Liverpool group Spirit of Shankly confirm 'positive' talks with club CEO Billy Hogan and FSG


Liverpool supporters’ group Spirit of Shankly confirm ‘positive’ talks with club CEO Billy Hogan have taken place and FSG intermediary AGREES that ‘new structure’ is needed after request for fan representation on the board

  • Liverpool supporters’ group Spirit of Shankly met CEO Billy Hogan on Tuesday
  • Fans have been left furious after the FSG owners backed the Super League
  • Spirit of Shankly have requested fan representation on the club’s official board 
  • The group says talks have been ‘positive’ and further updates are expected 

Liverpool supporters’ group Spirit of Shankly have confirmed ‘the initial consultation was positive’ after meeting face-to-face with club CEO Billy Hogan on Tuesday.

The livid fan base had demanded owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) sit down with them to discuss the future direction of the club, following Liverpool’s acceptance to join the doomed European Super League.

FSG faced a furious backlash from the fans, both on Merseyside and internationally, and now the Spirit of Shankly group have confirmed that Hogan, on behalf of FSG, ‘agreed there is a need for a new structure leading to meaningful and lasting supporter engagement.’

Liverpool fan group Spirit of Shankly have sat down with representatives of the ownership following the bitter backlash at the attempted plot to join the European Super League

Liverpool fan group Spirit of Shankly have sat down with representatives of the ownership following the bitter backlash at the attempted plot to join the European Super League

The supporters' group took to social media to give an update of the 'positive' initial meeting

The supporters’ group took to social media to give an update of the ‘positive’ initial meeting

An official statement was issued on Tuesday night, in which the supporters’ group updated their following on the latest developments.

It read: ‘Today, Tuesday 4 May 2021, Spirit of Shankly met with Billy Hogan and Liverpool FC representatives.

‘At the meeting SOS tabled the following requests: 

  • Two SOS representatives at LFC board level in relation to issues that impact fans and the Anfield community as a whole. This would involve a reconstitution of the LFC board that includes effective, elected and accountable fan representation, and not for members of the current LFC board to be that elected representative. This cannot be token representation, but one that has the ‘golden share’ or veto on the decision-making process. We believe this is desirable, practical and achievable both in the short and long-term. 
  • A formal agreement between LFC and Athletic Grounds Ltd and SOS in order to improve collaboration and supporter engagement and involvement, and to ensure this is sustainable for the future. FSG and LFC collaborate with SOS to lead the reform agenda ahead of/in conjunction with the national fan-led review. 
  • We also asked for a commitment from FSG that any costs incurred in relation to the creation of and withdrawal from the European Super League will be funded solely by the owners and not by the club. We note that the Kroenke family have already made this commitment to Arsenal FC fans.’

The supporters’ group has now outlined that further information is expected, once the club hierarchy has come up with prospective solutions to the pressing issues.

Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan met with the fan group for official talks on Tuesday

Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan met with the fan group for official talks on Tuesday

Liverpool's passionate fan base were left furious by attempts of the club to defect

Liverpool’s passionate fan base were left furious by attempts of the club to defect

Spirit of Shankly added: ‘These motions were acknowledged, and received, by LFC. They have taken these away for discussion and will respond formally to SOS with a further local meeting expected in the coming days. 

‘This initial consultation was positive, and both parties agreed there is a need for a new structure leading to meaningful and lasting supporter engagement.

‘We will keep all members updated as and when we have more information.’

Liverpool fans had been widely expected to follow their counterparts in Manchester and stage large scale protests regarding the ownership of the club, though no official plans have been outlined.

Liverpool are the first of the rebel clubs to publicly agree to meet with fans, brought about after SOS wrote to Hogan with the results of a survey in which members overwhelmingly (89 per cent) called for greater engagement and supporter-led representation at board level.

Responding to the group, Hogan wrote: ‘It is positive that SOS has opted to re-engage with the club as it will allow the necessary conversations to take place, for views to be aired and, hopefully, for workable solutions to be found in keeping with the best interests of the club.’

Liverpool owner John W Henry apologised to supporters over the Super League fiasco

Liverpool owner John W Henry apologised to supporters over the Super League fiasco

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