About once a month, they have presenters in to talk about interesting stuff (as long as they're not accountants) and occasionally they have a speaker at a social event.
Last night it was... Mark Clattenburg.
Many of you will recall that game in October 2007. Hibbert and Neville (rightly in his case) sent off as we succumbed to a 1-2 home defeat in a match that saw it's fair share of controversial decisions. Moyes slated the referee's performance, was immediately put on an FA charge, and then the whole thing was quietly dropped.
Being in my 5th year here, most of the group know my Everton credentials. The organiser (a Bournemouth fan, but son an Evertonian) gleefully told me 2 months ago they'd arranged this, and was sure I would have a question or two for him.
Last night, I walked in, and he was at the bar... I ignored him and got meself a drink, then joined a couple of friends for a chat.
He then walks over, introduces himself and shakes my hand. Every bit the affable Geordie.
When he got up to speak, he spoke as a football fan, someone who aspired to be a player but accepted a "lesser" role in football when it was apparent he wouldn't make the grade, a Geordie fan, and someone who'd been through the ringer professionally (and personally). He'd been cheered and jeered in equal measure when he started (apparently in 13 games he reffed featuring Crystal Palace, they never won a game).
Afterwards, I found myself talking to him again, when a colleague (Stockport County fan) told him I was an embittered Everton fan. Before I could speak, Mark Clattenburg silenced me.
- He was disappointed I hadn't raised that as a question during the Q&A
- He knew he'd had a 'mare in that game
- He wasn't influenced by Slippy on the Hibbert red card (not sure I believe that....)
- He should have sent off Kuyt (Sloth from Goonies) for that assault on Neville
- He should've given a penalty when Carragher wrestled Lescott to the ground
- The game should've finished 2-2 (and there'd have been discontent on both sides, but nothing lingering 10½ years, and counting!)
So two things I never thought I'd say:
1) I found him a thoroughly pleasant, engaging guy
2) I actually bought him a drink!
He's now based here in Riyadh (coaching referees) so we said we'd catch up over dinner. I will try to get to the bottom of that Hibbert sending off...
Reader Comments (30)
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1 Posted 01/05/2018 at 13:33:36
2 Posted 01/05/2018 at 18:43:33
3 Posted 01/05/2018 at 19:50:28
I forgot to add, he also told me Sam Allardyce is another big mate of his, and he can't understand why Everton fans are so against him. At this stage there was a few around us - West Ham fans, and a couple of others, all furiously agreeing.
Basically he said that Sam guaranteed 8-10th place, and we should be delighted with that.
We've all heard that narrative in the media recently, and it dawned on me that really that's what fans outside of Toffeeworld actually believe. The Moyes "punching above our weight" years has really set the benchmark for our expectations, apparently.
4 Posted 01/05/2018 at 20:16:22
Bought Clattenburg a drink !!!!!!!unbelievable.
5 Posted 01/05/2018 at 20:28:06
I remember playing a game and I thought the ref was okay, because you could have a bit of banter with him. Anyway I was half winding him up after the game, when we were all in the showers, and he suddenly told me he had refereed the first all Merseyside cup final at wembley.
He was shocked when I started shouting at him that he was a fucking disgrace in that game, and there was no way he wouldn't have gave those red bastards a penalty!
I can't remember the fella's name, but it didn't take him long to start trying to snitch on me, for my outburst, but isn't that referees for you anyway!
7 Posted 01/05/2018 at 21:36:09
Tony, if you ever want to know how other fans view Everton, just think of the way we dismiss Villa as a none-entity, particularly before they were relegated. Villa fans believe they are a much bigger club than us and point to winning the European Cup (beats our ECWC) and winning more trophies (one more due to FA Cups won), I always tell them that it's the league that counts and it'll be another 50 years before they get to 9. London based fans seem to think Everton is on the level of West Ham! Have they even won a trophy?
