Sorry seems to be the hardest word at Anfield

by Jonathan Daniels

Monday, February 13th, 2012
 

Yesterday saw Kenny Dalglish reminded in the clearest terms the power of Liverpool football club rests not in the Anfield dugout but in a boardroom of Boston. The club’s owners were finally forced to take action to preserve the world wide reputation of one of England’s greatest brands.

After the handshake that never was on Saturday lunchtime, and Dalglish’s confrontational post-match interview with Sky in which he revealed he’d been visiting the same optician as Arsene Wenger, Liverpool were looking increasingly ridiculous.

The Liverpool manager’s determination to stand by his man has seen one of Europe’s most successful clubs drowning in victim culture. This was embodied by Dalglish’s comments before last Monday’s game against Spurs when he stated of Suarez, comments taken from BBC Sport “It’s fantastic to have him back. He should never have been banned in the first place.” Rather than attempt to move on from the race debacle Dalglish instead opted to further stoke the fires ahead of what was already sure to be a highly charged encounter at Old Trafford.

Strangely Dalglish may almost be right in his angry outburst to Sky at Old Trafford that saw him inform Geoff Shreeves, quoted from The People, “I think your very severe and you’re bang out of order to blame Luis Suarez for anything that happened today.” Dalglish’s unequivocal backing of the Uruguayan, demonstrated most poignantly by the now infamous wearing of the Suarez t-shirts at Wigan, has left a man who has admitted using racial language feeling as though he has done nothing wrong. This belief of innocence and of being falsely accused is likely to have been Suarez’s reasoning for refusing to shake Evra’s hand, while also presuming his manager would support him in this action.

Dalglish terrible handling of the situation has left Suarez feeling bullet proof at Anfield, with Daniel Taylor of The Guardian stating that “As far as the Scot is concerned, Suarez is beyond reproach. That quite possibly, is the most alarming thing of all.”

This has certainly alarmed the powers that be at Anfield with statements rushing in from all quarters apologising for events at Old Trafford. However if we are to analyse the rhetoric of these apologies they seem rather hollow.  Suarez, in a statement on Liverpool’s Website, apologises to the manager and for causing damage to Liverpool’s reputation but once again fails to acknowledge any wrong doing in racially abusing Patrice Evra.

The press releases from both Manager Dalglish and Director Ian Ayres also fail to muster a simple sorry to Evra. All this leads to the conclusion that inside the corridors of power at Anfield there is still a strong feeling of being victimised and that only the injection of their American owners have been responsible for yesterdays flood of empty apologises.

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  • Margus12

    Are you retarded? Why don’t you learn to think for yourself? Evra admitted insulting Suarez’s race, culture or heritage first. Suarez responed in kind and insulted Evra’s race, culture or heritage. Two identical crimes. One person gets an 8 game ban and the other is held up as a beacon of virtue. It appears that the only racial insults considered real are those against black people. Suarez doesn’t believe he’s innocent just as innocent or guilty as Evra. Are you honestly telling me that you can’t understand that? Evra stated that Suarez isn’t racist. How could he possibly know that? He’d recently been racially abused by Suarez. How could he know Suarez isn’t racist? Becausse he knew that Suarez was only responding to the racial abuse that he had first directed at him. Where did you go to school i wonder?

  • Dave

    And yet another that fails to acknowledge that Suarez was supported because we believe he wasn’t guilty and that Evra lied.
    Read the report by the FA.
    It’s full of ‘possibly’ and ‘probably’ and in the end you believe Evra or Suarez.
    Have your opinion on that, but don’t deny other people theirs.

  • Jimmy Jackson

    Why do the press keep on thinking they know the truth without any proof being offered. They are not using reporters but trouble making fairy story tellers. They put out rumours just to sell their periodicals. let the LFC story drop, it is out of its sell by date.

