ONE of my favourite topics in football is referees, but I find the Chelsea allegations against Mark Clattenburg just incredible.
It is very difficult to be too critical when the situation is still unfolding and we are waiting to find out what was actually said and what the final judgement might be.
But for players to ever criticise a referee for inappropriate language, with all that goes on during match, just leaves me flabbergasted.
If Sky were able to do a lip-read and put together some text indicating what players say around officials, then you wouldn’t be able to print it.
I know from being out there in the middle that the content of that text would be shameful.
As I’ve said, we still don’t know what will come out of this case and, with a racial element, it’s only right that there will be an investigation.
But from my point of view, I find it sad that a referee is being subjected to this.
Cynics might say Chelsea are just hitting out because Clattenburg gave some decisions against them that they didn’t like, whereas I would say I can understand if there has been a misunderstanding about what was said on the pitch.
Not only do you have players involved whose first language is not English, but you have a referee with a North-East accent, which is not always the easiest to understand in any case.