Clattenburg leaves role as referee consultant at Forest because of ‘friction’ with rival clubs

NOTTINGHAM, England (AP) — Mark Clattenburg is leaving his role as a referee consultant at Nottingham Forest, saying Friday his presence at the club has caused “unintended friction” with its Premier League rivals.

Clattenburg, a former Premier League referee, also cited the “unmerited targeting of me, personally, by certain participants and pundits” as a reason behind his decision to leave the role.

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

Clattenburg has worked with Forest since February, in a move to help the club understand refereeing decisions such as those made by the Video Assistant Referee.

Forest has been publicly critical of a number of refereeing decisions in recent months, including in the 3-0 loss at Everton last month. Immediately after that game, an inflammatory statement by Forest questioned the integrity of the VAR, Stuart Attwell.

The club, along with manager Nuno Espirito Santo and defender Neco Williams, were charged with misconduct on Friday because of their reaction to that game.

“It’s alleged,” the Football Association said, “that the club, manager and player’s comments constitute improper conduct in that they imply bias and/or question the integrity of the match officials and/or bring the game into disrepute.”

Clattenburg, who wrote a newspaper column after the Everton game saying Forest has endured some “egregious refereeing” that was part of an ”unjust trend” this season, has been “formally warned as to his future conduct,” the FA said.

Clattenburg said he performed his consultancy services with Forest “in good faith, to the best of my abilities.”

“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 said.

Forest heads into the third-to-last round of games a point above the relegation zone.


AP soccer:

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