MARK Clattenburg is certainly no stranger to controversies involving Saints.
The club have reported the referee to the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd board after accusing him of abusive language towards Adam Lallana at Goodison Park last Sunday.
Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino also went public after the game to complain about the fact Saints should have been awarded two penalties - including the one where Lallana’s cross hit Antolin Alcaraz’s hand, leading to Clattenburg’s confrontation with the visiting player.
It was the second time this season Clattenburg had taken charge of a Saints game, and he also angered the club in the first one - the 2-0 loss at Arsenal on November 23.
On that occasion he awarded a penalty against Jose Fonte for tugging the shirt of Per Mertesacker as he defended a corner, allowing Olivier Giroud to score his and Arsenal’s second in the 86th minute.
It was the sort of incident that often goes unpunished.
Fonte said afterwards: “It was very harsh, even Per Mertesacker told me after the game it was very soft.
“I did have my hand on him but I just wish the referees would be consistent.
“If they give that penalty why don’t they give penalties like that every week against Arsenal and Man United?
“I’m a little disappointed with the situation because we were 1-0 down and still in the game with a chance to get the equaliser and it killed the game.”
Prior to that, Clattenburg had angered Saints when he took charge of their game at Norwich City last March.
With the match heading for a low-key draw, Clattenburg awarded Norwich a spot-kick when Luke Shaw tripped Grant Holt as he ran out of the box. Artur Boruc saved Holt’s resultant penalty and the game ended 0-0.
Pochettino was furious. “From seeing it on the pitch I thought it wasn't a penalty,” he said.
“The ball was heading out towards the corner. Luke Shaw was running after ball and his rival clatters into him.
“Upon seeing the review on TV it's super clear to me it's not a penalty at all.”
In December 2012 Clattenburg had sent off Stoke City’s Steven Nzonzi for what he thought was an apparent stamp on Saints midfielder Jack Cork The 24-year-old was shown a straight red, but Stoke subsequently appealed the decision and got it overturned - video evidence showing Clattenburg was wrong.