Everton boss Willie Kirk has confirmed that tomorrow night’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture against Chelsea will go ahead despite the damage caused by vandals to their Walton Hall Park home last week.
The Blue Girls’ purpose-built home was the subject of an arson attack on Friday evening with the broadcast area of the ground severely damaged by fire.
Everton are due to face Barclays FA Women’s Super League champions Chelsea at the venue tomorrow night and manager Kirk confirmed to the media this morning that the game will go ahead.
“It was really disappointing,” said Kirk when speaking in Everton’s pre-match press conference. “A lot work has gone into Walton Hall Park to move there – a lot of emotional resource in terms of the staff who worked so hard to make it happen.
“Then, we have obviously put quite a bit of finance into it. It’s something we see as not just being for us but being for the community.
“It’s really disappointing people would target that as something to try to destroy. It was sad to get that phone call on Friday and hear about what happened.
“Luckily, there is not as much damage as there could have been – the game will go ahead without any issues. I don’t think it will affect the players. The pitch is unaffected and the changing facilities are unaffected.”
The fire is thought to have started from the plastic netting around the perimeter of the stadium before spreading into some scaffolding which houses the broadcast gantry. A press dugout was also damaged. Investigations quickly determined that the fire was started deliberately.
Everton moved to Walton Hall Park in February 2020 after spending a period playing their home matches at The Pure Stadium in Southport.