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Keeping Everton in Our City • View topic - EXCLUSIVE: SOS interview KEIOC on club meeting

Keeping Everton in Our City

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 Post subject: EXCLUSIVE: SOS interview KEIOC on club meeting
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:16 pm 
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Quote:
http://www.sos1878.co.uk/news/exclusive-sos-interview-keioc-on-club-meeting/

SOS were recently lucky enough to meet up with KEIOC (Keeping Everton In Our City), post their meeting with club officials at Goodison Park regarding the “Football Quarter” – the highly impressive scheme that the Evertonian pressure group have put forward for consideration – and Joe Jennings was keen to put his questions when he caught up with KEIOC’s secretary, Colin Fitzpatrick, who provided us with more of an insight…….

SOS1878: Times appear to be changing for KEIOC, you were recently invited into the club to discuss stadium matters; by the time you left, did you feel genuine progress had been made with regards to the plans and proposals KEIOC and Spirit of Shankly have put forward in the shape of the Football Quarter?
KEIOC: We’ve actually been in there twice in the last few weeks Joe, three times if you include the shareholders presentation; Robert Elstone organised a site visit for our well known firm of architectural advisors, the next week we delivered the past, present and future presentation to Everton’s stadium team. Robert Elstone has kept his word and has listened to what we’ve had to say, only time will tell if they have listened; you’ve seen the presentation, is it worth listening to?

SOS1878: Definitely, it’s an eye-opener, but they’ve never listened to KEIOC in the past, which has cost them millions, and you appear to be making a clear statement by putting up a picture of a leopard during the presentation, followed by a list of failures, aren’t you saying they still won’t listen?
KEIOC: We’re warning Everton about not changing their approach; the failures of the past, Kingsdock, FSF and others are well documented, they can’t afford to be repeated, things have to change. The wrong decision was taken on DK, the advice and the analysis were wrong; we’re simply saying change your approach, change your experts, listen to those who are prepared to expose the emperors new clothes, those who offer an objective opinion.

SOS1878: You accurately predicted the call in decision and the reasons why the Tesco application was ultimately rejected; could Everton use KEIOC’s experts and have you revealed who they are?
KEIOC: Well they certainly weren’t Korky the Cat and Desperate Dan, they were planners from Liverpool, Knowsley and Sefton, lawyers from a whole host of firms and a top notch QC; these were just a few of the many who have helped KEIOC over the past three years, people who gave up their time and money because of their belief in Everton and their understanding that this was a bad move for Everton and their fans, simply put they were all Evertonians, just like yourself, matchgoing Evertonians. Generations of Evertonians to come will owe them an immense debt of gratitude.

SOS1878: Can I clear something up; were you funded by local businesses and pubs in the Walton area?
KEIOC: No, we never received a penny from any business whatsoever in the local area, not even when we provided the tee shirts they all were wearing at one time. We were funded by matchgoing Evertonians – mums and dads, shareholders, pensioners you name them they gave, they were fantastic and they know who they are; we couldn’t operate without them.

SOS1878: The general consensus seems to be that you [KEIOC] and the club haven’t always enjoyed a cordial relationship; do you feel there have been improvements made in this respect?
KEIOC: It’s always going to be difficult; we’re a pressure group opposing the decisions of multi-millionaire owners, highly paid executives and their advisors; there are a lot of egos there and we’re just a bunch of football supporters. We’re never going to be on each others Christmas card list and we’re never going to be silenced from saying what we believe to be true, but civility and manners cost nothing so, as secretary, I try to keep that the case between the club and the group and with the CEO, at least, I’d like to think we have a professional relationship.

SOS1878: Moving on to the presentation to the clubs stadium team, how did it go?
KEIOC: Let’s just say they gave us a thorough examination, but we’re still here and we’ll be inviting Everton and Liverpool to a meeting after the May elections have taken place. All we’re proposing at the moment is an independent feasibility study; one they will either prove or disprove the viability of the concept.

SOS1878: You now favour staying at Goodison, why is this?
KEIOC: Staying at Goodison has always been our plan A, we have no problem leaving, but any move, for us, must meet a specific criteria. It’s no secret Everton have no money; whilst they favour relocation to a new stadium, so they can realise the value of Goodison, securitize any stadium naming rights money and obtain a subsidy from a retail enabling development, our position is simple; there doesn’t appear to be any suitable or appropriately located sites in Liverpool capable of meeting this criteria which means that the phased redevelopment of Goodison is clearly the option that needs to be investigated; with phased redevelopment the costs can be met and managed.

SOS1878: Why are they considering these retail led options then?
KEIOC: Because they’re being advised, by the same people as before, that this is the correct direction to proceed in, we’re being advised, by the people who were right last time, that this is rubbish advice.

SOS1878: What are KEIOC’s criteria for moving to a new location?
KEIOC: Most importantly of all it must be a suitable location, one that is affordable yet has excellent transport links and through a combination of innovative design and location will allow Everton the opportunity to generate significant additional income. With the forthcoming UEFA financial regulations and the limitations created by the Evertonian demographic this will be a vital consideration influencing that design. Finally the chosen location needs to offer a solution that is sustainable, we hear talk about the new stadium effect, a positive effect on attendances demonstrated over the first two or three years of operation, well we’ve been in existence for over 130 years, we want something that will work for more than a couple of seasons.

SOS1878: So it’s the leopard once again?
KEIOC: The wisdom of accepting any further advice from Sir Terry Leahy and Sir Philip Green has to be brought into question; we’ve wasted five years and millions of pounds following their advice which a group of football fans can readily demonstrate isn’t appropriate or indeed viable for a club the size of Everton. Our forecast for Kirkby establishes that the realistic amount of additional turnover adds only £10m, at best, to the turnover of the club; a club that wants to compete with the elite of the premiership yet planned to move to a stadium that wouldn’t even match what Liverpool currently generate at Anfield, that’s before they move or redevelop and add £50m to their matchday income meaning that whilst they approach £100m per season we’d be living on £30m. We’ve got nothing against the advisors but we’d ask people to judge them not as retail barons but on their advice given to Everton; we believe it’s been poor.

SOS1878: Robert Elstone’s favourite term when it comes to Everton and new stadiums seems to vary from “affordable” and “deliverable”, do you feel the concept you’ve put forward, provided it gets the backing it would require, falls under that bracket?
KEIOC: As you’ve seen Joe our concept is for a redeveloped Goodison within a major development we’re calling the football quarter; in reality what we’re doing is bringing the city centre closer to Goodison and Anfield by promoting the area as a major tourist destination within the city region; we’re attempting to combine several elements of popular culture, sport, music and football, for the ultimate benefit of Everton and LFC. We’re doing this with the guys from the Spirit of Shankly group but the redevelopment of Goodison we’re doing with our advisors. What we’re suggesting for the first phase of redevelopment is this:

Image
This is an extension to the Park End, it contains a 160 bed hotel with conference and banqueting facilities, Everton retail and offices, business and education incubation labs, leisure labs and community retail with underground and over ground parking facilities.
Inside we’re looking at a modest 4,000 additional seats located in a secondary tier, all achieved with no loss of income due to reduced capacity. The inside view can be seen below:

Image

The cost for a complex of this type would be £16m for the hotel and conference centre and £2,000 a seat, £8m, for the second tier. Less than £25m for the whole first phase as opposed to £78m for the budget out of town alternative that won’t enable us to become facility led, ever. Advice on funding has been obtained from one of the world’s top stadium marketing gurus. We’re opting for a smart stadium approach; that is a stadium that can produce significant additional income on the 340 days football isn’t taking place.

SOS1878: So what’s the problem; why aren’t Everton seriously considering this
KEIOC: The problem Joe is Everton doesn’t want to be tied into Goodison; they have an understandable fear that phasing operations aren’t always completed but like I said previously they’re being advised that leaving is the option to follow.

SOS1878: Couldn’t this smart stadium approach be taken in a stadium in Kirkby for example?
KEIOC: Actually Joe it couldn’t; location is an important factor, hence the thinking behind developing the football quarter.

SOS1878: What would be the USP, the unique selling point, of staying at Goodison?
KEIOC: The USP would be the historic football ground itself, you simply can’t buy history and Goodison has more than any other ground in the premiership today. If it were to be place within a football quarter tourist destination the footfall and rewards could be considerable and would enable Everton to realise their ambition of competing with the best of the best.

SOS1878: Moving on to the football quarter what’s been the reception from across the park and within the city?
KEIOC: It’s been incredible, like I said we worked on the concept with the Liverpudlians and we’ve had cross party support from the council and academic acclaim from people in the universities; we’re working on developing the concept through the involvement of all potential stakeholders. For anyone reading this that hasn’t seen the concept we have a facebook page here and a petition here; we’d ask all your readers to join the facebook page and sign the petition.

SOS1878: So for you the redevelopment of Goodison within a Football Quarter is a no brainer?
KEIOC: I’m not saying it’s a no brainer Joe; there are tangible benefits to relocating, benefits you can readily attach a monetary value, but in reality at this moment in time we can’t see a suitable site in Liverpool offering what Everton needs in the future so the club will need vision, ingenuity, innovation and above all leadership to unleash the value and potential locked within the unique concept of a redeveloped Goodison within a football quarter; like I said before a new approach needs to be adopted other wise we’ll have another Kirkby on our hands.

SOS1878: In closing, what’s KEIOC’s impression of Everton, is it a well run club, is it heading for disaster?
KEIOC: It may surprise you but my own opinion is that it is reasonably run; that is, run appropriately for a club with no money. The level of debt is manageable, unlike some club’s in the premiership or championship, but the business model is ultimately unsustainable. The time has arrived for the present board, Bill and his advisors, to move on, they are, by their own admission and performance, unable to progress the club in the direction we all want to see; yet this in itself, the sale of the club, must be handled with care; look no further than across the park. Heading for disaster? Let’s hope we’re heading for three points on Sunday!!!


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 Post subject: Re: EXCLUSIVE: SOS interview KEIOC on club meeting
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:22 pm 
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I don´t object to staying at Goodison but, sorry, those images confirm my worst fears that, unless we increase the footprint by moving away from Goodison Road, toward the dual carriageway at the back of the Bullens Road, what we would get is a dog´s dinner.

Sorry also to upset anyone with my opinion also that the Leitch stands should not be kept. They are not even his best work by a long way (see the excellent book about his work, Educating Archie). It would be preservation for preservation´s sake. A bit of criscross metal on a stand should not stand in the way of Everton FC building the best stadium it can for the 21st century.

Increase the footprint by taking the houses at the back of the Bullens Road or I´m in favour of relocation, Sandhills for example.


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