It's the Institutions, Stupid!

Liverpool FC's current owners, Americans Tom Hicks and George Gilett, have never been popular with the supporters. This is due to their having laden huge debts on the club, making stupid remarks in the press, and good old anti-Americanism. Now the Guardian informs us:

Liverpool supporters, who have been growing more and more disgruntled with the tension at Anfield over the last few months, will take action today when they unveil a plan to buy out the club.

A group called Share Liverpool FC aims to create a "member-share" scheme at Anfield whereby 100,000 people invest £5,000. The £500m raised will then go towards ousting co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, and build a new stadium.
Some might think this is a crazy idea, but it's not:

Share Liverpool hope to follow the lead of Barcelona, which is owned by 150,000 of its fans. "What many don't realise is that there are other ways of financing and taking ownership of big clubs," said Taylor. "In Germany and Spain, most top-level football clubs are simply not for sale. They are owned by many thousands of 'member fans'. The Champions League has been won on six occasions in the last 15 years by clubs owned and run in such a way."

Full details of the plan will be announced at 5pm tonight. Liverpool have yet to comment on the matter.
To be strict about it, I don't know about Spain, but in Germany, members don't "own" clubs in any meaningful sense; they're simply members who pay a membership fee and may participate in electing a president. (The setup at Dortmund, who sell shares, is an exception.)

The trick is to come up with the right kinds of institutions - and not looney ideas such as members voting on the starting lineup of the team before each matchday, as they did at myfootballclub.

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