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By ESPN Staff

Ref Clattenburg suspended in debt probe

Mark Clattenburg has been suspended from refereeing duties pending enquiries into reports of the official's alleged debts.

Clattenburg is alleged to have run up debts relating to companies connected to him, forcing the Football Association and the referees body Professional Game Match Officials Ltd to act.

Clattenburg was due to take charge of Sunday's FA Community Shield clash between Manchester United and Portsmouth, but has now been replaced by Peter Walton.

With the new Premier League season due to start in nine days' time, Clattenburg will also not officiate in any other games until the issue has been resolved.

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

'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 June 27, Newcastle County Court confirmed.

Friend 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.

When it failed to pay, he took the case to the county court and MC Electrical Retail NE Ltd was wound up.

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