Well, it’s confirmed. Barcelona agreed to meet the release clause of Luis Suarez’s contract which was a five year deal, signed in only December of 2013. Any club that offered Liverpool a sum of over £75M had the right to negotiate with the player and if Luis agreed terms, he just had to complete his medical and he could join his new club.
There had been rumours of Real Madrid preparing to be coming in with a £100M offer and this was before he had even played a single game for his country at the World Cup. As a fan, I was very worried as more and more people (even reds fans) started discussing “he’ll take a lucrative offer in Madrid, the money will make him want to leave” and other similar things which would mean the end of his time at Liverpool. I would tell the Liverpool fans that he didn’t care that much about money and that he had proven his loyalty for the next five years by signing a five year contract. We did not know at that point that he even had a release clause, it would only be mentioned much later on as the transfer news about him started becoming less rumour and more truth. There were Spanish clubs after him and they looked pretty serious about bringing him to their club.
The fact that Luis had put that clause in his contract says that he had some thoughts about leaving Liverpool even last year and the controversy and drama he caused recently with the biting incident at the World Cup just made his place at Liverpool even more unstable.
Once he had played his part in eliminating England from the World Cup by scoring for Uruguay against England in the group stages and contributing towards England’s departure from the tournament, there were many English people and even Liverpool fans who had decided that they did not like him any more, he had done something which perhaps they could not forgive… England fans know that their country desperately needs to be winning their games to qualify for the last 16 (especially after losing to Italy) and it was Luis Suarez that scored both goals in the second defeat which would crush England’s hopes of qualification to the knockout stages. If he was to remain a Liverpool player, he would certainly have not had a “WELCOME HOME” party arranged for him once he returned to England. It’s possible even reds fans at Anfield would have booed and jeered him as the guy who managed to single-handedly kick England out of the World Cup. All that was before the Uruguay V Italy game, too. (see http://www.anfieldfamily.com/italy-0-1-uruguay/ for more information about the events of that game). I had defended Suarez as innocent – an accidental moment where he had lost his balance and fell into the Italian defender, but it all became too much. The outrage from the reds fans was overwhelming and I could not continue to defend his name as more and more people demanded that what he had done was unforgivable and were furious with me if I disagreed with them. I tried at first, but eventually i got tired of people insulting me and telling me I was a complete fool (amongst other swear words I won’t mention here) for defending Suarez in his actions.
Once he had bitten Giorgio Chiellini, Luis Suarez’s fate was all but sealed. He had lost the respect and love of most football fans – not just reds, but football fans from all over the world who had been watching the World Cup in horror and outrage as he sunk his teeth into the Italian defender.
Liverpool fans would basically demand that he leave the club and their opinions were noticed by official club staff and also shared… “WHY should we keep backing and defending a player that has been causing controversy and drama on multiple occasions?” was the question that had to be asked.
Liverpool’s owner John Henry is a huge baseball fan (and owner of a major baseball team) and he would most certainly say “THREE STRIKES AND YOU’RE OUT”.
Well here’s his 3 strikes-
STRIKE 1: Suarez had bitten a player while representing Liverpool before – he was banned for several matches for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic. He had actually bitten a player before this Premier League game (while playing for Ajax) also.
STRIKE 2: Luis been accused and found guilty by the English FA of racism against Patrice Evra of Manchester United. At the time, he was told to apologize publicly by Liverpool (Kenny Dalglish was one of the Liverpool staff who encouraged him to do so) and he made an official apology over Liverpool’s website. He was banned for several matches.
STRIKE 3: Luis Suarez bites another player for at least the third time in his career and appears to have learned nothing from his previous offences as he causes upset for football fans all over the planet yet again, in the World Cup game between Uruguay and Italy. FIFA would quickly convene and discuss what to do with this “repeat offender” and then bring a four month ban of “all football related activities” upon Suarez for his unsporting behaviour. Despite the incident occurring in an international game for his country, it would affect Liverpool football club as his ban would mean he would miss the starting period of the new season in the English Premier League. The reds fans all know how much we need him scoring goals for us and for him to be not be able to play and score because of his own bad conduct caused MASS OUTRAGE, even among Liverpool fans.
STRIKE 3 – YOU’RE OUTTA THERE, SUAREZ!
It would be shortly after the biting incident and FIFA’s decision to ban Suarez for 4 months that Barcelona would largely increase their interest from just a rumour to officially holding talks over his transfer with Liverpool’s representative (Ian Ayre). The Liverpool fans didn’t want Suarez (not only due to his knocking out England in the World Cup but also outrage at his being banned again was everywhere) and the Liverpool staff at the club didn’t want Suarez (they have given him plenty of chances to improve his conduct but cannot keep defending a player who causes too much trouble, time after time) so selling him seemed like the best idea for everyone.
As soon as it was confirmed that Barcelona were most definitely interested, the transfer talks were handled fairly quickly (there was a short amount of time where Alexis Sanchez was considered to be part exchanged for Suarez with an amount of money that probably would have been £50M, but eventually Sanchez had made his mind up that he preferred a transfer to Arsenal instead). The release clause (of around £75M) would be Barcelona’s best option for being able to get their player and eventually Suarez would agree terms and pass his medical, becoming a Barcelona player and receiving the number 9 Jersey to wear. As he left Liverpool, he gave an official statement about his time at the club and personal reasons about why he was moving on.
SO ENDS the (Liverpool) career of a player who had so much potential to be a real KOP LEGEND (yes, his scoring record was amazing but he had not led his team to a League title win or European Cup Final victory – there was so much more he could have achieved) … but just couldn’t conduct himself properly. The CLUB will always be more important than it’s players and nobody is irreplaceable- if a (successful) player thinks they can’t be replaced, this is most certainly a lesson about how they are wrong. ADIOS, LUIS SUAREZ.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red. I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.