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90% of Liverpool fans unhappy with American owners

More than 90% of Liverpool FC fans feel let down by American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks's first year in charge, with most now wanting them to just sell up and go. That is the stark fact revealed by an exclusive survey, commissioned by the Liverpool Daily Post, which also shows that recent events at Anfield have galvanised fans behind club manager Rafael Benitez, despite a recent run of poor results.

A week after Hicks admitted the club tried to line up Jurgen Klinsmann to replace Benitez, and as speculation over a possible sale of the club to a Dubai consortium reached fever pitch, more than 2,500 fans took part in the online survey.

While 72.9% described themselves as happy when Gillett and Hicks took over last year, our survey found:

* 90.5% feel the last 12 months have been worse than they expected;

* 83.1% think the owners should have done more to sup- port Benitez in the transfer market;

* 90% blame the owners for the falling out with Benitez;

* 92% think it was wrong of the owners to approach Klinsmann, with 93% feeling it was wrong to make that approach public last week;

* 94% want Benitez to remain as manager, but 77% expect him to have left Anfield by the end of the summer;

* 93% would prefer the club to still be in the ownership of the Moores family, with 89% also saying they would prefer the DIC consortium, from Dubai, to now take over.

The impact of speculation that Gillett and Hicks are now preparing to saddle Liverpool FC with £350m of debt, is also proving to be a major concern for fans.

Asked what should be the owners' priority if they remain in charge, 53.6% said keeping debt placed on the club's books to a minimum should be the number one aim.

It compares with just 31% who think making funds available for transfers is the top priority, and 15% who believe confirming the new stadium should be the most important item on the agenda.

Only 47.4% of fans consider a new stadium to be essential, although 35.5% consider a move to also be important.

The damning findings from fans come less than a year after the American duo spoke of a "special relationship" with Liverpool fans as they took over the club on February 7, 2007, and promised to respect the traditions of the Anfield club.

Les Lawson, secretary of the official LFC supporters group, said: "This survey shows how let down Liverpool fans feel."

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Tribal Football Staff

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