Mark Clattenburg slams Premier League referees as ‘weirdos, squares and snakes’ and opens up on Martin Atkinson rift

MARTIN CLATTENBURG has once revealed he was involved in a punch-up with Premier League referee and former colleague Martin Atkinson.

The ex-Prem ref has taken aim at current and former officials alike in a sensational outburst in his new book ‘Whistleblower’.


Clattenburg refereed in the Premier League for 13 yearsCredit: Reuters
But has slammed current referee Martin Atkinson


But has slammed current referee Martin AtkinsonCredit: Reuters
As well as retired ref Howard Webb, and many more


As well as retired ref Howard Webb, and many moreCredit: Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Clattenburg refereed 297 Premier League matches, but the 46-year-old has not held back with damning comments about his once colleagues.

He also took charge of the Champions League final in 2016 and the final of the European Championships that same year.

The first man he has taken aim at is 50-year-old current referee Martin Atkinson, who he once had a heated clash with during a game of five-a-side.

In his upcoming book ‘Whistleblower’, per The Athletic, Clattenburg says: “I caught him [Atkinson] with a tackle. He threw a punch, and I threw a punch back.

“From that moment, there was always a certain level of respect between us, but friendship was out.”

And Clattenburg took the assault on Atkinson further, slamming his ‘minions’ for the way they behaved on European assignments.

He said: “You would be on a European trip and one of Atkinson’s minions would be with you as fourth official, and you knew he was reporting back to his master.”


Graham Poll also hasn’t escaped Clattenburg’s wrath, with Poll once reporting him to the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) for wearing a man-bag.

And in response to the incident, Clattenburg retorted: “He said it was not appropriate for a referee.

“But what was appropriate? Did you have to dress like a f***ing square? After that, I could not trust him.”

Clattenburg also took exception to Howard Webb, with no love lost between the pair.

“I did well for him in the Euros as an additional referee. However, when Howard doesn’t need you, he doesn’t speak,” he said.

“He’s very unique in this. Everyone sees Howard as a nice guy, and he is. I would never really criticise him as a person, he’s just someone I won’t engage with in the future because I don’t need Howard Webb, the same as he doesn’t need me. Which is fine.”

And the 46-year-old from County Durham also slammed Webb’s ‘political’ ‘Red Wine club’.

“Yes, there was the Red Wine. Yes, you had to be selected to get in,” Clattenburg claims.

“However, there was another group that all stuck together: [Phil] Dowd, Clattenburg, [Alan] Wiley, Dermot Gallagher, Deano [Mike Dean].

“All these people had respect for each other. There was no bitterness, no nastiness, whereas it was after the Webb era that it became a lot worse and really political.”

And Clattenburg concludes his rant by hitting out at another ex-referee and current PGMOL general manager Mike Riley, who he once found searching through his bag looking for some lost speakers.

Riley had Clattenburg of taking the speakers, which were eventually found.

And in response to the incident, Clatteburg exclaims: “Did he apologise? Of course he didn’t.”

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