English Premier League football club Everton’s new stadium could be at risk of being affected by rising sea levels in the future, according to a Manchester Metropolitan University researcher.

In an article for The Conversation, Graeme Heyes spoke of his surprise when learning of Everton’s plans for a new state-of-the-art stadium on the Bramley Moore Dock site in Liverpool.

Bramley Moore Dock forms part of the wide-ranging, £5bn (€5.8bn/$6.2bn) Liverpool Waters scheme, which developer Peel is overseeing. Everton’s agreement with Peel is subject to planning permission being granted and the club said there a number of obstacles that need negotiating before the plans are able to be fleshed out.

The £300m-plus development will be fully funded by the club, with Liverpool City Council to provide no funds towards the project.

In his article for The Conversation, Heyes questioned the long-term sustainability of the project. He wrote: “As a researcher in sustainable business models, surely spending £300m on a waterfront stadium is a significant risk in terms of sea level rise?”

Heyes did say that, on paper, the project represents a “fantastic opportunity” for Everton and the city of Liverpool. However he also pointed out that, by 2100 – 83 years into Everton’s proposed 200-year lease – sea levels could have risen by two metres.

Heyes also cited the Surging Seas website, which shows that a 2°C climate change would “inundate” Liverpool’s docklands area over the next 200 years.

Heyes admitted that any such issues are not of an immediate concern. “Of course, this won’t happen any time soon and few businesses are required to think in such long terms,” he wrote.

“New buildings are generally not designed to last for centuries, partly because it’s rare for a firm to last that long. This is one of the reasons why climate change is such a complex challenge for society – it simply does not comply with the time-frames of political or corporate shareholder decision-making.

“But football clubs are different. Everton was founded in 1878 and has been at its current home of Goodison Park for 125 years. It will still be around to see 2°C warming and beyond.”