FORMER Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has admitted he allowed Tottenham to “self-destruct” when they lost the title to Leicester last year.
The official took charge of Spurs’ bad-tempered 2-2 draw at Chelsea in May 2016 which allowed the Foxes to clinch the crown.
Needing to win to keep their title hopes alive, Tottenham lost a 2-0 lead at Stamford Bridge as Clattenburg booked nine players and Chelsea and Spurs received fines of £375,000 and £225,000 respectively from the Football Association.
But he said he went into the game with a plan to avoid negative headlines.
“I allowed [Spurs] to self-destruct so all the media, all the people in the world went: ‘Tottenham lost the title’,” Clattenburg told US broadcaster NBC’s Men in Blazers podcast.
“If I sent three players off from Tottenham, what are the headlines? ‘Clattenburg cost Tottenham the title’. It was pure theatre that Tottenham self-destructed against Chelsea and Leicester won the title.
“Some referees would have played by the book. Tottenham would have been down to seven or eight players and probably lost and they would’ve been looking for an excuse.
“But I didn’t give them an excuse, because my gameplan was: Let them lose the title.”