Back to drawing board for Toffees

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Everton chief executive Robert Elstone will set about re-structuring plans to finance the club's Champions League ambitions after proposals for a new stadium were rejected by the government.

The Toffees were hoping a new £400million 50,000-seater ground and shopping complex in Kirkby, in association with Tesco, would start generating the revenue to compete with the established 'big four'. However, those plans are in tatters after being rejected by Communities and Local Government Secretary John Denham and Elstone accepts a re-think is required on all aspects.

"The motivations were about driving Everton forward and ultimately giving David Moyes a fairer crack of the whip in the transfer market," he said.

"That challenge hasn't gone away and it's a challenge now that we're going to have to pick up and run with and perhaps find another solution."

The refusal of Everton's stadium plans once again raises the issue of a ground-share with closest rivals Liverpool, whose plans for a 61,000-capacity venue in Stanley Park have been put on hold because of the global recession.

It is a concept which would not be welcomed from either half of Merseyside and is currently a more appealing idea to Everton than it is to their near-neighbours.

"It's certainly one of the options that we will need to cover," Elstone said.

"We are going to look forward and look forward positively. A shared stadium is perhaps an option if it's affordable.

"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.

"If we are the first major English club to look at sharing then we're not scared of making those decisions. So we're going to have to start to have those conversations, we're going to have to be open-minded about solutions."

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