No 'tangible proposition' for Walton Hall Park stadium

30/10/2015  49 Comments  [Jump to last]
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has confirmed that there has been no significant progress on the proposed stadium development at Walton Hall Park.

In partnership with the club, Liverpool Council are exploring the possibility of building a new stadium for Everton FC on a section of the green space as part of a wider regeneration of the park and its surrounding area.

Having promised to provide an update to the residents of the city on the status of the proposal by the end of this month, the Mayor has now released a brief statement expressing his disappointment that there is no tangible proposition for the site at present:

The city council and Everton FC are still engaged in discussions about plans to develop a scheme at Walton Hall Park. I am disappointed that at this stage we have not reached agreement on a tangible proposition for a new stadium and, more importantly, a scheme which delivers comprehensive regeneration benefits for the area and employment opportunities for the wider community.

It has been over 12 months since my initial announcement and I recognise the level of public interest in this site. I would like to thank people for their patience whilst discussions are ongoing and I will look to make a final announcement in the new year.

I reiterate my commitment that any scheme brought forward, which has my support, will represent the best interests of residents and supporters alike.

The topic of Walton Hall Park and the stadium situation is expected to be raised at Everton's Annual General Meeting next month where CEO Robert Elstone is likely to reiterate the comments he made earlier this year that he and the Board are continuing their search for a solution that will not threaten the financial stability and well-being of the club.  

Reader Comments (49)

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Rob Hooton
1 Posted 30/10/2015 at 17:19:03
Another couple of years of 'discussions' before this dies down then?
Denis Richardson
2 Posted 30/10/2015 at 17:21:49
Colin Glassar
3 Posted 30/10/2015 at 17:38:36
What? The club have been telling fibs again? Shock horror, who'd have thought eh?
Jimmy Salt
4 Posted 30/10/2015 at 17:48:25
Move along now, people... nothing to see here.
Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 30/10/2015 at 17:49:46
I have it on good authority that Elstones been on eBay looking at vintage Subbuteo stadiums. Only hold up is that no one at the club has a credit card and the sellers won't take money orders.
Tom Hughes
6 Posted 30/10/2015 at 17:50:23
Goodison Park could've been fully redeveloped not once, but several times over. All in the time that it has taken to realise that a complete new-build is not possible for us without major enabling developments and naming rights to help fund it.

Years and even decades have passed while we've pondered the impossible, with the obvious solution under our feet.

Dave Ganley
7 Posted 30/10/2015 at 17:51:35
I'm flabbergasted, shocked, appalled...

Oh yeah, this is Everton we're talking about... maybe I'm not then.

Never actually thought they were serious in the first place. Heard it all before.

Very sad is the fact that I sincerely doubt anybody connected with Everton Football Club actually thought this would happen. Too many lies under the bridge.

Jay Harris
8 Posted 30/10/2015 at 17:55:36
We will never spend a penny on ground development new or existing while this bunch of cronies are in charge.

It is far too easy to bring other operating costs to over £20 million a year from a previous figure of £1 million and cry poverty every year.

Lyndon Lloyd
9 Posted 30/10/2015 at 17:56:16
Not sure anyone's been telling fibs, Colin. Robert Elstone more or less said a few the same thing a months back – that the club are continuing to look at it but there's nothing concrete.

As we know, there isn't likely to be any time soon, especially by January when Joe Anderson suggests above a final decision will be made, at least from LCC's perspective. We either await new owners or we start putting tangible plans in place to rebuild Goodison Park piecemeal.

As Tom says above, in the time since the collapse of the Kings Dock we could have rebuilt all four stands in stages. I'm more convinced than ever that rebuilding is the way to go – without serious money, we're never going to be able to build anything befitting our great club somewhere else anyway.

Steve Guy
10 Posted 30/10/2015 at 17:58:17
What a shock........
Jimmy-Ã…ge Sørheim
11 Posted 30/10/2015 at 18:01:26
Not acceptable, we should at least go forward renovating Goodison in the meantime.

How about starting with the facade. Then replace one section at a time with upgraded seating and a few extra VIP boxes.

