With regards to the proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore there is huge activity going on behind the scenes with Keith Harris, who is now a full-time Club employee, being responsible for delivering the stadium on time and to budget.
The budget for the new stadium is almost £500m and the finance, that is hoped to be in place during the 3rd quarter of this year, will be secured with the best interests of the Club in mind.
The planning preparations are going on in parallel and we can still expect the stadium to be ready for season 2022-23.
Based upon this meeting there is no doubt in my mind that the Club, and Farhad, remain committed to seeing the project through and alongside a good manager recognise that a bigger stadium is a prerequisite for on-field success.
On the hot topic of capacity Farhad implied during the meeting that the capacity of the new stadium would be in the range 52,000 – 55,000 which, as I’m sure you would agree, is far too low for the majority of Evertonians. That said the capacity has not yet been finalised and the Club continue to review a range of capacity options in the Dan Meis designs.
The final decision about the stadium, including the all-important capacity, will be informed by the fan consultation alongside the views of the Board and the Club’s professional advisers. The scale of our ambition should mean the new stadium capacity needs to be more than 60,000 with the ‘magic capacity’ of 61,878 being favoured not just by myself but by many Evertonians.
I hope that the Board and Farhad listen to the fans about capacity if only because our voice has been ever present for 140 years and one rather hopes it carries the most weight and is heard the loudest when the capacity decision is finally made.
John Blain, Chairman, Everton FC Shareholders’ Association