Category Archives: Spirit of Shankly

It only took them six months…

The Guardian has finally got around to correcting its article concerning Spirit of Shankly’s (SOS) attendance at the “March for the Alternative rally”, in London, in March 2011, by adding a footnote. See here.

So where SOS Officer Roy Bentham claims that, “There was a vote and our membership decided we should support the TUC and the march, that we should do our bit to oppose what is going on“, The Guardian has now pointed out that there was, in fact, “no formal vote” taken on the matter by SOS, at which anyone could have done what Bentham claims happened.

The Guardian was told this back in March , but SOS did not admit that the information was false until May (with the now infamous claim by Secretary Graham Smith, that Bentham’s comments were a “slip of the keyboard“, when Bentham had only been in verbal contact with The Guardianwhoops), and has now finally acknowledged as being so by The Guardian, with this long overdue correction – in October.

Ain’t the National Press and the state of democracy in this country just grand!


Lie after lie after lie…

Now that the truth about the non-existent vote on the TUC Rally is quite well known to LFC fans, via The Liverpool Way forum, as to how Spirit of Shankly went to this rally as a group, claiming that a vote was taken, and that it went in favour of not just going, but also that SOS should go as a group, when no such debate nor vote occurred – well final confirmation of the untruthfulness of Spirit of Shankly Office holders has finally been struck home by The Guardian.

Graham Smith, SOS Secretary, finally admitted on the Liverpool Way forum, two months after the fact:

“On the bus stuff, he is spot on about the vote issue, a slip of the keyboard by Roy Bentham saying there was a vote, there never was.”

The trouble with that statement, is that whilst admitting that there no vote was taken on SOS going to the TUC Rally for ‘The Alternative’ (in any capacity, let alone as an organisation), it throws in another lie to try and cover-up Bentham’s lie about there being a vote, by making it out as some sort of typing error: “a slip of the keyboard“.

That Bentham article and quote again, as it appeared in The Guardian:

“Members of the football supporters’ union the Spirit of Shankly are travelling by coach from Liverpool. The group, which was formed three years ago and campaigns on football and wider social issues, has 11,000 members. Roy Bentham, 43, said: “There was a vote and our membership decided we should support the TUC and the march, that we should do our bit to oppose what is going on, so we are setting off at 4.30am and hope to be in London by about 10am.”

Apart from stating that the quote was a verbal one, it reads like a verbal one.

 The Guardian has now confirmed that their journalist, that wrote the above, spoke to Roy Bentham. So it was not a typed statement, where a keyboard error may have occurred. It is confirmation that Smith was lying about it in an attempt to explain the statement away as a mistake.

Not only that, but The Guardian has advised that their journalist has spoken to Mr Bentham again, and…

“He has spoken again to Mr Bentham who is happy to confirm that it was a vote based on a show of hands at an EGM. He said there was a motion ‘put to the floor of the [spirit of shankly] EGM and a resolution was passed’ by a show of hands. He said there was a cheer afterwards underlining the backing for the motion.”Chris Elliott, The Guardian.

Utterly outrageous! Aside from not being able to get his and Smith’s story on the matter straight as to whether there was a vote or not (there wasn’t), Bentham claims that there was an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on the matter, despite this one paragraph above being the only evidence of any such event!

So, either:

  1. Spirit of Shankly held a private and secret EGM, after their 2011 AGM, which apparently only a select few were invited to, as there was no mail out or announcement. The minutes and results of this EGM have not been made available, nor has a video been made available, and a vote was apparently taken by hand, in contravention of their own rules about voting (voting is supposed to occur online, and all eligible members are required to use a three-digit PIN in order to vote): or
  2. This never happened and Roy Bentham is lying…again.

Either Spirit of Shankly has conspired to hold a secret EGM, with a selected few, or conspired to lie to their membership, and everyone else, about holding a debate and having a vote on an issue when no debate nor vote occurred.

Suffice to say, neither of these eventualities speak well of Mr Bentham, nor Spirit of Shankly.

Graham Smith has lied in order to try and cover-up the fact that his Transport Officer, as well The Chairman, the have both lied about a vote and/or a debate taking place on the issue.

 Spirit of Shankly has therefore acted in this matter not only without any democratic authority, but its officers have clearly conspired to prevent a democratic and open debate from occurring, and still continue to try and cover-up what occurred with lies and deceits. When found out, they still continue to try and lie their way out of it, trying lie after lie in the hope that something sticks.

A reminder on how this actually went down at the AGM (11:30 in): Clearly there was no debate, nor a vote.

A reminder of some of the other nonsense so far spouted about SOS going on the TUC rally:

“Spirit of Shankly is a Union and the umbrella body for unions is holding a demonstration that members put forward to us and agreed strongly at the AGM that we should support.” – Fran Stanton.

For starters, The TUC is the umbrella body for Trade Unions – not Football Unions, Credit Unions or Mother’s Unions, but Trade Unions. Secondly, as there was no discussion nor a vote, and the item was not even on the agenda (it was raised in the last five minutes of the meeting under “Any Other Business”).

” …many of the TUC provided travel is already fully booked, with many of the spaces being taken up by Union reps rather than actual members. – Fran Stanton.

Not true, either.

Places were still available on coaches to the rally from Liverpool TUC run coaches, when this statement was made, less than a week before the rally. Six coaches went and the unemployed would go cheaper than the SOS arranged travel. This SOS arranged transport was therefore more costly to some, but no cheaper than that provided elsewhere, so as well as being unnecessary, it was clearly arranged regardless of what was happening elsewhere, rather than because of it.

Those comments from Fran Stanton were in an email, which was copied to the Vice-Chair, Media, Secretary and Travel Officers of Spirit of Shankly. They all knew about it.

Spirit of Shankly is supposed to be a Supporters’ Union, run democratically, with an online voting process, but here, not only has the Committee and a few activists completely bypassed its own rules on the matter, but they have lied to the membership, and through The Guardian, the whole country about it!

Smith has also been shown-up as a liar, by his trying to tell people that there is no connection between the SOS Share Scheme and the Season Ticket loan that SOS offers in association with Partners Credit Union, in order to mislead people into taking up season-ticket loan scheme.

Smith tells people that the two schemes are not linked, despite the documentation available from both Partners and SOS stating that to be eligible for the Season Ticket Loan, you must first pay into the SOS Share Scheme, and be a “regular saver”.

This scheme only allows you to withdraw funds once a year, and SOS and Partners are at odds over how accessible the money that you must save into this scheme is, before you can get a Season Ticket Loan. SOS says you can access it for “anything”, whereas Partners initially said for “emergencies”, but a recent update of their site has removed this word, but it still says;

Share withdrawals will not generally be available on this account because of the reasons why it was set up, however we will allow one withdrawal per calendar year.”

