Supporters union Spirit Of Shankly ask Liverpool FC fans to appeal to RBS and MP's over Tom Hicks & George Gillett

By Administrator on Jun 7, 09 06:17 PM in Fans

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LIVERPOOL FC supporters union Spirit Of Shankly are asking the club's supporters to get involved in direct action against the club's American owners.

Recent publication of the club's finances showed the alarming scale of the debt placed on the club's holding company Kop Holdings by Tom Hicks and George Gillett with the club's Auditors commenting on "the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt on the Group's and parent company's ability to continue as a going concern".

Supporters are reminded that since the club was taken over in early 2007 :-

* The club now owe banks over £300m

* Interest alone to service that debt costs £40m a year

* The club made £10m operating profit last year which is not enough to cover the interest payments meaning a plunge £30m further into debt every season before penny is spent

* Every player bought puts the club further into the red and increases those interest payments

* To build a new ground without alternative investment means another £400m loan which will double those interest payments

* The majority of the debt has been run up simply by the American owners takeover of the club. making a mockery of their promise to be "different" from the Glazers - who also borrowed other peoples' money to buy Manchester United.

Hicks and Gillett's current loan agreement with the Royal Bank of Scotland is up for renewal in July and SOS are asking Liverpool supporters to contact RBS to urge them not to grant an extension, forcing the owners to commence an exit strategy and sell the club.

SOS request

We are asking all fans to write to RBS making clear our opposition to the refinancing and demanding information from RBS as to their current and future intentions relating to their support of the current owners.

Your letter needs to be posted to:

Richard Holliday
Royal Bank of Scotland
135 Bishopsgate
London
EC2M 3UR

Or an email sent to him at: richard.holliday@rbs.com

We are asking for you to do both - we expect the volume of email traffic will be such that RBS will take immediate action to block and filter so please post a letter and be imaginative but polite with the subject heading of any email - "LFC" or "Liverpool" are quite likely to be filtered out pretty quickly.

We are also asking all members and fans to write to their own Members of Parliament drawing their attention to the fact that as tax payers we are effective majority shareholders within RBS and as such demand that our voices are heard and that our wishes are heeded and acted upon. Not only are we as supporters of LFC paying the loan repayments for Hicks and Gillett, but as taxpayers who have a controlling stake in RBS, we are paying for the loans that have placed the Club's existence in jeopardy. Encourage them to raise the issue in Parliament. It's our money and we don't want it going to them.

We have drafted letters for use below (or by all means compose your own using moderate and restrained language) to go to the Account Manager at RBS dealing with the re-finance and to your local MP (if you're not sure of who is your MP then search at http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/)

We have a small window of opportunity now as the refinancing date approaches so please send your letter as soon as possible - please pass on details of this site and page to anyone you know who supports our aims urging them to write as well.

Template for the RBS Letter

Dear Sir,

Re: Liverpool Football Club/Kop Football Ltd

The Spirit of Shankly is the Liverpool FC Supporters' Union set up to represent the interests of the true owners of Liverpool Football Club, namely the supporters. We are registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act and are regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

I have seen the company accounts published in the last couple of days in relation to our football club and its associated companies and it is clear that the business model operated by the current "owners" is unsustainable and quite frankly an embarrassment to you as funders of what is rapidly becoming a laughing stock in sporting and financial circles and more importantly to us as the proper custodians of a proud institution. Well, enough is enough.

I am writing to you to seek information as to Royal Bank of Scotland's intentions relating to the refinancing of loans due from the Club and its associated companies which are due for review in July this year.

I appreciate that there are issues relating to confidentiality but I take the view that as one of the true owners of Liverpool Football Club I am entitled to know the Bank's current intentions and views relating to any refinancing.

It is clear in the current economic climate that the Bank may have no appetite to extend funding on any basis or upon significantly different and onerous terms, and accordingly the supporters need to know where RBS stand on this issue which is quickly coming to a head.

