Trouble brews as Everton look to move away from Goodison


12th, December 2006


The Everton chief exec’ Keith Wyness has spoken in an attempt to calm fans’ fears over plans to move to a new stadium out of Liverpool.
The Merseyside club are currently in talks about relocating to Kirkby but Wyness told BBC Five Live the fans’ concerns about moving out of Liverpool would be considered.
He added: "This option is a good one, in terms of transport links and the financial package, and it’s something we thought we must explore further. But redeveloping Goodison Park may well be the way ahead in the end."

At a stormy 127th AGM at Goodison, the club announced they had agreed a
three-way partnership with supermarket giants Tesco and Knowsley
Council to explore the possibility of a new 50,000-seater stadium in
Everton have spent the last 114 years at Goodison, and chairman Bill
Kenwright admitted that while not wanting to leave the ground, it was
"not an option" to stay.

other posible sites are being assessed until a decision is reached
on this particular project, with a final evaluation expected in
the next four or five months.
Naturally, the news was met with a mixed reaction from the 300 or so
shareholders.Kenwright reiterated the promise
of chief executive Keith Wyness that supporters will be consulted
before any move from Goodison is finalised.

"I don’t want to be the guy that takes the club away from Goodison
Park, just as I didn’t want to be the guy that didn’t want to sell
Wayne Rooney," said Kenwright. This is obviously a big emotive issue.
"I would sooner stay here personally, but it is not an option
financially for this football club from what I have learned in the last
three years. We have signed a deal that has various stopping points. There are
milestones, and it should take about four to five months before that
process is finished. As a board we have to make decisions, and when we think we have made a
decision then we will go to the fans. Keith Wyness intends to keep his
word on that."

Obviously, Everton won’t be the first or last club to relocate. Arsenal Have left behind a vast and prestigous history at Highbury, but realised that a change was needed to continue in growth as a club. On a personal level, I know how difficult it is to say goodbye to a ground. Bolton Wanderers left Burnden Park which is still regarded as our ‘home’, even though we’ve enjoyed great success (relatively speaking) at the Reebok. The fact remains that Goodison Park is a great little ground that reminds us of what football used to be. That said, it’s outdated and, if memory serves, it’s a danger too with a wooden stand or two (although I’m happy to be wrong on that… drunken away trips aren’t the best for fact storing).

What makes this descison more emotive for the fans is that they are literally next door to their red rivals, and a move would be seen as giving up the city. However, to compete with their wealthier counterparts, they will have to update things and do it pretty quickly. Goodison Park holds great memories, but memories don’t win the league for you. Just ask West Ham. What do you think? Should the club move in favour of progress, or stay at a historical site? [Mof Gimmers]

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