The Liverpool Echo report that the new small-sided arena is part of the plans to expand Everton's training complex at Halewood which also include an accommodation block for the players.
The Blues Under-18s currently play their home games at Finch Farm but this new purpose-built arena would also allow the Under-21s to bring their home fixtures from Southport's Merseyrail Community Stadium where they currently play.
Reader Comments (42)
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1 Posted 17/03/2016 at 20:44:46
2 Posted 17/03/2016 at 20:54:07
3 Posted 17/03/2016 at 20:55:04
5 Posted 17/03/2016 at 22:32:09
6 Posted 17/03/2016 at 22:49:49
James, we would be very lucky to become the next La Masia, but all these plans show how professional our club is set to become once again.
Next will be built a small school, and then these kids will be totally immersed, in both football and education. It will give us an even better chance of getting the best kids, with a promise to parents, that their children will also be educated to the highest standard possible.
The first team will always be the most important part of a football club, but the foundations below are equally important, and it's great to see that this is the road on which Everton look to be taking.
I think the plans for Finch Farm, are fantastic.
7 Posted 17/03/2016 at 23:04:20
8 Posted 17/03/2016 at 23:52:24
9 Posted 17/03/2016 at 23:56:36
10 Posted 18/03/2016 at 07:23:28
Seriously though, I often wonder about the education of our (and other) academy recruits. As we know, 90-95% will never make, so a decent education is something that should be provided to all kids. Certainly would be a serious consideration for me if I was a parent.
11 Posted 18/03/2016 at 07:58:51
Car parking needs expanding as well, far too many cars blocking Finch Lane when it's full.
12 Posted 18/03/2016 at 08:42:05
13 Posted 18/03/2016 at 08:52:26
I don't think it will be as big a complex or stadium as Man City's but all these developments and improvements will benefit the club as a whole massively. Don't be surprised to see us purchase Finch Farm back in the near future, that has to be part of the long game. Excited to see what's next on the agenda.
14 Posted 18/03/2016 at 09:08:12
What encourages me is that where this is a very definite improvement, I'm certain that other less "sexy" improvements will be implemented throughout our entire operations. Good.
15 Posted 18/03/2016 at 09:32:26
The biggest boost, hopefully, will be the reorganisation of the U21 league which is now under consideration and due to be implemented in the next couple of years. This and the plan to stop players being bought and put out on loan will also help the future of young lads and also help the game of football.
16 Posted 18/03/2016 at 09:40:44
17 Posted 18/03/2016 at 09:45:08
I don't really understand the big thing about us owning it or leasing it from a footballing perspective. The facility will be the same regardless of whose name is on the deeds.
It just a financial decision. Do you want the cash available to spend on other things or do you want the money tied up and lower your operating costs?
It may well be a smart thing to do if there is extra capital available, but I'd certainly prefer money to be spent on players (and playing facilities) rather than bricks and mortar if it comes to a choice.
18 Posted 18/03/2016 at 11:07:17
19 Posted 18/03/2016 at 11:46:41
20 Posted 18/03/2016 at 11:57:28
21 Posted 18/03/2016 at 12:23:46
22 Posted 18/03/2016 at 12:24:44
We all love the interest a good new signing creates and I'm all for that, but if we produce a few good players through a flourishing youth programme that is all the better although I do recognise that there is no guarantee either way.
23 Posted 18/03/2016 at 12:43:02
I completely agree, investing in playing facilities as announced is a sensible way of building for success, so I applaud the latest announcement. We can do this without owning Finch Farm, however.
The lease gives us an option every five years which I believe comes up again next year. If we pay the same as LCC paid, that will cost us £13m but save us £1m or so a year in rent.
The question the Board will ask themselves: Is this the best use of cash compared to other options? The fact we can now probably consider such a decision would point to an improved financial position.
24 Posted 18/03/2016 at 13:05:01
Secondly, these people are here to add value to their original investment, so I would be amazed if Finch Farm isn't brought back on to the club's books as an asset, especially as they are going to improve the facility.
It's been said Kenwright & Woods have walked away with around £40m between them, they have no excuse not to invest some money back into the club on a pro rata basis, seeing as they sold Bellefield, an asset owned by the club, so they didn't have to invest any of their own cash.
