Everton reconsider Goodison options

Since plans for a £400million project, in conjunction with

Tesco, at Kirkby were rejected the club have been assessing their

options. And although the global financial climate appears to be

easing slightly chief executive Elstone admits they may have to

look closer to home if building a new ground is deemed

unaffordable. “We’ve met with developers and land owners and we’ve

also commissioned a fresh look at Goodison Park with a

highly-recommended architect who had no involvement in Kirkby or

our previous reviews of Goodison,” he said. “He’s currently looking

at previous plans alongside developing his own ideas. “Of course,

the well-reported challenges remain: roads, shops, houses, a

school, a church, a pub, a garage most of which will need to be

addressed in one way or another for us to go forward in a way that

makes commercial sense. “In short, the challenges of working with a

stadium footprint housing 50% more fans than The Reebok, in pretty

much the same space remain.” Sites in Scotland Road, Speke and

Aintree have all been mooted as potential new venues but without

the corporate backing of a company like Tesco none are currently

seen as viable. But Everton will continue discussions with the

local authorities as they pursue every avenue. “There are many

examples of council-led or partnered stadium developments in

football over the course of the past decade,” added Elstone. “We

hope, between us, we can create a scheme which, in the first

instances passes our basic test of ‘affordability’ and, ultimately,

becomes a reality. “Several sites have been identified. All are

familiar to us and all had been assessed previously but this

doesn’t mean we’ll come to the same conclusions as circumstances

change. “The economy, in all respects, changes from day to day and

we have to refresh our conclusions and look for new opportunities.

“I hope we are able to report progress in the near future.”