Everton Heritage Society open letter

Sunday, 15 March, 2020 35comments  |  Jump to last

The Everton Heritage Society, chaired by Brendan Connolly, have wholeheartedly put their support behind the club's proposals for a new stadium development at Bramley-Moore Dock, as set out in this open letter to Liverpool City Council's planning department.

The Everton FC Heritage Society is a voluntary group researching and chronicling the rich history of Everton Football Club and we write to offer our wholehearted support for the Club's proposals to relocate to Bramley-Moore Dock.

The Society consists of researchers, historians, authors, journalists and memorabilia collectors, all with a great interest and love for the heritage of our great club.

Everton Football Club is a vitally important and historic institution in the city of Liverpool. Since 1878, our football club has been a feature of the city's cultural and physical landscape in much the same way as Liverpool's dock system has. Everton and the docks are synonymous with one another.

The club was founded at the same time as the third great expansion phase of the dock system, when walking to work felt very much like walking to the match for the thousands of people that would have lived in north Liverpool. Fans, and players, would have worked at the docks and then watched, and even played, for our football club. During several notable periods in the city's history of sometimes extremely harsh social, political and economic hardship, Liverpool's docks and Everton have always been there for each other, through the years of casualism, the unionising movement, global wars and rapid economic decline. Throughout our city's social history, great Liverpool institutions such as Everton and the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board have always worked together to provide that pastoral role for the city. In this respect alone, the move to Bramley-Moore Dock is, without question, the right move for our football club.

As well as providing a new home for our football team, we are greatly encouraged by the proposals to bring back into use the Hydraulic Tower as a visitor attraction and for the opportunity for it to be used to tell the story of football and the docks, working with other Liverpool institutions such as the National Museums and The Everton Collection, the world's largest collection of football memorabilia related to one club.

We are also hugely supportive of Everton's intention to retain a presence at Goodison Park. This is also an exciting opportunity to pay due respect to the heritage of our football club and base proposals for the future based on what Everton is all about: The People's Club.

The new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is hugely exciting. It says everything about our Club that great care and attention have been taken towards the design of the stadium. From the planning application designs presented and the views across the Mersey, it genuinely does feel as though this has always been there and part of the dock system. It certainly does not look out of place with its brick industrial warehouse appearance, working well with the water assets and historical features (like Stanley Dock) that surround it, and reflective of the Club's heritage through Archibald Leitch architecture. This is a chance for Everton to create social history and heritage for a new generation.

The Everton FC Heritage Society has chartered our proud history since our foundation. We do understand the importance of a new stadium move for the Club's future in the global Premier League but this in itself is an opportunity to tell our story, the city's story, to an even greater audience. There is a heritage story here to be told, and a story that we feel frustratingly gets missed in the way the city promotes its other authentic genuine heritage assets on a world-wide level.

We are thrilled by the proposals we have seen to date and by the opportunity that the Bramley-Moore Dock site offers the Club. We believe that it is the only site available. Furthermore, we are convinced that it is the right site in the right location for our Club. We have seen over the years the added value contribution that the Club makes to the regional economy and local society and we wholeheartedly believe that the benefits of the re-location will be fully realised.

In summary:

  • Bramley-Moore Dock is the only site in the city for Everton to develop their stadium;
  • The move to Bramley-Moore Dock will deliver economic and social regeneration benefits, similar in impact to the Liverpool One development;
  • The People's Project offers a unique opportunity for a more complete heritage story of Liverpool's dock history to be told through the stadium, the Hydraulic Tower proposal and the emerging plans for the Goodison Legacy;
  • The people of Liverpool, and the wider city-region, evidenced by the Club's public consultation, want this to happen.
We support the planning application for Bramley-Moore Dock and the Goodison Legacy project wholeheartedly and look forward to the next phase of development.

Yours sincerely

Brendan Connolly


Reader Comments (35)

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Vin McFarlane
1 Posted 15/03/2020 at 00:55:27
I completely agree Brendan. The unique design elements that you've mentioned, plus the waterside location, will elevate it above the identikit behemoths that our rivals are building. The best stadium in Britain, by far!
Don Alexander
2 Posted 15/03/2020 at 01:03:14
To me, the current situation casts massive doubt on BMD becoming a reality any time within the next few years.

If I'm wrong, it calls into discussion the actual wealth of Farhad Moshiri and the integrity of Liverpool City Council.

He is not a "wealthy" billionaire. Reportedly he's bog-standard at that level compared to more than the top ten English football club owners, minimum.

If BMD is built, regardless of Covid-19, I just wonder whether the Premier League, those paeons of integrity, of course, will allow Everton the accommodation they've always allowed the Sky-Babe clubs?

Without a mega-wealthy owner, I doubt it.

Patrick McFarlane
3 Posted 15/03/2020 at 01:11:24
According to Mail Online, Usmanov's company is set to do a naming rights deal for the Bramley-Moore Dock stadium of circa 𧶀m over a 10-year plus period.

Caveat alert: the article cites sources close to club.

Don Alexander
4 Posted 15/03/2020 at 01:30:35
Moshiri the alleged owner whilst to us gullible Brits the 100% genuine owner is in no way linked to Usmanov?

What could possibly go wrong?

Derek Thomas
5 Posted 15/03/2020 at 02:00:02
Don @ 4; what could go wrong? All this virus stuff for a start.

All good stuff to hear and well done the Heritage Society...

Am I allowed to harbour even the tiniest doubt as to the timing - probably not, no, shame on me, whatever was I thinking, forget I even mentioned it.

Michael Kenrick
6 Posted 15/03/2020 at 02:07:15
On the contrary, Derek, I'm glad to see possible signs that normal life may actually be continuing, despite the growing contagion. I'm simply astounded how many posters have wrung through such an incredible myriad of possibilities with endless repetition on other threads. That's not to say that the uncertainty of the times will no doubt permeate this thread also. (See Post #2)
Mike Benjamin
7 Posted 15/03/2020 at 07:05:39
One thing the virus will do is bring economic recession but along with it virtually 0% interest rates for years to come. Financing costs will therefore likely come down and help the build. In addition, the government (central and local) will be doing everything they can to make sure projects like this go-ahead to stimulate the economy. In a macabre sort of way the current crisis will be a stimulus.

Always look on the bright side of life... da da da da.

John Keating
8 Posted 15/03/2020 at 07:38:30

I fully agree. Life goes on and a lot of positives can come out of this dreadful situation.

Mark Andersson
9 Posted 15/03/2020 at 07:42:35
Mike @7,

I like your optimistic view.

The virus issue will no doubt have many twists and turns to keep ToffeeWebbers amused and bemused...

Lenny Kingman
10 Posted 15/03/2020 at 08:27:49
Excellent letter that. Hope it all comes to pass.
Billy Roberts
11 Posted 15/03/2020 at 08:57:05
A bog standard billionaire eh Don?
Kevin Day
12 Posted 15/03/2020 at 08:58:55
Mike @7

Nail on head.

This virus is going to hit the economy world wide.

The crash in 2007/8 saw planning laws relaxed in order to get the construction industry moving and therefore stimulate the economy, the BMD project would be looked upon more favourably due to the size the build, more people back in work, more people paying taxes again and less relying on social help.

Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 15/03/2020 at 09:06:05
Mike (7), always look on the bright side of life, that's the spirit mate, watching George Formby on TV at the moment, plenty of doom and gloom all around us at the moment, so I'm laughing at a load of jolly nonsense to cheer me up as a tonic.
Colin Glassar
14 Posted 15/03/2020 at 09:24:27
Mike 7, you're right. After a crash comes a boom and vice versa. That's just economics 101.

This recession/pandemic won't last long and we will recover as we always do. My parents generation (WWII vets) would be embarrassed watching us moan and groan about a shortage of bog roll and the footy being suspended for a few week.

Let's look forward to a fresh start for us (EFC) and for the world (climate change) and stop acting like a bunch of pansies!!

Paul Birmingham
15 Posted 15/03/2020 at 09:34:05
More now than ever the glass is half full., and a fine testimony from the Everton Heritage Society.

Things can only get better, it will take time, and it looks increasingly like lock down now, so we must all muckin and try and help family, friends, neighbours etc, typically elder people whom depend on public transport, in any way we can.

I'm no scientist but perhaps is if there's a second wave of this virus or another strain, hopefully the global focus on developing a vaccine will, eventually see a proven canine and a solution.

Hopefully the football powers that be, will declare this season void, and hopefully the football season can resume later this summer..

Derek Knox
16 Posted 15/03/2020 at 10:22:55
Dave @ 13, ' turned out nice again Dave ' seriously another encouraging sign of progress for the BMD Project. Hope we have a worthy squad by the time we get to occupy it!
Billy Roberts
17 Posted 15/03/2020 at 10:29:46
They do say "a proven canine" is mans best friend!!
Excellent post by the way.
John Raftery
18 Posted 15/03/2020 at 13:21:04
Great letter which all fans will support.
Jay Wood

19 Posted 15/03/2020 at 14:25:10
Dave Abraham @ 13.

'I'm watching George Formby on TV at the moment...'

Strewth Tony! Have a word with yer dad!

Not only is he still watching TV on a black and white Baird TV from the 1930s, he's still picking up the signals for the TV programs of that time!

No wonder his eyesight is going and he is never able to see Siggy or Schneiderlin have a good game for Everton from his spec at Goodison! (non-Covid-19-cough!).

