Mark Clattenburg has insisted that he never suggested there was any bias in his officiating of Manchester United’s games whilst Sir Alex Ferguson was at the helm, in response to the reaction of Liverpool fans.
The official previously admitted that Ferguson’s United had benefitted from “favourable decisions”, as a direct result of the Scot’s management.
“I was disappointed, if not surprised, by the reaction of Liverpool’s supporters and their former player Didi Hamann to what I’d said,” the former Premier League referee wrote for the Daily Mail. “The way they interpreted my column was to suggest I’d said there was a refereeing ‘bias’ towards United. I did not, because there isn’t and never has been.”
“I never used the word ‘bias’ anywhere. There used to be an ‘aura’ around United when Ferguson was there, yes,” Clattenburg added. “But that does not exist anymore. In fact, there is more of an aura around Klopp and Liverpool than there is United and Old Trafford.”
Having been caught out with his shocking comments, the 45-year-old has scrambled to repair the damage with his latest column for the Daily Mail.
It’s interesting how the language Clattenburg initially favoured has changed of late, with the former Premier League official now saying that United’s aura (which handed them “favourable decisions”) has disappeared instead of merely “eased”.
One might be inclined to suggest that the Daily Mail columnist is completely aware of his slip of the tongue and is now attempting to hide it behind a smokescreen of baseless accusations aimed at Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.
Certainly, if we’re going to talk about penalties, the stats hardly support the Englishman’s claim of there being a bigger “aura” around Klopp’s Liverpool than at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United.