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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Everton: New players will take priority over Kirkby Stadium

Everton FC's head of public relations, Ian Ross has revealed to the Estate Gazette (the 'subscription only' commercial property magazine) that the club are relying on favours from the Labour government to allow the stadium as part of 'Destination Kirkby' to be approved.

In the article dated 21/06/08 Ross is quoted as saying: "The plan could still get called in, but I'm hoping that, with backing from a Labour council and support from the local Labour MP, a Labour government might see it as not worth calling it in. But a delay of a year while we have a public inquiry could kill this."

The former journalist also insists that players must take priority over a new stadium:

"The primary concern has to be to look after the team, and if you go back to the all-seater stadium developments of 20 years ago, you'll see that some teams paid a heavy price for investing in their stadiums and neglecting their squads. We won't do that."

Meanwhile, in a contradictory article in today's (24/06/08) Liverpool Daily Post the local paper bizarrely reports that the stadium being called in would result in the transfer fund for new players being "curtailed."

Ross went on to inform the Estate Gazette that the Kings Dock project was "perhaps too spectacular" and that this time around Everton, Tesco and Knowsley Council clearly know what they must provide financially.

Knowsley's Chief Executive Officer Sheena Ramsey said the financial viability of the Destination Kirkby scheme is "very tight" and she revealed Knowsley Council have a plan B:

"We would hope we could encourage other investors into the area if the stadium plan isn't a success."

The Estate Gazette also reports Ian Ross as saying that Everton FC will look to redevelop Goodison Park should the proposed Kirkby plans not be given the green light, although there were no direct quotes on this issue.

KEIOC would like to take this opportunity to ask Mr Ross if he could possibly take time out from his busy schedule in order to inform all Evertonians exactly where we the loyal supporters, and our football club currently stand.

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