I was going to have much more to say about these extraordinary quotes from former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg — they are very real quotes; they are not a parody or a joke or from an article in the Onion or Daily Mash — but I ran out of time to actually listen to the whole interview yesterday and now the quotes are everywhere, so we might as well just put them up here as well.
The original source for these quotes is a podcast interview with Roger Bennett of Men in Blazers from a couple days ago.
NEW POD: Rog talks with referee @clattenburg1975 about the psychology of officiating, coping with errors, dealing with abuse, and life as the #PremierLeague's first "Rock Star Referee": https://t.co/EEM0erYgi5 #Clatts pic.twitter.com/EYhLQIGTjk— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) December 1, 2017
Basically, Clattenburg, full of self importance and delusions of grandeur admits to not only failing to do his job properly in the famous “Battle of Stamford Bridge”, but is proud of the fact that he engineered the situation in such a way that Spurs “self-destructed”. Instead of, you know, controlling the game, protecting players, applying the laws of the game (applying them with at least a modicum of common sense is important, but this wasn’t an example of that despite his claims to the contrary) and not thinking that his own personal interests are above the football itself.
Not to mention, Chelsea were fined after this game for what was allowed to go on by this absolute buffoon of a referee!
This is the worst type of refereeing, the celebrity ref, the center of attention, the “star”. I used to give Clattenburg the benefit of the doubt, as I tend to give it to most referees since their job is thankless and nigh impossible, but these are extraordinary quotes from someone who gets paid far more (both in terms of money and attention) than he should to do a terrible job.
There's one game in particular, which was the "Battle of Stamford Bridge." It was Chelsea vs. Tottenham, if was the famous that year Leicester win the title, it was theater. I went in with a gameplan that I didn't want Tottenham Hotspur blaming Mark Clattenburg that they were gonna lose the title. It should've been 3 red cards to Tottenham; I allowed them to self-destruct so all the media, all the people in the world went, "Tottenham lost the title." If I sent 3 players off from Tottenham, what's the headlines? "Clattenburg lost Tottenham the title," and it was pure theater that Tottenham self-destructed against Chelsea and Leicester win the title.
...I helped the game, I certainly benefited the game by my style of refereeing. Some referees would have played by the book and Tottenham would have been down to 7 or 8 players and probably lost, and Tottenham would've been looking for an excuse but I didn't give them an excuse, because me gameplan was let them lose the title.
Thanks for letting Spurs kick Chelsea with impunity, Clatts. The English game that you’re so proud of for having been a part of is better off without you.
Here’s Cesc Fàbregas to sum it up.