Referee Mark Clattenburg has revealed that he decided to leave the Premier League after a tirade by José Mourinho.
Clattenburg stated in February he was leaving England for the position of head of referee of the Saudi Arabia Football Federation.
The 42-year-old veteran referee, officiated his first game in 2004 and says the match between Stoke and United in January convinced him to leave.
“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.
“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.
“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.”