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FootballNewsLiverpool fans plan ‘direct action’ protest as Tom Hicks’ buyout hits the buffers

Liverpool fans plan ‘direct action’ protest as Tom Hicks’ buyout hits the buffers


By Nick Harris

20 September 2010

The Spirit of Shankly fans group will lead a sit-in at Anfield after this weekend’s match with Sunderland to demonstrate “the growing anger and frustration towards the ongoing ownership saga” at the club.

Further “direct action”, including a protest march, will take place around the following weekend’s game against Blackpool, also at home.

SoS, like many Liverpool fans, want the club’s owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, as well as the other board members and those responsible with finding new buyers, to keep them better informed about what is happening at the club.

SoS have raised questions on their website about the role of BarCap in the proposed sale of the club,  and will hold an EGM on Saturday before the Sunderland game.

With an October deadline looming for Liverpool to repay loans to RBS, Hicks is making increasingly frantic efforts to refinance the debt and take sole control, as we reported three days ago.

For now, he has been stymied in his efforts to borrow money from Blackstone subsidiary GSO Capital Partners, as The Guardian reports here. On the one hand, Hicks’ inability to raise finance via GSO will be greeted with optimism by some fans because it decreases the chances of the Texan’s long-term involvement.

On the other hand, there is still no viable alternative owner in the picture, certainly not one that has produced a costed bid with proof of funds.

Speaking about the ongoing struggle for stability at Liverpool and the campaign to remove Hicks and Gillett, SoS said today: “Angry at the massive debts, crippling interest repayments, and the lack of a new stadium, supporters feel that the promises made to them when the pair took over have been reneged upon.

“Supporters have actively campaigned to rid the club of the duo. However, their anger has increased significantly, following the lack of action in the supposed sale process, recent speculation that Tom Hicks is to attempt to take sole charge of the football club with further refinancing, and a document which Spirit Of Shankly has seen, showing that Barclays Capital, who it is understood are in charge of the sale process, have also been looking to refinance the existing debt.

“These recent developments have raised the temperature of supporters, and action is the only way they feel they can make their point known. Action is expected to escalate and continue in the coming weeks, with supporters looking to physically display their anger and make their feelings known.”


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