Dean Adams
12 Posted 30/10/2015 at 18:01:55
Having seen on Wednesday this week what they have managed to do over at "mordor", I for one feel the club should be looking to follow suit and re-develop Goodison. It is not the perfect location, but it has worked for us for well over 100 years.

We all love the place and it has a long and prestigious history. Get building and the modernised ground will still hold that terrific atmosphere that we always used to talk about.

Colin Glassar
13 Posted 30/10/2015 at 18:01:55
I'm also resigning myself to a rebuild of GP. The lack of vision shown by the powers that be at Everton is mind-boggling. As has already been said, this should've been done years ago.
Paul Jeronovich
14 Posted 30/10/2015 at 18:10:47
Unfortunately, Goodison is fast becoming an eyesore.
Linda Morrison
15 Posted 30/10/2015 at 18:56:46
Goodison has been an eyesore for too long, especially for the disabled fans who have no protection from the elements.

Why can't we look at Stanley Park? The other lot were going to move there but they can rebuild their stadium as it is younger than ours.

I for one am sick and tired of being in a tennis match as I try to look around the concrete posts!

Steven Kendrew
16 Posted 30/10/2015 at 19:16:30
"A scheme which delivers comprehensive regeneration benefits for the area and employment opportunities for the wider community"??!

Maybe this mayor and his council should get off their arse and do something as well? Anyone would think it is Everton's responsibility to run the city. Last time I looked, it was the Council who is in charge of such things as regeneration and employment for the community!

Peter Weaver
17 Posted 30/10/2015 at 19:51:21
Given the £ millions the council are pouring into Anfield, they just had to demonstrate to the electorate that they are prepared to be completely even handed if only Everton would come up with a viable scheme.

Everyone knows the club will never do that so the City Fathers come out smelling of roses!

Steve Woods
18 Posted 30/10/2015 at 20:05:36
Peter Weaver @ 17 spot on. However the custodians of Everton FC should hang their heads in shame. I do of course use the term "custodians" far too loosely.

The current 'custodians" of our once great club obviously give not give a flying fuck about moving the club on and progressing it. It's all short-term hand-to-mouth economics and personal gain; I blame them all and Kenwright in particular. Shame on you, Kenwright... and shame on you all.

Andy Walker
19 Posted 30/10/2015 at 21:37:23
Maybe someone could explain how we were going to be able to raise the circa 𧸖m to build a new stadium. Maybe we should have sold all the players and mortgaged ourselves to the hilt and then had the best ground in League Two.

Custodians have a responsibility to secure the long-term future of our club, not to piss it down the drain in order to build a trophy stadium and ruin the club in the process.
We need an investor; without that nothing will happen, isn't this obvious?

Peter Weaver
20 Posted 30/10/2015 at 22:17:30
Andy, I think we all know that without a billionaire owner we will never be able to get a new stadium. That's why Tom and others have, for years, advocated a phased re-development of Goodison.

Twenty plus years have been wasted so far whilst Bill & Co wait for their fairy tale 'investor'. At 70, I am now convinced I will never see his appearance.

Anthony Fielding
21 Posted 30/10/2015 at 22:54:19
I've always been of the opinion that we have to move to progress. Now I think it's pretty apparent to everyone that it's just never going to happen, and the sad fact is that our current board don't have the money, vision, ambition or balls to even consider upgrading Goodison.

I just don't know why they even get our hopes up with talk of a new stadium when it's quite clear they will never deliver it.

Jay Harris
22 Posted 30/10/2015 at 23:01:59
Andy, I don't know where you get your £350 million from but experts have calculated that a phased rebuild of GP could be achieved for about £150 million.
Andy Crooks
23 Posted 30/10/2015 at 23:23:23
Tom, I have read and been convinced by your argument for some time. Frankly, I have never read a serious rebuttal. For someone who doesn't live in Liverpool and would admit to being a bit slow on this stuff, could you play Devil's Advocate and tell me what is the downside to this if any.

