Something strange is happening with English referees. You might have noticed it yourselves.
More and more of them are revelling in the limelight, taking centre stage with some inexcusably theatrical behaviour during matches. A new breed of ‘Celebrity Refs’ has spawned and the epidemic is out of control.
Mike Dean is on a totally different level to every other match official - it’d come as no surprise if that man turned up in the Big Brother house over the next couple of years - but hot on old Deano’s heels is Clatts; otherwise known as Mark Clattenburg.
It was revealed last month that Clatts will be leaving the Premier League this summer in order to work in Saudi Arabia and help ‘educate’ fellow referees in the country.
But for the time being, the 42-year-old is still working both in England and in European tournaments.
The match official, who took charge of the 2016 UEFA Champions League and European Championship finals, was on duty on Thursday night at Borussia-Park for the Europa League fixture between Borussia Monchengladbach and Schalke.
Clattenburg's latest 'Celebrity Ref' moment
He was slammed by Gladbach fans after awarding a penalty for a non-existent handball but redeemed himself - well, in our eyes, anyway - with one of the best ‘Celebrity Ref’ moments we’ve seen.
After Gladbach forward Raffael was fouled by one his opponents, he got up and ran over to Clatts - presumably to demand a yellow card.
The English ref already had the card in his hand and was clearly irritated with the Brazilian trying to do his job for him.
Clatts subsequently froze on the spot, standing as tall as he could, trying to asset his authority over Raffael without saying a word.
Raffael walked away and Clatts issued the yellow card to the Schalke player.
Watch it here...
“Genuinely Oscar worthy,” the excellent @CelebrityRefs Twitter account wrote for the caption.
Clatts has form for this sort of behaviour
Clattenburg has form for this kind of behaviour. Check out THIS article of some of the funniest moments from his illustrious refereeing career.
Remember: this is also a man who has a tattoo of the Champions League trophy on his arm after refereeing last year’s final.
We’ll miss him when he leaves England.
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