So the day has finally come, Everton Football Club have bought some land. I say land, they’ve bought mostly water at Bramley-Moore Dock, which will eventually turn into land. Kings Dock, Kirkby, Walton Hall Park have all been mentioned in the past as possible stadium sites. Kings Dock was especially vaunted by Everton fans for some time. It was the perfect location which is now home to the Liverpool Echo Arena.
That dream died in 2003, which was symptomatic of where the club was and where it would continue to be for the next 13 years. To understand the pessimism of Everton fans is to understand a generation who have been told about past glory’s, but have only lived through failure on and off the pitch. There is a humorous scepticism that comes with any potential news and an oft cited quote of “Everton can’t have nice things”, when it has felt that way in the 21st century.
The purchasing of Bramley-Moore Dock for those reasons feels surreal, Everton are now the owners of a prime waterfront site and they will build a stadium on it. The stadium will be a visual spectacle and one that will form a part of the most stunning waterfront in the country. If Everton couldn’t have nice things in the past, we’re just about to get all our Christmas’ at once.
There was a time when some Everton fans would have settled for a stadium outside of the city which looked like one that you could self-assemble from an flat-pack kit, the type of stadium that League One clubs have to settle for. Why would we settle for that? Because we’ve been desperate, some hated the Kirkby plans, others were content. Evertonians love Goodison Park, with a passion. We know though that ‘The Grand Old Lady’ looks every bit of her 125 years. Football has moved on a lot since 1892, Goodison barely has.
We love the intimidating atmosphere it can bring, we love its intimacy and its quirks and leaving her will be painful for everyone, but we know it must be done for the club to move on. Everton are starting to believe in a positive future, and we know that it can only be achieved with a new stadium. As for that self-assembled look, or a soulless bowl as some would fear, we know it won’t be either of those things. The architect, Dan Meis, seems to have been given a brief to replicate those special aspects of Goodison Park.
Just as Farhad Moshiri’s investment was hard to believe, this is too. So much about Everton is entrenched in the past. Goodison Park was a state of the art stadium, Everton used to win trophies inside it. After so many years of wishing those past glories would come around again, Everton can finally look towards to future and one where we can be competing for trophies once more.
Everton used to have nice things, but that stopped a long time ago and it’s been a long time since Everton were the club that the fans want it to be. That negativity stops with Bramley-Moore, things are moving in the right direction and a stunning new stadium is what the fans deserve for their patience. A new mindset is creeping in and a feeling that Everton can have nice things.
One of those will be a football stadium belonging to Everton on Bramley-Moore dock, and a feeling that it won’t be too long until we can start to place some new trophies in it, alongside our rich collection of old ones.