Toffees chief fears stadium plan may be KO'd
Everton expect a decision on the planning application for their proposed new stadium 'very shortly' but admit the project could be 'jeopardised' by the Government.
Liverpool city council leader Warren Bradley insisted this week that a shared stadium with Liverpool is still a possibility, though both clubs - and their supporters - remain keen to build their own new grounds.
Everton hope to move to the boundaries of the city in Kirkby in a partnership with Tesco but Toffees chief executive Keith Wyness has revealed his concerns that the project may be derailed by Government red tape.
'We are now at the planning stage to see if we can get it approved,' Wyness told the club's website. 'That decision will be reached very shortly. Work will start very quickly then after that if it is approved.
'The planning process is very complicated. There are lots of different factors. There is definitely a chance that it may not get through in the way we want it to.
'It could get called in by the Government office. If that does happen, it may jeopardise the whole thing. It's a very serious issue for us.'
Wyness maintains there are no other options to the Kirkby proposal.
'Plan B at the minute is just being here at Goodison but that will give us longerterm problems, as we have always known,' he added. 'There isn't the opportunity to develop Goodison in the way we would have hoped, so the new stadium is crucial for us to go forward.
'There is no doubt for Everton to attract the right investor, the stadium is a crucial part of that. I don't think people would be prepared to invest in the club until that is resolved.'