Liverpool: We weren’t pressured into Suárez apologies by sponsors
Liverpool insist the decision to issue three public apologies over the Luis Suárez saga was taken by the club alone
Liverpool have been forced to insist they were not pressured into issuing apologies over the Luis Suárez saga by their shirt sponsors Standard Chartered.
The bank, whose deal with the Merseyside club is worth around £20m a year, waded into the storm caused by Suárez’s refusal to shake Patrice Evra’s hand at Old Trafford on Saturday by releasing a statement expressing its concern.
It read: “We were very disappointed by Saturday’s incident and have discussed our concerns with the club.”
Liverpool issued three public apologies over the incident on Sunday – but the Reds’ managing director Ian Ayre has moved to dismiss claims the Merseysiders were forced to act by their shirt sponsors.
“Ian Ayre kept Standard Chartered fully informed of developments over the course of the weekend,” read a Liverpool statement. “The actions the club decided to take on Sunday were supported by Standard Chartered.”
Suárez ignored Evra’s outstretched hand during the pre-match handshakes at Old Trafford as the duo faced each other for the first time since the Uruguayan striker was handed an eight-game ban for racially abusing the Manchester United defender during the 1-1 draw at Anfield in October.
Standard Chartered is based in London but operates mainly in Asia, where Liverpool enjoy a large fan base. The bank is in the second season of a four-year £80m sponsorship deal with the Reds.