Author Topic: Spirit of Shankly Q&A  (Read 248261 times)

Offline Paul Gardner

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Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« on: January 10, 2010, 07:41:50 pm »
Been saying I would do this for ages and here it is a Q&A about SOS. Should be around for next couple of hours to answer questions and I will answer them afterwards whenever I get a chance as well and am sure Graham and others will pop in from time to time as well.

There is loads I can say about SOS obviously but will do a summary below of all the areas we deal with so that this isn't just a protest ideas thread.

Spirit of Shankly was set up at the end of January 2008 when around 350 fans turned up at the Sandon one night to address what could be done particularly with regard to the owners. Since then we have evolved to be so much more. We have a democratically elected committee and the Union is FSA regulated as well. It is 10 to join and you receive a badge and membership card with this as well and the 10 just about covers these and all admin fees including the elections. One important point to make which always gets dragged up as well is that we only ever claim to represent our members. By being elected we have a mandate from our members alone to speak for them and work for them.

We are there to be contacted by e-mail and wherever to answer any questions we want and we try to have regular mass meetings to discuss more issues with our members. Our last mass meeting was on the 12th September at the Olympia and our next one will be our AGM, which as long as Blackburn don't get to the League Cup Final it will be before that game (full details will be announced closer to the time). Mass meetings offer the chance for members and non members to openly debate any ideas and ask questions of the committee.

I will cover some of the committee's roles in the best attempt to explain what we do. If I miss anything still feel free to ask any questions.

Club Liaison

Probably one of the main things people like to know about. We have contact through Ian Ayre who is the Commercial Director of the club. The whole committee met him last May, but we have had regular contact with him to be able to sort things like the PTS changing to All Red (and supporting our members views on this to press for loyalty criteria), and the Fiorentina mosaic. In September, the a small number of us met with Christian Purslow who is the Managing Director of the club to raise more questions with him to help try and push what is best for the club. He promised to have regular meetings with the committee and details of this will be announced later. This role offers an important point of contact to press many issues that our members will have with the club.

Travel

We operate coaches to the majority of Away games now at prices to allow best value for members. Coaches are ran on a not for profit basis. We also operated a coach to Liege away last season. This season we got a discount from World Choice Sports for day trips to European Away Games. They couldn't do all games in the end, so for Fiorentina we got a discounted rate for members on the Day Trip that was operated by Thomas Cook who operate the club's official European Travel.

Supporter Liaison

We have UK and overseas supporters liaison officers to talk to members across the country and world and address various issues and spread the word about what SOS do and what is happening at the club. We have visited Dublin, Oslo and New York after invitations from the groups. We would be willing to talk to more supporters goups in this country and abroad if it was feasible to do so.

Direct Action

Probably what most people will be aware of for SOS. This will include all protests including trying to stop directors of the club into the ground at Arsenal game; the march at the United game; Leaflets at Burnley, Stoke and Arsenal games; confronting Gillett before Hull City game. We have had some youtube videos of the protests done by Morrovision and we did some videos on the lies of Gillett from a secretly recorded meeting prior to the Hull City game. All Youtube videos and more details of direct action can be found in the News section of our website or by going to our youtube channel which is SOSLiverpool, or Morrovision's youtube channel. We will be continuing to keep pressure on the owners via Direct Action and we should be holding a meetig on Direct Action in the near future. If you are interested in this meeting then e-mail Jay at directaction@spiritofshankly.com and we will let you know of details when we arrange it.

New Media

We have a fantastic site thanks to Dan and the website and e-mail contact via it allows us to keep in touch with our members. We also have a facebook fan page and a twitter account which I take care off to help spread the word more. There is over 11,000 fans of SOS on Facebook. Links below:

http://www.facebook.com/spiritofshankly

http://www.facebook.com/spiritofshankly

Events

Had many events already including a Joey Jones sportsman dinner, Michael Shields Fundraising Evening, End of Season Do's and the most recent one being the 50th Anniversary Shankly Do before Christmas.

Community and Regeneration

This is my area. We have a regeneration sub committee which have met once and will hopefully be meeting more to discuss more issues once we get answers from the club. We are keen to not only to ensure that the Stadium is built not only for the club, but for the good of the community. We have met with local groups, academics and representatives from housing groups to learn more about what SOS can do to help and we will keep members up to date on any developments that need to be addressed.

