Mark Clattenburg

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Mark Clattenburg
Clattenburg lining up before a match in the 2012 Summer Olympics
Full name Mark Clattenburg
Born (1975-03-13) 13 March 1975 (age 40)
Consett, County Durham, England
Other occupation Electrician
Years League Role
1993–1994 Northern League Assistant referee
1994–1999 Northern League Referee
1999–2000 Football Conference Referee
1999–2000 The Football League Assistant referee
2000–2004 The Football League Referee
2004– Premier League Referee
Years League Role
2006– FIFA listed Referee

Mark Clattenburg (born 13 March 1975)[1] is an English professional football referee, who officiates primarily in the Premier League, and for FIFA. He was born in Consett, County Durham[2] but is now based in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne. He is a member of the Durham County Football Association.

Clattenburg has refereed a number of notable matches, including the Football League Cup final in February 2012, the 2012 Olympics men's final, and the FA Community Shield match in 2013.


Early career[edit]

Clattenburg took up refereeing in 1990 as part of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award[3] and became an assistant referee in the Northern League at the age of 18, later refereeing in that league. He became both a Football Conference referee and a Football League assistant referee in the year 1999,[3] but was rapidly promoted to the National List of Football League referees in the year 2000.[1] He had served only one year as an assistant – a record shared with Steve Baines – but his promise led to quicker promotion. His debut Football League match (at the age of just 25 – a one-time post-War record) was between Chesterfield and York City on 12 August 2000, with Chesterfield winning 4–1.[4] Clattenburg was then fourth official for the 2001–02 Division Three play-off final[1] and the 2002–03 FA Trophy final.[5]

Clattenburg received criticism in 2002 following his failure to send off Stockport County defender Dave Challinor for a foul on Martin Pringle during a game against Grimsby Town. Pringle's leg was broken in two places and his career effectively ended by the foul; Clattenburg opted to give only a yellow card to Challinor.[6]

Nevertheless, later in the 2002–03 season, Clattenburg was chosen to referee two play-off semi-finals – the Division One first-leg 1–1 draw between Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United at the City Ground on 10 May 2003,[7] and the Division Two second-leg home win by Queens Park Rangers over Oldham at Loftus Road on 14 May 2003, which put Rangers through to the final.[8]

On 15 May 2004, he refereed the Division One play-off semi-final first leg between Ipswich and West Ham at Portman Road, which was won 1-0 by the home side.[9] He followed this with his appointment at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on 31 May 2004 for the Division Three play-off final contested by Mansfield and Huddersfield, which required a penalty shoot-out after the match finished 0–0 after extra time. Huddersfield won the shoot-out 4-1.[10] Also in 2004, he became a Select Group referee in the Premier League,[1] and his debut match at this level was the 3–1 away win by Everton against Crystal Palace on 21 August of the same year.

Professional career[edit]

Clattenburg refereeing the 2012 Football League Cup Final

Clattenburg became a FIFA referee in 2006, at the age of 30, two years after turning professional.[11] He refereed Alan Shearer's testimonial match on 11 May 2006; he is a Newcastle United fan,[12] and therefore does not referee competitive games involving Newcastle.[2] On 9 September 2006, he took charge of a qualifying match for the 2007 UEFA Under-17s Championship at the Gradski Stadium in Skopje between Macedonia and Denmark; the away side winning 3–0.[13]

Clattenburg was appointed to control both legs of the 2006–07 FA Youth Cup final, contested by Liverpool and Manchester United, firstly at Anfield on 16 April 2007 which United won 2-1, and then at Old Trafford on 26 April 2007 which Liverpool won 1-0. With the aggregate scores tied, Liverpool won the subsequent penalty shoot-out 4-3 after a goalless 30 minutes of extra time.[14][15]

On 6 August 2008 he refereed his first UEFA Champions League match, a 5-0 away win for Fenerbahçe at MTK Budapest. Clattenburg's next Champions League appointment was not until 3 November 2010 when he took charge of Auxerre's 2-1 win over visitors Ajax.

In the summer of 2008, Clattenburg was appointed to referee that year's FA Community Shield, with Dave Richardson and Ian Gosling assisting and Andre Marriner acting as fourth official.[16] However, Clattenburg was later suspended from refereeing, pending an investigation into alleged debts incurred by companies to which he was connected.[17] The Shield match between Portsmouth and Manchester United took place at Wembley Stadium with Peter Walton as the replacement referee.[18]

Following the investigation into his personal life and business debts, the referees' governing body dismissed Clattenburg, citing a breach of contract. He denied all the allegations and appealed the decision.[19] On 18 February 2009 the Professional Game Match Officials Board reinstated Clattenburg as a Select Group referee. However, he had to serve an eight-month suspension, starting from his original suspension date of 6 August 2008. Upon his return from suspension on the last day of the Premier League season, Clattenburg refereed a fixture between Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers — his only domestic appointment of that season.

