23 January 2008

90% of Liverpool FC fans want George Gillett and Tom Hicks out


How hope turned sour
THE strength of ill-feeling revealed by the Liverpool Daily Post against the current Liverpool FC ownership is in stark contrast to a year ago.
As part of the Daily Post survey, participants were asked to explain why they felt happy at the decision by the Moores family to sell to George Gillett and Tom Hicks.
More than 2,000 who took part in the survey gave detailed answers, all of which were given anonymously.
Most answers referred to the fact the sale was expected to release more money for players, and was summed up by one fan who said: “It appeared that we now had owners who would invest in the club: new players and the new stadium.”
Another said: “They seemed to have financial clout behind them, at least Hicks seemed to. They had experience of building stadiums and they said all the right things in their first press conference (most notably, how they were going to be custodians of the club, as well as things like explaining their respect for the club's heritage, etc). Also, they weren't putting any debt onto the club.”
One fan wrote: “New doors seemed to be opening, giving the club the chance it needed to move into the modern era of football. It seemed there were possibilities we would be left behind.”
We also asked fans that, if given the chance to offer Gillett and Hicks one piece of advice, what would they say? Many people simply wrote “sell up”. More expansive answers included: “If DIC (Dubai International Capital) bid, please sell the club. Do not allow this debacle to continue. We the supporters have lost all trust in you.”
Another fan wrote: “Please just go and give us back our precious, beloved club. It means the world to us – to you, it's merely an investment toy. How would you like us to come and trample all over something you love?”
Some did offer advice on trying to find a way forward with Liverpool, primarily backing Benitez.
One said: “Give the manager FULL backing and allow him to make all decisions regarding footballing matters.”
Another said: “Do NOT over promise and underdeliver. It is the fastest way to alienate yourselves from the people who really care – the fans. The situation/position they have now created is untenable and they need to either (1) sell and go back to the States or (2) offer Rafa a new 4/5 year contract, start the stadium and back Rafa in the transfer market.”
We also asked what your priority for the owners should be if they remain in charge: the new stadium, funds for players or keeping the club’s debt down.
Keeping the debt down was the top choice, but many people left comments to back up their reasons. One said: “All three are a priority. Their early rhetoric did not say we could have one or the other, we were told all three were going to happen.
“The debt has to be minimal, the gain in revenue from the new stadium MUST be enough to service the debt so that transfer funds are not affected, oh, and backing the manager, even if we have a poor season.”
Another said: “Fourth, fifth or sixth and no debt is better than third or second.”
One of the last comments before the survey closed yesterday afternoon said: “Respect the Liverpool way.”

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