'Pauper' Kenwright wants billionaire for Everton

September 3, 2008

Everton owner Bill Kenwright wants a billionaire investor to buy the club to allow them to compete with Manchester City.

At an EGM tonight at Goodison Park to discuss the proposed new Everton stadium in Kirkby, Kenwright outlined the financial might now needed for the club to survive in the current football climate.

Kenwright insists the club must have a new ground to even begin to compete with the new money flooding into the Premier League.

He withstood two hours of argument from shareholders against the club's desire to move out of the city to Kirkby, but made it clear that he was not able to produce the money needed to continue to bankroll the Toffees at their current level indefinitely.

Kenwright reckons that the amazing takeover of Manchester City this week has already changed the footballing battleground that Everton are fighting on.

Kenwright desperately wants to see the new stadium built in Kirkby to give the club more financial clout.

He said: 'I cannot go on like this, we need a new owner and we will continue to try to find one.

'I cannot see an alternative. This summer's transfer window has been the worst and most difficult I can remember.

'Now Arabs have bought Manchester City making it even more difficult for Everton football club. I am a pauper when it comes to other chairmen.

'I want this club to have its billionaire, but it is not me. My shareholding has been for sale from the day I bought in.

'Every year it becomes more difficult to find the money. It is impossible to continue in the financial way we are at the moment.'

He added: 'I do not know how I can continue to serve this club the way we are doing at the moment.

'Everyone knows this club needs investment. People are looking. I would sell tomorrow.'

Mark Grayson, the shareholder who helped forced this EGM - it needed 20% support to be called - said: 'Manchester City has been sold twice in 18 months to billionaires, that is what we need to support our manager David Moyes.

'But I believe we should still be able to find a site for a new stadium in Liverpool.'

Acting chief executive Robert Elstone outlined the reasons for the Kirkby move, saying: 'We believe that there is no other financially available option in Liverpool. We have been offered only two other sites in the city, and they were not viable.

'If we try to develop Goodison Park, we will have to revise our club budget and expectation.'

Elstone also reviewed the possible ways of expanding or rebuilding Goodison Park, using comparisons with Manchester City's Eastlands, Bolton's Reebok and Arsenal's Emirates, all of whom he claimed, could not be squeezed into the current Goodison footprint.

Elstone added: 'This club has always punched above it's weight with a great manager in control.

'It is unwise to continue to rely on that to be successful as a football club.

'There have been several sites over 12 years of searching, from Kirkby golf club, the King's Dock, Scotland Road and now Kirkby.

'But there is no site in the city, Liverpool FC have been looking, Tesco has been looking at us. There is nowhere.

'It will cost £230m to rebuild Goodison Park, and that is not viable. The board will not put this club at risk and we retain our commitment to Kirkby.'