Former EPL referee Mark Clattenburg has said his decision to quit the league was borne out of the barrage of criticisms from United boss, Jose Mourinho.
The Consett-born Clattenburg left the shores of English football in February after he was appointed Head of Refereeing for the Saudi Arabia Football Federation.
The 42-year-old who has officiated 422 games since he was listed in FIFA referee association in 2006 says he was subject of a tirade from the Manchester United manager after a game at Bet365 Stadium against Stoke in January.
Clattenburg who made his Premier League debut in 2004 further confirms to reporters that he had known that his days were numbered in the English top flight after Mourinho’s litany of criticisms.
Clattenburg who was handling the clash between United and Stoke City in January, a 1-1 draw that saw Wayne Rooney break Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time scoring record for Unite, claimed that he knew the game was his swan song in England top flight.
“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.
“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 criticize 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, he added.
“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?’ the highly respected ref further said.
“And I went soul-searching, I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I used to and I had to get out,” Clattenburg closed his thought.