Everton slam rival stadium project

Everton delivered a damning verdict on a rival stadium project, dubbing it a rabbit pulled from a "cunningly-concealed hat".

Blues chief executive Keith Wyness cast doubt on whether it is a "genuine, realistic and deliverable" scheme and claimed it may take two years just to get council approval.

He also said the timing of Cllr Warren Bradley's unveiling of the proposal was "curious" - just as 33,000 Evertonians are casting their vote on the club's proposed move to Kirkby.

A Goodison Park season-ticket holder, Cllr Bradley is working with cash-and-carry firm Bestway to see if a new stadium on land off Scotland Road - known as the "tunnel trumpet" - is feasible.

He is determined to provide a realistic alternative to Everton moving to Kirkby for the start of the 2010 season.

But Mr Wyness today claimed, "A stadium of the size of the Kirkby proposal would not fit on the tunnel trumpet site.

"The location was never mentioned during the club's 'exhaustive and lengthy' search for a new home within the city boundaries.

"The club does not believe the Scotland Road area could cope with matchday traffic and said bridges would have to be built so supporters could get to the stadium."

There is "a very real possibility" of a legal challenge from developers Grosvenor and St Modwen who are developing major shopping districts nearby.

Mr Wyness also posed a series of questions to Liverpool council about the feasibility of the scheme, which he insisted have yet to be answered.

He said: "Why, if the site is both deliverable and suitable, is it only now being touted as a viable possibility?

"We have been in talks with Knowsley council and Tesco about the possibility of relocating to Kirkby for the best part of 18 months.

"And yet only now has this site been put forward as a possible alternative.

"Until two weeks ago the council was enthusiastically claiming it had sites in Speke and Aintree which they believed were deliverable and which they wished us to seriously consider.

"Since the announcement of the Scotland Road site there has been no mention of either - why is this?"

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