Everton have agreed a deal to acquire land on which to build a new £300m stadium in Liverpool.
The Premier League club and landowners Peel Holdings have reached agreement on the Bramley Moore Dock site near the River Mersey.
It was announced as the preferred site for the club’s proposed new stadium in January.
Liverpool City Council said it would act as a guarantor to help Everton secure funding for the project.
Planning permission would still have to be given for any development.
The club have been working with the council to find a replacement for Goodison Park.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said the purchase agreement was a “significant step”.
The local authority said it would “securitize” any loans taken out by the club – in other words act as guarantor – as it looks to find funding, expected to be in excess of £300m, for the new stadium.
Mr Anderson said: “We will provide security using our status as an organisation, enabling them to go the market to secure a loan.
“It won’t cost Liverpool City Council taxpayers any funding… Indeed, the reverse is true. Out of the deal for that security [Liverpool City Council] would receive a substantial amount of money, in excess of £4.4m every year.”
Legal and financial advice had been sought and the financial model will be taken to the council’s cabinet for approval, Mr Anderson said.
“For us it is a great deal – we’re spending no money.
“It is also a fantastic deal for the city because it helps us revitalise north Liverpool,” he said, adding: “It will be a catalyst for that particular area.”
No timeframe has been set for building a new stadium.
Everton’s chief executive Robert Elstone said: “Clearly, it is vital we have clarity on cost and we have to recognise that the stadium will be significantly more expensive at Bramley Moore Dock.
“To get that certainty, and ensure the stadium is affordable, we need to confirm stadium design, capacity and configuration.”
He said the club was committed to a full consultation process and keeping fans informed.
Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri bought a 49.9% stake in Everton in February 2016 and quickly outlined plans for a move from Goodison Park, which has a capacity of 39,572.
An initial plan was to build a stadium at Walton Hall Park, a short distance north-east of the club’s home since 1892, but it was strongly opposed by local residents.
Everton also abandoned plans to move to King’s Dock in 2003, and Kirkby in 2009.
Liverpool increased Anfield’s capacity to just over 54,000 with the opening of the stadium’s Main Stand in September.