A site on Walton Hall Park on Walton Hall Avenue – just a mile from their existing Goodison home – is one option under discussion and understood to be the favoured choice.

Everton would make the move in partnership with among others, Liverpool City Council, and point to the collaboration between Manchester City and Manchester City Council as an example of how it could change their future.

City moved from Maine Road to the City of Manchester Stadium, built originally for the Commonwealth Games and leased to the football club in 2003, and subsequently attracted Abu Dhabi billions in a takeover that has transformed the club. Likewise, Everton would not be averse to being tenants in a new arena.

A full appraisal into the risk/reward and debt burden of moving to a new ground is currently being undertaken by Everton’s board, but there is “cautious optimism” according to chief executive Robert Elstone.

A decision is expected within months and Elstone, who gave a presentation at last night’s general meeting for shareholders, said: “It remains a big priority.

“We’re not ruling out any of the sites that we’ve identified and that the council has presented to us, but there is one site that’s getting more attention.

“It has been getting more attention for a number of months. It’s been worked on very carefully and diligently, not only by Everton but also by the council, planners, architects, advisers, cost consultants, regeneration experts, solicitors and so on.

“So there is a lot of work going into something that we’re excited about and we hope it comes to fruition. If it does come to fruition we think it would be something that the city will be very proud of and we’re certain our fans will be very proud of.

“But we have to reflect that in our case it’s quite a different economic model to some of the clubs who have moved historically.”