Everton's dream of building a new 55,000-seater waterfront stadium at King's Dock has died.
King's Dock will not be Everton's new home
The audacious plan to relocate Everton from Goodison Park to a new home has been abandoned after they failed to raise enough cash to fund their share of the £155m project.
The Liverpool Vision development agency and Everton have released a statement confirming the end of the scheme - although the club insist they will still leave Goodison.
Everton owner Bill Kenwright - who had made it a personal mission to move the club to a new home on the banks of the River Mersey - admitted it was a bitter blow to their ambitions.
He said: "I know that everybody connected with Everton - board, shareholders and above all our fans - will be disappointed.
"We intend however to use the experience we have gained in this venture to help bring about our ambitions to take Everton forward.
"Everton will now be working very closely with Liverpool City Council to deliver the first class stadium which Everton supporters want and deserve."
A joint statement issued by Liverpool Vision and Everton confirmed: "Over the last year Liverpool Vision and Everton FC have made enormous efforts to deliver proposals for a purpose-built Arena and associated developments at King's Dock.
I know that everybody connected with Everton - board, shareholders and above all our fans - will be disappointed
Everton owner Bill Kenwright
"It was a hugely bold, ambitious and exciting plan - one of the biggest developments of its kind taking place in Europe.
"However, it became clear that the funding of the scheme had become problematical and on 31 December, 2002 it was decided that Liverpool Vision would end Everton's status as the preferred developer for the site.
"At the same time, it was made clear that there would be a three month window of opportunity for Everton to come forward with alternative proposals which would still be considered alongside other options for the site.
"The club has recently presented new proposals for the Kings Dock site which have been the subject of close and detailed examinations.
"Unfortunately, it is accepted by both parties that these plans are not now achievable.
"The sheer scale and ambition of both the original and amended schemes mean that they will not be able to attract the level of funding needed to deliver the standard of development which the city of Liverpool deserves."