NOTTINGHAM FOREST will lodge an official complaint to the Professional Game Match Officials Board [PGMOL] and demand a rapid improvement in referees’ performances.

Manager Steve Cooper joined forces with Everton boss Sean Dyche following Sunday’s 2-2 draw with the Toffees to condemn referee John Brooks’ handling of the game.

Nottingham Forest are not impressed with the standard of refereeing


Nottingham Forest are not impressed with the standard of refereeingCredit: Getty

In a rare show of managerial unity BOTH bosses blasted the Melton Mowbray official’s display and claimed their teams suffered due to his poor decision-making during the tense relegation scrap, which saw Brooks book eight players.

Toffees boss Dyche was convinced his side were denied a second penalty when Seamus Coleman went down in the box following a challenge by Jack Colback.

However it was his failure to penalise Amadou Onana for a pull on Morgan Gibbs-White, which incensed Forest, as Brooks compounded his blunder by awarding Everton a foul which led to their second goal.

That was the final straw for Forest, who believe they have been on the wrong end of too many costly controversies this season and the club has now drawn up a dossier highlighting their grievances.

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SunSport understands that includes three key decisions they believe Brooks got wrong at the City Ground, including stopping play to book Everton’s James Tarkowski while Brennan Johnson was running through on goal in a one-v-one situation.

“That cannot happen at this level,” said Cooper afterwards.

Forest want referees’ chief Howard Webb to review the performance of Brooks, who was promoted to the Premier League in June 2021, before being dropped for two matches after he denied Brighton a clear goal against Crystal Palace on February 11 while acting as the VAR official.

Previous incidents which have sparked fury with Forest include referee Andre Marriner’s failure to award a penalty for Gibbs-White after he was fouled by Ben Mee during his side’s 2-2 draw with Brentford in November.


An independent panel later concluded that VAR wrongly intervened when Brentford were awarded a penalty in the same match 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.

On Sunday, the Forest boss 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.”

Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis witnessed Sunday’s controversial game and gave the green light to his board to voice their concerns by making an official complaint.

Meanwhile, Forest’s two-goal hero Johnson said he was delighted with his double – but would have preferred them not to be equalisers.

The 21-year-old Welsh international, who has now scored five goals in his last four home Premier League games, said: “To come back from being behind twice is something that we haven’t done yet this season but we overcame that to continue our unbeaten run at home.

“We felt it was a good opportunity for us to get three points but we must move on and take that character we showed into the Spurs game.”

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