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Time to share nicely?

Everton's Kirkby dream is over. Will SuperBlue Bradley come to the rescue? Should there be just one stadium for both teams, asks Larry Neild

Published on November 27th 2009.

Time to share nicely?

Everton’s going nowhere. And we're not talking about last night’s performance at Hull.

Goodison is to remain the home of the Blues for some time yet, perhaps forever, after Government Communities Secretary John Denham chucked out the scheme to build a new stadium in Kirkby.

Tesco’s battle cry Every Little Helps didn’t do it for the £400m project.

Link a new Everton stadium with Project Jennifer (that’s a major regeneration initiative for Great Homer Street) or a site at Gillmoss on the East Lancs Road

Was it pulled off by the astonishing powers of SuperBlue, otherwise known as EFC-loving Warren Bradley?

It seems the dual between the Duke and the Knight has resulted in victory for the former.

Freeman of Liverpool and Everton supporter Sir Terry Leahy may well be the top man at Britain’s favourite corner shop. But he was up against the might of the Duke of Westminster, enobled thanks to the battling skills of one of his ancestors.

The Leahys never stood a chance against the Grosvenors when they objected against the scheme. I mean the Duke practically owns the whole of London, and now he own practically the whole of Liverpool city centre in the shape of Liverpool One.

He was never going to stand by and allow some Klondike development of megastores, shops and, OK, if you insist, a footie stadium, to pose competition for his new shopping paradise.

So when I predicted problems because of the potential impact the Kirkby development would have on Liverpool, I was laughed out of the room.

Denham will say in his proclamation that the Kirkby development would breach shopping policy aimed at stopping megastores sapping trade from city centres.

Read the small print about the Kirkby scheme and the retail and leisure element would not be far short of the

size of Liverpool One. For a town with a population of 40,000!

The Kirkby development only made economic sense if it attracted visitors from places like Liverpool, St Helens and surrounding towns.

Sorry, Kirkby, but now you will have to carry on making do with the likes of Lidl and Poundstretcher, oh and perhaps a Macky Dees

So where does it leave Everton? Goodison Park, I expect, but nursing a bloody nose.

The tragedy for Kirkby is the “newtown” is still in desperate new of a revamp and major investment, but Knowsley Council threw its lot into this all-or-nothing strategy.

If Tesco had rode into town with a smaller retail and leisure scheme it would have created hundreds of jobs and everyone, including the Duke, would have been happy.

But the Holy Trinity of Everton FC, Knowsley Council and Tesco decided to ride all on the jackpot. And lost.

SuperBlue now has the chance to chew over some Kryptonite and work on a realistic option that will deliver a new Everton ground within the city.

Bradley’s battle cry is Liverpool is business friendly. Everton is a business, so be friendly, Warren.

There are people in this city who, without the need for golden nuggets charged by consultants, will come up with credible ideas.

Link a new Everton stadium with Project Jennifer (that’s a major regeneration initiative for Great Homer Street) or a site at Gillmoss on the East Lancs Road.

Liverpool, the city, is bidding to host the World Cup in 2018, in the expectation of brand new homes for both Liverpool and Everton.

It would be cruel for a Red or a Blue to mention this now, at this time of grieving for a lost dream, but doesn’t the prospect of a shared stadium seem a not ridiculous suggestion. United we stand, whetever your colour.

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

ParkyNovember 26th 2009.

Was that back in the days when someone took a proactive interest in keeping the club in the city?

Indy Pen DantNovember 26th 2009.

Perhaps Everton can stadium share with Tranmere. A 60,000-plus ground Liverpool wants would be much too big for Everton when you consider the current attendance trends.

ADNovember 26th 2009.

Desmond morris wrote his book in the 70's when hooliganism was rife. The comparison does not hold true today.Neither club can afford a new staduim on their own and even if they could it would not make proper business sense to walk away from the chacne to halve costs. The stadium could be branded using video screans like the electronic hoardings used at many football grounds - the branding could be swiched for each team, including stand names. Afterall in munich the whole roof changes colour depending on which team is at home. In football today only money seems to define success, Sharing allows both clubs to achive more on the field.