That is opposed to what SOS says, which is:

Q: Do I have to use the money in the SOS Share Account towards a share in supporter investment?

A: No, you don’t. This money can only be withdrawn once per year, but allows you to save for anything – holidays, European trips, future Season Tickets, and if you wish, a future stake in any supporter investment.

So, according to SOS, you can save up for “anything”, but Partners may not let you take the money out for just “anything”, on that one occasion a year that you are allowed to do so.

Smith continues to claim that this is all wrong, and they are not trying to fleece anyone – but the documents and his own organisation’s web site contradicts his claims on how the loan works, and Smith only offers his meaningless word in contradiction, with no documentary evidence available to support his claims.

Since this matter gained publicity on The Liverpool Way forum, instead of changing what their site says, and what the application form and its terms says, SOS have updated their site with a new look and more facilities, but the content remains unchanged. They still contradict Smith on you having to pay into the SOS Share Scheme, and they still contradict Partners over accessibility, even though Partners too have recently altered their site, and the relevant text to all this, but not significantly. The issue remains.

So SOS, in the person of Graham Smith, along with Paul Gardner’s sometime attempts to sew confusion, is clearly and deliberately misleading people over the actuality of the matter, as to what you might be financially committing yourself to, if you want to get a season-ticket loan from Partners.

Use common sense: if you can use the money that you save into the SOS Share scheme for “anything”, then why not simply have people save into their own accounts that they also have to set-up, instead? That way, they can get a dividend, and the funds they have to save into it to be eligible for a season ticket loan as a “regular saver”, are much more accessible.

There is no good reason for making people put funds into the SOS share scheme. It is designed to be difficult to withdraw from, to prevent you from frittering the money away instead of saving for a share. The only reason for this is to try and hook people into saving up for a share.

It is an additional and unnecessary requirement being placed upon people who want a season-ticket loan, and SOS knows it, hence why they have Paul Gardner going around the web, on blogs and forums, using gobbledygook, in order to confuse, and why Graham Smith just flat-out lies about it.

The Spirit of Shankly organisation could be great, but it is being run by lying, militant, idiots, who have more in common with a mob than a democratic organisation.

They do as they please, say what they like, don’t care who or what they offend,  have no scruples, no shame, and will no doubt revert to character assassination in order to attempt to undermine anyone who speaks – or writes – anything critical of them, especially when it is the truth of what has occurred, as opposed to their false version of it, that they have been trying to put across to people by using their web site, forums and Social Networking facilites – and then, when someone catches them out, they try and cover-up what they have been up to, with more and more lies.

These officials are a disgrace and as they claim to represent Liverpool Supporters, they bring shame on Liverpool supporters.

They are corrupt, incompetent liars.

I very much doubt that any of them have a sufficient sense of decency, honesty or honour, in order to do the decent thing and to resign, and will instead continue to corrupt Spirit of Shankly from the inside out.

How SOS is controlling the forums and “The Kop” and why LFC staff let them

Serious debate on the Liverpool FC forums is being stifled by the fact that there are so many Spirit of Shankly (SOS) members and moderators that are members, that unbiased debate is only possible when what is stated is of no consequence.

Here is the excerpt of an email sent between two forum members about SOS having de facto control over the Liverpool FC forums:

I am currently a member [of SOS] but have been thinking for some time of not renewing. My concerns are that they seem to be becoming more militant than at first and are starting to give me some concerns as a member as they did with you. I do know Mickey [a Moderator, username “MickeyLove”] is heavily involved with SOS as are a few other members and moderators too. I find that if you speak against them on the boards you are battered down quite quickly. Also just to beware that if you talk down SOS on the forums many will go against you it just seems to be the general view on there and you will not get anywhere.

Over March and April, 2011, I, a long-time Liverpool fan, who didn’t post often on the forums, but had become a regular user of “The Kop”, the new social network platform on the official club site, had been blogging about Spirit of Shankly without apparent issue, however, I saw a post on the forums about Spirit of Shankly, I went onto the forums and made some of the points I had blogged about.

The aforementioned moderator kept trying to tell people that I was wrong, and that I was a “crank” – however when this person posted what was supposed to be last post in the thread, after becoming fed-up of Mickey’s abuse and misinformation, as well as pointing out that Mickey was disputing facts that had been obtained from Spirit of Shankly, Mickey’s response was to delete the post as “Spam”, and a subsequent one complaining about the deletion, for “Trolling”.

Mickey’s behaviour had already been reported, but I was amazed when instead of Mickey being dealt with, that I had my user account frozen and was given a life-time ban on the forums!

Why? For calling Mickey a liar, that’s why. According to Matt Owen, the person responsible for both the forums, and the ‘The Kop’ it’s against the rules – even when it was so obviously true, and has been demonstrated as being true.

Also, Matt Owen stated;

Having ignored warnings concerning your use of these platforms your posting rights on each platform are now withdrawn.”

I received no such warnings. I had written and complained about the moderator, Mickey, and initially received an incomplete response, which included the paragraph:

It seems from reviewing your posts that you have a dispute with the Spirit of Shankly supporters organisation. Clearly I cannot speak for them and can only suggest you take any concerns up with them directly. Neither The Kop nor the Official Forums are suitable formats for resolving such a dispute and I therefore respectfully suggest that you use other channels to pursue this matter.

Now would you take that as a warning about being thrown off the forums – let alone as warnings, plural?

Aside from the inherent assumptions that Matt Owen has appeared to make about any supposed “dispute”, the concept that forums and blogs for and about Liverpool supporters should not include any kind of debate or discussion about The Liverpool Supporters Union, seems to be at the very least, incongruous with the very nature of forums and blogs, particularly on the official site for LFC supporters, but this paragraph also appears to constitute the multiple “warnings” that Matt was referring to – in an email he had sent to the user after he had both removed the user’s accounts and further edited the thread.

Oddly, the original accusation of lying, was made in public on the forum thread, but that post was not removed!

If this accusation was the basis for being banned, how come it was left – and how come Matt Owen then claims that Mickey didn’t know what he was supposed to have lied about, and accepted that as true!?

Perhaps the ire of the digital media staff was heightened as I initially managed to get around Mickey’s deletion of my posts by creating a blog about censorship on the forums, and then nipping onto the forums a minute before they closed for the night and posting in the thread comment that linked back to the blog.

The post remained there all night for people to see, so come the next morning, Mickey had a dilemma as to whether or not to remove the post or not. He chose not to.

That evening, Spirit of Shankly officials came onto the blog, posting misleading information, similar to what they have subsequently posted on their web site (and tried to do on The Liverpool Way), and offering me a private meeting. I posted my thoughts about the posts and declined the meeting, stating that SOS could make their case in public, but had constantly failed to do so. This was my last post before my account was removed.

