Hit or Miss?: Liverpool FC's handling of the Luis Suarez handshake controversy

The refusal by Liverpool's Luis Suarez to shake hands with Patrice Evra on Saturday has prompted a damage limitation exercise from the club and its backers, following the striker's eight-match ban for racial abuse.

Handshake controversy: Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra (Getty Images)
Handshake controversy: Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra (Getty Images)

The club's American owner Fenway Sports Group helped author statements from Suarez and manager Kenny Dalglish, while MD Ian Ayre and shirt sponsor Standard Chartered also spoke of their 'disappointment'.

HOW I SEE IT - NEIL HOPKINS, DIRECTOR, M&C SAATCHI SPORT & ENTERTAINMENT

It is possible to draw a line directly from the events of before Christmas at Anfield to the resignation of an England manager and the announcement of a summit on racism in football by the Prime Minister.

This story has been a textbook case of how Twitter is forcing us to revise crisis management. Indulging Suarez' defence was probably the first mistake. The FA ban ought to have been the end of the matter. But Kenny Dalglish tweeting to denounce the ban was a lesson in how to further embroil yourself in a no-win situation - and set up the Old Trafford showdown.

The club will reflect that it should have acted to defuse the situation in December, and Liverpool MD Ian Ayre's statement about the player having let himself, the manager and the club down said as much.

MISS

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