Welcome to We Love You Everton - A Blog made for fans of Everton Football Club

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Future Of Goodison Park

Since the late 1990s the board of Everton have been seeking a new, alternative stadium to replace Goodison Park. Plans for a possible relocation were first mentioned in 1996, when then chairman Peter Johnson announced his intention to build a new 60,000-seat stadium for the club. At the time, no English league club had a stadium with such a high capacity.

In 2001, plans were drawn up to move to a 55,000-seat purpose-built arena on the site of the King's Dock in Liverpool, but the plans never came to fruition as the club could not raise sufficient funds. Following this, plans were made to move to Kirkby, just outside the city, in a joint venture with the supermarket chain Tesco. The scheme was greatly divisive amongst supporters and local authorities, but was rejected in late November 2009 following a decision by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The site of Goodison Park was earmarked in 1997 and 2003 for a food store by Tesco who offered £12 million which was valued at £4 million for the site but Liverpool City Council's advisor's advised against allowing planning permission. The club were advised that the planning permission required would not necessarily be granted, and chose not to take the scheme further.

Supporters' groups have fought against the club moving to a new stadium twice. In 1996 a group called Goodison For Ever-ton successfully fought against the club moving to a new stadium. In 2007 another group was established called Keep Everton In Our City (KEIOC) who attempted to prevent the club moving to a new stadium in Kirkby.

The supporters' groups have argued that it is possible to expand Goodison Park, despite it being surrounded by housing and local authority buildings, and have produced image renders, architectural drawings and costings for a redeveloped Goodison Park. Liverpool City Council leader Warren Bradley stated that a redevelopment of Goodison Park was his favoured option, and that relocation of the homes, infrastructure and businesses in streets adjoining the ground is "not a major hurdle".

Everton's current position regarding the future of Goodison Park is that they are considering all options, including relocation, redevelopment of the current ground, or a groundshare with Liverpool F.C., in a new, purpose-built stadium in Stanley Park, stressing that finance is the main factor affecting decision-making.

In 2010 Everton supporters approached University of Liverpool and Liverpool City Council to initiate a dedicated 'Football Quarter'/'Sports City' zone around Goodison Park, Stanley Park and Anfield. The University and City Council met with the North West Development Agency, Everton and Liverpool F.C. representatives but no further action has been taken.


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