Former Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore has detailed his experience at the Stade de France after being caught in the chaos, describing scenes as “dystopian.”
Moore served as CEO for Liverpool over a three-year period between 2017 and 2020, working for the club he has supported his entire life, having been born in the city.
Though he has since moved on to other roles, the 66-year-old remains an avid supporter of the Reds, and was among those to receive tickets for the Champions League final.
But those in attendance at the Stade de France were ultimately subjected to horrific treatment from French authorities, stewards and local gangs, denied entry, tear-gassed, robbed and assaulted.
It was a nightmare that is now under investigation, with UEFA having now issued a half-hearted apology following complaints from both Liverpool and Real Madrid.
Liverpool have asked supporters who were affected by the scenes in Saint-Denis and across Paris on the night to submit their experiences to aid the investigation, and Moore shared his in a lengthy post on Twitter.
This is my feedback (not in the most elegant reading form). In reading the experiences of others, I recognize how fortunate we were to escape the worst of the “treatment”. Having said that, it is vitally important that everyone that attended provides their feedback to the club. pic.twitter.com/6bxlIGHhdn
— Peter Moore (@PeterMooreLFC) June 3, 2022
Moore described fans as being “treated as cattle, our lives endangered, and subjected to threats of physical violence from local gangs and from our ‘hosts’ whose policing methods were straight out of the 1970s playbook.”
He painted the entry levels as “understaffed and overwhelmed,” and shockingly echoed how he “could see in the faces of the older fans around me that uneasiness that comes when you’ve been here before and it didn’t turn out well…”
That was, of course, a reference to the tragedy at Hillsborough in 1989, with Moore comparing the “bold-faced lie” UEFA peddled that a 36-minute delay to kickoff was due to the late arrival of fans as akin to “how the spiral of lies spread by the South Yorkshire Police started.”
“Everything that could go wrong had gone wrong,” Moore wrote, and like many others, he acknowledged the opportunistic and criminal acts of locals.
He explained: “People were climbing the walls to escape the crush that was building now to claustrophobic levels, and I then noticed the local youths start to infiltrate the Liverpool fans as they realised they now had unfettered access to the stadium concourses.
“The pickpocketing started here, escalating to assaults on the top end of the ramp, with the shockingly tooled-up riot police standing by idly, fixated it seemed on only those of us wearing red.
“I can’t emphasise enough the exemplary behaviour of those fans, standing patiently with no communication from the stewards and under the menacing glare of the riot police, who mainly gathered the other side of the gates.
“More concerning was the growing numbers of local youth, running around in groups, and clearly looking to pick on easy prey to assault and rob.”
Moore revealed how upon finally entering the Stade de France, his family’s seats were “occupied by local youths” with “no attempt from the stewards to move them.”
His retelling of the events after the game, when fans of both clubs were beset upon by both police and violent locals, is perhaps even more troubling.
“Our journey home through the streets was almost dystopian – staying together in groups to avoid being targeted by marauding gangs of locals,” he wrote.
“I walked alongside a Liverpudlian in his mid-50s who had his watch and wallet stolen earlier in the day.
“He showed me the marks on his arms where they had ripped his watch from him.
“He was in tears as we walked and talked, keeping our heads on a swivel as we walked through the darkened streets. No police to be found anywhere to protect us…
“I’ve been fortunate to attend a myriad of major sports events…World Cup finals, Super Bowls, Olympics, previous Champions League finals…
“Never have I been so scared for my own safety and that of my family, and never has a stadium been so unprepared and disorganised to manage flow and entry safely and efficiently.
“As regards the security ‘forces’, they were tooled up to take on a ‘violent crowd of English hooligans’.
“When none arrived, they created their own violence…”
Liverpool have requested that further submissions be made before a deadline of Sunday, June 5, with the feedback form accessible here.