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Keeping Everton in Our City • View topic - Elstone's latest blog, redevelopment related

Keeping Everton in Our City

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 Post subject: Elstone's latest blog, redevelopment related
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:52 pm 
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http://www.evertonfc.com/news/future-vision.html

Quote:
A Regional Vision

I spent yesterday morning, with about a hundred representatives of public and private sector organisations in the region, at the unveiling of the Northwest Development Agency's Draft Regional Strategy paper.

A variety of speakers presented a clear vision for the Liverpool City Region, tackling issues such as the low carbon economy, economic regeneration and how we might release the latent talent in the local population. In addition, within the strategy was the pressing need for provision of appropriate housing for the residents of the region.

I couldn't help but think of the land we own, at Bellefield, three or four miles from the city centre, near to some very good schools, close to the M62 and twenty minutes from John Lennon Airport, so hopefully, part of that essential housing provision in the not too distant future?

The closing remarks resonated even more; a summary which referred to the need for private sector stimulus to lead the region into greater economic and social prosperity.

The rejection of 3,000 jobs and almost £½billion of private sector money in Kirkby seemed to fly in the face of this need. My own conclusions are that a joined-up strategy for our wider community is well and good but it can only work when we can think and operate regionally rather than locally. Not something, in my view, Everton has experienced in recent years.

A Community Asset to be Cherished

After a series of presentations, we were asked to identify the region's assets and football featured high on the agenda. Predictably, the draft paper identified two major clubs in the northwest - no surprise there - and a reminder, if we needed it, of some of the challenges we face. However, on the positives, the report and those attending recognised the power of football and the value created for the region in profile and hard economics. Perhaps it's time this value was rewarded?

I occasionally present to business groups and students on football strategy, finance and future prospects and start that presentation with a summary of what football's all about; where this unique value is created.

In my view, there are four, powerful ‘forces' at the heart of all our clubs. Firstly, clubs provide identity - our clubs represent our own, personal values and provide a ‘badge' we're proud to wear; secondly, they offer a sense of belonging - like-minded people all part of the same ‘clan'; thirdly, clubs offer an outlet for emotion - someone said to me many years ago, where else, in our conservative (northern?) society, can a father kiss his son? And, finally; hope and dreams - the belief that one day our club will be the best in the land.

These are all pretty powerful attributes and when I look back on this list and search for ‘normal' business ‘forces' and motives, they're not there. No other business can talk in these terms, confirming, in my view, that we are genuinely a ‘community asset', owned by the world-wide family of Evertonians, the vast majority of whom live in the Liverpool City Region.

Of course, this isn't true in a legal sense and, what's the real point I'm making? The point is, all of these factors make football highly attractive to commercial partners who want to attach themselves to these qualities, but, in addition, such attributes provide a legitimate and worthy investment for the public ‘purse'. No public authority should feel any embarrassment supporting such a community-serving business.

Where Next?

As has been widely reported, talks have kicked-off with the City Council to review potential new stadium sites and explore how the Council can assist the Club in finding an economic solution to our stadium challenge.

There are many examples of Council-led or partnered stadium developments in football over the course of the past decade and we hope, between us, we can create a scheme which, in the first instances passes our basic test of ‘affordability' and, ultimately, becomes a reality. To date, several sites have been identified. All are familiar to us and all had been assessed previously but this doesn't mean we'll come to the same conclusions as circumstances change. The economy, in all respects, changes from day-to-day and we have to refresh our conclusions and look for new opportunities. I hope we are able to report progress in the near future.

In addition to these meetings, we've met with developers and land-owners and we've also commissioned a fresh look at Goodison Park with a highly-recommended architect who had no involvement in Kirkby or our previous reviews of Goodison.

He's currently looking at previous plans alongside developing his own ideas. Of course, the well-reported challenges remain; roads, shops, houses, a school, a church, a pub, a garage most of which will need to be addressed in one way or another for us to go forward in a way that makes commercial sense. In short, the challenges of working with a stadium footprint housing 50% more fans than The Reebok, in pretty much the same space remain.


Back to the Real Stuff

Enough on ‘strategies and stadia', on to the real issue this week, Saturday lunchtime at Anfield. I don't know about you but I don't sense nerves, don't sense caution. Two weeks ago we totally dominated the richest club in the world and I sense anticipation. I sense confidence. The Sky Sports' Derby Day trailer's just been on and I can't wait!

The February fixture list is one to relish - Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Spurs, plus of course, the eagerly awaited next round of the Europa League against Sporting Lisbon. The good news is we approach six huge games, in 28 days, in great form and pretty good health. And it's not just returning players raising the bar for inclusion in David's first eleven.

The January window saw us add two more internationals, Landon Donovan and Philippe Senderos, both set for World Cup appearances, to the squad. We also did some ‘good business' on Lucas Neill and Jo, the latter, of course, never really managed to settle in the Premier League.

As has been widely reported, the transfer window was very quiet. It seems clear to me that there are probably only two or three clubs with significant buying power, and that probably extends across the whole of Europe, and, if these clubs don't inject transfer cash into the market, which then spreads out via the selling clubs, then there is very limited ability amongst almost every club to do business outside the loan market. All of which leads into a debate on the financial health of the game? Fortunately for me, and maybe you, one I'll save for another day!