Clattenburg's only involvement to date in a FIFA World Cup was as fourth official for a 2010 tournament UEFA qualifying group 4 match between Azerbaijan and Russia in Baku on 14 October 2009.[20]

He has officiated qualifying games for Euro Championships. In September 2010 he oversaw a 4-4 draw between Portugal and Cyprus, a qualifier for Euro 2012. His first Euro Championship match however was a 4-0 home win for Denmark over Liechtenstein, a group F qualifier for Euro 2008.

Clattenburg was appointed to referee the 2012 Football League Cup Final between Liverpool and Cardiff City at Wembley Stadium on 26 February 2012. Liverpool won a penalty shoot-out 3–2 after extra-time finished 2–2. He booked three players during the game and was rarely required to interpret any contentious moments.[21]

He officiated at UEFA Euro 2012 as an additional assistant referee in a team led by Howard Webb.[22] Clattenburg was also selected as one of the referees for the men's football tournament of the 2012 Olympic Games.[23] He officiated a group stage match between Egypt and New Zealand at Old Trafford, a quarter-final between Senegal and Mexico and the gold medal match between Brazil and Mexico, both at Wembley Stadium.

Clattenburg refereed a Champions League quarter-final first leg on 2 April 2013 between Bayern Munich and Juventus after which former Bayern player Paul Breitner praised the official for letting the game flow. Bayern won the leg 2–0.[24]

Clattenburg refereed the 2013 FA Community Shield between Wigan Athletic and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on 11 August 2013. United won the match 2-0.


In 2007, three years after his Premier League debut, Clattenburg came in for arguably his fiercest criticism of his refereeing following a Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool.[25] The first notable incident involving Clattenburg was the award of a penalty kick for an apparent professional foul by Everton's Tony Hibbert on Liverpool's Steven Gerrard. Clattenburg initially took out his yellow card, seemingly to book Hibbert, but after an interaction, albeit brief, with Gerrard, Clattenburg changed his mind and showed Hibbert a red card.[26] He later elected not to dismiss Dirk Kuyt for a waist-high lunge at Phil Neville.[27] One final controversy arose when he declined Everton appeals for a penalty in the third minute of injury time, with the score at 1–2, when Jamie Carragher appeared to foul Joleon Lescott in the Liverpool penalty area.[28][29] Clattenburg was not appointed to referee another Everton match until 2012.

In December 2009, Clattenburg took charge of a tie between Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City. City personnel alleged that at half-time Clattenburg asked members of their bench: "How do you work with Craig Bellamy all week?".[30][31] In the second half that followed, he booked Bellamy twice, once for dissent and then for diving, although replays suggested he was actually fouled. City manager Mark Hughes later said: "I've seen Mark Clattenburg have a lot better games than he's had [here today]"[32] and described his decision to send off Bellamy as "laughable".[33]

A similar incident was made public on 2 January 2014, when Southampton F.C. made an official complaint and demanded an apology after accusing Clattenburg of making an insulting remark to their midfielder Adam Lallana during their 2-1 defeat to Everton on 29 December 2013. The incident is alleged to have happened after Southampton had two penalty appeals turned down. Clattenburg is alleged to have said to Lallana: "You are very different now, since you've played for England – you never used to be like this."[34] Despite the complaint being dismissed by the Professional Game Match Officials Board,[35] Southampton released a statement saying that they did not accept the verdict as the behaviour was "clearly not acceptable", and that it would not be "appropriate" for Clattenburg to referee any future Southampton matches until the matter was resolved.[36] On 6 January, the FA released a statement confirming that they had turned down Southampton's request to continue investigating Clattenburg and that the case was closed.[37] Various media outlets reported that Southampton wanted a new independent panel to judge all future complaints.[38][39][40]

Clattenburg has also encountered controversy when officiating two fixtures between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. In 2005 when Tottenham's Pedro Mendes had a long-range shot fumbled over the goal-line by United goalkeeper Roy Carroll, Clattenburg did not award the goal. Five years later, in October 2010, he allowed to stand a United goal scored under controversial circumstances when Nani tapped the ball into the net while Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes believed his team had a free-kick following an apparent handball by Nani.[41]

In October 2014 it was announced that Clattenburg would be omitted from refereeing duties for one weekend due to two breaches of protocol. Clattenburg phoned Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock after a Palace game Clattenburg had officiated — Premier League rules state all match officials must be involved in any conversation with a manager after a game — and the referee also travelled from the fixture alone — PGMOB rules require all officials to travel to and from a match together.[42]

