Nottingham Forest to make official complaint about standard of referees
Nottingham Forest are making an official complaint to the Professional Game Match Officials Board [PGMOL] after growing increasingly frustrated with poor refereeing this season.
Forest are putting together a detailed document listing the blunders from match officials, in response to another chastening experience in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Everton.
Steve Cooper, the Forest head coach, was furious with the performance of referee John Brooks, who is based in Melton Mowbray, and said his display needed to be reviewed by PGMOL chiefs.
Brooks was recently dropped for two matches after a high-profile error as the video assistant referee official who denied Brighton a goal against Crystal Palace on February 11.
There have been other incidents which have infuriated Forest this season, including the 2-2 draw with Brentford in November when referee Andre Marriner failed to award a penalty for a foul by Ben Mee on Morgan Gibbs-White.
In the same game, an independent panel later concluded that Var should not have intervened when Brentford were given a penalty after Dean Henderson fouled Yoane Wissa.
Cooper was fined £8,000 by the Football Association in November for comments he made about referee Thomas Bramall following the defeat at Wolves.
Forest are also angry with a number of referee appointments made for matches since their return to the Premier League.
It is understood that one particular source of amazement was the decision to give Andy Madley, who is based in Huddersfield, their game at Fulham last month, which Forest lost 2-0.
Forest defeated Huddersfield Town in the Championship play-off final last season, in a game which included two controversial Var decisions going against the Yorkshire club, and there are allegations that Madley was at Wembley as a fan.
Evangelos Marinakis, the Forest owner, was at Sunday’s match at the City Ground and is fully behind the decision to make an official complaint.
There is a sense within the boardroom that Forest need to toughen their stance on what they perceive to be poor refereeing performances and that too many incidents have gone under the radar as they are not one of the recognised ‘big six’.
Sunday’s draw with Everton was another game dominated by contentious refereeing decisions, with Sean Dyche also claiming his side should have been awarded a first-half penalty for a foul on Seamus Coleman.
Brooks, who was promoted to the Premier League in June 2021, frustrated Cooper by failing to award a foul on Gibbs-White before Everton’s second goal.
After the match, Cooper said: “I am not going to say anything that is going to get me in trouble, but he [Brooks] had too much impact on the game.
“Those moments can’t happen at this level, in my opinion. It’s a pity that things like that are affecting games.”
Former Premier League referee Howard Webb is the PGMOL’s first chief refereeing officer.