Mark Clattenburg, who refereed the biggest finals in football in 2016, would consider a transfer from the Premier League to the wealthy and ambitious Chinese Super League. “China are certainly looking to develop their football, looking at their signings and their recruitment,” Clattenburg said. “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”.
Clattenburg, 41, was linked with a move to China after refereeing the finals of the European Championship, Champions League and FA Cup this year. Clattenburg was named Referee of the Year at an awards ceremony 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. 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”.
Source: The Telegraph