The Liverpool supporters group ShareLiverpoolFC today published an open letter to co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, in The Times newspaper, following reports the Americans have engaged an investment bank to help find a buyer for the club.
In the open letter, SLFC urge Hicks and Gillett to open discussions with them to do the honourable thing and sell the club to the fans via ShareLiverpoolFC.
Dear George & Tom
We understand you have decided to relinquish your ownership of Liverpool FC and are actively looking for a buyer.
Along with the vast majority of Liverpool fans, we agree with your decision to withdraw. We would like to buy the club on behalf of the fans, and invite you to sit down with us to agree a deal. We are confident that if you’re willing to sell to us for a fair price, we would have sufficient backing (either from the fans alone, or with a suitable partner).
As you may know, ShareLiverpoolFC is an IPS ‘“ effectively a ‘˜Co-operative’ ‘“ owned by single shareholding members (not unlike the Green Bay Packers). We are not motivated by making a profit from the commercial exploitation of Liverpool FC; all income would be directed towards the benefit of the Club and the team itself. We want the Club we love run solely in the best interests of a successful team, the fans and the community.
We believe we represent a real opportunity for both of you to bring to an end a troubled period of ownership; an ‘˜exit strategy’ which would lead to admiration and respect from many. Doing the honourable thing and selling the club to the fans would return it to the values that made it the most successful football club in England and one of the best supported clubs in the world.
If necessary, we will come in with a partner. As you are no doubt now aware, the stewardship of a club like Liverpool cannot be separated from the interests of its fans and its community, and anyone thinking of bidding for the club will realise that the backing of the fans is essential to ensuring a harmonious and successful club.
There is now a growing feeling across the sport, from FIFA and UEFA to the FA, and from the grassroots upwards, and even from our own government, that big clubs are in real danger of losing touch with their audience. You could help reverse this trend.
We’d also like you to be able to leave with dignity. George, in an interview last March, you said, ‘œOur goal from the beginning was to add’¦.to the lustre (of Liverpool FC)’¦’.
At this point you can only achieve this by doing the right thing ‘“ and that is to offer the club to the fans.
Come and talk to us.