Was race row ref Clattenburg told: 'I'll break your legs,' by a Chelsea player in the explosive row that rocked Stamford BridgeChelsea players and officials 'acted like bouncers', it is claimedWas banned captain John Terry involved in the rowManager Di Matteo emerged 'sweating' after acting as peacemakerRef is stood down from this weekend's matches but says he is innocentManchester United players will be called to give evidence in FA investigationMikel among Chelsea players back in training ahead of United rematch
11:32 GMT, 30 October 2012
Race storm referee Mark Clattenburg was threatened by a member of the Chelsea squad, who told him: 'I'm going to f****** break your legs,', it has been claimed.
Players and staff swarmed into the referee's room at Stamford Bridge in the aftermath of the explosive Barclays Premier League game with Manchester United when a heated exchange took place, resembling a 'pub brawl'.
The Daily Mirror claims Chelsea players and officials 'charged into the room and acted like bouncers'. The threat to Clattenburg was heard coming from within the room.
The Mirror also reports that Roberto Di Matteo
the room 'drenched in sweat' and that captain John Terry,
who was suspended from the game following his FA charge for racially
insulting Anton Ferdinand, was close to the fracas. Today, however,
sources close to Terry deny he was involved and, in fact, insist he
'stayed well clear.'
It follows claims that Clattenburg,
who is the subject of an FA and police investigation, racially abused
Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel. Clattenburg denies the allegation
and he is supported by his two assistants, Michael McDonough and Simon
Back at work: John Obi Mikel arrives at training on Tuesday morning as the row rumbles on
Focus: Juan Mata drives into Chelsea's Cobham HQ ahead of Wednesday's clash with United
At the wheel: Fernando Torres was also among the players training on Tuesday morning
Mikel was among the Chelsea players back at training on Tuesday morning ahead of the rematch with United in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.
Mirror reporter Darren Lewis told Sky Sports News today: 'There were lots of things that were said in what was an explosive confrontation in the referee’s room after the match.
'That (“I'll break your legs”) is one of the things that has allegedly been said. It’s not been ascertained by whom but a lot of things have been said inside the heat of the dressing room during a furious confrontation.'
Among those who were either in or close to the referee's room were manager Roberto Di Matteo and chief executive Ron Gourlay, who were thought to be acting as peacemakers, trying to calm the angry Mikel.
It is reported that 'banging and shouting' could be heard from inside the room and security staff were later involved.
Trouble: John Obi Mikel stormed into Mark Clattenburg's room
Centre of the storm: Referee Mark Clattenburg and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel
Clattenburg has filed an
'extraordinary incident' report into the matter and has been stood down
from Saturday's matches while the investigations into his conduct take
Manchester United's players, who won
3-2 at Stamford Bridge against ten-man Chelsea, are expected to be asked
by the FA: 'What did you hear on – and off – the pitch'.
When Obi Mikel stormed into the referee’s room on Sunday evening, he believed he had every right to be angry with Clattenburg.
Chelsea had made a stand, wearing Kick
It Out’s ‘One Game One Community’ T-shirts before one of the most
prestigious fixtures in the Barclays Premier League.
was a fresh start, with handshakes all round and an anti-racism badge
pinned to John Terry’s jacket on the sidelines as he continued to serve a
four-match ban for insulting Anton Ferdinand.
What followed is in danger of dragging the game back into the gutter, sparking bitter recrimination and — for the first time in the professional game’s history in England — an allegation of racism against a referee.
Mikel responded after team-mates David Luiz and Ramires told him they believed he had been racially abused by the FIFA official moments after he was booked at Stamford Bridge.
Mikel did not hear the alleged abuse, but Ramires and Luiz are prepared to make statements saying they did.
Shocked: Juan Mata is unhappy with Clattenburg's alleged insult
In the explosive scenes that followed the final whistle, Di Matteo and Gourlay had to stop Mikel attacking Clattenburg during the confrontation.
Heated conversations between Mikel and the referee had begun when Fernando Torres was sent off after being booked for ‘aggressive simulation’.
The central midfielder continued to cross swords with Clattenburg during the next few frantic minutes as he demanded an explanation for the decision.
Mikel wanted to know why Torres had been booked for a second time when Chelsea’s players were convinced he had been caught by Jonny Evans on his way through on goal in the 68th minute. When Clattenburg told Mikel to keep quiet and to get on with the game, the Nigeria midfielder continued to protest.
John Terry watches from the stands as Ashley Young takes on Juan Mata
Terry and his wife Toni leave Novikov in London on Saturday night as he takes the chance for a night off because of his four game FA ban
It is understood Mikel used words to the effect of: ‘Why can’t we stand up for ourselves, why can’t we challenge your decisions’
The dismissal of Torres had reduced Chelsea to nine men, coming on top of the 63rd-minute red card for Branislav Ivanovic, and emotions were running high.
When Torres was sent off, Di Matteo and Sir Alex Ferguson clashed on the touchline as coaching staff from both clubs spilled into the technical area. Clattenburg appeared to have the game under control again until the moment Javier Hernandez scored United’s winner from an offside position in the 75th minute.
As United celebrated near the corner
of the West Stand and Matthew Harding Stand, some Chelsea supporters
threw coins and a seat on to the field.
soon restored order but Mikel was in his ear again and making the same
complaints, saying the decision to send off Torres was the reason
Chelsea would lose the game.
In the blue corner: Javier Hernandez celebrated his goal in front of the Chelsea fans
Clattenburg booked him for dissent in the 76th minute and it is at this moment that Ramires and Luiz allege they heard the midfielder being racially abused by a referee who is known for having a dismissive and patronising tone when he talks to players about their behaviour.