To me, there seems to be no possible alternative to having a rebuild plan combining innovation on the pitch and innovation in the boardroom. Supporters, players, coach and board following a strategy.

Eric Myles
24 Posted 30/10/2015 at 00:09:50
Peter #17, what £millions???
Eric Myles
25 Posted 31/10/2015 at 00:18:00
Jay #22, £150m to redevelop GP, isn't that about twice what the board said it would cost for the cowshed in Kirkby?
Harold Matthews
26 Posted 31/10/2015 at 02:33:11
I tried to read up on the Kings Dock and Kirkby fiascos but couldn't get past all the get-rich-quick stir mongers and back stabbers within all tha various financial groups and political quangos. Money certainly brings out the worst in people.

Occam's Razor would suggest we go the way of stadium redevelopement. The simplest, least costly way without political interference. Let the up-coming TV windfall be used to save our club.

David Johnson
27 Posted 31/10/2015 at 08:52:28
Continually checking out new sites and schemes is the perfect excuse for doing nothing other than applying a lick of paint to the existing stadium. A shrewd and cunning plan if ever I saw one. Bill ain't no numpty.
Mike Hayes
28 Posted 31/10/2015 at 09:33:16
It has been obvious for years what needs to be done but, everytime the fans get upset and start murmurings of protest, the club trot out the same tripe to deflect away from the issue.

Apparently the Old Lady is on Year 8 of a 10-year safety certificate (?) with no plans or money to bring it up to Code... so what happens there? Unless there is serious investment or a buy-out and Blue Boys Pen Bill lets go, then Goodison Park will rot.

Mike Benjamin
29 Posted 31/10/2015 at 09:34:10
Even if plans are submitted for this site, it will take years, if at all, to get a stadium built.

The local residents have a very strong pressure group called the Friends of Walton Hall Park. The group have already been successful in persuading Liverpool CC to restrict matchday parking in the car park and surrounding area. This is not because of problems caused by cars but simply a show of strength to illustrate that they will not give up easily.

Brian Harrison
30 Posted 31/10/2015 at 09:36:51
I think we all know that without an investor, there will be no new stadium. Quite how you attract an investor to pump in anything from £150-200 million, I have no idea.

Regarding the rebuilding of Goodison Park, the Board have said consistently that this is a non-starter, so I just don't know how this problem is likely to be resolved.

Should the Board change their minds, then I suspect it will have to rebuild at the expensive of massively reduced expenditure on players. The Board either can't afford to or don't want to invest any more of their money so I don't think the question of what happens over the ground can be put on the back burner indefinitely.

Peter Morris
31 Posted 31/10/2015 at 10:31:40
The money required either comes from private resources (ie, the owners, à la Man City, and Chelski, and we know ours don't have the means or the appetite) or debt, (à la, Man Utd and Arsenal) which can only be raised based on a convincing business plan that it can be serviced through increased income at a reasonable risk to the lender.

This is also a non-starter, because, like it or not, our club simply does not have the revenue-raising powers required to service such debt. Christ, people threaten a revolution if they put up the price of a pint and a pie by 50p, so how do we service £150M of debt then, guys?

John Raftery
32 Posted 31/10/2015 at 10:36:42
We are no further on than we were in 2009 when the Kirkby scheme collapsed. This was very predictable.

Without some additional sources of funding, it is hard to see how we can rebuild Goodison Park without a negative effect on the playing side. The extra TV money will simply be swallowed up paying increased salaries to players and their agents.

We could of course decide to sacrifice the playing side in the short-term in order to fund rebuilding but I doubt any fans would want to do that.