Mickey’s false and inaccurate responses on the forum remain, despite vociferous complaints to Matt Owen, and then Paul Rogers, Matt’s boss, whose name was supplied by Matt to go to – but who apparently can’t be bothered with such things.

I am working tirelessly to improve the content from Club media and my time is best served trying to improve the business for the supporters and the owners, for the overall good of the Club.

(Translation: I swan around the world writing puff pieces.)

I have two young daughters who tend to argue like children a lot so I don’t feel the need to get involved in any other disputes at work so if you have an issue with SOS or Matt, I suggest you continue your discussion directly with them – and not involve me.

What sort of response is that, to a complaint about a member of his staff? Is this supposed to be from a paid, professional member of staff, representing the club?

Does he really think that a complaint should be handled that way? I am too important to be bothered with this and I have a family at home? Who cares – and who pays his wages?

He says he works “tirelessly” for supporters, but can’t be arsed to act on their behalf when it comes to dealing with complaints against his staff.

Paul Rogers apparently feels that he is above this sort of thing, and instead prefers to delegate complaints back to the member of staff being complained about. Brilliant management that: Guaranteed to mean that there are no complaints to speak of.

Spirit of Shankly are of course delighted, and were no doubt responsible for this. These self-important members of staff had happily allowed me to use their forums for some years, and “The Kop” for blogging and commenting, amongst other things, almost since it started, but as soon as there was some serious criticism about Spirit of Shankly on the forums, which are far more active and read than most of the blogs on “The Kop”, then they didn’t want the aggro, and my account was history.

My unblemished history, as well as supportive comments on their blogs from a number of other commentators, were ignored by the Digital Media staff.

Clearly, what has happened here is that the staff couldn’t be bothered with the hassle that Spirit of Shankly were giving them over my criticism, and they’ve come up with an excuse to cut-off one person, just to make their lives easier. The emails and the reasons given by Matt Owen are an absolute travesty, and the response from Paul Rogers is about as arrogant as they come.

Clearly, the Digital Media Staff at Liverpool FC don’t care about doing the right thing, just the most expedient thing for their benefit. This is how the likes of Mickey Love, forum moderator, gets to delete criticism from the LFC forums, as spam, without fear of punishment, and where reports of spamming by SOS, constantly trawling for new members, gets ignored.

Almost as soon as I had my accounts shut-down, SOS got their propaganda machine going and changed their web site and wrote on various forums, with regard to the most recent issue for concern, which is their pushing of a season ticket loan scheme that commits the loan applicant to saving into a Spirit of Shankly takeover of Liverpool FC; or in other words, commit to saving for two things, instead of one.

A person who had checked the small print and thought to tell other LFC supporters, had been gagged from doing so on the official site.

It seems that SOS’s well-documented bully-boy tactics have proven to be fruitful. The club staff would rather let them get on with what they want than deal with them, even if it means falsifying reasons to throw me, a life-long supporter, off their interactive forums and media, without notice, or clear warning; a place where I had made new friends, helping some of them out with their media, and had also spent a lot of time writing, not just about Spirit of Shankly, but about the club’s history and about supporting Japan and Japanese LFC supporters, following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

You might find it interesting to note that I had been in contact with the forum staff in the days immediately prior to being banned, in order to help highlight issues in using the social media platform, that the development staff were unaware of. Obviously, I must be a complete shit for doing that.

The day before being banned, I had an email saying:

We’ve now replicated and confirmed the problem and alerted the development team. I’ll let you know when there’s any news on a fix.”

The email was from Matt Owen.

Perhaps unwittingly showing-up the lack of management of the forums, and The Kop, was not the only real reason that I got banned. The site staff are evidently very sensitive to anyone who show them up, whether they intended to or not.

Spirit of Shankly/Partners Season Ticket Loans

Why is The Liverpool Supporters Union, Spirit of Shankly, trying to flog a season ticket loan scheme through a credit union, that requires you to save with the Spirit of Shankly Share Scheme, just to be eligible to get the loan?

Per the application form:

To be eligible for this loan you need to have been a member of the Credit Union for 10 weeks and to have been paying money into the SOS Share Account with Partners on a regular basis.”

That’s right: Before you can even get the loan for a season ticket, you have to save into a scheme which gives you no dividend, and may incur fees, and was set-up in order to save for a share into a Spirit of Shankly takeover of Liverpool Football Club.

In other words, you must save up for something else, as well as your season ticket.

However, Spirit of Shankly (SOS) claims that the Share Scheme is not a fixed-purpose scheme, but instead;

“… allows you to save for anything – holidays, European trips, future Season Tickets, and if you wish, a future stake in any supporter investment.”

Really? Then why are you forced to save into it, then, before getting a season ticket loan, when it provides no dividend?

Joining the credit union means saving with it for 10 weeks before you become eligible to apply for any financial product or service, and before you even have the ability to save into this share scheme, and then show you are saving regularly into the share scheme, before being eligible for a season ticket loan.

So how much must you save into the share scheme to be eligible for the loan? What does a “regular basis” mean? How long is it? How much is it?

And why then also, does Partners, the Credit Union running the scheme, state on their web site;

“Share withdrawals will not generally be available on this account because of the reasons why it was set up, however we will allow one withdrawal per calendar year to allow for emergencies.”

That doesn’t sound like you can save up and use the money in this scheme for “anything”, as SOS claims. It appears to mean that you need to be able to demonstrate ‘good cause’ for taking money out of the SOS Share account, which you can only do once a year – otherwise you must use this account for the purpose that it was created – for an SOS takeover share.

This is clearly contrary to what SOS claims.

Another aspect of the small print that SOS also neglects to mention is that whatever you save into your regular credit union account, that you have to save into for the first ten weeks, cannot be withdrawn whilst you are repaying a loan. So, if you do save regularly for the first ten weeks, then are able to save regularly into the SOS share scheme, and then get a loan for a season ticket, those funds in that first account cannot be withdrawn until you pay back the loan.

What is currently unclear, is whether you must continue to save into this regular account after the first ten weeks, if you have started saving into the SOS share scheme. Must you also maintain the regular account with continued savings? If you do, then that means you have to save into it for ten weeks, then save into it for a further undefined period, whilst you also save into the SOS Share scheme, before you become eligible for your season ticket loan.

In other words, there may not be another one, but another two other accounts to save into, before you get a loan, and that you may have to continue to save into, whilst you are also paying your loan back.

Apart from the highly questionable SOS advertising, this deal stinks.

You may as well keep it simple and save up through the regular credit union account that you have to set-up in the first place, and take out a loan based on those savings.

It begs the question; why is Spirit of Shankly is advertising misleadingly a scheme forcing, not just new members, but its current members, to save for a share issue, in order to get a season ticket?

Why connect the season ticket to the share scheme at all?

