Liverpool: ‘Jurgen Klopp has brought the Bill Shankly ethos back’ – Peter Moore

Liverpool won a disrupted season to clinch their first top-flight title since 1990 in July

Jurgen Klopp has brought the Bill Shankly ethos back to Anfield and the German is “a Scouser at heart” says former Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore.

Moore left Liverpool in August after a successful three-and-a-half years in the job which coincided with the club’s sixth Champions League triumph and – in July – the end of a 30-year wait for the league title.

None of it would have been possible without Klopp, who has turned Liverpool’s fortunes around after replacing Brendan Rodgers as manager in 2015.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Moore heaped praise on the 53-year-old: “There is no facade with Jurgen. There is no show for the cameras. He is a massive personality and a great motivator of men.

“We often reflect on the Bill Shankly era. The phrase he used was ‘I was made for Liverpool and Liverpool was made for me’. The same could be said of Jurgen. I think he is a Scouser at heart.

“He has all the attributes; caring for people, warm personality, he is charismatic and incredibly articulate. He understands the values of the club, what it means to the fans and how important they are collectively.

“Shankly called it The Holy Trinity – managers, players, fans. Jurgen recognises it. There is a psychological bond between manager and fans. We have had lots of that at Liverpool over the decades but the closest example is what Shankly and Jurgen Klopp have done.”

Liverpool now find themselves in the centre of a storm after they worked with Manchester United on a plan to reconstruct the football pyramid.

Moore spoke to the BBC 48 hours before news of the plan became public and later opted not to answer a further question about it.

Peter Moores with Virgil van Dijk
Moore (right) celebrates with defender Virgil van Dijk after the Fifa Club World Cup win over Flamengo in December

Liverpool’s title scare

It took Shankly four-and-a-half years from his appointment as manager in December 1959 to guide Liverpool from the Second Division to First Division champions – the first of three titles he won at Anfield.

It took Klopp nearly five years to turn the Reds back into title-winners, having come agonisingly close in 2019 when Liverpool finished second to Manchester City on 97 points.

Yet the success did not come without concerns. The season was halted in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, with Liverpool 25 points clear and within touching distance of the title. At the time there were calls for the entire season to be declared null and void.

“I was worried in the first couple of weeks,” said Moore. “These were unprecedented times and we were all trying to figure out what it meant and how long it could go on for. There were some calls to erase the season as though it had never happened.

“The 20 clubs usually meet once a quarter. We had 17 shareholder meetings in less than 90 days. There was self interest from teams who felt threatened. It is tough to argue against them if your livelihood depends on it.

“I was concerned at first but pretty quickly I could see we were rolling up our sleeves and everyone understood we had to finish the season.”

Moore was at Anfield when Liverpool eventually collected the trophy after their defeat of Chelsea in July. However, with no fans present, it is not surprising he picks a night when they were – the 4-0 Champions League semi-final win over Barcelona – as his favourite night.

The furlough mistake

In April. Liverpool announced they were going to furlough members of staff despite the huge revenues they generate.

Within days, there had been a public apology over a decision Moore still regrets.

“We got it wrong,” he said. “We thought we were doing the right thing but it was very clear, very quickly, that we weren’t and we retracted that.

“The only thing I can take pride in is that we put our hand up and issued a statement of apology, which happened in less than 48 hours.

“Since then, the football club has looked after literally thousands of casual and full-time employees.”

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