Luis Suárez was damaging the reputation of the Premier League, according to the league’s chief executive Richard Scudamore.
Scudamore admitted he was not sorry to see Suárez join Barcelona, and praised Liverpool for extracting £75m for the controversial striker.The Uruguayan was handed a four-month ban from all football-related activity after biting the Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in Brazil, and will find out the result of his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday.
Scudamore said the Premier League will miss Suarez the footballer, but he is relieved to be rid of a person he describes as “an accident waiting t happen”.
“I think probably the time had come,” said Scudamore. “He’s a great player and I’m not taking anything away from his talents: he was voted by both his own players and the media last year the player of the year and deservedly so.
“He’s great to have but an accident waiting to happen, and if you spend your time trying to promote what’s good about the Premier League, you’re always waiting for the next thing to come along.
“And this one in the summer, although it was with Uruguay, although it didn’t directly involve the Premier League, clearly it reflected on Liverpool as one of our great clubs. And it reflected on us.
“He’s done his time here, but I can’t say I’m sorry to see him go. I think it was good business on a number of levels from Liverpool to move Suárez on.”
Suárez was banned for 10 games for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in 2013 and before he arrived in England he served a seven-match suspension for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal whilst on duty for Ajax in 2010.
Scudamore also said that the loss of last season’s outstanding player did not diminish the Premier League’s status as the world’s strongest league.
“We lost David Beckham as well, remember, we do often lose one or two,” said Scudamore. “The truth of the matter is the Spanish system producing those two very wealthy clubs, because of the way they sell their individual television rights, have always had the economic power.
“It’s not just the way they sell their TV rights, it’s their political organisation and how they go about finding money they haven’t got. They do very well in terms of being able to pick off top talent, [Luis] Figo never came here, [Zinedine] Zidane didn’t come here either.
“We’ve not always had the absolute top name at any given time in world football, but we’ve got enough in the top 50 of the world’s best players. And we’ve certainly got eight of the world’s top 20 clubs, and that’s the most important thing for me – we’ve got 20 competitive clubs.
“Economically we’ve got 20 of the world’s top 50 clubs now, all our 20 are economically in the world’s top 50 clubs. And that to me is more important in many ways, that the matches are competitive.
“We’ve got enough stars, and we don’t need absolutely every world mega star name to make this a successful league.”