Share Liverpool FC – details of how takeover attempt will work

The full details of the Share Liverpool FC proposals that – if brought to fruition – would see LFC bought out by fans are due to be revealed this evening.

On their website they claim that this is far from being just a pipe dream: “It’s no pipe dream; it’s do-able. Liverpool Football Club has millions of fans across the world. Most of them will have been worrying about what has been happening to our Club lately. And they’ll be realising that life as a Liverpool fan could get much more expensive.”

“We propose a model of ownership similar to that at Barcelona. This club is owned by their ‘members’. Over 100,000 fans have bought single ‘member’ shares, which entitle them to elect a Board who will run the club until the next election. At Barcelona it is once every four years. That way, no one can ever buy the club. Its structure makes its sale to the next sporting conglomerate that fancies a premiership football club a legal impossibility. The shares can never be sold; the club can never be sold. Let’s stop Liverpool Football Club becoming a trinket any rich man might like to wear around his neck. This club is close to the hearts of millions of people all over the world.”

A great and inspirational statement, but a big question is how much it will cost each potential member. It’s as predicted: “We estimate that a sum of £5,000 each will be enough. We need 100,000 members. 100,000 x £5,000 = £500 million. That should buy the club and go a long way towards building a new stadium.”

They also talk of how despite the current owners steering clear of major hikes to ticket prices it’s only a matter of time before the debt they’ve put the club into has to be paid somehow, and increases in ticket prices is one way. They also predict a controversial Manchester United scheme for cup tickets could be forced upon Reds fans: “We’ve seen what’s happened already to season ticket holders at Manchester United. You have to commit in advance to buy all home Cup games – without even knowing how many games that will be! Say ten in total on average. That’s an extra £400 – £500 to add to the price of your season ticket at Old Trafford.”

Another big question is how they see their chances of getting hold of 100,000 people who have a spare £5000 to spend on buying into the club. They’re banking on the way that somehow, ever since the earliest days of Liverpool’s European adventures, the fans have managed to find the means to go and watch faraway matches. They feel that Reds will do something similar to get a chunk of the club: “We took nearly 50,000 fans to Istanbul – Athens too. In reality, it cost most of us between £1,000 and £2,000 to make the trip; more if we took our partners and kids along. Liverpool fans have always turned out when the Club needed them. They find the money somehow, even at short notice. And remember, there are literally millions of us round the world who really care about LFC.”

share-liverpool-fc_1201797113417.jpgFive grand is more than many fans can afford, every season more and more season ticket holders are finding it’s becoming a struggle to find that cash, but they still desperately want to be a part of this move to get the club back into the hands of people who love it. We’ve received comments to this site from supporters who wondered if they could team up with some mates and buy a share between them. According to Share LFC, that will be fine: “We don’t want to see any Liverpool fan excluded. We will seek to provide opportunities for groups of fans to purchase one ‘member share’ (carrying one vote) between them, providing they can nominate one individual to represent them.”

They are also planning to give the rush for a piece of the action a bit of a boost – there will be a deadline for applications, but also they plan to give perks to the first 20,000 respondents: “We will propose giving the first 20,000 people to respond special status and possibly enhanced advantages for ticket purchase. Those who commit first deserve some reward for their enthusiasm.”

According to the group, these schemes can work: “Barcelona and Real Madrid are owned by their fans. So are German clubs, apart from Bayer Leverkusen. In fact, teams owned by their fans like this have won the European Cup 6 times since it became the Champions League in 1992. Even in USA, the NFL Green Bay Packers are run by a not-for-profit company; they’ve won the Superbowl three times despite having by far the smallest population of any NFL team.”

The club’s debt, directly and indirectly, now stands at £350m and that’s before they take out the other loan they need to cover the bulk of the building costs for the new stadium, at least another £250m at current estimates. There was never any real issue over the idea of borrowing the costs of building the stadium, the big issue with the current owners’ borrowings are that it currently covers little more than what should have remained their personal borrowings for their purchase of the club. It looks like the new group would use the £500m to pay off the current owners, and then would borrow to top up the funds needed for the new stadium: “Look at Arsenal. They’ve no sugar-daddy. The club costed up its plans, secured loans and convinced people to lend to them at a fixed-rate. The Banks trust the club’s finances will be well-run and that fans will continue to watch the club. If we could show how much fans of this club care, and how they’re prepared to back their faith with hard cash, then everything changes. We don’t need a sugar daddy – we are the sugar daddy – because most of the money comes from us in the end anyway.”

