Everton have taken a significant step towards a new £300m stadium in Bramley Moore Dock after striking deals with the landowners and Liverpool City Council.
The Premier League club confirmed that they have agreed terms with Peel Holdings for the acquisition of a site on the waterfront next to the River Mersey.
Everton also revealed a deal in principle with local authorities that would see the council set up a special purpose vehicle to lease the stadium from a funder and then sub-lease to the club.
The land purchase is subject to planning permission, which is not expected until early next year, while the council’s involvement in the lease must be approved by its cabinet next week.
Everton said it would pay the council an annual security fee in return for its participation and that the club alone would foot the bill for the new stadium.
Chief executive Robert Elstone said:
“Over the past year, the club has worked with the support of the council and we are grateful for the ‘can-do’ approach that has got us to this important milestone.
“We are delighted that we have been able to agree Heads of Terms with Peel, giving us control of the Bramley Moore Dock site and allowing us the time we need to complete the substantial further work required to be able to confirm the project’s viability.”
It marks a breakthrough in Everton’s efforts to relocate from their home of 125 years, Goodison Park, whose capacity of 39,572 places limitations on their ability to increase revenue.
The Toffees abandoned plans to move to Walton Hall Park last year, having previously scrapped proposals to relocate to Kirkby in 2009 and King’s Dock in 2003.
Everton have talked up their ambitions since Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri bought 49.9 per cent of the club in February last year.
A company 49 per cent owned by his business associate Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal’s second largest shareholder, agreed to buy naming rights for Everton’s Finch Farm training ground earlier this year.
That investment contributed to £75m worth of new commercial deals, Elstone said in January.