By Alan Myers
The word “capacity” has two different meanings in the dictionary. The first: “The maximum amount that something can contain,” and secondly “The amount that something can produce.” When it comes to Everton’s proposed new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock it’s the latter which begs the question for every Evertonian at this moment in time.
Following a few tweets by architect Dan Meis a few nights ago, the Blue Twitteratti went into overdrive with debate, discussion and in some cases full on argument. It certainly got fingers and thumbs working overtime but it also, for me, threw up a few wider issues of where we are as a club.
Now, as I’ve said before, I welcome the fact that this innovative, fearless and conversationalist of an architect is happy to indulge in debate with Evertonians on a personal level. Not many, if any would, but I think it shows how he thinks and that he allows himself to glean any and all information in order to do his job and that’s reassuring for me.
I don’t believe Dan was even discussing the actual capacity, I’d guess that will be decided and driven by so many other factors. I believe he was attempting to say that the design, feel and quality of his creation was at the heart of the matter, not necessarily the numbers involved.
However, the ensuing capacity argument, as I say, posed a number of wider issues for me, and I believe for the club itself. You see, I think Everton is now at a turning point in its long and illustrious history, one as big as any seen before and one which will tell us where we are as a football club.
Asked what capacity I would like to see at BMD, I replied 70,000! The questioner thought I was joking, I wasn’t! Because of course any self respecting Blue wants the best and biggest stadium, the best players, the best manager, the best academy and even the best match day beer and pies! We want it all, quite rightly, we have been the best so it’s only right that we want that again.
Do I think we’ll get all that anytime soon? Of course not! But it won’t stop me wanting it. This is what I mean by where are we as a club, these are the questions only those in power can answer.
What I hope is being asked in the boardroom at Goodison Park are questions such as who are we? How big can we be? Where do we want to go? And most importantly where can we take this club? We are at such a turning point, Everton Football Club is at the precipice of a new dawn and these questions need to be answered and communicated as soon as possible.
What we as fans want will never really change, that’s not important, ok so we’ll fill in a few survey’s and ask about safe standing, all really good and valuable information as Mr Meis gathers his thoughts, (I applaud the Club for consulting with fans, I really do) but the real questions will be answered elsewhere, with Mr Moshiri probably the man with all of those answers.
So I say to Evertonians: Don’t squabble and fight amongst yourselves over a stadium capacity, that when it’s revealed, will reflect the answers, when they come, of the questions posed earlier and therefore the vision of those who lead us. Don’t let us criticise Dan for engaging, he deserves better, but keep demanding the best for this football club, because it deserves it, it wants it and its heritage also demands it! It’s our duty. When some great soul spoke up all those years ago and said “Our motto should be Nil Satis Nisi Optimum”, it was meant to last and help us at times like this! I sincerely hope it does!