By 90Min
December 04, 2017

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has claimed he "allowed Tottenham [Hotspur] to self-destruct" during their ill-tempered draw with Chelsea in May 2016, during the title run in. 


Spurs went into the clash knowing nothing but a victory would keep their title hopes alive, with Leicester closing in on an historic title. However, Mauricio Pochettino's side could only draw 2-2 (despite taking a two-goal lead) at Stamford Bridge, thus confirming the Foxes as champions.

During the contest nine Spurs players' names were jotted down in the Clattenburg's notebook and both sides received record fines from the Football Association for their part in the feisty London derby. 

In the fallout Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele was also handed a six-match ban for violent conduct towards Chelsea's Diego Costa. However, Clattenburg believes his game-management halted the scenario becoming much worse. 

"I allowed them [Spurs] to self-destruct so all the media, all the people in the world went: 'Tottenham lost the title'", the 42-year-old told NBC's Men in Blazers Podcast

"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. 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."

In the same year Clattenburg took charge of the Euro 2016, Champions League and FA Cup finals, however left his post in England in February to become Saudi Arabia's new head of referees. 

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