Chelsea FC have lodged a complaint against referee Mark Clattenburg for using “inappropriate language” against two of their players. Reports claim that Clattenburg called Juan Mata a “Spanish twat” and more shockingly, called John Obi Mikel a “monkey”.
With these comments set to be investigated, it’s interesting to see that Clattenburg doesn’t have a blemish free past, and has courted plenty of controversy in his career so far.
1. Clattenburg suspended – August 2008
Mark Clattenburg was suspended pending enquiries into reports regarding his alleged debts. The Football Association and referees’ body Professional Game Match Officials Ltd acted after allegations relating to debts of companies connected to him. Clattenburg was set to take charge of the FA Community Shield clash between Manchester United and Portsmouth but was replaced by Peter Walton.
A joint statement from the FA and PGMO read: “PGMO is aware of media reports concerning alleged debts incurred by companies connected to referee Mark Clattenburg. It has been decided he will not officiate any matches pending enquiries into the background to these reports.”
Clattenburg’s firm MC Electrical Retail NE Ltd was wound up under the Insolvency Act on 27 June, Newcastle County Court confirmed. Friend and business associate John Hepworth took legal action in a bid to recover a debt reported to be almost £60,000. In May, Mr Hepworth served Clattenburg’s firm with legal papers demanding £59,589.
2. Doing as Gerrard tells him – October 2007
Mark Clattenburg awarded Liverpool a penalty after he judged Tony Hibbert had brought down Steven Gerrard in the box. Clattenburg pulled out a yellow card to book the Everton man, before Gerrard had a go at him, leading Clattenburg to put his yellow card away and replace it with a red one.
“The referee went to book Tony Hibbert holding a yellow card, Steven Gerrard walked past him (the referee) and it changed to a red,” said Alan Stubbs. “We saw the replays. That’s disappointing. We were 1-0 at half-time and on top, we had control of the game.”
Clattenburg was given a weekend off officiating following this incident.
3. Yellow card for double leg-break – February 2002
After failing to send off Stockport County defender Dave Challinor for a foul on Martin Pringle where the player’s leg was broken in two places and his career effectively ended, Clattenburg opted to give only a yellow card to Challinor. He then sent off Stockport’s then player-manager Carlton Palmer for dissent after arguing that his own player should have been sent off!
4. That Nani goal against Tottenham – October 2010
5. Clattenburg criticises Bellamy – December 2009
During a game between Manchester City and Bolton, City personnel alleged that at half-time, Clattenburg asked members of their bench: “How do you work with Craig Bellamy all week?” In the second half that followed, he booked Bellamy twice, once for dissent and then for diving, although replays suggested he was actually fouled.