Peter Moore has vowed to play his part in delivering on the expectations at Liverpool as he begins his new role as the club's chief executive officer today.
The lifelong Reds fan brings a wealth of experience to the club, after almost a decade with gaming industry giant Electronic Arts and having previously held senior positions at Microsoft, Sega and Reebok.
In an interview with Liverpoolfc.com at Anfield, Moore spoke passionately about his personal connections with Liverpool, both the team and the city, explained his aims as CEO and considered the ‘unbelievable’ opportunity ahead of him.
Read on for a transcript of the chat…
Welcome to Liverpool Football Club…
I’m delighted to be here.
How does it feel to be here in your position as Liverpool’s chief executive officer?
It’s an honour, it’s a privilege. As a lad from Liverpool, growing up I never would have dreamt that I’d be in a position to help and support the club, and guide us through what I think is going to be an incredibly exciting couple of years to come here. I think about my upbringing, I think about my love for this club and my experience in business, and being able to bring that together to help this club is unbelievable.
When the opportunity arose, what went through your mind?
My dad went through my mind. My dad imbued Liverpool Football Club into me. We first walked into Anfield, holding my hand, in 1959: Liverpool 4-3 Leyton Orient. I bled red. I can still feel and smell and experience that day. You feel like you’re going to meet your dad again and he’s going to say ‘So how did it all end up?’ and I say ‘I ended up as the CEO of our club, dad’. That was the first thing that went through my mind.
My entire family are red; there isn’t any blue infiltration whatsoever that I’ve been able to detect. Everybody was absolutely delighted. I still have a lot of family over here. My grown children are in America and they couldn’t have been happier for their dad, they know exactly what this means to me. They couldn’t have been more proud, I think. There’s a lot of work to be done but everybody is on my side so far!
Tell us about your experiences of supporting Liverpool from afar…
I left the UK permanently in 1981 and when I first moved to America it was not easy to even figure out the scores, never mind watch a game. The newspapers didn’t carry football scores, so on a Sunday – no matter where I was in the world – I would call my dad and my dad would talk me through the score, the scorers and what the other teams had done. As it has evolved, football has become so much more popular in the United States. Every game on every platform is live and I feel very fortunate for that.
Is this unlike any position that you’ve held before, because of the emotional connection?
It is. The emotional connection of not only the passion I have for the business of football, but this is my club. The great companies I’ve worked with before, I have a passion – a passion for the product, the brand and the people. But when you add the passion for your club, this is where I was born, this is very special. The weight of what I will be doing, on the expectations of hundreds of millions of people like me – devout Reds – it’s huge for me.
For those who may be unfamiliar with your experience, tell us why this is a good fit for you and the club…
I like to think I bring the passion we just spoke about but also a tremendous breadth of business experience. I left for America in the early ‘80s, worked for 11 years for a brand many people remember, Patrick. Kevin Keegan wore Patrick and Michel Platini wore Patrick. I started off as a young sales guy in southern California and became president. I got spotted by Reebok and became head of sports marketing for Reebok. I actually came to Anfield in July 1995 and did the Reebok deal with the then CEO, Peter Robinson, who sat next to me. I like to think it took me 22 years to get one chair to the right to be in his position. That was my first real business interaction with the club.
I left Reebok and had a complete change of career and went to be the president of Sega and launched the Dreamcast console. As my career developed, running big businesses, understanding brands and understanding passion, whether it was for a pair of Reeboks or more recently in video games, which is huge, there’s a tremendous amount of passion. I ran the Xbox business for Microsoft up in Seattle and for the last near-decade I’ve been the president of EA Sports and, most recently, the chief operating officer for Electronic Arts. But, you add who I am and what this means to me: very special.
You have worked for many years in an industry – gaming – that is forever evolving and changing. Do you expect to encounter similarities in football?
At Electronic Arts, my most recent company, we enjoyed having over 300million players who interacted with us. I think Liverpool has huge similarities – hundreds of millions of people self-identify ‘I’m a Liverpool fan.’ We need to take the excitement that only 54,000 people can experience here and we need to globalise that. As a fan who lived 5,200 miles away, I soaked up the news. Who is going to play? Who is hurt? What formation is Jürgen going to put on the field? What’s happening at Melwood today? I’m looking at pictures of Melwood – who is missing and why? Reaching out that way to fans, like myself, all around the world is very, very important.
Tell us about your remit and what you’ll be responsible for…
In broad terms, Jürgen and his coaching staff and the scouting teams are responsible for everything down there – success, goals, clean sheets and entertaining football. Giving the fans who come here and watch all around the world everything they deserve, because expectations are going to be high. In my world, my team and my remit is to provide all of the resources, the support, the revenue required. Football is big business nowadays. This club deserves and is determined to be where we were in the ‘70s and ‘80s as a world-class club and, in my estimation, the best club in the world. We have the best footballing story, we’re the biggest footballing family in the world. My job is to make sure we deliver against everything that I as a fan, I as the CEO and everybody that loves what we do here, deliver against their expectations.