Are we in the process of seeing the European Cup champions close ranks and destroy the career of a good and honest referee?
Almost two weeks on from that controversial fixture at Stamford Bridge, the saga rumbles on, although I’m getting the feeling that this is more about deflecting the public attention away from Chelsea themselves.
Frankly, on the face of it the whole thing just doesn’t stack up, and when and if the whole case collapses I only hope that Mark Clattenburg receives an apology from the parties concerned and he is allowed to continue refereeing at the highest level.
Then again, on the flip side, sometimes referees don’t do themselves any favours. As Worthing FC under-18 manager I obviously have a vested interest but I have to say we returned on Monday evening from the Ryman Youth Cup fixture at Tonbridge Angels feeling very hard done by.
Partly our own fault because we dominated for long periods and did not take our chances, and then conceded a 93rd-minute penalty, which saw keeper Chris Cook being shown a red card.
I have no complaints with the penalty or the red card, what followed was what aggrieved me. We kicked off, went up the other end and Charlie Dennis was brought down in a challenge that even my Tonbridge Angels counterpart described as a “cast iron” penalty, yet the referee, Andy Cutting, waved play on.
I don’t like criticising any officials, but Andy is a young ref and was clearly out of his depth in a fixture of this level, obviously felt intimidated by the situation and bottled it. All very frustrating...
Which brings me on to the third official and a change of sports. Lancing-based boxing referee Roger Smith was recently honoured by the English ABA with a lifetime achievement award in Bradford.
Roger was on duty last weekend at the Adur Boxing Club dinner show at Charmandean Centre and was involved in an incident which highlighted the good and bad of amateur sport.
Roger was officiating in a contest and in his opinion, and most of the 400-plus crowd, one of the young boxers was taking too much punishment so he rightly stopped the contest.
Supporters of the teenager then disputed the decision and resorted to foul and abusive language aimed at Roger before being ejected from the hall. Needless to say, like Mark Clattenburg, I hope a written apology to Roger, care of Adur Boxing Club, will be forthcoming.