AnonymousNovember 26th 2009.

Hate the idea of a shared stadium. Everyone does. Would never happen in Manchester ot any other city with two big teams.

JK Rolling stockNovember 26th 2009.

Suppose that's it for the trams then?

tonyNovember 26th 2009.

It appears a little known fact that the former chief executive of the city council, one Sir Diddy Henshaw, had a secret meeting with Kenwright and Rick Parry at a London hotel about a shared stadium.

DigNovember 26th 2009.

I would take a punt that the majority of people in favour of a shared stadium are not proper football fans. A shared stadium with a Kop, an eternal flame, Shankly gates and statue, Paisley gates, Dixie Dean statue and the motto's YNWA and The Peoples Club dotted about the place? How would that work? It may, be a new home for both clubs but it would never feel like a home for the fans.

DigNovember 26th 2009.

Little swipe from Stan there. I'm not quite sure what makes Everton the 'most honourable' team in the city, as he puts it. I'm very sure what makes Liverpool the 'most honoured' team in the city though. It appears the majority in favour of a shared stadium are from the blue half. No doubt the thought of clinging onto the coat tails of their illustrious, more popular, richer and far more successful neighbours providing the carrot for them.

StanNovember 26th 2009.

So the "lets share" brigade are waving their flags again? This is is something that i hope will never happen. I'm cringing just thinking about it. Everton should keep their own identity as the oldest and most honourable team in the city.

shopperNovember 26th 2009.

No disrespect, but why would anybody want to go shopping to Kirkby. Anyway Kirkby already has a great shopping centre, its called Liverpool.

LazNovember 26th 2009.

Desmond Morris, the Zoologist wrote in one of his books, I think it was the Naked Ape, that football is a modern substitute for warfare, such is the tribal rivalry we enjoy or endure, depending on your point of it. As such a shared stadium would not work. My own honest belief is a10-15 years ago it might just have worked and would by now be embedded into a social fabric. It’s now too late. However, as widely reported, the question of a shared stadium is very much on the agenda, and I can’t ignore that fact. It would be better for all concerned if the two clubs, the council and all of the other decision makers and stakeholders signed a decree declaring there would be no hared stadium. Then the two clubs could get on with sorting themselves out. Perhaps even more important than football is the impact and the blight these delays are having on the long suffering communities around both Anfield and Goodison Park. These communities are hostages to misfortune at the mercy of the owners of both clubs. If they were not big-shot football clubs it would have been sorted years ago.

that'smrbollockstoyou.co.ukNovember 26th 2009.

We all bow to Laz and his knowledge of the city scene in terms of the politics of the Bradley brigade but he knows FA about the politics of football. Reds have their identity and the Blues their own and both relate to having their own stadium. So, I agree more with Dig's view that those who are in favour of a shared stadium are not proper football fans. For a start, why don't the Blues knock down the Antiques Roadshow of the Bullens Road and build a new stand with far greater capacity and keep the ground where it is, retaining at least some essence of their history and help to support the economy for one of the poorest parts of not just Liverpool but western Europe (top 10 - and that's official) . A new stadium for the Reds and a quarter of a new one for the Blues while retaining its old Goodison might help to continue to bolster a very fragile part of the city and keep it above water. Football has been the lifeblood for the Walton, Kirkdale, Anfield and Everton areas. And two stadiums will be better than one to keep that lifeblood flowing.

ADNovember 26th 2009.

A shared stadium is the intelegent way forward for both clubs, it would allow them to increase their machday income without spending the full cost of a new stadium. The money they each save by teaming up would allow them to have a chance of keeping up with Arsenal, Utd, Chelsea and now city. The banks of the mersey have long been one of the heartlands of football, a shared stadium may be the best chance to stop both clubs falling by the wayside.

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