Referees always stick up for referees. That’s what happens in those painful snippets we see from ex-refs on Sky Sports when a current one has a shocker during a big game.
And now, Mark Clattenburg has sent for Jurgen Klopp regarding his comments ahead of Liverpool v Manchester United on Sunday – but in doing so – has accidentally admitted the latter team did used to get better decisions because of Sir Alex Ferguson.
That’s quite a statement from someone who was refereeing in the Premier League at the time, isn’t it?
“He does not like losing, he never has,” Clattenburg told the Daily Mail. “He gets prickly. But he is wrong to suggest there is an aura around United that sees them given favourable decisions. There used to be when Fergie was there, but that has eased massively since he left.
“It was mind games — an attempt to influence referee Paul Tierney and get inside his head before a huge match between Liverpool and United this Sunday.”
Clattenburg reffed in the Premier League for 13 years between 2004 and 2017, so would have run plenty of games featuring Fergie’s United.
We all know they used to get the rub of the green during their Premier League pomp, but it’s pretty incredible for a former referee to openly admit as much.
Let’s just hope Paul Tierney on Sunday can handle the occasion.