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Mark Clattenburg quits his Premier League job to take up a job in Saudi Arabia

Clattenburg will no longer officiate in the Premier League as he will replace Howard Webb as the head of referees in Saudi Arabia.

Warren Zammit
18 February 2017, 1:56pm
Mark Clattenburg
Mark Clattenburg
The forty one year old who is considered as one of the best referees on the planet is coming from an exceptional season after taking charge of the FA Cup, Champions League and Euro 2016 final matches.

In his new post, he will work with Saudi referees to improve their performances and professionalise the set-up. In addition, he will also take charge of some league games.

Speaking on a live broadcast on the Saudi Football Federation's Twitter page, Clattenburg said: "This is an important move forward. We have professional referees in the country that I am leaving, which has been a big positive.

"One thing I'd like to do is work with the refereeing team and the president to make this happen so that it will be successful for many, many years to come."

The Premier League's referee body, Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) said that he had been "a great asset" and "an inspiration to those who want to get into refereeing".

Its statement added: "We understand this is an exciting opportunity for Mark, and it further underlines the high esteem for English match officials throughout the world game."

However, despite Saudi’s domestic league is one of the best leagues in Asia, many are implicating that Clattenburg’s move is motivated by other factors.

The English referee said that he was unhappy with the lack of support from the PGMOL. The main upset is the incident which happened in 2012 when he was involved in an argument with Juan Mata and John Obi Mikel who at the time played for Chelsea. It was reported that Clattenburg insulted the two midfielders.

An FA investigation cleared the official of any wrongdoing but Clattenburg has always felt that he should have received more support during that turbulent point in his career, according to Keith Hackett, former general manager of the PGMOB.

It was reported that he asked the referees governing body to terminate his contract prior to Christmas but was asked to give some months of notice.

In addition, `The Sun’ reported that Clattenburg refused a £ 1 million year deal from China. However, the same English newspaper stated that he will earn double his salary in Saudi Arabia. In fact, Clattenburg will be earning £ 500, 000 tax free salary which is double of what he was earning in England.

His final game as a Premier League referee was Arsenal's 2-0 win over Hull last weekend.

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