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Friday, May 28, 2010

Understanding What Everton Want, Need and can Afford.


KEIOC are asked many questions by Evertonians concerned over the apparent inability to address the stadium issue. Supporters make enquiries due to bewilderment, disappointment or misunderstandings and here at KEIOC we’re sympathetic to the fans as, after many a false dawn, it still appears as dark as ever over Goodison.

Many of the questions tend to cover similar issues, from a wish to understand what KEIOC are all about to why we campaign and how we see the future.

Here are a few examples of the typical questions we’re asked, we’ve taken this opportunity to explain our stance and our belief in a bright achievable future for Everton, one that can offer real support to our managers quest for trophies and success.

 

  • Kirkby represented the only opportunity Everton had for a new stadium ; why did you ruin it?
  • Goodison is old and outdated, it prevents us from competing, why didn’t you agree with the club that Kirkby represented an opportunity for us to once again compete financially with other clubs?
  • Your attitude is holding Everton back; don’t you understand building Kirkby would have attracted a new owner?
  • If we can’t stay at Goodison, where else can we go?
  • Where are your plans for a new stadium?
  • Kirkby was affordable, how can we afford what you propose?
  • Why are KEIOC anti Tesco?
  • Why are KEIOC anti Bill Kenwright and his advisors?
  • You’re funded by businesses in Walton, aren’t you?

 

You can read KEIOC’s answers by clicking below:

Kirkby represented the only opportunity Everton had for a new stadium; why did you ruin it?

KEIOC campaigned against an unfair and misleading ballot and a development that had little chance of gaining planning approval. The claims made to entice fans to vote in favour of the Kirkby stadium have long since been discredited; as for the planning application itself, KEIOC were advised by planning officers from Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley; they unanimously advised that the application would be called in and refused. KEIOC’s message to the club was simple; they couldn’t afford such a massive waste of time and money; five years and millions of pounds later our position has been vindicated entirely.

Goodison is old and outdated, it prevents us from competing, why didn’t you agree with the club that Kirkby represented an opportunity for us to once again compete financially with other clubs?

Goodison is indeed outdated; it generates £22m per season in matchday income; with Liverpool Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United all generating significantly more, almost £80m more in the case of the last two. Since the establishment of the premier league Everton has, on average, lost £6m per season; this loss has increased to £7m in recent seasons. Everton stated that the proposed stadium at Kirkby, with attendances of 10,000 greater than they are now at Goodison, would bring into the club an additional £6m of profit. This figure was confirmed by Deloitte. Now I ask you this; what type of business would want to move to a facility that wouldn’t even cover their current annual losses let alone give the manager the promised figure of £10m per season? The stadium at Kirkby wasn’t fit for purpose, it wasn’t fit for a top premiership club; there’s simply no disputing that, it’s a fact.

Your attitude is holding Everton back, don’t you understand building Kirkby would have attracted a new owner?

Why would a new owner want to buy into a club who have a new stadium that’s unfit for purpose and would require an ongoing annual subsidy if the club wished to compete with its peer group within the premier league? KEIOC’s belief is this, we weren’t moving for the benefit of Everton, we were moving for the benefit of the clubs two chief advisors businesses, Tesco and Arcadia. Tesco weren’t the enabler, there was no actual money coming to Everton; Everton were the enabler for Tesco; the excuse they needed to apply for a 450% increase in the amount of retail that was permissible in Kirkby; the amount of retail necessary to provide this mythical cross-subsidy that was exposed at the inquiry; described as a modern miracle as nobody from Everton or Tesco wanted to explain where it was coming from until KMBC’s CEO explained it was simply the increased value of the land. Not what Everton’s former CEO explains here is it?

 

If we can’t stay at Goodison, where else can we go?

Everton dismissed all the available sites in Liverpool; they’re now looking seriously at a couple of sites in central Liverpool, but, on Everton’s insistence, they’re predicated on “the Kirkby model” in other words Everton want a retail based enabling subsidy of around 40%. Only Everton continue to state they were getting a 40% contribution from Tesco; everyone else, including Tesco, said they weren’t. There’s no reason whatsoever why Everton couldn’t redevelop Goodison Park; for a club with no money this makes the most economic sense. If we were to move to a more central location with good transport links, on the Edge of the city centre, it would certainly offer a much better solution than Kirkby, but not if they were simply going to build a £78m flatpack park type stadium; we agree it would indeed attract more of these 10,000 stay away fans to increase the average attendances, but even at 47,000 it would, as Deloitte have confirmed, bring in just £6m. It needs to be more, in terms of design and available amenities, but more comes at a cost and as we all know Everton has no money. As a senior officer at Liverpool put it recently, "let's not have another wild goose chase."

Where are your plans for a new stadium?

