Everton FC’s quest to build a modern new stadium is making “solid progress on many fronts”, supporters were told by the club’s executive board.
During Everton’s annual general meeting (AGM), chief executive Robert Elstone revealed that design work, viability studies for transport and planning, and an “evidence-based” business plan had all been completed.
Elstone said that while there were “significant remaining issues” to resolve, everyone was “optimistic about the new stadium prospects”.
“It’s an optimism founded on solid progress on many fronts, most encouragingly, progress in our partnership with Liverpool City Council and its willingness to explore options to support our efforts to find the money to make the stadium viable – the biggest challenge we’ve always faced,” he added.
Joe Anderson, the mayor of the city, addressed the meeting, telling delegates that Everton’s plan “had the full support” of the City Council.
However, Elstone concluded with the caveat that before the project could move forward, the Premier League club needed to “find the answer to the uncertainties” and “work through the unknowns”.
Last September it was revealed that Meis Architects were working on the design of the stadium.
Everton has long had the ambition to relocate from its current Goodison Park home in a bid to grow. Those efforts have been supercharged since former Arsenal shareholder Farhan Moshiri acquired a 49.9 per cent stake in the club last February,
Moshari was present at the meeting, which took place in Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall.
“It is not enough to say 'we are special',” he said. “We don’t want to be a museum. We need to be competitive and we need to win. The gold standard is the Premier League. The league is where our competitive edge will be measured.
“We have a window to establish ourselves and we will do everything we can. Now we need to look at sustainability to be amongst the elite. It takes time, but we are committed. That is why we are here.”
First published www.sportsmanagement.co.uk, written by Matthew Campelli 5 Jan 2017