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Monday, 22 January, 2001, 17:03 GMT
Everton reveal stadium blueprint
Liverpool skyline
Everton want to move to the banks of the River Mersey
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has unveiled plans for a new 250m stadium on the Liverpool waterfront comparing the ambitious scheme to London's South Bank.

Kenwright insists a move to the prestigious Kings Dock site is the only way the club can continue to compete at the top level.

But Everton, one of five bidders for the land, face a tough fight to convince the authorities that a football stadium is right for Liverpool's prime tourist centre.

"What can be better than what we at Everton envisage - giving Liverpool the city a new cathedral ... a cathedral for entertainment.

"It is not just a football stadium. It is whole leisure complex. The idea is to make a version of the London South Bank."

Liverpool's Albert Dock
Nearby Albert Dock is a centre for tourism

"The days of football supporters being a gang of yobs who go to football to do everything else but enjoy a match are long gone," he added.

Everton's new stadium - which includes a cinema complex, hotel, leisure and residential schemes - is the most high profile plan being considered by the Kings Waterfront Forum.

Cash-strapped Everton - more than 20million in debt - will also face an investigation into the financial backing for their scheme which is in partnership with entertainment company SFX.

An exhibition of the five bids is now on show.

Visitors will be able to vote for their choices, and their opinions will be taken into account before a choice is made by the quango in the spring.

Everton are unable to increase capacity at Goodison Park from the current 40,260 maximum.

"We have gone out of our way to make it an arena for Liverpool," added Kenwright.

"I see that Madonna is anxious to play Liverpool and she is considering appearing at Aintree. Well, you will have a 55,000-seater stadium and a covered auditorium - because there's a roof over the place - where someone like her could play. "

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See also:

28 Nov 00 |  Leicester City
Foxes detail stadium plans
06 Oct 00 |  Everton
Goodison exit moves ever closer
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