The Directors/Company Secretary Everton Football Club Limited (“the Company”) Goodison Park Liverpool L4 4EL REQUISITION
BY MEMBERS OF EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING (Section 303 Companies Act 2006 and Article 10.3 of the Company’s Articles of Association) Dear Sirs We, the undersigned, being not less than one-ﬁfth in number of members of the company as at the date of this notice REQUIRE you forthwith to proceed to convene a general meeting of the Company for the purpose of 1. Obtaining from the Board of Directors their comments on the recent DTZ report which; i. describes the current funding options being pursued by the Club in order to meet its projected contribution of £78 million towards the Kirkby Stadium viz: • Long term bank debt • Syndicated debt • Private Equity funding • Securitisation of future income streams • Securitisation of new stadium naming rights • Realisation of existing assets i. explains that the Club have indicated that additional borrowing beyond £78 million could expose the Club to an unsustainable level of debt, resulting in an unviable position; i. projects that the stadium must be operational at the start of the 2010/2011 football season and that a delay of one year will increase stadium costs by circa £6 million, excluding ﬁt out; i. states that unless Tesco receive planning permission for an amount of retail space (which grossly exceeds that set out in planning legislation and policies), then the stadium will not be viable. 2. Obtaining from the Board of Directors details of contingency plans they have in place in the event of; i. the planning application being called in by the Secretary of State thereby delaying the commencement of construction works; ii. a legal challenge by local residents whose homes are under threat of compulsory purchase; iii. the granting of planning permission for a reduced amount of retail space which renders the stadium unviable in economic terms. and 3. To pass such resolutions in relation to 1 and 2 above as may be thought ﬁt.
Dated Name Number of Shares Signature
We write to ask for your support to request an Extraordinary General Meeting of Everton Football Club to discuss the proposed ground move to Kirkby. We believe that the events over the past year in relation to the Tesco led Destination Kirkby proposals must be discussed by the shareholders of Everton Football Club and the merits of such proposals considered fully to determine if the Kirkby scheme will be beneﬁcial or detrimental to the long term welfare of the club. Clearly, the current custodians of the club are faced with a difﬁcult task to address the stadium issue without any new investment and this matter has to be resolved for the club to move on from its strong foundation on the pitch. We request the support of fellow shareholders in our attempt to open up honest dialogue and debate with the club to enable all shareholders to fully understand the real facts surrounding the Kirkby proposals. We have contacted committee members of both the 1938 and 2006 Shareholders Associations and have received the support of both committees in our attempts to petition the club for the second EGM in just 4 years. Whether you are for or against the Kirkby proposals, we urge you to put aside your perception, take time to read through the accompanying literature and hope that after careful consideration you will support us in our efforts. The literature identiﬁes what we were previously promised by the club and the reality of the situation according to a variety of sources including the Tesco led planning application submitted to Knowsley Borough Council. We trust you will agree that this matter is critical to the future of Everton Football Club and we hope to receive your considered support. Many Thanks, Mark Grayson and Tony Bennett, June 2008
The following comments were attributed to Keith Wyness prior to the vote concerning the Kirkby proposals and as you can see the reality of the situation would appear to be somewhat different from the claims made by the board of Everton Football Club. Keith Wyness, Wigan Programme, 10th August 2007 Q
You described Everton’s proposed stadium move as the deal of the century. Why?
As set out within the sections above the key headline ﬁgures are; • Total cost of the new stadium circa £130m • EFC contribution circa £78m • Shortfall circa £52m The Club have indicated that additional borrowing beyond this point could expose the Club to an unsustainable level of debt, resulting in an unviable proposition. DTZ April 2008 “[The reaction by Everton FC to} All efforts from me and my engaged professional team to meet with and openly discuss the Bestway ‘Loop site’ and promote it as a potential relocation site for Everton FC, having gained the technical support of HOK Sport Architecture and WSP Engineers, totally astounded me. Realistically, I couldn’t have done much more and I was just stone-walled for much of the time by EFC’s Directors and to make things worse most of all that was said publicly regarding the Bestway site by EFC or it’s representatives was so inaccurate that so often it genuinely beggared belief and surprised me.” Malcolm Carter, Bestway, March 2008 “If the Kirkby project does not happen, then the Plan B will be to look again at Goodison Park and I suppose that the Scotland Road site would have to become a Plan C.” Bill Kenwright, Everton FC AGM, 4th December 2007
We’re very lucky to have this opportunity; it’s a wonderful deal because we’ll end up with a stadium with a very low level of debt added to the club.