The first issue to come to light under the new owners, although they tried hard to disguise the facts, was that they weren’t putting in the extra investment for new players that had been a material part of the acceptance of their bid. This fans takeover will at least reduce the debt on the club, but will it allow any extra funding for players during the wait for the new stadium? They say it will depend on the decisions of those elected to run the club: “If we have a well run, debt free Club to start with, there will be money to buy players. Also the elected Board may wish to raise money. At Barca, very rich individuals stand for election with promises of further investment. But it doesn’t mean they ‘own’ any part of Club.”

There’s always the possibility that the group will fail to attract that figure 100,000 fans with a spare £5,000, but if that happens they will consider the option – with approval of those who did sign up – of buying a partial stake in the club: “Let’s say we only get £100m – the equivalent of 20,000 fans signing up. At that point we would ask the 20,000 ‘members’ what they want to do. Some of us might want – as a group – to buy a significant portion of the club’s shares. Certainly, at that point, any individual member who wanted the money returned would be entitled to it.”

There’s also some clarification about whether the £5000 share will rise in value over time. It won’t. The plan is not quite the same as selling shares in a plc, for example, and there will be restrictions on selling the shares: “There will be no ordinary ‘trading’ in individual shares, no profit can be made from selling them, otherwise the Club would be permanently up for sale just like Manchester United was. However, if a member can find someone who does not already own a member share, then a transfer at the original price may be arranged through the elected Board.”

Money won’t need to be paid out straight away: “Nobody will be asked to part with a penny until a detailed Constitution is presented in which all necessary details are made plain.” And when payments do begin, they’ve plans on how to keep track of how much has been raised: “We will have a partner Bank where the monies will be kept until we reach the target. We will ask the two Bishops of Liverpool to act as verifiers for us – they’ll see the bank accounts, have access to all the books and be able to speak to the bank to certify that it’s all there. We will also ask the Liverpool City Council Treasurer to act as a scrutineer.”

Fans will get to vote on various elements that go towards the running of the club: “Members will elect the Board of Directors for Liverpool FC, for a term to be decided by them. After an Election, just like the Government, the Board will have executive control of the Club, but they may want an elected ‘Fans’ Council’ to advise them. The Board will know that – in a few years time – they will be judged on their performance by the owners – the members.” The members won’t be voting for who manages the club however.

They say this is a first: “Though there have been many formations of ‘Fan Supporters’ Trusts’ at professional clubs in the past decade, and three Football League Clubs are run by a majority shareholder Fans’ Supporters’ Trusts, Liverpool would be the pioneers in completing a ‘members’ buy-out. What we propose would probably start a revolution in Club ownership structures in the UK, but then Liverpool fans have often been at the vanguard of changing the culture of football.”

To keep costs down, they’re also pleading for any volunteers who are in a position to offer free professional advice: “We want this to be a genuine fans’ initiative and we know something about the costs of professional advice. Are you in a senior position in banking, accountancy, corporate finance etc? Please contact us if you think you could provide voluntary assistance to this project.”

The site also gives a brief background to those who are behind this idea: “Share Liverpool FC is a group of Liverpool fans, advised by some of the foremost experts in supporter and co-operative ownership in football.

“It includes, leading the initiative, Rogan Taylor, Kop season ticket holder and LFC fan for over forty years; founder member and Chair of the Football Supporters’ Association, launched in Liverpool after the Heysel Stadium Disaster in 1985. Rogan is currently the Director of the Football Industry Group at the University of Liverpool.

“Advising the group, Supporters Direct; the organisation that assists in the formation of supporters’ trusts, and assists them in gaining equity and democratic representation at their clubs. Kevin Jaquis, of the law firm, Cobbetts, the top UK firm for co-operative and mutual law which has played a leading role in the development of mutuals and co-operatives in housing, health and education. Kevin was part of the group which developed the Supporters Trust concept and wrote the model constitution which is now used by over 100 trusts in England, Wales and Scotland.”