But that's the reality check most blues need to see. As regards to global profile, there's 6 teams in the Premier League and 14 others you barely remember, and us being in the 14 means we have barely any kudos, unless you're talking to someone a lot older who remembers the 80s, but then remember there was nothing like the TV coverage we have now, not even 1% of it.
8 Posted 01/05/2018 at 21:48:19
9 Posted 01/05/2018 at 21:51:03
Lay off Accountants too. Salt of the earth fine upstanding hilarious guys.
10 Posted 01/05/2018 at 21:52:16
11 Posted 01/05/2018 at 21:52:43
12 Posted 01/05/2018 at 22:00:56
13 Posted 02/05/2018 at 10:16:22
14 Posted 03/05/2018 at 08:41:26
I do think that the so-called big clubs get the 50/50 decisions making the ref almost like a 12th man. Wenger mentioned that Andy Johnson won too many soft pens then for the next 12 months we didn't get a pen. That just shows how powerful the media and big clubs are.
Neville mentioned not long after he joined us that he would never get the same yellow cards for Man Utd. Does Fellaini get the same amount of cards now at Man Utd? It's a fact that, when we play the top clubs, we also have to contend with decisions going against us: Niasse getting a ban when blocked off the ball. Physically there was contact.
Most Premier League games have players diving about. Bernardo Silva diving 3 foot in the air, no contact — penalty given no retrospective ban. From:
Clive Thomas's handball on Brian Hamilton;
Robinson's Milk Cup Final handball;
Colina pension booster performance against Fiorentina;
3-card-trick Poll blowing the whistle after the ball goes into the net off Don Hutchison's back;
Twatenberg in the Derby...
The list goes on.
Does anyone think that VAR is the answer?
15 Posted 03/05/2018 at 09:00:51
Now, the Top Six has been the same six clubs for the past number of years, all interchanging, hence why this term is used.
One way to stop being seen to be a small time club is to stop whingeing about refs and how media terms as if everyone is against us.
As for ref decisions over the years, how about Bolton's goal that wasn't in the year they went down instead of us?
16 Posted 03/05/2018 at 09:16:53
17 Posted 03/05/2018 at 09:28:20
As well as the penalty incident against wimbledon, mentioned by Rob Dolby above, the only other incident I can think of going in our favour, off the top of my head, is the disallowed goal for ratboy in the last minute of the derby a few years back, when he was clearly onside. Having said that he shouldn't have been on the pitch anyway due to two terrible challenges on Distin and Mirallas.
Anyway, my point of this post is, I have just read on the BBC website that the Roma President is demanding VAR in the CL after apparently two clear penalties were not awarded for Roma. The first one I didn't see, but the second was was as clear as daylight, a blatant handball against Alexander-Arnold.
Roma were finally awarded a penalty in the last minute of added time, but three penalties against the RS in one game? Never in a million years.
18 Posted 03/05/2018 at 09:40:02
I didn't see the penalty decisions last night either, but one of them wasn't given because the linesman had flagged for offside prior to the incident. But it doesn't matter. I'm to believe that as well as the FA and Premier League, that UEFA are also closet Liverpool fans and, by extension, so are the European referees.
Maybe I'm in the minority, but I think that is untrue, to put it mildly, and I'm often accused of being a conspiracy theorist.
Refereeing decisions and Liverpool F.C. should be the last thing on any Blue's mind considering the mess we're in.
I remember the 5-0 loss to Liverpool under Martinez and at half time on the Live Forum there were a handful of people criticising the ref. Incredible.
19 Posted 03/05/2018 at 09:48:48
20 Posted 03/05/2018 at 10:06:22
I've just being talking to a Liverpool fan who reminded me of the penalty that Roma got in the first leg. Absolutely that wasn't a penalty. Mane was also pushed in the back in the area last night in the first half; no penalty given. Both of these were incorrect in my view.
I didn't see the last minute penalty last night but I'm told it was soft enough.
But I don't care about Liverpool. There's probably a bit of media bias towards them in the UK but let's not kid ourselves. But Everton are not suffering to any great extent due to refereeing decisions, in my view.
