Liverpool-born Peter Moore, who has taken over from Ian Ayre, has spent 35 years working in the US for global brands such as Reebok, Sega and EA Sports and starts at Anfield today. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool FC will not be drawn into a transfer market spending war with rivals such as Manchester City this summer, the club’s new chief executive is warning.
Peter Moore, who has taken over from Ian Ayre, said on Thursday: “It’s not ‘they’ve spent £100m, so we will spend £100m’.
“We we may spend £100m. Who knows? But it won’t be because they spend £100m.”
Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) headhunted Mr Moore from video games giant EA Sports.
He has spent 35 years living and working in the US for global names such as Reebok and Sega but was actually born in Garston in South Liverpool and is a lifelong Reds fan.
FSG has implemented a new structure at the club which takes responsibility for player transfer negotiations out of the hands of the CEO and giving it to sporting director Michael Edwards.
However, Mr Moore will still have the the final say on spending and he insists it makes sense, neither from a commercial or a football point of view, to spend big just because your rivals have.
His stance echoes that of tycoon Lord Sugar who, when he was owner of Tottenham Hotspur, said he wasn’t prepared to spend silly money on any old “Carlos Kickaball”.
Mr Moore’s comments perhaps reflect the reality that Liverpool cannot compete on spending power alone with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, despite the lucrative return of Champions League football.
He said: “I may be naive but I’m not looking at my competitor – let’s call City a competitor – spending this, therefore I need to spend that regardless of the quality of the players? That makes no business sense to me.
“I trust Michael implicitly to do a value proposition of a particular player, based on the data analytics we have on them.
“If your next-door neighbour puts £50,000 into his greenhouse and for you to keep up with your comparable on your street?
“Will you spend fifty-thousand quid on a greenhouse? No. You do what makes good sense for your house.”
His comments may worry some Kopites who fear the club is falling behind its nearest rivals and may raise suspicions about FSG’s commitment to back manager Jurgen Klopp in the transfer market this summer.
However, insisting Klopp does have the club’s full backing, Mr Moore added he believed Liverpool was “well-placed” to build on its recent Premier League finish.
He explained: “Football’s big business now. You’ve got to keep moving. I come from an industry in Silicon Valley where every day you realise technology is a non-stop river.
“You’ve got to constantly be on your toes, working hard, be aware of your surroundings, make sure you’re tweaking your company’s direction and strategy.
“How do you drive revenue? How you manage costs? Here, it’s no different. What we have to do as a single team is provide the team down there on that pitch when it’s finished with every resource they need to be successful. That is the challenge of modern football.
“We have a world-class manager that any club in the world would want and we are so fortunate to have him, and in Michael we have a sporting director who really has his finger on the pulse on what is going on around the world.
“So I look at it that way. The key ingredients are in place.”