Belfast Telegraph

PFA: Reds owners could calm storm

Players' chief Gordon Taylor believes Liverpool's owners need to step in to deal with the "festering" controversy surrounding Luis Suarez.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson branded Suarez a "disgrace to Liverpool Football Club" and claimed he should never play for them again following his refusal to shake Patrice Evra's hand ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Taylor believes it is time for key players at the Merseyside club to take the initiative and set the right example, and he said: "I would have expected the Liverpool owners and directors to bring about a better atmosphere and draw a line under it."

Red Devils captain Evra offered his hand to the Uruguay international, who was banned for eight matches for racially abusing the defender, but he bypassed the Frenchman and went straight to goalkeeper David de Gea.

Evra did not accept that and attempted to grab Suarez's arm to complete the formalities, but the striker shrugged him off.

Taylor added: "I did like to think a line could be drawn under it and we could move on....but this has overshadowed the game and will be the headline.

"The situation is running away with us and this isn't healthy for football, particularly with the Government looking into the governance of football.

"There is nothing to be gained by the matter festering, for the image of the game.

"If the handshake was offered by Patrice Evra I thought he (Suarez) would shake it but then he diverted it away. It was anything but helpful and caused this genuine reaction. It has undermined Kenny (Dalglish) as well."

Both sets of players reportedly clashed in the tunnel at half-time and again on the pitch as United celebrated their 2-1 victory.


From Belfast Telegraph