Referee Mark Clattenburg has stated that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho drove him to leave the English Premier League.
Mark Clattenburg was regarded as one of the best referees in the Premier League after making his debut back in 2004 but he shocked everyone last season by announcing his desire to stop officiating English top flight games at the age of just 42.
Now Clattenburg has gone on to speak regarding his sudden exit from the Premier League and has revealed that it was Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho who drove him towards his decision to quit.
He explained that Mourinho approached him to complain following Manchester United’s 1-1 draw against Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium last season and this incident made him question as to whether he wanted to continue officiating football matches in England.
“I was refereeing the game when Wayne Rooney broke Bobby Charlton’s record and Mourinho came into my dressing room and he was unhappy about a handball penalty that I didn’t give,” Clattenburg told the Men in Blazers podcast.
“I’d walked off that pitch at Stoke, which was always the coldest stadium, it was always wet and miserable, and refereeing Man United was never an easy match.
“To come off that match it felt immense that I’d actually had a good performance, and for him to come into my dressing room and criticise my performance for a handball that I’d seen, that had clearly come off his chest, I knew that I was right but he’d put a seed of doubt into my mind.
“I drove home 250 miles thinking I’d made a big error, my wife knew my attitude had changed, and I thought to myself, ‘Do I really want to be a part of this anymore? Do I really want to referee?’ And I went soul-searching, I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I used to and I had to get out.”