Ahead of this weekend's meeting between Manchester United and Liverpool, much of the pre-match buildup has been focused on the refereeing decisions the pair have been given over the course of the season.
Liverpool supporters feel that their club has been hard done by on a number of occasions, especially during recent games when results have been below par. On the other end of the scale, Manchester United seem to have had some good fortune over the last 18 months when it comes to decisions going their way, most notably in relation to penalties.
Of course, the discussion is not a straightforward one.
One person who has weighed in is Mark Clattenburg, but his comments have only added fuel to the fire.
Speaking in the The Daily Mail, the former Premier League referee said that Jurgen Klopp's claim of bias are off the mark and that United don't get as many soft decisions as they used to, going on to admit that it used to happen regularly during Alex Ferguson's time in charge of the club:
He sounds like a hypocrite if he is suggesting United’s players are looking to win penalties.
The likes of Mo Salah and (Sadio) Mane are just as capable of employing similar tactics.
He is clearly getting edgy, though, because not since Fergie have we seen such a blatant attempt to influence a referee ahead of a big game. Klopp wasn’t doing this last season when Liverpool were winning every week.
He does not like losing, he never has. He gets prickly.
He is wrong to suggest there is an aura around United that sees them given favourable decisions. There used to be when Fergie was there, but that has eased massively since he left.
While Clattenburg may have felt he was putting out a fire here, he has only added to the flames.
Admitting that Manchester United regularly used to get favourable decisions during an era in which he refereed is certainly not a good look. He also doesn't say that the problem has gone away and has only 'eased'.
Unsurprisingly, a huge number of people have picked up on these comments. That includes former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann, who labelled them as 'disturbing'.
Clattenburg: "He (Klopp) is wrong to suggest there is an aura around United that sees them given favourable decisions. There used to be when Fergie was there, but that has eased massively since he left".
Firstly, admitting there was bias. Secondly, "eased", not erased. My god.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) January 14, 2021
Pretty disturbing to hear that from someone who refereed during Ferguson’s reign, admitting there used to be bias towards Man United https://t.co/wmZWCxk7RT
— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) January 14, 2021
There will certainly be plenty of scrutiny place on any questionable decisions this Sunday.