6 October 2010
The following press release was issued by the Liverpool fans’ group SoS in reaction to the ongoing developments at Liverpool.
Spirit Of Shankly Press Release
The Liverpool Supporters’ Union, Spirit of Shankly have noted the developments overnight at Liverpool Football Club. Leaving aside the embarrassment of our Club’s ownership and senior management playing out open warfare in public, supporters will be encouraged to see the ownership of Hicks and Gillett possibly coming to an end.
However, we have been here before. In 2007. The identity and nationality of any owners of Liverpool Football Club is irrelevant. How they act as custodians is the most important thing and we have seen previously that initial announcements and promises made by new owners and the checks and due diligence made by those entrusted with that role on our behalf have all been left wanting. This must not happen again.
The supporters are not as naive as they were in 2007. For one, Spirit of Shankly is a vibrant and demanding representative organisation of its members and we will expect to see full details of how any purchase is to be financed and what difference any new owners will make in terms of recognising how supporters see the future of the Club.
It is disappointing that none of the potential purchase groups are yet to engage with Spirit of Shankly and we would expect that to happen now before any sale is concluded so the issues most closely concerning supporters can be discussed. The supporters’ concerns are how they propose to purchase the Club, how their business model is different to the current owners, their measurable ambitions for the Club, the investment they intend to make on the playing side, what their stadium solution is likely to be and also their attitude in relation to allowing supporters to invest and be represented within the Club.
Hicks and Gillett have not yet gone, and any excitement concerning new owners will be measured by how they recognise the current atmosphere and attitudes of supporters. New owners are not walking into a Club of supporters with open arms, there will be one gently outstretched hand of welcome while the other hand contains a list of questions that will need honest and open answers before any welcome becomes more warm.
New owners will have seen the strength of feeling and the actions taken by thousands upon thousands of supporters to get rid of the current owners. That strength needs to be respected and acknowledged, not through press conferences, photo opportunities and false promises – it needs to be acknowledged by any new owners making a sincere and permanent pact with the supporters that sees supporters inside the Club and integral to it, not seen as consumers, stakeholders or customers because this is Liverpool Football Club, our Club.
And finally, don’t forget, Tom and George You’re Still Not, and never will be, Welcome Here.
A Spirit Of Shankly spokesperson said “Supporters want to see an end to Tom Hicks and George Gillett, and we hope and need that to happen sooner rather than later. The news of a potential sale brings promise, whilst the news of a legal review brings caution, as does knowing very little about potential new owners.
“We have many questions that will need answering. We would welcome the opportunity to engage with potential purchasers to discuss supporters concerns. But supporters will not be won over easily. We need owners who are the opposite to Hicks and Gillett, owners who will right their wrongs. Having been here before, supporters will certainly be exercising caution until we finally see the back of Hicks and Gillett for good, and we have truly fit and proper owners.”