Terry Leahy : Liverpool Echo March 16th 2007
Terry Leahy, Tesco's Chief Executive Officer has warned fellow Evertonians to heed his advice.
We don't know when exactly but "one day" Goodison will fall down so obviously the only alternative we have is to up sticks and go to Kirkby with Tesco.
He doesn't tell us what the social and economic exit strategy is for Walton but is swift to tell us that it's regeneration all the way for Kirkby.
"My decision is commercial. It’s at an early stage. It’s a great collaboration between Knowsley Council and Everton for the regeneration of Kirkby town centre. Tesco always improves an area. It provides jobs and attracts other investment. The case is to be put to the fans. I’m sure when they get to see the plans they will see it as a tremendous opportunity.
Kirkby is part of the Liverpool City Region. When Everton FC moved to its current site, it wasn’t in Liverpool. One day Goodison will fall down and we have to plan for that day. I am a keen Everton fan and understand how much a club means to a supporter. But I think when the plans are able to be presented for Kirkby the fans will be excited by the proposals.
It is always difficult when you only know of the down side and that is leaving Goodison. But it is not possible to stay at Goodison. It would take years to redevelop piecemeal and would not get ancillary services like retail to make these things work, so we have to move. And I think Everton fans would not be happy walking past Liverpool's new ground with no prospect of a new ground for Everton."