Here are some comments today from Liverpool FC managing director Ian Ayre about the Luis Suarez biting incident:
Ian, everyone is still talking about Sunday’s incident with Luis Suarez. What is the latest on the situation?
I think the most important thing is that we acted swiftly yesterday. Luis issued his apology and then we spoke with him last night and then again this morning. We’ve taken action to fine Luis for his actions. Brendan has spoken to him and I’ve spoken to him, and Brendan will be working with him further on his discipline. You can see when you speak to him how sorry he is about it and he’s certainly shown quite a lot of contrition to us – and as part of that, he’s also asked we donate the fine to the Hillsborough Family Support Group. I think he felt like he let a lot of people down yesterday. We’ll work with Luis – Brendan particularly – on this side of his character in his game. Hopefully that puts the matter to rest from our point of view and we’ll wait and see if there’s any further action from the football authorities.
Have you had any contact with the owners regarding this situation?
Yes, of course. With any incident like this, any major incident at the club, we’re in direct dialogue with the owners, always. I spoke to them last night and they were happy with the way we were handling the matter.
Will the events of the last 24 hours have any bearing on Luis’s future at Liverpool Football Club?
Not at all. It affects his future in the sense that we have to work with him on his discipline – but Luis is a very important player to the club. He’s a very popular player with his teammates. As we keep saying, he signed a new four-year contract last summer and we’d all love to see him here throughout that contract. He’s a fantastic player, top scorer and everything we’d want in a striker, so there’s no change there. This is more about getting him back on the right track and it’s largely down to Brendan now to work with him on that side of his character.
Really surprised that Liverpool did not take the proactive measure and suspend Suarez for at least a game. Ayre’s comment that “Hopefully that puts the matter to rest from our point of view and we’ll wait and see if there’s any further action from the football authorities” could be taken as a statement that Liverpool FC think that a fine is all that is warranted. Which hopefully is not the position of the club.