19 January 2008

You're not fit to run our club, blast Liverpool fans

18th January 2008

Tom Hicks and George Gillett will be targeted by angry Liverpool fans on Monday in the first orchestrated show of dissent against their Anfield reign.

After weeks of voicing their support for Rafa Benitez, over the mounting threat to his position as Liverpool manager, Anfield followers are about to adopt a different approach by turning their fury on his bosses, Hicks and Gillett.
Influential website Reclaim The Kop, who organised the pro-Benitez demonstration prior to the Champions League tie with Porto two months ago, have launched a scathing attack on the Americans and urged a capacity Anfield crowd to follow suit against Aston Villa on Monday night. In a press release, they claimed Hicks and Gillett were 'not fit to be associated with our club' and added that forcing them out might be the only way to save Benitez.
'We allowed ourselves to believe that they had a gut sense of Liverpool's specialness,' it said. 'They gave a good impression of understanding and cherishing The Liverpool Way, but the current situation is unworkable.
'There is a minimum acceptable standard of ownership and Hicks and Gillett have fallen badly short.
Rafa, with his ingrained sense of honour, dignity and morality, has been publicly humiliated by them and would have walked away by now but for one small thing the Americans will never get.
'He loves it here. He loves the club, the fans, the city and The Liverpool Way. More than anybody at the club, he is desperate to deliver for us that which we long for so badly.
'They will sack him in the summer. They have left themselves with no other option, so while it gives us no joy to recommend it, we have to drive them out.
'These are critical times for Liverpool FC. If Hicks stays, Rafa goes — simple as that. And if Rafa goes, the empire he is building crumbles. After giving Rafa a vote of no-confidence, he (Hicks) will have to sack him in the summer — unless the owners are not here. We have to give our answer loud and clear, starting on Monday night.'
Hicks denied on Thursday that he was considering selling his Anfield stake to Dubai International Capital but he may have second thoughts if vocal backing for Benitez turns into open hostility towards himself and Gillett.
Around 2,000 fans responded to a call from Reclaim The Kop in November and marched from a nearby pub to the ground, shouting slogans and carrying banners.
The protests were sparked by Benitez's fears that he was about to be ousted and his hold on power has been eroded still further by Hicks' recent admission that he offered the manager's job to Jurgen Klinsmann.

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