Keeping Everton in Our City

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 Post subject: good article on the general stadium & shared stadium debate
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:33 pm 
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written by a Kopite but much to agree with for many fans I would guess

http://timesonline.typepad.com/thegame/ ... ball-.html

Merseyside stadium share would be a sad day for English football

Tony Barrett
At 8pm on Wednesday night a ground share was not on the agenda for anyone on Merseyside. By 8am the following morning - it was the only talking point in town.

How did that happen? It’s not as if Anfield and Goodison had been razed to the ground by fans angry at the way their teams are letting them down.

The only thing that changed the agenda was someone at Everton had “indicated” to someone at Sky Sports News that they would now be willing to consider moving into a stadium with Liverpool.

Why ever would anyone have done that? Could it be, and forgive by cynicism, that the Everton hierarchy knew they were in for an absolute and richly deserved kicking for their second failed stadium project in less than a decade and decided to pull a flanker?

On the day the city of Liverpool’s World Cup bid was sent to London – possibly the most embarrassing thing to travel on a train between the two cities since Jimmy Tarbuck was drawn to the capital by the bright lights of the Palladium – how better to divert attention from your own failings than to let it be known to the media that there could be a radical solution to the ongoing problems of both clubs and the city itself, one which is absolutely guaranteed to steal headlines?

The day after Everton’s latest stadium dreams went belly up should have been a day for recriminations. It should have been the day when Bill Kenwright, the Everton owner and chairman, had to answer searching questions about the future of his club having said on so many previous occasions that only a move to a hideous soulless bowl built outside the boundaries of a city which they should never even have considered leaving would give them any hope of recapturing past glories.

It should have been a day when searching questions were asked about what this setback means to David Moyes, who has performed near miracles in defying the kind of lack of finance which would have crippled lesser managers to produce the only team in the Premier League which regularly out performs its wage bill, but who is now faced with the realisation that there is no immediate prospect of Everton having the kind of stadium which would produce revenue in keeping with his ambition.

It should have been a day when Everton’s board had to answer searching questions about why it sanctioned the spending of millions of pounds pressing ahead with proposals that appeared to be clearly in contravention of planning policy, as consistently argued by the Keep Everton In Our City campaign group which did such magnificent work on behalf of the tens of thousands of fans who were quite rightly opposed to the idea of Everton quitting the city in which they belong.

But we got none of this. Instead, someone says the magic words “ground share” and hey presto, the media dances to a different tune and the Everton hierarchy is off the hook.

Now, had the renewed possibility of a shared stadium been discussed with anyone at Liverpool or the city council before Sky were briefed about it and before Robert Elstone, the Everton chief executive, gave an interview about it on the platform of Lime Street Station, the latest talk of two of sports biggest rivals moving in together would have much more credibility.

Not that it deserves any, though. Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs deserve stadia of their own. They deserve it to enrich their separate identities. They deserve it for their sense of individuality. They deserve it for their size and stature in the game. And, most of all they deserve it for their fans.

Both clubs have consistently tried and failed to build much needed new stadia over the last ten years but this does not equate to a justification for ground sharing. Rather, it is a condemnation of a chronic lack of leadership and vision in the boardrooms of Everton and Liverpool and at a city council which has floundered around while others, for example Manchester with the City of Manchester Stadium, have delivered. Not being able to build a ground in one of the world’s most football mad cities is only one step away from being unable to organise a piss up in a brewery.

It is this which rankles most when fans of both clubs are told, usually by people who have never in their lives paid to sit, never mind stand, in either the Gwladys Street or the Kop, that a ground share is the only thing that can save their clubs. What they really should be asking is when will these great clubs and this great city be given the leadership they need to come up with a plan and the accompanying finance to build stadiums of their own?

It is well known that Liverpool’s supporters are being let down by their owners. There is no longer even any debate about the fact, for that is exactly what it is, that the ongoing reign of Tom Hicks and George Gillett has been an absolute disaster for the club, on and off the pitch. But they were also let down in the past and you would have to go back to the days of John Smith and Peter Robinson to find the last time when Liverpool were led with the kind of vision that facilitates regular success and genuine stability.

And yet their fans are consistently told that a shared stadium with their biggest rivals which will be the panacea to all their ills. If only the wider football world were as concerned with the imposters in the Anfield boardroom as they are with their zealous desire to see Liverpool and Everton subjected to the kind of experiment which no other leading clubs in the country are ever asked to perform.

If Liverpool and Everton ever bought in to the shared stadium dream of others they would put the full stop on an entire generation which has been characterised by a lack of ambition and foresight. The message that they would send out would be that while both Manchester clubs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Newcastle United, Sunderland, Celtic and Rangers can have their own stadia, the Merseyside clubs can’t.

The argument that keeps getting shoved down the throats of fans on Merseyside is that if it’s good enough for the people of Milan then it is good enough for them. Besides the fact that anyone who has ever been to the San Siro will have been confronted by a pitch as patchy as Gavin McCann’s head, the more important thing to bear in mind is that Inter Milan are now working towards moving out and building a ground of their own. Why? Simply because the shared arrangements at the San Siro do not allow them to maximise their commercial revenue from corporate facilities.

Juventus have already given up on sharing with Torino and are in the process of building a new stadium of their own on the sight of the much maligned Stadio Delli Alpi. Torino, meanwhile, have already moved permanently to the Stadio Olimpico.

If the great municipal shared stadium experiment that began in Italy around the time of the World Cup in 1990 is being held up as an example it should be to warn clubs not to follow their lead.

This is without even getting into the fact that Everton and Liverpool currently have totally different needs. That’s a debate that should be left for another day, one which will hopefully never come when those who preach that sharing is the only way two of Europe’s greatest clubs can survive are holding away.

Sacrificing heritage, individuality and identity at the altar of finance should not even be an option. Liverpool and Everton are unique sporting institutions and they deserve to be treated as such, not shunted together without any consideration for their past.

It is men with vision that both sets of supporters need and deserve, not a stadium which neither of them could claim as their own. If that day ever comes then it would be one of the saddest days in the history of football in England and on Merseyside in particular.


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 Post subject: Re: good article on the general stadium & shared stadium debate
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:18 pm 
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Great piece agree with every word written.


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 Post subject: Re: good article on the general stadium & shared stadium debate
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:57 pm 
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http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/eve ... -25342871/

David Moyes backs calls for Everton FC and Liverpool FC to share a stadium
Dec 8 2009 by David Randles, Liverpool Daily Post

DAVID MOYES has backed calls for a shared stadium in the city.

Following last month’s rejection of ‘Destination Kirkby’ by Communities Secretary, John Denham, Everton’s plans for a new stadium lie in ruins.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday pledged to personally intervene in reviving proposals for a 50,000 capacity stadium and a Tesco store in Kirkby.

Brown is said to be concerned about the effect the rejection could have on the region but also on England’s faltering 2018 World Cup bid.

With nothing definite, however, Moyes believes the best way forward could be to link up with city rivals Liverpool and build a mega-stadium that would house both clubs.

“I would be interested but I know there would be concerns,” said the Everton manager.

“In this country we don’t do it. For whatever reason we don’t do it in this country. But it may well work here in Liverpool. It could do.

“I think we would probably be interested because we don’t have a stadium.

“We would like to move to a new ground where we can bring in more revenue.

“Perhaps Liverpool don’t need us as much as we maybe need them but I’m not against it.

“As long as it was done correctly, and giving us the same rights as Liverpool, I would be more than up for it.”

While Moyes’ views are likely to cause controversy among fans, Everton have been more receptive to the idea of a shared stadium than Liverpool, who appear determined to press ahead with their own delayed plans to build a new ground on Stanley Park.

Club Chairman Bill Kenwright admitted recently that ‘the book is closed’on the £400million Kirkby project, and with Goodison Park seemingly beyond redemption, the club will have to return to the drawing board if nothing comes of Gordon Brown’s rescue plan.

Chief Executive Robert Elstone is also open to the idea of shared stadium with Liverpool.

He said: “It’s certainly one of the options that we will need to cover. A shared stadium is perhaps an option if it’s affordable.”


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 Post subject: Re: good article on the general stadium & shared stadium debate
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:45 pm 
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/philmcnulty/ ... share.html

Why Mersey share should happen - but won't
Post categories: Everton, Football, Liverpool, Premier League
Phil McNulty | 10:03 UK time, Wednesday, 29 September 2010
When Kenny Dalglish suddenly offered guarded support for a groundshare between Liverpool and Everton, it was regarded by some as a subtle shift in position from inside Anfield's corridors of power.

Dalglish, a figure arguably more woven into the fabric of Liverpool Football Club than anyone apart from Bill Shankly, suggested there could be growing sympathy for a notion previously regarded as unthinkable in the red half of Merseyside.

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright admitted he was "intrigued" by Dalglish's comments and indicated a willingness to discuss groundsharing.

Was Dalglish testing the water on behalf of Liverpool's hierarchy? Was the greatest player in the club's history being used to prepare the ground for a seismic move away from the absolute refusal to even consider sharing a home with Everton?
The truth of the matter is that Dalglish was not acting as messenger for higher powers at Liverpool. He was expressing a personal - and in my view eminently sensible - opinion.

