Disappointed by this, Dan Forman imagined this [pours on fuel, lights match, stands back...]:
Having had the appropriate time to consider the FA's full report into Luis Suarez, Liverpool FC would like to make the following statement:
We accept the FA's findings in full and also accept the suspension from football given to Luis which we will not appeal. While we would legitimately have had the opportunity to further consider our response and delay the suspension, we think it is only right that to avoid any impression of 'playing' the system that the ban should begin with immediate effect.
Internally we have also spoken to Luis in the strongest terms about his choice of language and fined him the maximum two weeks' wages. However, as he makes clear in his own statement below, Luis has already offered to make a much more substantial sacrifice than this which we fully support.
We do have some concerns about the FA's handling of this matter as we have made clear privately to them. These relate to the manner of the investigation, hearing and punishment and the precedent it sets for future incidents. However we do not wish to elaborate any further publicly on these as it would be inappropriate to distract attention from the fact that Luis made a serious mistake for which he has rightly apologised and rightly been punished. Neither do we want our concerns to be seen as in any way about the treatment or singling out of an individual player or club. Rather they are concerns about the nature of future FA investigations that may affect any player or club.
But far more important than football and its internal administration is the ongoing issue of racism in society. We in the city of Liverpool and those of us involved in the club from the US need no reminding of the sickening effect of racial segregation, discrimination and abuse. That is why this club has taken such an active part in anti-racism initiatives and why we are so proud of the small part we have played in improving attitudes and behaviour over the years. That is also why we will step up our efforts in this regard and work with all of our staff, including and especially those we recruit from overseas, to be aware of the cultural and linguistic sensitivities of the UK and remind them of their place as role models in society.
To this end we have also reflected on our immediate response to the charge and punishment brought against Luis. As a club we supported him fully through this process as it was only appropriate to do so given our duty of care to him as an employer. We were also keen to explain the cultural background to the incident and to reaffirm that Luis is unequivocally not a racist. However on reflection we deeply regret that our support for Luis may have allowed the impression to emerge that we did not take the basic charge against him seriously or, even more damagingly, that we do not take the issue of racism seriously. This was never our intention and is absolutely not the case.
Particularly we have reflected on the decision to wear supportive T-shirts before the match against Wigan. While we fully understand the squad and management team's desire to show solidarity with their friend and colleague - and that they as well as anyone know the person that Luis really is - this was clearly a mistake and a matter of serious regret for the reasons outlined above and for which Liverpool FC would like to unreservedly apologise.
Luis Suarez added:
I would like to re-iterate everything the club has said above. I am not a racist - as I am glad the FA have recognised - and am deeply saddened that this label has been in my view unfairly attached to me by some.
Nevertheless I made a terrible mistake in my choice of language - albeit in the heat of the moment - and deserve to be held to account for it in and of itself and also as a role model to others. While, as I argued at the hearing, the word 'negro' has an alternative meaning in Uruguay, it was wrong to use at the time and it is my responsibility as a resident of Britain to be aware of this country's cultural norms, particularly in an area of such sensitivity.
Let me once again apologise to Patrice Evra and anyone else who may have been offended by my actions. As well as accepting the FA's punishment I have also volunteered to donate my wages for the period of the suspension to the brilliant Let's Kick Racism Out of Football campaign and, while continuing my training, will also be volunteering in inner-city youth projects to learn more about their community cohesion work.
I would like to thank the club, my fellow players, my friends and family and the fans of Liverpool for their support during this difficult time. But can I also call on everyone to now unite around English football's fantastic anti-racism work and try to move on from this unfortunate episode, for which I take full responsibility. While the rivalry between our great clubs will always endure, the last thing I want is for relations between Liverpool and Manchester United fans to sour or abuse of any kind to be directed at a fellow player.