Letter claimed he had said to Adam Lallana: "You are very different now, since you've played for England - you never used to be like this."

The Northern Echo: Mark Clattenburg Mark Clattenburg

SOUTHAMPTON'S complaint against North-East referee Mark Clattenburg has been struck out by referees' bosses.

The Saints wrote to the referees governing body the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) on New Year's Eve, objecting to Consett referee Clattenburg's conduct towards Adam Lallana in the 2-1 defeat at Everton on December 29.

Southampton objected to Clattenburg's conduct in an exchange with the England midfielder.

But after a review the PGMOL has ruled there is no case to answer.

In a letter, Southampton claimed Clattenburg told Lallana: "You are very different now, since you've played for England - you never used to be like this."

The PGMOL has since confirmed it will take no further action on the matter, and Clattenburg is free to continue officiating as planned.

A statement reads: "PGMOL is committed to constructive dialogue and communication with clubs, managers and players.

"On December 31 PGMOL received a letter from Southampton who raised concerns about the conduct of Mark Clattenburg following their game with Everton on December 29.

"In a written response to Southampton PGMOL acknowledge that their complaint has been considered in full.

"However, given the nature of the conversation with the player, having reviewed the footage and spoken to the team of officials as well as the Premier League Match Delegate it has been found that there is no case to answer.

"Mark has the full support of PGMOL Management and will be considered for selection for all and any matches going forward in the usual way."

Clattenburg is scheduled to referee the third round FA Cup tie between Arsenal and Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening.

After the PGMOL threw out Southampton's claims, he will now continue to officiate that game.

Clattenburg is no stranger to controversy, after Chelsea accused him of racially abusing midfielder John Mikel Obi last season in a hot-tempered Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

It took an FA inquiry to rule there was no case to answer and six months later Clattenburg was back officiating Chelsea once again.

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