New stadium hope for Everton

Everton say they are cautiously optimistic they have identified a suitable site for a new stadium.

The site is one of several options presented to the club by the local council, and work has already been undertaken by planners, architects and solicitors.

But despite the excitement generated by the unspecified location, inside Liverpool's city boundaries, no decision to leave Goodison Park has yet been made.

Chief executive Robert Elstone, speaking at at Everton's 2014 general meeting, said: "The stadium remains a big priority.

"We're not ruling out any of the sites that we've identified and that the council has presented to us, but there is one site which is getting more attention and has been getting more attention for a number of months.

"It has been worked on very carefully, diligently and in some detail by not only Everton, but by the council and by advisors, planners, architects, designers, cost consultants, regeneration experts and solicitors. So there's a lot of work going into something that we're very excited about.

"We need a council being supportive financially and supportive entrepreneurially as well. At the moment there are signs that they are being that, and that's to be welcomed and we're delighted with that.

"We hope it comes to fruition and, if it does, I think it's something that the city and our fans will be very proud of.

"The board is currently looking not only at this opportunity but also the associated risks and the debt that the club may well have to take on to deliver this, which may or may not be the right thing to do.

"That's exactly where we are in terms of the project at the moment - that consideration is ongoing by the board.

"But, in summary, there's a degree of optimism - perhaps some cautious optimism - but a degree of optimism.

"We wouldn't be investing what we're doing without thinking it had a chance of success, and there's a commitment as always to share information with our fans as soon as we can."

Everton's plans for a new home in Kirkby were rejected back in 2009, although some supporters objected to its location anyway on the grounds it was outside the city boundaries.