Mark Clattenberg claims he decided not to send off any Tottenham players in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea that handed Leicester the Premier League title in 2016, even though he should have.
The former Premier League referee suggested he would have been blamed for Spurs losing the title if he decided to show at least three deserved red cards.
“I allowed them [Spurs] to self-destruct so all the media, all the people in the world went: ‘Tottenham lost the title.'” he told NBC‘s Men in Blazers podcast (via BBC Sport).
“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.
“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.”
There no denying at least a couple of Spurs players should have seen red on the day, including Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele, which would only have made the result worse.