Liverpool fans target takeover bid to oust US owners
Fans of Liverpool football club are reportedly planning a dramatic bid to buy the club from its American owners.
According to reports, a group of supporters named Share Liverpool FC will launch a bid today to get 100,000 fans to invest in the club.
The scheme, said to be led by Rogan Taylor, the director of the Football Industry Group at Liverpool university, aims to raise £500 million.
That sum would be enough to buy out current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who recently agreed a refinancing package for the club.
It would also be used to build the club a new stadium at Stanley Park after plans for the 71,000-capacity ground were unveiled earlier this month.
Such supporter-owned schemes are more common in Europe, with Barcelona the biggest club operating such an enterprise, but Britain is unchartered territory.
"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," Dr Taylor said, according to the Liverpool Echo.
He added that there was a high level of dissatisfaction with the way the current owners are seemingly taking the club into debt and that buying the club was one of the ways to change the situation.
"Large amounts of debt often devolves onto newly-purchased clubs, but the fans know that in the end it will be they themselves who will have to pay it off through increased ticket prices and other schemes," he added.
"In such a case, why not simply buy the club yourselves?"
It is understood that a specially-set-up website will be published today, with the scheme being publicised in Liverpool fanzines and by supporters' networks.