Antonio Conte says that he is disappointed to see the referee Mark Clattenburg leave the Premier league.
One of the best referees in England, Clattenburg has been given the opportunity to take charge of some of the biggest games like the English FA Cup final. He was regarded as the next big thing in English football refereeing aside from Howard Webb, who retired from refereeing a few years ago. Clattenburg was recently rumoured to be considering offers from China and Saudi Arabia. These were far more lucrative than the £ 100,000 per year contract he currently receives as the Premier League referee.
In addition to this contract, Clattenburg is understood to be receiving around £5,000 per match. Now, the referee will be receiving a whopping £ 500,000 per year. More importantly, this will be money that does not attract any taxes since Saudi Arabia is a tax haven. It is also understood that China offered him around £ 1 million per year in order to be the head of refereeing.
However, Clattenburg has chosen the offer from Saudi Arabia even though it is significantly lower in terms of the total value. Conte claimed that there was little doubt about Clattenburg’s credentials as one of the top referees. He is sad to see such a figure leave the Premier league.
A number of players have also been linked with moves to China or the Middle East.“It’s a pity because Clattenburg is a really good referee. It’s not good news for us. He is one of the best in the country. To see he prefers to go away is a pity. I have great confidence in English referees but if you ask me, I am sorry for this,” said Conte. Chelsea have been able to enjoy a relaxed time with referees so far this season.