Ask any Crystal Palace fan for their view on referee Mark Clattenburg and you’re unlikely to get anything approaching a complimentary answer; a fact born out perfectly by the reaction of Eagles fans everywhere when it was announced that the aforementioned official would be taking charge of our tie with Everton on Friday night.
Palace’s overwhelming apathy for the refereeing of Mr Clattenburg can be traced back a number of years, following a string of harsh decisions from the Newcastle native, none more blatant than during a game at The Hawthorns in October of 2014, when Mark saw no issue with a flying elbow to the head of Palace keeper Julian Speroni from Baggies’ defender Craig Dawson which eventually led to the Argentine stopper having to be substituted with a concussion.
More recently, we were forced to contend with Clattenburg’s general ineptitude when up against Manchester United in May’s FA Cup Final, watching on as he twice failed to play clear advantages with Palace well on their way towards David De Gea’s goal, alongside his refusal to dismiss Wayne Rooney despite an obvious yellow card offence that occurred after the England captain had already received a caution.
Whilst Clattenburg is also despised at Goodison Park for a particular performance in a now infamous Merseyside derby a number of years ago, a quick bit of research into the career of the 41-year-old official brings to light a record which has seen him preside over just five Crystal Palace victories in 22 outings, the lowest win ratio of any club to have played 20 or more games under his guidance in the professional game.
Modern football is absolutely full to the brim with conspiracy theories but in the specific instance of Crystal Palace’s relationship with Mark Clattenburg, it’s fair to say that their dislike of him is fully justified.
Enjoy the anger attached above, it comes from the heart.