Saturday, February 2, 2008

Liverpool Fans Launch Takeover

Fans aim to take control as Share Liverpool FC launched

The Share Liverpool FC initiative aimed at taking over Liverpool Football Clubs was launched yesterday, as it's website was unveiled and details of the proposed scheme were released to the media. Essentially, the group is proposing 100,000 Liverpool fans put in 5,000 pounds each, to raise 500 million to acquire the club and finance a new stadium.

In what would be a revolutionary move in English football, a fan based ownership structure similar to Barcelona and Real Madrid is being put forward as an alternative model to the present rash of foreign owners who have been attracted in by the pot of Premier League TV gold.

Initial expressions of interest are being asked for via a new website, Share Liverpool FC launched on Thursday evening. Leading the initiative is football business lecturer and Liverpool fan Rogan Taylor. Taylor is also the Chair of the Football Supporters’ Association, launched in Liverpool after the Heysel Stadium Disaster in 1985. Talking about the scheme he said "the time is right to offer a different solution to the rising concerns that football fans have about the patterns of ownership developing at our major football clubs,"

Taylor went onto say that in Germany and Spain most top-level football clubs were not for sale as they were owned by many thousands of "member fans" arguing that "The Champions League has been won on six occasions in the last 15 years by clubs owned and run in such a way," he said. The most prominent club ran in this way is Barcelona, which won the Champions League in 2006, and is owned by its fan-members, of which there are 156,000 members.

It's a fascinating idea and one which just might come off. If Barcelona and Real Madrid are ran in this way, there is no reason why English clubs can't do the same.


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