Spirit of Shankly have obtained permission from the new Managing Director of Liverpool FC, Ian Ayre, to distribute leaflets around the stadium for this loan. He has been made aware of the apparent discrepancies over the claims made about it, but at the time of writing, is not known to have done anything – such as to stop the distribution of these materials to Liverpool supporters, for a financial product that is not all it is cracked-up to be.

Following attempts to mislead people on my now defunct Kop blogs, SOS Committee Member, Paul Gardner, but now with SOS Secretary, Graham Smith, in tow, are at it again, but this time on the Liverpool Way forum, in a thread here.

Whilst trying to tell someone that there is confusion over the SOS Share Scheme, with Smith trying to say that, there is no link between the SOS Share Scheme and Season Ticket Loans (“It isn’t linked“), and “it is merely the saving part of the scheme that qualifies you for the loan element…”

However, their target was having none of it:

Quite clearly if I want to get a loan this way, I am being made to save up for an SOS Share. Effectively I would need to save for two things. I reject that idea on principle, and as I cannot see how much and for how long I would need to save up and wait before even being eligible for a season ticket loan, this entire scheme looks too vague and uncertain to go with, with catches that may cost me yet more money down the road.

The SOS Share scheme offers no dividend, and a fee may get charged, so there is no way you can tell how much money that getting a season ticket loan this way will eventually cost you, even though you are supposed to pay it back within 12 months.

I don’t know who’s idea this scheme was, but it looks like a dog’s breakfast to me, and I am inclined to avoid it.”

I have also learned that Partners were asked on 23 April 2011 the following questions about the SOS Season Ticket Loan Scheme. They have not (yet) replied.

After saving £2pw with you for 10 weeks in a regular credit union share account, how much do I have to save into the SOS Share Account before being able to get a season ticket loan?

If I start saving into the SOS Share Account, do I have to keep saving £2pw as well?

Why is it a requirement to have to save for an SOS Share to get this season ticket loan?

What happens when I save the £500 for a share? How would I become eligible for a season ticket loan then?

(Remember that you may be paying the c£700+ cost of a Season Ticket every year)

You say that you can get money out of the SOS Share Account only once a year for emergencies. Can you explain to me what an emergency might be and give an example of something that is not an emergency?


Is share account 1 the regular credit union account you setup at the start that you pay £2pw into? If no, then what is it?

Am I not better off just saving up to get a loan for about £800 as a normal credit union member or does the selected season ticket loan have a different interest rate?

What’s the benefit of a spirit of shankly season ticket loan instead of a regular credit union loan for the same amount?

What indeed…

LeBron James: Spirit of Shankly has a cheek!

Spirit of Shankly has got on its high horse again after hearing about the Fenway partnership with basketball star, LeBron James, and in particular the fact that he is being paid by way of being made a part-owner with a minority stake in the club.

On Monday 14 April 2011, SOS wrote:

“The news is also somewhat surprising, given that James has been offered a stake in the club on a commercial basis while our proposal regarding the purchase of a supporter stake in the club has yet to yield a response from the club. At the time of our proposal the reason given for the club not being able to respond was that the owners needed time to get acquainted with the task at hand.”

Seems SOS is feeling fobbed-off, but then it is deluding itself that the organisation is in any position to be taken seriously on the subject, given its small accounts status and the deficit therein, and the stroppy way that it conducts its business, and the undemocratic actions of its committee…etc, etc.

James may actually be doing Liverpool a favour, if the rumours that Thomas Di Benedetto’s stake is what is being sold are true, as Di Benedetto is looking to takeover AS Roma, and a conflict of interest could arise if the two teams were to subsequently meet in European competition. Di Benedetto would have to demonstrate that he is not, “…able to exercise by any means a decisive influence in the decision-making of the club.”

SOS goes on to say:

“We therefore urge the club to give our proposal full consideration. After all, if it’s “global reach” that FSG are looking for when identifying stakeholders, who is better placed than Liverpool’s “Supporters All Over The World”?

What a cheek! This from the organisation that willfully ignored, until after the opportunity had gone, for it to demonstrate support for the Japanese people, and Japanese Liverpool Supporters, some of whom are known to have been badly affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

When asked if it would get involved in doing a banner, this prior to the Silences held at the Braga home game and the Sunderland away game, the correspondence was left aside until hours after the Sunderland game, when the Committee not only rejected the idea, but showed a remarkable lack of awareness of how much the issue had been mentioned on the likes of the official site, official site forums, as well as “The Kop”, not to mention unofficial forums (e.g. RAWK), and various blogs.

What made this all the more galling, is that whilst the SOS Committee couldn’t or wouldn’t involve itself in a demonstrable show of support for actual events that had actually affected Liverpool supporters, it was still intent on going to a TUC Rally and wave the SOS banner, for which SOS had failed to provide a single direct connection to their stated aims.

In short: If it might, possibly affect the Anfield area, regardless of whether it affects Liverpool supporters, they SOS will get up in arms; if it is to do with actual Liverpool Supporters, but who live nowhere near Anfield, or Liverpool, then they cannot be arsed.

The word you are probably thinking of is xenophobia.

“We will report to members further, as and when we have more information.”

Could be a long wait for that report…

How SOS told The Guardian about a vote that never happened…

On Friday 25 March 2011, the day before the TUC March for the Alternative rally in London, The Guardian newspaper posted online (here) a list of groups going to the rally. Under the sub heading of “Football Supporters”, it stated:

“Members of the football supporters’ union the Spirit of Shankly are travelling by coach from Liverpool. The group, which was formed three years ago and campaigns on football and wider social issues, has 11,000 members. Roy Bentham, 43, said: “There was a vote and our membership decided we should support the TUC and the march, that we should do our bit to oppose what is going on, so we are setting off at 4.30am and hope to be in London by about 10am.”

Roy Bentham is the Spirit of Shankly Committee member for Transport. In terms of the travel arrangements, he is stating what he believes to be so, however it is harder to accept that this also applies to the information about a vote on the issue, when no such vote ever occurred.

This statement follows an email sent in reply, by the committee, to a member, who had enquired of Spirit of Shankly why they were going on this rally, as it was effectively a political rally. The reply stated:

“Spirit of Shankly is a Union and the umbrella body for unions is holding a demonstration that members put forward to us and agreed strongly at the AGM that we should support.”

SOS members, and many Liverpool supporters, may know that voting on issues raised at SOS General Meetings occurs online, and requires a PIN. This enables members to vote whether or not they attend the meetings, and voting only occurs after the meeting: votes did not occur at the AGM.

The 2011 AGM was held on 12 February 2011. The agenda can be found here. There is no mention of attending the TUC rally. The subsequent voting results can be found here. There is still no mention of the TUC rally.

However, the draft minutes notes, under Any Other Business;

“It was suggested that as part of the Union’s Community remit consideration should be give to organising transport to the TUC National Demonstration on the 26th March 2011.”

