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Last Updated: Friday, 24 August 2007, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
Everton fans vote for Kirkby move
Everton's proposed new ground will hold 50,000 fans
Everton's proposed new ground in Kirkby will hold 50,000 fans
Everton fans have voted in favour of the club's proposed move to a new stadium in Kirkby.

The club balloted more than 36,000 supporters on the move, which chief executive Keith Wyness described as "the deal of the century".

Everton vowed to abide by the outcome of the vote but 59% of the 25,761 votes returned supported the proposals.

The 50,000-seater new stadium will be financed alongside supermarket giant Tesco and the local Knowsley council.

It is part of a planned 400m redevelopment of a 32-hectare (80-acre) site.


With Liverpool set to move into a new 300m stadium in Stanley Park in 2010, Everton are keen to keep up with their fierce rivals.

The new ground will be modelled on the traditional four-sided structure modelled on Cologne's World Cup stadium.

The plans caused consternation among some Everton fans as well as Liverpool Council, who were upset at the idea of the club moving outside the city boundaries.

However, the club argue that Goodison Park, the club's home of 115 years, is too old and impractical to expand while other suggested sites within the city were too small.

As they revealed the results of the vote, Everton pleaded with opposition groups to end their protests.

"We believe that now is the time for all supporters of Everton Football Club to set aside any differences of opinion and unite for the common good," said Everton's statement.

"The simple truth is, we all want the same thing - a thriving, ambitious and prosperous club away from the field of play and an attractive, competitive team on it."

But opponents of the plans have vowed to continue their fight.

Keep Everton In Our City spokesman Dave Kelly said: "The ballot has served to split the fans.

"That makes me sad as an Evertonian. There is still a long campaign ahead because public opinion in Kirkby against a football stadium is growing."

Knowsley Council are facing opposition from local residents over the prospect of a football stadium being built as part of their town centre regeneration scheme.

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