Premier League - Papers slam Liverpool conduct

Wed, 04 Jan 09:31:00 2012

Press reaction to the latest developments in the Luis Suarez case, with near-universal condemnation of Liverpool's defence of the player.

2012 Daily Mirror Suarez - 0

Matt Dickinson, The Times

"A fight for justice. Truly, that is what Liverpool called their defence of Luis Suarez yesterday. One man says 'negro' - at least once, perhaps as many as seven times - in an angry row with a black man and he becomes the victim, the martyr. Oh, respected admired Liverpool, how did you get this so terribly wrong? Still we await the acceptance from Anfield that Suarez did anything the slightest bit regrettable in that exchange with Patrice Evra. And what became apparent last night is we could be waiting a lifetime.A word of contrition? A phrase of remorse? Not a morsel from Suarez, from Kenny Dalglish or from John W. Henry."

Martin Samuel, Daily Mail

"Up to now, the strongest criticism that could be aimed at (Liverpool's owners) Fenway is that they allowed senior football executives at Anfield too much freedom to handle what was plainly an international affair with widening ramifications. From here, however, Liverpool’s owners are culpable. What were they thinking? This has been a PR disaster, a legal disaster and a sporting disaster considering an eight-match ban may have been avoided with greater contrition from the start. And Fenway knew all along. Their fingerprints were across yesterday’s pronouncement, which succeeded in slandering just about everybody involved in the procedure bar the player who referred to Evra’s skin colour seven times."

Stuart James, The Guardian

"The blind loyalty that Liverpool have shown towards Suárez throughout this sorry saga continues to shine through despite the verdict two weeks ago and the publication of a remarkable 115-page document, compiled by the FA's independent panel, that presented a compelling case against Suárez and, at the same time, highlighted the shambles that the Merseyside club had made of trying to defend the player. Accepting the guilty verdict represented a chance to move on; instead Liverpool have poured fuel on the fire and thrown in a couple of sticks of dynamite for good measure."

James Lawton, The Independent

"Liverpool plainly do not agree (with the independent regulatory panel's verdict) and yet they choose not to submit fresh arguments to the appeal procedure. Many will see this is as a statement that hardly resounds with conviction. What seems much more apparent is the reluctance of an organisation to accept that their strongest instincts have been exposed as deeply self-serving. The opportunity was for a little grace and the concession that in a difficult,and often hate-filled world, perfect solutions are not always available. That chance was blown, along with any suggestion of the courage that comes with the truest conviction."

Oliver Holt, Daily Mirror (back page pictured)

"Liverpool deserve some credit for deciding not to appeal against Luis Suarez's eight-match ban. But what a shame they chose to couch their decision in ­ inflammatory language that continued to insist Suarez had done nothing wrong. Suarez has admitted calling Patrice Evra 'negro'. To persist with the argument, as he and the club are doing, that this was a term of endearment is not just 'incredible', as the tribunal found; it is also laughable."

Paul Joyce, Daily Express

"There were ... elements of their waspish response that appeared contradictory. Taking issue with the fact the report found Suarez to 'probably' be guilty ignores the point the hearing did not take place in a criminal court where 'beyond reasonable doubt' is the threshold.The verdict before the disciplinary panel had to be delivered in the balance of probability."

Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph

"The first half of the statement was borne of the club’s anger yet the second half contained some pertinent points. The club sought to broaden the debate about racism. 'English football has led the world in welcoming all nationalities and creeds into its Premier League and its leagues below,’ read the missile of a missive from Anfield, 'and Liverpool Football Club itself has been a leader in taking a progressive stance on issues of race and inclusion.' Good. Now Liverpool must reaffirm such a stance by highlighting their work promoting diversity. Liverpool also urged all parties 'to work together to stamp out racism in every form both inside and outside the sport'. A joint initiative with (Manchester) United would be a start. Over to you, Kenny and Sir Alex."

Man City 3 Liverpool 0

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