01 February 2008


By Timothy Abraham, PA Sport

A proposal for fans to seize control of Liverpool is gaining support from around the world, according to one of the main figures behind the plan.
Share Liverpool FC have proposed 100,000 supporters contribute £5,000 to a fund which will be used to buy the club and fund a £300million stadium.
The scheme was launched at a press conference at the University of Liverpool on Thursday, when a website - www.shareliverpoolfc.co.uk - was unveiled as the focal point of initial discussions over the project's feasibility.
One of the main figures behind the plan is football business lecturer and Liverpool fan Dr Rogan Taylor, who revealed: "Already I have enquiries from all round the world, from Norway to California - the fanbase of this club stretches all over the world.
"I think there is a broader appeal for this idea than any initially imagined. Of course, if the owners do not want to sell then there is nothing you can do to force them sell.
"But if you have two businessmen, faced with a takeover from a group backed by 100,000 supporters with a vested interest in the club, then they would have to look at it.
"At this stage it is just a test of the market, to see if there is a hunger for it, how far it is, how widespread and what is the intensity."
Taylor explained that any takeover would not feature a majority shareholder, ruling out the involvement of Dubai International Capital group.
"This is not a pipe dream. We are serious and it is something we believe we can do," Taylor told BBC Radio Merseyside.
"At the moment we want fans to just visit the website and give us an indication of how they feel.
"Once we get a feeling of how things lie we will decide how to progress but we can guarantee it will be a one member, one vote scheme.
"Nobody will ever own more than one share and they will have that share forever and be able to pass it on to their children.
"We're not asking for money at this stage - we're just testing the water and seeing if there is enthusiasm and commitment for the idea."
Also involved in the Share Liverpool project is Phil French, formerly of the Premier League and now chief executive of Supporters Direct, and Kevin Jaquiss, from law firm Cobbetts, who has headed some of the country's most successful sporting legal cases.
A statement on www.shareliverpoolfc.co.uk detailed that plans would be similar to the membership system run by a number of clubs in Europe.
The statement said: "We propose a model of ownership similar to that at Barcelona. This club is owned by their 'members' where over 100,000 fans have bought single 'member' shares, which entitle them to elect a board who will run the club until the next election.
"Is structure makes its sale to the next sporting conglomerate that fancies a Premiership football club a legal impossibility.
"The shares can never be sold - the club can never be sold. Let's stop Liverpool Football Club becoming a trinket any rich man might like to wear around his neck. This club is close to the hearts of millions of people all over the world."

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