Tuesday, August 07, 2007

More No vote musings

This time from the When Skies are Grey website :

Get it right

A move to Kirkby will hand over the city to the Yanks to push their brand totally unopposed. And push it they will.

Once those red dollar signs start appearing, the likes of Liverpool City Council won't need much reminding (as if they ever did) where their future interests lie. A stadium in a public park will just be the start.

The net result being, those future generations of youngsters in the city with only one 'local' team from which to choose, will slowly succumb to totally unopposed local media bias, and the erosion of our traditional fan base will begin.

I know we need to improve revenue streams, move or redevelop Goodison Park, blah de blah, but Kirkby is not the RIGHT move.

I have accepted the club's stance that redeveloping Goodison Park was not an option, despite no available public feasibility study. I assume that the club's lack of exploration of other sites,was due to this so called 'exclusivity period' with Knowsley Borough Council, and a lack of finance, but this 'no plan B' statement is absolute rubbish! The club have treated us like idiots in saying this.

There is always a plan B, even if it means staying put. A CEO without a plan B is blagging or not doing his job. Plan B may cost more or deliver less. Let us not forget, Goodison Park may not be safe inside ten years, so what will the board do then if the Kirkby vote is a big fat NO? Plan B anyone?

So just what will Kirkby actually give us in real terms? An iconic new stadium design perhaps? No. Take away the blue bits and there is nothing at all which associates it with Everton Football Club.

Will it give loads more cash to Davie Moyes, and allow us to 'compete' in the transfer market? Well, up to £10M more was quoted, so only a blue billionaire or rule changes will ever allow us to compete with the likes of Manchester United in the transfer market again

No, in return for selling our home, our standing in the city, our heritage and ultimately our pride and our soul, we get a blue Meccano structure on a retail park on the outskirts of Merseyside, with enough extra money to maybe buy two Championship players. But it's ok because we got the deal of the century, a stadium and some land on the cheap.

Face it, over the years we've been crap, often. Yet even with the other lot winning penalty shootouts by the barrel-load and being the local and national media darlings, even after last day escapes, many humiliations and numerous false dawns, we still manage to recruit a sizeable percentage of mainly local support and remain a 36,000 strong big blue thorn in the side of the red franchise.

A move to Kirkby will not stop United taking our best players if they wish. A move to Kirkby will not guarantee Champions League football, nor will it guarantee sell-out attendances every fortnight. It will not boost our image locally or internationally, will not give us a prime location to maximise on other commercial interests nor ensure that fans get to the match easier.

The club owes it to the fans for their years of unswerving loyalty to now finally deliver on the motto. We are Liverpool's oldest club and this is our future at stake. It isn't like taking a chance on a young manager, overpriced player, or finding a new owner. Even a last-day relegation dogfight becomes insignificant compared to this in the long term.

If you have any doubts about Kirkby at all, if you feel any aspect of the move does not deliver up to the club motto, do the right thing for the long term future of Everton Football Club, listen to your conscience and vote no to Kirkby.

This is a difficult time for Evertonians...Kirkby represents, or is being represented as, an oportunity for the club to get out of the medium size club morass and onto the next level. Weighed against that is our Evertonian heritage, our dads and grand-dads went to that stadium, had their trials, tribulations and triumphs there and shuffled back down Goodison Road in the same way we do nowadays. We would be abandoning all that tradition. History was made at that ground, William Ralph Dean scored his 60th league goal of the season there, he died there as well! There are 1000s of stories linked to "The Old Lady" everyone's got their own.

Giving all that up is a massive step but if the club needs to do it to move forward I think blues will be able to bite the bullet...But the club has singularly failed to spell out that need (aside from a bunch of scare stories from Tom Cannon) and it has also singularly failed to spell out how a new stadium will help us move forward. Yes there'll be more seats and more corporate boxes, more food & drink kiosks etc etc but if the stadium's half empty what revenue will they be generating?

For me I just don't see this dammed up wall of Evertonianism just waiting for a modern arena to flood into. If they can really spell out the benefits then I'd glumly vote Yes but the clubs just don't seem to have bothered doing that. Until that happens I'm a No voter.

As I've said before I love the idea of being proved wrong and, in a few years, watching Everton parade the treble round our beloved Fortress Kirkby. In the current footballing climate I just don't see how this scheme suits Everton in any way other than it's a cheap way to get a new stadium. Evertonians deserve better than trooping out to a retail park every two weeks.

Anyway I thought I'd post this goal by Florent Malouda from last weekend Charity/Community Shield game 'cause it was such a great impovised finish.

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