Premier League fans have been asked to name the referee they’d least like to officiate at their team’s games. Here we reveal the top five most disliked.
Premier League fans have named Mark Clattenburg as the referee they would least like to see referee a game involving their team, with Mike Dean coming in a close second place.
The men in the middle come in for heavy criticism week-in, week-out, but Clattenburg has taken an absolute hammering over the years – with accusations of bias flung from almost every possible direction at various times.
The 40-year-old racked up 32% of the nearly 24,000 votes cast in a 90min survey, with fans of Spurs, Everton and Manchester City in particular likely to have piled onto the poll after a number of high-profile mistakes from Clattenburg affected their teams over the years.
Neil Swarbrick finished the poll with a vote of confidence, only 10% of fans fearing him the most despite an incident near the end of last season which saw him send off the wrong player – giving Gareth McAuley his marching orders for a foul committed by his teammate Craig Dawson.
City fans in particular may have contributed to Durham-born Clattenburg’s poor showing in the poll, after he wrongly awarded Spurs a decisive penalty for handball against Raheem Sterling in February.
Even Manuel Pellegrini got in on the Clattenburg-bashing act at the time, saying: “Unfortunately for us it was the same referee, Clattenburg, as when we lost against Tottenham in the first round with two goals offside. It was decisive for the game. For me I don’t think it is a good decision to have the same referee.”
Pellegrini also took a swipe at the long-time top-flight ref last season after a draw with Arsenal, saying: “He had a very bad day against Liverpool and today he had a very bad day. Arsenal scored both goals with fouls,” although he later appeared to soften his view a little.
Potential new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has ripped into Clattenburg in the past, saying two years ago when he was managing Juventus: “I didn’t appreciate either the attitude of our opponents or the referee. UEFA should show us more respect by sending a referee of the required standard.
“The referee allowed them to obstruct the play the whole game. Before the game he told us that he wouldn’t stop play every time a player hit the floor, but that’s what happened.”
Perhaps his most high-profile error came in a Manchester United match against Spurs back in 2005, when he failed to award Pedro Mendes a goal despite Roy Carroll clearly fumbling the midfielder’s shot into his own net before scrambling it back out again.
By Chris Deeley
For more fan views to cast your vote via FanVoice or to join the conversation visit www.90min.com