Suarez 'damaged' club brand

Luis Suarez (AFP)
Luis Suarez (AFP)

London - Liverpool's managing director says Luis Suarez's racist abuse and biting incidents have damaged the club's brand.

Ian Ayre, though, says the troubled striker "has responded well to ... work on his character."

Suarez returned on Wednesday against Manchester United from a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during an English Premier League game in April.

The Uruguay international had previously been banned for eight games for racially abusing United's Patrice Evra in 2011.

Speaking at the Sport Industry breakfast in London, Ayre says "any types of incident of that nature are damaging to the brand."

Suarez pushed to leave Liverpool during the off-season but was denied a move, with bids from Arsenal rejected.

Ayre sees Suarez as key to the team, saying "as a footballer, he's a street fighter."

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