Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Sunday, 25 October 2009

Reds fans march in owner protest

Liverpool fans' protest
A few hundred supporters were involved in the protest

Liverpool fans staged a protest march against the club's US owners ahead of their Premier League clash against Manchester United.

Some supporters are angry at the debt the club has taken on since Tom Hicks and George Gillett took over in 2007 and are calling on them to sell up.

The club's managing director Christian Purslow told the BBC Hicks and Gillett were trying to attract new investors.

Reds fans left Anfield in good spirits afterwards following their 2-0 win.

Several hundred fans were involved in the march before the Premier League clash on Sunday afternoon.

The group left the Liverpool Supporters' Club on Lower Breck Road and walked about a mile to finish outside the Kop stand.

The Spirit of Shankly group, which organised the protest, had been hoping thousands of fans would attend.

Tom Hicks and George Gillett say a lot of things. The problem with them is that they fail to act upon that
James McKenna, organiser

Spokesman James McKenna said supporters had not been appeased by recent comments from Mr Gillett, who said that manager Rafa Benitez had his backing.

"Tom Hicks and George Gillett say a lot of things. The problem with them is that they fail to act upon that," said Mr McKenna.

"When they first took over the football club they promised no debt on the club. We've since been put into a lot of debt.

"They promised they'd back the manager and time and time again they've failed to do so.

George Gillett (left) and Tom Hicks
Gillett (left) has recently been seeking investment in the club

"And they promised a new stadium and if you go and look in Stanley Park we are no nearer to a new stadium now than we were when they first took over the football club.

"So whilst Tom hicks and George Gillett might want to say these words, until they start carrying out the actions Liverpool Football Club fans won't be appeased and we won't quite believe them."

In an interview with Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme, Mr Purslow said Liverpool's US owners would not be leaving and were trying to raise new equity for the club.

"There has been a huge amount of interest in the club from some extremely wealthy and expert investors but it will take three to six months to pull that together," he said.

"It means there will be new investment into the football club. Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett have no plans to sell their shares."

Earlier this month, Gillett travelled to Saudi Arabia to meet Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud, who may acquire "anything from nought to 100%" of the club, according to his aides.

Gillett and Hicks own 50% each of Liverpool but neither can sell shares without the other's approval.

Moves to introduce new investment have come in a bid to reduce Liverpool's £245m debt, with £60m having been paid off over the summer.



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