Goodison Park has been the home to Everton Football Club since 24th August 1892. It is the original purpose-built football stadium in England.
However there is no disputing that after two world wars and 116 years of service, it is now holding the club back and it needs to be redeveloped if it is to continue to be the home of Everton. Some critics have suggested that the Everton board have purposefully neglected the stadium because of an ulterior motive - namely they want to uproot sticks and start a new build somewhere else because it's the easy option.
The club’s Chief Executive has identified several problems with Goodison Park as it stands:
- 10% of the Stadium seating has an obstructed view if the goal area;
- Approximately 12,000 of the 40,000 seats (30%) have an obstructed view of the playing area.
- Poor Car Parking facilities within the vicinity of the stadium;
- There is no lateral movement within the stadium;
- Three sides of the stadium are on the public highway which equates to poor access and movement around the stadium;
- Lack of corporate facilities within all stands, and views of designated areas in the Main Stand;
- Lack of Executive Boxes and facilities, each corporate entertainment area is served by separate back of house facilities due to the piecemeal way in which it has been developed, which is inefficient;
- Poor press facilities;
- Poor facilities for team and coaching staff (Dressing rooms, Tunnel, Doping room, Interview areas, Players Lounge);
- Poor facilities for briefing/staff area for match day Stewards;
- No remote ticket collection point, the ticket collection point is too close to the Visiting Supporters collection point, on night matches this requires an added police presence;
- Small Concourse area, poor ground bar areas, poor toilet facilities;
- The stadium structure needs constant maintenance, painting and roof repair work required annually;
- Poor facilities for the disabled;
- Poor TV / Press facilities, (Gantry, TV Commentary area, Press box, Sky Box, Interview areas, No Press Mixed Zone Area, Camera Positions);
- Lack of office space for the Administration Staff, staff detached from each other in different areas within the stadium and within the vicinity.
- Dugout area is small, with lack of space surrounding for overflow of staff, medical staff, press and players
- Poor Entertainment facilities
Architect Trevor Skempton told Bill Kenwright at the 2007 AGM that:
“I was working in Newcastle for the city council in 1990. At that time Newcastle had 4,000 seats and an average attendance of 23,000. Their ground was the worst in the old Second Division. The Magpie Group took over the club, but before they took over, the old Board issued a document, which I have at home, saying that they could only accommodate 33,000 in a stadium at St. James’ Park. We were asked to look into it and we said that they could expand the ground — even as far as 80,000 if they were prepared to do it in certain ways.
The club was taken over and I don’t see anybody having poured money into a black hole in Newcastle. Average attendances are now over 50,000. This has been built up, gradually, by a business plan. Sound business principles. It’s a pity they haven’t got a manager like David there or there’d have been no stopping them. The fact is that they’ve built up their fan base, everybody talks about them being a big club but they’re no bigger than Everton.
They were averaging 23,000 in 1990. Kevin Keegan started taking them forward; they built it up bit by bit by bit. In the next few years they are building another stand at the Gallowgate, to take their capacity up to 65,000. That is a club that has not been bankrolled by a sugar daddy; it is a club that is run on aggressive but sound business principles.”
In short, he believes that Everton should redevelop Goodison Park and with an impeccable record like his, who are we to argue?