Chelsea complaint about inappropriate language[edit]

On 28 October 2012, Chelsea made a formal complaint to the Football Association against Clattenburg about his alleged use of "inappropriate language" towards John Obi Mikel during that day's match against Manchester United. Due to a lack of evidence the club said it decided not to complain about alleged verbal abuse of a second player,.[43] United had won the game 3–2, scoring the winning goal after the referee had sent off Chelsea's Branislav Ivanović for a professional foul and then showed Fernando Torres two yellow cards, for a high kick and alleged diving. Replays showed that the winning goal should have been ruled offside.[44]

The Professional Game Match Officials Board stated that Clattenburg would fully co-operate with the FA's investigation into the complaint.[45][46] The PGMOB also announced that it would not appoint Clattenburg to referee a match the following weekend, stating that the "scrutiny [of Clattenburg] would detract from the match and be unfair to the clubs and the supporters of both sides."[47] Clattenburg was also not appointed to referee a game the subsequent three weekends.

On 30 October, the Metropolitan Police Service launched its own investigation into the allegations after it received a complaint from the Society of Black Lawyers. It was reported that Mikel did not hear Clattenburg's alleged racist remark, but was told about it by team-mate Ramires. It was alleged to have been made after the official booked Mikel in the 76th minute for dissent following the dismissal of Torres. After the game, some Chelsea staff and players, including Mikel, were alleged to have entered the referee's dressing room and a confrontation took place.[48]

The police investigation was dropped on 13 November.[49] The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: "[N]o victims have come forward. Without a victim and/or any evidence that any offence has been committed, the matter cannot currently be investigated."[50][51] The FA cleared Clattenburg of wrongdoing nine days later and charged Mikel with using "threatening and/or abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" towards Clattenberg after the match.[52] Mikel was found guilty and received a three match ban and a £60,000 fine.[53]

Clattenburg said in a statement: "To know you were innocent of something but that there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was truly frightening. I hope no referee has to go through this in the future. We are proud of the integrity of refereeing in this country and I cannot wait to be back involved in the game I care so passionately about".[54]

He returned to duty as the fourth official for a fixture between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United on 25 November and refereed Norwich City's Premier League game at Southampton for his full return to the middle on 28 November 2012.[55] He was given a standing ovation by sections of both sets of fans at the game, which finished 1-1, and the managers of both clubs said afterward that they were "pleased to see him back".[56]

Card statistics[edit]

Season Games Total Booked Booked per game Total Red card Red card per game
2000–01 24 67 2.79 4 0.17
2001–02 33 103 3.12 6 0.18
2002–03 35 135 3.86 8 0.23
2003–04 34 104 3.06 2 0.06
2004–05 28 83 2.96 5 0.18
2005–06 24 81 3.38 4 0.17
2006–07 42 166 3.95 3 0.07
2007–08 39 124 3.18 10 0.26
2008–09 2 0 0.00 0 0.00
2009–10 42 105 2.50 5 0.12
2010–11 40 123 3.08 7 0.18
2011–12 36 115 3.19 8 0.22
2012–13 36 104 2.89 6 0.17

Statistics are for all competitions, including domestic, European and international. No records are available prior to 2000–01.

Personal life[edit]