One final note, the Sporting Lisbon kick off time. It is, as you will know and much to our dismay, 5.45pm. It does mean an early finish or an afternoon off work, so for many of us it's a ‘big ask'. However, being positive, it's school half-term so maybe a good chance to bring the kids?

As has already been reported, we didn't take it lying down. We challenged and we looked for compromises but in the end we got what we were given. Getting to Goodison will also be tough with the usual glut of road works and disruption and I don't need to ask you to buy in advance and get down early. Please do! European nights are special and your support will make all the difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Elstone's latest blog, redevelopment related
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:53 pm 
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follow up post elsewhere from a meeting yesterday:

Quote:
elstone said that eveton are employing architects to look at if goodison could be rebuilt on the surrent site as well asd working with the council to look at other sites around the city. i asked him about the moving/redevelopment of the parke end and he said there was no point in adding a second tier onto the parkend as that would lock the rest of the stadium in and that the other parts of the ground were in more need of redevelopment ie bullens gwladys and main stand and that to improve the newest part of the stadium would be silly. i asked him about moving the park end back towards the road and if was not forthcoming with an answer to that particular point.


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 Post subject: Re: Elstone's latest blog, redevelopment related
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:16 pm 
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Jesus, Wyness might have insulted our intelligence, but he didn't fucking smile as he did it.

I reallly get the feeling that if it was up to Elstone, we'd be 'New Everton' and in Blair-fashion (nb: I'm an 'old' Labour voter) he'd go about 'his' (ie: our!) business with a smile, a ready handshake and....a concealed stiletto blade, doing whatever he thought was best...for him.

'3000 jobs'!?

Bullshit!

Repeat - BULLSHIT!

We KNOW (and knew!) there were NEVER three thousand jobs.

He doesn't give a shite - he's working on the assumption (and he's right to a degree) if you keep repeating stuff, it eventually becomes truth.

He also (nb: coz it suits/suited his agenda) says...

"...but it can only work when we can think and operate regionally rather than locally. Not something, in my view, Everton has experienced in recent years"

Couple of points.

1) Everton FC is NOT a regional football team (clue's in the name - ie: Evereton, not North-West FC)

2) If Elstone thought moving to London would benefit him, that sentence would read - "but it can only work when we can think and operate nationally rather than regionally or locally. Not something, in my view, Everton has experienced in recent years".

Everything I hear from Elstone makes me think of the old song.

Never smile at a crocodile.
No, you can't get friendly with a crocodile.
Don't be taken in, by his welcome grin.
He's imagining how well you'd fit within his skin.
Never smile at a crocodile.
Never dip your hat and stop to talk awhile
Never run, walk away, say good-night, not good-day
Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile.



He should remember though, many a fearsome Croc, ended up on the dance-floor of the Grafton, in bag-form, being danced around by some of Liverpool's more..um..open-minded ladies.


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 Post subject: Re: Elstone's latest blog, redevelopment related
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:31 pm 
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it was particularly disappointing to see that on the blog, especially given all the evidence from the enquiry points otherwise and the club especially the CEO shouldn't be repeating and regurgitating the se figures which have been disproved

you will perhaps like his latest blog title a lot though :wink:

Quote:
http://www.evertonfc.com/news/biting-my-lip.html?comment_page=2#comment_start
Biting my lip

Stadium

On a personal basis, stadium work is keeping me and a couple of the team busy. As we've reported in the past few weeks, post-Kirkby we've set about two, parallel strands of work. Firstly, a review of Goodison Park options, and secondly, a joint City Council/Club working group tasked with a fresh search for a new site. All that work is nearing conclusion and will be reported on in the next few weeks. A couple of weeks ago, I was asked about the Club's stadium vision. At one level, I responded by emphasising our current deficiencies were largely ‘quality rather than quantity'. Our priority must be to improve the standard of our seats, our concourses, our lounges and our shop. Of course, that's not to say, we couldn't fill more seats. At perhaps a higher level, I responded on three levels: our stadium should reflect our rich and deep heritage - highlighting and showcasing the people and events that have placed us where we are today; it should also represent what we stand for today - inclusive, community-based and innovative, and there are great opportunities, with a new site to embrace city-led sporting or educational initiatives; finally, it should, of course, be fit for purpose today and for the foreseeable future - big enough, flexible enough, robust enough for the future of the Club and the sport. What's evident to me is within the Club, its fans, the City and our advisers, there's no shortage of ideas and creativity. Broadly, we know what we want and what we need. Pouring some cold water on the situation, there is, however, a shortage of money and that's where there's a real need for creativity and collaboration. As we've said in the past, and as we're working on right now, the Club, its owners, its partners, the City Council, potential developers and all the regional investment and regeneration bodies need to work together to find that solution. All share the responsibility to find a solution. A solution made all the more difficult by tightening purse strings and political instability. There is much to play for on and off the field and support is everything.


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