Following the recent news on Bramley Moore Dock and Everton announcing a rough timeline on how they expect to see the project progress, the reaction from some fans has been one of frustration.
A recent albeit short poll was conducted by The Blue Room with 69% of those taking part becoming more confident the stadium would be completed following the announcement of the People’s Project – a more than considerable majority.
For the 31% who were less confident on hearing the news, it’s understandable on the face of it to see why. In their eyes, many are critical of the work, or lack thereof, the club have been doing since the land was acquired from Peel Holdings in March 2017.
This is fair comment and the club would hold its hands up to say the communication surrounding all of this needs to improve, and from their perspective, that begins with this next phase; a full public consultation.
From their perspective, Everton are keen to avoid the well documented and frankly depressingly trodden paths that’ve seen failed moves to the King’s Dock and Kirkby, as well as an attempt to propose Walton Hall Park as a destination.
In turn that has of course led to, some would say, an overly cautious approach as they’ve taken baby steps to ensure Bramley Moore doesn’t become the latest “what could have been” story consigned to the scrapheap.
But in breaking new territory and getting as far as they have thus far, it’s understandable that caution and patience are the order of the day.
It’s important to keep in mind, the club have never spent more money or gotten this far in any single attempt to build a new stadium. This, for all stakeholders, is unchartered ground.
Having been fortunate enough to talk to club officials within the project, the intricacies and scale of the proposal are difficult to comprehend.
The implications of building on the dock within the confines of a World Heritage site are one thing, but the sheer amount of various parties who have to somehow fall in line is on a different level, with each of those having their own standpoint and sometimes conflicting demands with others – that’s before financing is even mentioned.
For the cynical amongst those reading this, you would say that those explanations for the elongation of the project are simply masking incompetence.
You would also say previous promises and assurances have already been broken. Yet given the information at hand, could you really expect all of this to go smoothly and follow a linear process with no unforseebale hurdles to conquer?
Would you rather Everton’s new stadium be a rushed, unworthy patch-up job that’s forsaken all of the club’s heritage and tradition? Which of course itself would be impossible given the process that must be followed regardless of whether it’s a 60,000 seater megastructure or a brand new Aldi.
The overwhelming point to be taken from all this is it suits nobody for the project to take as long as it will. Do you think Everton and people working on it are happy it moves at a snails pace?
However, that’s just simply the way it has to be for this to succeed. Yes things can be done better, people can be more efficient and transparency can replace silence, but ensuring it’s done and done properly is far more important than anything else.