Barcelona have agreed a deal with Liverpool to sign Luis Suarez for a transfer fee of reportedly £70-£80million, according to a report in Spain.
You have to wonder how much of Luis Suarez’s decision to publicly apologize earlier this week for biting a player was fueled by a potential move to Barcelona, which — if you believe Sky Sports — could be officially announced before the end of this weekend. Or whether the apology was heartfelt and sincere. Then again, perhaps it was a career move to reduce the likelihood that he wouldn’t lose any more endorsement deals after 888poker terminated its contract with the Uruguayan.
A statement from 888poker read: “We signed Luis Suárez following a fantastic season for which his achievements were widely recognized. Regrettably, following his actions during Uruguay’s World Cup match against Italy on Tuesday, 888poker has decided to terminate its relationship with Luis Suárez with immediate effect.”
Suárez joined 888poker as a worldwide ambassador shortly before the World Cup and provided a series of video diaries for their website during the tournament.
The Liverpool striker was last week banned from all football activity for four months and nine international games – the longest ban ever imposed at a World Cup. If he hadn’t apologized, he could have lost further endorsement deals – and millions of dollars with them – as sponsors grew wary of his indiscipline.
What ever was Suarez’s intentions when issuing an apology, Suárez will hope that it will cushion the blow to his reputation.
Before the apology, Adidas and Standard Chartered had expressed concerns about their association with the Uruguayan. Plus Warrior Sports, Liverpool’s kit manufacturer, was believed to be internally reviewing the situation.
None of this will come as a surprise. From Tiger Woods to Lance Armstrong, it’s the norm for disgraced sports stars to lose some, if not all of their endorsements. Although Suarez’s apology may help matters, the biting incident could end up being the most expensive mistake of his life. Or, if the deal with Barcelona goes through, he may end up being the luckiest person on earth.