Didi Hamann tweeted that he found Mark Clattenburg’s comments about refereeing decisions during Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United reign “pretty disturbing”.
The former Premier League referee had been responding to claims from Jurgen Klopp about the club’s penalty record of late, and admitted that United used to benefit from “favourable decisions” during Ferguson’s tenure at the helm.
Pretty disturbing to hear that from someone who refereed during Ferguson’s reign, admitting there used to be bias towards Man United https://t.co/wmZWCxk7RT
— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) January 14, 2021
It’s a statement that’s left Premier League fans and former players in a state of shock. Of course, it may not entirely come as much of a surprise.
There had been suspicions of such bias – as those familiar with the term ‘Fergie Time’ will no doubt be aware – though this is perhaps the most clear admission of wrongdoing we’ve seen yet.
The timing, as far as referees are concerned, couldn’t be worse, with the league’s two most successful clubs set to meet on Sunday.
Paul Tierney will be the first to go under the microscope, following Clattenburg’s remarks, as he officiates the pivotal top-of-the-table clash.
We don’t envy the Englishman’s task, but hopefully the added pressure will ensure that extra care is taken to keep an eye out for any dubious activity on United’s end.