I first met Rogan Taylor at his spacious office at the University of Liverpool during the EURO 1996 Tournament in England. FOOTBALLS' COMING HOME was the theme I think I was watching Italy vs Hungary at nearby Anfield.
Rogan had co-authored an authorized biography of the great Ferenc Puskas, who passed away a year ago, and later got the great Hungarian captain to sign a photograph to me, and he also gave me a copy of his book on the Hillsborough disaster where many Liverpool fans were crushed to death on the terraces at a 1989 F.A. Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest, and the policing was a disaster, and later a cover up. He was setting up the now opened Football Industry Group at the University, where an MBA degree in Football Studies is offered, www.liv.ac.uk/footballindustry
We were talking about sharmen- sort of village wise men and healers that he had written about, so he wasn't the usual scouser. We later met at an NSCAA Convention on the East Coast and talked about the infamous match in England's history, England 3 v Hungary 6 on a November afternoon in 1953 at Wembley Stadium. After the Heysel Stadium Disaster in Brussels at the 1985 European Cup Final: Liverpool v Juventus he had set up the Football Supporters Association. www.fsf.co.uk.
Puskas on Puskas: Day of the Hillsborough Disaster: Kicking and Screaming: Death & Resurrection: Three Sides of the Mersey: Football & its Fans. and more...All by Rogan Taylor and some with co-authors.
Anyway, Professor Taylor, still a Kop season ticket holder of 40 years standing-(you are supposed to sit these days) formed Share Liverpool FC Fans Group. www.shareliverpoolfc.co.uk. He and a key group had a press conference to launch the organization. I tried logging on but it had broken down, but try now and it works O.K.. You can also try the Liverpool Post and Liverpool Echo web sites. The idea is to raise £500 million to buy out Hicks and Gillett the 2 current owners. The two Yankees seem to be drifting apart with Hicks owning the Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers, Mesquite Rodeo and Gillett the Montreal Canadiens ice hockey in the NHL.
Liverpool is a world brand and the organizers would like one share one vote, similar to the 130,000 fans who own CF Barcelona. Real Madrid is also owned by the fans as are all but 2 of the Bundesliga clubs. There are about 20 fan owned clubs in England, mostly in the lower divisions. The UEFA Champions League has been won on 6 occasions in the last 15 seasons by clubs that are owned by MEMBERS, or Socios. The Supporters Trust which exists to help fans buy or buy into the clubs that they have supported all their lives, is also supporting The Share Liverpool FC group with advice.. There idea is to get 100,000 fans around the world to invest £5,000 each. It may be tilting at windmills, but if you don't try......
There isn't too much news of what's going on filtering to North America, so Hicks and Gillett can 'hide' and send their minnions over to Anfield. However, if Liverpool fans, who staged a demonstration on The Kop after saturdays match want to be seen and heard across the Atlantic, they might organize and pass out flyers at the many soccer pubs where EPL fans meet, available on www.livesoccertv.com and www.nasetanta.com, and go to the various stadiums such as Mesquite Rodeo Arena, Ball Park in Arlington and AA Arena in Dallas and the Bell Center, Montreal and march with placards and hopefully embarrass the guys into getting rid of their shares.