It seems a very short timescale from conﬁrming that this is where the club wants to go until the fans’ vote?
If you look at the facts and understand that this Is not just the best option but the only option we have at present Towards the end of last year you announced that you had entered into an exclusivity agreement with Knowsley and Tesco to explore the feasibility of the project. However, there has been a negative reaction from supporters that “there is no Plan B”. Why is this the case? There isn’t a Plan B because there is no other deliverable project that can actually ﬁnance and deliver the redevelopment of Goodison. There are sites within the city of Liverpool but there is no site that can deliver the contribution we are going to get from the Knowsley Project that can make the stadium affordable. This is the only one that can realistically be delivered You have said that the new stadium would bring in £10m additional revenue annually, which would be available to the manager for transfers. What is that based on? I think it’s fair to look at that. All our studies so far have shown that a new stadium can produce revenues of that sort of scale. It depends on how well the team is doing and how many fans turn up. Are you conﬁdent that it will lead to extra investment? It makes us an extremely attractive option. With a new training ground now, and potentially a new stadium, we’ve got to be one of the most attractive investment opportunities in the Premiership. I think this is another key factor we have all got to look at. The site already has decent transport links through the M57 motorway. What other infrastructure will be put in place? There are already new train links being planned and built right next to the stadium almost. Obviously the M57 is already there but the transportation experts have already said they believe this will be the best transportation-served football stadium in the whole of the north west, if not the UK. That’s a very big factor as we look forward to the next 50 to 100 years. This is a decision we have got to look at to take us forward as a club. It is the next 50 to 100 years and transportation links are key to that, as is a bigger catchment areas for a potential new stadium, Those are key things we have got to look to. Are there other projects of its kind in this country you could compare it to? I’m sure there are stadium and regeneration projects that are Similar. Coventry is one that people have spoken about as a similar type of model
Q A Q A Q A Q
The business plan is unclear however it is questionable how the club can generate £10m per annum for the Manager and Team Building if there are to be just 10,000 additional seats and 25 new corporate boxes in comparison to Goodison? Furthermore, any additional income will be offset by servicing increased borrowing. A further point that is of relevance to any debate on the options that might be available to the Club to fund a new stadium, is the willingness and abilities of the Club’s directors to sell some or all of their interests in the Club in order to attract an investor who or which might have the ability in ﬁnancial terms to fund a new stadium in its entirety or at the very least fund the shortfall that exists in the context of this proposals. As is pointed out in greater detail in the ﬁnancial statement document 26), this is not an option as the current directors have no intention of selling any of their interests in the Club. Revised Planning Statement (Document 18), April 2008 The proposed station at Headbolt Lane will not service passengers from Liverpool and the line from Liverpool to Kirkby is a single line track with 6 carriage trains running at a maximum of 15 minutes. The train services to Kirkby are inadequate to cope with match day demands. The CPZ [Car Parking Zone] will be the most rigorously enforced at any football ground and cars will be clamped or towed away’. Parking will be 30 minutes walk away. One of Europe’s largest park and ride schemes requiring 95 buses to make 2 trips each will be required, leaving supporters queuing for an hour after the game with similar queues at the railway station which can process fewer than 4,000 passengers in the ﬁrst 75 minutes after the ﬁnal whistle. “The board of Coventry City Football Club can conﬁrm that it has today ﬁled in court notices of intent to go into administration” . Ofﬁcial Coventry City FC Statement, 3rd December 2007
THE BENEFITS FOR EVERTONIANS as detailed in the Kirkby Ballot Literature
Comprehensive bus and rail public transport services Strategic highway accessibility is exceptionally good, providing direct connections to 4 million households within a 45 minute journey. A strong base for the future
The transport infrastructure in Kirkby is inadequate to allow 50,000 supporters to attend football matches in Kirkby in a safe and timely manner. Everton Football Club is turning its back on its spiritual home and the heart of its traditional fan base. 4 million households will not be within a 45 minute journey on match days. This is not a strong base for the future, this is a worrying concern. “The stadium shall not be used for any Events other than Sporting Events. No concerts or music events shall take place.”
Ability to hold concerts and other special events
“There shall be no more than 6 non-EFC major association football events per annum (where a major event is a single day event attended by 10,000 visitors or more). KIRKBY STADIUM USAGE (DOCUMENT 29) March 2008 If tickets were priced at an average of £35 each an increase in attendance from 40,100 to 50,400 would result in an increase of just £6.8m in gate receipts per annum assuming that the ground was sold out for all 19 home league matches. Costs associated with servicing the new debt would exceed £4.3m per annum if the club borrowed £50m over 25 years at 7%.