Liam Hughes
33 Posted 31/10/2015 at 10:40:02
How is a club board going to set out a tangible project to LCC if what is said about selling the club is true? Surely any plans would've been binned; if Bill is not well and we have new owners in the near future, surely it's in their hands?
Aidy Dews
34 Posted 31/10/2015 at 11:36:59
Nothing will happen anytime soon when we haven't got the finances!
Joe Foster
35 Posted 31/10/2015 at 12:00:01
Probably more chance of building a new ground on the moon.
Clive Rogers
36 Posted 31/10/2015 at 15:39:23
A big problem for rebuilding Goodison is the availability of parking. Over the years I have parked further and further away. Won't be long till I'm walking from Prescot.
Brian Porter
37 Posted 31/10/2015 at 16:00:43
Dean Adams (#12),

You talk of the great atmosphere we traditionally associate with Goodison Park. I fear that all the rebuilding in the world will do little to regenerate that atmosphere as long as Roberto Martinez remains in charge and the atmosphere becomes increasingly toxic with each passing week.

The club needs rebuilding from the manager to the team before any sensible investor is willing to fund even the most basic rebuilding programme.

Eric Myles
38 Posted 31/10/2015 at 16:56:27
Clive #32, the redshite are redeveloping, where are they going to park?
Joe Foster
39 Posted 31/10/2015 at 17:16:56
A lot of the RS fans do not need car parking as they arrive by plane or train.
Liam Reilly
40 Posted 31/10/2015 at 18:52:22
I'd be willing to stick my neck out and say that we'll have positive news on this within a few months.

Cause that's when next year's season tickets will go on sale.

Anthony Dwyer
42 Posted 02/11/2015 at 00:17:56
No tangible proposition is a posh way of saying 'never gonna happen!'.
Tom Hughes
43 Posted 03/11/2015 at 10:58:29
The key advantage in redevelopment is that you don't have to do it all at once. Indeed, most major clubs have redeveloped for this reason with few exceptions. Arsenal could not enlarge Highbury significantly, so had no choice if they wanted to realise their ambitions. Man City were offered a relative freeby but were already on the way to transforming Maine Road. Similarly West Ham. Spurs have redeveloped White Hart Lane and are now rebuilding on practically the same site with a substantial portfolio of supporting development alongside.

Goodison can be transformed for a fraction of the cost of a whole new stadium. The total cost, and certainly the individual phases need not require hundreds of millions of pounds. Also, by only adding new capacity, the new or extended stands can be of significantly higher quality and value.

WHP promised to be a very basic stadium at best. A similar or even smaller amount spent on GP would realise a far superior multi-tier stadium – far more in keeping with our history and tradition.

Damian Braithwaite
44 Posted 03/11/2015 at 20:42:21
The same council are making it harder each year for the club to pass its safety certificate.
Jim Lloyd
45 Posted 03/11/2015 at 21:11:11
Did anybody ever think there was any chance whatsoever of this becoming a reality?
Paul Hewitt
46 Posted 03/11/2015 at 21:22:19
If the RS can expand their stadium, why can't we?
Kenny Jones
47 Posted 03/11/2015 at 22:09:09
Damian (43) The council don't make it harder for the club to pass safety certificates. Not spending enough money on the upkeep of Goodison makes it harder.
Eric Myles
48 Posted 04/11/2015 at 06:50:14
This statement from the council just before the AGM is probably to pre-empt any chance that the board will make statements about the council in the AGM which will easily be disproven and lead to the abandonment of future AGMs as happened previously.
Jim Lloyd
49 Posted 04/11/2015 at 07:02:24
I'm sure we can Paul. Tom and Trevor Skempton have shown how it could be done, without us losing most of our numberrs while it was being re developed.

The bunch in charge have been looking for someone to build a free one for them and, shock horror, no one's done so.

Ever since the Kings Dock nightmare, our best option would have been to rebuild Goodison Park.

Eric, I think you've got it bang to rights.

Lenny Kingman
50 Posted 05/11/2015 at 14:49:52
I think Kenwright would rather pass and move in the interminable new stadium wrangle. Pass the club to a money bags mug from abroad and then move out of Everton completely.

If a new ground is ever going to be built, I would prefer a north docklands locale with a view of the royal blue Mersey, similar to Forest with the Trent snaking its way past the Brian Clough stand. In this instance, though, it would be the Howard Kendall stand.

I can't help but think alas that the dreaded ground share in Stanley Park will be the perceived solution after another 20 years debating and pontificating. Wake me up when it's over.

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