Gary Neville slams Nottingham Forest over Mark Clattenburg role | Football

The pundit has branded the appointment ’embarrassing’ (Picture: Sky Sports / YouTube)

Gary Neville has hit out at Nottingham Forest’s decision to appoint former official Mark Clattenburg as a referee analyst and believes it is an ‘embarrassing’ idea.

Last week, Forest confirmed the arrival of the former Premier League referee on a consultancy basis with the aim of improving their understanding of decisions and relationship with officials.

Clattenburg, who has most recently been the referee in the BBC’s rebooted TV show Gladiators, was in the director’s box at the City Ground on Saturday to watch their 2-0 win over West Ham.

Although Forest have been on the receiving end of a number of controversial officiating decisions this season, Neville believes they have gone too far by bringing in Clattenburg and has slammed the move.

Speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast, he said: ‘For a start, I actually think in the last four, five, six weeks we haven’t talked too much about VAR. The odd decision here and there but it’s actually got a lot better, there haven’t been that many decisions that are that bad in my opinion.

‘Every team will whinge when they get a bad decision. We used to whinge all the time.

‘But what is Mark Clattenburg doing? I’ve worked with Mark – what are you doing?

‘You’ve been employed to go and tell a football club how referees are making mistakes or what mistakes they’re making. I mean, it’s plainly obvious. A fan in the crowd could go and tell you exactly what a referee’s thinking.

Referee Mark Clattenburg at Soccer Aid

Clattenburg refereed Soccer Aid back in 2022 (Picture: Getty)

‘The intent behind what a referee or an official is thinking is usually 99 per cent there, so I’m disappointed with Nottingham Forest.

‘It’s as if to say, “Look at all this, woe is me”. Look, I get it, some teams feel as though they’ve been hard done by, some teams feel they’ve had bad decisions against them, that happens sometimes during a season.

‘I would have hated it. You’re speaking to someone who would have been furious if we had one bad decision go against us let alone three or four.

‘But to employ an ex referee to tell you why you’re having decisions against you, for me, I think is a step too far.

‘This is not an attack on Nottingham Forest fans, because I think some of them will probably think it’s embarrassing. They won’t like the decisions going against them, but I’m sure they won’t sit there and think it’s a really good move by the club.’

He added: ‘I don’t like it. It would seem the clubs’ approaches towards referees has changed, that they almost want recourse, they want revenge, they want something to happen.’

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