Friday, 17 February 2012

Suarez’s Old Friends Show His New Employers What Loyalty Means

After a week in which Luis Suarez was left to walk alone by the power base of his current club, it was some old friends who showed the unreserved loyalty and support that he should have got from Fenway Sports Group and the Liverpool FC board. 

The day started with Suarez’s Uruguay captain, Diego Lugano, claiming he "did not deserve" the criticism levelled at him throughout the past few months. Speaking with a level headed self-assurance, Lugano said "He has gone through a few months he did not deserve. He followed his principles. We live in a democracy and if you do not want to greet someone, do not greet them - and less so if that person has made you experience bad moments. It's a football argument and many false moralists and hypocrites have profited, and Luis is the only innocent party."

This statement was followed up by Uruguay President Jose Mujica, who underlined that there is “solidarity with Suarez” throughout the country. In a direct reference to Evra’s privileged upbringing, Mujica said “He’s a child born from poverty who’s leagues away from having received academic training in diplomatic protocol.”

The next event in an extraordinary day of support for Suarez came in the game between his former club, Ajax, and Manchester United. Before, during and after the game, the Ajax fans chanted Suarez’s name and even conducted a rendition of “We are not racist we only hate Mancs” in Dutch.

During his spell at Ajax, Suarez scored 81 goals in 110 games, was awarded the captaincy of the club at the age of 22 and joined the likes of Cruyff, van Basten and Bergkamp in their “100 Club”. His place as an Ajax legend is comfortably secured.

Following close behind the Ajax game was a match involving his first club, Nacional. Before the game, the players paraded a “Fuerza Luis” banner around the pitch to rapturous applause from all four corners of the ground. 

In the crowd, there were lots of banners in support of Suarez, including two which read “Suarez is from Nacional so Evra must be from (hated rivals) Penerol” and “Wash your mouth out Ferguson before you speak of Sir Suarez” 

Suarez will always be a hero in Nacional. He joined as an 18 year old in 2005 and scored 10 goals in 21 appearances to fire them to the domestic title. 

The support Suarez has received from around the world is in stark contrast to the way he has been treated by Liverpool. Ian Ayre, the Managing Director, has changed his mind on Suarez based on the views of people who he perceives to be more important than the players and fans of the club.

Speaking just a few weeks ago, Ayre said “We will support him and our fans will support him. We’ll work with him because he’s a great player and a great guy. He’ll get 100% support from Liverpool Football Club.”

This 100% support did not last long. One article from a minor shareholder in FSG (New York Times) and some inappropriate comments from Standard Chartered were enough to convince Ayre to turn against Suarez. In cutting remarks over the hand shake incident he said “We are extremely disappointed Luis Suarez did not shake hands with Patrice Evra”.

The forced apologies from Dalglish and Suarez which accompanied this statement from Ian Ayre showed clearly that the current hierarchy at LFC are prepared to put money over morals. Worryingly for Liverpool, it was another sign that they have one of the weakest MDs in the Premier League.

In the wake of the rebuke from those he should have been able to rely on for support, Suarez will have taken great comfort from the events at Ajax and Nacional. The incredible mark he has left on these clubs is clear to see. It underlines how fortunate Liverpool are to have him on their books. It also shows their terribly misplaced priorities over this affair.

Two continents spoke with one voice yesterday to ensure that Suarez will not walk alone. In doing so, they showed up the current Liverpool hierarchy for what they are: misguided, financially motivated capitalists.


  1. Well said. I also heard that so called LFC fans rang in to Matthew Wright's show on Channel 5 to denounce Kenny & Suarez. Obviously weak-minded individuals (or Bitters) but Ian Ayre has no excuse for leaving Suarez high & dry. He's made his position clear & now needs to be questioned about do our owners.
    It's true that no player is bigger than LFC but there are some principles that we need to stand up for at the risk of bringing negative publicity to the club....or risk losing it's integrity altogether.

  2. I totally agree.. Ian Ayre in my opinion should of kept his mouth SHUT. The only reason he said anything was to please the money men. What he forgets is we the supporters bring in more than £20m a year. I support LUIS 100% and would never shake the hand of a man who has labelled me a racist. Luis behaved brilliantly after the game,Evra did everything he could to get him to fight and he ignored him.if he was the scum they claim surely he would of reacted

    1. Evra actually said he DIDN'T think Suarez was racist!!

      Scant consolation that Suarez skulked off defeated without doing anything really. I suppose the other Liverpool players made up for it though, running to deck Evra....

