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Fans make Liverpool takeover move
By Bill Wilson
Business reporter, BBC News


Liverpool supporters are to launch an ambitious plan to buy the football club from its current American owners.
US tycoons George Gillett and Tom Hicks recently finalised a £350m refinancing of the club which they bought in 2007.

But the Share Liverpool FC Group is to reveal plans for a buy-out of the club by 100,000 Reds fans around the world.


The model proposed will be a Barcelona style, "member-share" scheme, aimed at raising £500m to purchase the club from its US owners and build a new stadium.

Can the fans succeed in their bid to take over the club?

As well as UK-based fans, a website will be launched to attract interest from Liverpool's supporter base around the world, particularly in East Asia.

Club refinancing

Those behind the move are football business lecturer and Liverpool fan Rogan Taylor, former director of communications at the Premier League Phil French, and lawyer Kevin Jacquiss - an expert in launching co-operatives.

"The time is right to offer a different solution to the rising concerns that football fans have about the patterns of ownership developing at our major football clubs," said Mr Taylor, who is director of the Football Industry Group at the University of Liverpool.

Full details of how the fans' group hopes to buy the club will be revealed later on Thursday, although the initial figures seem to suggest an investment per supporter of £5,000 each.

Thousands of Liverpool fans have already demonstrated their dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs

Rogan Taylor, Share Liverpool FC Group

Many Liverpool supporters have been unhappy at the recent uncertainty surrounding the refinancing of the club.

After much delay, and reports that either one or both of the owners was willing to sell a stake to Dubai's DIC, a refinancing deal was signed last week with the Royal Bank of Scotland and US bank Wachovia.

Tom Hicks confirmed to the BBC last week that of the £350m refinancing package, £105m of that will be debt tied to the club.

Of that total, £45m will be used for future player transfers and to meet the club's working capital needs, and the remaining £60m is thought to be free for start-up money for a new Liverpool stadium.

However, some supporters are unhappy about debt being placed on to the club, and there is also a perception that the owners' support for manager Rafa Benitez has not been as strong as it might.

Debt burden

"Thousands of Liverpool fans have already demonstrated their dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs," said Mr Taylor.

"Large amounts of debt often devolves onto clubs newly purchased, but the fans know that in the end, it will be they themselves who will have to pay it off through increased ticket prices and other schemes.


All looked rosy when the US duo took over in early 2007

"In such a case, why not simply buy the club yourselves?"

He said that many fans were unaware that there were other ways of financing and taking ownership of big clubs.

Mr Taylor said that in Germany and Spain most top-level football clubs were not for sale as they were owned by many thousands of "member fans".

"The Champions League has been won on six occasions in the last 15 years by clubs owned and run in such a way," he said.

Barcelona, which won the Champions League in 2006, is owned by its 100,000 fan-members.

Stadium plan

Earlier this month a survey carried out by the Liverpool Supporters' network showed that 76% of 2,000 fans questioned said they would "seriously consider reducing their financial commitment to the club" if the current owners stayed in charge.

When asked to choose between the owners and the manager as to who had the best interest of the club at heart, 99% backed Benitez.

However, Tom Hicks and George Gillett have insisted that they are fully behind manager Rafael Benitez.

They also say the club plans to build the 71,000-seat venue close to Anfield in Stanley Park in time for the 2011-12 season.






And if it fails ??? How long before we see an FC of Liverpool formed by the fans ?

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Wonder when and if ever, we will pool resources from all over the world amongst fellow fans to buy back Manchester United Football Club.

On paper, it is not a lol matter because just think of the fans base worldwide. A few multi-millionaires or billionaires that count themselves as fans plus everybody's contribution according to his/her heart may just clinch the deal.

But buying it is one thing, running it is another. Can already imagine all the possible problems and complications too...

Back to work.
 

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honestly sounds great on paper. but the problem is having the overseas fans. don't get me wrong but what works for Barcelona is the people feel it's their team as in it represents their Nationality. it's a Catalan team. now if these fans try this it sounds great but what will keep them from falling apart. I mean love for a club is one thing but National Pride is a whole 'nother thing and runs deeper.
 

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Lilianna said:
honestly sounds great on paper. but the problem is having the overseas fans. don't get me wrong but what works for Barcelona is the people feel it's their team as in it represents their Nationality. it's a Catalan team. now if these fans try this it sounds great but what will keep them from falling apart. I mean love for a club is one thing but National Pride is a whole 'nother thing and runs deeper.
We may have found some rapport or even rhythm, but club is apple and country is orange.

