Goodbye Goodison latest
Feature by Les Roberts
Updated Friday, 4th May 2007
Everton have announced that they are to move onto the next phase of the proposed plan for a new stadium in Kirkby.
There will be a major public consulation launched next month with Kirkby residents to ascertain as to whether or not they actually want a massive Tesco store with a football ground stapled onto the side of it in within the limits of their borough.
Which is a slightly cynical way of looking at it but I am very cynical about new stadia and the goldrush associated with them.
Anyway, the club have also stated that a fans ballot is still fundamental to any new stadium development.
But it's unclear if it will just be a ballot to determine the colour of the seats as no vote will take place unless the board of directors consider Kirkby to be their preferred option.
So, if the board of directors have looked at all of the available options and have decided that a move to Kirkby is the most financially viable and beneficial, then what possible input could the fans actually have?
And, would it not be irresponsible to put all that money, time and business nouse into coming up with the best plan for the future of Everton and then cast it all aside on the say-so of people who have an emotional attachment to Goodison?
It's also still unclear as to whether the 'period of exclusivity' has expired and whether or not the club can now look at, council leader, Warren Bradley's proposed sites in the North and South of the city.
A statement issued by scheme's the three partners read: "Knowsley Council, Tesco and Everton Football Club have been involved in an exclusivity agreement for several months with a view to deciding whether to go ahead with proposals for a new retail centre and football stadium in Kirkby town centre.
"At a recent high-level meeting, it was agreed to move to the next stage which is to start a major consultation process on the proposals for residents and businesses in Kirkby."
Everton chief executive Keith Wyness added: "We have been fully exploring our options for the future for some considerable time now.
"Talks with both Knowsley Borough Council and Tesco are continuing and we are encouraged by the progress which has been made.
"We hope to be in a position to deliver more news, and more information to our supporters in the not-too-distant future."
We wait with baited breath...but we're not holding it!