LFC supporter patience runs out, direct action planned

With continuing uncertainty about the future of Liverpool Football Club, silence from the board since August 14th about the sales process they had said was likely to be complete by the end of August and evidence that fans were misled about the true role of Barcap in this process it should come as little surprise that many fans really do now feel that enough is enough.

Whether anger is being aimed in the right direction or not is a topic that gets a certain amount of debate, but in reality with so little actually being said on the record nobody has the right to complain about being targeted with that anger. Fans find themselves in a position where they need to decipher the telling of a story in one paper to see how much of it might be true and how much of it might be made up, juiced up or toned down.

The lack of any on-record statement and the absence of any interview with any member of the club’s hierarchy about the progress of the sales process and the position of the club as the October deadline draws nearer means that fans have every right to be angry.

Patience and understanding was offered. In return we continued to be treated with contempt.

And now that patience has run out.

Spirit of Shankly are just one supporters’ group with plans to make themselves heard once more. The relative silence during the sham of a sales process is over as far as many fans are concerned. And it will be over at least until there is a break in the silence from the people currently supposed to be looking after this club.

Looking after the club does not entail allowing us to continue limping towards destruction waiting for some miracle to happen, for a buyer

The following is a statement issued today by Spirit of Shankly:

Following the information recently released by SoS regarding BarCap and their role in the refinancing and sale of our Club, it is clear that at least one of the current owners has no intention of selling Liverpool Football Club. It is also clear that BarCap are not just tasked with the sale of the Club, but are also looking at ways of refinancing the existing debt. This information is contradictory to the messages put out by BarCap and Martin Broughton about their role, and it is also at odds with what we, as supporters, want.

As supporters, we have to tell the current owners and Barcap that we will not allow this to continue. In recent months, we have allowed the owners, the Board and Barcap time and space, to pursue the sale process and we have been led to believe several times that this process was underway.  The conclusions we can draw from the release of this current information is that there is no longer any intention to sell the Club.

There have been countless debates about who is to blame for the demise in standards at the Club; The owners? The manager? Everyone has an opinion and fans have been caught up in many sides to this argument, but it has now become clear that any anger should definitely be directed at the current ‘custodians’ of the Club, who have no interest in its history or traditions but are simply using it as a vehicle for their own best interests.  While fans may not have been inclined to protest against the owners in the past, the evidence is now overwhelming. It is now clear that all our attention and emotions should be aimed directly at the owners and those in charge of the sale (or refinancing!) process. Every Liverpool fan must surely now be aware of what is happening to, and within, our Club as a result of the current owners. Now is the time for us to unite together. Now is the time to direct our anger. We cannot, will not, and must not allow them to do what they want with OUR football Club, without us at least having our say.

On Saturday 25th September 2010 we are holding an EGM at Zeligs, Liverpool1, starting at 11:45am (Details and Agenda here). During the meeting, we will communicate more information about joining the Credit Union, which will enable fans to save towards a share for any supporter ownership investment. This is, and should always be, our long term goal – to rightfully take back the Club.

On the same day, we are also proposing direct action, to show those in power that while we have given them every opportunity to secure a sale of the Club, we no longer believe that new ownership is their aim. We now need to rid the Club of its current owners. We need to show them again how much we want them out of out Club.

We would like as many supporters as possible, to make their feelings known towards the owners during the Sunderland match, using banners, flags and songs. We are aware that other supporters groups already have plans in place for the day and we would encourage all supporters to come together, to unite as one voice. Some say they are tired of protesting, but there are now many more fans aware of the facts and figures and the poor financial state of the Club, who are now willing to stand up and make their voices heard. The current owners do not have the Club’s best interests at heart and we need to make our feelings known, together.

For those who say that we should get behind the team, or that protesting in the ground damages the team’s performance, we have to respect these views, but it is no longer the time to sit back and accept these as reasons for not protesting against the owners. It is a lack of investment by the Board, crippling interest repayments on a massive debt we were told we would never have, and little support or respect for the current ownership model which is causing unrest and affecting our chances of success on the pitch. This is a view shared by many, including the manager and players, who have spoken publicly of the need for new owners. We ask everyone in the ground to make their voices heard – let everyone know you will no longer tolerate the current owners.

Following the match, irrespective of the result, we intend to hold a sit in protest. Regardless of where you sit, remain in the ground and make your views heard. Gather at the front of the stand you are in, with flags and banners, and make your voices heard.

To build on the momentum of this protest and to increase pressure on the owners, we are also proposing a day of action at the match against Blackpool. We will start this day with a mass march (details to be confirmed and released nearer the time), to visibly show our anger towards the owners and those responsible for our current situation. It will also be an opportunity to show support for what we want to achieve – genuine supporter involvement in how Liverpool Football Club is run.

Following on from the march we want fans to take the atmosphere generated into the ground and make sure the whole world knows how we feel.

