Shield referee dropped over debt claims
Friday 08 August 2008
Mark Clattenburg, the Premier League's youngest referee and an official respected by all except Everton fans who have never forgiven him for last season's Goodison derby defeat, has been removed from Sunday's Community Shield and suspended from all refereeing duties pending an investigation into alleged £60,000 debts.
Clattenburg, 33, is a qualified electrician who has run a number of companies but one of them, MC Electrical Retail N/E Ltd, has been wound up by the county court after the firm failed to pay off debts to a former associate of the official, John Hepworth. The two men trained as electricians together in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, and set up their own firm but at the beginning of this year, Clattenburg's firm allegedly began falling behind in payments to another of his associate's firms, according to Hepworth.
In May, Hepworth served Clattenburg's firm with legal papers demanding payment of £59,589 – roughly the same figure he commands as a top flight referee. Hepworth took the issue to a county court, which wound up the firm under the Insolvency Act. Clattenburg is also being taken to court later this month by another firm which claims he owes them £7,200. He refutes the allegations. Clattenburg set a post-war record by making his debut as a Football League referee at the age of just 25 in the match between Chesterfield and York in August 2000. He became a Fifa referee in 2006, at a younger age than any English referee in living memory. Sir Alex Ferguson was sent to the stands by him during his side's 1-0 defeat at Bolton last autumn. Clattenburg has now been replaced by Peter Walton and the chances of him officiating at the start of the Premier League season also seem remote. A joint statement from the Football Association and referees' body the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) read: "It has been decided he will not officiate any matches pending enquiries into the background to these reports."
A PGMO spokesman added: "It is in the best interests of Mark Clattenburg and the game that these reports are fully investigated. We hope to resolve this matter swiftly."
Everton fans launched an online petition asking the FA to ban Clattenburg from the Premier League for life during the match in which he gave Liverpool two penalties, before ignoring Everton's claims for a spot-kick from the final attack of the game.
* Bournemouth will start the League Two season on minus 17 points. They have been handed the points penalty after failing to exit administration via the necessary Company Voluntary Agreement and for being declared insolvent for the second time in as many years.
Latest in Sport
Kevin Garside: Manchester United may have history and tradition but, as David Moyes never realised, a big-time manager always bends such things to his will
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Calum Chambers: Who is Arsenal's £16m right-back target?
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
Arsenal transfer news: Versatile Calum Chambers is a 'gamble', admits Arsene Wenger as Arsenal spending passes £50m
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc