Elite Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has given his reasons for quitting Premier League refereeing for good.
Clattenburg quit refereeing in the Premier League to take a job with the Saudi Arabia Football Federation in February, and according to stories, this was down to him falling out with key members of the English referees’ body – namely General Manager Mike Riley and Chairman David Elleray.
He has given other details which led him to his decision and, surprisingly one of them was managers, among which Jose Mourinho, often complaining about his decisions.
“I was refereeing the game when Wayne Rooney broke Bobby Charlton’s record and Mourinho came into my dressing room and he was unhappy about a handball penalty that I didn’t give.” he told Men in Blazers (via Daily Mirror).
“I’d walked off the pitch at stoke, which was always the coldest stadium, it was always wet and miserable, and refereeing Man United was never an easy match.
“To come off that match it felt immense that I’d actually had a good performance, and for him to come into my dressing room and criticize my performance for a handball that I’d seen, that had clearly come off his chest, I knew that I was right, but he’d put a seed of doubt into my mind.
“I drove home 250 miles thinking I’d made a big error, my wife knew my attitude had changed, I thought to myself, ’do I really want to be part of this anymore?” Do I really want to referee?
“And I went soul-searching, I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I used to and I had to get out.”
Clattenburg also shared another Manchester United story during his career, in which he tells about one of his decisions on the pitch being influenced by a loud Roy Keane.
He added: “I still smile at the first time I came across Roy Keane in 2004. He screamed at us for a corner, and I’m sure it was a goal kick but because he screamed at us so loudly, I gave a corner.”
An interesting tweet reveals some of the reasons which might have contributed to Clattenburg’s decision to part with the Premier League. The tweet explains that referees usually have a ‘gameplan’ which they have to stick to during games, which often limits their capabilities of making the right decision.
Mourinho often criticised referees during his time at Chelsea, claiming that there is a campaign against his team. And Clattenburg's latest revelations might serve to some as proof to Mourinho's claims.
Clattenbrug’s statements are yet to receive a response from either Jose Mourinho or the Premier League referees’body.