This is just the beginning of future action, both peaceful and direct. We have given time to those in charge and listened to more empty promises. Now we are demanding results, and action will continue for as long as the situation remains unacceptable to us as fans of Liverpool Football Club. If you have any ideas for action, please forward them to directaction@spiritofshankly.com . All proposals will be considered but it is not possible to action every suggestion.

This summer we have waited patiently for news of the sale we have been told was coming. It seems that instead of seeking new owners those apparently charged with that task have instead been looking at ways to refinance the current debt. Tom Hicks and George Gillett cannot be allowed to remain as owners of Liverpool Football Club. The time to act is now and we need you to tell them loud and clear and in no uncertain terms.

Tom and George: Not Welcome Here

15 thoughts on “LFC supporter patience runs out, direct action planned”

  1. i agree it/s time to take severe action, action that will make the world sit up and take notice, i suggest a mass botcott at the sunderland match, having pickets on every entrance and turnstile pleading not to enter the ground not to purchase any merchandise from the official club shops, imagine having 40,000 people clogging up the streets instead of going into the ground, the media response would be amasing, for me its time for a mass demonstration not just a few but by many thousands more, imagine an empty anfield on match day while the game is in progress, also a mass petition should e organised around the ground and at every entrance and turnstile. terry white.

  2. I dont think sit ins or pre match protests are severe enough. They are away from the glare of the game going media so dont generally get much air time across the world so Hicks Gillett and the board dont care.

    My suggestion would be 5 or 10 minutes into the game stage a mass exit from the ground. If you could 10,000 or more people leaving the ground after the game has just started it means its picked up by every television station across the globe.

    After that I’m afraid its hit them where it hurts, boycott games and official merchandise as Terry says above.

    Sit ins, protests, chants and songs hasnt worked up until now. Its time to start hitting the owners where it hurts and make no financial institution willing to touch them with a barge pole due to the potential fall off in gate receipts and loss of merchandise revenue.

  3. Hi

    I have 2 suggestions:

    (1) Demonstration alone won’t be enough to force the owners to sell. You must hit them where it hurts most – their pockets.

    Boycott all the merchandise items and stop attending matches in Carling Cup, FA Cup and Europa League. Instead hold demonstrations outside the stadium when there are matches and outside the club’s premises instead of holding in the stadium itself.

    This kind of boycott cum demonstration will be more effective.

    (2) Another stronger albeit risky suggestion is to coordinate the boycott with all the first team players (exclude the manager & coaches). As a start, players should be encouraged to boycott the Carling Cup. So, the club will only play second-string or reserves in the Carling Cup.

    Since Roy Hodgson is already playing his second-string in Europa Cup, why not organize it as a players’ boycott of the Carling Cup against the owners?

    I am sure the players will be open to this suggestion.

    Best Regards

  4. Agree with Juan. Seeing as most are season tkt holders (& therefore have prepaid) that is a good way to shame any ‘less passionate/ignorant/oblivious” one day fans into getting up & walking out too.. It hurts to think the team may be affected by this type of protest but they will be fully aware of the reasons why & they want the sale as much as we do! Hit them in the pocket, dont buy tickets or merchandise!!


  5. Think the boycotts of the game would have an impact but cant help but feel that it would hinder the performance of the team. How abouts a visual impact? Similarly to how united had their green and gold, what if the entire Kop were all wearing protest t shirts or something? The iconic Kop all demonstrating and chanting during the match can only show the passion of the supporters whilst still giving the team the support during and important fixture.

  6. Wow, a sit in! What is this? 1967 and the summer of love?! Or some sort of sick joke? Our mere presence at Anfield is all the owners will be concerned about. It’s money in the bank to them, pure and simple. I’m with Terry and have had the ‘boycott view’ for some time. Banners and chants don’t and won’t work. I’ve mentioned it before, but the green and gold campaign at Old Trafford, for as clever and gimmicky as it is, is completely futile and utterly pointless. The reason is because more than 70,000 turn up every other week handing over their hard earned cash like excited children in the sweet shop. Cretins like Gillet and Hicks are going nowhere if we continue to do the same. Surely we’re better than lot down the road; aren’t we?

    Come on, let’s do this for real and stop playing around like a bunch of kids. Don’t buy tickets! Simple. Don’t go in the ground! Simple. Don’t buy merchandise! Simple.

    I love my club and am not prepared to see it banished to the annuls of history because of the greed of two lousy Americans. I think our YNWA philosophy will have to be put on the back burner for a while.

    Shankly was a true socialist, so why doesn’t SOS preserve his memory in the way it deserves to be? Not by holding sit-ins and writing colourful banners.

  7. @WhiteHorseRed

    I’m with you TBH let’s get really militant and show the two owners how we really do things in Liverpool, let’s give them the same medecine that the s*n got! 20+ years and that is still going as strong as ever aint it.

