Why Everton Need to Leave Goodison Park to Keep Pace in EPL
Leaving Goodison Park is never going to be a topic easily discussed and supported by Evertonians. Regardless of the stadium's practically prehistoric structure, its sentimental value to fans is simply immeasurable.
However, while Everton have remained a presence in and around the Premier League's top six for the best part of a decade—continually holding their own against far wealthier adversaries—their plight only gets tougher each year they remain at the ground.
The club is weighed down by some perilous financial restraints. They operate at a loss, maintain a below average wage-budget and rarely spend without selling first. They also continually fail to attract the investment needed to sustain their challenge.
Were Everton to find another practical location to play their football, and somehow finance the deal, they would find it far easier to maintain their status and compete at the upper end of the league. Goodison Park effectively handicaps them and makes their challenge tougher each year.
In football's corporate-driven landscape, the ground is simply miles below the required standard needed for Everton to compete. With development impossible, it's an instant turn-off for a large amount of potential investors.
The Swiss Ramble produced a forensic account of Everton's financial situation a few years ago. Excellent, yet thoroughly depressing reading for supporters, with one of the main stumbling blocks clearly outlined as Goodison Park.
As loved as it is by Evertonians, it's essentially antique in modern football terms and leaves the Toffees falling alarmingly behind their rivals every game.
The main issue is the lack of corporate facilities and the fact that there's little room for expansion. According to The Swiss Ramble, Everton take home approximately £750,000 per home game, a modest tally that many of their main rivals easily exceed.
Tottenham (with a ground smaller than Goodison Park) and Liverpool both take home double this amount while Manchester United and Arsenal quadruple it, showing just how far the Toffees fall behind on a weekly basis. It's no wonder these clubs can't be competed with during transfer windows.
What is your stance on Goodison Park?
In roughly 20 home games over the course of a season, these teams are making between £15 million and £45 million more than the Toffees every time. That's simply an impossible equation to continue fighting against year upon year.
The only solution that solves this—other than being taken over by a sugar daddy—is to move, to increase the revenue and attract better investment. Although, sadly, the current options are limited and most are reliant on that investment, or potential takeover, taking place first.
As things stand, every season becomes tougher for the Toffees, with more and more clubs finding greater investment while they struggle to make ends meet.
If the club ever want to compete on a similar financial playing field then, as painful as it sounds, a new stadium is essential.
For more information on Everton's financial situation, check out The Swiss Ramble, which was a primary source for this piece.
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