  • TKP

    To the people sanctimoniously demanding an apology from Liverpool fans. Look to the plank in your own eye and stop trying to extend the Suarez-Evra row for your own political gain. There is no moral high ground here – so stop trying to find it. This issue is not racial and Suarez is not a racist. The whole thing for Evra and Fergie has become political and machiavellian to the point of being discriminatory itself. The media appears to favour the views of Man Utd fans but perhaps they will at least listen to John Barnes, who is the only pundit making any sense on this issue. As Barnes insists – what you propose does not fight racism – it just reduces a complex issue to black and white and actually encourages racism. Suarez has been foolish and petulant – but he is alo a south American immigrant with a poor command of English. The finding of his “lesser character” by the FA in their kangaroo court of “probability” could be said to be racially motivated. The following and ongoing media witchhunt has now become a form of racial profiling and cultural defamation. No one is covering themselves with glory here!

    Evra is a dubious character with a sordid past and there is ample video documentation of his own epithets and slurs, including the full N word that he wrongfully accused Suarez of using in his initial charge. He is known for winding up players and exacerbating situations. His antics on Saturday were despicable – as is the fact that the FA didn’t address his own insults to Suarez in the first place. Fergie has no moral authority whatsoever either – so you won’t get any righteous traction by echoing his sentiments. He is perhaps the most hypocritical person in the history of the game after continually defending the awful antics of Cantona, Keane, Rooney and others. How dare he tell another club to sell their player! The fact that the FA didn’t find this unconscionable just shows how inequitable and uneven they are – and that unfairness was what started and prolonged this whole thing. As for his comments on racism – he is obviously so detached and hasn’t got a clue. Racism exists in all forms on every ground in the country and the recent self-righteousness of the FA and media does nothing at the root level. John Barnes is eloquent on this point. If you put a club under a microscope, as you have done with Liverpool, you will find it everywhere. But it exists in many forms – not just black and white – many immigrants and minorities suffer too. The reductive and reactionary actions of players like Rio Ferdinand do not equate to an “anti-racist” effort – they amount to retaliation and counter-racism.

    So I ask people to please stop being so reductive and blinkered and consider all the complexities of this issue before making your demands. Liverpool, whether you accept it or not, have apologised. Manchester United have not. Suarez paid for his “probable” crime. Evra did not. Dalglish has been vilified. Ferguson has not. Please don’t repeat the folly of the FA and hand out uneven judgement.

  • zoffo

    sir alex wants us to sell a player for not shaking hands,but rooney kicks a player when he’s down on the ground thats sportsmanship .but if he shaked his hand before the match thats ok . cantona kunfu kicks a spectater but he did not sell cantona or rooney for kicking a player on the ground ,so not shaking hands seems harsh to get rid of a player. so sir alex should look at the antics of his own players and cut the crap comments because he just made himself look stupid

  • jamie

    Unbalanced attitude

    The t shirt incident was a surprise to me (I’m a LFC lifelong) however I stand by the clubs support and stance since this.
    This case is quite fascinating on many levels.

    Ok the FA has conveyed that verbal abuse of a dark-skinned person is so foul a thing as to make other forms of contempt pale into total insignificance. For so far as can be determined – and the problem is that Evra made allegations against Suarez that could not be corroborated – the Spanish-speaking Suarez called Evra ‘negrito’, ‘little black fellow’, only after Evra taunted him with disgusting innuendos regarding his sister. To a product like Suarez of a Latin American Catholic culture jealously protective of family and female honour, the inflammatory nature of such an insult needs no underlining.

    Bizarrely, Evra has not received so much as a reprimand. you have to ask yourself why the panel didn’t penalised Evra.

    Furthermore its rather hypocritical that people who feel it is taboo to deal with the simple issue of skin colour, want to redefine to Hispanics worldwide the meaning of the word Negrito

    Never the less one overgrown school boy got a punishment and he took it , so did his club.
    The media etc.. has had it pound of flesh.

    The club etc.. support all forms of anti racism , prejudice etc..

    I’m sorry but I cant now swallow that LFC or mr Dalglish should admit or apologise for standing by their beliefs.
    after a mans reputation(and his employers) has been assassinated just on the say so of one less than perfect claim, the accused! are entitled to defend themselves.

    Why you may ask ? Well have a look at what Mr John Barnes (Black LFC legend) has to say about all the matters. He knows why the club has adopted its stance. And one day it will perhaps emerge.

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