London - Chelsea on Tuesday expressed their "regrets" over the way they
complained of racist abuse by referee Mark Clattenburg.
The European champions, in a joint statement with referees' body
Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) and the English Premier League,
admitted they should have "given more consideration" before making
their allegation public.
Last week the Football Association (FA) decided to take no disciplinary
action whatsoever against Clattenburg following an investigation into Chelsea's
allegation he used "inappropriate language" against midfielder John
That followed an earlier decision by police to end their enquiries into the
incident due to a lack of evidence.
Chelsea said they "would welcome Mark Clattenburg back to Stamford
Bridge in the future and PGMOL would have no issue in appointing him to a
Chelsea FC match going forward".
The London club also said it regretted the "intense media
scrutiny" Clattenburg had faced as a result of their allegations.
Last week the FA said there was "no case to answer" over
allegations Clattenburg said "shut up you monkey" to the Nigeria
midfielder during Chelsea's 3-2 Premier League defeat by Manchester United at
Stamford Bridge on October 28.
Tuesday's statement followed a meeting Monday that included Clattenburg, the
remaining Select Group referees, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, PGMOL general
manager Mike Riley and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.
It read: "Following the completion of the investigation by the FA into
the case involving Chelsea FC and Mark Clattenburg, the Premier League and
Chelsea FC requested, and PGMOL agreed, to meet in order to discuss the issues
surrounding the reporting of the allegation.
"The Select Group appreciated the opportunity to speak to Bruce Buck
personally. His willingness to engage and answer all the questions put to him
"There was a constructive and open discussion. The club regrets not
having given more consideration before issuing a statement on the evening of
Sunday 28th October.
"The club also regrets the subsequent impact the intense media scrutiny
had on Mark Clattenburg and his family.
"The referees accept that, given Chelsea FC had received a good faith
claim from one of their employees, the club had an obligation under FA rules to
report the allegation.
"There was recognition by all parties that the impartiality and
integrity of refereeing in this country remains paramount.
"Chelsea FC made it clear they would welcome Mark Clattenburg back to
Stamford Bridge in the future and PGMOL would have no issue in appointing him
to a Chelsea FC match going forward.
"It was a thoroughly professional meeting. All parties now believe it
is time to draw a line under this incident, learn from it and move on for the
good of all Premier League clubs, players and match officials."