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Chelsea admit to Clattenburg regrets over Mikel situation

Chelsea have admitted to regretting the way they handled the allegations made toward referee Mark Clattenburg in late October.

The match official allegedly made racist remarks toward Blues midfielder John Obi Mikel during the controversial 3-2 loss to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge with the Southwest London club lodging an official complaint to the Football Association.

Clattenburg was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing and in the attempt to avoid a public repercussion, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck called a meeting on Monday so he could speak with Clattenburg, Professional Game Match Officials general manager Mike Riley, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore and the remaining 15 Select Group referees.

A joint statement was later released: "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 was welcomed. 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."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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