Billy Hogan is the ideal person to take Liverpool forward as CEO, says the man he replaced at Anfield, Peter Moore.
And the former chief has backed the current incumbent to continue the club’s growth off the pitch after detailing his importance to the Reds’ rise over the last few years.
On Hogan’s watch, Liverpool’s partnerships team signed commercial deals with the likes of Nivea, Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts and there are now as many as 26 different companies associated with the club in 2020.
Liverpool owners FSG are marking 10 years in charge of the Reds.
And nowhere else will have better coverage of their decade-long tenure at Liverpool than the ECHO.
Our LFC reporters will be taking you behind-the-scenes at Anfield to lift the lid on how the club has been transformed by John Henry and co.
We’ll be looking back at their initial takeover, key decisions, mistakes and achievements, with special Q&As, exclusive interviews and much more besides.
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The most high profile of those has been the switch from New Balance to Nike as the club’s kit manufacturers, with the Reds beginning a long-term deal with the biggest sportswear brand on the planet at the start of August.
Following his success as CCO, Hogan moved into the position vacated by Moore over the summer and the Cleveland-native’s first port of call was a plan to phase supporters back into the stadium on match-days.
Liverpool are currently losing around £3m per home game behind closed doors and had been determined to re-open Anfield’s doors later this month when Sheffield United visit.
Such an aim has since been shelved following the rise of COVID-19 cases on Merseyside, but Moore believes owners Fenway Sports Group’s succession plan will bear fruit, long term, with Hogan now in the chief executive role.
He told the ECHO: “One of the success stories you can point to with this football club is its commercial growth.
“It gives us the opportunity to bring in quality sponsors, global sponsors which obviously drive revenue to the bottom line, but equally importantly, is the people that activate the Liverpool Football Club brand.
“The likes of the Nike, most recently, but AXA, Standard Chartered, all of these companies, not only do they help us with the revenue, but help us with our presence on a global basis – they are all global companies.
“Billy has been at the forefront of that and will continue to drive that and that is important.
“We had a succession plan in place with Billy Hogan, who has been at the club eight years and he is an FSG veteran.
“Billy has hit the ground running as you might imagine.”
FSG’s ownership model has always been to have the club run self-sufficiently and while the Americans take no money out of Liverpool, it means revenue streams have to be explored as thoroughly as possible to keep them at the forefront of the modern game.
“If we’re going to compete and continue to compete in a self-sustaining manner with the top clubs in the world – some of whom have slightly different business models – then we need to continue to drive the top line with companies who want to be associated with Liverpool Football Club,” Moore added.
“And it is truly a virtuous cycle which they pay large sums of money and you take those large sums of money and you invest in goalkeepers, midfielders, forwards and those guys deliver results.
“And the better you are as a football club, the better quality of sponsors want to be associated with you. It is truly a virtuous cycle that we adhere to as our business model here.”
This week marks the 10-year anniversary for FSG as Liverpool‘s owners following their £300m takeover from Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
In that time, they have taken a team from the bottom half of the Premier League and made them champions of England while also winning the Champions League alongside UEFA’s Super Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup and 2012 League Cup under Kenny Dalglish.
The appointment of Jurgen Klopp as manager and Michael Edwards as sporting director has helped drive the club forward to where they are now widely viewed as one of Europe’s best teams following the arrival of a host of top-class talent.
The owners have also heavily invested in the infrastructure of the club with £110million worth of construction currently in the pipeline.
Plans had been in place to start Anfield’s 7,000 increase in December before the coronavirus crisis saw Liverpool officials opt to push back those proposals by 12 months.
FSG also oversaw the increase in Anfield’s capacity through the development of the Main Stand in 2016 and Moore has credited his former employers for adding tangible value to the club for the long term.
In an exclusive chat with the ECHO, Moore said: “They have invested their capital in things like the new mega store, the new Main Stand, the Kirkby training centre, which is absolutely world class and the team will be moving into that soon. All of that.
“Fans don’t really focus on that stuff but it is integral and core to the long-term success of the football club.
Listen to our exclusive podcast with Peter Moore HERE
“As much as we love Melwood, it is probably ultimately not what you need. Particularly when you want to bring through your Academy players into the first team.
“And the success we are having with the Academy and players coming through, that makes it even more critical. The fact that they were a good 20 minutes drive from each other wasn’t ideal.
“Most of the clubs we compete against at the top level, that isn’t the case, so that is what we needed to do. So I think what FSG has been able to do is very similar to the Boston Red Sox.
“I have this unique perspective because I was living in Boston when they acquired the Red Sox. Eighty-six years of not winning the World Series and we stand today and they have won three.
“A lot of that is focusing on data and science and having a long-term strategy that believes in people.”