Spirit of Shankly, a Liverpool supporter’s union, has erected billboard posters in its city to protest against the American owners of Liverpool FC, Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
The posters, which read “Tom & George: Debt, Lies, Cowboys – Not Welcome Here,” have appeared on billboards on major roads into Liverpool. Five have been rolled out so far with another five expected soon, according to the Liverpool Echo.
“Tom Hicks and George Gillett aren’t welcome at Liverpool Football Club,” said a message on the Spirit of Shankly website. “They were at first – they made promises that the fans believed, and we all looked to a rosy red future. That future now looks dark and bleak under Hicks and Gillett, and we as fans need to change that.”
The three key messages on the billboard posters focus on debt, lies and cowboys. When Hicks and Gillett bought Liverpool FC, the club reportedly had a debt of approximately £44 million. That debt has now grown to £237 million.
Liverpool supporters also feel that Hicks and Gillett have lied to them several times. First, that Hicks and Gillett said that the takeover of Liverpool would have no debt involved in it. Second, that the American owners built up the hopes of Liverpool fans that a new ground would be developed yet never materialized. And third, over the way that the American owners publicly admitted that they were in talks with Jurgen Klinsmann to replace Benitez.
The reference by Spirit Of Shankly to cowboys refers to “Their job as ‘custodians’ [which] has been nothing but making it up as they go along, taking expenses (over £2 million as shown in the accounts up to 2009) from the club for their no expense spared trips to come and watch us play, entertaining family and friends along the way.”
Photo credit: Spirit Of Shankly