Premier League club sue Sky Sports over negative coverage from Man Utd hero | Football

Sky Sports have received a legal letter from the Premier League club (Picture: Getty)

Premier League club Nottingham Forest have launched legal action against Sky Sports following negative coverage from Manchester United and England legend Gary Neville.

Neville was highly critical of Forest and their former refereeing analyst Mark Clattenburg after they released a statement questioning a VAR official following the 2-0 defeat to Everton last month.

Nottingham Forest, who are battling relegation in the Premier League, said they were ‘considering their options’ after being on the wrong end of ‘extremely poor’ decisions at Goodison Park.

The club also said they had ‘warned’ the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOL) that the VAR official – Stuart Attwell – ‘was a Luton fan’.

The statement, posted on X five minutes after the game finished, said: ‘Three extremely poor decisions – three penalties not given – which we simply cannot accept.

‘Our patience has been tested multiple times.’

Sky Sports covered Forest’s statement following Liverpool’s victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage, with Neville calling on former Premier League referee Clattenburg to resign from his position.

Nottingham Forest badges and pins outside the City Ground

Nottingham Forest took to social media to slam the officials (Picture: Getty)

‘Mark Clattenburg must resign tonight,’ he said. ‘If he saw those words go out which question the integrity of a referee and claims someone is a cheat for supporting another club then he’s supporting what is being said. 

‘He would lose all credibility with referees in the game. He should stand down tonight and distance himself from that statement.’

The former Manchester United and England defender added: ‘It’s like a mafia-gang statement. I mean, honestly, what the hell are they playing at? It’s like a petulant child, it’s embarrassing. 

‘And some of those things they’re saying in there, the suggestion of some sort of inferring of cheating because there’s an official in VAR in Stockley Park who’s a Luton fan is a scandal, and they will pay for that.’

Nottingham Forest were said to be furious with Sky Sports’ coverage of the social media post and the club have now submitted a legal letter to the network, according to the Daily Mail.

Clattenburg took up a consultancy role at the City Ground in February with the intention of helping players and staff better understand VAR and how decisions are made.

He resigned from the position on Friday, saying he felt his role had ‘become more of a hindrance than a help’ to the club.

‘It has also led to the unmerited targeting of me, personally, by certain participants and pundits,’ he added.

Man Utd legend and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville

Man Utd legend and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville was critical of Forest (Picture: Getty)

‘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 Nottingham Forest understand how decisions in relation to key match incidents are made amid the workings of VAR.’

Nottingham Forest were aggrieved by three penalty decisions during their defeat to Everton, with Attwell deciding not to send on-field referee Antony Taylor to the pitchside monitor to review any of the incidents.

Howard Webb, PGMOL boss and former referee, admitted recently that one of the three decisions should have resulted in a penalty.

But that did not stop Nottingham Forest, manager Nuno Espirito Santo and defender Neco Williams from abeing charged by the Football Association with misconduct after the Everton loss.

Nottingham Forest appeal for a penalty against Everton

Nottingham Forest wanted three penalties against Everton (Picture: Getty)

Shortly after Forest’s tweet was posted, Nuno and Williams both criticised the officiating during their post-match media duties.

In a statement, the FA said: ‘Nottingham Forest, Nuno Espirito Santo and Neco Williams have been charged with misconduct in relation to comments that they made after their Premier League game against Everton on Sunday 21 April.

‘It’s alleged 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.’

Nottingham Forest – who boosted their survival hopes with a crucial 3-1 win at Sheffield United on Saturday – have until May 9 to respond to the charges.

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