Chelsea 'regret' over ref claims

Chelsea have expressed "regret" over the initial statement that alleged referee Mark Clattenburg had racially abused midfielder John Obi Mikel, and the subsequent impact on him and his family. Clattenburg was cleared by The FA of any wrongdoing.

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Chelsea 'regrets impact' of allegations on Clattenburg

Chelsea Football Club has expressed regret over the club's handling of the Mark Clattenburg racism allegation in a joint statement issued with the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd and the Premier League.

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.

It added that the club would have "no issue" with Clattenburg refereeing future fixtures featuring Chelsea.

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.

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Referees' union: Clattenburg deserves 'apology' from Chelsea

Alan Leighton, the national secretary of the referees union Prospect, said: "Mark Clattenburg deserves a full and unreserved apology from Chelsea. He deserves compensation for loss of earnings, damage to his reputation and stress.

Chelsea's Mikel (centre) with referee Mark Clattenburg. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Archive

"In addition, Chelsea should make a sizeable donation to Show Racism the Red Card and Kick It Out to help the fight against racism in football and beyond."

He added: "This was a charge brought on the flimsiest of evidence that should never have got to this stage. The internal inquiry mounted by Chelsea and their QC rested on a dossier of evidence consisting of just one witness statement in relation to the specific allegation against Mark.

"This matter should never have been made public and should have been dealt with confidentially."

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Chelsea accepts the FA's decision on Clattenburg

Chelsea FC statement: "Chelsea Football Club accepts the Football Association's decision regarding Mark Clattenburg and welcomes the fact that the FA recognises the club and players were correct in reporting the matter.

"The FA states Chelsea took the correct action following the Manchester United match and encourages all players who believe they have been either subject, or witness, to discriminatory abuse to report the matter immediately to the match officials on the day, and in turn to the FA.

"The club also notes the charge brought against John Mikel Obi. While the player does not deny the charge, he will request a personal hearing to explain the mitigating circumstances.

Read the statement in full here.

Chelsea FC has released a statement on its website Credit: Press Association

Clattenburg: I hope no referee has to go through this in the future

I am looking forward to putting this behind me and concentrating on refereeing in the Premier League and other competitions. I am extremely grateful for the invaluable support of my family, my Select Group colleagues, the management of Professional Game Match Officials Limited and our union Prospect. The messages of encouragement from those inside and outside of the game have helped me through the most stressful time of my professional life.

To know you were innocent of something but that there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was truly frightening. Racism has no place in football and this experience should not discourage those to speak out if they genuinely believe they are a victim of abuse. However, there are processes that should be adhered in order that any investigation can be carried out in a manner that is fair for all parties involved.

I know first-hand the ramifications of allegations of this nature being placed into the public domain ahead of a formal process and investigation. I hope no referee has to go through this in the future.

– MARK Clattenburg
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