A Premier League referee has been dropped from this weekend’s football fixtures after attending an Ed Sheeran gig in Newcastle.
Mark Clattenburg was punished for breaching regulations by traveling alone to officiate last Saturday’s West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace game, as well as for speaking on the phone to Palace manager Neil Warnock from his car after the match.
FA rules dictate that referees must travel to and from games with their assistants, who are required to be present during any post-match discussions with managers in order to protect their integrity and security.
But it is reported that Clattenburg travelled in his own car on October 25 so he could get back to Newcastle in time to watch Ed Sheeran performing at the city’s Metro Radio Arena.
This is not the first time Clattenburg has been at the centre of controversy. He has previously served an eight-month ban after an investigation into his personal life and business debts, and was accused by Chelsea player John Mikel Obi of using racially aggravated language towards him.
Sheeran was in the headlines this month after Isle of Wight Festival organiser John Giddings called him boring. He hit back: “A lot of people think I’m boring – I think other people are boring. It’s fine and that’s a normal thing to think.”