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Liverpool Owners May Push For Everton Ground-Share

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In new owner John W Henry, Liverpool obviously haven’t gained a free-wheeling oligarch with purse strings looser than the Tea Party’s grip on reality, but rather a pragmatist with no express desire to go doubling his £300 million outlay by building extraneous stadiums hither and thither.

With a nod to Arsenal’s highly successful and self-funded move from Highbury to the Emirates in 2006, Henry is said to have set his heart on delivering a revenue-enhancing stadium for Liverpool and it would seem, at least according to the Guardian‘s financial offshoot Digger, the American businessman is seriously considering ‘moving in with the neighbours’ in order to further balance the club’s decimated books.

As Henry himself stated in an open email to the Guardian earlier this week, NESV have already wiped the debts incurred by former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, with their only outstandings now being the £37 million loan that their predecessors took out to complete preparatory work on the proposed stadium site at Stanley Park – with Digger suggesting that that amount, coupled with their struggle for sufficient revenue, may be enough to force Liverpool’s newly installed hierarchy into pursuing a ground-share option with bitter local rivals Everton:

“[Arsenal] completed their £400 million project using all their own cash. That involved forward selling their shirt sponsorship income at a heavy discount in return for £100 million of cash up front, to Emirates and Nike.

But Liverpool’s £80 million Standard Chartered deal will be needed to service the Premier League’s third-highest player wage bill.”

Digger also claim that, although Liverpool may be able to re-flog their kit when their current deal with Adidas ends in  2012, if things don’t pick up dramatically on the playing side then drastic measures may become necessary to keep the club in rude health financially:

“There may be the opportunity to raise a big lump of cash up front when their Adidas kit deal ends at the end of next season but the consequent discount would seriously affect revenues at a time when Liverpool may still be out of the Champions League.

It is all a bit of a quandary for Henry, even if he significantly scales down the Hicks-Gillett scheme for an 80,000-seat stadium. The best way to ensure delivery of a revenue-enhancing stadium is by sharing the costs with Everton, who have still not ruled it out.”

Sh*t stirring? Possibly. Possibility? Definitely.

Whereas an initial backlash would be understandable, isn’t it perfectly reasonable to suggest that fans of both clubs would prefer to share an all-new, world-class stadium than carry on in their equally (to all intents and purposes) penniless furrows?

The prospective ground-share could be an architectural, cultural and social showpiece without having to necessarily temper the intense rivalry between the two clubs, thus serving to benefit both sides in terms of revenue, finance and marketing – although acquiring a suitable set of naming rights could be a potential minefield of sly digs and innuendo.

However, that said, if the massively weighted scheme is poorly conceived, then it could very easily descend into one of the most high-profile farces the European game has ever witnessed.

Ultimately, it seems rather unlikely (if not altogether implausible) that both Liverpool and Everton will end up with box-fresh 50/60,000 capacity grounds to call their own.

It is, therefore, predominantly important that any prospective boardroom debate regarding the eventual environmental fate that may befall the two clubs is conducted from a neutral, or possibly pragmatic, perspective.

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Comments (10)

  1. it is my dream to visit anfield, and will to accomplish this in near future. if the new stadium is not exclusive to liverpool, i’ll give it a miss.

  2. The press and media, along with crappy websites like this will not quit with their pathetic attempt for Liverpool to share a stadium with their bitter and twisted neighbours.

    There will be NO groundshare between Liverpool and Everton, stop wasting your time and go obsess about something else, how about advocating Man Hoof and Mercenary City share a stadium?.

  3. how about this for a solution to ground redevelopement,liverpool share goodison park for a season while we demolish anfield and rebuild it to house 57,000 people, then we can share anfield with everton while they rebuild goodison, makes sense to me.

    • Because neither team have the money to redevelop either ground. It’s a non-starter. As an Evertonian, we don’t need a new ground anyway. We barely sell out at Goodison so what good would an extra 10,000 seats do us unless Uncle Bill reduced seating prices, which he wouldn’t?

  4. The blind ‘fans’ will say no to sharing with ‘bluenoses’, etc. The fact is, financially, a groundshare makes sense. It would free up significant amounts of money for LFC to buy the players to gain the success to fill it.

    Get real folks. The owners are businessmen, not idiots who are going to pour money down a drain

  5. The only thing Everton and the Redshite should share, is hatred for each other. The day we share a ground with the self-proclaimed, ‘best fans in de weeerrrld’, is the day I’m done with football.

  6. this guys wife is gorgeous! I would but think shes got her eye on gerrard.

  7. Look i dont see why there would be such an uproar if it happened, we would only share it with liverpool twice a year, nothing would change other than it would create a s**t load of jobs for a good few years, probably cut down on costs for certain things. the only problem i forsee is the fact that we wont be able to fill every week, so what if your sat in a chair that isnt your teams colour your there to watch the match not talk about seat colourings. the everton and liverpool rivalry is one that started between families, there is no bitterness from anyone other than people who either dont understand that or dont understand football. ive got friends who are both for and against it. the main ones against it is the red side, they seem to think that the blues are beneath them, which as we can see in todays table may not be the case, and the main culprits on the blue side seem to be as is pointed out many times jealous.

    my head says its a great idea that wont happen, my heart says we will be at stanley park stadium in about 5 years (just in time for the olympics( which we wont get because plattini and blatter hate the english!!))

  8. Hey folks i’m a die hard red and i know it would feel odd or strange to ground share at least to start with but A.C. and Inter have proved it can both work and be benificial in the long run. Look at the paddock they’ve been sharing for years it’s beautiful guy’s and their fan’s hate each other fervently. All that said a part of me hopes it never happens but if it did would any real football fan abandon their team over grass,bricks + mortar, or the colour of the seat you might have to sit on.

  9. I go to ancient for every game, all competitions. I support the proposal of groundshare. I also suggest a ‘hybrid’ season ticket, allowing reduced price access for everton games, so I van watch a premier league game every week of the season ( bar international breaks). I suggest £600 for a season ticket for 1 team, and £900 for both. Even the diehards can sit in a game each week and support the away team, but get to watch the best league in the world twice as often as we do today, from the same seat each week.