The beauty of this new facility is that Everton will’ have a very small debt. We have the opportunity to receive a signiﬁcant contribution towards the project from our development partners, ensuring we will be in a position to build this new home - worth £150million - without a large drain on the Club ﬁnances. Simply put, it’s more money to spend on the team itself.
Petition for an Extraordinary General Meeting of Everton Football Club, Summer 2008
Is Relocating to Kirkby in the best long term interest of Everton Football Club?
After over a century of calling Goodison Park our home, the current board of Everton Football Club plan to relocate the club to a 50,000 seater stadium in Kirkby, some nine miles from the rejuvenated Liverpool city centre. Some reasons supplied by the board for this controversial upheaval would appear to be compelling. Goodison Park’s corporate and general facilities are undoubtedly dated and add little to the match day experience whilst the stadium itself with a capacity of 40,100 would appear to be unable to generate the revenue streams required by a top-ﬂight premiership club. Obstructed views, inadequate catering and antiquated toilet facilities are all valid shares. They, like the majority of Shareholder Number of Shares % fans, are unlikely to beneﬁt from 8754 26 the move to Kirkby. Allegedly, just Bill Kenwright 8146 24 ﬁve individuals own 85% of shares BCR Sports in Everton. Are these individuals Jon Woods 6622 19 likely to beneﬁt as a result of the Arthur Abercromby 2878 8 club relocating to Kirkby? Tesco’s 2773 8 own consultants, DTZ, conﬁrm Lord Grantchester that Everton’s contribution to the £130M stadium will be at least £78M with a further £52m to be cross subsidised from the retail element of the scheme. Clearly this subsidy is very appealing to the board of directors and its major shareholders as the club and their shareholding will beneﬁt from the value obtained through this incentive. Does this incentive inﬂuence the ability of the board to adequately determine if the Kirkby proposals are actually in the best long term interest of the club? With no investment forthcoming from the board, the ﬁnancial strategy to generate the club’s contribution is reliant on the sale of the club’s remaining assets, Goodison and Belleﬁeld, the delivery and securitization of stadium naming rights with any subsequent shortfall being made up with additional debt ﬁnance. What is the level of this additional debt? To describe the ﬁgures promised for the sale of the assets and the stadium naming rights deal as ambitious would be an understatement; approaching £2M an acre for land with planning permission in Walton isn’t realistic. The application to turn Belleﬁeld into housing has already been dismissed by Liverpool City Council due to its over ambitious nature and will only be granted planning permission for approximately thirty dwellings meaning a reduced monetary yield for Everton. Perhaps most ambitious of all is a naming rights deal for a stadium on an out of town retail park that will surpass anything secured in the history of the English Premier League. These targets are simply too ambitious; the reality is that the reliance on debt ﬁnance will inevitably approach £50M. In light of the shortcomings of the proposed stadium and the clubs current ﬁnancial predicament, should Everton take on this level of additional debt? As a business, Everton Football Club is a loss-making organisation and despite Keith Wyness implementing a three-year plan to correct this position, this situation is set to prevail for the foreseeable future. The table below highlights Everton’s recent ﬁnancial performance. It is interesting to note that in 2005/06 gate receipts of £18.1m were attained from an average league attendance of 36,827. In 2006/07 gate receipts of £17.1m were attained from an average attendance of 36,358. This calculation equates to average income of £481 per spectator and if cup games were included in the calculation this ﬁgure would drop. If a move to Kirkby resulted with attendances increasing from an average of 36,592 for the previous 2 seasons to a capacity of 50,401 for every game throughout the season gate receipt revenue will increase by just £6.6m per year. Will a move to Kirkby and an increase in capacity from 40,000 to 50,000 really improve this situation? Will an additional 25 executive boxes really make a huge difference to the ﬁnances of Everton Football Club. More importantly, will the club attain the demand and attendances necessary for this proposal to be successful?