Clattenburg went to Cramlington Community High School and was chosen to play football for them, as well as South Northumberland.[3] He is divorced from his wife with whom he lived in Chester-le-Street, and they had one son during the marriage.[57]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Referee Profiles". The Football League. Archived from the original on 17 March 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Face to face: Mark Clattenburg". icNewcastle. Archived from the original on 1 June 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Interview, page 4: website.
  4. ^ Clattenburg's First League Match: at
  5. ^ FA Trophy Final 2003, fourth official: Official website.
  6. ^ BBC Sport online
  7. ^ Nottm Forest v. Sheffield Utd, 2003 Division One play-off semi-final first leg: website.
  8. ^ QPR v. Oldham, 2003 Division Two play-off semi-final second leg: website.
  9. ^ Ipswich v. West Ham, 2004 Division One play-off semi-final first leg: website.
  10. ^ Mansfield v. Huddersfield, 2004 Division Three play-off final: website.
  11. ^ Interview: Guardian Unlimited website.
  12. ^ Alan Shearer Testimonial: report from the website.
  13. ^ European Under-16 Championship qualifying match, FYR Macedonia v. Denmark, 2006: PDF file at Official website.
  14. ^ Mention of appointments to control FA Youth Cup Final legs: Essex FA website.
  15. ^ Second leg of the FA Youth Cup Final: match report at Official website.
  16. ^ "Shield referee confirmed". The Football Association. 2008-06-23. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  17. ^ "Walton to referee Shield". The Football Association. 2008-08-07. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  18. ^ "Ref Clattenburg hit by suspension". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 2008-08-07. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  19. ^ Sims, Paul (2009-01-28). "Clattenburg sacked as referee told career is over for breach of contract". The Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  20. ^ FIFA World Cup qualifier, Germany v. Finland, referee: website. Retrieved on 27 November 2009.
  21. ^ Winter, Henry (27 February 2012). "Cardiff City 2 Liverpool 2; Liverpool win on penalties". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  22. ^ "Euro 2012 Referees" (PDF). UEFA. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  23. ^ "Olympic Football Tournaments - Appointment of Match Officials" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  24. ^ Paul Breitner: So verteidigt er Franck Ribéry, Abendzeitung, 2013-04-03.
  25. ^ "Clattenburg given time off for poor officiating following Merseyside derby fiasco". Daily Mail (London). 22 October 2007. 
  26. ^ Liverpool v Everton - Hibbert's red card - YouTube
  27. ^ see tackle at 4:35
  28. ^ "Moyes maddened by ref Clattenburg". Eurosport. 20 October 2007. Archived from the original on 23 October 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 
  29. ^ Evertoon v Liverpool Lescott penalty appeal - YouTube
  30. ^ Rich, Tim (14 December 2009). "Bellamy falls for Clattenburg's work ethic". The Independent (London). Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  31. ^ "Hughes hits out at ref Clattenburg over Bellamy". ESPN. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  32. ^ Rich, Tim (14 December 2009). "Bellamy falls for Clattenburg's work ethic". The Independent (London). 
  33. ^ Manchester City boss Mark Hughes blasts 'laughable' ref Clattenburg over Craig Bellamy red card - News -
  34. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (2 January 2014). "Southampton make official complaint after accusing referee Mark Clattenburg of insulting Adam Lallana". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  35. ^ "Southampton's Mark Clattenburg complaint is dismissed". BBC. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  36. ^ "Southampton do not accept the PGMOL decision to clear Mark Clattenburg". Sky Sports. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  37. ^ "Southampton do not accept the PGMOL decision to clear Mark Clattenburg". The FA Official Website. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  38. ^ Ziegler, Martyn (6 January 2014). "Mark Clattenburg cleared by FA of misconduct - but Southampton expected to stick to their guns over comments made to Adam Lallana". The Independent (London). Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  39. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (6 January 2014). "Football Association turn down request to investigate Mark Clattenburg over Adam Lallana comments". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  40. ^ "Southampton complaint dismissed by FA". BBC. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  41. ^ FA must stop stars from fooling the bloke with a whistle and getting away with assault - Football - Sport - London Evening Standard
  42. ^ "Mark Clattenburg: Premier League drop referee after Ed Sheeran gig". BBC Sport. 2014-10-29. Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  43. ^ "CHELSEA STATEMENT". 29 October 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  44. ^ BBC Sport - Chelsea 2-3 Manchester United
  45. ^ "Mark Clattenburg: Chelsea make complaint against referee". BBC Online. BBC Sport. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  46. ^ "Referee Mark Clattenburg accused as Chelsea make complaint over language". Sky Sports News. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  47. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (29 October 2012). "Referee Mark Clattenburg stood down from next Premier League matches as FA launches probe into racism claims". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  48. ^ "Police launch probe into ref race storm... but did a Chelsea player threaten to 'break the legs' of Clattenburg during showdown?". Daily Mail (London). 30 October 2012. 
  49. ^ Kelso, Paul (13 November 2012). "Mark Clattenburg investigation into alleged comments made to Chelsea players dropped by the police". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  50. ^ Hytner, David (13 November 2012). "Police drop investigation into Mark Clattenburg over racism claim". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  51. ^ "Mark Clattenburg: Police drop investigation into referee". The Guardian. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  52. ^ "Mark Clattenberg is cleared by FA as Chelsea's Mikel is charged". BBC. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  53. ^ "John Mikel Obi banned for Mark Clattenburg threats". BBC. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  54. ^ "Referee Mark Clattenburg's statement in full". BBC. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  55. ^ "Mark Clattenburg: Norwich boss Chris Hughton welcomes him back". BBC. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  56. ^ "Mark Clattenburg welcomed back to Premier League refereeing". BBC. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  57. ^ Taylor, Louise (30 October 2012). "Mark Clattenburg: high flyer who courted controversy on and off field". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
FIFA Men's Olympic Football Tournament Final 2008
Hungary Viktor Kassai
FIFA Men's Olympic Football Tournament Final Referees
FIFA Men's Olympic Football Tournament Final 2012
United Kingdom Mark Clattenburg
Succeeded by