Sons of Shankly: Hicks and Gillett out

Bill Shankly, 1965The desire to see Tom Hicks and George Gillett taken out of their position as owners of Liverpool FC is stronger than ever, as part of a long-term aim to get the club back competing for the league again.

Forget about criticising Rafa Benitez, his efforts have been undermined by the owners pretty much since they arrived on the scene. Get behind him and remind him why he loves us so much. Forget about criticising the players too much for now – one or two seem to have lost the fight to win, the right to wear our shirt, but most of them are doing their best during a crisis of confidence, a crisis we should never have been in.

Get behind the manager.

Get behind the players.

Get behind this campaign – “The Sons of Shankly” – a Liverpool supporters’ union.

The protests are far from over, as the group’s first official statement shows:



“The socialism I believe in is everyone working for each other, everyone having a share of the rewards. It’s the way I see football, the way I see life” (Bill Shankly)

Where we are now: Well we’ve set up a working party that will meet shortly to discuss the issuing of a statement to the supporters on behalf of the group, tentatively titled ‘The Sons Of Shankly ‘. We have also agreed a strategy to conduct elections and the creation of formal committee to take the group forward. A meeting will be called within the next few weeks to allow all interested parties to attend and contribute to the creation of the new group.

In the interim, Nicky Allt has agreed to stand as chairman, Neil Atkinson as spokesperson, with Giulio Canneti, Andy Heaton and Alan Kayll filling all other administrative roles in the interim.

We intend to contact everyone who expressed an interest in getting involved last night. Please bear with us, as the response last night far exceeded our wildest expectations, it could hardly have been more of a success, but we will get back to you as soon as we can.

The outcome of the meeting last night was that the fans stand united behind two aims :

* Firstly, the short term aim of getting Hicks and Gillett out of our club. It’s not just about the debt; there’s their lies, deceits and lack of respect for us. We hit them in pocket and we do so noisily but peacefully. We will start with a boycott of the club shops – persuade people not to buy from official outlets; making LFC a less attractive financial proposition for G&H. We are also calling for a 15-minute post-game protest immediately after the final whistle after the Sunderland game. Stay in your seats and make your views known loudly.

* Secondly, the aim is to set the ‘Sons Of Shankly’ group up as a subscription-based trade-union style movement, similar to continental socio groups, based upon one-member one-vote principles which can stridently represent our interests, i.e. the interests of every Liverpool supporter.

We acknowledge we need mainstream support and that many supporters do not go on internet forums or websites. The support of these supporters is crucial to our goals. If we stand united and speak with one voice both of these goals are possible. It was acknowledged that any alternative to the current ownership will not be benign and that we’ll need to stand together and voice our common goals not just for six weeks but for sixty years, not just with 400 but with 4 million. We can use the brand and its popularity against anyone who tries to exploit us.

Do what you can to support this movement, even if you don’t agree with all its methods, all its tactics – for the sake of the club these protests should work.

Don’t let Tom think we’ve got over it already.

13 thoughts on “Sons of Shankly: Hicks and Gillett out”

  1. Liverpool is the most special club,lets keep it that way.We deserve the best because we are the best.Lets all unite together as one big family,the family that is Liverpool Football Club.Together we stand.YNWA.Lets walk together.

  2. 100% behind you,we cant let these clowns turn us into another Leeds United,anyone who thinks thats impossible is deluding themselves,the debt the club now has is frightening,a couple of seasons of no champs lg and we will be so far up shit creek without a paddle !!!!

  3. If you had launched your campaign following the 6-0 drubbing of Derby, it may have seemed a little less like scapegoating. Unfortunately, the disenchantment with the owners appears to be directly proportional to the paucity of quality upon the pitch.

    In the time that the Americans have owned the club, Rafa has been allowed to break the £20m barrier for a single player, as well as setting a new record for the price paid for a defender.

    Until Torres arrived, many a fan said all we needed was a 20 goals a season striker. Turns out that didn’t fix the problem. Changing owners won’t be like waving a magic wand. It won’t guarantee success. It won’t even guarantee things are better. There are no guarantees.

