Liverpool’s awful start to the season under new manager Roy Hodgson will not be the reason for protests at Anfield tomorrow. Despite the growing doubts about his abilities people rightly say he needs more time – well he’s going to get it. We’ve got other things to deal with.
Liverpool are in a mess. Banners and chants will make the message clear; a sit in afterwards will drive the message home to any stragglers still not quite getting the massive hints.
It’s a protest against the owners, the board, the banks and anyone else who has played or is still playing a part in the mess.
The club’s last two home games attracted crowds of 25,605 and 22,577. That’s two consecutive games with the ground half-full – or half-empty, depending on your point of view. Maybe someone has a stat to show how long it is since that last happened.
Those two games weren’t league games and there would never be an expectation of a full house. But that’s not the only reason why so many empty red seats were on show.
And tomorrow’s league game might not be a sell-out either. How often do Liverpool have to actively advertise that there are still tickets on sale for a home game? That’s what’s happened for this match.
We’re sick of it all. We really have had enough. And just about every single fan, in their own particular way, is doing something about it.
For some fans that will be to go to Anfield tomorrow and show their disgust, for others it will be to make a point of missing the match completely. Some wouldn’t have been able to go anyway – but that’s not going to stop them from showing their anger.
The club have tried to give an impression of a happy club, with claims of record shirt sales just one way of trying to prove that fans weren’t unhappy.
But fans are unhappy, desperately so. Imagine how many shirts might have been sold had more fans been willing to buy them. And many fans have spent their cash on these shirts instead – Standards Corrupted – LFC protest shirt.
The owners are known to see supporters’ union Spirit of Shankly as a minority group. It’s not just the owners – one self-titled “independent director” of the club allegedly labelled the group as “Sons of Strikers”.
If they can be as dismissive of a group as well-organised and high-profile as Spirit of Shankly it’s easy to see how dismissive they will have been of other, much smaller, groups. Maybe they regret that now.
Spirit of Shankly will be organising the direct action in and around the ground tomorrow – SOS – Direct Action – Saturday – and with an EGM taking place beforehand there will no doubt be a host of fresh ideas put forward to keep the pressure on. Also to be discussed are their plans to try and one day take ownership back into supporter hands. SOS are, quite rightly, looking at the long-term as well as short-term picture.
Other groups are more about the here and now. The RBS deadline, believed to be on our around October 16th, is right on top of us.
Liverpool fans do not want RBS to refinance, or extend the current terms, a single day longer. It’s already beyond our means, whatever Christian Purslow might claim.
Liverpool fans do not want Tom Hicks, with or without George Gillett, to refinance with another lender and thus see us facing costs higher than even now.
Liverpool fans want the club sold – but not to owners who would fail to move us away from this mess and back to where we should have been.
An email campaign was started last night to try and get the attentions of the US media. Nearly 2000 email addresses of contacts at various US media outlets (available via http://poorscousertommy.blogspot.com) were supplied to any supporter who wanted to join in the campaign.
Dear USA Media Executive/Outlet
We gave you THE BEATLES and this is how you repay us?
What happened to the ‘Special Relationship’ between the US and the UK?
Are you aware of how Tom Hicks is driving our beloved Liverpool Football Club into the ground?
How would you like it if a British “businessman” came over to the USA and destroyed the New York Yankees? Or the LA Lakers? Or the Washington Redskins?
Well, we are living Wayne Huizenga and the Florida Marlins all over again!
Please Google “Tom Hicks + Liverpool” to see what an embarrassment he is to the USA.
We would be grateful if you could help us by reporting our story in order that me might persuade Wall Street NOT to lend him the money he is currently trying to raise, to drive our football team into even more debt and despair.
Sorry about the mass email approach but we have tried everything else, and we feel like we are at the end of the road.
Thanks in anticipation
Fans of Liverpool Football Club.
The response was fast.
In Tom Hicks’ hometown of Dallas the Texas Rangers correspondent for the Dallas Morning News published the email.
In New York, where he goes for many of his meetings about financing, the New York Times published the email.
The Washington Post published it, as did the Kansas City News.
Perhaps as the day goes on (and of course the US and Canadian day starts five to eight hours after the English day) there will be more coverage in places associated to George Gillett, like Montreal and Colorado.
An email campaign will not stop a hard-nosed or greedy businessman from making a decision that he’d already more or less made his mind up about. It’s highly unlikely to make him withdraw an offer.
Fans mass-emailed the mainstream UK media earlier this year in support of former manager Rafael Benítez. It got some publicity, some good some bad. And Rafa still lost his job.
Another campaign last weekend targeted Blackstone and their subsidiary GSO Capital Partners.
Blackstone had already decided against putting the best part of a billion dollars into backing Tom Hicks before they got their inboxes filled with the views of angry Liverpool supporters. The proposal Hicks had made was literally not their thing, they just don’t do deals on the terms Hicks was talking about, even if they believe the projections supplied to them.
But what that email campaign did was to draw attention to Hicks in a way that won’t be much help to him should he go to Blackstone with a revised proposal.
And more importantly, perhaps, it drew attention to the mess at Anfield to any other potential backers, anyone he was yet to meet, anyone he was just about to meet.
But just in case it didn’t, some quick thinking from husband-and-wife Liverpool supporters based in New York has just about made sure that any potential lenders know all about his time at Anfield.
Earlier this week Paul Wilson spotted Hicks and his son hanging around outside the offices of two major financial institutions, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan & Chase.
It also made sure another set of emails were fired off, to both institutions. No doubt many of those emails will have been getting opened as the Hicks party were in their meeting.
The incident seemed to unnerve the Hicks party; Paul was pointed out to security when they had made their way inside the Deutsche Bank building.
Paul couldn’t wait for the party to re-emerge, but by the time they left the building another supporter, Adam Eljarrah, was waiting. He was spotted by a member of the unnerved Hicks party on their way out and they asked police to remove him. But not before he’d waved the “Tom and George, not welcome anywhere” poster he was carrying, and without being to stop him shouting: “Get out of our club”.
Tomorrow in Liverpool that is exactly the kind of call that will ring out around Anfield.