After all, a swift examination of the facts supports the logic. Everton and Liverpool are both in desperate need of a new home but do not currently have the cash to build them. Surely discussing shared accommodation is at least a starting point?

Dalglish admitted it was not the ideal solution to what currently seems an insurmountable problem but he deserves credit for putting his head above the parapet and at least airing an idea that has been regarded as unthinkable at Liverpool.

In reality, however, the groundshare is as far distant a prospect as ever and never the twain shall meet when it comes to Merseyside's two great football institutions living side-by-side on the same property.

Kenwright's swift embrace for Dalglish's theory is no surprise. Unlike Liverpool, Everton have never ruled out a groundshare. From former chief executive Rick Parry through to Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the response from Anfield has always been of an "over our dead bodies" variety.

And the position is still as firmly entrenched inside Anfield, despite Stanley Park still looking very much like Stanley Park, not Liverpool's prospective new home.


Anfield's neighbouring Stanley Park is still awaiting any development

Liverpool, I am told, remain totally committed to building their own home - groundsharing is not an on any agenda - and believe that, once their search for new owners is successfully concluded, the new stadium will start to rise in Stanley Park.

Of course, this all hinges on the not inconsiderable matter of finding new owners to fund the project but, for now, I believe there has not been any alteration in Liverpool's policy.

Liverpool also believe different business needs dictate that sharing a stadium with Everton is a non-starter.They have fixed the capacity of the proposed new stadium at 60,000 - a figure they believe they can reach comfortably if the right owners are found and the club can finally start to fulfil its potential again.

This may seem a trifle fanciful in the context of only 22,577 attending the Carling Cup defeat against Northampton Town and 25,605 pitching up for the Europa League win against Steaua Bucharest.

It underscores the urgency with which chairman Martin Broughton needs to find new owners. The chain is obvious - new owners will presumably fund a new stadium and fund Roy Hodgson to buy the sort of players Liverpool will require to fill that stadium.

The recent decline has delivered the message that Liverpool's supporters will not turn up at Anfield out of blind faith alone.

Everton's failed stadium plan in Kirkby was expected to have a capacity of 50,000. Would they want to share a 60,000-seater ground with the prospect of having around 20,000 empty places on a regular basis?

It seems they are prepared to take that chance but Liverpool have no intention of taking it with them.

Liverpool have also ploughed an estimated £35m into infrastructure and early regeneration work in Stanley Park, another factor that makes them unwilling to back away from the proposal.

Everton's approach has been clear from the start. They would willingly meet their Liverpool counterparts and any other parties to discuss a groundshare.

The view inside Goodison Park, however, is that such a prospect remains a non-starter, no matter how often the idea is floated.

Everton's plans to move to Kirkby as part of a stadium and retail development with Tesco were rejected by the Government in November amid concerns about the possible harmful effects on the "vitality and viability" of local communities.

They now have three options.

A new stadium within the Liverpool city boundary - regarded as essential by Kenwright after criticism that the Kirkby development lay outside the city - alongside a retail partner on a similar model to Tesco is the preferred option.

The second possibility is the redevelopment of Goodison Park, which is regarded as almost impossible given the footprint of a ground effectively penned in on three sides by terraced housing and a school.

Thirdly, there is the shared stadium.

If two and three can be more or less ruled out, a new stadium within the city boundary is not likely to arrive imminently either.

When Everton recently announced plans for a new £9m retail and office complex at Goodison Park, shareholders were told this effectively meant the club would be staying for the short to mid-term - which I understand means between five and 10 years.

So we are left with the following scenarios:

Liverpool are all set to go on a new stadium in Stanley Park, with the minor hitch of not having any money to pay for it until Hicks and Gillett are removed from power.

Everton, having seen Kirkby fail, appear resigned to staying at Goodison for the next decade unless Liverpool City Council, or some other party, comes up with an alternative site and other partners can be tempted on board to help Kenwright fund the project.

Kenwright revealed this week that he is talking to "three parties" about investing in Everton but there is no suggestion a deal is in sight. It would also appear his first priority, not unreasonably, is to fund manager David Moyes rather than a new stadium.

It all places Dalglish's comments in context and gives them a complete air of common sense.

A groundshare has always been the most logical solution to the clubs' search for a new home but it was appears one has gone too far forward and the other too far back for this to be realistic.

If Dalglish has been the catalyst for even the slightest piece of revised thinking on this thorny subject, then his work is done.

Everton and Liverpool fans, who do not enjoy as close a relationship as many would have you believe, have their hackles raised by the often-stated claim that if something is good enough for AC Milan and Inter Milan then it is good enough for them.

They should also know that pride comes before a fall. If someone of Dalglish's stature can see the benefits shaped by the financial reality facing Everton and Liverpool, then surely others can do the same.


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