Everton pay £500,000 to Liverpool Council over Bramley Moore’s work

Liverpool City Council will lose more than £300,000 in fees spent on due diligence on Everton’s new stadium project.

It has been confirmed Everton will pay £502,000 of the £841,000 incurred by Liverpool Council after it was agreed last month that negotiations between the two parties would be completed. A joint statement from the local authority and the club said an “amicable settlement” had been reached regarding the Bramley Moore project.

Both parties said it was “fair and proportionate” for the Premier League club to spend more than £500,000 as the work done was “solely for the benefit of Everton”. Part of the charges incurred related to Liverpool Council considering the use of a future stadium in its bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, for which Everton would not be liable.

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The agreed deal has no new implications for the Council’s finances, as an amount has been set aside in the 2022/23 budgetary procedure. Local Authority gave chief executive Tony Reeves the power to end the “pending dispute” between the two parties after spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on fees between 2016 and 2019 when they agreed to fund Everton’s new Bramley Moore Dock stadium -Project.

Everton later sought alternative sources of funding and did not pursue funding with the council. Local government commissioners appointed to oversee Liverpool Council highlighted the “failures of governance” surrounding the project.

The commissioners have also ordered an inquiry into how the Council incurred “significant expenditure” between April 2016 and March 2019. Liverpool Council is said to have failed to manage costs during this period, “some of which are now ineligible”.

During last month’s cabinet meeting, Deputy Mayor Jane Corbett said the agreement “resolves one of several outstanding financial issues in the council and helps resolve outstanding projects working with local government commissioners.” The agreement was criticized by Kris Brown, a councilor for the opposition Liberal Democrats.

Cllr Brown, chairman of the council’s audit committee, said: “While it’s good to see the council reclaiming something from this sad saga with Everton, we’ve effectively thrown £339,000 down the drain.

“For a council tight on cash and taxpayers facing a whopping bill of up to £16million caused by the energy deals debacle, losing over £300,000 in this Everton loan affair is just another kick in the dark Teeth. Joe Anderson’s legacy continues to hurt our city, mixed with new financial damage under Mayor Joanne Anderson’s beleaguered leadership.

“Liverpool deserve better.”