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Report: Everton to announce new stadium plans

Laurence Griffiths

The Daily Mail claims Everton are close to announcing details of a new 50,000 stadium that will see the club move away from Goodison Park.

The totally quote-less article (which always raises suspicions) says that Everton will this week confirm their intention to move from Goodison, their home since 1892, to nearby Walton Hall Park.

The Walton Hall Park site is not new and reports have been bubbling along for months now suggesting Everton had pinpointed the area as their preferred choice. An article in the Guardian last April even claimed the project had moved to the design stage.

Redeveloping Goodison - most people's favoured option - has been ruled out due to the prohibitive cost of rebuilding three ageing stands landlocked by terrace housing with bespoke materials.

Therefore there is an acceptance that Everton have to move to a new stadium with greater capacity and modern facilities if they are to ever reach their potential.

The club have been on the lookout for a site within the city boundaries for several years now after all the controversy surrounding the club's previous plans to move out of the city limits to Kirkby in 2007.

Liverpool Council have also repeatedly stated their desire to help Everton find a site and the Mail claims a solution has now been found.

The Walton Hall site seems ideal in theory. It is only a short distance from Goodison Park, which will always be Everton's spiritual home, has enough space build a decent size stadium and remains within the city of Liverpool.

The only problem - which has been the problem for decades - is finance.

Everton can show off as many fancy plans and videos as they like but if they can't fund the thing nothing will ever happen.

The sale of Goodison and a naming rights deal will only go so far, while the Council will not be able to put a significant amount in either.

Any announcement this week - if there is one - must also contain some details about funding, otherwise Everton's grand vision of moving in a ultra modern stadium suitable for the 21st century will remain a pipe-dream.