Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson claims the controversy surrounding Liverpool striker Luis Suarez last season cost Kenny Dalglish his job.
Dalglish was sacked at the end of the season after a disappointing Premier League campaign, which saw the Reds finish in eighth spot. Suarez's eight-match ban for racially abusing United's Patrice Evra did not help their performance, and Ferguson believes Dalglish's handling of the situation ultimately resulted in his axing.
"I wasn't surprised at Kenny leaving," said Ferguson. "[Liverpool owner] John Henry has obviously looked at that [the Suarez incident] and felt it wasn't handled in the right way. It certainly wasn't a nice thing to happen and it must have been part of it."
Dalglish continued to back the embattled Suarez throughout the saga, but when the Uruguay international failed to shake Evra's hand on his return to Old Trafford Henry was forced to intervene.
In an interview in his homeland this week, Suarez blamed United for his ban, claiming their "political power" in England led to his guilty verdict.
"It's not going to go away if Suarez keeps on making headlines out of it," said Ferguson. "It was nothing to do with Manchester United. It wasn't Evra's contribution, it wasn't Suarez's contribution. What killed Suarez was the guy who explained the cultural differences."
Suarez also claimed Evra held his hand too low as he approached to shake it, but Ferguson insists the responsibility still rested with the Liverpool striker.
"I think Evra expected him not to shake hands," said Ferguson."He actually said that to the lads. He just felt that he wasn't going to shake his hand. He was embarrassed to put his hand there.
"But there is no doubt Evra put his hand towards him. It's Suarez who should be making the effort to do something about it."