Brian Reade Saturday 24th March 2007
Scathing attack on the club from the Daily Mirror's Brian Reade and questions asked of Chairman Bill Kenwright.
Sure to ruffle a few feathers as, even as a red, Reade is considered an all round "decent bloke" by those who have followed his column over the years.
"They promised us a penthouse on the waterfront - now it's a council flat in Kirkby." Those are the words of Everton fan Paul Wharton.
A sense of submission that sums up the fears and frustrations felt by the majority of Evertonians over plans to re-locate miles outside of the city they have played in for 129 years.
Fears they may be moving to a half-empty, characterless leisure complex, where Kopite chants of "you're just a small club from Kirkby" will be realised, and frustration that their voices aren't being heard
Memo to Bill Kenwright: the gut instinct of virtually every Evertonian I speak to (which is many) is that surrendering the city of Liverpool to their Stanley Park neighbours, is an ill-thought-out decision with potentially calamitous consequences. The "exclusivity agreement" you have with Knowsley Council and Tesco, where no other options can be discussed, makes them believe it's a done deal.Andthey are desperate for answers.
Is it true Liverpool's council leader Warren Bradley is offering you two sites within the city and is willing to help you re-develop Goodison? Have you ever tried getting from South Liverpool to Kirkby by public transport or paid the extortionate taxi fare?
Why do you think Bolton's chairman is begging fans not to stay away since moving to a similar out-of-town retail site? Why Kirkby at all costs?
Is the club who sit sixth in the world's most affluent league so skint they'll take any handout no matter how unsuitable? Is it about ensuring you don't have to sell out to foreign investors with clout and lose control of the club?
And do you believe the average Evertonian wants to be dragged miles away from their spiritual home to sit in some soulless annex to a supermarket? Mr Kenwright, it's time to remember the nickname you've plastered on the side of Goodison and give the People some answers.
In a seperate article, Brian Reade lambasted Prof. Tom Cannon for his infamous outburst that Everton will become like Marine FC if we stay at Goodison Park. This can be found here. The contents are:
CAN I alert you to a strange little man with a strange-coloured 1980s wedge haircut who keeps getting wheeled out before Sky's cameras whenever the words football and money appear in the same sentence.
His name is Professor Tom Cannon, attached to either the Kingston Business School or the University of Buckingham, depending on which ancient seat of learning he's bragging about that day. And what a sage he is.
A year ago he told us that Manchester United's defeat at Benfica "could be disastrous" because they would struggle to attract a new sponsor which could "ultimately cost them between £50 million and £100m." Hmm. Didn't happen.
Prior to that he'd said the Glazers would never take over at Old Trafford: "It is one thing for Roman Abramovich to buy Chelsea, it is quite another to try and get hold of Manchester United," he scoffed. Hmm. Happened.
His plum-tinged head was back on our screens this week warning Liverpool fans that if their club is taken over by the Dubai investors, there might be a few "fallow years" on the transfer fund front. Wishful, if completely uninformed, thinking from the diehard Evertonian.
Mind you, he's really got the inside track on this story, claiming as he did in May 2004 that there would be "a long-term fight" between Steve Morgan and the Thai Prime Minister", it might get dirty" and "Granada, with their 9.9 per cent stake in the club, could end up being the powerbrokers in this deal." Hmm. None of it happened.
MEMO to Sky: The next time you need a Tom Cannon to shed light on football finance maybe you should ask Bobby Ball if his sidekick is free. Rock on Tommy.