Liverpool fans gathered at St. George’s Hall in the city yesterday to celebrate their independence from the American owners who have loaded the football club with millions in debt while failing to invest in promised infrastructure such as the much-needed upgrade to the Anfield stadium and other essentials such as world-class players.
Around 3,000 supporters attended to hear music and speeches on the future of the club, organised by the supporters’ union Spirit of Shankly. There were banners:
Karen Gill, Bill Shankly’s granddaughter made a moving speech – despite saying how nervous she was! – about her granddad’s love of the city and its people, as well as his belief that it was the players, the fans and the manager who made a club, not its owners. She also said it was time to:
Reclaim our club, reclaim our game!
Comedian John Bishop overcame the hostility of a certain section of the crowd towards his woolyback status and remarked that:
The Yanks are like a mate who’s knocked off your missus and expects you to pay for the hotel room
And then it was time for the serious part of the day.
Get out your quids, because we are going to buy the club ourselves. Spirit of Shankly explained how in this leaflet given out on the day:
The Credit Union being established to assist fans in investing in the Spirit of Shankly and Share Liverpool scheme will initially be for Merseyside residents before it is rolled out worldwide. The general idea is that you put in as much as you can afford, borrow the rest and pay off an amount each week or month until you reach the magic £500 mark.
This model of ownership has worked on the continent for decades, with clubs like Benfica being fan-controlled (and didn’t their fans look like they were loving it at Anfield in the Europa League last season?) Stirling Albion recently became as the first senior Scottish club to be owned by its fans.
So, if you are a Liverpool fan, make sure you are signed up to Spirit of Shankly and Share Liverpool. As John Aldridge noted at yesterday’s rally:
We must stick together. One day we will be the proud owners of our football club
I can’t wait until the day that every seat at Anfield is designated as the Director’s Box!