Busy last couple of days in NYC, and couldn’t share my thoughts with you on so many topics. Let me start with Liverpool shirt sponsor Standard Chartered who raised obvious concerns about Suarez’s despicable attitude (once again) towards Patric Evra.
The bank firm is in no way willing to be associated to the bad image the Reds are currently showing to the world. Standard Chartered which pays up to £20m to be featured on Liverpool FC kits severely criticised Suarez’s refusal to shake Evra’s hand. When a sponsor partners with a global sports club such as Liverpool, the club image element is fundamental.
Suarez’s moronic attitude (to put it mildly) triggered top execs from the US banking firm to openly released a statement:“We were very disappointed by Saturday’s incident and have discussed our concerns with the club. It was a very robust conversation.”
According to the BBC, the Fenway Sports Group, which bought Liverpool back in 2010 said that an apology was necessary.
The Liverpool striker apologised on Sunday for refusing the handshake before his team’s 2-1 loss at Old Trafford and his manager Kenny Dalglish also said sorry for his post-match reaction when challenged over the snub. Suárez was returning to the Liverpool starting lineup for the first time since serving an eight-match ban for racially abusing Evra during a match in October.
Standard Chartered has every right to criticise, not only the Uruguayan strikers’s behaviour, but also the club for managing these events poorly. Sponsors should (or must) wave the red flag when issues happen and could dent their image globally.
Let’s keep in mind that Standard Chartered has a strong fan base in Asia, and most of its staff is in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. So it is a legitimate move for a sponsor to make sure his sponsorsed asset is not dragging his name in the mud!