While announcing an award for ‘Tweet of the year’ at the event, the ITV presenter said: “Oh, no, sorry, it’s ‘Twat of the year’, and the winner is Peter Odemwingie.”
The joke was woven around Odemwingie’s failed attempt to force a move to Queens Park Rangers in January, but Clarke has called it stupid and ridiculous.
“It was out of order,” he said. “It was a ridiculous comment to make. I didn’t like it. I didn’t say anything about it at the time but I’m saying it now – it was a stupid comment. It was out of place – it was a West Bromwich Albion awards night. There was no place for that kind of comment. It was a throwaway line from somebody who should know better. Peter’s one of my players. I’ve said it all season, I protect my players fiercely; that’s why I didn’t like it. There wasn’t time to saying anything [about it] on the night.”
Clarke also explained that Odemwingie did not attend the event with his permission, because he suspected something like that might happen.
He said: “Peter had permission from me not to go to the event. I think he was concerned that if you go to an event like that, then it’s to celebrate the season. If somebody comes out with a wrong comment or something that’s not right, then it can work against you. Peter didn’t want to go. I respect that.”
He also said he has not spoken to the striker about the incident and does not know if the Nigerian will make a formal complaint against Chiles.
“I don’t know if Peter has made any representation to the club,” he said. “He wants the chance to play and that opportunity will come again before the end of the season. Peter’s not been frozen out, I don’t do that to my players. My relationship with Peter and the rest of the players is good.”