Sir Alex Ferguson has responded to Liverpool striker Luis Suárez's accusations that Manchester United's "political power" ensured he was punished for racially abusing Patrice Evra by claiming his behaviour caused Kenny Dalglish's sacking.
Dalglish was dismissed by Reds owners Fenway Sports Group in June after a Premier League campaign which saw the club finish dismal eighth. However his vehement backing of Suárez before, during and after the case brought against him was condemned nationwide, as Liverpool took the extraordinary step of wearing T-shirts in support of the Uruguayan.
And Ferguson, speaking in South Africa on the Red Devils' tour, weighed in on Suarez's latest comments, countering: "I wasn't surprised at Kenny leaving. John Henry [Liverpool's owner] 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."
In an interview in Uruguay during the week, the former Ajax forward alluded to a conspiracy whereby United exert too much power over the Football Association, which led to his eight-match ban and £40,000 fine.
Following his punishment, meted out in December, Suárez came face-to-face with Evra on his first start in the reverse Premier League fixture at Old Trafford but refused to shake the Frenchman's hand.
The next day after Liverpool's 2-1 loss to United, both he and Kenny Dalglish, who launched an extraordinarily misguided defence of the striker, apologised for their conduct, albeit not to Evra or United directly.
DALGLISH'S INFAMOUS DEFENCE
Liverpool's director of communications Ian Cotton was fired by FSG, with the T-shirts gesture cited as a primary reason.
Already during the close season Suárez labelled his suspension "unbelievable", and Ferguson, 70, stressed the 26-year-old's comments mean the case isn't "going to go away if Suarez keeps on making headlines out of it", adding it was "Suarez's contribution" and not Evra's.