Ex-Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg drops rank and reveals which team he supports
Mark Clattenburg flaunted his club colours two years after leaving the Premier League
Clattenburg left the Premier League in February 2017 to become the head of refereeing in Saudi Arabia.
He went on to become England’s most senior referee before his departure and was in charge for the Euro 2016 final.
Premier League referees are not allowed to officiate the team they support, but those rules no longer apply to Clattenburg, who is able to express his allegiance as passionately as he likes.
And that is exactly what the 44-year-old did when asked on Twitter who his favourite Saudi Arabian team is.
Newcastle United. The best team in the world!
Electing – quite sensibly – to not directly answer the question, Clattenburg replied: “Newcastle United. The best team in the world!”
As long as he’s not in the Premier League, the Geordie can continue to support the Toon proudly, which he spoke about to the Daily Mail after leaving the UK.
“At least I can watch Newcastle with a little bit of enjoyment instead of watching the referee!” he said.
“I used to go to Newcastle reserves games as a kid with one man and his dog and I’d watch the referees.”
Mark Clattenburg responded to a fan on Twitter revealing his boyhood club
Each Premier League ref declares the team they support at the start of the season, as Keith Hackett, former head of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), explained to BBC Sport in April 2016.
“At the beginning of every season the referees’ background information is audited,” Hackett said.
“They complete a form that includes who they support, the history of if they’ve played the game and with the addresses where they are residing.
“That gives you a picture that comes into use when you’re appointing. It’s about ensuring, for example, you wouldn’t appoint a Sheffield-based ref for a Sheffield team.”