Community remit? SOS aims include:

  • To create long lasting relationships with all aspects of Liverpool FCs supporting community.
  • To work with any relevant agencies to improve the area of Anfield.
  • To build links with grassroots supporter groups.

I can’t see how attending this rally links in with these.

The meeting closed immediately after this item, at 1.30pm, with members having already left for the home game against Wigan. It is unclear how many would have been left at the end of the meeting to witness this .

Spirit of Shankly record their AGMs and put them up on YouTube. You can find what actually occurred here at, 11:30 into the video. You can see for yourself that, in the 90 or so seconds that it was mentioned, no vote occurred.

How then has Roy Bentham managed to not only tell a national newspaper about a result of a vote that never occurred, but managed to add, “...our membership decided we should support the TUC and the march, that we should do our bit to oppose what is going on.”?

Is Roy Bentham a liar, a fantasist, or so completely incompetent as to not know or understand the actuality of the situation – and in view of the email also sent out from the Committee, is he the only one of such?

The Spirit of Shankly committee circumvented its own democratic procedures and falsely claimed that they had a “yes” vote on something, in order to go and do it, when there had not been a vote at all.

So much for being a democratic membership organisation!

The Rubbish Reasons and the Falsehoods About SOS and the TUC Rally

The rotten reasons and falsehoods supplied by SOS to explain why they are going to the TUC Rally for the Alternative, and why they organised alternative transport to that available.

The following was originally posted on a blog on “The Kop”, which has since been removed following complaints by SOS members. This is despite it being there for about six weeks, SOS members had responded to it, and it had been quiet for the last couple of them, and that the SOS complaints were actually about a separate blog.

The blog began:

“I just found out something I am not happy about and I thought I would bring it to your attention.

Spirit Of Shankly will be running coach travel for the forthcoming demonstration in London by the TUC, March for The Alternative. The demonstration will take place on Saturday 26th March 2011…

Excuse me, but what has this got to do with football, let alone Liverpool Football Club?

The nature of the cuts means the city of Liverpool will be badly affected, as will those living and working within the Anfield/Breckfield community.

Well then the people of Anfield/Breckfield can arrange their own transport to London – or get the TUC member unions to arrange it.

It seems to me that this is an abuse of SOS members and their funds. Spirit of Shankly is a Supporters’ Union, not a transport agency for political activists. It should remain as non-political as possible and act only in relation to matters concerning LFC supporters. So what if some happen to want to go to London for the day? I really am not interested in subsidising such activity by SOS.

The SOS pledge to “work with any relevant agencies to improve the area of Anfield”, does not give it carte blanche to do anything it likes supposedly on behalf of people who happen to live in the area.

IMO SOS needs reeling on this. This simply is not a fight SOS should be involved with.


Following a number of comments, and correspondence between the blogger and SOS, the blogger posted the following, a few days before the TUC rally.

“SOS has now responded to member correspondence on the issue of the TUC march, as well as the banner for Japan.

It seems that SOS thought that they had responded already – via this anonymous blog!

Oh dear…so apart from thinking that it is ok to respond to their own members correspondence this way, it seems that their arguments have all already been made! Oh dear, again!

But that said, they had not responded at all about the subsequent issue for the banner for Japan, which had been brought to their attention prior to the Braga game, but not responded to until after The Sunderland game, when the opportunity for them do something had, no doubt happily, gone by…

Also, it seems that there are a few more titbits coming out of the new correspondence that are very telling.

“Spirit of Shankly is a Union and the umbrella body for unions is holding a demonstration that members put forward to us and agreed strongly at the AGM that we should support.”

Huh? So according to SOS, the TUC – the Trades Union Congress – is the umbrella organisation for all unions – whether they be supporters’ unions, credit unions, mothers’ unions…so therefore that means SOS can get involved! Yeah, right.

Does this then mean that SOS is a paid up and affiliated member of the TUC?”

[Inserted Note – according to the 2010 End of Year accounts, Spirit of Shankly paid subscription fees of £55. The previous year it paid subscription fees of £1,105]

“As for stating that members “agreed strongly” at the AGM to do this, is first of all entirely disingenuous to what occurred – the fact that there was no vote on the matter, no motion put or discussed, and that SOS apparently regard no discernible dissent to an idea as meaning it was “agreed strongly” by those present, speaks volumes about those running SOS. There was no discussion about SOS representing themselves at the rally, either.

“the voluntary sector in Liverpool is being decimated by the cuts already taking place.”

That’s a new one – so much for having answered already. But then, there is no evidence of this supplied of how this affects SOS or its members. Indeed, it makes little sense, when unemployment is rising, so there are more people with time on their hands – and as for support services, surely the £10 UK/ROI members pay and the £15 paid by members outside UK/ROI covers the running costs – so again, what has this got to do with SOS or its members?

“We are also dedicated and an integral part of the Football Quarter planned development, which is dependent upon public sector input which will not be forthcoming as a result of the cuts.”

Another new one. These reasons not previously given are coming thick and fast now, aren’t they?

Public sector input? I really don’t think you can cut, let alone stop, public sector input.

This Football Quarter project, whilst an admirable idea, is as tied-up with regeneration as everything else is in the area. It isn’t likely to happen at all until the stadium issue is sorted out – after all, where is it going to go? The stadium is the stumbling block to regeneration in the area. This is just another crap excuse for going to shout at the Government.

“As has been said we are all volunteers and the main resource is just the time of those stewarding the coach on the day. Otherwise there is no financial subsidy for this as it is funded by those paying to use the coach. We have also approached the TUC to see if there was any way they could provide and subsidy towards the coach, we are awaiting a response, any subsidy received would be passed on to people travelling on the day…[to] ensure that people have as many options as possible available if they wish to attend, many of the TUC provided travel is already fully booked, with many of the spaces being taken up by Union reps rather than actual members. .. The TUC travel is free, on a first come first served basis, with limited places, many of which have been taken up by Union reps and officials rather than members. We are running the travel at cost price, the cost of hiring the coach will be divided by however many people travel, minus any subsidy we may receive from the TUC.”

Seems our reply has been made by someone who knows what is going on with TUC transport – or do they?

Checks have been made with the Liverpool TUC today, who confirm that they have been ordering coaches as required since this was announced, weeks ago, based on demand, and that there are still coach seats available on their sixth coach. So all this talk about union officials having seats that members can’t get is all complete and utter crap. As for being free, I don’t know where that is coming from – perhaps there is yet another alternative where that is the case – but seeing as this Local TUC one – costing £20 waged; £10 unwaged – is the one previously mentioned in this blog, they still seem to be wasting their own time at least arranging this transport at a greater cost than anyone has to incur – not to mention having to leave Liverpool at 4am, as opposed to 6.30am.

An alternative option? That is the most you can call it – but I wonder if SOS has been pointing out to people the alternative? With why they are marching, what an irony it would be, if they have not.

