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Everton look to avoid Spurs’ stadium mess

Blues CFO speaks about learning from London rivals’ experiences

Liverpool Echo

Everton are hoping to learn from the mistakes of their Premier League rivals as they continue to plan their move to a new stadium.

The Toffees are currently in the process of seeking funding for the proposed new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock after securing a 200-year land lease at the site last year.

No images of the stadium have yet been released and only once funding has been secured will the club submit a planning application.

Architect Dan Meis has held a number of workshops with supporters and further fan consultations are planned. However, some supporters have grown restless at the lack of recent updates coming from the club.

Sasha Ryazantsev, Everton’s Chief Finance and Commercial Officer, was asked about the proposed new ground at the Leaders Sports Business Summit at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.

Perhaps acknowledging the supporters’ agitation, Ryazantsev highlighted the problems suffered by rival clubs during their transition to a new ground, most notably Tottenham and West Ham, as reason for the club to take their time.

The Hammers, of course, have moved to a converted athletics stadium that is totally unsuitable for football, with poor sight-lines and seats far away from the pitch.

Tottenham meanwhile haven’t even moved into their ground yet, with safety issues delaying their proposed move-in date last month with a new date yet to be confirmed.

Ryazantsev said:

“There’s been quite a few stadium moves and some of them arguably made some mistakes and I hope we can learn from those mistakes.

”Sometimes it’s good to be a trailblazer but when you’re not first, you can learn from others’ mistakes. It is a very long-term project and it will take several years before we move.”

Speaking about the impact the stadium move will have, Ryazantsev was hugely optimistic about what it could do the Everton’s fortunes both on and off the pitch:

”We see it as an opportunity to close the gap on the top six and the stadium itself will create a huge amount of new life.

”It will breathe new life into the team, create new jobs in the area and be worth one billion pounds of economic value to the city.”

I can understand the fans’ frustrations at the apparent lack of progress. We’ve had plenty of positive words from the Goodison hierarchy in recent months but not a lot of action.

The ghosts of failed stadium moves past means we are naturally a little edgy and pessimistic about this latest project.

We just have to trust that the club are getting on with things behind the scenes and that we will be updated as soon as anything is confirmed.