Things are hotting up – and not just in locked cars with the windows up – as Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson announces that Everton could be “up and running” in a new stadium within two years, but the club must listen to it’s supporters on location.
Joe Anderson tweeted a photo of a meeting with himself, Bill Kenwright and Farhad Moshiri, claiming that Everton could be up and running in a new stadium within two years. Quite a claim even for Joe, but the interesting thing was the document on the table in front of the three men, which is Liverpool City Council’s brochure on how StoneBridge Cross can be redeveloped with investment.
This has led to many supporters assuming that Everton are seriously considering a move to the far northern reaches of the city, right on the border of Knowsley – the borough in which Kirkby sits, and the council who were defeated when they and Tesco tried to plan a new Everton stadium there several years ago.
There has been a massive outpouring of negative feedback, with many fans stating that only a stadium on the famous Liverpool Waterfront will be good enough for Everton.
This, it has to be said, would be a perfect location, especially with the increase in tourism around the area, and the City Council trying to fight off claims that the area should be protected with a two-year waiting period before planning applications can be presented.
Under the new investment of Farhad Moshiri, things have moved at a pace involving both a new stadium and the plans to give Goodison Park a face lift, but the announcement that the Park End stand will be renamed to celebrate Sir Philip Carter’s contributions to the club was met with a luke warm response, and although the plans for a facelift were much more warmly received, they were drawn up without consultation with support groups.
That lack of consultation needs to be redressed when looking at something as big as a stadium move. Bill Kenwright will know all-too-well how it feels to have the fans turn against you when launching a stadium move, and he will need to share that knowledge with his new business partner before anything is announced.
Everton – The People’s Club – should be paying close attention to the opinions of the fans, especially when it comes to a decision that will shape the next 100 years or so. The overwhelming opinion, it would seem, is that Stonebridge Cross is not the location many would be happy with.
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