MARK Clattenburg has been dropped for this weekend’s Premier League fixtures after breaking protocol so he could watch an Ed Sheeran concert.
It is understood Clattenburg drove home alone after officiating West Brom’s home game against Crystal Palace so he could get back to Newcastle to watch Sheeran perform at the Metro Radio Arena.
The rules of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), state officials must travel to and from the ground together to protect their integrity and security.
It has also emerged that Clattenburg broke another rule by speaking to Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock on the phone after the 2-2 draw at the Hawthorns.
The PGMOL insists a referee should only be allowed to speak to a manager 30 minutes after the game and that conversation must take place in front of his assistants.
After Clattenburg’s two errors came to light, the PGMOL board decided not to select the 39-year-old from County Durham for any top-flight games this weekend.
This is not the first time Clattenburg has found himself in trouble.
Five years ago he was sacked by the PGMOL following an investigation into his “private business affairs” although the punishment was reduced to an eight-month ban on appeal.
In 2005 he and his assistants failed to award Tottenham a goal at Old Trafford when Roy Carroll fumbled Pedro Mendes’ shot over the line.
Seven years later Clattenburg was accused of racially abusing Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel during their match against Manchester United.
Clattenburg was cleared by the Football Association.
Last season he was accused of insulting Adam Lallana during Southampton’s 2-1 defeat to Everton, but again he was cleared.
With Clattenburg now dropped, Stuart Attwell has been handed Leicester’s home game against West Brom on Saturday.
Attwell is no stranger to controversy himself.
In 2008 Attwell, after a discussion with his assistant Nigel Bannister, awarded Reading a goal at Watford even though the ball had clearly gone a yard wide of the net.
Saturday’s game at Leicester will be the 32-year-old’s first Premier League match in more than two years.
Mark Clattenburg is no stranger to controversy - here’s a look at some of his other high profile moments.
January, 2005 - Pedro Mendes goal not given
Clattenburg failed, along with his assistants, to spot Tottenham midfielder Mendes’ shot had been fumbled clearly over the line by Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll in a match at Old Trafford and a goal was not given.
October, 2007 - Hibbert red card
The Durham referee sent off Everton defender Hibbert in a Merseyside derby. After initially appearing to be about to show him a yellow card, Clattenburg seemed to change his mind and pulled out a red after a brief exchange with Steven Gerrard. He later did not send off Dirk Kuyt for a two-footed lunge at Phil Neville. Clattenburg did not referee another Everton match until 2012.
August, 2008 - Sacked over business dealings
He was suspended pending a probe into his business affairs following allegations he owed £60,000 as a result of a failed venture. He was pulled out of the FA Community Shield clash between Manchester United and Portsmouth as a result and later sacked by the Professional Game Match Officials board. In February 2009 he was reinstated as a Select Group Referee on appeal, but suspended for eight months from August 6, 2008, - the date of his original ban - for ‘’issues relating to his private business affairs’’.
December, 2009 - Craig Bellamy comments
It is alleged, in a match between Bolton and Manchester City, that Clattenburg asked the City bench: ‘’How do you work with Craig Bellamy all week?’’ He then sent Bellamy off for two yellow cards in the game.
October, 2010 - Nani goal given
Clattenburg correctly, if controversially, allowed a goal to stand between Manchester United and Tottenham when Nani tapped the ball in after Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes put the ball down, believing his side had a free-kick. Clattenburg had not blown his whistle.
October, 2012 - Cleared of Obi Mikel racism claim
Clattenburg was accused of using ‘’inappropriate language’’ towards Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel during their 3-2 defeat to Manchester United - a game in which Clattenburg sent off Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres, while replays showed United’s winning goal was offside. The allegations were the subject of investigations from both the FA and the Metropolitan Police, and Clattenburg was ultimately cleared. Instead, Mikel was punished with a £60,000 fine and a three-match ban for threatening Clattenburg after the match.
December, 2013 - Adam Lallana comments
Southampton made a complaint about the official, saying he had insulted captain Adam Lallana. Saints claimed Clattenburg had said: “You are very different now, since you’ve played for England - you never used to be like this.” No further action was taken.