Artist impression of the Kirkby development from the “Destination Kirkby” promotional material
criticisms of the current match day experience at Goodison Park, yet these are clearly symptomatic of the lack of investment, over the decades, in the stadium infrastructure by the board and perhaps these shortcomings could be addressed for signiﬁcantly less than the burgeoning cost being attributed to a new stadium in Kirkby? Whilst undoubtedly dated, Goodison Park remains a bastion of classically designed football stadia and continues to attract critical acclaim from opposing managers, none more so than Arsene Wenger, referees and fan groups around the country. In 2008 it was identiﬁed as having more atmosphere than our illustrious neighbours at both Anﬁeld and Old Trafford. However, it is clear that the experience for the general fan is not the primary motivator for the relocation to Kirkby. Whilst Evertonians were initially promised a world class stadium that would be effectively free under the ‘deal of the century’, it’s now apparent to even the casual observer that the proposed stadium at Kirkby is little more than a stock design facility found primarily, but not exclusively, on retail parks around the country. These are home to teams such as Coventry, Wigan, Southampton, Warrington Wolves and the proposed development for St Helens to name but a few. The Government’s think tank CABE has recently heavily criticised the design, describing it at best as a missed opportunity for Everton Football Club. A basic understanding of the proposed transport scheme, a scheme that again was promised to provide the best served stadium in the country, shows that with a heavily policed no parking zone, park and ride facilities based miles from the stadium, park and walk facilities based up to a 45 minute walk away from the ground were introduced only after it was discovered that there was an inadequate supply of buses for the park and ride scheme and a reliance on a grossly inadequate rail facility that, due to having only a single track can only handle just 3,840 passengers per hour, will be fundamentally detrimental to many aspects of the Evertonians match going experience. If the Kirkby relocation isn’t being pursued for the beneﬁt of the general supporters then perhaps this scheme will beneﬁt the club and its shareholders? The majority of people owning shares in the club don’t do so for ﬁnancial gain. 56% hold only one share with these 724 individuals owning just 2% of the 34,305 issued
Everton Football Club Financial Performance over previous 8 seasons
1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07
24,072,692 12,969,000 13,400,000 14,700,000 15,600,000 18,700,000 18,100,000 17,090,000
TV & Merit
Inc 12,856,000 18,900,000 25,100,000 20,700,000 29,500,000 26,300,000 27,462,000
Inc 3,542,000 2,900,000 2,400,000 2,600,000 4,200,000 5,200,000 4,600,000
Inc 2,152,000 1,900,000 3,300,000 3,500,000 5,400,000 7,600,000 1,082,000
4,070,167 1,333,000 1,100,000 1,100,000 1,800,000 2,000,000 700,000 1,178,000
28,142,859 32,852,000 38,200,000 46,600,000 44,200,000 59,800,000 57,900,000 51,412,000
(11,169,099) (3,652,818) 1,555,000 (12,980,000) (15,376,000) 25,510,000 (10,794,000) (9,426,000)
Total Debtor / Creditor Liability
(19,513,571) (33,653,730) (31,938,000) (50,826,000) (56,568,000) (40,432,000) (48,261,000) (58,823,000)
If the majority of shareholders and fans of the club are not the main beneﬁciaries of a move to Kirkby then just who are?
Petition for an Extraordinary General Meeting of Everton Football Club, Summer 2008
What are the planning issues?
The planned move to Kirkby is complex and fraught with difﬁculties that are outside the control of Everton and its management team. The basic premise is that Tesco, as developers, have proposed the construction of a huge retail park the size of which is dictated by the offer to provide a £50M cross subsidy to the stadium. Without the stadium there is no need to build a retail park of the proposed size, the enormous size of the retail park with Britain’s largest Tesco store and major retail companies such as ARCADIA, Marks & Spencer and TK Maxx will ensure increased footfall, increased spending and increased proﬁts for the retail operators. Without the enormous retail park there will be no stadium, conversely without the stadium there is no justiﬁcation for the size of the retail park. You may not be aware of the planning policies that are in place to prevent exactly what Tesco are proposing at Kirkby. Not only is this development a 400% increase on what Knowsley Council and the Government agreed was required in Kirkby as recently as 2006, the proposal ominously contravenes a piece of regional planning policy known as the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) which incorporates a retail hierarchy identifying Liverpool at its summit. Kirkby is not included in this strategy. Despite this, Knowsley Council and Tesco have approached the Secretary of State and have attempted to inﬂuence the proposed changes to this document. This approach has failed. Furthermore, all neighbouring authorities and concerned developers such as Grosvenor (Liverpool 1) and St Modwen (Project Jennifer and Skelmersdale) have submitted major objections to this retail scheme. Nobody, apart from thousands of Kirkby residents, have actually objected to the stadium. Furthermore, the planned development also contravenes Knowsley’s own Planning Policy (UDP, 2004) and more importantly it fails to comply with the Governments own National Planning Policy. It is at major odds with PPS:6 as the development would seriously prejudice the vitality and viability of other centres in the Merseyside Region. It is also at odds with PPG:17 which states that out of centre retail and leisure uses associated with stadia should not be granted unless it complies with national policy on retailing. The recent offer by Tesco to apparently reduce the retail ﬂoor space did not appease the objectors and Liverpool, Sefton, West Lancs and St Helens Council have all lodged formal objections to the development.Whilst