Fans protest at American owners

AROUND 1,000 Liverpool supporters staged a protest march against the club’s owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett yesterday.

Angry fans marched from Liverpool’s Supporters’ Club in Breck Road to Anfield ahead of their clash with Manchester United.

The supporters were voicing concerns about the management of the business and the amount of debt the club is in.

The US-based owners were also greeted with placards calling on them to quit Anfield as they took their seats in the directors’ box in the Main Stand.

Gillett had attended last Tuesday’s Champions League defeat by Lyon where a large banner on the Kop claimed that fans had been lied to by the owners.

James McKenna, of the Spirit of Shankly fans group which organised yesterday’s march, said: “We want to say to Hicks and Gillett that they are not welcome and they should sell up and go home.”

Spirit of Shankly was also circulating an email which the group has sent to Mr Hicks.

The email claimed the owners had achieved little more than the winning the “hatred” of the fans. It added: “All we care about is our football club, our history and traditions and our future. You will leave a black mark on the history of our football club.

“The broken promises and repeated lies have caused anger, and there is nothing you can do to change that. So do one thing for us fans. Leave. Sell the club, clear the debt, take the profit and go away.”

Spirit of Shankly committee member Paul Gardner added: “They are the ones who put us into £245million of debt, promised us a new stadium that has not been built, took money out of the club to pay for their own expenses. We want the owners out now.”

There was an increased police presence at yesterday’s match. A spokesman for Merseyside Police said the march passed off peacefully.

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