If you’ve been following the Mark Clattenburg incident, then you know by now that he’s about quitting officiating in England to Saudi Arabia.
The 41-year-old is arguably England’s best referee at the moment, and has reached great heights in his career. He has officiated in the World Cup finals and Champions League finals.
Clattenburg officiated the highly controversial game between Chelsea and Manchester United back in 2012, and was accused of calling ex-Chelsea man Juan Mata a “Spanish t**t” and John Obi Mikel a “monkey”.
He was later cleared of any wrongdoing by the Football Association, but according to former referees’ chief Keith Hackett, the top ref didn’t feel the support of the PGMOL and FA, and is quitting the Premier League as a result.
“It’s bad news for English reffing. The Premier League has lost the world’s best ref – it’s a massive blow,” Hackett told the Daily Star.
“He’s 41 and had nine more years ahead of him – but he’s not the first young ref to leave.
“Howard Webb and Mark Halsey both quit early and you have to ask, ‘what is going on?’
“I think it’s down to poor management. There were incidents when the PGMOL haven’t supported or clarified decisions when they’ve needed to.
“Mark felt after the Mata incident no one supported him. He was left high and dry.
“I was doing lot of talking to him at the time and it’s how you manage people and how you manage personalities.
“That’s a part of the skillset that’s lacking at the moment.
“The problem is he’s gone and the Premier League are without the best around.
“And I feel he’s gone because no-one ever comes out from the PMGOL and clarifies a decision. There’s time when refs need a phone call, they need an arm round the shoulder but it isn’t happening.
“It’s not about the money. He’s got an opportunity to secure his future, yes, and they’ve not tried to stop him going.
“Where’s the Premier League, where’s the PGMOL and where’s The FA? Why haven’t they tried to keep him?”
Could that singular incident be the reason why he’ll quit the Premier League for greener pastures in oil rich Saudi Arabia?