Mark Clattenburg axed after referee broke rules by travelling to match alone... so he wouldn't miss Ed Sheeran concert
Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg will miss next weekend’s round of fixtures for breaking protocol so he could watch an Ed Sheeran concert.
Clattenburg travelled in his own car to officiate the West Bromwich vs Crystal Palace match in order to get back to Newcastle in time to see the award-winning singer-songwriter perform at the Metro Radio Arena last Saturday.
Premier League regulations require the referee and his assistants to travel together to and from games for integrity and security purposes.
Clattenburg also talked to Palace manager Neil Warnock while in his car, even though the Premier League code allows officials to speak to managers after a game only when all the assistants are present or with the permission of referees’ body Professional Game Match Officials Limited.
The PGMOL do not want a situation between manager and referee which might escalate to being one version of a conversation against the other.
It is understood serial referee baiter Warnock had wanted to discuss with Clattenburg two incidents during the 2-2 draw at The Hawthorns, Wilfried Zaha being denied a penalty and a challenge by Craig Dawson on Julian Speroni that led to a goal and the injured keeper being substituted.
After the game Warnock said: ‘It’s just like an assault. How come one of the four officials doesn’t see that? Dawson goes for about five yards with his elbow and smashes him in the face.
'I have not seen something like that since Bert Trautmann,' added Warnock, referring to how Manchester City's keeper famously suffered a broken neck in a challenge with Birmingham City's Peter Murphy in the 1956 FA Cup final.
The Premier League called it ‘an internal matter’ that Clattenburg had not being given a match before expected Champions League duties next week.