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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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