Moving Away From Home

So, are we fucking moving or what?

Well, dear reader, it appears that the wheels are in motion, with last week’s announcement that the club – was it the club? – have bought the land at Bramley Moore Dock. Now, unless it’s just so the Persian Penfold, Farhad Moshiri, can park his yacht – he better have a yacht, otherwise we’ve been sold a pup – then it would seem reasonable to assume that Everton are going to build a new stadium there.

The announcement got more of a build-up than perhaps it merited, as inevitably expectations were elevated as the clock ticked down towards the Thursday deadline. In the past when we’ve announced new stadiums we’ve at least had video montages of Elton John and Monster Trucks, or artist’s impressions of people wearing sombreros and ponchos promenading along sweeping boulevards.

To the Copplehouse.

Anyway, by 5pm, with the Echo doing minute-by-minute updates, everyone expected Moshiri to appear in a gold lamé jacket at the top of a flight of stairs, surrounded by Busby Berkely dancing girls and shrouded in dry ice, before doing the Beroca lizard dance – poker-faced – as he descends towards some large, tantalising form, covered by a velvet Everton flag on a spotlit plinth.

‘Ladies and gentlemen,’ he says, into his dead skinny Blankety Blank microphone, while looking over the top of his glasses, straight into the camera. ‘I give you, the new home of the Super Blues’

With that, he whips back the flag to reveal a massive fucking monstrous model – a combination of Goodison and Gormenghast – like when Homer Simpson designs the car for his long lost brother.

‘Fuck me,’ the Echo report. ‘The pitch appears to have THREE goals.’

So it was a bit more low key than that, but first thing’s first and all that. The land’s been bought and we’re at least know we’re not going to Stonebridge Cross.

Robert Elstone quite rightly pointed out that if anyone can fucking blow a project like this, then it’s Everton. Well, he never said that, he just pointed out there was a lot of work still to do before this thing crystallises and becomes a new stadium, but we do we have more experience than most at making a balls of these things.

There was a load of other stuff about how the finance is going to work, with the council being the guarantor of the loans, etc. but it was all really boring apart from the fact that it seems to be upsetting some Kopites enormously.

As it inevitably would.

‘Roger, Roger. Why are the council paying for Everton’s new stadium? That money could be used to give nurses dialysis machines to fight terrorists with.’

Makes you laugh when people talk about ‘alternative reality’ as if it was invented by Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. As with just about everything, Liverpudlians were first with that, by fucking decades.

Talking of the Melwood Moonies, we obviously go there on Saturday – sadly without Seamus Coleman. The inspirational Irishman had his leg kicked almost clean off while playing against Wales, and is out until God knows when. Seriously, he’ll be lucky if he walks normally after that, so there’s literally no telling when we can expect to see him in a blue shirt again.

You would be horrified if that happened to anyone, but Coleman holds a bit of a special place in the hearts of Everton supporters, just because of his attitude, on and off the pitch. He’s fucking fearless, and he gives everything for Everton. He’s also an extremely good footballer.

Hopefully he recovers fully and as quickly as possible, because, well, he’s just ace. I genuinely felt a bit emotional when I heard the news – and even a little bit now. Apparently he’s had a successful operation on the double break now, which is something.

Presumably Mason Holgate will come in as Coleman’s replacement until the end of the season at least. He’s naturally a centre-half, but he’s played at full-back before and held his own. Hopefully he makes the most of his opportunity.

Going back to the whole ground thing. The announcement did remind you that we are talking here about moving away from Goodison. Just stop for a moment and think about that.

Did you ever see the scenes when they switched the lights off at West Ham? That was horrible enough – it doesn’t bear thinking about what it would be like at Everton for those in the ground who haven’t got off early to beat the traffic.

‘No son, I actually missed it. I was having a ciggy in the Park End khazi.’

A sobering thought.

‘So, Roger, going back to my original point, are you saying that Everton’s new stadium is more important than fighting ISIS?’

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2 thoughts on “Moving Away From Home

  1. My word, I’m late on this one. But anyway: “The land’s been bought and we at least know we’re not going to Stonebridge Cross.”

    Yep, that, in a nutshell, was the implicit big deal about Announcement Thursday a few weeks back.

    One massive sigh of relief.

    I mean, generally, none of us really (or very few) thought that the club, in the face of the overwhelmingly expressed support for Bramley Moore (and tbh: we basically mean anywhere between Costco car park and roughly around that weird bridge or thereabouts, not really arsed – but not much further down than that because then it becomes Bootle [KEIOC Klaxon] and really wouldn’t be “sort of near town-ish, for loads of ale and a bit too much of a hike”) would have been stupid enough to have still plumped for Stonebridge. Surely not?

    But at the back of the mind there was always “this is Everton…dickheadier things have happened.”

    So, after 20 years (nineteenninetyseven!!!) of EFC farting round on “stadium issues”, simply to finally hear that Stonebridge Cross has been formally jibbed (the latest in a long line of ludicrously unsuitable potential locations for Everton) was well worth a solo arl-arse nod into thin air, an old-skool and fleeting half-a-bitter glass lift, maybe with crisps, and an exhaled and very wearied (*) “cheers” towards Moshdosh on that single score (I’m utterly convinced Bill, though wanting the docks, would still have had us reluctantly looking towards Stonebridge just out of sheer convenience).

    (*) for “very wearied” read “ground down” – but I wanted to avoid the pun.

  2. Possibly my proudest moment since I got a letter published in Viz if my wsag post inspired that Homer Simpson bit. Been reading thisisnotfootball for years. Love your werk, sir.

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