Clattenburg dispels myths about Nottingham Forest role in revealing interview

    Mark Clattenburg has rejected claims he was Nottingham Forest’s referee analyst – insisting he was an adviser to owner Evangelos Marinakis.

    The former Premier League whistleblower, who oversaw the Champions League and European Championship final in 2016, linked up at the City Ground in February.


    Clattenburg joined Forest in February, before leaving his role at the City Ground in MayCredit: Getty

    It was reported that the 49-year-old was brought in to improve understanding and relationships with the PGMOL following a number of decisions that went against Forest.

    But Clattenburg, who built up a relationship with Marinakis having been the Head of Refereeing in Greece – where his Olympiacos side play – has stressed his role was one of a consultant.

    Clattenburg left his role at Forest in May – weeks after the Reds hit out at the PGMOL following key decisions missed in their 2-0 defeat at Everton.

    Explaining what his role was at Forest, Clattenburg told talkSPORT: “I wasn’t employed as a referee analyst, that was Sky Sports reporting that.

    “I was an adviser to the board, I was advising in different areas and aspects.

    “I’ve been in football for quite a long time, I’ve seen some things, I understand the English culture, the owner of Nottingham Forest is Greek, a lot of the people around him are Greek.

    “So therefore sometimes I can give him the understanding of what’s expected, so he trusted me, I had a relationship with him because I was the Head of Refereeing in Greece.

    “We had a mutual respect for each other, I left Greece and we still had that mutual respect, and he asked me to certainly understand refereeing decision that Nottingham Forest have received this year, which I couldn’t give him any explanation for.

    Clattenburg was one of the Premier League's top referees between 2004-2017


    Clattenburg was one of the Premier League’s top referees between 2004-2017Credit: Getty
    He spoke to talkSPORT to explain what his role was during his time at Forest


    He spoke to talkSPORT to explain what his role was during his time at Forest

    “Because a lot of the decisions were wrong, they were affecting the club and the points, and when a club is fighting relegation, and when you’re a referee, you don’t really understand the pressure.

    “But when you’re involved in a club, you realise the pressure of staying in the Premier League is so big, every decision is scrutinised.”

    Gary Neville shares his disappointment at former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg being employed at Nottingham Forest in new role

    He was then asked to respond to allegations on the Saturday Session with Carlton Cole and Darren Ambrose that he didn’t know what he was doing at Forest.

    To which he remarked: “It was hard of course. This role isn’t new across the world, this role was used across the whole of Europe, it’s used in other sports, it was used in rugby union in the World Cup.

    “So if it’s giving some sporting edge, then why not? In hindsight, could we have explained it more?

    “Could Nottingham Forest and I have explained it better, that we could have looked at the role and said, ‘Look, it’s not just a referee analyst, I’m a consultant, I’m looking at tactics, giving the owner some sort of understanding about English football which is important.'”

    And Clattenburg stressed that he in no way was looking to influence refereeing decisions in Forest’s favour, as he addressed the club’s stinging social media post about poor decisions.

    He stated: “A lot of people thought I was going in to see referees and I was trying to influence them, that was absolute rubbish because I didn’t know them.

    “Also, I think they tried to attach the tweet – that was made after the Everton football match – where in my opinion, the referee made two mistakes, the club felt three, I felt two.

    Clattenburrg has officiated in the FA Cup, League Cup, Olympic, Champions League and European Championship finals


    Clattenburrg has officiated in the FA Cup, League Cup, Olympic, Champions League and European Championship finalsCredit: Getty

    “I had nothing to do with that, that’s something from the highest level, I’m just a consultant, I can only advise on some things.

    “And if some things are coming from the very top, which happens at all football clubs, that’s got nothing to do with Mark Clattenburg.”

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