HomeFeatured ArticlesMark Clattenburg Nottingham Forest Resignation After VAR Controversy

Mark Clattenburg Nottingham Forest Resignation After VAR Controversy

Mark Clattenburg Ends His Role as Referee Analyst at Nottingham Forest

Swift Departure After Short Stint

In a surprising turn of events, Mark Clattenburg has announced his resignation from his position as referee analyst at Nottingham Forest, a role he had only begun in February. Known for his extensive experience in officiating at the highest levels of football, including the Premier League, Clattenburg’s appointment was initially viewed as a strategic move to enhance the club’s understanding of refereeing decisions, particularly with the implementation of VAR.

Controversy Strikes Early

However, Clattenburg’s tenure was quickly marred by controversies. It began with his public comments regarding a drop ball situation in a match against Liverpool, followed by criticism directed at the officiating during a fixture against Everton on April 21. These incidents seemed to catalyse tension between Nottingham Forest and various stakeholders in the football community.

In his statement, Clattenburg expressed his disappointment, “This is to announce that I will no longer be providing match analysis services to Nottingham Forest Football Club. Since February this year, I have been proud to have done so under a consultancy agreement between NFFC and Referee Consultant Ltd.”

He continued, “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.”

Unintended Consequences

Despite his intentions, Clattenburg acknowledged that his role had inadvertently led to friction and had become counterproductive. “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.”

He also noted the personal repercussions he faced, saying, “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.”

Photo: IMAGO

Fallout with the Football Association

The situation escalated when Nottingham Forest was charged with improper conduct by the Football Association following a controversial statement about VAR Stuart Attwell. The charges extended to Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo and full-back Neco Williams for their comments which were deemed to potentially imply bias and question the integrity of match officials, thereby possibly bringing the game into disrepute. Clattenburg himself received a formal warning shortly after announcing his resignation.

“The FA alleged the comments by Forest, Nuno and Williams ‘constitute improper conduct in that they imply bias and/or question the integrity of the match officials and/or bring the game into disrepute’,” highlighted the FA’s stance on the matter.

Looking Ahead

As the Premier League continues to investigate the comments regarding Attwell under its rules, Clattenburg remains philosophical about his departure, expressing gratitude towards the club, “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.”

Nottingham Forest now faces a critical period as it responds to the charges by May 9, all while continuing their campaign in the Premier League under heightened scrutiny.

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