Community wise, we have done a variety of things as our own events and to help other schools and charities. Most recently we helped by providing volunteers to help with a street collection for the Rhys Jones Memorial Fund in Liverpool City Centre before Christmas. We ran free Summer Coaching Camps for children in the Summer which saw local children and some as far afield as Hong Kong given coaching by volunteer coaches and SOS members. All with CRB checks and coaching badges. There was also free travel from Anfield to the venue in Crosby as well. We provided coaching for a day in a Kensington school as well to help celebrate their award of international status when they had a Spanish Day. There have been other small scale events and obviously we are working on a lot more in the future as well.


There is much more work done by others whose roles I haven't covered that allows the union to grow from strength to strength with marketing, things like minutes of meetings to communicate with members, admin of memberships and everything else. All of the people on the committee do this in their own time as well as having full time jobs as well.

Think that should cover the main points. Any more questions, then ask and I will try to anwer them here, or you can also e-mail the officer it concerns as well directly.

More about us can be found on our site at http://www.spiritofshankly.com

Let's try and keep this as a civilised debate as well and try to cover as many issues as possible and not just protest ideas.

Offline itsgunnabebarnes!

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2010, 07:47:39 pm »
a simple question from me really. What are the long term aims of SOS regarding the ownership of the club? all i have heard and read is get the yanks out. if there is no buyer , there is no buyer. So how can all this action and protesting help the team at this current time?
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Offline koppite118

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 07:49:52 pm »
Whats the truth behind the build on the new stadium starting in April???

Offline Paul Gardner

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 07:53:43 pm »
a simple question from me really. What are the long term aims of SOS regarding the ownership of the club? all i have heard and read is get the yanks out. if there is no buyer , there is no buyer. So how can all this action and protesting help the team at this current time?

The ultimate aim for SOS is fan ownership. Something that we have been disapointed in the speed at which Share Liverpool has moved and an area which we may have to take over to push forward. It can be a tricky one for people to see about forcing them out. My view is that they are doing massive damage to the club and they need to be forced about before they can do anymore damage. They also actively seeking investors for the club, so it is not as though they aren't willing to sell, but the problem with nobody coming in to buy the club from them is their ridiculous valuation of the club which puts people off. We need to keep the pressure up to get them to make a decision that is for the good of the club and not their pocket. Also, the liverpool way is about making things happen ourselves and this is what we are trying to do.

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 07:57:27 pm »
Can we stick to the topic.
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Offline itsgunnabebarnes!

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2010, 07:59:18 pm »
The ultimate aim for SOS is fan ownership. Something that we have been disapointed in the speed at which Share Liverpool has moved and an area which we may have to take over to push forward. It can be a tricky one for people to see about forcing them out. My view is that they are doing massive damage to the club and they need to be forced about before they can do anymore damage. They also actively seeking investors for the club, so it is not as though they aren't willing to sell, but the problem with nobody coming in to buy the club from them is their ridiculous valuation of the club which puts people off. We need to keep the pressure up to get them to make a decision that is for the good of the club and not their pocket. Also, the liverpool way is about making things happen ourselves and this is what we are trying to do.

Without trying to be critical, we all no share liverpool is a great idea, but its is pie in the sky stuff from where i stand. This is where i struggle to follow the long term plan as it really does not look feasable.


great idea this thread if used properly.
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Offline Des Lynam

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2010, 07:59:20 pm »
As well as putting pressure on the current owners, would you consider trying to get answers out of the previous regime? Try and contact Moores and Parry and question them on why they decided to put us in this mess?
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Offline Paul Gardner

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 08:04:14 pm »
Whats the truth behind the build on the new stadium starting in April???

We haven't been told anything and the way it has been leaked I personally can't see much truth in it so far. If it is getting built, questions need to be asked about how it will be funded and how that will affect our debt further. This will be a question for Purslow this week in our meeting with him (see other thread).

Offline Paul Gardner

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2010, 08:05:33 pm »
Without trying to be critical, we all no share liverpool is a great idea, but its is pie in the sky stuff from where i stand. This is where i struggle to follow the long term plan as it really does not look feasable.


great idea this thread if used properly.

The original plan will need to be re-evaluated but if we can get our foot in the door with 10% we can have a bigger say at matters. We have to at least try and make it work.

Offline gazzalfc

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2010, 08:07:08 pm »
I know I've had a direct answer for some of these questions in the past but that was not on a public forum and feel that it deserves a public answer

My questions are

How are decisions that dictate SoS policy made (i'm talking about the actual process from it firstly being brought up to it actually taking place)? What is the system currently being used to make decisions of SoS actions?

Does the system that the SoS currently use when deciding SoS actions (with regard to the recent direct action protests) work? Can you understand the viewpoint that not all members have the ability to have their say in the same way as other members?
 
