Reports: LFC fan group looking at buyout

Reports locally suggest that there could be yet another possibility of rescue for Liverpool FC from the hands of the promise-breaking duo who currently own the club, with the announcement of a continental-style supporters group ready to buy out the club believed to be imminent.

Tom Hicks and George Gillett have shown in recent months that their intentions for the future of the club don’t even come close to matching those of the supporters, and with the Dubai International Capital Group seemingly waiting in the wings, Liverpool fans are hoping that Hicks and Gillett sell up and leave our club alone as soon as possible. Earlier today came a story that Robert Kraft had not yet ruled out a bid for the club, although he sounded far from convinced that he would be able to provide the financial help required to see Liverpool get back to being in league-winning contention.

Then this afternoon came the reports of the latest possibility of a way out of the Tom-and-George nightmare. BBC Radio Merseyside’s Roger Summerskill reported on the possible new direction for the future of the club on bulletins throughout the day on the station. He said: “I understand this new group – based locally and including lifelong Liverpool fans – is planning an operation which would involve buying the club and building the new stadium. I anticipate a statement to that effect sooner rather than later.”

Also today came a report on the Liverpool Echo’s website. It spoke also of a new group looking to buy the owners out, adding: “It is understood the group comprises high-profile LFC fans, legal experts and people in senior public positions. They are believed to be proposing a Continental-style model where fans own a huge stake in major clubs.”

The report also said that the paper, “understands the group plans to raise £500m to buy the club AND finance a new stadium.”

Details are of course still to be revealed, and unless there are some relatively wealthy Liverpool fans willing to back it then the scheme could struggle to get off the ground. Liverpool do have a number of wealthy fans, none of whom would have been able to take the club over alone, but as a group would be able to take the club out of the hands of the strangers currently trying to kill it. But it wouldn’t just be the celebrities and it wouldn’t just be the wealthy Reds – the way similar schemes work on the continent allows all fans to buy a piece of the club, and in turn get a say in how the club’s future maps out.

At this stage there are as many questions as answers as to how this scheme would work, but it does seem likely that it would at the very least reduce the interest burden on the club if it went ahead. Every Liverpool supporter putting money in would be expected to fund that investment themselves, either by smashing their piggy bank, selling their car or taking out a loan of their own. Any debt that the supporters went into would never be put back onto the club. The only profit a supporter putting any money in could expect would be if the value of their share had risen at a future date when they came to sell it.

The investment would not cost money every year in interest payments. The investors would not expect an annual payment as thanks for their investment.

This doesn’t mean that the club itself wouldn’t go into debt, or even get completely out of debt from the day it’s taken over, but any debt would be there with the intention of helping the long-term future of the club. £245m of the current debt, at least, is there purely to fund the pensions of the two Americans.

One big question is how £500m would be enough to buy out two owners who want to make a profit and build a stadium. The owners need £245m to pay their loan off, the new stadium is expected to cost £300m. £500m doesn’t even cover those two items, let alone give the owners the profit they came to Liverpool to get.

The group are clearly getting ready to show their hand, no doubt leaking these sketchy details now to gauge fan opinion. On the face of it, this sound a far better option for the club’s future than anything else that can be imagined right now. It also sounds too good to be true. We await the details.

Right up until the day comes that we are told a takeover has been successful and this double-act have been removed from our club it’s important we do all we can as supporters to at least try and drive them out. The meeting of representatives from fanzines, websites and supporters’ groups scheduled for tomorrow night at The Sandon has now been extended and the invitation to attend is open to all. The topic under discussion is obvious – how can Liverpool supporters help rid the club of what look like parasites planning to suck it dry? Ideas are welcome on boycotts (including how wide-ranging they should be), disruption to their other business interests, protests and anything else that might go towards seeing them off. If you want to be part of the discussions, the meeting is scheduled to start at 7.30pm.

