Nottingham Post

Clattenbur­g trying to help Forest get that extra 1%



MARK Clattenbur­g has spoken in depth about his role at Nottingham Forest and his hope that he can help the club by eking out even 1% more from their Premier League matches.

Clattenbur­g, who refereed in the Premier League between 2004 and 2017 before heading out to hold various jobs abroad, joined Forest last month having struck up a working relationsh­ip with Evangelos Marinakis while working in Greece.

Believing Forest were on the wrong side of poor decisions, Marinakis moved to address the situation by introducin­g Clattenbur­g as a consultant in order to better understand why referees make the calls they do, and how Forest players and coaches can better prepare.

Clattenbur­g, speaking on Jamie Martin’s Youtube channel, brings a different type of understand­ing of how football works, specifical­ly from the officiatin­g angle, and Forest hope that in the long term they can benefit from that expertise – even if it is, as Clattenbur­g says, by only 1% here and there.

“My role came about because I’ve known the owner for some years. He has a club in Greece, I was in Greece,” Clattenbur­g said in the interview.

“We didn’t always see eye to eye about football, referees, a lot of different aspects.

“I’m not just a referee – I understand football, I’ve been in the middle of matches. I do understand a little bit about it. To be labelled just a referee is disrespect­ful. We’ve got the media, the fans, everyone wants to talk about football and I’m exactly the same.

“I’ve got opinions like everyone else – who is a good player and a bad player – but also I’ve got more to bring to the table.

“Because I’ve known the owner and family, I can support the board with understand­ing how the Premier League is interprete­d – and certainly how decisions are, because they’re not always the same around the world as we see weekly when we watch TV.

“The owner wants to understand the Premier League, why he doesn’t get certain decisions, and this was why I was brought in. They’ve had some really bad calls.

“The game before I was appointed was against Newcastle United and there was a clear penalty not awarded by the referee or VAR. We had a red card against Brighton. Certain things the owner wants to understand how things work.

“I know how referees work and the PGMOL. The role also allows the club to know who the referee is on a weekly basis.

“This happens at every club. I’ve been at some pre-season meetings and I’ve seen the boards for the players, the dossiers about referees. There is a small margin that clubs want.

“It’s just not me introducin­g myself to the referee. All clubs have liaisons who look after referees before and after games – I’m not one of them.

“I’m there to work with the coaches, to help understand the decisions of the game. As we’ve seen throughout the season, there have been a lot of yellow cards issued to the technical area because they’re frustrated.

“That’s when I can try to explain why they’re happening and working with the PGMOL and the Premier League about how it doesn’t happen in future.

“I can understand why clubs want it. It’s that 1% advantage.

“I can see certain tactics in games and certain things in which I can help the players. For example the drop balls, we immediatel­y found a solution.

“It’s not just about the decisions, it’s about player and coach behaviour.

“Players who dissent a lot aren’t going to get the treatment that you would if you didn’t. It’s that little 1% which might get you three points and move you up the league.

“I’m not a referee analyst. I’m a consultant for the board and I’ll advise the club on how we can get that 1%.

“I don’t speak to referees before or after the game – only against Liverpool, when I wanted to support the coach going into the dressing room.

“I want to help the refereeing world when we have coaches not understand­ing the laws of the game or the interpreta­tion of the law. I’ve been out of the game for seven years, so I don’t know this refereeing group generally.

“I’m not interested in them as personalit­ies, I am just interested that the referee gives a performanc­e in line with the PGMOL and refereeing guidance and that Nottingham Forest are dealt with 50-50 – at the moment, that hasn’t been the case.

“Nottingham Forest aren’t different to any other club about their communicat­ion with the PGMOL – they’ve just gone public about their grievances, which they’re entitled to do.”

 ?? MAIN PIC: GETTY IMAGES; INSET PIC: PA ?? Mark Clattenbur­g refereeing in 2017 and (inset, right) at the City Ground for Nottingham Forest’s game against Liverpool earlier this month.
MAIN PIC: GETTY IMAGES; INSET PIC: PA Mark Clattenbur­g refereeing in 2017 and (inset, right) at the City Ground for Nottingham Forest’s game against Liverpool earlier this month.

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