Blues regret ref distress

Mark Clattenburg was under investigation by the FA. Photo: PA

Chelsea admit regrets over the distress they caused Mark Clattenburg and his family, during the investigation into his conduct.

A joint statement with the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the Premier League and the football club, said:

"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."