x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Plans denied for stadium in Kirkby

The club would consider a ground-sharing arrangement with Liverpool after plans for a move were rejected by the local council.

The Everton chief executive Robert Elstone has admitted the club would consider a ground-sharing arrangement with Liverpool after plans for a move to Kirby were rejected by the local council. Both clubs have previously been reluctant to go down the route of sharing a stadium, however Elstone has revealed Everton are not against the idea, if it makes financial sense. He told Sky Sports News: "It's certainly one of the options that we will need to cover. A shared stadium is perhaps an option if it's affordable.

"We have to look at where we can raise money, because potentially Liverpool will have to obviously contribute to that, and Liverpool City Council perhaps might need to find some money. Our history is one of creativity and innovation and if we are the first major English club to look at sharing then we're not scared of making those decisions." Club sources confirmed yesterday that Everton's plans to relocate from Liverpool to a new £400million (Dh2.4bn) stadium and shopping centre in nearby Kirby had been rejected following a public inquiry.

It was thought the move would have brought up to 7,000 jobs in Kirkby - an impoverished suburb of Knowsley. It is believed that the main reason behind the Communities and Local Government Department's rejection was that the development might take money away from other Merseyside centres. An opponent of the move, Ian Morris, of the Kirkby Residents' Action Group, said: "That is brilliant, it is fantastic news.

"We believe the football stadium would have destroyed our town. Kirkby is only a small town and they were talking about a 55,000-seater stadium built right in the town. "The stadium would have disrupted everybody's lives every time there was a football match." * PA Sport