Andy Burnham, an Everton supporter and now Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport is keen to see this idea work: “The Barcelona model,” he said, “to me, is how a football club should be run. They are one of the most pre-eminent names in world football, yet the club is owned by its supporters on a one-member, one-vote basis and they control it. That strengthens it because it’s never subject to the whim of one person; it’s a collective endeavour. English football should see that as a big strength. I’d love to see if we could grow the Barcelona model here.”

68 thoughts on “Share Liverpool FC – details of how takeover attempt will work”

  1. So the door is open for individuals either alone or through informal groupings and/or each of the many local supporters organisations throughout the world getting involved. The more I hear the more I like the idea.

  2. What a stupid idea. How on earth could this ever work and where will we get the millions for transfers.We need Billionaires in charge lets not be stupid! Arsenal. manure.chelsea and most top sides have overdrafts. Lets get behind our team and let the americans give us this super stadium Its the only way foward. the design HKs put together is just AMAZING. and that is the only way to get the biggest and best footballers to anfield.Dig it!!

  3. If I am not mistaken the 500 million includes the cost of the stadium. the owners paid £174 million, for the club, a proposed new stadium a few new players etc… has not increased the value of the club to £500 million, 300 at best…

  4. Its not so stupid, a billionaire is going to want some return on his investment, fans will just want the team to play well, most of the profits from games etc… will goto the club, some paying an elected president, how do real madrid afford massive fees?,

  5. And one other thing,How I pity Benitez, He has a winners mentality pity our players don’t. If I where Kewell or Alonso the so called world class performers I would dig my head in the sand after yesterdays game. with shame they could not string any decent passes and couldn’t control a decent ball. What a bout Kuyt he seems out of sorts. deff not a liverpool standard player

  6. Real madrid afford it because King Juan Carlos and the goverment are pro Madrilistas and have wiped off massive losses as regards to our club neither do we have a King nor a goverment backing us up so be careful before putting your foot in it as ther are big diiferences. Today as is with the case with most teams there is a lot of corruption and under dealings.

  7. 500Millon, What happens when the 175 million dry up?! today a Ronaldo will easily fetch 50-60 million. and believe you me we are in desarate need of on!

  8. And believe you me, I have liverpool running through my veins! And am crying with the current situation but I really think that its the only way foward.

  9. I really think this could work.

    The first hurdle is to get Hicks and Gillet to agree to sell. I would imagine that they would want the whole 500m which doesn’t put the scheme in a good financial footing.

    Hopefully they will sell for 400m or less. But I doubt it because they’re just greedy scumbags.

  10. Danny Alvez,Ricardo quaresma,David Villa these are the type of players we need. not Kuyt,Pennant and Kewell. But thats what you buy with Little or no Money. Torres was The Best buy thsi summer. Thats for sure.

  11. Ok. Lets look atthe situation. Hicks and Gillet where offered to buy the club at a price, Right? Which they did. Then they had a close look at the accounts and the massive ammount of money needed to Build the stadium,Right? Then they started to Design a super stadium for all of us to enjoy, Right? the only way to Finance this blessed stadium Wth costs running in the millions for design and planning were rediciolous to say the least. We cannot stay at anfield anny longer cause we need a much larger capacity to finance and keep up with the utds and madrids of this world. If this action was not taken then not only would we lose our record of league titles but we would become a mid table team. So before we critise we should acknoledge. And thank GOD we found someone to put there necks on the Line for our club. Its so easy to critisize! Have a look around you the worlds financial markets are in trouble no tell me bob how you can solve all these problems. I think you should keep drinking the beer and support the team and let the people who know do the work!

  12. red dawn, do shut up, it works in Germany (did you read that bit? EVERY club in Germany bar Leverkusen, are run in the EXACT same way). So how can you question it ‘working’ – it DOES work already.

    This is NOT a new idea so stop questioning the logistics, they are simple and the club itself would be run day-to-day EXACTLY the same as it has and does now.

    As for 60m for a Ronaldo type player… You really think Hicks is gonna stump that up? Oh please, theyve not invested a fucking penny yet.

  13. Getting Hicks and Gillet to sell will be easy. How can the H&G make their dirty money with 100,000 of their most loyal supporters against you. All we would need to do is don’t go to anfield for a few games and they’ll come running.

