Mark Clattenburg open to China move but reveals he has no offers on the table in rare interview

Clattenburg was named referee of the year at a recent football awards ceremony and was able to give an interview to address the interest in his services from the Far East

Rob Harris
Friday 30 December 2016 12:30
Comments
Mark Clattenburg has revealed he is open to a move to China as a referee
Mark Clattenburg has revealed he is open to a move to China as a referee

Mark Clattenburg, who refereed the biggest finals in football in 2016, would consider a transfer from the English Premier League to the wealthy and ambitious Chinese Super League.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent by Chinese clubs on high-profile talent, including Argentina striker Carlos Tevez this week, in a bid to become a football superpower.

"China are certainly looking to develop their football, looking at their signings and their recruitment," Clattenburg told The Associated Press. "If an opportunity came along — I am contracted to the Premier League — but I have to look at my long-term strategy of my career. How long can I last as a referee? I have been in the Premier League 12 years. It's been a wonderful 12 years.

"There is no offer on the table but if they made an offer it would be under consideration. But at the moment I still enjoy working for the Premier League and Uefa."

The 41-year-old Clattenburg was linked with a move to China this week after refereeing the finals of the European Championship, Champions League and FA Cup this year. Clattenburg was named referee of the year at a football awards ceremony earlier this week in Dubai, an accolade which allowed Clattenburg to give a rare interview.

Clattenburg hopes when his career in the Premier League eventually ends he will be able to help a country like China raise refereeing standards.

"Money has never been a driver as a referee ... It's about the drive of doing something different, maybe helping the recruitment," Clattenburg said. "If it didn't happen now I will be looking in the future at that, a bit like Howard Webb has done (in Saudi Arabia) where you are helping another country develop refereeing.

Mark Clattenburg has been targeted by the Chinese Super League over a future move

"It's important to have the right quality of referee to go with the level of football. China is going to become a huge player in years to come ... If they want to be serious about their league they are going to have to have the right setup. Refereeing is a huge part of football."

AP

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in