    Things may get better if we change owners, but get your excuses ready now, because unless we get an Abramovich style sugar daddy it will make little difference. Trouble is, if we get that, everyone will simply accuse us of buying the league anyway!

    Look at the repeated attempts to cheapen Chelsea’s success. If Rafa won the league by being handed blank cheques, it would just mean we had sunk to their level.

    As for plunging into debt, how much do Manure owe right now?

  4. Mr Blobby: A fair number of supporters had their misgivings about the owners before the 6-0 drubbing of Derby, but a larger number still didn’t believe what was going on. Bit by bit the truth about the owners came out, bit by bit more supporters began to see the truth. Hicks’ admission about Klinsmann opened the eyes of more supporters than before, and since then the urge to rid the club of the owners has become too strong to be ignored.

    The owners aren’t scapegoats, they are the single biggest factor in the mess that our club is now in.

    The first protest against them was in November. Now at that stage some fans still blindly believed that the owners might not really be plotting to sack Rafa – but just in case they marched in support of Rafa. A lot more than the 2000 estimated by the BBC made it clear that Rafa should not be sacked.

    A conscious effort was made for that night to give the owners a little more benefit of the doubt – rather than make it an anti-owners night, make it a pro-Rafa night. But the depth of feeling was still strong – the owners were stepping out of line.

    Do you remember what our results were prior to that match? We’d just won 2-0, 8-0, 3-0. We won 4-1 that night too. So that rather negates your first argument.

    The fee for Torres, which was somewhere between £18m and £20m, but not over £20m, came from Rafa’s success in making it all the way to the CL final the previous season, and his offloading of some of our other players. Even West ham felt that Premier League survival was worth £30m per season to them.

    Nobody, in great numbers, wants a sugar daddy. The club needs to be in a position where in the future it has a bigger stadium bringing in higher revenues allowing the club to compete in the transfer market. But it needs to be ultimately self-sufficient.

    Regarding your question on Man United’s debt, I’m not sure why you ask. What I do know is that our debt will be costing us £30m a year in interest alone, not much less than our whole debt before takeover. That’s not even going to be enough to build the new stadium. We can’t afford it.

    Why has Gillett gone into hiding? Is it because he’s proud of what he’s doing, in full agreement with Hicks and believes it’s for the good of the club? Or is it because he’s ashamed at what’s happened and wants out just as soon as he can?

    True, DIC may turn out not be what we want either. The Share Liverpool scheme may not get off the ground. It’s hard to see how either could be any worse than the current situation. No guarantees, of course not – but the odds are strongly against new owners being more deceitful and less competent.

    Moores should never have put us into this mess, and he knows it now. But we can’t go back.

    Rafa may not be the manager to win us the league, but he’s not had the backing he was promised, he’s been undermined to the point where he must be nearing a nervous breakdown, and still some supporters find it acceptable to boo him yet forgive the owners their lies, deceit, broken promises, disrespect and threat to our future.

    Let’s get the owners out, then we can discuss if Rafa’s the right man or not. Many still think he is, others aren’t sure but know there’s no better option available who could do better on this budget. Others have their minds made up mainly due to usual rotation/zonal marking hype.

    We’ve gone downhill under these owners, and they’ve only just started.

  5. I want the owners out they liars and are out to screw the club, but I will not back benitez he’s a very poor manager, he started the rot with rotation rotation when the team was playing well, don’t forget he was almost off to madrid until he wife said if you go you go without me, it seem s the pro benitez give him credit but never the blame, when the team is playing and I’m watching
    I never give hicks and his mob a seconds thought, it’s only after the game I think about them, instanbul was mostly gerrard inspired, benitez lacks vision, I’ll give you an example at this moment were in a very bad state with our forwards, we only have torres and perhaps bable( but benitez classes him as a winger) so it seems we have £18 million to spend,
    mascherano is a great defensive midfielder no can dispute that, but he’s been playing during this slump,
    what I’m say you have to make a bold decision and say I’m going to sacrifice masch, because we still have gerrard alonso and lucas, in an emergency we can play carra there, this because the priority is scoring goals, you spend the £18 on benjani and alves,
    benjani is proven 12 prem goals from the wing,
    ALves is a gamble but he’s proberely the best of the available around, so you gamble as you do any player sign that thesewould have got you goals, but it’s to late cos they’ve gone,
    so were left with the same squad thats struggling to score
    I told he lacks vision and courage when it comes to the attacking side of our game,

  6. I agree entirely, better to sort the owner
    thing out now. They had there chance
    and they blew it!

    There’s more than enough talent and
    experience in the team to win, win, win.

