In January 2008 a group of 350 Liverpool supporters, upset, concerned and frustrated, descended on the Sandon Pub in the backdrop of Anfield to voice their anger on the ownership of George Gillett and Tom Hicks, an ownership filled with lies, deceit and broken promises which was beginning to destroy the club’s foundations.
From this relatively small group, the Spirit of Shankly was born, an organisation fighting to reclaim lost ground for all Reds supporters, a group to give supporters a voice and one that continues to gain mounting support. Liverpool’s famous fighting spirit has once again come to the fore.
Since those early days, SOS have engaged in a series of meetings, rallies, protests and advertising campaigns to highlight the problems facing the club, attracting a great deal of media attention along the way. T-Shirt and Internet campaigns have become a key tool in increasing awareness and raising levels of support. Their group on Facebook, for example, now has over 22,000 fans on Facebook with a further 2,000 + on Twitter. Whilst the new shirts bearing the new sponsor, Standard Chartered continue to sell well, alternatives are also highly sought…Standards Compromised, Standards Corrupted, Standards Cheated…take your pick…
With the ultimate aim of supporter ownership of the football club, the union also wishes to “represent the best interests of the supporters of Liverpool Football Club and to hold whoever owns the football club to account”. However, the union is not just a group of supporters whose efforts are merely restricted to loud protests outside Anfield. The group is thoughtful and respectable in its approach, receiving great credit and admiration from those within the game. Such is its growth amongst supporters that its influence is beginning to grow. There have been various meetings with high profile members within the club, including former Chief Executive Rick Parry and current Managing Director Christian Purslow, each meeting designed to enable supporters to highlight their concerns and demand answers from those running the club.
At a time when problems appear to be growing by the week, Spirit of Shankly has provided supporters with a platform to try and make a difference, a vehicle to ensure the current owners of the club know exactly how fans are feeling and the huge responsibility they have towards them and the football club as a whole. Any supporter wishing to give their backing to the organisation can do so by visiting the Spirit of Shankly website at www.spiritofshankly.com. Like the 12th man at Anfield, make yourselves heard..