Nuno Espirito Santo Nottingham Forest 2023-24Getty Images

Nottingham Forest's conspiracy claims are an embarrassment - every Premier League club is having to deal with rotten referees as standards hit a new low

In the opulent world of Premier League football, it takes something quite extraordinary to provoke genuine shock and surprise. Nottingham Forest surpassed that high bar on Sunday afternoon, releasing a quite extraordinary statement following their 2-0 defeat to fellow relegation candidates Everton.

"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," they wrote on X.

At the time of writing, that post has been viewed almost 40 million times, and reaction to the statement has been vociferous. Shortly after it went up, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher responded strongly, deriding it as sounding like a "fan in the pub" sounding off.

"It tells us where we are with the Premier League and the clubs. (VAR) Stuart Attwell and (referee) Anthony Taylor have had a horrific day, awful, and they should be rightly criticised for that," he said. "And that could have real implications for Nottingham Forest. I get the frustration. But what I’ve just read on social media - that’s like a fan in the pub. I get the frustration. Rubbish. ‘The VAR is a Luton fan’ - don’t get involved in that. You’ve got to show a little bit of class. That’s nonsense."

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