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Page last updated at 11:56 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 12:56 UK

Everton await decision on stadium

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer

Everton ground proposal
Everton fear a delay could kill off the stadium scheme

Everton face an anxious wait to see if the Government will "call in" plans for their proposed new stadium - a decision that could make or break the move.

BBC Sport understands the Department for Communities and Local Government will announce the ruling next week.

Everton fear an inquiry would put back the move for a year and kill off the controversial 400m scheme.

The proposal has been opposed by some Everton fans angered by a possible move outside Liverpool's city boundaries.

606: DEBATE

And Everton chairman Bill Kenwright now faces the prospect of having to stage an extraordinary general meeting of the club after shareholders opposed to the move joined forces to gather a petition.

Under Everton's articles of association, a mandate from 20% of shareholders is required for an EGM to be called.

And Mark Rowan, Everton's head of media and communications, said: "The club can confirm that we did receive a petition from shareholders.

"There will now be a process of authentication and validation of the names on petition against the share register.

"Once we ascertain the accuracy of the names then we have 21 days from receipt to announce a date for an EGM."

Knowsley Council have approved the scheme - which would result in the club linking up with supermarket firm Tesco - and are also now waiting for Government approval.

Liverpool City Council has failed to come with a site and package suitable for Everton and the club insists the redevelopment of Goodison Park is unworkable.

Sharing Liverpool's proposed new stadium in Stanley Park has also failed to win the approval of both sets of fans as well as the two clubs.

Shareholders spokesman Mark Grayson wants a debate on the issue, regardless of whether the plans are "called in" or not.

He said: "Our primary concern is that we feel that the club promised a world-class and effectively free stadium with the best transport links in the UK.

"We now know through the Tesco-led planning application that the stadium will only be of 'mid-level quality' that could add a further 78m to the club's existing debt. It is our intention to have a debate regardless of whether it gets 'called in' or not."


see also
Arteta makes first-team comeback
21 Jul 08 |  Everton
Cahill will miss start of season
17 Jul 08 |  Everton
Moyes nears new Everton contract
14 Jul 08 |  Everton
Councils called to oppose stadium
06 May 08 |  Merseyside
Residents shown new Everton plans
30 Apr 08 |  Merseyside
Gran in Tesco boss planning war
12 Apr 08 |  Merseyside


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