Lib Dems call for Special Council Meeting to consider Mayor Anderson’s “We’ll pay for all of new EFC Stadium proposal”

Bramley Moore

Liverpool Council must never be the only investor in a  new stadium for Everton Football Club at Bramley Moore Dock

Some people have suggested that I have been spending too much time and looking too hard at Liverpool Council’s proposals to invest in the new EFC stadium at Bramley Moore Dock. It is true that I have been spending a lot of time on this and that is because of its sheer scale. To put it in context £280 million is about 75% of our normal council tax borne annual budget.

That is why I reacted with ‘horror’ to a suggestion from Mayor Anderson that a ‘plan B’ for the new stadium for Everton would be that the Council should provide all the £500,000,000 capital if the private sector will not invest in the project. Given that the existing proposal would mean our borrowing going up to approximately £1.1 billion then the extension of the rest of the capital for EFC would mean the Council’s borrowing rising to more than £1.3 billion. This is wholly unacceptable. It is hugely more than the debts of the collapsed Carillion Company which had far greater revenues.

In a letter to Mayor Anderson I sent today I said, “If the private sector is not prepared to put money in to this project it would only be for one reason, that they did not consider the project to be viable. In that case it would be lunacy for the Council to take on the whole of this debt.

I agree that EFC and the Council need a plan B and strongly urge you to look at proposals that came forward recently for the redevelopment of the current ground as Liverpool F.C. have done.

I would suggest that we need to have an urgent and through debate on this issue and that either you should call a special full council meeting or that we take the unusual step of adding a ‘political’ item to the Annual Meeting of the Council which normally deals with administrative and civic matters”.

My letter to Mayor Anderson is appended in full below:

Mayor Anderson OBE,

By E-mail

7th April 2018

Dear Joe,

Re:         Everton F.C. and the new Stadium Proposals

I read with horror last night a suggestion from you in the Liverpool Echo that Liverpool might, as an option B, fund the whole of the new Stadium for Everton at Bramley Moore Dock. This would, of course, be if the Club were unable to attract the £220 million that they need to find in addition to the £280 million that we would need to find.

This is wholly unacceptable to the Liberal Democrats, the people of Liverpool and, I suspect the vast majority of members of your own Party. If the private sector is not prepared to put money in to this project it would only be for one reason, that they did not consider the project to be viable. In that case it would be lunacy for the Council to take on the whole of this debt.

Given that the major assets of a football club in addition to its brand reputation and stadium are its players you would need to take over the club itself to ensure that there was sufficient security for the loan. There is no way that Liverpool Council has the expertise to run a football club even though you personally have strong ideas about how the transfer market operates!

All this is, of course, before the other substantial costs of the stadium – the external infrastructure for transport etc are public quantified.

I agree that EFC and the Council need a plan B and strongly urge you to look at proposals that came forward recently for the redevelopment of the current ground as Liverpool F.C. have done.

We are prepared, in the best interest of the city, to look at the existing suggestions for the new stadium and I will contact you separately about that. We want to see a new or renovated stadium because we believe that a strong EFC is good for our City. But this has to be within reasonable and not unreasonable financial provisions.

I would suggest that we need to have an urgent and through debate on this issue and that either you should call a special full council meeting or that we take the unusual step of adding a ‘political’ item to the Annual Meeting of the Council which normally deals with administrative and civic matters.

Yours sincerely,

 

Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,

Leader, Liverpool Liberal Democrats

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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1 Response to Lib Dems call for Special Council Meeting to consider Mayor Anderson’s “We’ll pay for all of new EFC Stadium proposal”

  1. Paul says:

    This is an outrage rejected by his peers for metro mayor position labour mp for Walton what is left a backdoor deal so he can gain a seat on the board
    Also transfers for football signings would be basically funded by council tax payers and the so called seven million out of the air figures for the council would buy what ,after five years ten years fifteen years once inflation bites. And bite it will make no mistake on that

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