Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Statement after Chelsea/Clattenburg meeting

The statement published by Chelsea, the Select group of referees and the Premier League, reproduced below, is a masterpiece of caution and diplomacy, but it seems plain that the unstated is still more important than what has actually been said.

Chelsea "regret" rushing out the allegations against Mark Clattenburg so quickly after the game against Man United. And they also "regret" the impact of the media scrutiny on him. But there's no apology to Clattenburg.
And Chelsea say they would welcome him back to Stamford Bridge. Hardly the humble apology which many referees feel is the minimum acknowledgement this man deserves. 
Oh well, I'm sure Clattenburg will store it all up for the memoirs and get on with the next game, which I know he will referee in his usual professional manner, whether it involves Chelsea or not.
Here's the statement:

A meeting took place on Monday afternoon at St George’s Park between Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the Premier League and Chelsea Football Club.

PGMOL were represented by General Manager Mike Riley and all 16 Select Group referees, the Premier League by Chief Executive Richard Scudamore and Chelsea FC by Chairman Bruce Buck.
This is a joint statement from all parties:
"Following the completion of the investigation by The FA into the case involving Chelsea FC and Mark Clattenburg, the Premier League and Chelsea FC requested, and PGMOL agreed, to meet in order to discuss the issues surrounding the reporting of the allegation.
"The Select Group appreciated the opportunity to speak to Bruce Buck personally. His willingness to engage and answer all the questions put to him was welcomed.
"There was a constructive and open discussion. The club regrets not having given more consideration before issuing a statement on the evening of Sunday 28th October. The club also regrets the subsequent impact the intense media scrutiny had on Mark Clattenburg and his family.
"The referees accept that, given Chelsea FC had received a good faith claim from one of their employees, the club had an obligation under FA rules to report the allegation.
"There was recognition by all parties that the impartiality and integrity of refereeing in this country remains paramount. Chelsea FC made it clear they would welcome Mark Clattenburg back to Stamford Bridge in the future and PGMOL would have no issue in appointing him to a Chelsea FC match going forward.
"It was a thoroughly professional meeting. All parties now believe it is time to draw a line under this incident, learn from it and move on for the good of all Premier League clubs, players and match officials."

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