Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra
The racism row rumbles on. Reuters

Liverpool have released a statement in reply to black community groups from Merseyside, with the Reds insisting that they are taking every necessary step to ensure that they help racial minorities.

Controversy has taken over the club behind the scenes for a matter of months now, with Luis Suarez being banned for eight matches after racially abusing Patrice Evra.

And while the Liverpool striker issued an apology towards anyone he had offended, he has refused to admit guilt over using the word 'negro' on the pitch against his Manchester United rival, and did not apologise directly to Evra.

His refusal to shake Evra's hand when Liverpool played United in the Premier League brought the issue to a head, and resulted in the Anfield club, Kenny Dalgilsh and Suarez all issuing apologies for their behaviour, while owners Fenway Sports Group also expressed their disapproval of the Uruguay international's actions.

But even though Suarez said in his statement that he wants to concentrate on football, an open letter from numerous black and equality groups says that there are still issues that need to be addressed.

"LFC actions, in vehemently rejecting the findings of the FA inquiry, their public displays of support for a player found guilty of racist abuse and his subsequent refusal to shake the hand of Evra at a recent game is completely unacceptable," the letter, displayed on the Black Police Association (NBPA) website, said.

"These actions we believe could be considered as inciting racial intolerance.

"Whilst the subsequent apologies for the failure to engage with the traditions of a pre-game handshake are to be welcomed, there remains deep concern about LFC's absolute refusal to accept the findings of the FA's investigation.

"As such these apologies fail to meet the test of genuine remorse and understanding. This is further negated by LFC's failure to apologise for racism either through the club or Suarez.

"Neither have LFC recognised or acknowledged the consequent damage to race relations resulting from their actions and recognised by many people of all races across the country. As a result efforts to combat racism in football and the wider society in general have been critically undermined."

But Liverpool claim that they have indeed been working with racial minorities to encourage healthy dialogue and move forward from the issue.

"Liverpool FC made clear its disappointment with what happened recently at Old Trafford and both Luis Suarez and Kenny Dalglish issued apologies," the statement read.

"The player did not previously appeal the FA sanction, served his suspension and apologised to anyone he had offended.

"In light of recent events, the club have met with a number of key national and local stakeholders on these issues. We are also working with Sporting Equals, an independent UK-wide charity and one of the leading experts in equality and diversity in sport to develop a strategic action plan encompassing both our staff and external stakeholders.

"The club has a long and successful track record in the area of social inclusion both at home and abroad and we will continue to build on the work we have already done.

"We are committed to playing our part, alongside the game's authorities and other agencies, in the fight against racism and discrimination of any sort."