Mark Clattenburg on Tottenham: I Had A Game Plan To Let Them Self-Destruct

Mark Clattenburg on Tottenham: I Had A Game Plan To Let Them Self-Destruct
Dec 4, 2017

Chelsea News Tottenham

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has revealed that he “allowed Tottenham to self-destruct” during their 2-2 draw with Chelsea in May 2016 which saw Spurs conceded the title to Leicester City.

With three games left in the title race, the North London side had to beat Chelsea in order to stand a chance of winning the league but an Eden Hazard equaliser handed Leicester the title.

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In an interview with the NBC’s Men in Blazers podcast, Clattenburg revealed that he had a game-plan before the clash. The match saw twelve yellow cards, with nine of them shown to Spurs players.

Both London clubs were fined by the Football Association following the game, with Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembélé receiving a six-match ban for violent conduct.

I allowed them [Spurs] to self-destruct so all the media, all the people in the world went: ‘Tottenham lost the title.‘ he said. “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,” he added.

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I helped the game. I certainly benefited the game by my style of refereeing. 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.

Clattenburg took charge of the Euro 2016, Champions League and FA Cup finals last year. He left the Premier League to become Saudi Arabia’s new head of referees. The former Premier League official added that during his time in England, he had to change his style of refereeing for European games:

The English style of refereeing is different. I had to referee differently when I went into Europe because none of the top players in Europe would accept some of the physical contact that went on in the Premier League – but that was the theatre, that’s what people loved. They love a tackle, they don’t want it punished.


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