This is how much they hate Tom Hicks in England: Fans of Liverpool FC are trying to buy the team out from under him. Beginning today, the Web site Share Liverpool FC will go live, and a group of rabid Reds supporters will begin the task of begging some 100,000 fans of the franchise worldwide to kick in enough scratch to erase Hicks' ownership from memory. (Update at 1:54 p.m.: This is what the Web site said about the plan to buy the team; there's also a screen grab. Looked nice -- only when you click through now, it says, "This Account Has Been Suspended." Bloody 'ell.)
Reports the BBC -- and every other UK paper today, including the hometown Liverpool Daily Post -- the site is the brainchild of "football business lecturer and Liverpool fan Rogan Taylor," and while it's not known just yet how much Taylor will ask from each fan, best guesstimates put the figure somewhere around £5,000 per person -- or $10,000. Says Taylor, "The time is right to offer a different solution to the rising concerns that football fans have about the patterns of ownership developing at our major football clubs." Which is to say, Yankees, go home!
Furious that Hicks and co-owner George Gillett had to refinance their investment in the franchise, thus sticking it with a heap of debt for the coming years, Taylor and his band of brothers figure Hicks is about to make the fans pony up the pounds anyway, so better now than later.
"Fans know that in the end," Taylor says, "it will be they themselves who will have to pay it off through increased ticket prices and other schemes."
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Tom Hicks, raise ticket prices? Never! Oh, wait. --Robert Wilonsky