Why I’ve been hired as the FIRST EVER referees’ analyst for a Premier League club: MARK CLATTENBURG explains his ground-breaking new job

  • Nottingham Forest have appointed Mark Clattenburg as a refereeing consultant 
  • The role is the first of its kind to have been added by a Premier League club 
  • Liverpool must be ruthless – Jurgen Klopp has to hang on to two-point lead until title clash with Man City – It’s All Kicking Off podcast 

I already knew Evangelos Marinakis from my work with the Greece Football Federation where I headed up the Greek Super League’s referees. 

He is a passionate football fan – the owner of Olympiacos as well as Rio Ave in Portugal and Nottingham Forest in England – and someone who will leave no stone unturned in trying to make sure his clubs are successful. 

It was with that in mind that Marinakis phoned me last week to discuss a job. 

It is not unusual for clubs in other countries to use refereeing consultants, though the Premier League has never embraced this idea to my knowledge. Until now, that is, because I’ll be working with Forest under the title of ‘match and performance analyst’. 

I will help in the understanding of how and why certain decisions are made, prepare pre-match packs on the officiating teams taking charge of their fixtures, and one of my other main aims will be improving the relationship between the club and the PGMOL. 

Nottingham Forest became the first Premier League club to appoint a refereeing consultant when they hired Mark Clattenburg

Clattenberg will provide information and clarity on refereeing decisions for Forest

Clattenberg will provide information and clarity on refereeing decisions for Forest

It is no secret that Forest have been on the receiving end of controversial calls this season. There was Ivan Toney’s goal for Brentford when he moved the ball – and the referee’s foam – before scoring his free-kick. There was the harsh red card for Joe Worrall and penalty awarded for an apparent foul by Danilo against Manchester United. 

There was Willy Boly being shown a second yellow against Bournemouth even though he won the ball. There was the failure to award them an obvious penalty when Taiwo Awoniyi was tripped by Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. 

These are not insignificant incidents when you are a club trying to stay in the Premier League. 

Forest were denied a penalty after Maxwel Cornet stood on Neco Williams' foot on Saturday

Forest were denied a penalty after Maxwel Cornet stood on Neco Williams’ foot on Saturday

I was at the City Ground on Saturday as Forest were denied a clear penalty when Maxwel Cornet clearly stood on Neco Williams’s foot, and part of my pre-match pack mentioned that Thomas Bramall is a young referee still getting to grips with the Premier League while Tim Robinson was acting as VAR for the first time this season. 

Thankfully, Forest went on to win regardless. 

Considering how much work goes into preparing for Premier League matches, it only makes sense that clubs add to their planning and performance by ensuring they have a good understanding of how the rules are being interpreted by our referees – both on the field and in the VAR hub – because we all know that one decision can be difference between winning and losing. 

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