Mark Clattenburg: Premier League drop referee after Ed Sheeran gig

Mark Clattenburg
Clattenburg left the ground on his own to go to an Ed Sheeran gig in Newcastle

Top-flight referee Mark Clattenburg has been dropped from officiating this weekend for two breaches of protocol.

He broke Premier League rules to speak on the phone to Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock after the West Brom draw.

The 39-year-old then left the ground alone to drive to Newcastle to watch pop star Ed Sheeran in concert.

The referee body, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, says officials must travel to and from the ground together for integrity and security.

Danny Mills on BBC Radio 5 live
"So he's not allowed to travel to a game on his own? It's hardly the crime of the century is it?"

Premier League rules state that all officials must be present during a conversation with a manager, which means an official cannot make or take calls from club managers away from the ground.

Former Manchester City and Leeds defender Danny Mills said it was "ridiculous" the Newcastle-based official had been banned.

"I think it's absolutely farcical," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"So he's not allowed to travel to a game on his own? It's hardly the crime of the century is it?

"I think we need to know a bit more of the phone call, we assume, it was from Neil Warnock. He may not have had his number stored. What was said?

"I think Mike Riley [referees' chief] is making referees the laughing stock. He does them no favours whatsoever."

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