Friday, February 15, 2008

SUPPORT THE SONS OF SHANKLY

This Saturday sees Liverpool take on Barnsley in the fifth round of the FA Cup, but prior to the match the newly formed Liverpool Supporters Union - “Sons of Shankly” (SOS) - are holding a meeting which all fans are invited to attend.

The meeting will take place at The Olympia (see below for full details) from 12 noon, the reasons for S.O.S. and the reasons for their plans are outlined below in their press release, please read it, print it out and spread the word to anybody going to the match.

S.O.S. are calling for all fans to protest for 15 minutes after the match and also to boycott all LFC merchandise. We at This Is Anfield especially support the idea of the post-match protest, along with the idea of not purchasing a matchday programme or food and drink inside the ground.

Instead of getting a programme, pick up a fanzine from outside the ground and in return give something back to fellow fans.

Don’t buy a pie, beer or anything else inside the ground - it’s hugely over-priced, poor quality and you can easily go without. Don’t line the pockets of Hicks and Gillett (read below why).

Enjoy the match, support the team 100% during the match, let our feelings be known after the match and by keeping your money in your pocket.

arrowSons of Shankly website has now been launched, click here to visit

Press Release from “Sons of Shankly”, Liverpool Supporters Union:

You may or may not have heard of us. But here’s a little bit about who we are.

To do exactly as it says on the tin. A Union for all Liverpool Supporters. A voice that represents us all. A platform for us all to stand together and fight for what we believe in.

It is early days, and more details of how the organisation will grow will appear over the next few weeks and months. But the catalyst for our formation…..

We want Tom Hicks and George Gillett out of our club - why?

THEY LIED & HAVE JEOPARDISED OUR CLUB FOR THEIR PERSONAL GAIN

They promised that all loans would be would be secured against their own personal assets.

THEY LIED

•They have taken out a loan of £350m. £105m has been secured against the club and £245m against Kop Holdings – which owns 100% of Liverpool Football Club and has only one source of revenue: The Club.

•So, regardless of the smoke and mirrors, Liverpool Football Club has to pay all of the interest on all of the £350m.

•The interest payments alone for this debt will be around £30m each year. All of which will be payable by Liverpool FC – more than enough to wipe out the club’s operating profit.

•Gillett and Hicks have only taken out this new loan over an 18 month contract. This is very unusual for a deal of this size; three years is the usual minimum term. Wall Street analysts believe that this is because they had difficulty in getting the banks to lend them the money. Which raises questions about:

THE STADIUM

• £60m of that loan has been earmarked for starting construction of the new ground.

•There is no funding yet in place to complete the stadium, nor has planning permission been granted for a 71,000 capacity. Existing consent is for 60,000, with any increase depending upon improvements to transport and car parking. With no underground car park, the new plans have less car parking than the original 60,000 design!

•If they can’t borrow again in 18 months then they cannot complete the stadium. How can they pledge now that the stadium will be built? In the same way they pledged it would be well on its way to completion twelve months ago – by misleading us.

•So do they actually intend to complete the building of the new stadium?

•Should Hicks & Gillett get the loan to actually build the new ground, the additional interest payments will be £25m per year.

•This will leave Liverpool Football Club to shoulder annual payments of £55m in interest alone. Which begs the question:

WHERE WILL THE FUNDS COME FROM FOR TRANSFERS?

• When they took over, Hicks & Gillett promised to back the manager in the transfer market.

•From the two transfer windows Hicks and Gillett have owned the club for, Benitez has spent £48.5m on players, and recouped £33.5m in player sales. A net spend of £15m. This is the up-to-date figure that includes the purchase of Skrtel and the sale of Sissoko.

•The club brought in around £30m from the run to the Champions League Final last season alone. On top of this there is the increased TV money the club’s has received.

•Where is the money Gillett and Hicks have backed the manager with? They’ve lied to us, they’ve manipulated the press, and some people have believed the spin. We won’t.

•In reality, after all the talk about money and Snoogy Doogy, the manager has spent £15m in the last two transfer windows. How is that backing him in the transfer market?

It is about time the real picture was painted for all Liverpool fans out there.
They promised to respect the club’s heritage, history and traditions.

THEY HAVE LIED AND LIED.

They asked to be judged on what their actions. Well they have failed to make a start or produce the funding on the stadium, the major reason why David Moores looked for investment, they have failed to back the manager in the transfer market, They have not put one single cent of their own money into this club and they have undermined the traditions of the football club and the office of manager.

They have, however, managed to create huge debt for LFC to pay off without any end product.

How, exactly, is the football club in a better position now than it was twelve months ago under David Moores?

After the Sunderland game, we staged a 15 minutes stay behind protest at the end of the game. We intend to do the same again.

During the protest, Steve McManaman commented on Setanta that the Americans had backed the manager in the transfer market, secured their new loan bringing money into the club, and we should all forget about it and move on. We don’t blame McManaman, a fair number of good Reds have been won over by their spin, so why shouldn’t a blue?

So it’s time to spread the message and get the real goings on from within Anfield to a wider audience. It’s about time the truth was exposed. Hicks and Gillett have to be forced out of Anfield before they wreak more havoc.

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