Knowsley Council will clearly indicate to the secretary of state their willingness to grant planning permission the whole project, at best, will be called in for detailed examination and at worst refused permission due to the level of the aforementioned objections based on government planning policy. In March of 2007, a full four months before the ballot, work began in earnest on the huge amount of documents that make up the Tesco planning application. For such an application, whose signiﬁcant non-compliance with planning policy is readily accepted by Tesco, to be successfully accepted, it has to have enough weight or material considerations in order to attempt to balance out the contradiction to policy. We have been made aware of the ‘positive’ material considerations being used by Tesco as counter balance: regeneration, a revived town centre, 700 new jobs, road, parking and public transport improvements etc but are the vast majority of Evertonians aware of the ‘negative’ material considerations being used to add weight to the Tesco planning application? This unsurprisingly, is where Everton Football Club really comes in to the equation. A sample of these negative material considerations taken from the planning application documents can be read below: • “Without ‘a critical mass’ of retail development there can be no stadium, without a stadium there can be no retail development, without the retail development there can be no regeneration of Kirkby.” • “If an alternative viable site for a stadium could be found then the need for the massive retail element in Kirkby could not be justiﬁed.” Do these quotes from the Tesco planning application explain why the club entered into an exclusivity deal and has ignored and so easily dismissed other potential sites within the city? Does Everton Football Club actually beneﬁt from such a blinkered approach? Further reading of the Tesco planning documents reveal additional material considerations that appear to be detrimental to the club undertaking a serious investigation of alternatives. For example, the documents state: • “Goodison Park cannot be redeveloped beyond a 37,000 seat capacity.” Again, this statement is a material consideration in favour of the Tesco planning application by attempting to demonstrate that the club has done all it can to avoid building a new stadium upon the open green space at the Kirkby site. Some of you may recall that this statement directly contradicts the two options for a redeveloped Goodison provided by Bill Kenwright and the board during the Kings Dock ballot. Why where there no alternatives given during the Kirkby debate? Do the following quotes, again taken from the planning documents reveal the fundamental motivation of the board of Everton Football Club for moving to Kirkby? • “ Whilst the club has stabilised its position in the last few years there has been a legacy of debt which is long term in nature and impacts on present and future borrowing possibilities” • “The club cannot and are unlikely to be in a position in the future to fund the costs of the stadium. • “Everton FC have a desperate ﬁnancial need to leave Goodison Park and the club have explored all of the options available in order to fund a new stadium.” • “A further point that is of relevance to any debate on the options that might be available to the Club to fund a new stadium, is the willingness and abilities of the Club’s directors to sell some or all of their interests in the Club in order to attract an investor who or which might have the ability in ﬁnancial terms to fund a new stadium in its entirety or at the very least fund the shortfall that exists in the context of this proposal. As is pointed out in greater detail in the ﬁnancial statement document 26), this is not an option as the current directors have no intention of selling any of their interests in the Club.” Are the above statements at the heart of the stadium issue and are these reasons sufﬁcient justiﬁcation for such a monumental decision that will likely affect us all for the remainder of our lifetime? Clearly the current board are struggling to ﬁnance a solution to the stadium problem and the Kirkby proposals, as inadequate and as ﬂawed as they appear to be, do offer the current board their best opportunity to raise the funds necessary to construct a new stadium. However, will these individuals, who we had previously entrusted and who had previously struggled to ﬁnd the ﬁnance to see the Kings Dock come to fruition, be able to deliver a stadium worthy to be the new home of Everton Football Club? Whilst the above statements may well be true of the situation today, if new investment was brought into the club through a change of ownership or through a rights issue the possibilities concerning what is ‘deliverable’ for Everton Football Club would no doubt change in the future. With this in mind is it wise for a 130 year old institution to turn away from its spiritual home, its heritage, its tradition and its heartland to relocate to an uncertain future in Kirkby as this is being portrayed as the only deliverable option to the club? Please remember that moving away from Goodison Park and relocating to Kirkby is not the only option available to Everton Football Club. There are other options available to the club if not to the board. Whilst the collapse of the previous Kings Dock proposals may have soured the relationship between the Ofﬁcers of Liverpool City Council and members of the current board of Everton Football Club, the will of Liverpool City Council to retain Everton Football Club in its rightful heartland has been clearly stated. It should be noted that Liverpool City Council passed a resolution in October 2007 stating its intention to do everything possible to help Everton Football Club ﬁnd a solution to this difﬁcult stadium issue. We, as Evertonians, hope that the current custodians of Everton Football Club will reconsider the clubs position and enter into meaningful dialogue with the City Council to ﬁnally resolve this difﬁcult situation to the satisfaction of all Evertonians.
