Chelsea midfielder Fabregas responds to shock Clattenburg admission


Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has admitted he allowed Tottenham to "self-destruct" when they lost the title to Leicester previous year.

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.

"I played in the Premier League with QPR, and QPR - with the absolute respect for that football club - is a small Premier League club. 'Clattenburg cost Tottenham the title, '" he said on an NBC podcast, per the BBC. "For him, it's all about his ego".

Clattenburg added: "The physical contact that went on in the Premier League - that was the theatre, that's what people loved".

He booked nine Spurs players - a Premier League record - in the match, dubbed "The Battle of the Bridge", but now claims he could have sent off three as Spurs squandered a 2-0 half-time lead in a draw that confirmed Leicester as champions.

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Mark Clattenburg has defended his recent controversial comments regarding a game between Tottenham and Chelsea in May 2016.

Keith Hackett has expressed "surprise and disappointment" at hearing what he called the "nonsense" of suggestions that Tottenham Hotspur players were not sent off against Chelsea in 2016 because of how it would look.

"He was a fantastic referee and maybe he thought because he was respected so much by the players he could take those gambles".

He claims that his words have been taken out of context and that he only spoke out to offer an insight of what it's like to take charge of a top-flight game.

"Yes there's words that have been taken out of context, and I could have used different words in some places".

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Hackett said that referees were encouraged to specifically prepare for matches and would try to manage players to avoid problems but that there would never be any question of ducking big decisions.

"I helped the game".

"I don't regret what I did in that match. I came off the pitch knowing that I hadn't influenced the result, and that was the most important thing".

"You do not want there to be a confrontation, but the referee is working to a code and that is the laws of the game".

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