Everton on tricky ground

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The Independent Football

Everton's plans for a new stadium rest on the success of Liverpool's proposed £150m move from Anfield, on which a final decision is imminent, according to the Goodison Park chief executive, Keith Wyness.

The two Merseyside clubs have so far resisted all attempts by the Northwest Regional Development Agency and Liverpool City Council to persuade them to share a new stadium despite problems trying to develop their own proposals.

Everton have not submitted a plan for a new stadium since the collapse of their Kings Dock project three years ago while Liverpool's attempt to build a new 60,000-seater arena on Stanley Park, a stone's throw away from Anfield, is behind schedule and beset by escalating costs.

The Liverpool chief executive, Rick Parry, has held talks with the American billionaire and New England Patriots' owner, Robert Kraft, about investing in the European champions, who are struggling to attract the necessary finance for Stanley Park and a possible buyer for the chairman David Moores' majority shareholding in the club.

While Everton claim to have three options - to redevelop Goodison, move to a new site or share with their rivals - they could only move with government assistance and pressure for a shared stadium will increase if Liverpool have not advanced their plans by the time of their AGM in January. Wyness revealed: "Central and local government have been reluctant to help us with our stadium project because of the project across the park but I've no doubt that, if that falls through, they will try to push us into a shared stadium again.

"The redevelopment of Goodison Park, a new stadium and a shared stadium are still on the table but we cannot do it ourselves without help from central or local government."

* Alan Shearer will not be disciplined for elbowing Everton's David Weir during Sunday's defeat as referee Howard Webb spotted the offence and gave a free-kick.

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