Petition for an Extraordinary General Meeting of Everton Football Club, Summer 2008
What are the transport issues?
In the summer of 2007 Evertonians were advised by the club that the proposed relocation to a new stadium in Kirkby would result in improved accessibility and comprehensive improvements to transport infrastructure. Unfortunately, this is not the case and the frailties with the transport proposals as revealed in the planning application make a mockery of the notion that the stadium will be the ‘best served stadium in the North West’. The unfolding facts conﬁrm that the transportation issues would actually result in further inconvenience to the majority of match going Evertonians The club has failed to acknowledge that during the ballot process over 10,000 Evertonians registered their opposition to the idea of relocating the club to Kirkby. Little has been done to placate concerns and with the emergence of actual facts and information related to the move, subsequent independent studies have revealed that Everton FC will lose a signiﬁcant proportion of existing match going Evertonians should the club relocate to Kirkby. This is a fundamental ﬂaw in the long term business plan associated with the move to Kirkby as it is reliant on increased attendances. Whilst it is acknowledged that new stadia do beneﬁt from a ‘new stadium effect’, concerns remain in relation to the long term sustainability of attendances should the transport proposals prove impracticable in reality. The proposals in relation to transportation are concerning. How will these proposals encourage the old, the young and the disabled to attend games when these supporters will be expected to walk for up to 45 minutes just to get to their cars, or be expected to wait in spectator queuing reservoirs with a density of 4 persons per m2 for over one hour prior to being ‘crush loaded’ into trains that are incapable of running more frequently than every 15 minutes? The inadequate plans incorporate the idea that 250 Evertonians will attend the game by bicycle and the bus strategy will require buses be brought in from all over the north west just to provide the numbers required, that is providing these buses are actually required during ‘off peak’ times. In essence, there will not be enough buses to service the stadium to capacity during peak times, including Saturday afternoons. In light of the requirement to enforce a strictly controlled parking zone, the diagram below illustrates the distances Evertonians will be expected to walk to get to their vehicles under the proposals made by Steer Davies Gleeve in their optimistic transport plan. Clearly the distances being proposed will deter parents from bringing younger fans, the future of the club, to see Everton FC if they would be expected to walk distances of over 2 kilometres and for up to 45 minutes just to get to the ground. In addition, these weary young legs will still face a further 45 minute walk to return to their vehicles after the ﬁnal whistle. Not only will the endurance of many a supporter be tested, the overall journey times will be increased for the majority of supporters attempting to get to and from the stadium. The board must consider if it is realistic to expect our supporters to tolerate the additional inconvenience that the Steer Davies Gleave report highlights? Will these transport proposals be conducive to encourage existing as well as new Everton supporters to attend and continue attending Everton football matches in the future? How will future generations of football supporter be encouraged to follow Everton when there will be a more convenient and accessible alternative waiting for them in Stanley Park? Liverpool fans already realise the signiﬁcance ‘One City, One Club, One Name, Liverpool’. Is it realistic to expect home supporters to feel an afﬁnity for the ground when they will be expected to turn up at the new stadium in more coaches than the away support? Will it really feel like home? It is worth noting that in its entire history Everton Football Club has only ever attained an average attendance of more than 50,000 spectators during one season; that was the championship winning season of 1962/63. Are the board conﬁdent that the transport proposals will help to facilitate regular capacity crowds of 50,401? This decision will burden the club for at least a generation. It must be the right one, the very future of Everton Football Club should not be left to chance and the belief that ‘it’ll be alright on the night’.
Will you or your family be happy to walk such great distances to get to and from your car on match days? Is this improvement?
Petition for an Extraordinary General Meeting of Everton Football Club, Summer 2008
What are the costs and will the stadium be ﬁtting for a club of Everton’s stature?
