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Mark Clattenburg resigns from Nottingham Forest’s role as referee consultant

Ever since they got promoted at the end of the 2021/22 season, Nottingham Forest has spent a lot of money ensuring that they retain their place in the top flight. So much so, that the club has spent in excess of €300 million over the last two transfer windows but has still struggled on the field. It saw them just about survive their first season in the league, by finishing in 16th place.

However, Forest only finished four points above the drop zone with Leicester City’s poor run of form towards the end of the season hurting the Foxes immensely. That saw the club do everything before the 2023/24 season to ensure their place in the league, spending over €100 million. But yet again, Forest has struggled for form and was also hit with a points deduction for not following the league’s financial fair play rules.

Clattenburg resigns from Nottingham Forest role as referee consultant

However, despite that, Forest has continued to battle on and currently sits 17th on the league table but has continued to make decisions. That includes appointing Mark Clattenburg as their referee consultant after the club reportedly believed that the VAR made decisions against them. Clattenburg, a retired referee, was appointed to the first-of-its-kind role in February 2024 but the decision to do so has not gone down well.

That was especially after Clattenburg was involved in a few controversies including the club accusing Stuart Attwell, the VAR for their clash against Luton, of being Luton fan. The Forest eventually lost that game 2-0 and claimed that Attwell denied them at least three penalties because of his allegiance. That hasn’t gone down well with many and in the weeks since, Mark Clattenburg has officially resigned from his post.

In a statement released by Forest, the former Premier League referee confirmed his decision and revealed that he did so because he felt targeted by pundits and certain participants. He also added that he was appointed to use his experience as a referee to help Forest understand certain decisions taken against them.

“This is to announce that I will no longer be providing match analysis services to NFFC. 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,” read the statement on Nottingham Forest’ official website.

“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 hinderance than help to NFFC. It has also led to the unmerited targeting of me, personally, by certain participants and pundits.

“Such reactions and outcomes were not expected and are 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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