Everton FC has moved a step closer to realising its ambition to build a new stadium after agreeing a financial package with the local authority.
The Premier League football club has agreed terms with Peel Holdings to acquire the site in Liverpool’s Bramley Moore Dock – a deal brokered by the city’s mayor, Joe Anderson.
A report will be presented to the council on 31 March recommending an arrangement that will see a council-owned company take lease of the stadium, which will then be leased to Everton.
Under details of the agreement, Liverpool City Council will not provide any finance for the £300m-plus stadium. It will be fully-funded by the club.
“We can now move forward into the next phase of work with much greater confidence,” said Everton chief executive Robert Elstone, who expressed his gratitude for the role Anderson played in the deal.
“Clearly, it is vital we have clarity on cost and we have to recognise that the stadium will be significantly more expensive at Bramley Moore Dock.
“To get that certainty, and ensure the stadium is affordable, we need to confirm stadium design, capacity and configuration. And to do that, we need to talk to fans, partners and stakeholders in the project.”
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.
Anderson said the announcement was a “special moment in the city’s – and Everton’s – long illustrious history.”
“The proposed new stadium will be a landmark for the city’s spectacular north Liverpool waterfront and a powerful statement of intent for the club and the city of Liverpool that will resonate globally,” he added.
The club will work closely with Liverpool City Council and Historic England to develop the proposals.
Subject to approval being granted by the cabinet, the council will finalise the deal over the next three months. Everton can then progress with its planning application.
First published www.sportsmanagement.co.uk, written by By Matthew Campelli, 23 March 2017.