It was announced during Tuesday’s AGM that Liverpool City Council are close to agreeing a deal to provide two-thirds of the funding required for Everton’s new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock.
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, says city council loan for Everton stadium would be £280m - repayable over 25 years. Would earn £7m a year in interest for council. Proposal still subject to full council approval— paul joyce (@_pauljoyce) January 10, 2018
Anderson is confident the deal will gain full council approval soon, which will give Everton the green light to finalise their planning application.
The exact details of the deal have yet to be revealed but it isn’t, as some Liverpool fans seem to think, a case of the council simply handing out free cash to Everton.
Anderson says the deal will actually bring in more cash to the council coffers as well as stimulate growth in the city - a classic piece of invest and return.
Speaking at the club’s AGM at the Philharmonic Hall, Anderson said:
“Let me say this to people who ask why Everton Football Club should benefit from Liverpool City Council at a time when Liverpool faces austerity.
“The development site on what we call ‘Liverpool Waters’ – starting at the Pier Head and going down to the docks at Seaforth – was planned to take 30 years.
“There is a £5bn investment but it was planned to take 30 years but with Everton Football Club committed to Bramley Moore Dock it accelerates the regeneration of the North of Liverpool.
“But it just doesn’t benefit the North of Liverpool but the whole of Liverpool because Liverpool City Council will benefit hugely from the investment we make and the financial return that we get and that’s where the fight against austerity comes in, because the benefit we receive as a City Council enables me to pay for services like social services, keeping Sure Start and libraries open and it’s that type of innovation and that type of invest-to-earn and invest-to-save that means we’re proud to enter in that deal with Everton Football Club.
“It will stimulate growth and new business in the Liverpool North Dock area, it will compliment and supplement what we’re doing with the Ten Streets scheme to the tune of around £300m in business rates and new business rates coming into the city in 10 years’ time.
“It will create 10,000 plus jobs, it will accelerate growth, it will bring in investment and it will provide new housing.
“So when people ask: is it a good deal for Liverpool the city and Liverpool City Council? It isn’t a good deal for Liverpool City Council, it’s a fantastic deal for Liverpool City Council.”
Another argument thrown at Anderson is that he is deliberately favouring Everton because he is a Toffees fan.
That is something Anderson refutes, insisting his priority is always the region as a whole:
“If it was Liverpool Football Club coming and talking to me in the same vein, of course we’d be doing it because as much as I am passionate about Everton Football Club I am more passionate about my city and my responsibility as Mayor of Liverpool.
“So when we do the deal, it will be a deal that benefits Liverpool, secondly it will be a deal that benefits Everton.
“We’ve concluded our negotiations it is now about due diligence, it’s now about us taking it to the cabinet and it’s now us taking it to the full Council for their approval and I am confident we will get that.”