Why Gary Neville won't attend Nottingham Forest vs. Man City game this weekend due to Sky dispute, citing Mark Clattenburg's behavior and its impact on potential team performance


Gary Neville has revealed he will not be covering Nottingham Forest’s Premier League clash with title-chasing Manchester City on Sunday amid the club’s row with Sky over his ‘mafia’ jibe last weekend.

Forest sparked controversy following their 2-0 defeat by Everton last Sunday when they appeared to question the integrity of the VAR Stuart Attwell – who supports relegation rivals Luton Town – on social media, after they had three penalty appeals rejected, with Attwell seemingly not advising referee Anthony Taylor to go to the pitchside monitor to check any of them.

Forest vowed to ‘consider its options’ in their social media post, leading to Neville labelling it ‘like a mafia-gang statement’. Forest are now considering legal action against Sky following Neville’s slur, but the broadcaster is set to show their next game against City this weekend.

He revealed on the Stick to Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet, that he was sent a tweet from a Forest fan this week that read: ‘I’m just asking whether you’re at the Nottingham Forest and Man City game. I’m asking for 27,000 friends. 

Nottingham Forest were adamant they should have been awarded three penalties on Sunday

Nottingham Forest were adamant they should have been awarded three penalties on Sunday

Forest released a furious tweet after the game claiming they were denied three clear penalties

Forest released a furious tweet after the game claiming they were denied three clear penalties

Forest insinuated VAR Stuart Attwell was biased against them because he is a Luton fan

Forest insinuated VAR Stuart Attwell was biased against them because he is a Luton fan

Gary Neville claimed it was like a 'mafia-gang statement' and has now revealed he will not be going to Forest's match against Man City this weekend

Gary Neville claimed it was like a ‘mafia-gang statement’ and has now revealed he will not be going to Forest’s match against Man City this weekend

‘I rang Sky up and said I need the north London derby on Sunday! No, I am at the north London derby, by the way.’

Neville was also heavily critical of Nottingham Forest’s referee analyst Mark Clattenburg – a position he took up in February – on Sunday, and called for him to resign after the club’s social media statement.

The former Manchester United defender doubled down on his stance on Clattenburg, insisting that he is actually becoming a hindrance for the club and is giving them an excuse to fall short in matches.

‘You’ve got Clattenburg almost like a Navy Seal in the director’s box crawling along to the CEO (whispering),’ Neville continued.

‘The reason I asked him to resign was because if he actually saw that Luton tweet that went out, he actually has to distance himself from it or he’s part of it. If he’s part of that, I’m like “wow”. 

The second part of it is it’s football, right. If you’re the leader of that football club, since Mark Clattenburg came in, in the last 10 games they’ve won one match. In the 10 games before, they won four. 

‘You never give football players or employees a get-out excuse ever. He’s given them an excuse to not win. Now that might sound crazy, but when you put that negativity in, Neco Williams, he’s probably a really good player, he’s coming out on Sunday and he’s talking about referees. 

Neville called for Forest's referee analyst Mark Clattenburg to resign on Sunday after Forest's controversial statement

Neville called for Forest’s referee analyst Mark Clattenburg to resign on Sunday after Forest’s controversial statement

Neville believes Clattenburg has given them an excuse not to win due to the focus switching to refereeing decisions

Neville believes Clattenburg has given them an excuse not to win due to the focus switching to refereeing decisions

‘They’re all consumed about referees, and they’ve given themselves an excuse, everyone’s against us. It’s not working for them this strategy of the way in which it’s going. 

‘What they need to do is switch their mentality completely and forget about referees. Get Clattenburg out the director’s box so the camera stops going on him and concentrate on football, because they’re going to go down if they’re not careful.’

Roy Keane, who played for Forest between 1990 and 1993, also disapproved of his old club’s actions, referencing owner Evangelos Marinakis coming on the pitch at full time when a refereeing decision went against his side in their match with Liverpool last month.

He insisted Forest’s approach towards referees will not improve their chances of staying in the top flight.  

‘It’s very messy. Forest, looking back over the last few months, I don’t think they’ve shown any class, that’s the way I’d look at it,’ he said.

‘The way they’re carrying on, they were on the pitch against Liverpool, you look at the ownership there. I was lucky to play for Forest, brilliant club when I was there. I don’t like the type of behaviour at the moment, what they’re doing. 

‘They’re entitled to come out and defend themselves and fight their own corner, of course. But just looking at them over the last few years, I don’t like what I see with the behaviour that’s gone on at ownership-level. 

Roy Keane has also admitted he has been disappointed with the behaviour of his old club

Roy Keane has also admitted he has been disappointed with the behaviour of his old club

He criticised the conduct of owner Evangelos Marinakis (picutred) in recent months

He criticised the conduct of owner Evangelos Marinakis (picutred) in recent months

He then addressed Neville, adding: ‘You remember with a referee coming to United years ago? He gave us a chat about how he works. 

‘And he said if you keep having a go at me during a game and I have to make a decision, and he was looking at me, if you’re giving me stick and I have a decision to make against you, I will go against you. That’s human nature if you keep getting on my back. 

‘Forest have this idea, all of a sudden, the referees are going to be “do you know what? Let’s have a bit of sympathy towards Forest”. I think that’s just going to go against them. The way they keep coming out with these statements and badgering on the pitch. 

‘You fight your corner, but not when coaching staff and owners are coming on the pitch. In terms of Forest’s attitude of the world is against us, now steady on a bit.’

Gary Neville and Roy Keane were speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet.





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