The Liverpool Echo is today reporting that Liverpool might not be able to get rid of Everton as easily as they had hoped. Although the Kirkby site remains a distinct possibility, a study will also be conducted by the Northwest Development Agency which will examine the pros and cons of keeping Everton withing the city boundaries. And this isn’t any old agency, this one is actually capable of handing out some dosh to go with all the hot air.
Today council leader Warren Bradley, who wrote to both the NWDA and Tesco asking them to take part in the survey said :
“A copy of the NWDA letter has gone back to Everton and I will be speaking to the club sooner rather than later. We’ve wanted to establish a line of funding on one particular site. But that dialogue has got to take place. The bridegroom and all his family are waiting for the bride – and the bride is Everton. This is a positive step which could have obvious economic benefits for the city of Liverpool. There has been too much talking about this. It’s about time for hard evidence to be put forward. The council has got to be integral. We would appoint officers to oversee it because what’s good for Liverpool FC is good for Everton.”
An Everton spokesman waffled:
“Despite the fact that we have been in an exclusivity agreement with Knowsley council for some time, Liverpool city council has always been free to come forward and go public with what they believe to be a deliverable alternative. In terms of a viable site with a workable business plan this has so far not happened. We have been given a mandate by our supporters and are continuing negotiations with Knowsley and Tesco about the possibility of relocating to Kirkby.”
So good news that people are still trying to keep Everton in the city; it would surely be a shame to see two clubs with such a symbiotic relationship split. And after moving grounds, what will happen to the Merseyside rivalry? Paul Wilson of The Observer thinks that Everton and Liverpool will miss each other if/when the Blues move to Kirkby, and this is true. The rivalry is symbiotic and without each other, so tangibly close like conjoined twins, the derby will be less like messy fisticuffs between two neighbours and more like all the other local rivalries.