‘A gamble to far’: Gallagher on Clattenburg controversy

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Mark Clattenburg’s handling of Tottenham’s game at Chelsea in May 2016 was “a gamble too far”, says ex-top-flight official Dermot Gallagher according to the BBC.

Ex-referee Clattenburg sparked controversy on Monday when he was quoted as saying he could have sent off three players but let Spurs “self-destruct” in the infamous “Battle of the Bridge” match the season before last so he could not be blamed for them losing the title.

However Gallagher didn’t agree with his former colleagues sentiments “We are duty bound to treat every player in every game firmly, fairly and consistently,” said Gallagher.
“He [Clattenburg] certainly didn’t. It was all about him, wasn’t it?”

The article adds how Clattenburg – who is now head of referees in Saudi Arabia – booked nine Spurs players in the bad-tempered 2-2 draw and both clubs later received record fines from the Football Association.

Mousa Dembele was of course also banned for six games for violent conduct against Chelsea’s Diego Costa.

“The only thing you would say about what he did on the night is that he was consistent throughout,” Gallagher told BBC Radio 5 live.

Gallagher added: “If he was a young referee making his way through and you saw a performance like that then an assessor would tear him to bits.
“Let’s not forget one thing, he was a fantastic referee. He was an individual, there’s no doubt about that. He had a maverick side to him.

Gallagher concluded :”He was a fantastic referee and maybe he thought because he was respected so much by the players he could take those gambles. On this occasion it was a gamble too far.”

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, he was consistent throughout – which is the aspect most folk are missing. He let the Chavs get away with bloody murder in the first half. And when you consider the backdrop was their players mouthing off for weeks in advance about how they would do "anything" to stop us winning the title (when they still had to play Leicester, too) – he should have come down on them like a ton of bricks. The first wild challenge, violent conduct or foul-mouthed abuse. Instead, he totally failed to discipline or control them. Yes, our lads lost their discipline and reacted,. But folk focus on the reaction and not on the fact that they had something to react to in the first place. If he had done his job by sorting the players out in the first place then maybe the Spurs players wouldn't have got so wound up. Obviously!

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