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Page last updated at 13:06 GMT, Saturday, 13 September 2008 14:06 UK

Liverpool supporters hold protest

George Gillett (L) and Tom Hicks
Gillett and Hicks have become unpopular with many fans at Anfield

Liverpool fans staged a protest against owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett before Saturday's clash with rivals Manchester United at Anfield.

The Spirit of Shankly group organised a march from Lower Breck Road to the stadium, but it did not stop Gillett taking his place in the directors' box.

The organisation says it wants to direct its anger "towards those ruining our football club".

Plans for a new stadium were delayed amid reports of financial problems.

Hicks and Gillett have become increasingly unpopular among Reds fans since they took the club over in March last year, drawing criticism for their treatment of manager Rafael Benitez and their financial management of the club.

Since taking charge, Liverpool's proposed new stadium has had two re-designs and the loans the pair took out to purchase the club have had to be refinanced.

In addition, there has been continued speculation that Dubai International Capital, which tried to buy Liverpool before Gillett and Hicks took control, remain interested in buying out either one or both of them.


Within months of their arrival, Gillett and Hicks had a very public spat with Benitez over the Spaniard's transfer policy and at the start of 2008, Hicks revealed he had spoken to former Germany manager Jurgen Klinsmann in November about the possibility of taking over at Anfield.

In March this year, Gillett said his relationship with Hicks had become "unworkable", although in June he said that communication between the pair had "substantially improved".

Tensions between Benitez and the board resurfaced this summer with the manager criticising the failure to secure midfielder Gareth Barry from Aston Villa.

And a Spirit of Shankly statement added: "What we need on Saturday is two resounding victories. Firstly, a march on a massive scale that tells the world that Liverpool has had enough of Gillett and Hicks.

Benitez desperate to beat Man Utd

"A march of passion, a march of anger, a march of Red solidarity that roars its message loud and proud: 'enough is enough, go now.'

"This is the biggest club game in football and the world will be watching. Our second victory on Saturday comes when we take all that passion and pride inside the ground."

Saturday's protest coincided with the demonstration expected at St James' Park, with Newcastle fans angry at the ownership of Mike Ashley and the departure of former manager Kevin Keegan.

see also
Liverpool 2-1 Man Utd
13 Sep 08 |  Premier League
Ownership rules concern FA chief
12 Sep 08 |  Football
Liverpool stadium faces new delay
29 Aug 08 |  Liverpool
Reds fans attend takeover meeting
28 Aug 08 |  Merseyside
Benitez & Parry hold peace talks
21 Aug 08 |  Liverpool
Barry transfer saga riles Benitez
16 Aug 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool deny rift about Barry
10 Aug 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool pair attempt peace pact
20 Jun 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool co-owner reveals split
28 Mar 08 |  Liverpool
DIC to offer Hicks share of power
08 Mar 08 |  Liverpool
Hicks plots total control of Reds
04 Mar 08 |  Liverpool
Hicks holds talks over Liverpool
27 Feb 08 |  Liverpool
Hicks plans long stay at Anfield
27 Jan 08 |  Liverpool
Gerrard hits out at unstable Reds
21 Jan 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool complete 350m package
25 Jan 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool owners deny sale claims
17 Jan 08 |  Liverpool
Benitez wants to call Reds truce
26 Nov 07 |  Liverpool
Fans march in mass Benitez rally
28 Nov 07 |  Liverpool
Duo complete Liverpool takeover
27 Mar 07 |  Liverpool

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