Taking into consideration the club has no money and that there aren’t any suitably sized retail based enabling type developments happening in the foreseeable future, apart from at Kirkby, a place that we think most now agree was a ridiculous location for a stadium anyway; KEIOC see the only logical, affordable, deliverable, suitable, viable, accessible and sustainable project being the sympathetic phased redevelopment of Goodison Park. What KEIOC propose is the incremental redevelopment and the creation of a smart stadium; that is a stadium that can contribute revenue on the maximum number of the 340 days a year when football isn’t taking place. KEIOC advocate developing additional revenue generators such as hotel, conference and banqueting facilities and incorporating innovative engineering solutions into the stadium design such as this seen here, below; the opportunities are obvious with Everton's association with the Tigers and the proximity of the conference and banqueting facility.

 

All of this would be just a part of the overall plan; a plan deemed the football quarter which encompasses both of the city’s football clubs and the areas in which they’re located. It’s a true concept and one that will be further explained in the forthcoming website, here 

Kirkby was affordable, how can we afford what you propose?

Was it? The planning inspector was far from convinced, here’s what she said in the Government report;

The financial structure of EFC and its ability to fund the remainder of the cost of the stadium is far from clear. No financial evidence was submitted by the club to demonstrate how the remaining £78m would be raised, apart from a breakdown of the potential sources of funding for the stadium.”

We fully believe the incremental redevelopment could be achieved in a cost effective manner. The extension to the park end with a 160 bed hotel, conference  and banqueting centre and the inclusion of other revenue generating schemes will cost in the region of £30m; it can be achieved without the loss of any capacity and therefore revenue, during the season; this would be phase one, it would be paid for through a rights issue, a method that would leave no debt on the club. With manageable debt levels, tight financial controls in place on wages and spending, a settled manager with a track record that, on a points for pounds paid in wages basis, confirms he’s the best performing manager in the premiership, guaranteed and soon to be enhanced future TV income streams coupled with the certainty of the club being sold at a value much much higher than its book value, Everton are indeed, an attractive investment. We can see £30, 40 even 50m being raised through such a scheme, allowing Everton to commence the phase one redevelopment as soon as possible. Phases two and three, the Bullens and St End, a small sketch of which can be seen at the beginning of this article, would be financed through finance products such as equity seat right, an Everton pension plan and debt finance, serviced through the increased revenue streams. The final phase would be financed completely through debt finance.

What KEIOC are advocating is that a full and independent feasibility study should be conducted on the Football Quarter incorporating the feasibility of the redevelopment of Goodison; nothing more nothing less, just an independent study.

Why are KEIOC anti Tesco?

We’re not; if Tesco want to build or part fund the construction of an appropriate stadium in an appropriate location then we’ll fully support it, unfortunately this simply isn’t the case. In our opinion having Sir Terry Leahy as an advisor to the board has been a serious error of judgement. Tesco have twice attempted to purchase Goodison Park; Sir Philip Carter has explained in the past that with Tesco Goodison was worth £12m, without only £4m; it is our understanding that Tesco still harbour an ambition for the Goodison land and that this has influenced the insane notion of relocating to Kirkby. LCC documentation regarding Goodison can be seen here.

Why are KEIOC anti Bill Kenwright and his advisors?

Again, we’re not anti Bill Kenwright; KEIOC agrees with Bill Kenwright's long held aim (since 1999) that he needs to sell the club so that Everton can progress to the next level. The chairman brings a lot of criticism upon himself through his own actions, Kings Dock, Fortress Sports Fund and most recently Destination Kirkby, to name but a few. He’s failed to attract the investment needed by the club and allegedly brought in Robert Earl as an investor when the reality couldn’t be more different. An officer of KEIOC was given information from an impeccable source on how Sir Philip Green paid the previous owner for his shares; shares that now reside in the ownership of an offshore company. It is KEIOC’s opinion that Robert Earl is little more than a nominee shareholder and we see little evidence to refute this position. Furthermore KEIOC hold additional information on the somewhat strange role Sir Philip Green plays in the running of Goodison; a role that hasn’t gone unnoticed in the press over the past decade, as can be seen in this section of the KEIOC website.

The poor advice from these individuals has wasted valuable time and millions of pounds Everton can ill afford; it’s time to dispense with their services or dispense with the charade. There’s a clear conflict of interest here; when both of the clubs advisors make a fortune from the retail business it comes as no surprise that Everton have just been used as a pawn in a massive attempt to circumvent the planning regulations on retail developments. We need a change of direction; a fresh, innovative, approach which is capable of delivering a solution which is for the benefit of Everton and their fanbase. It's time to drop the spin and all the embarrassing PR, which does nothing but treat the fans with contempt; it's time to put Everton first.

You’re funded by businesses in Walton, aren’t you?

No, we've never received a penny from any business in Walton, we're funded by matchgoing Evertonians.

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