Tom Hicks: “Liverpool-Everton groundshare won’t happen”

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Tom Hicks has slammed claims that Liverpool FC are willing to share a stadium with arch-rivals Everton.

Reports on Liverpool Banter suggested Liverpool’s American owners might be ready to sit down and share things with Everton.

But Hicks insists sharing a stadium is not going to happen.

A spokesman for Hicks told the ECHO:

“There is no interest in a shared stadium and no planned meeting to discuss this.”

There has been speculation that a meeting is scheduled with the North West Development Agency (NWDA) to discuss the matter.

The original plans for Liverpool’s £300m ground included building work to begin last year, but the scheme was later revised and the construction start delayed, much to the annoyance of Rafa Benitez and Liverpool supporters worldwide.

With the trans-Atlantic credit crunch still eating into Hicks’ and Gillett’s funds, and manager Rafa Benitez having to sell players in order to buy, the NWDA is seeking an update on what’s happening and there have been calls from politicians in the city that the clubs should share facilities.

NWDA spokesman Steve Broomhead told the Liverpool Echo:

“The [scheduled] meeting is to update me on where Liverpool FC and Kop Holdings are with the plans to fund the new stadium.
“I want to clarify where the funding is for the new Anfield.”

Broomhead, who confirmed that neither Hicks nor George Gillett will attend the sit-down, is not interested in what’s best for Liverpool or Everton.

“I am only interested in the economic benefits of improved sports facilities for Merseyside,” he told the Echo.

Liverpool fans will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief that Everton chief executive Keith Wyness also denied there was any talk of a groundshare.

“I can categorically state that a shared stadium is not on the agenda of either club,” he told the Echo.

Despite assurances from Hicks’s spokesman that there are no plans for sharing with Everton, Liverpool fans must surely be concerned that there is no sign of work starting on the new stadium, despite Tom Hicks’ previous assurances.

Without a major new stadium, Liverpool will continue to struggle to generate the same kind of revenue as north-west rivals Manchester Utd.

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