    As Delia would say

    [b][i]”Lets be haiving you”[/b][/i]

  8. As long as fans turn up for games and spend their money in the shop then I am afraid George and Tom will be very happy and enthused to stay as owners of the club.
    We all know it wont be easy but fans have to take drastic action and stop spending money at the club.
    An empty Anfield for match day would achive two things;
    1) no revenue for Hicks and Gillett
    2) World wide coverage of the fans plight

  9. I fully understand the sentiments above about how much of a difference there is between the action being proposed and the ideas you’re putting forward.

    And the organisers of these campaigns know it.

    It’s an emotive issue. There are arguments for and against boycotts, but the biggest argument against calling a boycott is the likelihood of how poor a take-up there’ll be.

    No point threatening an empty Anfield only to find the club still managed to sell all the tickets anyway. People going to the game even now don’t know about the problems the club has. Then again you still get an occasional supporter thinking it’s okay to read the S*n.

    Season ticket holders have already paid for their entry for every league game. Their absence would look good because of the empty seat – but H&G will still have their money. For every fan who gives up a season ticket with a heavy heart there’s someone glad to finally find themselves in a position to get one.

    Others who buy their tickets game-by-game that decide to boycott the matches will just find that the club keeps the sales open a bit longer for that game. Someone will buy the ticket they passed up, especially if the club advertise there are some left.

    The kind of people who are aware of our predicament would still support the club if it dropped out of the league. They love the club, they live for the club, they would only consider missing a game they could have otherwise have gone to if they think it’s better for the club.

    Many of those who are unaware of the predicament, or are too selfish to care about it, will buy shirts and tickets regardless of what goes on with the ownership, right up until the day the club falls too far for them to see it as good for their image. At that point they’ll bin the shirts, stop buying tickets, find another hobby.

    And I know for a fact that the actions carried out so far, the sit-ins and banners, the marches and protests, are all noticed. They are a thorn in the sides of the owners. They have played a huge part in the decision of the owners to get out – albeit only at the right price.

    It makes a difference, even if it’s a small difference, and until there’s enough support for a complete boycott it’s certainly better than sitting back and doing nothing.

  10. boycott all cup games starting with northhampton you wont lose your season ticket by not going to cup games that are overpriced anyway and it would send a message to anyone willing to lend them/rob us of our money that a boycott can be achieved. even if some still went and embarrased themselves less than 10000 at a lfc game would have a major impact

  11. Anfield is packed with as many tourists as locals these days, I’m not saying anything against that as I don’t live in Liverpool, but with so many it’ll be very hard to convince someone coming up from London or over from Ireland not to go in and watch the reds play. So an attendance boycott will only have a limited effect.

    The only action I can think of that will really get anyone’s attention is during a big match (against ManYoo or Chelski) the whole KOP just calmly walks onto the pitch just after the second half starts. I don’t want to call it an invasion, but that’s what the media would end up denouncing it as. Some people will of course get taken in by the police, but if I was part of a large enough group that could stop the match and get the cameras attention, then I’d be very happy to participate in such a protest.

    The only other action that really got any notice in the past was the blocking of the VIP car park which prevented the board and owners from getting into Anfield. That should happen at every home match.

  12. I agree with the whole logistics of organising a boycott…as some fans would do anything to get a ticket. However, just because it will be very difficult to sway the masses, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be at the very least attempted. Even if it means there’s only 30,000 in the ground, it’s still had an impact which can be built upon.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day my brothers!

  13. Hi Guys.

    Fans all over the world feel exactly the same, and would like nothing more than see the Yanks “yanked” outa there. I have a few mates here in South Africa that are reds supporters, and we have all agreed not to purchase any LFC gear untill they are gone. We support your plans to boycott the matches for as long as it takes………would love to see the egg running down their blood red faces when nobody shows up for a big Europa league match!!!!!!

    Good luck lads!!!…YNWA!!!!!!!

  14. I agree the only way to get at them is via their pockets – so deffo dont buy ….

    Official merchandise from any club shop or over the net
    Matchday Programs
    Matchday catering of any sort (its overpriced anyway)

    In my opinion the Standards Corrupted shirt is high profile if every one in the Stadium bought one and remember that £10 goes to Hillsboro and £10 goes to SOS

    Im not too sure that the boycott or walk out of league games is the best way forward as the team surely needs to Not Walk Alone at this point in time – However the distraction of competitions like FA & Europa Cup – would be sufficiently high profile enough to get the message over if they were boycotted

    Failing any of the above – the email bombardment to all the Financial and Media institutions is brilliant, easy to do and will ensure this 4r5ehole Hicks will not be touched with a 10 foot barge pole anywhere in the World

  15. As I watched the LFC v Sunderland game I became conviced that Gerrard and Meirless should change positions. Gerrard was much too deep to affect the atacking options and Meirless was not providing good enough passes to the forwards.
    The one glaring fact was that Torres was not getting any service and the one player who does play really well with Torres is Gerrard, so why is Gerrard so deep? Bemused.

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