum of over £230m, the estimated cost of a stadium corresponding to that being built by top-flight premiership clubs and comparable to the cost of building on the loop, could be raised without the need for onsite enabling developments. It was disappointing, explained Colin that the exclusivity agreement had prevented alternate financing methods from being considered.

Mr. Clarkson once again declined to cross-examine the witness.

Mr. Jackson closed the proceedings for the day.


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