Clattenburg steps down as Forest Referee Analyst after three months

Mark Clattenburg: Turned into a divisive figure rather than a bridge-builder

Mark Clattenburg: Turned into a divisive figure rather than a bridge-builder

Mark Clattenburg has stepped down from his role as Referee Analyst with Nottingham Forest after less than three months, admitting his position had "become more of a hindrance than help" to the club.

The former Premier League and FIFA referee began working with the relegation-threatened club in February. At the time, he explained he would “help in the understanding of how and why certain decisions are made, prepare pre-match packs on the officiating teams taking charge of their fixtures and one of my other main aims will be improving the relationship between the club and the PGMOL.”

That seems rather ironic now because, in the words of Clattenburg himself, there has been "unintended friction between Forest and other participants" since he took up the role.

The 49-year-old publicly criticised referee Paul Tierney after Darwin Nunez scored a late winner for Liverpool at the City Ground earlier this season. He said Forest should have been given the ball back before the goal and was stopped from entering the referees' dressing room after the game.

Last month, Forest released a strongly-worded statement on their official Twitter account following the defeat by Everton saying they were “considering their options” after the failure to award three penalties in their favour.

Mina Cup

The club said they had "warned" the PGMOL that "the VAR is a Luton fan but they didn't change him".

Forest are expected to face charges from the Premier League and Football Association as a result of that social media post and the FA has formally asked Clattenburg, the club, manager Nuno Espirito Santo and defender Neco Williams for their observations.

In a statement on Forest’s official website, Clattenburg announced he was stepping down and said: “Since February this year, I have been proud to have done so under a consultancy agreement between NFFC and Referee Consultant Ltd.

“I performed my services under the consultancy agreement in good faith, to the best of my abilities and in the hope of using my extensive experience as a match official to help NFFC understand how decisions in relation to key match incidents are made amid the workings of VAR.

“However, it is now clear that the existence and performance of these consultancy services has caused unintended friction between NFFC and other participants, to the extent that it has become more of a hindrance than help to NFFC. It has also led to the unmerited targeting of me, personally, by certain participants and pundits.

“Such reactions and outcome was not expected and is regrettable, as it is my sincere belief that there is a place for and value in such a role in the modern game.

“I am grateful to NFFC and wish them all the best during the remainder of the season and in the future. It’s been an honour.”

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