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Friday, November 26, 2010

KEIOC calls for more investment to deliver greater revenue

Today is the first anniversary of the government's decision to refuse permission to relocate our historic club to an unsuitable location in Kirkby; part of Tesco's attempt to circumnavigate local, regional and national planning regulations which, despite the best attempts of the local council in Knowsley, were rejected after a thorough examination of the facts including the location, the finances and the transport proposals.

Whilst Everton, immediately following the rejection by the secretary of state, talked of re-examining all potential sites in the city where a Kirkby type retail enabled stadium, allegedly the only method by which we could afford a stadium, could be constructed; KEIOC talked of utilising the existing asset of Goodison Park, of exploiting football and non-football related income streams for the benefit of the club, of embracing the local community, of exploiting the asset of playing in one of the country's last remaining great stadiums through a sympathetic phased redevelopment which would be affordable and provide much needed additional revenue.


Today, the talk of relocation to a retail enabled stadium, by Everton, has finally subsided and in its place we find a plan to build a four story, nine hundred square metre, building at the park end comprising a retail store, museum, cafe, a fan-focused hospitality lounge with additional office space meaning that existing space within the corporate areas of the Goodison stadium can be expanded whilst it is understood that the existing Everton One building will be used for Everton foundation and community work.

KEIOC clearly welcome this more sensible and realistic approach, but, like many Evertonians, we remain to be convinced over the description of the financing of the new project; statements like "totally self-funded by partners so there is no net cost to the club" are little better than the never to be forgotten "effectively free". There's simply nothing that is free in the commercial world and Everton shareholders and fans are yet to hear what devil is to be found in the detail. What Evertonians really need is an innovative business plan that will deliver the funding that the team and the manager so visibly require and so visibly does not get delivered.

Many Evertonians also view this as a missed opportunity and we join them in calling for the Evertonian members of the board to deliver a rights issue to finance the complete redevelopment of the Park End as an initial phase of the redevelopment of one of English footballs great stadiums.

Yes it will devalue their current shareholding, we completely understand this; but after failing to firstly deliver the Kings Dock development and secondly having the sheer effrontery in attempting to force Kirkby upon the Evertonian public and then remain in their positions on the board, its the very least they can do in an attempt to make amends.

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