Ground share moves a step closer

I hate to say I told you so but, as I predicted, Destination Kirkby has been thoroughly kiboshed by the government.

It was, financially, a good deal for Everton and an affordable way out of a crumbling ground badly served by surrounding infrastructure.

But it was also a good few miles away from Goodison and came with a bundle of other leisure and retail strings attached.

Communities secretary, John Denham, was apparently worries about the negative impact on surrounding areas of a vast out-of-town development.

It’s almost enough to make one what Liverpool One’s management team made of it all.

Is a Liverpool/Everton groundshare the least worst option?

Despite the fact that seemingly no-one in Liverpool – including either club or either set of fans – want Liverpool and Everton FC, Councillor Warren Is-This-My-Best-Side? Bradley is still dead set on the two clubs joining forces, now using the 2018 World Cup bid to convince the two teams to form what’s likely to be an uncomfortable joint tenancy, assuming it happens.

The situation is not straightforward. Everton is keen to press ahead with a rather unloved proposal to build a new stadium in Kirkby, South Merseyside, on which the government will have the final say.

Meanwhile Liverpool – deeply in debt and owned by warring entrepreneurs George Gillet and Tom Hicks – favours building a new 60,000 stadium in Stanley Park, though a date for leaving Anfield seems no closer than it did five years ago.

Bluenose Bradley is keen on the groundshare idea, and the North West Development Agency is thought to pressuring both teams to accept the groundshare proposal, waving the carrot of a healthy injection of cash if the two clubs obey.

Muddying the waters is the fact that Liverpool, via Gillet and Hicks, owes a significant chunk of cash to RBS, which is itself essentially owned by the government.