Best of all though;

Liverpool FC does not exsist (sic) in a bubble, detached from the rest of the world and current events…

Apparently this is the generic excuse used to justify their involvement with a TUC march, whilst at the same time ignoring members online and enquiries about arranging a banner for Japan, at least until after the Sunderland game, when up sprang a reply, saying that,

“While at the [Sunderland v Liverpool] match today, I along with everyone in the stadium took part in a minutes silence in remeberance (sic) of those affected by the disaster, I am sure this was the same in every ground this weekend. I believe this is a fitting tribute to pay our respects to those affected, and much more symbolic than a banner.”

Well, SOS person, I really don’t think your opinion should be the determining factor. especially seeing as you clearly have not been paying much attention in this last week to your fellow supporters.

As has already been stated in response to this person, we have fans in Japan that others do not necessarily have. Making the same level of “gesture” as everyone else in the EPL is really not fitting; that the Japanese fans were involved, and what had been organised at the Braga game could have been so much more, and along the lines suggested by members of RAWK, if SOS had utilised just a little bit of supporters funding – or possibly just some time.

But apparently our committee members determine what is appropriate and “symbolic”, when they clearly have had no contact with anyone from Japan, and evidently had no clue what ordinary supporters were calling for – yet they are more than happy to wave the SOS banner at a TUC rally for something that they cannot even produce anything but the most tenuous of reasons for being involved with.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think these people at SOS have a very big bubble…I don’t think their’s extends beyond Merseyside…”

A previous comment on the blog, made some days earlier to the above:

“Having questioned why SOS has involved themselves in this matter, when it has no obvious link to the football club or to its supporters, the responses here have been vague and unconvincing, and some questions remain unanswered.

The assert that there is no political affiliation. Whilst this is good to hear, this assertion is made on the basis that they are not (openly) supporting any political party – they are however going to London to oppose some. Hmmm…

What costs and resources have been used aside from the time and use of SOS web resources? A claim that the cost to those travelling will cover the costs incurred does not fully answer this question. What other facilities were used? What are the costs? How many need to go in order to break even? Presumably a fee has been paid up-front?

If these people have reasonably ensured that SOS has not incurred any costs in arranging this travel for “like-minded people”, does that not in itself speak to the fact that this cause is nothing to do with SOS? If it is genuinely to do with SOS, who would mind? Their own actions betray them. They apparently don’t believe that SOS should incur the costs involved, yet also believe that they can go as SOS representatives – but let’s see a full and official response to the questions over costs before accepting that these individuals are actually bearing the full cost of this trip.

Who is responsible for making these arrangements? Who gave the OK?

Why bother at all, when the local TUC has arranged cheaper and more convenient transport than SOS has? This is a TUC rally – did whoever at SOS who wants to go not even check what the local TUC were arranging?

Why is it so important for some people within SOS to involve SOS in this, and to arrange their own separate transport, when there is other such available? I really don’t buy this, ‘it affects the people around the ground and people visiting Anfield’, line as at all genuine. It is so tenuous, it is almost absurd.

There is a total lack of any clear or obvious or even direct link to Liverpool, let alone Anfield, so there is a complete lack of connection to the SOS Aim of to “work with any relevant agencies to improve the area of Anfield”.

Ah – what about:

“Anfield is one of the most deprived constituencies in the country and will be hit hard with the likes of the Housing Market Renewal Scheme being scrapped. This affects residents and the community, but also supporters and their experience when visiting the club particularly on a non match day.”

The Housing Market Renewal Scheme? Is that the best they can come up with? This scheme is not specific to Liverpool, let alone to Anfield.

So, some SOS activists want SOS to join a TUC rally on the basis that a Government scheme, that could have conceivably helped the area, is being cut – but when there is no evidence of it having done anything, and when the regeneration of Anfield is hamstrung anyway until the new stadium/redevelopment of Anfield stadium is sorted out – so what difference does it make? None.

The subsequent silence on the issue from SOS, speaks for itself.

This is all a steaming, smelly pile of brown stuff. These activists do not have any reasonable justification for involving SOS in this march. They are just coming up with excuses to justify their involving our supporters’ organisation with something that it simply should not be involved with.

These people who want to go on the march, can go. They can represent themselves, but they do not need our SOS flag to do so.

Involving SOS in a political rally on such spurious grounds is simply not acceptable. You have to wonder, what will be next?

This is truly typical of some individuals who have their own political agenda – to subvert organisations that they are involved with in order to make them political, to further their own political aims and beliefs, and will at some point no doubt, start to use up members funds in doing so. They will slowly screw the membership of its funds.

SOS is a football supporters representative body: it is not a representative body for the community that lives around the stadium. Indeed, its funding is from supporters world-wide.

It has nothing to do with politics outside of how the law and policing affects supporters attending a football match.

If SOS activists and committee members continue to ignore the concerns raised here and take the SOS banner and act as SOS representatives at a rally, which has no connection to SOS or its aims, and which is for nothing more than to shout at the Government, then I call on SOS members to vote with their feet and their wallets, and stop funding them.”

The Missing Kop Blogs

The following blogs posts were removed from The Kop following complaints by Spirit of Shankly, despite some of them being there for several weeks, since the first week of March – 19 April 2011.

This was also however done with the complicity of the Digital Media management staff, Matt Owen and Paul Rogers, as this blogger had shown up the total lack of management and control that Liverpool FC Digital Media Staff have over the official site forums, having delegated responsibility to active Spirit of Shankly members, who cannot and will not tolerate any significant complaint or dissent against the organisation.
 Old Joe Stalin would have been proud, but I doubt Bill Shankly would have been.
SOS: Not Impressed

A blog originally posted onto official Liverpool FC social media network, “The Kop”

I just found out something I am not happy about and I thought I would bring it to your attention.

Spirit Of Shankly will be running coach travel for the forthcoming demonstration in London by the TUC, March for The Alternative. The demonstration will take place on Saturday 26th March 2011…

Excuse me, but what has this got to do with football, let alone Liverpool Football Club?

The nature of the cuts means the city of Liverpool will be badly affected, as will those living and working within the Anfield/Breckfield community.

Well then the people of Anfield/Breckfield can arrange their own transport to London – or get the TUC member unions to arrange it.

It seems to me that this is an abuse of SOS members and their funds. Spirit of Shankly is a Supporters’ Union, not a transport agency for political activists. It should remain as non-political as possible and act only in relation to matters concerning LFC supporters. So what if some happen to want to go to London for the day? I really am not interested in subsidising such activity by SOS.

The SOS pledge to “work with any relevant agencies to improve the area of Anfield”, does not give it carte blanche to do anything it likes supposedly on behalf of people who happen to live in the area.

IMO SOS needs reeling on this. This simply is not a fight SOS should be involved with.


SOS: Giant Con!

