A SAINTS fan has set up his own Facebook page to apologise to referee Mark Clattenburg in the wake of Adam Lallana's departure to Liverpool.
Clattenburg was investigated by referees’ chief Mike Riley last January after Saints accused him of ‘abusing and insulting’ Lallana during Saints' 2-1 loss at Everton.
The match official allegedly told Lallana “you have changed since you’ve played for England.”
As a result, Clattenburg received a torrent of online abuse from Saints fan.
Now, though, in the wake of Lallana’s £25m transfer to Anfield, Saints supporter Karl Hopkins has taken to social media to say ‘sorry’ to the referee.
On his Facebook page, Hopkins writes: “It is now with true realisation I can hold my hands up and admit I made a mistake.
“I was wrong to criticise and disbelieve that man in black, the man who received so much abuse and such a backlash for uttering nothing more than the truth, the truth that this man has indeed changed, that he was indeed never like this before.
- Puel takes Fonte risk
- Davis: Saints can achieve Christmas aim
- Saints U23s away to Yeovil if they beat Reading in Checkatrade Trophy
- Come on Claude - let your stars shine
- Former Portsmouth man ready to upset Saints
- Saints 'might not be favourites to beat Hapoel'
- Only two Hapoel stars have previously played in Hampshire - and both were at Fratton Park
- Saints warned over Hapoel Be'er Sheva boss's 'Midas touch'
“He saw that our once proud and humble player was now nothing more than the rest.
“You saw truth when the rest of us allowed ourselves to be covered with that faithful wool over the eyes ... therefore I must apologise to you whole heartedly, sincerely and graciously admit that you were indeed now and always were right.”
Hopkins also writes that his belief that players care for their club as much as fans do is now shattered.
“We believe, we expect, no, we demand that the pride we show is received and reciprocated by all those who put on the crest and take to the field,” he says.
“Unfortunately this is nothing more than a dream ... as fans we have become nothing more than naive. We share a resounding naivety to believe those players feel even as half as loyal and proud as us.
“To think such days of pride and loyalty still live in football is absurd beyond belief.
“Long gone are the days of Matthew Le Tisser who played for the love of the game and the love of his team, the fans and all that football once stood for.
“Instead what are we left with?
“I answer like a knife through the heart – what remains is lacklustre, over ambitious, money grabbing, loyalty excluded players.”
Visit Hopkins’ Facebook page at facebook.com/Saintsfanapology