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Jun 12, 2013

Council buys Everton training ground

Everton's Finch Farm training ground has been bought by Liverpool City Council in a deal worth as much as £13 million that will see the club pay rent for the next 40 years.

• Blog: Quality of youth

The arrangement is intended to ease pressure on Everton's finances and also make money in the long term for the local authority.

Everton were previously leasing the land from Finch Farm Ltd, an Essex-based property company that developed the site as a training complex for the club.

Finch Farm Ltd, in which Everton have no financial involvement, filed for winding up weeks before the deal with the council went through. The company had been looking to sell the site for some time because of financial problems.

Both council bosses and the club believe that the new deal for the training ground will enable Everton to make significant savings on rental payments.

Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, said that the council had used its borrowing power, which allows the authority to take out loans at lower interest rates, to buy the site, which is in Halewood, to the south of the city.

Anderson told the Liverpool Echo: "It's a good deal for us and for them. We will get revenue from it and it frees up money for the club.

"When I was approached to see if we could assist, we were happy to. And after a few months of negotiation it was done.

"This nails the lie that we do nothing for Everton."

Everton chief executive Robert Elstone told the club website: "We continue to work with the council on many fronts and the club is especially pleased to have delivered an innovative scheme, on our superb Finch Farm facility, that works for both parties."

The deal has been independently values and verified, and it is understood that the council will pay off the loan for the purchase over 25 years, leaving a further 15 years during which the authority expects to make significant profits to invest in local services.

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