New season, new players, new kits and even new refs. But who do new whistlers Jon Moss and Neil Swarbrick, plus their established peers, really support? Arsenal? Liverpool? Manchester United? Chelsea?
Added to the select group of referees for the coming season, the Sunderland born whistler might have a chance of a more cordial relationship with players than his peers due to the fact he's actually played the game, rather than perfected a Subbeto technique with one hand while the other is down his trousers. No based in Leeds, he played academy level football for Sundermand and Milwall but stopped to focus on his A-Levels.
Supports: Preston North End
Another new boy to the select group, Swarbrick is perhaps most remembered for giving Hartlepool's Sam Collins a red card for doing absolutely nothing. That aside, he has risen through the ranks incredibly quickly, after only starting to don the black 11 years ago. He and Moss are sharing the season.
Many rumours have done the rounds about what club emblem adorns “Mr England's” tea mug and slippers, but most of these have stemmed from Ryan Babel's twitter account. Some say he's followed his local team Rotherham to over 80 separate league grounds. Some say he's a life long Sheffield United supporter and has a tattoo of crossed scimitars on his leg and '1892' on his toes. Everyone else just thinks he loves Man Untied.
The “penis that looks like a vagina”, as the bloke behind me at the match used to call him, was once famously withdrawn from officiating the 2006 FA Cup final when Liverpool barged their way through the semis. He later protested his innocence by suggesting he was, in fact, a Tranmere fan instead. Still, rumours abound that he's got something of a soft spot for Cardiff City. Feel free to make your own sheep husbandry joke.
The case for Mr Clattenburg appears, on the surface, to be pretty open and shut. He openly admits the he's a boyhood Newcastle United fan and, save for Alan Shearer's testimonial, he's never been given a toon game to officiate. However, read between the lines and you'll notice that not only have Manchester City never lost a game he's presided over, but he actually shares the same initials as the club as well. A mind-blowing revelation if ever there was one.
He comes from an unspecified part of the Midlands which, as any football fan will tell you, means he's probably a Man United fan.
A glittery veil of mystery and intrigue surrounds the identity of Andre Marriner's beloved football club, but the cheeky scamp has left us a few clues to go on. For starters, he comes from an unspecified part of the Midlands which, as any football fan will tell you, means he's probably a Man United fan. More revealing however is he once called Goodison Park his 'favourite place in football'. However, with that surname of his, he might well be a Grimsby fan...
Supports: Leeds United
Very little information exists about what team the man from Leeds had on his bedsheets as a child but one rumour doing the rounds was that, in 2004, he snuck into an underground tattoo parlour and had his tramp-stamp of Alan Smith's face covered up by a flower, such was his disgust at 'Smudge' leaving the club. However, one intrepid Birmingham fan (apparently) did some digging in the aftermath of a controversial second-city derby and concluded the following; “Martin Atkinson Is A Villa Fan. The Blues Got Robbed By Thiss Wankaaaaa”. Make of that what you will.
Supports: Newcastle United
“I've always been a Newcastle United fan and I don't mind admitting that” said Oliver in an interview with Newcastle's local rag The Journal. He also added“My biggest personal ambition, amongst all my professional ones, is to one day officiate a Newcastle United game” and “I begged the powers that be to let me take charge of Newcastle's pre-season friendly against Leeds, but Nigel Miller got it, I was really disappointed”. Alright mate, we get the idea: you quite like Newcastle. Note to Premier League officials: never give Oliver the Tyne-Wear derby.
Chris Foy is an Everton fan. That's according to wikipedia, other referees and even his own strained admissions. However, we stumbled across this fact whilst reading a list of 'Celebrity Everton Fans'. He was right up there, lovingly sandwiched in between Eddie The Eagle and John Higgins, the mental image alone made this whole search worthwhile.
Was rumoured to have been an Anfield ball-boy in his youth, in which he would have been spellbound when watching the likes of Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness dominate the English league. However 'spellbound' isn't the term most Liverpool fans would use when describing his decision to allow Darren Bent's famous beach-ball goal to stand (it was something along the lines of 'incompecunt' if memory serves).
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