Goodison is getting refurbished according to Robert Elstone at last night’s annual fan conference, says David Martin.
As nice as that is it does sound very much like we will be getting treated to yet another lick of paint and a quick hoover round with a Dyson rather as opposed to any massive overhaul. It appears my calls for a Costa Coffee in Goodison continue to go unnoticed and in terms of anything significant happening we seem to be as far away as ever from improving on or moving away from the The Grand Old Lady.
Mr Elstone also reckons that the plans for a new stadium are already in place and that we just need to find a way to finance it. Investment again seems to be the word of the week although who the investors are and what they are intending to invest is once again, rightfully or wrongfully, a mystery. However, what is clear is that as much as we are succeeding on the pitch and despite some good incentives off the pitch, we appear to be no closer to resolving the stadium issue in the short term. While our neighbours across the park are planning redevelopment we are titivating around the edges of Goodison Park adding walks of fame and moving Dixie about a bit. Don’t get me wrong it’s all nice stuff but it’s still depressing to think that despite it being several years after Kirkby went tits up, it looks like we will be drinking warm Chang and standing in front of obstructed views for the foreseeable.
None of this is news to Evertonians and if you think this piece is more that of a reactionary and irritated fan looking for cathartics you might well be right. The relentless crowing of those in that horrible colour elsewhere certainly isn’t helping. It’s still important however that despite all the positivity and buzz around the club at the moment, Goodison Park is not forgotten. Now is the time to capitalise on the increased media interest in us as a result of our form. The new willingness of Liverpool City Council to assist in a resolution and the fact Liverpool are locked in to staying where they are means that all the stars appear to be aligning. If Everton have a plan to move or develop Goodison now is the time to instigate it. If this means finding investment from private companies or allowing others with ideas to help then so be it. It is yet to be seen whether The Football Quarter as an example, is something the club will use as a building block and whether the involvement of The Blue Union is an issue. Maybe Everton really do have their own ideas in place of how to move forward? If they do there may never be a better time to do something about it as there is only so many times you can apply a new coat of paint until the cracks start to show.
No doubt a victory against QPR and I will once again forget about all this for a bit. I just hope that those who need to remember it and do something about it don’t forget about it. It should be the club’s primary off pitch concern and I can only hope Everton Football Club at least try to move us forward as much off the pitch as David Moyes and the players are on it.