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One man knows more than anyone how foolish and potentially catastrophic for Everton the proposed move out of Liverpool could be. He is George Gillett, the deep-pocketed investor whose junk bond-fuelled fortune is now at the

service of the Dark Side.


Around about the same time that it became clear that Everton intended to surrender the city to Liverpool, Gillett made an interesting decision. With all the architectural and construction plans already in place, he unexpectedly ordered the capacity of Liverpool's new stadium significantly increased.


An astute businessman whose stock in trade is reliable information about his rivals, he would have been foolish not to ask some questions about the potential consequences of Everton's departure for Liverpool. Gillett must have liked the answers.


The key question is how much will the move erode the Everton fan base within the city boundaries in future years? We know Gillett ordered the new Stanley Park stadium capacity increased from 61,000 to somewhere between 75,000 and

78,000. No club increases the capacity of its new stadium - and at the last moment, just weeks before breaking ground - without expecting to put bums on those seats one day.


In other words, Liverpool FC apparently believes that after Everton moves from the city - perhaps several years after - about 15,000 fans who might otherwise have gone to Everton's home games will find their way instead to Liverpool home games.


That represents 30 per cent of a capacity crowd at Goodison - and I suggest that such a figure is a catastrophic erosion of our match-going fan base and a huge windfall for Liverpool FC.


How does such erosion happen? Surely Everton fans will travel the relatively short distance out of Liverpool to see their team play?


For a period, that's true, we all will. But in football, time passes quickly and memories are very short. Within ten years of moving to a neighboring borough, an entire generation of football fans will grow to adulthood never

knowing a time when Everton played at Goodison.


In 20 years, incredulous young fans will be told by their fathers of a time - long ago - when Everton was not just a neighbor, but a prominent Merseyside club and actually based in the city. Within our lifetime, the connection between Everton and the district of Liverpool from which we take our name will be no more than a trivia question.


Long, long before that time, children growing up in the city of Liverpool with naturally gravitate toward the only Premiership club in the city. What child, growing up as I did in Liverpool 4, for example, within the sound of the Saturday afternoon roars, will gravitate to a club far outside the city?


That child, who may be a natural Evertonian from a long line of Evertonians, will be drawn to the team with the big stadium in Stanley Park. Multiply that many thousands of times over many years and it won't be long before Evertonians from the city of Liverpool are a rarity.


You can see a similar effect when a family moves out of the city. Dad, an Evertonian, moves to Birmingham promising himself he will raise his child in the blue tradition. It is, after all, only a couple of hours away and there are all those away games to go to that are even closer.


But it doesn't happen. The child wants to support one of the teams his friends support at school. And so, despite the very best intentions, out of a natural Evertonian, an Aston Villa fan is created. I have a nephew who - whisper it softly - grew up a Newcastle fan in precisely that manner.


Now, you can argue that the opposite is also true, that we will draw a whole generation of fans from the catchment area around our new home in the boondocks who might never have become Evertonians and that as the years pass and the connection with Liverpool dims, Everton will become Kirkby's - sorry, Knowsley's - home-town team, a Premiership monopoly like Blackburn or Middlesbrough.


I would like to know if Everton has commissioned a study about the erosion of the fan base likely to be triggered by moving out of Liverpool. Is the erosion one we can deal with? Can we make up those numbers from outside the city? Is Knowsley a community whose population is expected to grow over the years, or are we moving to a place people are leaving? How does Everton intend to maintain the connection with Liverpool - if indeed the club does intend to maintain it?


I believe that the profound implications of the move away from Liverpool have not been and will not be explored by Everton because the decision has been made - and only facts supporting the move will be taken into consideration.


But to all Evertonians, especially those who support the move, I say this:

Understand that the final chapter in Everton's long history is being written. Once we leave Liverpool there is no going back. The long story of our Merseyside glory will have come to an end.

That's not to say the future of a new club, still called Everton, and basedin Knowsley couldn't be just as be glorious. But there is not one single solitary example of a football club leaving its city of origin to a rival and succeeding elsewhere.


What is there that suggests Everton can be or ought to try to be the first?

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oh come on, it's hardly like 20 miles away, and besides and non-loyal fans that stop going am sure will be replaced by ones from kirkby or nearer to the ground ... garbage

if kirkby is deemed the best site, it's the best thing for the club ... if some fans aren't willing to stick with their team that's their choice

Edited by CraccerC
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Bloody hell....I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with Craccer :o . I think it's alarmist bollocks from someones imagination with absolutely no base in reality. I'm not convinced Kirkby is the answer but that is not an argument against it imo.

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Im not to bothered were we end up.


But i can just imagine the chants coming from the liverpool fans if we move to Kirkby;

"your just a small team from kirkby"
























But then were spanking them 3-0 again and we start singing. "yep - were just a small team from kikby"



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Ok what if in a few years time that "small"club just outside the city boundry(Everton)

are doing better than the american run under achieving rs(rs)..........

Perhaps kids looking for a team to follow will find the 76,000 seat stadium lacks

something with only 41,000 spectators....compared to the new Goodison with it's

packed 50,000 seat stadium.....added to the fact that the strike partnership of

Vaughan and Anichebe are ripping to shreds the rs spanish back four!!


Probably well worth the taxi fare or standing in a bus queue....and those few extra

miles up the road to watch the BLUES!!


It's all about results!................anyway Kings Lynn to Goodison is about 250 miles,

256 wont stop me coming....so why would it stop you locals?


Now if they played crap week in week out.......I aint coming!(results?)(well not so often)


Same for luckypool.......turn in crap and they wont fill........the superdome!

Hell some of them might just creep up the road to watch a good team.....(results)

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Im still undecided, although Ive changed my mind more than I can image


Id like to see some actual concrete proposals for Kirkby, before I start truely deciding


fook all happened yet, just debate


Moving out of the city, only 4 miles, but that 4 miles is a very long way (subconciously and physicaly) for an Everton fan base that is predominantly local, unlike for arguments sake liverpoo. 4 miles further from the city centre, 4 miles further from the Wirral, and so on, you get my point. We dont have a national and international fanbase like the RS or Manu and I think we rely on that local support, who probably travel to the game by bus, taxi and so on


Personally, I spent years trying to get out of kirkby during my youth and I dont think I want to go back, but I'll wait for the big proposal, I fear it may be the only viable option


We must evolve to survive, that is a basic function of nature

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Going with both of the Mikes here, this is not transportation, it is a move of stadia. The move will benefit us as a club, balls to the KEIC mob, fat idol bastards who don't want to move more than 200 yards to watch thier club.





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though i personally dont have a problem where we play, id watch us in rhyl if i had too.

the bit about the easily led kids, just choosing to go to the "local" team, could eventually have an effect on the fan base.

i am still probablt 60/40for a move to kirkby, but im still waiting on plans/proposals before im concrete

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