Everton ‘asked to pay’ £350k to council over stadium funding plan

Premier League football club Everton has reportedly been requested to pay £350,000 (€415,000/$442,000) to Liverpool City Council amid a dispute over costs relating to the financing plan for its new stadium on Bramley-Moore Dock.

According to the BBC, the council spent £700,000 on fees as it prepared to offer a loan to Everton to support the stadium work. Everton ultimately secured funding from elsewhere.

The council’s proposal formed part of an ‘invest to earn’ plan drawn up by Joe Anderson, the former Mayor of Liverpool. Under the plan, the council would have borrowed money at a low interest rate before lending it to Everton, which would repay the funds with interest, according to the BBC.

The government last year appointed commissioners to oversee parts of the council after a report criticised the authority’s governance. The commissioners have said that some of the payments made relating to Everton’s stadium financing plan are “irrecoverable”.

A review by the commissioners, which was reported by the BBC, said: “The council incurred significant expenditure to investigate the possibility of a loan to EFC without any formal council approval and without any budget provision approval.”

Jane Corbett, the Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, said during a recent council meeting that “both sides” are working to resolve the issue and come up with a “mutually-agreed negotiated settlement”.

Everton announced last month that it had suspended all sponsorship arrangements with its Russian commercial partners, including USM, which had held an exclusive option on the naming rights to the stadium.

USM is a diversified Russian holding company with significant interests across the metals and mining, telecoms, technology and internet sectors, with its founder being Alisher Usmanov, the Uzbek-born Russian oligarch.

Later in the month, Everton maintained its full commitment to the stadium project after posting losses of more than £100m for the third consecutive year.

Earlier this month, Everton appointed Laing O’Rourke as the construction partner that will complete the development of the stadium. The 52,888-capacity stadium is being built at a cost of around £500m and is expected to be finished in 2024.

Image: Everton