Mark Clattenburg to leave Premier League for Saudi Arabia

Will replace Howard Webb as Saudi FA head of refereeing after 12-years in top flight

Mark Clattenburg is leaving the Premier League to take up a role in Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Mark Clattenburg is leaving the Premier League to take up a role in Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

 

Leading referee Mark Clattenburg is leaving the Premier League after 12 years to work in Saudi Arabia.

The 41-year-old Englishman’s move was confirmed by Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the organisation which provides and trains officials for the Premier League, English Football League and Football Association.

In a statement, PGMOL said: “The Professional Game Match Officials Limited would like to wish Mark Clattenburg well as he prepares for his move to the Saudi Arabian Football Federation.

“Since joining the PGMOL Select Group in 2004, Mark developed into one of our top officials, refereeing at the highest level and setting standards for others to follow.

“His accomplishments are numerous and last season saw Mark achieve a memorable treble, on top of another consistently excellent season in the Premier League, as he officiated three major cup finals — the FA Cup final, the Uefa Champions League final and the Uefa Euro 2016 final.

“Mark is a talented referee, he has been a great asset to the English game and hopefully an inspiration to those who want to get into refereeing at the grass roots of the game. We understand this is an exciting opportunity for Mark as well as further underlining what high esteem English match officials are held throughout the world game.”

Clattenburg, who became an assistant referee in the Northern League at 18, has reportedly grown unhappy with the level of public support officials are given by PGMOL and he has been linked with various lucrative moves abroad.

With no Premier League fixtures this weekend, Clattenburg’s final top-flight game was Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Hull on Saturday — another game with a refereeing controversy when a handball was missed before Alexis Sanchez’s opening goal.

Hull have also been fined £20,000 for failing to control their players, who surrounded Clattenburg following his decision to show Arsenal full-back Kieran Gibbs a yellow card for fouling Lazar Markovic when the winger was clear on goal.

Clattenburg has been a FIFA referee since 2006 and officiated the Olympic men’s football final at London 2012.

His career has not been without lows, though, as he served an eight-month suspension in 2008 and 2009 after PGMOL investigated his business dealings, and in 2012 Chelsea made a formal complaint that he had used inappropriate language towards Jon Obi Mikel during a game against Manchester United. He was, however, cleared of any wrongdoing.

He was also reprimanded by PGMOL boss Mike Riley in 2014 for breaches of protocol when he drove to Newcastle to see an Ed Sheeran concert after refereeing a Crystal Palace versus West Brom game and speaking to Palace manager Neil Warnock on the phone after the game.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.