Mark Clattenburg

Mark Clattenburg (born 13 March 1975)[1] is an English professional football referee.

Mark Clattenburg
Full name Mark Clattenburg
Born (1975-03-13) 13 March 1975 (age 46)
Consett, County Durham, England
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
2004–2017 Premier League Referee
Years League Role
2006–2017 FIFA listed Referee

Clattenburg is a former member of the Premier League and the Durham County Football Association and also a former FIFA referee. He has refereed a number of notable matches, including the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final and the UEFA Euro 2016 Final. Clattenburg is considered one of the most highly-rated European referees of his generation.[2]


Early career

Born in Consett, County Durham,[3] Clattenburg took up refereeing in 1990 as part of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award[4] 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,[4] 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.[5] Clattenburg was then fourth official for the 2001–02 Division Three play-off final[1] and the 2002–03 FA Trophy final.[6]

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.

Turning professional

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.[3] 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.

Investigation of debts

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 against the decision. 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 was involved in a FIFA World Cup as a fourth official for a 2010 tournament UEFA qualifying group 4 match between Azerbaijan and Russia in Baku on 14 October 2009.[19]

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.[20]

He officiated at UEFA Euro 2012 as an additional assistant referee in a team led by Howard Webb.[21] Clattenburg was also selected as one of the referees for the men's football tournament of the 2012 Olympic Games.[22] 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.[23]

Chelsea complaint about inappropriate language

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.[24] The Professional Game Match Officials Board stated that Clattenburg would fully co-operate with the FA's investigation into the complaint.[25][26] 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."[27]

The Metropolitan Police Service launched its own investigation into the allegations after it received a complaint from the Society of Black Lawyers, but later dropped it after no victims came forward.[28][29][30] 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.[31] Mikel was found guilty and received a three match ban and a £60,000 fine.[32]

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".[33]

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.[34] 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".[35]


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.[36]

In October 2014 Clattenburg was stood down for one weekend following a Crystal Palace game for phoning manager Neil Warnock and for travelling from the fixture alone (Premier League rules state all match officials must not be involved in any conversation with a manager after a game and require all officials to travel to and from a match together).[37]


Clattenburg refereed the 2016 FA Cup Final, contested by Crystal Palace and Manchester United. The match went to extra-time and Manchester United won by a scoreline of 2–1.

Clattenburg was selected as the referee of the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid in Milan on 28 May.[38] Real Madrid went on to win the match 5–3 after extra time and penalties.[39]

Clattenburg officiated at several matches at UEFA Euro 2016. Late in a group match between the Czech Republic and Croatia in Saint-Étienne, Croatian hooligans threw flares onto the pitch and Clattenburg suspended the match for several minutes, moving the players away from the burning flares to avoid injury.[40][41][42][43]

Clattenburg went on to referee the UEFA Euro 2016 Final between Portugal and France on 10 July,[44] which Portugal went on to win 1–0 after extra time.

Premier League exit

On 16 February 2017, the PGMOL announced that Clattenburg had left his position as a Premier League referee for a role with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation,[45] replacing Howard Webb as the country's Head of Refereeing.[46]


On 23 February 2019, it was announced that Clattenburg had been hired by CFA to become one of the professional referees in China.[47]

Leisure Leagues

In 2017, Clattenburg was announced as an Ambassador for Leisure Leagues agreeing to become their Head Referee[48] as part of this, he was a guest of honour at the formation of the International Socca Federation in Birmingham UK, refereeing the final of the 6 a side World Cup in 2019 as Germany beat Poland.[49]

He was also there in 2019, as the World Cup went to Crete,[50] refereeing with fellow former Premier League referee Bobby Madley.[51]

List of notable matches

Notable matches refereed by Clattenburg include:

2018 6 a side World Cup final - Lisbon[52]

Card statistics

SeasonGamesTotal per gameTotal per game
Source: Soccerbase

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

Media Work

Clattenburg joined the ESPN commentary team for Euro 2020 as their officiating and VAR expert.[53]

