Nottingham Forest, boss and player facing punishment after FA act over Everton VAR comments

Nottingham Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo on the touchline against Everton
Flashpoint... Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo on the touchline at Everton -Credit:Getty

Nottingham Forest, head coach Nuno Espirito Santo and defender Neco Williams have been charged by the Football Association with misconduct.

The charges are in relation to comments made after the Reds’ controversial 2-0 defeat at Everton last month. Additionally, Mark Clattenburg, who has now quit his role as referee analyst for the club, has been warned over his “future conduct”.

A statement from the FA said: “Nottingham Forest, Nuno Espirito Santo and Neco Williams have been charged with misconduct in relation to comments that they made after their Premier League game against Everton on Sunday 21 April. It’s alleged that the club, manager and player’s comments constitute improper conduct in that they imply bias and/or question the integrity of the match officials and/or bring the game into disrepute.

READ MORE: The experiment that didn't work and why Forest are feeling backlash

READ MORE: Clattenburg drops Forest bombshell as Gary Neville gets his way

“Nottingham Forest, Nuno Espirito Santo and Neco Williams have until Thursday 9 May to provide their respective responses. Mark Clattenburg has been formally warned as to his future conduct in relation to comments that he made after this game.”

Forest were left furious at having three penalty appeals waved away at Goodison Park. Referee Anthony Taylor turned down all three claims and was not instructed to go to his monitor by VAR Stuart Attwell.

It led to Forest publishing an angry statement on Twitter at full-time and later calling for the VAR audio of the incidents to be made public. The club accused Attwell of being a fan of relegation rivals Luton Town.

Their tweet said: “Three extremely poor decisions - three penalties not given - which we simply cannot accept. We warned the PGMOL that the VAR is a Luton fan before the game but they didn’t change him. Our patience has been tested multiple times. NFFC will now consider its options.”

Nuno had said after the game: “I share; of course I share the feeling of the club because it’s not only this game. It has been a while we have had poor decisions against us. It is not an excuse, but we are not comfortable with the work of the referees.”

Williams also made his feelings clear in a post-match interview. The defender said: “Every single week this happens now. We are getting decisions against us. I don’t know why. Is it because we are a lower bottom half of the table team? Because I guarantee all the top six teams are getting every single one of them.

“I know every single person watching that game today knew all three of them were clear, blatant penalties. It is ridiculous. It is week after week now we are getting these decisions against us.”

In a column for the Daily Mail, Clattenburg called the three penalty incidents “a hat-trick of howlers”. He added: “Referees do not make mistakes deliberately but this was mind-boggling to watch. Why Attwell did not send Taylor to his screen, only he will know.

“The PGMOL can acknowledge the errors if they want. The Key Match Incident panel can say Forest should have been awarded three penalties if they wish.

“Howard Webb can offer up an explanation on his Match Officials Mic’d Up television show with Michael Owen if he is so inclined. All of that is bound to happen, but none of it will help Nottingham Forest now.”

The Premier League are also investigating Forest’s tweet about Attwell under their rules, having put out a statement saying they were “extremely disappointed” by it. They said: “It is never appropriate to improperly question the integrity of match officials, and the nature of these comments means the Premier League will also be investigating the matter in relation to the League’s Rules."

What do you make of the charges? Have your say in the comments below