Fans could have a say under new owners – Liverpool CEO

Sunday, 10 October 2010 21:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Liverpool fans could have a voice in the running of their club under their potential new American owners, chief executive Christian Purslow said on Sunday.

Purslow said he was confident that the 300 million pounds ($476.5 million) deal with New England Sports Ventures (NESV) would go through and that the group, which also owns the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise, would wipe up Liverpool’s debt.

“Our fans have felt totally disenfranchised by the experience of the last three years. One thing I really liked about NESV is they are really serious about the importance of engaging with their fans,” Purslow told BBC Radio 5-Live.

“I’ve asked them to consider a scheme at our club that will give our fans a real sense of ownership, a real sense of inclusion, the kind of voice they deserve and NESV have told us they’ll look at this very seriously if they complete.

“It’s not been easy with the current owners -- tensions have been high and so that side of things has been difficult but now that we have potential new ownership I don’t want to miss the opportunity to make sure that our fans never again feel so disenfranchised.

“The most important principle is that fans need to feel that they have a means to express their views and to be listened to and the sense of ownership obviously is the most extreme example of that.”

Liverpool fans have protested against current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who are challenging the sale in London’s High Court in a case starting on Tuesday.

If they succeed in halting the sale the club could go into administration, potentially suffering a nine-point deduction punishment from the Premier League.

Purslow, however, said he was confident the deal would go through.

“We have done our homework and NESV are buying this business with cash and clearing our debt which transforms our financial position overnight -- I’m not even contemplating administration,” he said.

 “Right now they have the opportunity with one simple correspondence to allow a sale to complete and that would clear the club of all the acquisition debt band give us a massive lift before the Everton game (next weekend),” he said.

“A fresh start and real hope for our fans and players that we can get back to the top.

“That’s in their gift and would enable them to leave with some dignity and some peace rather than precipitating a messy dispute. I hope they’ll think about that.”