Wyness quits on eve of stadium decision
Thursday 31 July 2008
Everton have been left to contemplate the atrocious timing of their chief executive's resignation, days before a Government ruling which could jeopardise one of the most significant moments in the club's history: their move from Goodison to a new purpose-built stadium at Kirkby.
Keith Wyness, who had become a highly controversial figure with a section of Everton supporters for his stance on pushing forward the proposed move to Kirkby, has quit as the Government Office for the North West prepares to rule on whether Communities Secretary Hazel Blears should "call in" the plan, in which Everton will invest £78m and Tesco £52m.
Wyness declared last month that a decision to call the plan in, after objections from neighbouring local councils, could kill it off. Though a full public inquiry does not necessarily sound the death knell for the project, a delay would have serious financial implications. A decision is expected within five days.
So immersed had Wyness become in "Destination Kirkby", as the project is known, that much of the day-to-day football administration at Goodison had been handled by Robert Elstone, chief operating officer, and club secretary David Harrison while Wyness, who took over in 2004, immersed himself in the move. Everton will not be rushed into naming a replacement for Wyness and the board are expected to meet in a fortnight to discuss the situation.
Wyness is believed to have the possibility of a similar job with La Liga side Real Mallorca, who are now owned by his friend Paul Davidson. Everton insist that the decision had nothing to do with the ground move, though Wyness's decision to leave has removed an obligation to attend an Extraordinary General Meeting called by shareholders opposed to the Kirkby project, that would certainly have put him in the firing line.
David Moyes, meanwhile, announced from Everton's training base in Chicago that he would be signing a new contract within a couple of weeks. The manager is preparing to table a new bid for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Moutinho.
The player trained away from the rest of the squad yesterday with Sporting maintaining that this was because of a muscular problem. Everton and Moutinho are understood to be in contact pending a renewed £16m offer.
Latest in Sport
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Diego Costa keeps coin thrown at him during Capital One Cup final
Lukas Podolski corner: Has the Arsenal forward taken the worst corner of all time?
Ireland 19 England 9 player ratings: Jonathan Sexton? Devin Toner? Alex Goode? Who was the star man in Dublin?
Eden Hazard didn't like the champagne on offer in the Chelsea dressing room
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be 'closer to God'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut