Liverpool

Peter Moore, Liverpool CEO, in conversation with Michael Robinson

Former player and current Movistar commentator Michael Robinson spoke to Peter Moore, CEO of Liverpool, at the WFS2019 in Madrid.

Peter Moore, Liverpool CEO, in conversation with Michael Robinson

Peter Moore, the CEO of Liverpool, was back in Madrid, where his club won the Champions League at the start of June, to chat to former Liverpool player and current football commentator Michael Robinson, at the World Football Summit 2019, a football industry conference.

Sitting on the main stage at the conference on red seats - “they’re the right colour” quipped Robinson - the pair discussed how Moore copes with being a fan and the chief executive, with the 64-year-old confessing that being a supporter does affect his work: “My first time watching Liverpool was in 1959 – my dad took me to watch them beat Leyton Orient 4-3 – and 60 years later Fenway Sports Group [the owners of the club] were recruiting me and we discussed whether being a fan was a positive or a negative, whether knowing the fans and the city is a burden. But we decided it was a positive, although every day I have to put the fan in me to one side when I’m thinking about the business decisions and the long-term future of the club.”

What is difficult, said Moore, is coping with the emotions when Liverpool score, “and we score a lot right now” he laughed. “There’s a protocol in the directors box, there is expectation that I can stand up and applaud. But I don’t scream or gloat. But inside I am screaming!”

According to Moore, Liverpool “have the most exciting forward in football” with Salah, Mané and Firmino, and he was fulsome in his praise for Klopp, recently named The Best Coach by FIFA. “He makes you feel, even when you’ve lost, that there is a brighter future out there”, said Moore.

"You should have bought Van Dijk..."

Robinson and the Liverpool CEO also discussed what being head of the club means to actually living in the city. “Yes. I don’t go out a lot in Liverpool. For lots of reasons. I don’t feel threatened or anything. But it’s the pressure you feel. You’re only as good as your last game. I’ve only had one bad experience, which was after a game where we really bad. But 99 times out of 100 people come up and say we love what you’re doing, and that they can see the team coming together”

Moore had lived abroad for most of his life, working in the gaming industry, for Sega and Microsoft, but he explained it didn’t take long for him to get back into the way of life in Liverpool. “I was a few days into the job, I’d been away for 40 years. And we were trying to sign Virgil Van Dijk for the first time and we’d got ourselves into a little bit of mess with Southampton, we’d issued an apology because we’d allegedly gone about things the wrong way. I’d gone out for coffee, and I’d found the Starbucks and was walking back with a coffee in each hand and all of a sudden a scouser coming down the road shouts at me : ‘Instead of buying Starbucks you should have bought fucking Van Dijk you fucking wanker”. So there I was with a coffee in each hand and i was right back with the acerbic scouse wit”.

The essence of Liverpool

Robinson was keen to know if Liverpool has what the presenter calls ‘added value”, something special that the club has. Moore was quick to agree. “As a marketer I wanted to break down what that means. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, the other big clubs are all unique. But Liverpool has an essence. It’s had tragedy, success, and with many people in the city who were poor and didn’t have much more than football. So when I got here I sat down with marketing department, and we talked about how do we distil this down. How do we take the Jurgen Klopp, the best coach in the world and meld it all together. And it goes back to a historical figure, a socialist, Bill Shankly from Scotland. At the club we still say what would Bill do? And so we came up with the phrase: “This means more”, which is the essence of Liverpool.

Life-changing European Cup

Moore confessed that the four hours on the team bus bringing the European Cup into Liverpool city centre in June was a life-changing experience for him. “I was pinching myself because I’m on the bus with the European Cup. And I’m there with Andy Robertson and Van Dijk and Salah, and there are grown men crying because we’ve brought them this trophy.”