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‘Every referee has a gameplan, they just don’t tell everyone about it’ – Dean Saunders on Mark Clattenburg controversy


‘Every referee has a gameplan, they just don’t tell everyone about it’ - Dean Saunders on Mark Clattenburg controversy

Mark Clattenburg has received widespread criticism for his comments about Tottenham v Chelsea

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Dean Saunders has told talkSPORT ‘every referee has a gameplan’, following the controversial comments from former Premier League official Mark Clattenburg.

Clattenburg, who left English football in February to take up the role of Head of Refereeing for the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, was widely criticised after he admitted he ‘allowed Tottenham to self-destruct’ when they were chasing the Premier League title in 2016.

The 42-year-old was in charge when Tottenham took on Chelsea in a game Spurs needed to win to keep their hopes alive. They were 2-0 up by half-time but the Blues came back to draw 2-2 and the result meant Leicester City claimed the unlikeliest of league crowns.

Tempers frayed as the game went on and Clattenburg booked nine Spurs players, and he recently told NBC’s Men in Blazers podcast that it was his ‘gameplan’ to ‘let Spurs lose the title’ instead of effectively ending the contest by sending anyone off and inviting criticism on himself.

READ MORE: Mark Clattenburg is an ‘egomaniac’ – Referee’s Chelsea v Tottenham comments are ‘typical’, talkSPORT told

The referee was criticised for his comments and his approach to the match, but former Liverpool striker Saunders insists Clattenburg is not alone.

“Every single referee goes into every single game with a gameplan,” he told talkSPORT host Jim White.

“They just don’t tell everyone about it, and Clattenburg has!

“It’s the Merseyside Derby next week, don’t tell me the referee and linesman aren’t talking in the dressing room, saying: ‘How are we going to manage this one? Shall we let the first one go, do we set ourselves up for a tough afternoon, or do we let it flow a bit?’

“They chat – but they just don’t tell everyone!

“Why Clattenburg has told everyone, I don’t know, that’s where he’s gone wrong.

“They all have a game plan.”



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