Mark Clattenburg Assigned to Manchester United vs. Liverpool

Jason Pettigrove@@jaypetti1971Contributor IMarch 10, 2014

Mark Clattenburg has courted controversy throughout his career.
Mark Clattenburg has courted controversy throughout his career.Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Mark Clattenburg has been handed refereeing duties for the crunch weekend clash at Old Trafford between Liverpool and Manchester United.      

The Premier League announced the appointment Monday afternoon via their Twitter feed:

It's an interesting selection given that England's top referee, Howard Webb, is invariably in charge of fixtures of such magnitude.

Furthermore, Clattenburg hasn't always seen eye to eye with the authorities or those within the game.

It wasn't so long ago that Southampton had made a complaint to the Football Association concerning alleged comments made to Adam Lallana.

Despite being cleared of the same, the official has a charge sheet as long as one's arm.

An agency report filed with the Independent details a number of Clattenburg's misdemeanours, over a career that has been peppered with controversies.

One of the most notable episodes was when he was suspended, and then sacked, by the FA for "issues relating to his private business affairs," per the Independent, although he would later be reinstated.

Everton fans too will never forget his actions during the heat of battle in the 2007 Merseyside derby. About to brandish a yellow card to the Toffees' Tony Hibbert, Clattenburg changed his mind after a short exchange with Steven Gerard and sent the player off.

He did, however, have an ally in ex-Manchester United chief Sir Alex Ferguson when embroiled in claims of racism by Chelsea player Jon Obi Mikel.

Per SkySports, Sir Alex jumped to Clattenburg's defence:

I don't believe Mark Clattenburg would make any comments like that. I refuse to believe it.

I think it's unthinkable in the modern climate. I just don't believe it. It's as simple as that. There's no way a referee would do that or stoop to that, I'm convinced about that.

United's David Moyes is already under immense pressure from home fans, and Brendan Rodgers comes to Old Trafford looking for Liverpool to continue their excellent current form.

With much at stake, both managers will be looking for a professional performance from the officials and can do without Clattenburg looking to make a name for himself again.

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