Almost 16 months after George Gillett and Tom Hicks walked into Liverpool Football Club promising to have “a spade in the ground within 60 days”, instead the only construction involving Liverpool FC involves the opening of a brand new megastore in the new Liverpool One shopping centre.
The new shop, the biggest in Europe, is once again evidence of where the American owners’ priorities lie. If their promises about the new stadium had been met we’d have been seeing photos of the new stadium on Stanley Park being constructed, instead we’ve seen three proposed plans, lots of wasted money on planning, embarrassing backtracking on one design, cost-cutting to another design, and no further along with planning for the increased capacity. Rather than the new stadium being well on it’s way to be being built, instead we’re left still hearing about talks of groundshares with Everton.
Fans group SOS (Spirit of Shankly) have been urging Liverpool fans not to purchase official club merchandise for as long as Hicks and Gillett are at the helm. They have placed debt onto our football club and now expect us to repay that debt for them, against their promises and our wishes. SOS today released the following statement on the day Liverpool‘s new megastore was opened:
“It’s not a badge, it’s a family crest. Nothing is impossible.”
This is LFC’s Marketing Blurb…
“It’s not a badge, it’s a family crest. Nothing is impossible.” Adidas Poster.
“It’s set to be a paradise for Liverpool fans – the biggest official club shop anywhere in Europe.”
A paradise for Liverpool supporters. A veritable utopia for us all.
Whatever the marketing blurb says we know that paradise isn’t a place where Manchester United are league and European Champions and look like investing significantly this summer from a position of strength. We know paradise isn’t inertia; two owners desperate to wring every last penny over their abortive eighteen months in charge of the football club. We know paradise isn’t being lied to again and again. It isn’t Rick Parry.
It isn’t David Moores. This isn’t paradise but, well, nothing is impossible.
Supporting this football club isn’t buying into a franchise; it’s committing yourself to shared values and aspirations. It’s a necessity of modern football that this collective identity is taken and sold back to us. However that doesn’t mean we should accept it when those shared values and aspirations aren’t simply being ignored but are being ridden roughshod over by those who stand to gain from our support.
We’ve asked you to withhold that support wherever possible and we ask you to do so again. We’ve asked you to spread this word around and we ask you to do so again. We’ve asked each and every one of you to consider every pound that goes into the football club as being a pound which goes towards us paying off a debt which is not ours, which has not been instituted for the benefit of the football club but for the two greedy individuals who hold our potential back, and work out whether or not that pound is worth spending.
The fight has dragged on but that doesn’t make it any less worth fighting and it doesn’t make it any less urgent. Every day that passes damages our club and we’re looking for new fronts to open, to re-emphasise there is no custodianship here, no integrity, no honesty, no dignity. Nothing that makes LFC fans proud.
Next week we’re hoping to start sending membership packs out, we’re hoping to launch the online membership. Within our membership packs is a badge. The badge we send out isn’t just a badge, isn’t a family crest but it is a simple statement – that the wearer will not accept our shared values being destroyed, that the wearer will fight against this now, and will ensure that after this fight has been won the next custodians will be held to account.
We know nothing is impossible; that’s why we’re here: an organisation created from the ground up, energised by Liverpool supporters who will not watch what they believe in be eroded by lies and ongoing incompetence. A democratic organisation which has and will continue to speak for the collective, speak for the shared values and aspirations and will speak out as the erosion takes place. We still need your energy and your support; we shall always need it if we are to fulfil what we said we would. We can only come together and hold the club to account for years to come if we do stand together as a massed force of Liverpool supporters.
Paradise isn’t a shop. It’s being one red in a crowd, urging this football club towards success.
Spirit Of Shankly.