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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Guardian Cast Doubt on £80,000,000 Kirkby Project


The Guardian newspaper has expressed doubts over the viability of a stadium in Kirkby. In an article published today, they highlighted that the stadium is receiving fervent opposition (contrary to what Tesco's Michael Kissman told the local media earlier this week) and how a Secretary of State intervention may force the club to look at alternative possibilities.

"The other potential revenue streams for Everton are equally uncertain. Plans to relocate beyond the city's boundaries to a new 53,000-seat stadium in Kirkby continue to attract fierce opposition. Tesco's huge retail development in the town - with the stadium as the centrepiece - goes before Knowsley council's planning department in May and Everton, who have committed £80m to the £400m scheme, may have to pull out if the project is called in by the government. Attempts to raise at least £8m towards stadium costs through the sale of their former training ground stalled recently when a planning application to build 74 executive homes on the site was rejected. "

There was even a suggestion that moving to Kirkby could impact Bill Kenwright's search for an investor:

"Kenwright's hopes of attracting investors to the club will be hindered without a new, cost-effective stadium to throw into the package. All of which will not inflate Moyes' transfer budget in the summer, of course, although the evidence of progress - or otherwise - will have an influence when the manager asks the board to outline its long-term ambitions"

David Moyes commented that progress on the pitch could be the key factor in attracting investment:

"It would certainly help in terms of attracting investors if we finished fourth for the second time in four seasons."

The full article can be found at http://football.guardian.co.uk

An amendment has been made to this KEIOC website article since first published

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