    Red Dawn – at the minute we are losing £30 million of our revenue every year to interest payments alone. The loan still stays at £350m. With this idea we have no loan and all revenue (every penny) stays in the club.

    I think its a fantastic way to run a club and should be supported. We dont need a sugar daddy draining the clubs finances. Don’t forget all the TV, internet, PPV revenue Hicks is salivating over will now come to us.

  14. I think your a little over passionate about this, are you working for the Americans? All I suggested is it has worked for others? Additionally I do not drink beer, and I don’t think this idea has just been dreamt over night some planning by “people who know” would of probably been involved.

  15. this is a fantastic idea, I’ve been a fan since the 1950’s , but this Idea of fans buying the club is absolutly brilliant, I just hope hicks and gillett agree to sell, if you think about it 100 000 fans buying the club or put another way thats 100 000 fans saying
    they want hicks and gillett to go,

  16. Anyone out there with about 10 Billion to save our club, Oh and we don’t want you to get a return. Just give us your cash and fuck off!! ha ha .lyrics from Dark side of the moon pink floyd remember this one …..the lunatic is on the grass ………..

  17. The American’s paid 170m to buy the club but also took on the clubs debt which I believe was 70m. Taking this to 240m. However, who said that they have paid the debt?
    They may just have put it together with the rest of the debt they have.
    They didn’t use any of there own cash. The got a loan from RBS for 270m or thereabouts.
    They discovered this wasn’t enough so took one out for 350m.

    So far they have put absolutley zilch of there own cash into the club. Don’t give me crap that they bought Torres. We got to the champions league final which would have covered that cost.

    We recouped a fair bit selling Cisse, Garcia and Bellamy among others.

    The American’s are an absolute disgrace. Its gonna take 10 years for us to recover if we build the stadium.

    Our only hope is DIC or the fans buying the club.

    Forget about us being the most successful club in the country. The Mancs will over take us in the league in the next few years. This year will be there 17th if they win, which I think they will. I wouldn’t be against them winning the Champions League this year either. They’re getting stronger and stronger and Ronaldo is looking awesome. They have a weakness at right-back and possibly in the defensive midfielder department and will probably need a new keeper soon but we need half a new team. 100m to get us there.

    We’re royally fecked if the Yanks stay.

  18. Oh no I do not work for any American Thats for sure. And I have supported Liverpool since the tender age of 7. Days of Keegan and Toshack. But times have changed that was the 70’s and this is 2008 the world is in a fnacial mess ask northern rock america etc etc. we cannot think in the same way. times have changed mate those days we where champions every year. money was no problem, Today it is. Get a reality check!

  19. Red dawn, you must be working for the yanks.
    The fans buy out is an amazing idea.
    New money is brought in by further input of the richer fans and profits, eventually. for a while it might mean each shareholder might need to add a bit more, but if the yanks, who are bloodsucking cash whores are seeing profit potential, then extra revenue will be there, just this way, without (as much) debt and without dividend payouts to leeches.

  20. All the clubs who are owned by the fans, and they include Barca, Real, all the German teams except I think Leverkusen aren’t in financial difficulty.

    Only British teams are.

    All the money made by the club would go back into the club.

  21. How smart these American guys are. they bought the club for nothing.? We all need to rub shoulders with these guys, we might all get things for free. highly unlikely

  22. The website has crashed probably overwhelmed by the response from reds. From the details released so far a good deal of expertise is already involved. The naysayers are already sounding off before the thing is even launched. “The yanks will not sell” The moral impetus from such a grop of real supporters would be immense but more telling would be the concentrated buyer power so that if it came to a boycott, to hit them where it hurts, we would have an all-inclusive organisation to make the most powerful statement. Much better than the scattergun approach from the plethora of websites and supporter groups now voicing concern at the state of our club.

  23. I have lately been to the bank to borrow some money against an apartment. they needed a garantee, do you know what a garantee is? well if you don’t keep up with the payments the bank take over the purchase. I find it very hard to believe I would put money towards something if i cannot afford it. I mean would you pay monthly installments so that the bank can take your property I think there homework was done over and over again.

