By 90Min
April 11, 2019

To some surprise, Mark Clattenburg - possibly the most recognisable Premier League referee ever - has revealed he supports Newcastle United.

The 44-year-old did so on a Twitter question and answer session, clearly not understanding the question he was asked, and in doing so sparked that age-old debate about the ethics of referees supporting football teams. 

Should they be allowed to, or should they be banned from ever having a subjective thought about football, and face exile at the first sign of emotional attachment? Maybe there's a more  reasonable middle ground in there somewhere. 

In any case, he's a guy who likes football. He's not the first referee to support a team, and he won't be the last. As proof, here are six active Premier League referees and their team of choice, as per the Daily Star

Mike Dean - Tranmere Rovers

Mike Dean is one of the most meme-able men in football. From his goal 'celebrations' to his infamous 'off you pop' red card, he has become something of an icon of modern refereeing, and even became the first ever Premier League referee to issue 100 red cards earlier this season.

He also apparently supports Tranmere Rovers in his spare time, so...yeah. There's that. 

Michael Oliver - Newcastle United

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

It seems Clattenburg is in good company as Michael Oliver - one of the youngest UEFA Elite referees on the scene - is also a Magpie. 

Maybe it's a Tyneside thing. 

Andre Marriner - Aston Villa

Clive Mason/GettyImages

Marriner has been in the Premier League since 2005, but it seems as if he's been around forever, just like Villa had been prior to their relegation in 2016. 

His greatest honour to date was officiating the 2013 FA Cup final, when relegated Wigan stunned Manchester City to lift the trophy. 

Kevin Friend - Leicester City & Bristol City

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

As if being a referee wasn't enough for him to be universally disliked by football fans, it seems  Kevin Friend commits that cardinal sin of supporting two teams in the same country.

Leicester and Bristol City is a strange combination, but his weird habits aren't for us to judge.

Martin Atkinson - Leeds United

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Unlike most referees; former footballers who packed it in to pursue officiating; Atkinson has been in the middle since he was 16 years old. He also has a reputation for leniency, and is widely thought to be one of the Premier League's best. 

It's a surprise, then, that he supports English football's perennial bad guys, Leeds United.

Jonathan Moss - Sunderland

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

We've all heard the lovely, full-circle story of former PE teacher Jonathan Moss sending off his pupil, James Milner, almost 20 years later. 

Though he taught at a school in Leeds, however, he was actually born in Sunderland, and is thought still to support the Black Cats.

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