    2. Behave

      running up to "deck Evra" they simply pushed him away from suarez take your united goggles off. Did a Liverpool player not get punched in the head by a united player at half time.
      Did evra not "deck" rio ferdinand while trying to take out suarez

    3. deck deck deck deck.

      I was just pointing out that the other Liverpool players didn't act BRILLIANTLY at the end and walking off looking deflated and not doing anything isn't necessarily that BRILLIANT either.

  3. Nice post.

    Sad to see LFC support Suarez so unashamedly and then hang him out to dry. I'm sure if the owners had stepped in explained to suarez earlier that he'll have to 'make amends' he would have done so. But his defiance was not only mirrored by the Anfield hierarchy, but they were even more defiant.

    It must then feel like an extreme betrayal, for LFC to cut Suarez loose.

    Yes he didn't shake hands after saying he would have done. But I have argued elsewhere that that was not premeditated, but something he did spontaneously. We all know Suarez is a spontaneous person, so why did they put him in that position?

    I love LFC and our owners are a class above the last couple of clowns, but we've lacked strong leadership for years and it is holding us back. I hope FSG have learned something from all of this.

  4. I don't suppose those people holding signs and banners have read the report....

    The bottom line is, Suarez was correctly found guilty of racial abuse. That's why someone had to step in following the mess that Suarez and most at the club have made of the whole sorry situation.

    1. I don't suppose you read the report yourself since you claim he was "correctly found guilty" despite a total lack of evidence to support Evra's claims. The judgement was a matter of opinion only, just like your claims it was correct.

    2. The report was all opinion no evidence just one mans word over another mans. It is just evra was believed. This would never have gone anywhere in a court of law could you imagine standing in the dock while the judge says we find you guilty no evidence no witnesses but we believe him not you!

      The report was full of holes

    3. i was there last night at nacional's match. i have read the bloody report. Who in the world do you think you are to say that we havn't?
      Yes, big surprise! in south America we can read!
      This report is a big joke, just to justify that exagerated punishment.

    4. HI

      Considering the report is in English and I’m pretty sure the majority of Uruguayans don’t speak it sufficiently to understand the report, it’s just a crazy wild guess that most holding signs and banners haven’t read it.

      I have read the report. There is sufficient evidence against him. The evidence of the experts, the video evidence and Suarez's contradictions show he is totally unreliable. He changed his story several times, none of them credible. Compared to Evra's overwhelmingly consistent account, they found it more likely than not the charge was proven. But it would have been on Suarez's account alone to be honest.

      Of course a court of law is different! They’d need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt AND have to prove intent. But the rule here doesn’t include intent and it shouldn’t be the criminal standard of proof because there isn’t any criminal sanctions available!

      He was guilty, it's over, move on.....

    5. He was FOUND guilty BY THE FA. The report is absolutely garbage. Not moving on, because this is ruining the life of a really nice person and a great player, who's not a racist, even Evra said he didn't think he was! Of course he screwed it, he should have never said "negro" to Evra. But the point is that the unprecedented ban, the media coverage, the "handshake event", Saint Ferguson speaking... everything is oversized.
      btw: there is absolutely no evidence to confirm Evra's word, in fact, he has his record about lying, hasn't he?

    6. They're not charging him for not being nice or being a bad player or being a racist. He was charged for saying something racially abusive....

      They don't require "confirmation" of Evra's word, they only need to corroborate it and decide if the charge is more likely than not to still stand. Evidence did corroborate Evra's testimony, it also critically undermined Suarez's... In fact Suarez admitted one use and eventually conceded it was use in a hostile way. So that one use alone is enough to prove the charge! But yeah, they also concluded it was more likely than not that Evra's account happened too..... So yeah, it was correct....

  5. The Club did not hang Luis out to dry. Luis did that himself by telling Dalglish that all would be fine. Dalglish, having no reason to doubt Suarez, went national stating their would be no problem with the handshake.
    The statements were correct. Suarez had let Kenny down. Regardless of whether Luis was right or wrong to refuse a handshake, he should have made sure the manager was fully aware.
    Statements justified, not bowing to pressure from FA or old trafford.

