Wednesday 25 April 2018

Suarez ready for legal battle as Liverpool refuse to sell

Want-away striker could drag Liverpool into arbitration for ruling on desired move to Arsenal

Luis Suarez came off the bench in Liverpool's win against Melbourne Victory
Luis Suarez came off the bench in Liverpool's win against Melbourne Victory

Ben Rumsby

Liverpool have once again insisted that Luis Suarez is not for sale but the striker's contract dispute could end up in a Premier League arbitration hearing if he persists in trying to force through a move to Arsenal.

This morning Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre reiterated: "It's never been our intention to sell Luis. We've received 2 separate offers from Arsenal and rejected both."

"So, our situation remains the same and Luis Suarez remains a Liverpool player. He's here in Thailand as part of our squad."

However, Suarez and his advisers remain at loggerheads with Liverpool over the interpretation of a clause in the deal he signed almost a year ago which Arsenal triggered this week by bidding £40,000,001 for the 26-year-old.

Liverpool have rejected the offer, but have given Suarez permission to discuss personal terms with Arsenal, insisting his contract requires them to do no more than that.

Suarez, on the other hand, believes Arsenal have triggered a formal release clause that gives Liverpool no choice but to sell him.

At the age of 15 Luis Suarez was sent off for headbutting a referee, playing for Nacional in Uruguay. A Nacional coach said: “The referee had a broken nose and was bleeding like a cow.”
At the age of 15 Luis Suarez was sent off for headbutting a referee, playing for Nacional in Uruguay. A Nacional coach said: “The referee had a broken nose and was bleeding like a cow.”
July 2010 – Playing for Uruguay in the World Cup quarter-final against Ghana, he handles an extra-time goalbound header from Dominic Adiyiah with the scores level. He is shown red but celebrates as the subsequent penalty is missed and Uruguay go on to win shoot-out.
November 2010 – Still at Ajax, he is suspended for seven matches for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal on the shoulder. Ajax suspend him for two matches, the Dutch League extend it to seven. Three years earlier he had been suspended by the Dutch club for a half-time punch-up with team-mate Albert Luque in the dressing room over a free-kick.
October2011 – The English FA finds Suarez guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. He is banned for eight games and fined £40,000. Liverpool and Kenny Dalglish wear t-shirts expressing their support for the player. When Liverpool and United meet again in February, Suarez avoids shaking hands with Evra. The player and manager Dalglish later apologise.
December 2011 – Given a one-match ban for making an obscene gesture at Fulham fans.
October 2012 – Celebrates scoring at Goodison Park with a dive in front of the Everton dug-out.
January 2013 – Uses arm in process of scoring goal against Mansfield in the FA Cup.
March 2013 – Suarez appears to punch Chilean defender Gonzalo Jara after tussling with him during a World Cup qualifier for Uruguay. The referee failed to see the incident, with FIFA launching an investigation which could yet lead to retrospective punishment.
April 2013 – Appears to bite Branislav Ivanovic on the arm but escapes punishment on the pitch as the referee fails to see it, and scores Liverpool’s equaliser seven minutes into stoppage time as they draw 2-2 with Chelsea at Anfield.

If Liverpool refuse to back down, Suarez's first recourse would be to the Premier League, who can arbitrate in disputes between players and their clubs, including over transfers.

It would not be the first time Suarez has taken such a step, having lost a similar case in Holland while trying to move from Groningen to Ajax, where he ended up anyway.

The most notable case presided over by the Premier League also involved Liverpool, who in 2007 tried to sign Gabriel Heinze from Manchester United.

Heinze took United to arbitration, claiming United had given him written permission to pursue a transfer to another club. However, the panel decided that the letter in question did not constitute a binding agreement for United, but only an 'agreement to agree' and thus did not constitute an obligation to sell the player.

The panel also agreed it should be interpreted in context of verbal discussion and the club's policy of not transferring players to Liverpool.

There is also the prospect of Liverpool making a formal complaint to the Premier League about Arsenal's bid for Suarez. Contract clauses are usually confidential and Liverpool themselves were fined £20,000 in 2002 for making an illegal approach for Christian Ziege after meeting his precise Middlesbrough release clause. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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