Mikel was immediately told about the allegation, but decided to wait until after the game to confront Clattenburg with the claims.
Chelsea have also confirmed a separate incident, understood to involve Juan Mata, after claims that Clattenburg called him ‘a Spanish t**t’.
Mata is an astute and intelligent professional and, according to sources at the club, he was visibly shocked when he heard Clattenburg’s insult.
Chelsea’s position had not changed on Monday night and the incident was the talk of their Cobham training ground in Surrey during the day. Many of the players were in for a light session after the 3-2 defeat against United and they eagerly discussed Clattenburg’s behaviour.
Standing alone: Clattenburg found few friends in Stamford Bridge
Some of them will face United again in
the Capital One Cup at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night as Chelsea
prepare for another lengthy spell in the spotlight.
the players are ready for another FA investigation, it is understood
that Manchester United are unable to help with their enquiries.
of their players have been asked if they heard — or were made aware of —
either incident, but they are unable to provide any assistance.
Mikel has since told team-mates he intends to pursue the matter and they have agreed to provide statements to the FA if asked.
the angry scenes in the referee’s room, witnessed by Clattenburg’s
assistants Michael McDonough and Simon Long, Chelsea discussed the
incident at length. Mikel was taken away from the corridor that leads to
the tunnel so the media, separated from the dressing-room areas by the
width of a wall, could not hear what was said.
those discussions, Gourlay decided to press ahead with a complaint to
match delegate Nick Cusack and arranged for some of the details to be
made public at 7.45 that evening.
deliberations were the reason for the delay between the final whistle
and Di Matteo’s appearance at his post-match press briefing.
Clattenburg, as required by the FA, then filed details of an ‘extraordinary incident’ at Stamford Bridge overnight.
Monday morning he received communication from the FA’s compliance team
as they prepared for a swift investigation into the remarkable
Chelsea are also
under intense scrutiny after being criticised by the FA’s independent
regulatory commission following the commission’s decision to ban Terry
for four games and fine him 220,000 for racially abusing Anton
In the spotlight: Mark Clattenburg leaves his home near Newcastle on Monday
Grabbing a lift: Clattenburg jumped into a car with fellow ref Michael Oliver
The commission judged that the Chelsea
skipper’s evidence relating to the incident at Loftus Road in October
2011 was ‘improbable, implausible and contrived’.
also reflected on the ‘evolution of Ashley Cole’s evidence’ that led to
an infamous tweet directed at the FA for which he was fined 90,000,
and concluded that the evidence given by long-serving club secretary
Dave Barnard was ‘materially defective’.
After Terry was banned by the FA, Di Matteo encouraged the public to give the disgraced captain ‘a second chance’.
could be charged under Rule E3, the same as Terry, and there is a
determination within the FA for a swift resolution to yet another
VIDEO: Clattenburg and Mikel have words on the pitch…
Anatomy of an extraordinary incident
the score 2-2 and Chelsea reduced to nine men after Branislav Ivanovic
and Fernando Torres were sent off, Javier Hernandez controversially puts
United ahead with 15 minutes left. In the chaos that follows, Mark
Clattenburg is confronted by Chelsea players and books John Obi Mikel in
the 76th minute. Chelsea players allege this is when Clattenburg aimed a
racial slur at Mikel and used ‘inappropriate language’ towards a
Spanish player, thought to be Juan Mata.
Who heard what
midfielder Ramires looked on as Clattenburg booked Mikel, the referee
raising a finger to his lips to tell the Nigerian to keep quiet. Mata
was also close by as the Chelsea players protested about United’s goal.
It is understood Mikel himself did not hear the alleged comment and was
told of it later by team-mates.
was linked by microphone to his two assistants, Michael McDonough and
Simon Long, and the fourth official, Mike Jones. All four officials wear
earpieces, so any comments should have been heard — unless Clattenburg
covered his microphone.
microphone system was first used by Premier League referees in the
2006-07 season and allows the referee to communicate key information to
his assistants. However, the
microphone messages are not recorded, so any evidence will have to come
from the testimony of Clattenburg’s assistants.
What about video evidence
far there has been nothing such as the explosive film that played such a
big part in the John Terry case. Sky will undoubtedly be asked to
provide footage from the many cameras they use to cover live matches. In
the Terry case, footage was posted on the internet within hours of the
end of the match.
and his match officials will have been asked for a statement, usually
sent by email to the FA’s governance department, on their recollection
of events at Stamford Bridge.
officials are urged to tell the truth and are reminded that this case
could be judged by an independent regulatory commission.
Match officials may seek independent legal advice.
FA urge officials to respond quickly, particularly in light of delays to Luis Suarez and John Terry cases.
Compliance department meets to discuss the nature of Chelsea’s complaint and the evidence of the match officials.
they charge Clattenburg under Rule E3 he will have 14 days to respond.
He may request a personal hearing or accept the allegations.
Clattenburg is charged, the FA will visit the match officials and any
other witnesses, including John Obi Mikel, Juan Mata and other Chelsea
players, to take full statements.
FA’s handling of the case could, of course, be delayed by any police
proceedings. The John Terry case did, after all, hang over football for
referees first became professional in 2001 when the Professional Game
Match Officials Board (PGMOB) was formed. Top Premier League referees
are paid an annual salary in excess of 70,000, which includes a
retainer and individual match fees of around 1,000.
best officials typically referee around 30 Premier League games a
season, though this can fluctuate depending on form. Those at the top
are then selected by FIFA and UEFA to take charge of big games. Howard
Webb refereed both the World Cup and Champions League finals in 2010.
ANDREW MAGEE, JAMIE PRESLAND