21 Posted 03/05/2018 at 10:15:56
22 Posted 03/05/2018 at 10:21:11
24 Posted 03/05/2018 at 13:01:08
We may well have been lucky on occasions but compared to the RS or United we are also rans.
25 Posted 03/05/2018 at 13:06:04
And who are the big clubs? It used to be (allegedly) the Top 4. Now it's the Top 6. How did Spurs and City get promoted to the Top Table and why? If someone throws Abrahomovich money at, say Newcastle, do they automatically start getting the rub of the green? I'm genuinely looking for the logic.
Was Fergie Time unfair or was it just that United played to the bitter end in every game as demanded by their excellent manager?
26 Posted 03/05/2018 at 13:20:17
Like players, none of them are perfect and are prone to the occasional error which, because of worldwide television can be blown out of all proportion especially when it involves the big money clubs.
We Evertonians have seen our fair share and usually in games against RS ( Clive Thomas at Maine Rd. still sticks out).
I think the league is partly to blame for the officiating these days. They have not sorted out the shenanigans in the penalty area properly and usually the ref. always takes the easy way out and penalises the offensive team rather than give a penalty.
The offside rule needs to be modified in a way that calls for clear daylight between the forward and the last player before being flagged. It is too fine a margin when players are deemed level for a linesman to differentiate and far often gets it wrong.
Back in the day before T.V. slow motion replays; officials were never given such a hard time but of course now they are too blame for everything.
For the record I am not and never have been a referee.
27 Posted 03/05/2018 at 13:24:08
A couple of seasons later, also against Arsenal, James McFadden swears at the same Graham Poll once and is given a straight red.
28 Posted 03/05/2018 at 13:30:52
The handball rule is completely subjective as far as I can see and I for one don't know when a free should or shouldn't be given when the hand makes contact with the ball.
The offside is factually impossible to get right as you have to be looking in two places at once. If anyone watched the Sky programme where Neville and Carragher visited the Premier League refs, the officials actually admitted that close offside calls are based on an educated guess, depending on how much space is between the two players when they actually turn their eyes to the forward.
I think the rules need to be made easier to referee or fans need to get real about the levels of performance they can expect from the officials.
29 Posted 03/05/2018 at 13:43:25
As for VAR if the games administrators wanted it to work in an efficient manner it would already be up and running, but it seems that football doesn't really want the added scrutiny for whatever reason.
The table below shows Penalties awarded in Premier League games between 2002 and the start of last month.
Team For Against Home Away
L'pool 92 61 47 45
Man C 91 54 66 25
Chelsea 88 42 59 29
Man U 83 42 56 27
Arsenal 83 69 56 27
Spurs 72 63 42 30
Everton 67 61 43 24
30 Posted 03/05/2018 at 14:20:31
No-one was taken in by Gerard's diving. At the last World Cup he played in, Carragher got 2 bookings in the first 2 games and was subsequently banned.
Going back further, Sol Campbell's disallowed goal against Argentina was a by-product of the fact that Shearer got away with using his elbows in the domestic game to the point where he probably thought it was within the rules to knock the keeper's arms away when going for a cross.
Add to Beckham's and Rooney's petulance being justly punished for once and England fans claim there's a ref's conspiracy against them!!
31 Posted 03/05/2018 at 15:27:34
32 Posted 08/05/2018 at 19:17:59
A couple of points re Clattenburg. He was not universally liked by his fellow referees as he was seen to be 'too flash'. In fairness, after the early debacle of THAT derby, he wasn't given a game at Goodison for a very long time.
But, a referee who admits to having a 'mare', unheard of? I actually thought he was one of our better referees in the last five years of his time in the Premiership, UEFA also thought so, as he was on their elite list of referees.
Evertonian's have long memories, and yes he did have a stinker against the RS, but as time passes by, everything should be put in perspective, I'm more frustrated and angry at the total ineptitude in the boardroom over twenty years, than a poor display by a referee.
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