There’s no excuse anymore… Unite, Combine, Resist

Posted: May 26, 2010 by mcdonaldtaf in Business, Finance, Liverpool FC
Tags: ,

Tony Evans (football editor of The Times) said something in his webchat today which really resonated with me. He was asked what fans of Liverpool FC should do about the club’s ownership situation. He responded “Unite, combine, resist. Join Spirit of Shankly. It’s a start.”

I have already provided my personal reasons for joining Spirit of Shankly after a long period ‘on the fence’. If you remain unsure then visit that post and try and defy my logic.

Some will try and tell you that things are not as bad as reported. Even today Tom Hicks was telling us that mis-information is rife, a large summer transfer budget is in place and everything is fine. Whether we are on the verge of financial meltdown or not I really don’t know, but neither does anybody else outside of the club. Some who are not connected with the club will tell you we’re nowhere near meltdown. I’m genuinely unsure how they can know this and how they offer their seemingly cast iron opinions. You see that’s one of the real problems with our club – there is such a lack of transparency none of us really know what’s going on. When you couple this with the information we do get (financial results and the like) it’s easy to see how people’s worries have escalated over the past few weeks.

Here are some undeniable facts:

    • The shovel is not in the ground and yet the club has somehow already spent £45.5m on design and preparatory work for the new stadium
    • The total debts owed by the club itself (at the last accounts and including trade creditors) was c.£257m
    • The total debts owed by Kop Football (the holding company) at the last accounts are in excess of £340m
    • The cost of borrowing for Kop Football was £36.7m last year and £43m the year before. During this same period the club made a pre-tax loss of £6m
    • Debt continues to rise while bank debt is reduced. (Some say that the money being loaned from Hicks and Gillett’s other companies is their investment into the club. This however, to the best of my knowledge, cannot be confirmed. It is possible that the other companies are also sinking in debt.)
    • Since the last accounts Aquilani and Kyrgiakos were purchased for £20.4m while Alonso, Dossena and Voronin were sold for £29.7m
    • Over the past few weeks several key organisations and people have come out and asked/begged Hicks and Gillett to move on as quickly as possible
    • Our net transfer spend for 04/05, 05/06 and 06/07 under Moores was £16.2m per season. Under Hicks and Gillett 07/08, 08/09 and 09/10 it has been £4.7m per season to date.

Are we on the verge of meltdown? Possibly. Is there extreme dissatisfaction with how are club is being run? Yes. Is it affecting our club both on and off the pitch? Yes. Simply put our club is sick! What can we do about it? Well I can’t put it any better than Tony “Unite, combine, resist. Join Spirit of Shankly.” The disparate groups which are in place now are all well intentioned but we will have more of an impact together. Hicks and Gillett may be killing off ‘the Liverpool way’ from within but that doesn’t mean it can’t exist elsewhere. We can keep it alive together, but first we must come together. Only then can we achieve something really special, we’ve always been stronger together… haven’t we? Five years ago in Istanbul we were stronger together. We can send a message to Hicks and Gillett at the start of the season like no one in the world has seen before, but only together.

What can you do? If you’re not already a member… JOIN! If you’re a blogger re-post this to your blog or write your own entry explaining why you joined Spirit of Shankly. If you’re a forumite re-post this or your own post. If you’re a tweeter then tweet your support, retweet others support or blog entries. But do something! At the start of next season we must be ready to send a message. One that can’t be ignored by anyone. We can only do this together.

Unite, Combine, Resist. Join Spirit of Shankly. It’s a start.

NB I initially accredited the phrase ‘unite, combine, resist’ to Tony Barrett by mistake.


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