LIVERPOOL fans’ group, Spirit of Shankly (SoS) say they have greeted the news of John W Henry’s imminent takeover with “cautious optimism”.

The group have organised a number of protests against the current ownership, but spokesman Jay McKenna insists their anger is directed solely at Hicks and Gillett and that they are not anti-American.

“It is not about who you are or where you come from, it is about being the right owner for the club,” he said. “I think there is cautious optimism and hopefully the football club will finally get rid of Hicks and Gillett. After three troublesome years supporters will want to see the back of them quickly.”

Of the new owners, he added: “I would like to know a bit more about the supposed sale process and who will be in charge of the club. We would like them to engage with supporters.

“They need to be saying the right things – but Hicks and Gillett said all the right things and failed to deliver.

“Supporters will be watching quite keenly and we would like them (NESV) to come out and alleviate concerns. We deserve to know what is going on.

“We have fought long and hard to get rid of Hicks and Gillett and we don’t want more of the same.

“So we wait with baited breath. We hope these people are the right owners to take over Liverpool Football Club.”

Meanwhile, ShareLiverpoolFC – the group which is campaigning to see the club run by supporters – have naturally expressed sceptisism of the move.

Board member Rogan Taylor said: “I don’t feel any great excitement about the prospect, I must admit.

“John Henry’s got a lot of respect in the sports world over in the States. Our problem is, will they understand anything about the way it actually works here and the kind of culture on which this stuff grows?

“I think that’ll remain a concern for a very long time, even if he does take over the club.”