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Liverpool players should threaten walk-out, says Thompson

Former Liverpool captain Phil Thompson has called on the club's star players to issue co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett with an ultimatum to provide more transfer funds or they will walk out.

Striker Fernando Torres has already gone public with his thoughts, suggesting the Reds need four or five quality signings in the summer, while skipper Steven Gerrard currently cuts an unhappy figure on the pitch as the his side battle to secure fourth place in the Barclays Premier League.

Thompson, who lifted the European Cup for Liverpool in 1981, believes only players of their stature can get through to the American owners, who have failed to provide the necessary investment in the squad and a new stadium since taking control three years ago.

"Fernando Torres said he didn't want to be fighting for fourth place every year and he is absolutely bang on," said Thompson.

"He's a player, a foreign player, who has come to the club. They have to listen to him.

"He and Stevie Gerrard should be saying 'If you're not going to invest, why would we want to remain here?'

"They need to give them (Tom Hicks and George Gillett) some ultimatums."

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Such a prospect is inconceivable but problems off the pitch do need to be tackled.

Liverpool are currently £237million in debt and failure to reach the Champions League next season could cost them £25million.

Thompson accused Gillett and Hicks of caring more about the finances than the fortunes of the team.

"The club, the stadium and what's happening on the field just seems to be secondary in the Americans' minds," he added.

"They're all about money and getting the debt down which shouldn't have been there in the first place.

"There should have been money in the kitty for the manager to spend.

"The only thing we as fans can see is that they're paying off the debt while we, as a football club and a team, suffer, and that is wrong. It should be all about the football team."

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