“I allowed Spurs to self destruct”: admits Clattenburg


According to the London Evening Standard former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has claimed that he “allowed Tottenham to self-destruct” in our 2-2 draw with Chelsea that handed the 2016 Premier League title to Leicester.

It was the game in which Mousa Dembele scratched at Diego Costa and the Blues came back from 2-0 down to kill of Spurs’ hopes of top spot. It’s added the feisty clash ended with nine of our players booked however Clattenburg now claims he could have given red cards to three of them.

“It was theatre,” the 42-year-old told the Men in Blazers podcast. “I went in with a gameplan: that I didn’t want Tottenham Hotspur blaming Mark Clattenburg that they were losing the title. There should have been three red cards to Tottenham.

Clattenburg added: “I allowed them to self-destruct so all the media, all the people in the world went: ‘Tottenham lost the title, If I sent three players off from Tottenham, what are the headlines? ‘Clattenburg cost Tottenham the title.’ It was pure theatre that Tottenham self-destructed against Chelsea and Leicester won the title.”

The article added that both clubs would subsequently be fined a combined £600,000 – later reduced on appeal – for failing to control their players whilst Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele was banned for six games for that incident with Costa.

It added that Clattenburg was subsequently criticised for his role in the tempestuous events, with ex-Premier League referee Graham Poll saying at the time that the official had allowed the game to get away from him, however Clattenburg, now working for the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, has claimed he did not want to allow Spurs to blame him for their missing out on the title, adding that officials also had a “duty to make sure the game is enhanced”.

The article then adds that it was suggested to Clattenburg he had scripted the game and he he said: “I helped the game. I certainly benefited the game by my style of refereeing.

He also added: “Some referees would have played by the book; Tottenham would have been down to seven or eight players and probably lost and they would’ve been looking for an excuse.But I didn’t give them an excuse, because my gameplan was: Let them lose the title.We’re all part of the theatre.”

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