A blog originally posted onto official Liverpool FC social media network, “The Kop”
Some people seem to think that the nearest star shines out the rear end of our supporters’ union, but after reflecting on what has happened over the last few weeks, I have come to the conclusion that SOS is a giant con.

Remember, it was set-up using fans’ anger over those “Yanks”, who not only failed to live up to their promises but also saddled the club with a debt that prevented LFC from being able to step-up from that 2009 second place, and instead saw us fall to 7th, prompt the disillusionment of star players and continue to struggle to make Europe this season. Joining SOS, as Steve McQueen once quipped on film, seemed like a good idea at the time.

With the apparent long-term aims of ownership, or at least supporter representation on the board, which may happen some time in the distant future, perhaps, maybe, what SOS does in the meantime is offer cheap transport to fans travelling from Liverpool to away games.

One wonders if this transport is the same transport being used to go to this TUC “March for the Alternative” rally that they are organising transport for, which for some reason is leaving two and a half hours earlier to get to London than the six coaches that the Liverpool TUC are taking, which will cost some people £10 (others £20), when the SOS coach could cost as much as £30, and at least £20.

So with my blog on the issue having demonstrated that there is at least no need to do this, SOS justify it on the grounds that it was agreed with “strongly” at their AGM – when there was no vote and merely no dissent shown to the idea of it, although no one mentioned the intention of SOS going to this rally in an official capacity.

Indeed part of their justification for organising it includes falsehoods about the availability of spaces on alternative transport, and also therefore falsehoods about who or what is sitting in those seats. See the other SOS blog for details.

Whilst they repeatedly fail to demonstrate how this rally fits in with the stated aim, “To work with any relevant agencies to improve the area of Anfield”, SOS instead prefers to tell us, “We also have a constitutional commitment to the area of Anfield”, which is a rather more vague notion to work with, and could cover a multitude of sins that the specifics of the actual aims don’t allow – like going on rallies where there is no clear or obvious connection to the club or to its supporters, although they can’t even demonstrate how these cuts will clearly affect Anfield – quoting regeneration issues which are stymied by the Stadium issue, which is nothing to do with Government cuts.

I can’t say as I was completely surprised when they wilfully neglected to respond, until too late, to a matter about doing something not entirely dissimilar in nature to their own banner-waving – but I am not only unhappy with the decisions, but to the very different manner that these two matters were handled by SOS.

After many fans on forums and the likes of “The Kop” and RAWK had voiced a desire to get a large banner to demonstrate our support for the people of Japan, and our own supporters in particular, SOS was approached on the issue, before the Braga game, but neglected to bother to reply until literally hours after the Sunderland game and when our respects had already had the opportunity to be shown – noting that they acknowledged their member’s request two days before the Sunderland away game, when something could still have been done by them.

The most relevant parts of that request to SOS:

“We have a game coming up in the Europa League knockout stages, and with what has been happening in Japan, and with there being an Official Supporters Club out there and reporting how its members have been affected, many supporters on forums (e.g. RAWK) have expressed the desire to have banners, preferably a large banner, on display at the game, to express the support of Liverpool fans to LFC supporters in Japan, as well as to the people of Japan…
Perhaps SOS can come to the rescue of the idea of a big banner for things that have actually occurred in Japan and to LFC supporters – seeing as it so readily gets involved in rallies for people who may or may not be supporters, about things that may or may not affect them, but who happen to live locally.”

Some of this correspondence is referred to in the other SOS blog I have posted, where you will see that SOS officials seem to think that SOS is a Trade Union, but also from that same SOS official source came the phrase, “Liverpool FC does not exsist (sic) in a bubble, detached from the rest of the world and current events…”. No it doesn’t, but evidently, SOS does, and its bubble is as big as it wants it to be.

When responding about doing a banner for Japan – a response made hours after the Sunderland game last Sunday, and when the excuse for not replying earlier is that, instead of responding directly to the member, someone had posted a reply to my anonymous blog, but to which they had only responded about the TUC rally (and not in full), not about a banner for Japan…

“…as you say there is an Official Supporters Club based in Japan… has any approach been made?”

Has any approach been made? Not a clue. Not a goddamn clue what has been going on amongst our own supporters, on forums or on the front of or within our official web site, in the last ten days or so.

Well, hang-on a minute, hasn’t their Official(s), who responded to my blog, kept them informed about what has been happening on this site and on the front of the official site, at least? Is this really a reply out of ignorance, or is it feigned, in order to delay and put off the idea, because they just don’t want anything to do with it?

If we assume ignorance (the lesser crime, but a crime here nevertheless), it appears from the reply that they may not have even known of the existence of the Japanese supporters club. Our international Supporters Union…

Whether or not that is the case, once made aware, it certainly did not occur to our Supporters Union to do anything themselves, let alone to do the same sort of thing for our supporters for whom something has definitely occurred, as opposed to the vague reasons given for SOS going on a rally to London, apparently on behalf of the people of Anfield. Well, I used to live there, in L4 and in a part of L6 that is Anfield and I don’t want your involvement on this rally, on principle.

I am not bothered if you personally want to go to this rally or not – that’s your right – but why is SOS as an organisation going? Seems that SOS officials don’t just think SOS is a Trade Union, they also think it is a community representative organisation.

SOS, despite several attempts, still cannot come up with a single, clear example of how going to this rally actually or directly relates to, or complies with, its specific aims. Indeed it seems to me that the over-riding aim, of acting in the best interests of Liverpool Supporters, has been ignored in favour of what the SOS officials want to do.

It seems one answer is because their trade union mates are going, and they want to go in their own coach, and they don’t want to feel left out. Poor lambs…

But why divide the membership on political grounds, when you can leave it alone and carry all of them with you? How shortsighted is that in terms of an overall membership that is bound to cross many demographics and boundaries? Very, I’d say.

By the way, has anyone here read Animal Farm? Just wondering…

They don’t care. They have hundreds of thousands of pounds of members subscriptions to play with already. They ably demonstrate in the manner in which they accept one notion, on a nod and wink, and ignore another, not dissimilar notion, until it is too late, that they don’t care about being a Union or playing by the rules, or anything outside of their little patch of Britain. They don’t care about foreign Liverpool supporters, or people who don’t live in Liverpool or anywhere near to the stadium, except in so far as to how much money you can give them via a subscription. So much for being a Supporters’ Union. Seems that this is more a “People’s Republic of Anfield Union”, that has conned supporters all around the world about what it is really for, and what it really wants to do.

My politics are none of your business, so as a football supporter, why are you making this any of mine? Because of your bubble? Pah!

As far as TUC rallies and football supporters can combine, demonstrate a clear and obvious case for how these cuts will definitely affect us as football supporters, or at least per your specifically stated aims, because SOS hasn’t so far, despite what apparently amounts to its best efforts.

