27 Nov 2009

Plan for new Everton Stadium is blocked

12:31 pm on 27 November 2009

Everton's plans to leave Goodison Park, the English football club's home for 117 years, for a new 50,000-seat stadium outside the city of Liverpool have been blocked.

The new stadium was to have been built as part of a new retail park in the nearby town of Kirby in partnership with Britain's biggest supermarket chain, Tesco.

But the proposed $1 billion development will not now go ahead after the British government ruled that it could drain jobs and spending from surrounding communities in what is one of the poorest regions in England.

The decision is a serious setback for cash-strapped Everton's hopes of enhancing the club's ability to generate match-day revenues.

Goodison Park, described as "crumbling and hopelessly inadequate" has a capacity of just over 40 thousand which cannot be increased.

Goodison has been Everton's home since 1892, when the club moved from its former base at Anfield, which was taken over by Liverpool FC.