9 thoughts on “Reports: LFC fan group looking at buyout”

  1. sounds like the best news i have heard in months ,hope the meeting 31 jan at sandon proves to be constuctive and issues ironed out as to how we can save our club before we end up like leeds .Action has to be taken now and iam fully behind anything that is planned to save our club even breaking into my savings to become apart of the club i so love and be a part of it for duration of my investment .
    Get the yanks out and lets reclaim our club back .
    Y N W A
    m.orchard

  2. I too would be breaking open the piggy bank if there were any chance of this happening. It would be amazing to be able to invest in the club you love. Seems to work pretty well for Barca too.

  3. I hope this turns out to be something solid. I totally agree with you mark, the fans need to take control of this fantastic club and get it out of the hands of those profit hunting american capitalists.

    SAVE OUR CLUB!

  4. This one quote disturbs me:

    “disruption to their other business interests”

    So, are you telling me that Liverpool fans would be willing to boycott or disrupt the interests of Gillett Evernham Motorsports and/or the Montreal Canadiens? For crying out loud, don’t get fans of other franchises from different sports involved. I can’t speak for the Canadiens, but for the time being, the Gillett family has been like a god-send for the race team. After the bottom-less pit that was last season, GEM-fans, Evernham fans, Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, and Patrick Carpentier fans do not need more of a headache.

    It’s not that I don’t sympathize with you fans, but you have to understand. I have nothing against Gillett. From what I can see, he made a mistake and looks to be trying to get out of the deal because of the PR hell he’s getting. However, he is not a bad person. The Canadiens are now one of the stronger teams in the NHL and the NASCAR team is showing some positives in preseason testing.

    So please, don’t get the other Gillett (or Hicks, for that matter) franchises involved. Some fans, like me, have dealt with too many headaches already (not related to Gillett).

    Note: And if I took that quote out of context, I’m sorry.

  5. Terrible times ahead, especially with sites like this that feel good about twisting and making up there own crap ….. you should be ashamed!!!

    I offically wake away from this club after 40 years, because of self-centred individuals like the editor of this site!

    Our club will not achieve as long as we have fans such as YOU!!!!!

    Leave the team to perform, but NO … that would be easy especially when you have so much built up anger and need to off-load it … the yanks will do! I thought this type of action towards other human beings was against the law!!! yet again Im wrong!

    No more!!!

    and when the club does continue to fail, Im going to point a finger at the people who really did bring us down, cause they couldn’t get what they wanted!!
    Shame on you!

  6. Well, you got a few financial details wrong in your otherwise excellent article.

    First, if there are no dividends paid on the club’s share at all, the value of a share is exactly 0, and will not raise in price at all, regardless of what happens to the value of the club as the value of a share is its discounted stream of dividends for the foreseeable future. The only reward anyone will get from this is the certainty, that the club is in the right hands. Its like buying consumption goods, we all would buy us a club we love together. But the money will be gone once the share is bought :)

    Second: The lines about how 500m do not even cover their loans AND the new stadium do not make sense. The stadium is not yet build, so there is no need to pay for it to get the yanks out. They bought the club for around 220m last year. That is still more or less the figure I would rate the club at, given the level of debt that it is supposed to serve right now. 300m should be enough to buy out the americans. Put another 200m on the stadium and find the rest somewhere else, but 500m but we surely enough to solve the biggest problem: Getting rid of g&h.

  7. great article on possibly buyout by supporters..i’m far from well off but id certainly be willing to put in a few hundred..if every supporter did imagine what we could do……

  8. If for example we have 100,000 shares – that’s £5000 per share. One vote per share ala Barca. I’m sure there are wealthy supporters prepared to pay more for multiple shares for more say in the club. I believe we may have a chance to pull it off. I for one would be prepared to buy at least one share. However, we need to ensure that no one can buy up all shares to force a takeover!

    P.S.This group needs a figure head we can all trust and a guarantee that if it doesn’t come off we get our money back!! e.g. a bank guarantee and public records of all contributors.

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