This week Everton announced the first phase of consultation in the process of leaving Goodison Park.
However, far from following the trends of other Premier League clubs to have moved stadia in the last twenty years or so, Everton plan to leave behind a much more lasting legacy than luxury housing or bargain supermarkets.
Many other clubs, such as Manchester City and Arsenal, have turned their former grounds into housing, with Arsenal being the more sympathetic to their former home, using the Highbury pitch as a communal garden for the residents who have paid a King’s ransom to live there.
Everton, though, are not simply looking to maximise the sale value of Goodison Park.
Once mortgaged to the value of around £8m, the value of the Blues’ current home is a far cry from that of their London counterparts, Goodison is once again Everton’s to do with as they please, and is listed as an Asset of Community Value.
Everton want to leave behind a true legacy in L4 when they leave the area for Bramley Moore Dock in 2023, and are looking to use Goodison Park to add to the Free School and Blue Base on Spellow Lane.
Everton in the Community have worked tirelessly within the local area and, with the monetary value of Goodison Park being relatively small in comparison to the build cost at Bramley Moore Dock, community use is a viable option.
The club hope to be able to offer a mixture of health, education, business start up and residential uses for Goodison, and insist it will remain sympathetic to the needs of the local community.
This is, as a lot of things Everton do off the pitch, bucking the trend of Premier League clubs to seemingly become ever distant from their fan base, and will continue to showcase the Blues’ work within the local community.
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