Inaugural Meeting, The Casa, Hope Street, Liverpool
A significant number of Evertonians met on 10th March 2007 to discuss their concerns at the proposed move of Everton FC to Kirkby, which lies outside the boundaries of Liverpool. The Club claim that they currently have an exclusivity agreement with Knowsley Council and Tesco plc, which prevents them from exploring alternative locations for a new stadium.
A number of fans are growingly increasingly frustrated by what they consider is a done deal with Tesco and Knowsley.They feel that they are being bullied into believing that the only way that the Club can progress is to sell its heritage to a supermarket in return for a stadium outside the City boundaries. Supporters have therefore launched the "Keep Everton In Our City" campaign and have vowed to pool ideas and put forward alternatives, which would show the Chairman of Everton FC that there is indeed another way.
Council Leader and season ticket holder Warren Bradley attended the meeting. He spoke passionately about his desire to keep the club in the city. He stated that from a professional point of view, allowing a business the size of Everton to leave the City would be tantamount to financial suicide. Indeed, he has already identified two sites within the city, which the Club could use for redevelopment, as well as finding at least one commercial partner to help fund a development in the North end of the City. He is also exploring the possibility of extending the footprint at Goodison to enable the Club to redevelop on its current site. The Club are aware of these possible options but prefer to see out the "exclusivity" period with Tesco and Knowsley.
Warren Bradley has also agreed to enquire into the possibility of re-building the stadium in Walton Hall Park, which lies just yards from Goodison Park.
Supporters at the meeting pledged to continue to identify as many alternatives within the City boundaries as possible.
We owe it to both past and future generations to do everything in our power to ensure that the Cities first Club stays within the City.