Clattenburg: I quit Premier League because of Mourinho

Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg admits to leaving Premier League after criticisms from Jose Mourinho following a game against Stoke in January.

Mark Clattenburg

The English referee confirmed he made the decision after he was made an escape goat by Mourinho back in January this year.

Manchester United were level with Stoke City in the game but it was Wayne Rooney who stole the headlines after breaking Sir Bobby Charlton‘s long goal-scoring record at Old Trafford.

Clattenburg told the Men in Blazers podcast: “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.”

“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.

Clattenburg made his refereeing debut back in 2004, but he admits he had lost interest dealing with the pressure in England.

“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.”

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