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Tuesday, 6 February 2007


Paul Eaton 06 February 2007
David Moores talks to Liverpoolfc.tv after agreeing to sell his shareholding in the club to George Gillett and Tom Hicks.
david moores

Liverpoolfc.tv: How are you feeling after agreeing a deal to sell the Club?

David Moores: It's like a big relief. It's been a long and arduous journey over the past three years and there has been quite a lot of pressure and stress to contend with. At the end of the day I have managed to battle on until we got what we considered to be the best outcome for the club and the supporters going forward.

What is it about the deal which has convinced you it's the right one for the club?

There has never been any dithering on my part, I want to stress that. People know me and they know that if I had the money to afford the stadium – which is the main thing – then I would have done it myself. I wouldn't hold the club back and I wouldn't want to hold it back. It's an emotional time for me because my family has been involved in this club for fifty years. We had to find the money for the stadium and players so that the manager could have good funds each season.

I met George Gillett in Montreal in November and I was very taken with him. What he has done with the Montreal Canadiens and the arena they have built there is outstanding. He had a bit of a tough time when he first went to Canada in convincing people, but he has won them all over and is like a God there now. He has done a tremendous job.

Seeing his passion and what he has achieved was impressive. I liked his bubbliness. He's a character who is just very passionate about sport. He isn't dour, he'll be very forward and will tell it like it is. I know less about Mr Hicks but I also know he is very passionate. George is a very bubbly character who wants to see Liverpool winning everything. Trophies are what he is after.

When we were contemplating the two bids and decided to give DIC the exclusivity, George was very gracious and wished them good luck. He said he had immense respect for Dubai, that they were good people and that he wished us all the best for the future. I told George we couldn't see where he would have enough money for the stadium and players going forward and, to his credit, he went away and came back with Mr Hicks who is another very passionate sports person. Between the pair of them, I feel we have got very strong owners going forward. I believe that these two men will want to win things. They have proved that with their respective clubs. They are in it for the long term because they are involving their sons so you can plan for the future. This isn't someone coming over just to make a quick buck.

How tough was it to decide between DIC and the Gillett/Hicks offer?

I can only make this decision once. I only get one chance with it and there were a few things that just weren't quite right with DIC. The longer it went on the more concerns I had. I just asked if I could have two or three days to clear my mind and think over a few points I wasn't sure about and, unfortunately, we were only given six hours. It was such a major decision for me to make and I had to get it right.

Don't get me wrong, the people we dealt with from DIC were very honest men. I wouldn't have a bad word said about them but at the end of the day it wasn't them who were calling the shots. We never saw the top people. If we had a worry or wanted to clarify something then it had to go back to the top men.

IMGWe have not dithered in any way. We have made considered judgements. When you have a decision to make like this and you are so desperate to see the club go into the right hands then you have to be comfortable with whatever you decide.

Nobody gives ultimatums to one of the world's great institutions. It should never be thought that we considered George as our second choice. The fact that he came back with a second bid shows you how passionate he was about taking over the club.

Are you disappointed the way things ended with DIC?

I was a bit upset about being called dishonourable because I have never been dishonourable in my life. It was hard to take coming from somebody I have never seen. I don't want to get involved in slanging matches. As I said, I have great respect for the people I dealt with.

Some people have said you've taken the decision which has given you the most money…

If the DIC deal had gone ahead, even if Gillett had come back, then I'd have accepted their offer. I can't speak for the other directors but at the end of the day I'd rather not have the money and be able to stay as Chairman. It's upsetting that some people have said I'm in this for the money. I think the fans know that's not the case. I'm proud of our fans and I'm extremely proud to be one of them.

How big a decision has this been in your life?

It's the biggest decision I've ever had to make. If you are as passionate as I am about the club then I can't have been easy to live with over the past few years but my wife has been very supportive to me throughout. I've had a lot of help from my chief executive who has been absolutely spot on and I don't know how I'd have coped without him. It's quite lonely up there and it's always good to have good people around you and I have certainly had that.

How hard has it been to let go?

It is very hard to think it won't be my club anymore. Having said that, I am handing it over into safe hands because I can't afford to take the club any further forward. I haven't got that money and I'm not going to bankrupt the family.

What does the future hold for this club now?

I'll still be around for them to ask my opinions and Rick will still be here as chief executive. There are exciting times ahead with a brand new stadium, although I'll have regrets when we see the last days of this place. There's so much history here but we're land-locked and can't move on. I'd love to stay here but it's just impossible.

Where can George Gillett and Tom Hicks take this football club?

Hopefully to a place I was never able to manage – Premiership champions! That was the only one I never won as Chairman and that bugs me a bit. They can make us the best in England and make us able to compete and do better than Chelsea and Man United.

We've got an exceptional manager and he will have the funds to take the club forward and bring in world class players.

Could any other club have gone through this process without the fans getting impatient waiting for news on the investment search?

This is a very special club, more special than any other club in the world. The supporters have been tremendous to the club and tremendous to me.

There have been a few times when I thought they might turn on me but they never did. I think it's because they trust me. I tell it like it is and I'm always honest and fair to the fans because I am one of them and always will be.

Will the club change radically?

The two new people have both given their assurances that the same management team will be in place and there will be no change for the club's employees. My understanding is that there won't be a lot of interference because they are happy with the way the club has been run.

Are there any areas of the club which could do better under them?

Perhaps on the commercial side. I don't think we have maximised our world brand and hopefully they will help us to get into these areas where we have the fantastic fan bases.

Will you still play an active part around the club?

I will help out as much as they want me to help out. I'll still be going to every game, that's for sure. It wasn't part of the deal for me to stay around, they insisted it should be that way because they know I understand the club.

I've had a great time as Chairman. There have been good times and bad times but the good ones have far outweighed the bad. No-one can ever take away from me the fact that I was Chairman on the night we won the Champions League in Istanbul. Since the start of the new millennium we've won more trophies than any other club so it hasn't been all doom and gloom.

I'm so relieved the club can now move forward with a new stadium and more money. I have definitely made the right decision.

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