25 Posted 18/03/2016 at 13:14:42
26 Posted 18/03/2016 at 13:29:43
Buying the freehold of the land and facilities might add value either through the value of the asset appreciating or through reduced operating costs. It just depends how appealing that business case is.
However there are many other ways of adding value that will be competing for the same investment. I suspect we have not suddenly found ourselves in a position of having unlimited funds so it inevitably comes down to choices.
I know for many it seems an anathema not to own your own training ground and is seen as a piece of mismanagement by Kenwright and Co. In reality it was just a way of recycling assets to fund other priorities. A reflection of our financial condition at the time.
As I say it may make a lot of financial sense to exercise our option but if it doesn't I wouldn't lose much sleep.
27 Posted 18/03/2016 at 13:58:44
They remained true to form and preferred not to invest another penny into the club, they are reaping the benefit now.
Maybe they will invest in the club now? No, I don't think so either.
28 Posted 18/03/2016 at 14:05:13
Nothing wrong with that at all. My point is, if it was my legacy, I would certainly be returning some of the profit back into the club, if I had sold off the family silver in the first instance.
29 Posted 18/03/2016 at 14:40:21
As Dave said, I wouldn't be banking on it.
They paid a price for the club then sold some of it on at a higher price. That's what investors tend to do.
Assets were indeed sold . You make it sound like they sold something that didn't belong to them, that they had inherited (family silver). No they sold something they had paid for and therefore owned.
It could be argued that their legacy is a squad worth in excess of £200m including three of the most sought after young players in Europe.
30 Posted 18/03/2016 at 15:02:46
I hope they follow the lead set by the Crystal Palace owners, who diluted their shareholding with all the profit going back into the club to redevelop Selhurst Park. Now if they did that for the new Goodison, that would make them real Evertonians who would leave a tangible legacy in my eyes.
31 Posted 18/03/2016 at 16:10:57
I wouldn't be as kind to Kenwright as you appear to be; isn't he the world's best Evertonian and he bleeds blue blood, don't you know. Well, like Graham says, he is an investor so is entitled to do what he wants with what I would call his 'winnings'.
But, for such a massive Evertonian, it looks Billy Boy is keeping his hands firmly in his pockets. Which he is entitled to do, of course.
Best Evertonian? my arse. <:P>[Couldn't resist that one.]
32 Posted 18/03/2016 at 16:28:40
Seriously, though, that is the sort of money we would most definitely not have been willing to part with in the past but I can see it happening now.
I understand what you mean about investing in players instead of bricks and mortar and I can't say either way is the right way but what I can say is that the club is going in the right direction under this new leadership and I for one am happy with the early signs.
As you say, whether we own Finch Farm or lease it, the facilities will still be built and the development opportunities will still be there. I'd say it's more about adding value to the business if we were to purchase it. More assets, like the stadium once built. It's a good thing and I'm pretty sure it's down to Moshiri as the others are pretty useless.
I do thank Bill for keeping the club afloat and for what he's done over the years but he's not going to be investing any of that hard earned profit back in to the club that's for sure.
33 Posted 18/03/2016 at 16:45:34
The pdf at this link is pretty enlightening - its the DTZ sale particulars that Trust Everton got hold of:
Of particular relevance:
"The tenant [Everton] has an option to purchase the freehold reversion at every fifth anniversary of the term in not less than 6 months notice in writing by the tenant to the landlord. The tenant can exercise this option at a price reflecting open market value with the benefit of the residue of the existing lease at the relevant date. The amount paid by the tenant must not be less than 㾹,869,244 plus an additional amount of ٠,239,883. The additional amount is subject to being increased by RPI for the period from the start date of the lease to the date 20 working days prior to the date of completion of the transfer of the reversion.
The tenantÃ¢Â€Â™s next option to purchase occurs on the fifth anniversary of the term in July 2012. [So the next one will be July 2017] Based upon historic RPI figures between July 2007 and May 2011 (an average of 3.12% per annum for the first four years) and projected RPI figures for 2011 and 2012 which stand at an average of 4.32%, we envisage the additional amount to be ٠,642,594. When added to the base amount, the total equates to 㾼,511,838."
So it would have cost the club 㾼.5m to buy FF back in 2012. With inflation, that'll be over 㾽m by July 2017.
There's also an overage provision which is relevant - if Everton gets planning permission to improve the site (for example by building stands for a couple of thousand spectators), the landlord gets 50% of any uplift value.