  24. Guys The Share Liverpool SIte has already been suspended.
    Guess the LFC luck is running true to form.

  25. Well, If you think buying the club is going to work good luck to all of you. I have my doubts. i think Chelsea .Man utd and Arsenal would already have done it.

  26. If Hicks and Gillett refused to sell then all that would be needed would be a boycott of matches to force them to sell. They would then have actually been no choice (with £30 million interest fees to pay every year) but to sell the club.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Boycotting matches is the ONLY way we will ever get rid of these Americans. If enough fans don’t boycott matches then get used to hearing American accents in the boardroom at Anfield for a long time to come – because we’ll never get rid of them (protests or no protests, songs or no songs…).

    Also, why not approach Morgan and/or Miskelly to get involved (possibly buying a larger percentage of stakes) to find more cash.

  27. Hicks & Gillet are still in danger of losing control of the club to the banks.

    The banks will want there money or they will assume control.

    Hicks & Gillet are not that friendly anymore. If Gillett can be persuaded to sell his share then I really think Hicks would be pressured to sell. He’ll make a good profit and he won’t be getting the grief that he is at the moment. Well, not on this side of the Atlantic. Apparently his isn’t well liked over there either.

  28. Morgan has bought into Wolves. He would need to sell that first and that may take months.

    Don’t know who Miskelly is.

  29. we have to look at this realisticly 500mil between 100000 people that works out at 5 grand each. Alot of fans would not be able to afford this so we’d have to go into groups of maybe 10 fans. it has worked at barca but they fill the nou camp wen they play so thats a 100000 bums on the seat without a doubt we would fill the proposed stadium every week with fans still begging outside the stadium for tickets. it’ll be interesting to see the proposal by the shared liverpool fc group best of luck in tryin to get rid of them yank bastards my 5 grand would be with you even if i have to get a loan but i would still like to seedic in here they could back us to the hilt. i remember the yanks sayin it is our club and that they were only custodiants well custody periods over get out. were sick of the lies and disceet parry got them in so hed be safe in a job time for him to get out too. YNWA THIS IS ANFIELD

  30. I live in Plymouth and have been a reds fan for 35 years. I started going to Anfield when I was 18 years of age, when I started to earn money.I have been to Anfield about 60 times and have loved every game win lose or draw.I am devastated to see the club in such turmoil,it seems that we have G&H in charge and cannot be trusted,and also a manager who has had long enough (3 years) to assemble a top side, especially this season when he was given a lot of money.He still plays Kewell who is non productive always,and players of average ability without red passion and not enough quality.He plays Babbel out wide if he is not on the bench,why is this?he has pace hunger and quality,he should be up front with Torres or at least out wide from the start,not kewell,sell him.Pennant is another that has failed to deliver,sell him.Agger is a good player,we are missing him,but we need a back up which we do not have.Too many average players and Benitez has bought them.Look at the “nobodies” Arsenal have bought ie Adeybayor,Hleb,Rosicky, 3 players that are really good and cost approx 15 million for all 3.An awful lot needs to be sorted out starting from the very top ie G&H,Benitez,players,but whatever the outcome we will always have the best fans in the world.I am one of them.

  31. I want to take part, what a way to keep hold of such a club from being run down. If this is offered, and please email me how to do so, I am looking at speaking with my bank to borrow this money as an investment to help such a great club.

  32. I know the official Share LFC site went down – so I’ve added a temporary copy of the site here –

    As soon as their site’s back working I’ll take it down, but this gives you a chance to see for yourself what they have in mind. Don’t try submitting the forms – they won’t work!


  33. It does work, and it can work, but we need to listen to what is going to be said in full, before we make our minds up, Barcalona and Real Madrid can manage, then so can we, but how long have Madrid and Barcalona been like this, for Barcalona it makes sence, when you can get a crowd of say 80.000 – 100.000 for home games thats great, but what does that mean for us with 45.000, as the new stadium is not built yet!!
    I want the Yanks out, there good for nothing and i really want this plan to kick off, Good Luck to those involved, i am with you.

  34. I hope the one collecting the money oesn’t spend it on himself whilst collecting it. You deff need a treasurer. I wonder who he would be.

  35. Anything is better than gillet and hicks obviously but LFC fans buying the club is not practical.
    Saying that however if I had 5 grand i would become one of the 100,000.

