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.



  1. If Clattenburg had done is job, the 1st red may well have calmed the game. If the red had done his job, Chelsea would also have had a red card. This is the final nail in the circus that everyone and his wife laying down for Leicester to win the league. The FA should hang their heads in shame for allowing the game to being brought into farce. I was going to say unbelieveable but after the blatant bias of that seasons run in, it is totally believable and I am not in the least surprised. The only fact left out of all the one-sided favouritism was the officials. Full house. Pathetic.

  2. Clattenburg is effectively saying that he put is reputation first in a high pressure game rather than refereeing the game. Unfortunately due to a save face/ reputation first approach the game became a farce.

  3. Both Clattenburg and Chelsea feel some strange level of self-importance over that match.

    I think it’s Chelsea’s way of salvaging a terrible season. In fact Leicester won the season whether you take this match into consideration or not so in the end it’s a meaningless result.

    Not sure why Clattenburg needs to elevate himself though – he’s not that bad of a ref.


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