Rodgers demands Suarez apology

first_imgLiverpool striker Luis Suarez will have to apologise to his team-mates and the club before he can be reintegrated into the squad, according to manager Brendan Rodgers. Press Association Suarez is suspended for the first six matches of the season as his ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic is carried over, but even if he does not leave in the current transfer window there are still bridges to be repaired. “Initially there will be a recognition that (there needs to be) an apology to his team-mates and the club,” said Rodgers when asked what Suarez needed to do next. “I have seen him over a period of time I know it is not the Luis Suarez we know and I have to protect the fans and the players because they deserve more than that. “He has spent some days working on his own. The group has been separate to that and working very hard. “When he is back from his international trip (Suarez will travel to Japan with Uruguay in midweek) we will assess it from there.” Rodgers added: “He is a world-class striker and when he is commited the cause we will welcome him back with open arms.” Henry and Rodgers have been unequivocal in their stance on Suarez and the manager stressed that would not change. “I spoke with John when we were in Norway in the week and we are pretty much on the same page,” he added. The Uruguay international has been made to train on his own as the Reds boss was unhappy with the attitude he has shown recently, which culminated with interviews earlier this week in which he claimed the club had reneged on a deal to allow him to leave this summer. That upset Rodgers and he has isolated the 26-year-old, who owner John Henry has said will not be sold to Arsenal despite the Gunners’ bid of £40,000,001. “We are adamant he won’t go to Arsenal and we want to keep him.” With the number of chances Liverpool missed in their 1-0 defeat to Celtic in their final friendly in Dublin they can ill-afford to lose someone of Suarez’s calibre. However, they will have to cope without him for at least half-a-dozen matches at the start of the new season, so Daniel Sturridge’s first outing since being sidelined with an ankle injury in May was a boost as he had a lively 45 minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute. Rodgers was confident the team would be able to manage without last season’s 30-goal striker in the early part of the campaign. “We missed Luis for a few games last season and we continued to score but that is not to say we don’t want him,” he said. “There has been lots of speculation about all these clubs (supposedly interested in Suarez). “I was made aware at the end of last season we were going to have a lot of clubs in for him and we’ve had one and that’s been it. “Our intention is to keep Luis Suarez so the story is the same.” Rodger’s was speaking after Liverpool owner Henry had earlier told Arsenal to give up in their pursuit of Luis Suarez. The Gunners’s bit of a pound over £40million was made in the belief it would trigger a buy-out clause if it came from a club in the Champions League. But Liverpool have refuted that claim, with Henry saying he told Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis that he will not allow Suarez to go to the Emirates for any price. The American billionaire also expressed his dismay that Arsenal had gathered details about Suarez’s contract and insisted they should not have been talking to the former Ajax man. When asked whether Arsenal should stop their pursuit of the player, Henry told Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet: “They don’t have permission to do all this, so the answer would be yes.” Suarez has threatened to hand in a transfer request and even mooted the possibility of taking the Reds to a Premier League tribunal if he does not get his desired move away from Anfield. But speaking on Thursday night, Henry was insistent that his star man would stay and expressed his anger that any potential clauses within his contract had found their way into the Arsenal boardroom. “It should have been confidential, so absolutely it concerns me,” said Henry. “How does a club that doesn’t have permission to speak with your player see his contract? “Unfortunately, it’s the way it works in football. People don’t speak about it publicly but that’s the way it’s run. It’s how things are done. I don’t think there’s a point reporting Arsenal because it just seems to happen everywhere, throughout football.” Aside from the contract issue, another area of football governance of concern to Henry is the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations formulated by UEFA in recent years. FFP has been designed to bring clubs’ spending more in line with their incomes but with Paris St Germain, Monaco, Chelsea and Manchester City still spending lavishly with the help of wealthy benefactors, the Boston Red Sox owner does not believe the regulations are working. “I’ve talked a lot about Financial Fair Flay, especially in England and Europe,” he continued. “I knew well about the financial problems football has when I took over Liverpool. “It does not look like FFP works. I am very unhappy that they have not taken seriously the rules, and it’s also frustrating that UEFA have not done so. They need to address the problem. It should have worked better.” last_img