Everton face delay on Kirkby stadium proposal
EVERTON have been left sweating on the fate of their new stadium project - after the government asked for more time to consider the club's planning application.
The Blues had hoped to learn by Thursday whether the plan would be referred to the Secretary of State for a public inquiry - a delay which might deliver a potentially fatal blow to the scheme.
But the Government Office for the North West (GONW) have now requested an extension to consider whether to make that move or not.
"We have applied for more time to consider the application because of its size," said a spokesman for GONW.
"That information has been sent to Knowsley council and to the developers.
"The statutory provision prevents the local authority going ahead and acting on planning permission. Inside 21 days, it is difficult to consider all the possible ramifications of an application of this scale."
Chief executive Keith Wyness, who learned of the extension on Friday, said: "This is just part of the decision making process. We will have to be patient and hope we eventually get the news we want to hear."
The Blues, meanwhile, have confirmed a pre-season fixture with Swiss side FC Sion on July 12.
The match will be played at The Stade D'Octodure in Martigni and will come at the end of an intensive training camp in Switzerland.
The game will kick-off at 4pm.
It is the sixth pre-season fixture to be confirmed for David Moyes's senior side, but will be the first competitive game played by them.