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Everton’s 125-year occupation of Goodison Park drew closer to coming to an end Thursday as the club confirmed an agreement in principle has been reached to purchase land where a new “iconic waterfront” stadium will be constructed.
The Merseyside outfit agreed Heads of Terms to acquire land at Bramley Moore Dock – which is roughly two miles away from Goodison and is part of a £5 billion redevelopment plan called Liverpool Waters.
Andy Hunter of the Guardian reports that it’s believed that the land was estimated by the owners, Peel Holdings, to be worth £30 million. However, the final figure Everton is expected to pay will be lower.
(Photo courtesy: Everton)
A statement on Everton’s website read: “A report will be presented to the council’s cabinet next Friday (31 March) recommending that the City Council progress Heads of Terms to create a new Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) company which will take a lease of the stadium from a funder and, in turn, sub-lease it to the Club.
“The recommendation being presented to the council’s cabinet follows months of talks between the Club and the local authority and following advice from independent financial and legal experts who have reviewed Everton’s “robust business case.
“Under the proposed finance structure of the SPV the council will not provide any finance for the new stadium, which is anticipated to cost in excess of £300m and will be fully funded by the Club.
The deal is a significant step toward the construction of a new state-of-the-art stadium, which will feature prominently as part of a regeneration project that will also see the construction of a new Cruise Liner terminal.
Everton is scheduled to submit an application for planning permission later in the year, but the club’s chief executive, Robert Elstone, warns of the various obstacles that remain.
“We’re keen to stress not only the scale of the work ahead but also the remaining risks and uncertainties,” Elstone said. “We’re delighted we’ve secured the site and we’re equally delighted the Mayor is continuing to support our financing model, but significant hurdles remain, not least the preparation and submission of a detailed planning application.
“Receipt of a successful planning approval at some point early next year will be the most significant step towards bringing the stadium to life.”
The club statement added that the details in the Heada of Terms are expected to be completed in the next three months.