How do SoS members who do not live close to Liverpool or in the UK have their say in SoS actions?

Should there be a way of allowing a broader range of memebers to have a direct say in these matters (such as an online vote via the website)? Is such an idea being mooted?

How has the recent 'direct action' protests affected the communication with the likes of Ian Ayre with regards to short term club matters like tickets and away travel? If not are there any plans for other Q&A talks to take place? Has there been any progress as to the wherabout of the mysterious Season ticket waiting list for instance?

Currently what are SoS's short, medium and long term goals currently?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 08:12:31 pm by gazzalfc »

Offline Paul Gardner

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2010, 08:07:43 pm »
As well as putting pressure on the current owners, would you consider trying to get answers out of the previous regime? Try and contact Moores and Parry and question them on why they decided to put us in this mess?

We have asked him many times about coming forward including most recently in our leaflets at the Burnley Game. In that leaflet there was questions for Moores as well as other people involved with the club. They were sent these questions as well. Moores didn't reply. Purslow did reply to us after this though and we had our first meeting with him a few days later. We are welcome to ideas for protests against Moores, but even though it would be very useful for him to speak out we cannot take our eye of the ball with Hicks and Gillett.

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2010, 08:08:39 pm »
The original plan will need to be re-evaluated but if we can get our foot in the door with 10% we can have a bigger say at matters. We have to at least try and make it work.

is a better option not to scrap the share liverpool option and use the funding from that and future funding in conjunction with a potential new buyer. In theory we would be reducing what they have to pay?
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Offline paranoidmike

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2010, 08:10:42 pm »
We are being told the debt is manageable if this is the case have SOS informed share Liverpool that the 500 million they are looking for to buy the club is not needed. I would have thought an amount to buy off the Americans and a bit more would be a more reachable prospect. Do SOS feel fan ownership is possible?

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2010, 08:11:39 pm »
We have asked him many times about coming forward including most recently in our leaflets at the Burnley Game. In that leaflet there was questions for Moores as well as other people involved with the club. They were sent these questions as well. Moores didn't reply. Purslow did reply to us after this though and we had our first meeting with him a few days later. We are welcome to ideas for protests against Moores, but even though it would be very useful for him to speak out we cannot take our eye of the ball with Hicks and Gillett.

Of course Hicks and Gillett are the main priority, but I believe Moores and Parry are just as accountable for this mess as the Americans. Greed by them has essentially caused all this.

Cheers for the response thought and all the best, mate.
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Offline RedinExile

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2010, 08:11:52 pm »
Would anyone be banned from joining and if so for what reasons? Thanks.
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Offline Graham Smith

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2010, 08:13:53 pm »
Would anyone be banned from joining and if so for what reasons? Thanks.

Not quite following this so if you'd like to expand please do.

However, membership is open to anyone.
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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2010, 08:15:39 pm »
What is the response to the accusation that SoS does not represent the majority of the Liverpool FC fanbase over certain matters (like the recent direct action protests)?

Do you feel that some of these actions will have a direct effect on the those fans who are not members and ultimatly effect the way they enjoy supporting their club?

Offline RedinExile

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2010, 08:18:15 pm »
Not quite following this so if you'd like to expand please do.

However, membership is open to anyone.

I was just wondering if there are mechanisms already in place whereby if person a is found guilty of some breach or other they would be expelled, or indeed if this may preclude them from joining in the first place? No rules as such?
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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2010, 08:18:27 pm »
The ultimate aim for SOS is fan ownership.
If the fans buy out ever came through, what are the proposed plans for financing the team and the new ground build?
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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2010, 08:19:02 pm »
What is the response to the accusation that SoS does not represent the majority of the Liverpool FC fanbase over certain matters (like the recent direct action protests)?

Do you feel that some of these actions will have a direct effect on the those fans who are not members and ultimatly effect the way they enjoy supporting their club?

The response is as we have repeated many times - we represent our members, we do not profess to represent anyone else.

We understand entirely that our actions have implications for non-members thinking of joining - some will be put off, but some will be encouraged.

One thing we can say is that almost every time our actions have not resulted in a backlash from members and our membership continues to grow. Our actions and objectives don't attract all, but from a standing start of "200 divvies" we have a paid up membership of over 3000.
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Offline itsgunnabebarnes!