Eric Myles
20 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:06:54
Mike #7, where have you been for the last 10 years of virtually 0% interest rates?
Andrew Heffernan
21 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:54:03
Lot of doom mongers around as usual re coronavirus. Interesting piece in Telegraph over the weekend comparing the impact of Spanish flu, mortality rates of the young, working age and its impact on the economy against the lack of impact of coronavirus, noting market turmoil and the contradiction that it is a balance to an overpopulated globe, extinction rebellion's aims and a pension crisis. Chip paper in 6/8 weeks...
Tony Abrahams
22 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:57:16
He's going deaf Jay, that's why I find it much easier conversing with him on this great website mate!
Paul Birmingham
23 Posted 15/03/2020 at 16:26:15
Good spot Billy@15, these iPads!lol.
Alasdair Jones
24 Posted 15/03/2020 at 16:30:30
Well done to the Heritage Society. It is this sort of concise letter of support that is required at this stage with a strong underlying argument in favour of the approval of the scheme. The more letters of support the better. However the Council must surely realise by now that there is a huge ground swell of support for these proposals following last summers public exhibitions. Nevertheless the Chief Planning Officer, in reporting the application to his committee, must outline to the members how many letters/on-line comments in support of the scheme have been received and inevitably the number of objectors (if any!)
Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 15/03/2020 at 17:07:26
Jay (19), I can feel your envy, I bet you would be liking to see George Formby, better still “ Old Mother Riley” is on next!!! I wouldn't bunk in to half of the modern day performers.
Jay Wood

26 Posted 15/03/2020 at 17:26:56
There's some truth in that, Dave!

It's BBB 2020 season here in Brazil - Big Brother Brazil. Brazil is BIGGGG on BB. Brazilians can't get enough of it, including my missus.

She doesn't understand why I curl up in the foetal position repeating 'When will it end? For heaven's sake, when will it all end?!' when each morning she briefs me of the overnight events in the BBB house, such as:

"Wau! It all kicked off last night when someone didn't do the washing up!"

My only fear if both of us should catch Covid-19 is that we could both be in lock-down together and there would be no escape for me from watching wall-to-wall BBB.

If it comes to that, one of us won't make it out alive.

And it won't be due to anything Covid-19 can throw at me.

Jay Wood

27 Posted 15/03/2020 at 17:41:10
And talking of Covid-19 and Brazil, I see this story has made it to the BBC sports pages.


Brazil hasn't yet been seriously hit by the virus, but still the government is taking measures to restrict mass gatherings. They've closed cinemas and theatres, whilst sport events continue in the main behind closed doors.

Similar to Wayne Rooney's criticism of the authorities for exposing footballers longer than necessary to the risks, Gremio - Everton Cebolinha's team - played a state game today behind closed doors.

As a protest, the players took to the field wearing masks, but removed them when the game KO.

The all-conquering Flamengo manager Jorge Jesus has lent his support to cancelling all football in Brazil until further notice.

Ian Pilkington
28 Posted 15/03/2020 at 23:55:46
We should be very grateful to Brendan and the Everton Heritage Society for this excellent contribution. I have no doubt that BMD will go ahead as planned.
Thank you also to Colin@14 for some common sense amidst all the current hysteria.
Mike Benjamin
29 Posted 16/03/2020 at 07:54:39
Eric#20. For the last 20 years I have been benefiting from an extremely cheap mortgage due to low interest rates which has saved me a few grand. Yeaaah paying for my season ticket every year. Over the last year or so there has been increased pressure on rates to rise due to economic growth, increasing inflation etc. Even if these have been small the trend has been upwards. What this crisis is likely to is keep the interest rate down for the foreseeable which should save the club money in financing costs.
Mike Oates
30 Posted 16/03/2020 at 22:05:20
Worst case - Coronavirus could ultimately derail the Bramley Moore Dock project as clubs income could see a huge deficit in their income if Coronavirus issues are still around late this year. It could mean a £100m shortfall.

Please hope it doesn't impact the project, but hope it mean players wages and player transfer fees are substantially reduced.

David Currie
31 Posted 17/03/2020 at 03:21:26
Dave 25, Talking of George Formby, did you hear what he said when he bumped into Eddie Murphy?

"Turned out nice again, Mother Fucker!"

Kevin Day
32 Posted 18/03/2020 at 19:43:05
Mike @30

Hear what your saying, but, on the flip side, interest rates will remain at record lows for many years to come, cheaper borrowing.

What I'm more concerned about, is how much of Moshiri's and Usmanov's wealth is tied up in shares.

Mike Benjamin
33 Posted 19/03/2020 at 08:10:15
Keith.@32. I think you will find the super rich will get even wealthier as a result of this crisis. Moshiri and Usmanov will undoubtedly have assets including cash, bonds etc, which have not been adversely affected but can then be used to take advantage of the upsurge in the stock market when it does come.
Colin Glassar
34 Posted 21/03/2020 at 07:41:22
Sounds like this is still on track. Work to start in autumn. Some good news at least.
Mike Cheshire
35 Posted 24/03/2020 at 12:21:18
@32 and @33

Firstly, I would like to say to everyone to take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Secondly, I hope this doesn't come across as callous in any way.

I think what we can realistically expect is this to definitely go ahead because of the Covid-19 pandemic, not in spite of it.

Often after an economic shock or a crisis (such as in 2008-09) you'll see, as you said, record low interest rates (making it cheaper to borrow the money) as well as planning laws being relaxed to facilitate large scale economy stimulating projects to go ahead with the minimum of fuss. Couple this to the councils/governments desire to create jobs, I'd say it was looking very good from an Everton/BMD perspective.

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