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Page last updated at 09:55 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 10:55 UK

Ref Clattenburg hit by suspension

Mark Clattenburg
Clattenburg is one of Britain's elite refs

Referee Mark Clattenburg has been suspended pending enquiries into reports regarding his alleged debts.

The Football Association and referees' body Professional Game Match Officials Ltd acted after allegations relating to debts of companies connected to him.

Clattenburg was set to take charge of the FA Community Shield clash between Manchester United and Portsmouth.

But the County Durham official has been replaced for Sunday's curtain-raiser to the new season by Peter Walton.

A joint statement from the FA and PGMO read: "PGMO is aware of media reports concerning alleged debts incurred by companies connected to referee Mark Clattenburg.

Mark Clattenburg is one of England's leading referees and we hope to resolve this matter swiftly

A Professional Game Match Officials Ltd spokesman

"It has been decided he will not officiate any matches pending enquiries into the background to these reports.

"The FA has also decided to appoint Peter Walton as referee for Sunday's FA Community Shield between Manchester United and Portsmouth in place of Mark Clattenburg."

A PGMO spokesman added: "It is in the best interests of Mark Clattenburg and the game that these reports are fully investigated and, during that time, he will not referee any matches.

"Mark Clattenburg is one of England's leading referees and we hope to resolve this matter swiftly."

Clattenburg's firm MC Electrical Retail NE Ltd was wound up under the Insolvency Act on 27 June, Newcastle County Court confirmed.

Friend and business associate John Hepworth took legal action in a bid to recover a debt reported to be almost 60,000.

In May, Mr Hepworth served Clattenburg's firm with legal papers demanding 59,589.

see also
Referee Clattenburg 'not dropped'
22 Oct 07 |  Premier League

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