Prior to the ballot, Evertonians were informed that the proposed stadium in Kirkby would leave the club with very little debt and it was implied that Tesco would provide a contribution of £50m towards the stadium. We now know that Tesco are not providing the club with £50m, rather that the club are reliant on a contribution of £52m which will be derived from the value of the proposed units to be incorporated into the retail element of the development. Due to the planning issues discussed previously, and the inappropriate scale of the proposed retail development, there is uncertainty if the actual quantity of retail will be approved on the scale anticipated by the club, raising doubts as to whether the retail element will provide a sufﬁcient yield to subsidise the construction of a new stadium. Clearly, with the signiﬁcant objections to the Destination Kirkby proposals from neighbouring local authorities such as Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and West Lancs councils, this is almost certain to result in a reduction of the required retail enabling subsidy and raises questions as to whether the additional expenditure by the club would represent value for money. Having voted in good faith on the assumption that the club would get a new stadium for very little debt, have the proposals now changed sufﬁciently to question the outcome of the ballot? Would the majority of Evertonians continue to endorse the proposals knowing what we know today? The stadium itself is described in the planning documents as a ‘mid-level quality stadium’ and will cost £100m, this equates to £1,984 per seat. What is striking about these costs is that Everton will actually be spending less per spectator than a club like Brighton and Hove Albion, a lower league team who, without the beneﬁt of massive amounts of TV revenue, intend to spend up to £2,364 per seat on their own proposed £52m 22,000 seater stadium. Are Evertonians really being given a stadium that is beﬁtting of the club motto Nil Satis Nisi Optimum? It would appear that the reality of the situation is far from the iconic and world class structure promised. Barr Construction who have previously constructed new stadia for the likes of Bournemouth FC, Cheltenham Town FC and Kidderminster Harriers FC certainly have a track record for building cost effective structures but are these iconic and beﬁtting a club of Everton’s standing within the game? Barr’s stadia portfolio can be found here: http://www.barr.co.uk/brochures/stadia.pdf. The cost benchmarking information below, taken from the planning application identiﬁes how the Kirkby proposals fair with other recent schemes. It is interesting to note that Arsenal were prepared to spend £4,025 per spectator, Huddersﬁeld Town, over a decade ago, spent £2,452 per spectator, Hull City £2,466 per spectator whereas Everton will spend just £2,000 per spectator. Of course the club has identiﬁed that further costs will be incurred ﬁtting out large areas but not all of the ground and the additional amount spent, up to £30m, would, if this work was actually undertaken, increase Everton’s spending to £2,579 per seat which would still be short of the £2,640 average for a stadium of this scale and these costs are still someway short of the £3,125 and £4,025 per seat spent by our Premiership competitors in Manchester City and Arsenal. Do these ﬁgures suggest that Everton are to achieve value for money or are Evertonians actually being given a lesser quality stadium than our contemporaries in the Premier League? Clearly, the Kirkby stadium proposals including the associated transport services will be a far cry from the world class or iconic stadium that Evertonians were promised. The reality will be functional, uninspiring and difﬁcult to access and in a recent report commissioned by Tesco and Everton for Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, the Government sponsored advisors the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) stated the following about Everton’s proposed stadium: “We are not convinced by this masterplan that there is a clear understanding of the space required for managing large crowds converging on the stadium. Also, we do not feel that an inspiring sense of arrival, as one would expect to have upon approaching a stadium of this size and signiﬁcance, has been achieved.” “It is our view that Design and Build contracts can produce successful outcomes only when high quality design is embedded in the process; we do not feel that this has been achieved in this case.” “We think that both Everton and Kirkby deserve a stadium of ﬁrst class design quality, and we are not convinced that this has been realised by the current proposals.” CABE, April 2008 If you are not yet concerned by the quality of the proposed stadium design then perhaps the following statement by Knowsley Council may provide clarity concerning the reality of the Kirkby proposals and what Evertonians could expect for decades to come: “the building has been criticised by some consultees and local community representations as being of poor design quality. It has to be acknowledged that the design adopted here, in contrast to some recent stadium proposals, is not one for an iconic exemplar building. Rather, the design is a somewhat more traditional stadium design with four separate stands and this shows in its outward appearance. Indeed, a somewhat utilitarian and cost-conscious design is evident in the way that the underside of the upper stands is revealed to outward view.”
