It appears that the latest Mark Clattenburg controversy is grinding to an ignominious halt.
When last we’d left our intrepid hero, Clattenburg waved off two penalty appeals in Southampton’s loss to Everton at Goodison Park, and Saints lost their shit. The general feeling is that Clattenburg got both calls right.
What happened next was when things got really surreal: Clattenburg apparently responded to skipper Adam Lallana by telling him he’d “changed” since getting capped for England. This seemingly innocent comment to the rest of us was so incredibly upsetting to the precious Lallana that Southampton immediately launched a complaint with PGMOL.
Which was, of course, denied.
Southampton refused to take the refereeing body’s word for it, and complained to the FA, who responded with the equivalent of:
But that wasn’t good enough for Southampton either, who continue to insist that Clattenburg not be allowed to referee any of their games. Ever.
This was just an incredibly blatant and ugly attempt by a club to influence the referees and take the focus off their performance (they’ve taken a whopping five points from their last nine games), and it’s a good thing FA didn’t fall for it. They’re insisting that Clattenburg will take any and all games at which he’s needed.
Fortunately, it seems like cooler (and more intelligent) heads are finally starting to prevail. Manager Mauricio Pochettino today said that not only would Saints accept Clattenburg as a referee, they’d do whatever it takes to support him.
“It would not be a problem if we had Mark Clattenburg refereeing for us again. We know refereeing is a very, very tough job.”
So, all’s well that ends well, I suppose.
At the very least, we got a few days’ worth of fun out of the Twitter hashtag #ThingsThatUpsetAdamLallana