Also worth noting that rent is pretty high and will be over ٟ.4m per annum by now, according to the below methodology:
"The property is let to Everton Football Club Company Ltd for a period of 50 years commencing from 26 July 2007. The initial rent is ٟ,112,907.48 per annum and is subject to 5 yearly upward-only rent reviews on the basis of 2.5% per annum compounded. There is a tenant-only break option after 35 years, dated July 2042, subject to 12 monthsÂ written notice and payment of rent up to the termination date. The Vendor proposes to top up the rent to the level of the 26 July 2012 uplift which is ٟ,259,153."
34 Posted 18/03/2016 at 16:58:03
35 Posted 18/03/2016 at 17:24:52
Somebody made a killing on the buying and selling of the place, there were rumours that Alex Ferguson had shares in the company that bought Finch Farm off Everton.
36 Posted 18/03/2016 at 17:43:33
We sold the land for £2m and had Finch Farm developed for us, about £9m worth of work.
It was then sold on to LCC for £12.9m
We also took the proceeds from developing Bellefield, about £8m I think was reported.
37 Posted 18/03/2016 at 20:43:17
38 Posted 18/03/2016 at 21:45:16
39 Posted 19/03/2016 at 00:14:45
We already have a decent youth system turning out players with potential. Most never make it due to their own hormones leading them astray, bad luck with injuries or, most often, lack of opportunities to develop.
Building a mini-stadium is just nice, saves the kids having to travel away to Southport or wherever. It isn't going to turn Finch Farm suddenly into the English La Masia.
Until young kids get the opportunity to cut their teeth at a competitive level on a regular basis we won't see a conveyor belt of talent. The reason it doesn't happen that way is the risk involved in playing them (at any top level club) and the fact that there are no B teams playing in the football pyramid so any loan out is on a wing and a prayer when it comes to continuity of development. That isn't changing any time soon so let's not imagine these marginal gains will add up to anything significant.
40 Posted 19/03/2016 at 09:45:12
I disagree with you about the conveyor belt of talent though, because I believe the more time these kids spend on site, the better they will become. Man Utd done the treble with half a team from the academy, and then stopped bringing kids through.
There is a lot of talent out there and Everton, have got a very good reputation already for bringing kids through. Rooney, Jeffers, Ball and Rodwell, put over £55 Million, into Everton, possibly even saving us from administration, who knows?
It's definitely possible though, United's history tell us this. Go back further to Glasgow Celtic, winning the European Cup, with all the team being born within a 30/50 mile radius. it's possible to do, and it also makes perfect sense, when you consider the ridiculous price you can now get, or even have to pay, just for an average footballer.
41 Posted 19/03/2016 at 10:08:26
As it is, the young lads will, or should improve, by going on loan. If the shake-up means going back to the old Central League, then that will be a better environment for the young lads playing with a good mixture of senior pros and their own age group.
I doubt it will go back to the way entirely, to the way the Central League operated. There were some brilliant and no-nonsense matches in those days, but it can only be an improvement on the mostly boring games in the U21 league.
42 Posted 19/03/2016 at 13:53:39
The most recent example I can think of is Middlesborough who brought through Downing, Johnson, Cattermole etc. at the same time and that was born out of financial necessity and didn't end at all well.
No top flight club can tolerate the risk of bringing youth through en masse and sadly that is required for their development. Galloway learnt more in a few months for us than he would a whole season on loan and several years in the reserves.
Looking at international youth level, England achieves a great deal (Ledson and Kenny starring against the Dutch at the Euros). Trouble is, the talent stagnates from 18 to 21 because of the set up in this country. Loans might work but will Yeovil, scrapping for its survival, teach a young player the virtue of possession that Roberto loves so well?
Sadly most potential will not be realised and that is due to our FA and historical set up as opposed to lack of talent or facilities.
43 Posted 19/03/2016 at 19:58:25
The most recent case being Boro? What did they win? I thought it was Man Utd, even if it was a one-off. It was still done in the age of The Premier League, though.
So just because you can't do it en masse (why is that what's required anyway?) you don't believe it's a good thing?
I have given examples of what our academy has done for Everton, and you're quite right, we already have a decent system. But why not try and take it to the next level?
I do agree with you about the 18-21 group though, but also think it's got something to do with The English culture as well. That's another reason I think the plans for the academy are the way forward.
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