The Spirit of Shankly has taken professional advice and is aware that there are various options open to you as follows:

1. Refinancing upon the same, similar or different terms (with the attendant arrangement fees, costs etc);

2. A formal refusal to refinance on any terms leaving the current obligations needing to be immediately repaid with the threat of formal insolvency proceedings;

3. A formal but private refusal to refinance on any terms and the more likely "informal administration" seeking an exit strategy for RBS reducing expenditure and investment and seeing a medium term repayment of interest and capital;

4. Repayment of the current funding due to a third party funder being secured to replace RBS.
In any event I am entitled to know what your current and short term intentions are and what negotiations and representations are being made regarding the July deadline.

I feel that RBS, should not under any circumstances, re-negotiate a re-financing package with George Gillett or Tom Hicks that would see them remain in control at Liverpool Football Club. As the true owners of Liverpool Football Club the supporters demand that our wishes and our desires should be considered by you and that desire is to see Tom Hicks and George Gillett removed from Liverpool Football Club.

Please note that I expect to receive a substantive response rather than a bland refusal to discuss the issue with me. If I do not receive a satisfactory response then I know the Union is already planning direct action against RBS to support our request for the information we deserve.

Yours sincerely


Template for the letter to your MP

Re: Liverpool Football Club/Kop Football Ltd

I am a constituent of yours and would like to seek your support in lobbying the government to use its controlling stake in the RBS group to refuse to re-finance the loans given by RBS to Liverpool Football Club and its associated companies and to assist in taking steps to return the Club to its rightful owners, the fans.

I have written to RBS in the following terms which explain the views of fans and what we see as RBS's obligation to us:

The Spirit of Shankly is the Liverpool FC Supporters' Union set up to represent the interests of the true owners of Liverpool Football Club, namely the supporters. We are registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act and are regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

I have seen the company accounts published in the last couple of days in relation to our football club and its associated companies and it is clear that the business model operated by the current "owners" is unsustainable and quite frankly an embarrassment to you as funders of what is rapidly becoming a laughing stock in sporting and financial circles and more importantly to us as the proper custodians of a proud institution. Well, enough is enough.

I am writing to you to seek information as to Royal Bank of Scotland's intentions relating to the refinancing of loans due from the Club and its associated companies which are due for review in July this year.

I appreciate that there are issues relating to confidentiality but I take the view that as one of the true owners of Liverpool Football Club we are entitled to know the Bank's current intentions and views relating to any refinancing.

It is clear in the current economic climate that the Bank may have no appetite to extend funding on any basis or upon significantly different and onerous terms, and accordingly the supporters need to know where RBS stand on this issue which is quickly coming to a head.

The Union has taken professional advice and is aware that there are various options open to you as follows:

1. Refinancing upon the same, similar or different terms (with the attendant arrangement fees, costs etc);

2. A formal refusal to refinance on any terms leaving the current obligations needing to be immediately repaid with the threat of formal insolvency proceedings;

3. A formal but private refusal to refinance on any terms and the more likely "informal administration" seeking an exit strategy for RBS reducing expenditure and investment and seeing a medium term repayment of interest and capital;

4. Repayment of the current funding due to a third party funder being secured to replace RBS.
In any event we are entitled to know your current and short term intentions are and what negotiations and representations are being made regarding the July deadline.

I feel that RBS, should not under any circumstances, re-negotiate a re-financing package with George Gillett or Tom Hicks that would see them remain in control at Liverpool Football Club. As the true owners of Liverpool Football Club the supporters demand that our wishes and our desires should be considered by you and that desire is to see Tom Hicks and George Gillett removed from Liverpool Football Club.

Please note that I expect to receive a substantive response rather than a bland refusal to discuss the issue with me. If I do not receive a satisfactory response then I know the Union is already planning direct action against RBS to support our request for the information we deserve.

The government is in a unique position to instruct RBS not to refinance these loans and to start a process that will see Liverpool Football Club passed to supporters' ownership.

Yours sincerely


SOS are keen to track how many letters and emails are sent to RBS - if you take part in our campaign please email directaction@spiritofshankly.com confirming whether you have sent an email, letter or both and confirming if you are a member or non-member. This will allow us to gauge the success or otherwise of the campaign.


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