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Petition for an Extraordinary General Meeting of Everton Football Club, Summer 2008
Extracts from Keith Wyness Open Letter, 9th August 2007
“In the light of the joint statement issued on Monday, August 6 by Liverpool City Council and Bestway, the owners of the “trumpet” loop site located just off Scotland Road, I feel it is imperative that we pass comment both by asking those who regard this site as a possible location for a new home for Everton Football Club a series of highly-pertinent questions and by making some general observations.” “Would any compulsory purchase orders be required in order that we could attain the size of site we require? If CPOs are required, is it not the case that they could take up to 12 months to attain?” “We do not believe that the existing transport infrastructure in the Scotland Road area would be able to cope with the volume of trafﬁc generated on matchdays.” “Would the construction of a development which would also include a large retail element not dramatically undermine – and anger – those behind the Grosvenor and Project Jennifer schemes? Is there not a very real possibility of a legal challenge from these other developers?” “if the scheme was to be “called in” by central government, the entire project could be subjected to a delay of anything up to a year.” “Without wishing, in any way, to call into question the integrity and professionalism of those who have pulled the Scotland Road “rabbit” out of a hitherto cunningly-concealed hat, we do ﬁnd it curious that it is being portrayed as a genuine, realistic and deliverable scheme at the precise moment our supporters are being invited to participate in a ballot about our proposed relocation to Kirkby” .
Extracts from Terry Leahy’s Open Letter to Evertonians
“As a businessman my head rules, as a football fan it’s more complex – it’s about heart as well as head.” “I want to argue in this article that when it comes to the vote on Kirkby, it must be the other way round and in the best interests of the club we love, our heads must guide our hearts in making this decision.” “Now let me declare an interest right up front. Tesco will beneﬁt if the £400 million redevelopment of Kirkby takes place.” “The construction of the stadium itself would cost around £110 million. Barr Construction have an integrated design, steel manufacture and construction operation which makes huge savings on that ﬁgure. Tesco as the developer is forgoing the normal development proﬁt on the construction of around £15 million, in addition to the contribution it is making directly. So if you went out to buy this stadium it would cost you £150 million. It has been designed to be extendable to 60,000 seats which, when it happens, will cost another £25 million and there is ample space in the stadium to add further lounges, facilities and ﬁnishes to the highest standards in the Premier League when the club completes its investment. This would be in addition to the very good provision from day one, but could be anything from £15 – £25 million dependent on what you ultimately want. So you are looking at a stadium which when ﬁnally developed is around £200 million, and £150 million from day one. It is therefore, most deﬁnitely, not a stadium on the cheap. It will be a ﬁtting home for a club of Everton’s tradition and standing“. “Clearly it’s possible to lift the stadium design for Kirkby (or one like it) and drop it onto Goodison or the loop site – and in my heart as a fan, it looks nice. But unless the club is oﬀered a concrete proposal to own a £150 million stadium for around £35 million investment by Everton, and delivered by 2010 / 11 then I’m afraid it is not a realistic option.” “The Kirkby stadium is based loosely on the Cologne stadium. It will be a traditional four sided England Premier League ground, with 21st century facilities. Kirkby has the best access within 45 mins of any Premier League ground.” “I have heard it suggested that a ‘no’ vote for Kirkby would precipitate a change at the club, and thereby increase the likelihood of new investment. I have two reactions; ﬁrst Bill Kenwright, Keith Wyness and David Moyes have turned a relegation side into a European side, something that a number of better invested clubs have failed to do. Second, the prospect of outside investment in the club is massively increased by the Kirkby proposal. Without it, any prospective investor knows that the ﬁrst £150 million of investment would have to go into a stadium, with nothing to show on the pitch. With Kirkby, new investment could go straight into the team, with the prospect of a return by way of better results” “One ﬁnal point, in my business life I have learned the most valuable commodity is trust. Without it you don’t have much to build on. I may not always like it, but I’ve learned to trust the people closest to issues to make the best judgement. When the Board, the manager and the leading players of Everton are unanimous that a move to Kirkby is right, I know they have the best interest of the club at heart and I trust their judgement. Whichever way I look at it, the heart says Goodison but the head says Kirkby.”
“We are now at the planning stage, to see if we can get it approved. That decision will be reached very shortly. Work will start very quickly then after that if it is approved The planning process is very complicated. There are lots of different factors. There is deﬁnitely a chance that it may not get through in the way we want it to. It could get called in by the government ofﬁce. If that does happen, it may jeopardise the whole thing. It’s a very serious issue for us. Plan B at the minute is just being here at Goodison but that will give us longer term problems, as we have always known. There isn’t the opportunity to develop Goodison in the way we would have hoped, so the new stadium is crucial for us to go forward. There is no doubt for Everton to attract the right investor, the stadium is a crucial part of that. I don’t think people would be prepared to invest in the club until that is resolved.”
Keith Wyness, Liverpool Echo, 28th May 2008
Further information in relation to the Tesco/Everton Planning Application can be found at Knowsley Councils website: http://www.knowsley.gov.uk/consultation/kirkby/kirkby_tesco_intro.html
Petition for an Extraordinary General Meeting of Everton Football Club, Summer 2008