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Everton consider Liverpool ground-share

Everton played rivals Liverpool in the FA Cup under the lights of Goodison Park in January.
Everton played rivals Liverpool in the FA Cup under the lights of Goodison Park in January.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Everton are considering enquiring with city-rivals Liverpool about a possible ground-share
  • This follows the rejection of plans for their own new stadium by local council officials
  • Liverpool's owners have previously said they would not be keen on sharing with Everton
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(CNN) -- English Premier League side Everton are pondering proposing a ground share with city rivals Liverpool following the rejection of plans for their own 50,000 stadium.

Everton had proposed the new $660 million combined stadium and shopping complex for Kirkby, located north-east of the city, but were rejected by the local council.

Chief executive Robert Elstone admits the club could be interested in teaming up with their city neighbours at Stanley Park, the planned location for Liverpool's new 61,000 stadium.

"We are going to look forward and look forward positively," Elston told the British Press Association. "A shared stadium is perhaps an option if it's affordable."

Everton are keen to take advantage of the increased revenue a bigger stadium would bring over their current 40,000-capacity Goodison Park ground.

With their Kirkby proposal, which was to be co-funded by British supermarket chain Tesco, looking unlikely to get the go-ahead a ground share with Liverpool would seem an obvious solution especially with the Reds struggling to raise the necessary money to get the development going.

"We have to look at where we can raise money, because potentially Liverpool will have to obviously contribute to that, and Liverpool City Council perhaps might need to find some money," added Elston.

"We're going to have to start to have those conversations; we're not going to have to be open-minded about solutions."

A shared stadium is perhaps an option if it's affordable
--Everton chief executive Robert Elstone

Liverpool's American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett however have previously said they were opposed to such plans as they did not want to lose out on the revenue streams which come from sole ownership.

The Anfield club's position seems unlikely to change, at least in the short term, with their deputy executive director Peter Shaw telling Sky Sports: "It's not on our agenda at the moment. Liverpool are progressing forward with our own stadium. That is the position we are still in."

The rejection of the Kirkby stadium proposal is a major blow to Everton's future plans with the club hoping the development would have encouraged much needed investment.

"That was the big attraction to Kirkby, that it was affordable," added Elston. "Then it's about reviewing alternatives and sitting down with partners, all the stakeholders in this region and anybody who can help Everton deliver what it needs -- which is a world-class stadium that's going to secure our future for years to come."