Personal life

Clattenburg went to Cramlington Community High School and was chosen to play football for them, as well as South Northumberland.[4] He is divorced from his wife with whom he lived in Chester-le-Street, and they had one son during the marriage.[54]

See also


  1. "Referee Profiles". The Football League. Archived from the original on 17 March 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  3. "Face to face: Mark Clattenburg". icNewcastle. Archived from the original on 1 June 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  4. Interview Archived 1 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine, page 4: website.
  5. Clattenburg's First League Match: at
  6. FA Trophy Final 2003, fourth official: Official website.
  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. Archived 11 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  13. European Under-16 Championship qualifying match, FYR Macedonia v. Denmark, 2006: PDF file at Official website.
  14. Mention Archived 24 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine 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. 23 June 2008. Archived from the original on 26 June 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  17. "Walton to referee Shield". The Football Association. 7 August 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  18. "Ref Clattenburg hit by suspension". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 7 August 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  19. FIFA World Cup qualifier Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Germany v. Finland, referee: website. Retrieved on 27 November 2009.
  20. Winter, Henry (27 February 2012). "Cardiff City 2 Liverpool 2; Liverpool win on penalties". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
  21. "Euro 2012 Referees" (PDF). UEFA. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  22. "Olympic Football Tournaments - Appointment of Match Officials" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  23. Paul Breitner: So verteidigt er Franck Ribéry, Abendzeitung, 3 April 2013.
  24. "CHELSEA STATEMENT". 29 October 2012. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  25. "Mark Clattenburg: Chelsea make complaint against referee". BBC Online. BBC Sport. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  26. "Referee Mark Clattenburg accused as Chelsea make complaint over language". Sky Sports News. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Hytner, David (13 November 2012). "Police drop investigation into Mark Clattenburg over racism claim". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  30. "Mark Clattenburg: Police drop investigation into referee". The Guardian. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  31. "Mark Clattenberg is cleared by FA as Chelsea's Mikel is charged". BBC. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  32. "John Mikel Obi banned for Mark Clattenburg threats". BBC. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  33. "Referee Mark Clattenburg's statement in full". BBC. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  34. "Mark Clattenburg: Norwich boss Chris Hughton welcomes him back". BBC. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  35. "Mark Clattenburg welcomed back to Premier League refereeing". BBC. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  36. Steinberg, Jacob (11 August 2013). "Manchester United v Wigan: Community Shield – as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  37. "Mark Clattenburg: Premier League drop referee after Ed Sheeran gig". BBC Sport. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  38. "Mark Clattenburg to take charge of Champions League final". Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  39. Sport, Neil Johnston BBC. "Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid (5-3 pens)". Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  40. "VIDEO: Chaos at Euro 2016 as flare explodes in steward's face after Croatian fans hurl fireworks". The Independent. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  41. Hunter, Andy (17 June 2016). "Czech Republic comeback marred by Croatia flare and fan incidents". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  42. Brown, Luke (17 June 2016). "Czech Republic 2 Croatia 2, Euro 2016: Czechs grab late draw in game overshadowed by crowd violence". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  43. "Uefa to act after Croatia fan fights and flares mar Czech Republic draw". The Guardian. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  44. "Clattenburg named referee for UEFA EURO 2016 final". Union of European Football Associations. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  45. "PGMOL statement on Mark Clattenburg". Premier League. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  46. Taylor, Louise (4 December 2017). "Mark Clattenburg leaves Premier League to 'educate' Saudi Arabia referees". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  47. "坚持根本遵循 深化足球改革 推动联赛发展——2019赛季中超、中甲联赛动员大会召开". (in Chinese). 23 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  53. "ESPN names star-studded cast of Euro 2020 hosts and studio analysts".
  54. Taylor, Louise (30 October 2012). "Mark Clattenburg: high flyer who courted controversy on and off field". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2015.