As I suspected from the start, they haven’t been able to justify their presence on this march because none-such exists. They just want to go, and that’s it. That’s all there is. It’s all just an excuse. They just want to ‘play’ with their Trade Union mates and take the SOS banner with them, and don’t care what anybody else thinks, so long as they can go under our supporters banner, which is evidently more of a priority for SOS than other people who are LFC supporters, but who don’t live near the stadium.

Finally, I hate Man Utd. I remember when they got relegated in the mid-70s and remember the response and attitude of their supporters to it, and the apparent denial they had of their own plight at the time.

I revelled in beating them 2-1 at Wembley in the League Cup Final of 1983 in particular, as I was there, but feel pretty much that same way on any other occasion that we do them over – but I also know that Sir Alexander Matthew “Matt” Busby, CBE, KCSG, apparent friend to Shanks and to Paisley, who was nearly killed in the Munich Air Crash of 1958, was not just their manager, but was once our club Captain, and although that fact doesn’t really matter, it does help me to never commit the following outrage:

That’s right, in case you have any doubt, that is the sight of SOS members at an end of season party singing a song and punctuating it with chants of “Munich!”

Is this any different to chants about Hillsborough? More organised, perhaps, and see how long it goes on without anyone looking to pull the plug. It is an utter disgrace!

I found out about that last year, and I am not sure exactly when it occurred, and was hoping this was a one-off and SOS might have changed, but I’ve listened to them, seen how they behave and given them a second chance, and it still seems that they are still run in the same way and by the same people that are responsible for that shameful display.

Ask yourself; if you are a member of SOS, why did you join? Is this kind of behaviour what you want to see from it?

After reading my blogs and watching that video, you might want to know that in order to cancel your membership of SOS, don’t just rip-it in two; you need to write to SOS c/o EDT, 98 Great Homer Street, Liverpool L5 3LF and tell them you are cancelling, otherwise I suspect that they may just keep taking or, at least, demanding your money.

SOS: Censorship on Official Site Forums
A blog originally posted onto official Liverpool FC social media network, “The Kop”
Apparently I am a Spammer and a troller.
Why? Well, it seems MickeyLove, a “Community Moderator” on the official forums, didn’t like me pointing out he was lying on there about my removing one of his posts from my blog SOS: Giant Con! for breaching the Data Protection Act 1998 by stating privileged information he could only have possessed through Spirit of Shankly. The breach has been taken up with them by their former member.
The fact is, what there was of Mickey’s arguments were responded to by me in the subsequent posts. What I then pointed out on the forums was that MickeyLove had also then gone onto the forums and attacked the messenger, instead of the argument I had made wilfully misquoted me
As well as calling me a “crank”, who is “lashing out”, he states of me;
“…his claim above that the credit loan is also to be used for a share scheme is just not true?”
I pointed out in my deleted post on there that I said no such thing. I pointed out that to be eligible for the Liverpool FC season ticket loan, from the partnership between SOS and Partners Credit Union that they are currently advertising, you must also save with the SOS Share scheme, for an unspecified period of time, and an unspecified amount. This scheme is a fixed-purpose scheme, and therefore you can only use that money for saving up for a share in SOS. Does MickeyLove, a supposed football supporter, not understand the meaning of the word “eligible”?
In short, using this scheme to save for a season ticket, also commits you to saving for a share in SOS. If you don’t save for a share in SOS, you cannot get the loan. So what good is the account if you only want to – or can afford to – save for a season ticket?
This scheme is not better than anything that already existed. It is not better for the member, or would-be member. It is only better for SOS.
My post that was deleted for being spam was pointing out that MickeyLove was wilfully misquoting me – and arguing not against me, but SOS – as SOS itself is the source of this information that I was using!
It seems that MickeyLove doesn’t want people who read the forums to know that as an active SOS member, he is censoring the forums to allow spam from SOS (hence the accusation of “trolling”, as I pointed out that I had reported the posts there about joining SOS for being spam), but as soon as he is shown to be a liar and a hypocrite (and by implication, perhaps a bit dense as well), he removes the posts under false pretences whilst continuing to allow the spamming of the forums by and for Spirit of Shankly!
It seems that the official site forums are being run by at least one liar and hypocrite who is abusing his position to censor criticism of himself and SOS, but also to allow SOS propaganda and spamming if not by it, then on its behalf.

What Spirit of Shankly Doesn’t Want You To Read

Spirit of Shankly (SOS) is the name taken by Liverpool Supporters Union, a group set-up in early 2008, on the back of issues surrounding the tenure of the two now former American Co-owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, with the ultimate aim of securing fan ownership of Liverpool FC.

Some people credit, at least in part, the efforts of Spirit of Shankly to show these two the door of the club at Anfield, and the group has endeared itself to a significant number of Liverpool supporters.
However, at its 2009 end of season party, in a six-minute episode of shame, a performer sang a song on stage encouraging Liverpool fans to chant “Munich”, in reference to the 1958 Munich Air Crash, where Manchester United players and staff, as well as other passengers, died.
No one made any attempt to stop it, or pull the plug, and no one remembered that Sir Matt Busby, almost killed by the crash, was a former Liverpool club captain.
The subsequent year saw SOS continue to march and rally, and the almost inevitable leaving of the club by Hicks and Gillett, to virtually everyone’s delight. New owners have taken the reigns, but Spirit of Shankly continued to treat them as the enemy, making demands of the new owners right from the off, using much publicised ‘bully-boy’ tactics and solicitor’s letters.
Come 2011 and there is increasingly disturbing activity from Spirit of Shankly. It circumvented its own democratic procedures in order to take part in something that has nothing to do with it. It is misleading people over a financial product that it is a partner in, and uses forums to trawl for new members and put out its propaganda, effectively controlling the official site forums, so that it can jump on dissenters, evoking not the spirit of our legendary former LFC manager, but instead, the Spirit of Stalin!
Are they really interested in the “best interests” of Liverpool Supporters,  or do they have ulterior motives and a hidden agenda, not entirely compatible with their supposedly “constant” aim?
One clue perhaps would be that the offices for Spirit of Shankly are in the Everton Development Trust (EDT), an organisation to help people and projects in the Everton area, adjacent to the Anfield ground.
The union get involved with loads of things that have no direct link to the club. They run schemes for children from the surrounding area during the summer.”
                        “MickeyLove” – Active SOS member and LFC.TV forums moderator.
Does EDT help worthy causes? Perhaps it does, but when you note that one of Spirit of Shankly’s aims is, “To work with any relevant agencies to improve the area of Anfield“, you would realise that there is an area of cross-over between SOS and EDT, where what SOS is supposed to be about could easily get blurred, especially by people who take the above aim and change it to something like, “helping the people of Anfield”, whilst conveniently forgetting the constant aim about acting in the best interests of Liverpool Supporters.