Clattenburg’s Chelsea-Spurs notebook mostly sketches of birds

Top ref spent Monday night's game crosshatching guillemots, Back of the Net reveal...

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Mark Clattenburg’s report on Monday night’s game at Stamford Bridge is mostly pencil drawings of birds, it has emerged.

The match, which confirmed Leicester City as champions, was notable for a number of controversial flashpoints, which most people expected Clattenburg to discuss in his report. But instead of giving his view on Diego Costa’s clashes with Mousa Dembele and Michel Vorm, Clattenburg submitted a notebook full of beautifully rendered reproductions of birds of the British Isles.

FA disciplinary committee chairman Barry Bright said: “We were extremely impressed by how he captured the gannet in flight, and I’ve never seen such elegant feathering on a nuthatch.

“Mark was clearly very busy over the course of the 90 minutes, and we admire his dedication to perfecting the curvature of the kestrel’s beak. But to be frank, were hoping for more information about whether Erik Lamela intentionally stamped on Cesc Fabregas, and less about the mating habits of the Eurasian bittern.”

Time to unwind

Clattenburg said: “Being a referee is a very stressful job and sketching helps me relax. I keep the FA notebook on me at all times, so I can start drawing immediately if inspiration strikes while Kyle Walker is taking out Pedro Rodriguez.

“I’m sorry I missed Danny Rose knocking over Guus Hiddink, but I’m even more sorry I missed a black-legged kittiwake land on my garden fence last week.”

The FA also noticed a full-page sketch of Costa being carried off and eaten by vultures, which Clattenburg admitted was an exercise in wish-fulfilment.

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