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2010, 08:21:08 pm »
What is the current membership total? and also what percentage of memebrs are regular match goer's?
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Offline paranoidmike

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2010, 08:22:16 pm »
so are you on the look out for more divvies

Offline Paul Gardner

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2010, 08:23:06 pm »
I know I've had a direct answer for this in the past but that was not on a public forum and feel that it deserves a public answer

My questions are

How are decisions that dictate SoS policy made (i'm talking about the actual process from it firstly being brought up to it actually taking place)? What is the system currently being used to make decisions of SoS actions?

There is various forms to this depending on the speed at which any decision is needed to be taken and what is actually the decision.

For things relating to certain roles (apart from direct action to a certain extent) there is a sub committee working on the issues regarding events, community, finances etc so decisions are made there. If they need to these decisions are then put forward to the whole management committee at our monthly meetings. These will either then be put in action, or if further is required such as Not Welcome Here campaign this is put to members at a mass meeting or via a release to members.

Anything faster such as direct action that has to be arranged quickly is done by a small working group and agreed by the whole committee via the e-mail loop if there isn't a meeting prior to when it needs to be sorted. When the needs warrant it extra meetings are called to discuss these issues.


Does the system that the SoS currently use when deciding SoS actions (with regard to the recent direct action protests) work? Can you understand the viewpoint that not all members have the ability to have their say in the same way as other members?

We can understand the views that people at mass meetings voting etc that have been addressed previously. Generally I would say we are happy with what we have got, but are always looking to improve. All votes at mass meetings that have been passed have always been a massive majority as well. Internet voting and other things have been discussed and it might be something to think about in the future, but it is obtaining the balance. Direct Action in particular is a fast moving thing. If we were to introduce internet voting, weightings with mass meeting votes, postal voting etc etc, we have to deal with time limits and these things wouldn't be feasible all the time. We try to address these issues as much as possible and people's views on things to us via e-mail is an important way of gauging what protests will be supported and be successful.


How do SoS members who do not live close to Liverpool or in the UK have their say in SoS actions?

They can e-mail the necessary officers with ideas or in particular they can e-mail the supporter liaison officers. We can come and visit their supporters groups or even help them plan their own protests if they need help. We can help with issues that they have the club as well as they will have different issues to locals, and there if there was the demand we could even look to helping out more with groups for instance starting travel to home games for those supporters if there were enough of them that we could offer value for money on it.

Should there be a way of allowing a broader range of memebers to have a direct say in these matters (such as an online vote via the website)? Is such an idea being mooted?

It is always been considered, but at the moment not something that is planned. Mainly down to the speed of things that need to be done and not everyone has the internet as well. We don't want to be just an internet organisation. Also, to a certain extent as well there is the mandate the committee has by being elected to make decisions that need to be done quickly.

How has the recent 'direct action' protests affected the communication with the likes of Ian Ayre with regards to short term club matters like tickets and away travel? If not are there any plans for other Q&A talks to take place? Has there been any progress as to the wherabout of the mysterious Season ticket waiting list for instance?

Not at all. Our problems at the moment are with Hicks and Gillett, not them. But we are treating them caustiously. See other thread. We have a meeting this week with them.

Currently what are SoS's short, medium and long term goals currently?

They are on our home page. http://www.spiritofshankly.com/

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2010, 08:23:23 pm »
What is the current membership total? and also what percentage of memebrs are regular match goer's?

The lads worked off his feet. I'll answer that one for him over 3000

Offline Paul Gardner

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2010, 08:25:32 pm »
is a better option not to scrap the share liverpool option and use the funding from that and future funding in conjunction with a potential new buyer. In theory we would be reducing what they have to pay?

Everything like that needs to be looked into which is getting done. Share Liverpool's proposal did include third party investors.

Offline Paul Gardner

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2010, 08:26:32 pm »
The lads worked off his feet. I'll answer that one for him over 3000

Probably closer to 4,000 paid up members now. Over 11,000 fans on Facebook though. So there is probably more than who pay up to join who support us, particularly as more join our marches.

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2010, 08:28:07 pm »
What is the current membership total? and also what percentage of memebrs are regular match goer's?

Don't know the exact percentages of match goers. It isn't a pre-requisite. We have a large base in Ireland and have members from all over the world including America, Australia and many more places. It is a diverse membership. Those who come to a mass meeting will see a broad range of ages and types of people as well. Not just the "200 divvies" that people perceive us as.

Offline itsgunnabebarnes!

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2010, 08:28:45 pm »
Probably closer to 4,000 paid up members now. Over 11,000 fans on Facebook though. So there is probably more than who pay up to join who support us, particularly as more join our marches.

I assume from that answer there are no figures for members who are match goers? if so, is there a way of tapping up the match goers? because ultimately, it the the match goers which can protest and be visible the most.
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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2010, 08:29:50 pm »
If the fans buy out ever came through, what are the proposed plans for financing the team and the new ground build?
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Offline Paul Gardner

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2010, 08:30:46 pm »
If the fans buy out ever came through, what are the proposed plans for financing the team and the new ground build?

Take away our debt and we can run ourselves. We have been paying over 30m of interest in previous years. Take away that and that can go on players. A stadium would probably have to be paid for by investors or loan but then it will be on a better model of only having to pay back the stadium on future match day revenue and not having to deal with another 250m worth of debt. With more and more commercial deals we would be able to earn more than enough to run as a successful club.

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2010, 08:32:06 pm »
I assume from that answer there are no figures for members who are match goers? if so, is there a way of tapping up the match goers? because ultimately, it the the match goers which can protest and be visible the most.

A fair proportion of them will be match goers obviously as they will see us more. We will be undertaking many ways to reach more match goers including season ticket holders. One of these being the leafletting we have already done which does get relatively large increases in membership in the following days.

Offline itsgunnabebarnes!

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2010, 08:34:24 pm »
A fair proportion of them will be match goers obviously as they will see us more. We will be undertaking many ways to reach more match goers including season ticket holders. One of these being the leafletting we have already done which does get relatively large increases in membership in the following days.

good to hear that. thats me done, thanks again for your replies.
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Offline Paul Gardner

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2010, 08:34:32 pm »
We are being told the debt is manageable if this is the case have SOS informed share Liverpool that the 500 million they are looking for to buy the club is not needed. I would have thought an amount to buy off the Americans and a bit more would be a more reachable prospect. Do SOS feel fan ownership is possible?

It is more than possible. We are one of the biggest clubs in the world so definitely have the support to do it, if people believe in it and want to make it a reality. Share Liverpool's proposal last summer was based on the 350m debt that was on the club, after RBS told Tom and George to give back money the debt now stands at 245m. We may have to take parts of the club bit by bit but you would need at least 10% to have a major say.

Offline koppite118

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2010, 08:35:36 pm »
What day do you meet Purslow???

Offline gazzalfc

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2010, 08:35:41 pm »
Thank you for taking the time to answer. Ok my next question is aimed at your answers.

I can understand that there is a certain time element to these decisions and that answers are needed quickly. But even down to the core belief of 'Not Welcome' campaign ultimatly needs an overall Union majority in order to take the objective forward.

When actions like these have a huge impact on the club not only to members but also non-members, average match going fans, travelling fans, ex-pats etc, should it be more than a pre-selected comittee having the final say?

Was it really essential for the last protest to go ahead before getting the majority view of the entire membership instead of those who could manage to get to a mass meeting?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 08:39:42 pm by gazzalfc »

Offline Paul Gardner

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2010, 08:36:09 pm »
so are you on the look out for more divvies

We want people to come and join us and become a member if they support what we do. Nobody will agree on every little detail, but if they can see we are making a difference they can join us and have their say with us and we can work together to acheive bigger things.

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2010, 08:36:12 pm »
Q - you say there is international liason, I network with a lot of european based supporters and fan clubs, no one has been contacted by SOS, why not?
Q - why dont you merge with sharelfc?
Q - do u think itd wise to hold important meetings in bars or places serving alchohol if SOS is to be taken seriously by potential members worldwide ?
just 3 of the questions that never been answered by email, although I have been asking them and others since I joined over a year ago...

good night!
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Offline Kahuna{=}Berger

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2010, 08:36:44 pm »
A fair proportion of them will be match goers obviously as they will see us more. We will be undertaking many ways to reach more match goers including season ticket holders. One of these being the leafletting we have already done which does get relatively large increases in membership in the following days.

Would it be worth sending out a questionaire regarding the frequency/total of match goers within the membership with the next mail shot/ballot papers? Just a thought. Might be handy information to have in the future.

Offline Paul Gardner

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2010, 08:37:14 pm »
What day do you meet Purslow???

At the end of the week.

Offline Rome-77

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Re: Spirit of Shankly Q&A
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2010, 08:37:33 pm »
when or if the new stadium is built, we are going to have the perfect opportunity to get the seating
spot on in the kop.
we need find a way of getting new and young lads in, with it being much bigger iam sure there will be away.
we need a large section for window sale per match also.
all this will help with the atmosphere.

when the time comes i hope the sos will have a big roll to play with organising this.     

keep up the good work lads.