Even Liverpool's sponsors are getting it in the neck over the Reds' performance this season.

The Sunday Mirror says only last week, at the AGM of Liverpool's shirt sponsors Standard Chartered, ­company chairman Sir John Peace was asked by shareholders to justify the £20million-a-year deal given Kenny Dalglish's handling of the Luis Suarez affair.

With Liverpool unable to cash in on Champions League qualification for a third successive year, the need for cash from commercial ventures is even more vital.