Kenny Dalglish insists that Luis Suárez will follow etiquette and shake Patrice Evra's hand
KENNY Dalglish has insisted Luis Suárez will "shake the hand of Patrice Evra" prior to Liverpool’s clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford this weekend.
The Liverpool manager was criticised for claiming on Monday, following Suárez’s return to action against Tottenham Hotspur, that the Uruguayan “should never have been out in the first place” following an eight-game suspension for racially abusing Evra, has now called for a line to be drawn under the racism affair.
With Suarez likely to bear the brunt of a hostile reception at Old Trafford in the wake of Evra being booed throughout last month’s FA Cup defeat at Anfield, Dalglish insists that the forward will be focused on the game and will not avoid shaking Evra’s hand.
“People are already speculating on the pre-match ceremony,” Dalglish said. “But from Luis’s point of view, we have spoken to him and I know he will shake the hand of Patrice Evra and the other Manchester United players before the game.”
Meanwhile Wayne Rooney has been urged to keep quiet about Suárez and focus on his own disciplinary issues after using Twitter to claim the Liverpool forward should have been sent off for kicking Tottenham’s Scott Parker.
Rooney, who angered Manchester City players last month by backing referee Chris Foy’s decision to dismiss Vincent Kompany for a two-footed tackle on Manchester United team-mate Nani, tweeted, “If ref sees that kick from Suárez and books him for it, it should be red,” during Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Spurs on Monday.
Suárez, booked for the challenge on Parker by referee Michael Oliver, was making his Liverpool comeback against Spurs after serving an eight-game suspension for racially abusing United defender Evra.
Former Liverpool forward John Aldridge, speaking in his column in the Liverpool Echo, claims the United player is the last person who should be expressing an opinion on Suárez.
Aldridge said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard that Wayne Rooney had tweeted that Suárez should have been sent off. Rooney needs to focus on sorting out his own club before he worries about anyone else.
"This is the player who blatantly booted an opponent up the backside playing for England last year and was deservedly sent off. The fact the FA managed to get his ban reduced from three games to two was a complete joke.
“Rooney should count himself very lucky he’s even going to the Euros after what he did. What Suárez did was very different and it was never a red card.”
Liverpool have recruited the former Football Association chief executive, Brian Barwick, to conduct a review of the club’s media output.
Fenway Sports Group, the American owners of the Merseyside club, intend to invest in their website and TV channel during the summer and have asked Barwick to recommend the improvements.
The club’s owners hope to take greater control over the output and expand the global appeal of their media.
Barwick, a lifelong Liverpool fan, will report to managing director Ian Ayre with his findings, but there will be inevitable changes once his report is concluded.
Liverpool’s chairman, Tom Werner, would not verify Barwick’s involvement at the club, but did confirm a broad review of how their media operates was under way.
“I am keenly interested in anything that can improve the quality of Liverpoolfc.tv and all the companion media,” said Werner. "Therefore, we are undertaking a review of these messaging services.”
The media review is being seen many as part of another broad assessment of how Liverpool should be run in the future by Werner and principal owner John W. Henry.
The owners are determined to ensure the global perception of the football club is restored to the way it was during its heyday.
Recent high profile events have undoubtedly damaged Liverpool’s name beyond the sphere of its own supporter base, not least the furore regarding the Suárez affair, and the owners are anxious to learn the lessons from the whole incident.
Werner and Henry have taken a hands-on role recently, meeting senior figures within English football in order to establish how best to reassert Liverpool’s historic influence.
Barwick was the FA chief executive between 2005 and 2008, during which time he recruited both Steve McClaren and Fabio Capello to the England job.
However, it is his distinguished journalism career which appears to have earned him his current role at Anfield. Barwick worked for the BBC throughout the 1980s, including as editor on Match of the Day, before becoming the controller of sport on ITV in 1998.
He left the FA in 2008 after a breakdown in his relationship with the then FA chairman, Lord Triesman.