Can bet with you if Singapore were to play United, the Singaporean United fans will be cheering louder for United; of course, all others will hope United lose. On the other hand, if it is country vs country, that would be an entirely different matter. Strange but true. :p Think it may have got something to do with the live games we watch week in week out since we were young.
 

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true that the United fans in Singapore would cheer them on. we've seen the support for the team when they travel abroad. that's not what I meant. I meant the reason Barcelona works as a fan owned team is because the fans are Catalan and they see the club representing them to the world. it's a much deeper level of attachment.

it's not a country versus club thing. it's a club being run by fans from all over. I mean how would the fans outside England deal with any tax changes in England, rate hikes or cuts, when they're not even there. and then be asked to contribute more or receive less. it's a thing that would start to drive a wedge between the contributors. I mean right now the pound is stronger than the dollar, rate of conversion and I may make more than an Englishman/woman would, but I would have to put up what I would consider more to buy in. and that goes for many others not living in Europe. and that's why I said that it's eaiser for Barcelona. because they live there and it's sort of like their National Team in a way.
 

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Would £500m be enough though? Even if it is, how many Scousers have £5000 to spare?! If they do raise the money would Hicks & Gillett sell?

Too many questions, not enough answers for me.

I just don't believe this will ever happen.
 

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Lilianna said:
true that the United fans in Singapore would cheer them on. we've seen the support for the team when they travel abroad. that's not what I meant. I meant the reason Barcelona works as a fan owned team is because the fans are Catalan and they see the club representing them to the world. it's a much deeper level of attachment.

it's not a country versus club thing. it's a club being run by fans from all over. I mean how would the fans outside England deal with any tax changes in England, rate hikes or cuts, when they're not even there. and then be asked to contribute more or receive less. it's a thing that would start to drive a wedge between the contributors. I mean right now the pound is stronger than the dollar, rate of conversion and I may make more than an Englishman/woman would, but I would have to put up what I would consider more to buy in. and that goes for many others not living in Europe. and that's why I said that it's eaiser for Barcelona. because they live there and it's sort of like their National Team in a way.

I was not wondering about the club being fan-owned. I was just wondering (or maybe fantasising) about getting enough contributions/donations from United fans worldwide to rescue the club from so-called 'evil hands'. Call it daydreaming or not, it was just a passing thought.

Then I thought of the running of it, the problems and complications etc and I stopped short.
 

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well if they really want to buy the club i think that those little shell suit wearing scousers will have to move on from robbing the players houses only and move on to more daring projects.....maybe a few banks to start off with ....then maybe royal mint?? HAHAH isnt it great watching liverpoo in crisis, makes my day each morning when i read the new on the internet.....aaaaaah happy days!
 

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The Huyton Halifax has been inundated with scallys after a car loan .
" Five thousand will only buy you a second hand chugger though mr dipper" says the banker . Mr dipper sighs" i know but i love the club " he replies
 

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Pity we can't squeeze them inside a Xmas Cracker ...

Solve 2 problems ...

You will get a little prize inside ...

And a joke all in one ... :p

Looks like Pool can all end up as DICs anyway maybe ...


Tom Hicks is facing a battle to hold onto his share in Liverpool.

The Liverpool Daily Post says Dubai International Capital was on Friday night set
to join forces with Liverpool FC co-owner George Gillett in a bid to buy out his
partner Hicks.

Events could move forward within a matter of days, with figures close to the club
anxious to see a rapid conclusion to what is seen as a damaging distraction at a
crucial time in the season.

Relations between Gillett and Hicks are at an all time low, with Gillett remaining
silent, but understood to be privately furious with his partner's unsanctioned
public statements over club affairs.

One source close to the negotiations told the Daily Post: “Discussions are still
ongoing with DIC. They would be happy to take Hicks out and work with Gillett,
or they would be happy to take both of them out.

“But DIC doesn't want to pay Hicks a huge premium. The key is to get a deal done
within days rather than weeks.

“All this has been a huge distraction at the club. Hicks insists on valuing the club
at £1bn because he includes the valuation after the stadium is in place, yet it is
not even built and doesn't even have planning permission for the 70,000 seats.â
 
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