    And i know boycotting is extrememe but i am refusing to buy anything acsossiated with LFC at the moment until the yanks get out.

  36. who will take care of transfers the guy running the pie shop. who will go to uefa meetingsBob the builder. Who will manage the club Tommy the lawn mower. can you imagine all these people having a say in running the club. i want this,no i want that. you cannot have it cause I want that one. What a joke! Is this Liverpool Fc! Come on guyz get serious. We need a coach to take the team to old trafford go steal a bus from down the road.

  37. Red Dawn has been supporting LFC for 5 minutes. My family have loved LFC since the start and we still do. You see RD, people don’t support LFC, they love it and sometimes it hurts but they would do anything for it.. This is what you fail to understand.

    There are ten of us Pattersons in the tribe now(ages 6 to 78) and we would put up £100,000 for this scheme for ten votes. The only thing wrong with this scheme is that it does not think big enough, Go for double and then there would be plenty to spare for PLAYERS and I do mean PLAYERS.

    Bil and Bob never got the knighthoods they earned whereas the MUFC lot got three of them for 2 European cups and Tony Blair refused Bob a K… But we the supporters can now put this right and give their memory their K,s this way.

    Red Dawn you’re just Red Mist.

    If ever there was a football club that was born to be owned by its supporters then LFC is surley the one.

    Let’s go for it. If we can turn 3-0 around and win this is a piece of cake. Please, Please count me in.

    David Patterson

    Oh and by the way our e-mail address is made up of Callie(Callaghan) and red and our house name is Copleys, made up of Cop(KOP)and leys(shank(LY) and Pais(LEY)

  38. No people running these web sites should really think what topic to choose and the cosequences. We are one of the best clubs in the world not a sunday league team where mums and Dads have a say in what goes on. Come on lets remain credible Guys!

  39. Dav Patterson, you deffinetly do not like to debate the issue. Course I am a Liverpool supporter. But I have a brain to evaluate a problem. And as I said before the situation is far more complex than you could ever imagine. We are not Living in the golden 50’s But in2008 and the financial situation is not as was once.back the Britannia ruled the waves today I’m afraid neither does our beloved England run its economy but EU has the power. gosh how times have changed. And I hope you realise whats going on because everything evolves around Money. Sad but true!

  40. This is everything ive dreamed of, just to no i am part of the greatest football club the world has ever seen would be priceless to me.

    Count my 5k in for sure, also all the people giving off about where the money in the future will come from, think about the interest gained from 500million, there would be a massive amount of money being earned in interest. Also every penny lfc make will go back into the club for players etc. For instance even with all the signings we made in the summer we still had an operating profit of 30million, now with g&h all the profit (30million) will go striaght to the bank to pay the interest on the loan so were being run into the ground at the minute.

    I have no doubt in my mind we will get 100,000 signed up to pay £5,000 and if after we buy OUR club then we can always put more shares up for sale so that a huge amount of money can be made available ala Barca.

    Thank you shareliverpoolfc, were going to get our club back


  41. Oh, by the way Patterson stop being childish and sarcastic! I am as big a Liverpool fan as you and as anyone who supports the mighty reds and thats why I am debating. We all want the very best for the club. But what I am saying is you need to see the bigger picture mate!

  42. Seriously this is the most laughable thing ive ever heard. Say you do raise £500 million to buy the club and build a stadium where do you get the 50 million+ a year for players wages ?? and lets not forget the years of legal wranglings that it would take to put something like this together.

    This idea should remain where it belongs – down the pub with a few blokes drunkenly dreaming of owning a football club on a sunday afternoon.

  43. The players are paid by the clubs normal revenue streams exactly as they are now, the club can afford them at the minute so they would still be able to if we took over. Your just spouting off rubbish about this without even knowing even basic information about this which shows a complete lack of intelligence. Years of legal wrangling???

    don’t even need to answer that

  44. You get the money needed to pay wages and day to running from the same source as now – the clubs income turnstile receipts marketing etc there is also the income fromTV which is guaranteed. The ownership of the club is a question of capital. If there are no dividends to be paid nor interest on loans to be found each year all the profits can be ploughed back in via player purchases. We also have the possibility of the added value from the young talent we have already at the club

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