Everton 'focusing attention' on site for new stadium

Goodison Park
Everton are proposing to leave Goodison Park, their home since 1892

Everton are "focusing attention" on one location as the site for their new stadium, the football club's chief executive has said.

The club has been in talks with Liverpool City Council to collaborate on a new stadium since last June.

Robert Elstone said Everton were not ruling out any sites, but had given "more attention" to one, which the BBC understands to be in Walton Hall Park.

The park lies around a mile from the club's Goodison Park ground.

Speaking to the club's annual general meeting, Mr Elstone said a new 50,000 capacity stadium "remains a big priority".

"We're not ruling out any of the sites that we've identified and that the council has presented to us, but there is one site which is getting more attention and has been getting more attention for a number of months.

'Cautious optimism'

"It has been worked on very carefully, diligently and in some detail by not only Everton, but by the council and by advisors, planners, architects, designers, cost consultants, regeneration experts and solicitors.

"So there's a lot of work going into something that we're very excited about."

Walton Hall Park
The BBC understands the proposed site is in Walton Hall Park

He said the project relied on "a council being supportive financially and supportive entrepreneurially as well" and that "at the moment, there are signs that they are being that".

"We hope it comes to fruition and, if it does, I think it's something that the city and our fans will be very proud of."

He said the club "wouldn't be investing what we're doing without thinking it had a chance of success", adding that there was "a degree of optimism - perhaps some cautious optimism - but a degree of optimism".

A Liverpool City Council spokesman said the authority was happy to "reaffirm our commitment to working with Everton in relation to their new stadium proposals".

However, he said "no firm options have been developed in terms of how or where this will take shape" and it was important to "stress that the city council is clearly not in a position to fund the costs of a new stadium".

"Any investment the council makes would be in a wider regeneration scheme, subject to a sound financial and economic rationale for doing so."

The 41,000-capacity Goodison Park is one of the oldest football stadiums and has been the home of Everton since it opened in 1892.