“He threw a punch, and I threw a punch back…”
Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has shared information about a “political war” he had with fellow ref Martin Atkinson.
He revealed that at one point, on the five-a-side pitch, the two threw punches at each other.
Mark Clattenburg on “war” with Martin Atkinson
Speaking about an incident that occurred years ago, Clattenburg said: “There was a big political war between myself and Atkinson. We never got on. We were playing five-a-side in the gym. I caught him 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. Rather than move on, he was bitter and that feeling intensified the more I became a threat to his career.”
This fascinating story comes from an interview with The Athletic, ahead of the release of Clattenburg’s book entitled Whistleblower.
He also talked about the personality type of a lot of referees, describing them as “out for themselves”.
He said: “It is no surprise a lot of referees have a background in the police or teaching. They are climbers, out for themselves and happy to see others kicked down the ladder along the way.”
Mark Clattenburg releasing book filled with stories from referee career
Clattenburg, who was recently refereeing in China, has always been outspoken throughout his career. Earlier this year, he revealed that he and his family have both received death threats in the past, after Mike Dean said the same.
Meanwhile, Atkinson has been in the news lately after his controversial performance when he took charge of West Ham vs Manchester United last week.
Former Sky Sports broadcaster Richard Keys called for Atkinson to be fired, over some apparent mistakes he made on the day.
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