Dalglish denies Suarez row led to Liverpool axe

Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has insisted his reaction to the racism row involving Luis Suarez was not the reason why he was sacked by the club at the end of last season.

Reported by: Agence France-Presse
Last updated on Thursday, 01 November, 2012 22:20 IST
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London: Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has insisted his reaction to the racism row involving Luis Suarez was not the reason why he was sacked by the club at the end of last season.

The Scot, an Anfield great thanks to his brilliant playing career with Liverpool during the 1970s and 1980s, saw his second spell as the Merseysiders' manager end after they finished eighth in the English Premier League and won the League Cup - the club's first major trophy in six years.

However, Liverpool's season was overshadowed by the fall-out from an incident that led to Suarez being banned for eight matches after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

There were suggestions that Liverpool's US-based owners Fenway Sports Group were embarrassed by the vociferous defence of Suarez led by Dalglish, which also included team-mates wearing T-shirts emblazoned with messages of support for the Uruguay striker.

But asked on Britain's talkSPORT radio if the Suarez affair had cost him his job, former Scotland striker Dalglish said Thursday:

"I don't think so. That was up to them (Fenway Sports Group).

"I can go to sleep at night knowing what I did I did to the best of my ability and if that does not come up to their expectations or they want to go in another direction -- they own the club."

Nevertheless, Dalglish said those higher up Liverpool's chain of command had to accept their share of responsibility for the way the club dealt with the Suarez incident.

"I think anything that is not done in a positive manner cannot help you but I was only the manager.

"There are other people with greater intelligence than me and greater responsibilities than me when it comes to something like this.

"I think (it was) the club as a whole. It wasn't just me (taking decisions).

"The T-shirts were the players wanting to show their support for a team-mate.

"It might have been misguided and not have been right but it was not me who decided it."

Dalglish added: "If it ever came up again I would do it differently -- I would be less helpful and less forthcoming and I think that is sad."

Meanwhile, Dalglish called on the Football Association to be consistent in its application of rules regarding racist behaviour.

Suarez was banned for eight matches while Chelsea captain John Terry received a four-match suspension having been found guilty, by the FA, of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand despite being cleared in a criminal trial of a similar offence.

"There is no room for racism in football and the FA have a responsibility to clear it up," said Dalglish.

"If they want to get it cleaned up they need to get closer to the rules and regulations and laws of the land.

"You can't be going to a tribunal with the FA and be seen (to be judged) on probability and you go to a court and it is 'beyond all reasonable doubt'.

"They have to get closer to the law and make sure the tribunal is independent.

"You get different degrees of punishment because there are different people with different interpretations. Why not have the same panel?

"Also, what is the correct terminology, what is the wrong thing to say?

"There are obvious ones out there you wouldn't dream of saying but they need to educate us and give us a guideline."

Story first published on: Thursday, 01 November 2012 22:18 IST

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