  6. LFC have handled it badly from start to finish.
    No Comment should have been the initial stance while they took stock of the situation. After all Evra cried "N***er" at the final whistle which he later admitted was a mistake.
    LFC PR department needs to take a big long look at itself
    Suarez (irrespective of innocence or guilt) should not have been put in the position of facing his accuser like that. He has been let down by the club and the club have let themselves down. Funtime

    1. So what that Evra understood it to mean n**ger? It wasn't his understanding ultimately used...

      He's an idiot for not just admitting it and explaining it wasn't meant to be so offensive. Imagine the difference that would have made.....

    2. The decision to simply admit it was taken out of his hands. Comolli & Dalglish spoke to the referee and battle lines were subsequently drawn. Suarez, if anything, was too honest as he could have denied using the word at all.

    3. I think we can all agree Suarez is thick! But he still chose to make an arse of himself and not just come clean rather than having the FA squeeze it out of him. Made him look a tit. I wouldn't say he's a liar, more immature if anything.
      But yeah, Dalglish has a lot to answer for. Another manager would have held back, found out what had happened and encouraged him to dare to be totally honest. At least then Suarez could have explained that it wasn't intended to be anywhere near as offensive as it was taken.
      Suarez was thick, Dalglish was shit. But LFC fans don't seem to blame them much for this whole mess...

    4. To be clear, when I said "He's an idiot for not just admitting it and explaining it wasn't meant to be so offensive. Imagine the difference that would have made....." I was referring to Suarez... obviously

  7. I only had a look at this because you tweeted "An argument has kicked off on the comments section, check it out."

    FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FI... oh there's nothing..

  8. Suarez: you are the only victim. As Evra told you, you are a "sudaca" (it ALL started with that insult and in SPANISH) which means like a sub-human creature in England. Quit from England by your own. Don´t wait for a sell.

    1. HA, read the report!!
      Even Suarez doesn't say the word "sudaca" was ever used!!

      Get. Your. Facts. Right.

    2. HA, that's because Luis didn't hear it but then he probably wouldn't have complained because he's more of a man then Evra. Btw, where was the support from Evra's team mates? Not one of them said they heard Luis say anything.

    3. No one heard "sudaca" because no one alleged it whatsoever!!! Where do you get this stuff...? Why is anyone on about that word???

      And so what that Evra's team-mates didn't hear the abuse...? Your point????

      Still shocked that some people are spreading that "sudaca" is anything to do with it. Show's how little they know of the case....

  9. dilligaf, pc gone mad, evra is an addict of his own ego, football banter is just that, evra is a cry baby, i hate racism, i also hate people like evra using it as an excuse. im a spurs fan btw ! john terry deffo racist bigot, this is different or is it? who saw the wink? liv shuerpool a club in decline, need a real manager, chelsea the same. coys, palm trees aint racist ! so why should the over paid little spoilt bratts be, lets get back to the beautiful game we all love.

    1. Calling any victims of racial abuse cry babies is pretty disgusting...

  10. I am disappointed that it was beyond the wit of LFC owners and the commercial management to handle this better than it did. Effectively both Dalgleish and Suarez were hung out to dry in the FA Kangaroo court. Also it is time the idea of the "beautiful game .. sporting behaviour fair play ... hand shakes " were ditched as dated rhetorical claptrap especially when it is used to cover the failure of the governors of the game to deal even and fair handedly with this kind of situation. In particular, the procedural delay does not assit in mitigating the problem creating as it does a welter of speculation, claim and counter claim ..... It should and could have been dealt with immediately. My advice to all in the business is that you need to do more than coach tactics you need to address the cultural,ethnic and social implications of your employees with greater diligence, a degree of humility, less postured spin and more honesty.

  11. I don't blame Luis for not shaking Evra's hand, he's just an attention seeker. You only have to look at how he played up to the camera when Luis went passed and his behaviour in the tunnel and at the end of the game clearly trying to get Luis into more trouble.

    Someone obviously wanted trouble just from the way the away team's players had to shake the hands of the home team's players.

    Also, if you're playing Evra enjoy your game against Uruguay.


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