Page last updated at 14:18 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 15:18 UK

Minister backs Reds takeover bid

Tom Hicks and George Gillett
The fans want to take control from Liverpool's American owners

A plan for a supporter takeover of Liverpool Football Club has received the backing of Andy Burnham, the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport.

The Leigh MP and Everton follower is supporting a consortium of fans who want to buy out the club's shares.

They hope to take control of Liverpool FC from the current owners, the Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

Mr Burnham is due to speak at a meeting before the Champions League qualifier with Standard Liege, on Wednesday.

It will take place at the Liverpool Lighthouse pub near Anfield.

The supporters' body, known as ShareLiverpoolFC, has a new website, and wants as many fans as possible to buy one share - at 5,000 each.

ShareLiverpoolFC founder member Dr Rogan Taylor will also address the meeting.

We want to be around when the next roll of the dice comes, and that could be very soon
Dr Rogan Taylor

It is aimed at re-establishing the group publicly, as the current Liverpool owners try to raise money to re-finance their own loans as well as the 400m needed to build a new stadium.

Dr Taylor, director of the Football Industry Group at Liverpool University, said: "We want to make sure everyone realises that we are serious and intend to be around and ready whatever happens."

Dr Taylor believes that financial pressures will call into question the Americans' ability to carry on as owners.

He thinks there will also be further interest from Dubai-based investors, who have been waiting in the wings to mount another takeover bid of the club.

Taylor continued: "Whoever takes over the club, they are going to need a local partnership.

"We are here to stay, and have people signed up to help and support the plans we have.

"We want to be around when the next roll of the dice comes, and that could be very soon."

ShareLiverpoolFC has re-launched its website, and wants the 28,000 fans who initially registered their interest to sign up again.

The group currently has 9,500 supporters who have signed up, another 9,000 who have registered interest but cannot afford 5,000, plus a further 9,000 who want to be kept informed.

Dr Taylor added: "There is a long way to go, but we believe we can have a genuine impact.

"You can't score a goal if you are not on the pitch, and we are certainly on the pitch as players."


SEE ALSO
Liverpool v Standard Liege
26 Aug 08 |  Europe
Liverpool fans eye takeover talks
09 Apr 08 |  Business
Hicks plots total control of Reds
04 Mar 08 |  Liverpool
Business backing for LFC fan bid
28 Feb 08 |  Business
Fans make Liverpool takeover move
31 Jan 08 |  Business
Liverpool complete 350m package
25 Jan 08 |  Liverpool

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