One of England’s leading referees, Mark Clattenburg, has been suspended while enquiries are made into his business dealings, the English Football Association has revealed.
A joint statement from the FA and the referees’ organisation, the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, said the move was made because of “media reports concerning alleged debts incurred by companies connected to referee Mark Clattenburg.”
The Football Association and referees’ body Professional Game Match Officials Ltd acted after allegations relating to debts of companies connected to him.
A joint statement from the FA and PGMO read: “PGMO is aware of media reports concerning alleged debts incurred by companies connected to referee Mark Clattenburg.
“It has been decided he will not officiate any matches pending enquiries into the background to these reports.
“The FA has also decided to appoint Peter Walton as referee for Sunday’s FA Community Shield between Manchester United and Portsmouth in place of Mark Clattenburg.”
A PGMO spokesman added: “It is in the best interests of Mark Clattenburg and the game that these reports are fully investigated and, during that time, he will not referee any matches.
“Mark Clattenburg is one of England’s leading referees and we hope to resolve this matter swiftly.”
Before becoming a professional referee, 33 year old Clattenburg was an electrician and ran a company with a business partner, John Hepworth. The firm allegedly failed to pay off debts to Hepworth, who has taken legal action in a bid to recover the money.