Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has torn apart almost every referee in the English top-flight in his new autobiography, which is wonderfully-titled Whistle Blower: My Autobiography.
Clattenburg was a character in his own right, and he believes that he was a well-respected one too. Although, he did admit that got the impression he was less liked by his own bosses. “I believe I was well accepted on the field but not by the bosses. It’s not easy when people don’t want you to succeed so there’s great satisfaction that I achieved things, including all the finals, not needing the help and support of David Elleray and Mike Riley. Maybe because I was different. I didn’t always look like a referee.” Ultimately, Clattenburg sees himself as too much of a maverick for the milquetoast company of English referees. “Many people get it done [tattoos] but in refereeing people frown at anyone doing anything different. Your tie has to be the right length, your shoes have to be right, an old-school mentality. [Pierluigi] Collina, the best referee in the world, had tattoos. But there seems to be an English thing dictating how you should be. I was called vain, a disgrace. Why shouldn’t a referee have a nose piercing if they want? You are in the public eye and people assume they can criticise you.” Whistle Blower will be on sale this September in all good book stores.