Clearly KEIOC are disappointed in the outcome of the Kirkby ballot. However, we are proud that we were able to mount such a well supported campaign despite the obvious bias of the local media.
Our concerns about the ballot are well documented – regular match goers did not receive a vote, people not entitled to vote received a ballot form whilst people who were entitled to a vote did not. We do not blame the Electoral Reform Society for these discrepancies. Whilst KEIOC respects the fact that the club were open enough to take this issue to a ballot, it is clear that the database that they presented to ERS was fundamentally flawed. Supporters’ concerns about the ballot process remain unanswered.
We would ask the Club to release a full breakdown of the number of ballot papers that were sent out to each category of voter, the number of ballot papers returned and the number of duplicates that were discounted from the final count. It is deeply disappointing to note that whilst the Club would not allow KEIOC representatives to observe the final count, the result of the vote was leaked to Sky Sports news on Thursday afternoon.
The closeness of the ballot result clearly highlights a bitterly divided fan base. KEIOC urge the Club to think long and hard before rushing headlong into any long term deal which would result in the club being trapped in a legal quagmire for years to come. We find it rather ironic that on the very day the ballot closed, the pro –Kirkby local press announced that Kirkby residents had major concerns about EFC moving to Kirkby, and that Knowsley Council had confirmed that Tesco’s proposed retail park could not go ahead unless it included a new stadium for EFC.
KEIOC are still of the opinion that the Kirkby project is not in the best interests of Everton Football Club as it is a short term fix to a long term problem. We urge the club to immediately carry out a meaningful inquiry as to the long term effects of moving such an historic club from a City in renaissance, to a town centre, and most importantly to make the results available to the fans. We hope that the result of the ballot does not preclude the club from considering other sites which lie much closer to our spiritual home. We urge the custodians of the ‘Peoples Club’ to give serious consideration to the sites being put forward by Liverpool City Council, listen to the concerns of its loyal fan base and act in accordance with our motto :Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.