    It’s up to the players to wear the shirt
    with pride again and stop us turning
    into a cry baby club.

    Bring it on!

  7. The two issues should not be mixed. The question of ownership is a matter of the survival in the medium-long term of the club we love. Hicks is a classic asset stripper he views the club as nothing more than a means to make millions using borrowed money and would have no qualms in selling all of the assets if that was the only way to turn a profit. He has to be forced out of our club one way or another. I see Gillett as having bought in to the “Liverpool FC” experience. I don’t believe the joy he showed when we won our European games was false.
    The other question of the manager and form of the squad is a short term issue and there should always be a healthy debate between the fans on this whoever is the manager and whatever our league position.

  8. All true fans should support the ShareLiverpoolFC initiative. Even if it never comes to complete fruition the exercise itself can be a great demonstration of fan power. In spain they have “penas” or private groups getting together to buy a share. We could have “pens” like the old system on the liverpool docks. Groups of mates, family groups, pubs, clubs, workmates etc could all form pens and buy shares.
    At present all that is needed is to get on the website and register interest. There are various possible outcomes:
    1. It might be a staggering success, raise the money to buy the club
    2. If the yanks wont sell why not build the stadium and via the local authority and the government put presuure on the club to lease it from ShareLiverpoolFC.
    3. the fact that millions of fans show intent to combine in this way could have an effect on the people trying to get control of the club, DIC, Kraft, Miskelly etc.
    Is it a coincidence that rumours of renewed DIC interest come out after the ShareLiverpoolFC initiative was announced.

  9. I believe that Mascheranos fee includes his wages so to say Benitez has 18m at his disposal is very wide of the mark. Do you really believe Hillbilly has given him that kind of money? The fee can also be paid in installments. Why do you think we enquired about Walcott on loan? Its clearly because Rafa does not have any funds for transfers. There’s too many fans playing fantasy football and not seeing the reality of the situation.
    Its only a matter of time before DIC buy us either entirely or with Gillett. Imagine how Hicks must feel hearing that the fans are so desperate to get rid of him they have formed sharelfc. His days are numbered he is just waiting for the right price.

    Keep the faith.


  10. The past 12 months history tells us that Hicks & Gillett are the wrong owners of LFC. 1. Because of their broken promises. 2. Because of their total lack of knowledge of the whole European Soccer scene. 3. Because of their insensitivity to the history of LFC.
    I, for one, would like the Share scheme to suceed because, it frees the club of debt and leaves plenty of money for operating and transfer use. If that failes, then DIC, because they have the money, which the Americans very obviously do not have, loading the club with debt will only kill off LFC; also DIC understand the game and, let us hope, that within the contect of LFC being a business, DIC will want sucess on the field which will lead to a profitable business, whereas short term profit appears the only motivation of the Americans and not the long term sucessful future of the football club.

  11. The American’s have got to go,I have been watching LFC for the past 38 yrs. I cannot believe that they could not get a buyer with more passion and interest for this club than these clown’s. All the other probable buyers have now lost complete interest. Somebody should have convinced the buyer’s of man city that LFC was a much better proposition and a much more coveted brand. What a shame that the club cannot sign the players that will make this team great again. The 2005 champion’s league was a great spectacle built on utter grit and determination. It is a pity the Yank’s no nothing about the passion and determination required to be winner’s. I hope the 2005 champion’s is not the only trophy that stalwart’s like gerrard and cara win. One premier league title at least would be testament to their enduring grit and determination. I don’t think I am asking for too much.

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