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Supporter Ownership / Investment

Spirit of Shankly members will recall that ShareLiverpoolFC and the Union, following a period of intense negotiation, reached an agreement last summer to work together on the issue of supporter investment/ownership.

This agreement was based upon the Union’s view that our “Ultimate Aim” could be promoted by this agreement and in spite of what was happening at the time of the agreement, the subsequent pressure on Hicks and Gillett and the change in ownership, that aim should continue to be promoted at all times as per the mandate given to us by our members.

At the last SOS-ShareLiverpoolFC Board meeting, on April 12th, the SOS-ShareLiverpoolFC Board took a decision to become “dormant”. In effect, this means that SOS-ShareLiverpoolFC will be discontinuing its activities for the foreseeable future.

Spirit of Shankly fundamentally disagrees with this decision and intends to continue to pursue the issue of supporter investment and representation at board level as per the mandate it has from its members.

Firstly, while recognising that momentum around the supporter ownership issue will ebb and flow, we do not believe that the campaign to achieve our stated “Ultimate Aim” should stop altogether, even on a temporary basis.

Accordingly, Spirit of Shankly will continue to promote supporter ownership and develop mechanisms, such as our Credit Union initiative, that help supporters prepare for the eventuality that an opportunity arises to purchase a share in Liverpool Football Club.

Secondly, we feel that it is wrong of the ShareLiverpoolFC majority on the SOS-ShareLiverpoolFC Board to think that they can discontinue their activities now but, somehow, expect to automatically reassume the “supporter ownership space” in the Liverpool supporters’ movement whenever they see a supporter ownership opportunity emerge.

Spirit of Shankly, in common with all Liverpool supporters, welcomes the fact that the crisis that enveloped our football club under the ownership of Hicks & Gillett has ended. However, we do not feel that the need for supporter representation, backed by an equity stake in the club, has passed, or ever will. Rather than being a time to “put our feet up”, we believe that the current period of stability provides an ideal opportunity to get our structures and finances in place so that we are properly and professionally prepared when an opportunity for supporter investment in Liverpool FC arises.

In our ongoing dialogue with Liverpool Football Club, Spirit of Shankly will continue to make the case for a “supporters’ share” in our club. Indeed, we believe that the need for investment in whatever stadium solution is decided upon will provide the perfect opportunity for FSG to embrace the concept of supporters owning a stake in our club. It is deeply regrettable that despite the urgings of the SOS representatives on the board of SOS-SL, SL have firstly decided to become dormant, but beyond that have unilaterally decided that their own members, nor the wider Liverpool supporting community should be made aware of the decision.

Spirit of Shankly sees the vote to make SOS-ShareLiverpoolFC dormant as representing a unilateral decision on the part of ShareLiverpoolFC to extricate themselves from the agreement between our two organisations. It is regretful that this information has not been communicated to the registrants who placed so much faith in the organisation but who are now being left in the dark about its current intentions.

Spirit of Shankly felt that we could not allow this vacuum to continue any longer and as such we will now pick up the supporter ownership baton with renewed vigour.

We appeal to all supporters who back the concept of a supporters’ share in Liverpool Football club to join with Spirit of Shankly in keeping the campaign alive and building our case to FSG. To do this, join Spirit of Shankly at www.spiritofshankly.com/join and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Management Committee of Spirit of Shankly apologises for the two month delay in communicating this information to members. We had agreed to allow time for SOS-ShareLiverpoolFC to communicate its decision, however, more than enough time has now elapsed and we believe that supporters ought to be fully aware of the cessation of SOS-ShareLiverpoolFC activities.



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