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Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Friday, 23 October 2009 12:27 UK

Liverpool fans plan protest march

By Simon Austin

George Gillett and Tom Hicks
Gillett and Hicks each have a 50% stake in the club

Security will be heightened at Anfield on Sunday as fans plan a march to protest against George Gillett and Tom Hicks' ownership of the club.

The Spirit of Shankly group hope thousands of fans will turn out ahead of the match against Manchester United.

"There is a lot of anger and people want their feelings known - Hicks and Gillett are not welcome at the club," spokesman James McKenna told BBC Sport.

"We hope a couple of thousand fans will turn out for the protest."

The march will start outside the Liverpool Supporters' Club on Lower Breck Road and will finish outside the Kop stand.

The Spirit of Shankly group believes about 4,000 fans turned out for a similar protest in September 2008, before Liverpool beat Manchester United 2-1 at Anfield.

The group is angry about the level of debt that the club has taken on since Hicks and Gillett took over in March 2007, while the team's on-field fortunes have also taken a slide in recent weeks.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty

The American duo are expected to attend Sunday's match against the league leaders, in which Liverpool will attempt to halt a run of four straight defeats.

Liverpool are eighth in the Premier League table, with four defeats in their nine games so far, while they are also facing an uphill battle to qualify from their group in the Champions League.

Injuries to key duo Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres have weakened Liverpool's hopes of ending their long wait for a domestic title.

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

Hicks and Gillett have admitted they are keen to attract new investment to the club, with a key aide of Saudi Arabian Prince Faisal telling BBC Sport that a bid for a large stake in the club is a possibility.

Gillett also watched Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani - a £20m purchase during the summer who has been battling to recover from an ankle injury - make his club debut for the reserves at Tranmere the following night.

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see also
Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United
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Benitez job safe says Reds chief
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Aquilani gives Reds timely boost
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Saudis consider Liverpool offer
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Liverpool seeking new investors
29 Sep 09 |  Business
Lawrenson fears Liverpool decline
05 Jun 09 |  Liverpool
Liverpool FC owners lose 42.6m
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Duo complete Liverpool takeover
27 Mar 07 |  Liverpool

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