Paul Robinson has heaped praise on Everton for their commitment to their local community despite plans to move to their new Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium.
The former England number one, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, insisted the Toffees have a “close bond” with their fans and the locality of Goodison Park is central to this.
Earlier this month, the Merseyside Blues submitted their planning application for the Goodison Park Legacy Project to Liverpool City Council, according to The Athletic.
The Toffees plan to unveil a new 52,000 seater stadium ahead of the 2023/24 season on the waterfront in Liverpool.
However, the club intends to keep their ties around Goodison with affordable housing, a multi-purpose health centre, a community-led retail spaces, a youth enterprise zone and an education zone just some of the plans.
Robinson insisted the club have taken the best possible approach to their development.
“It is massively important,” he told Football Insider.
“Everton, of all football clubs, have a huge community sense and they have done for many years. They have a close bond with the fans and the club has a huge effect in the community.
“To move a football club out of a community like that would have a big impact on the community and the social life in that area.
“When they are to move out, to redevelop Goodison in a way that benefits the local area and society is the best way that it could possibly be used.”
The club plan to preserve the centre-circle of the pitch which will be “central to the design of a landscaped garden” which will be developed in its place.
Goodison Park has been the home of the Toffees since 1892 and when a move to their new stadium is complete it will mark the end of a chapter in the club’s esteemed history.