Mark Clattenburg is apparently thinking about quitting the UK because of the ‘intense scrutiny’ referees come under according to an exclusive in today’s Daily Mail.

The story is laughable, if we’re honest.

What do referees want? They are already able to make serious mistakes that cost sides games, points and money while rarely being held to account by their own governing body. Do they just wants fans and the media to ignore those too?

170214 daily mail mark clattenburg

Why should referees be immune from the scrutiny managers and players have to face on a regular basis? They are as much a part of the game as those two.

The answer here is not to shy away from scrutiny but to embrace it. Use it to help make your game, and the game overall, better. Call for video technology more ferociously. Say you need help. Loudly.

Clattenburg apparently has interest from America, China, and the Middle East so while I would love to think that the referee who loves the limelight is genuinely concerned about the scrutiny he’s under, it’s hard not to think that money is in play here too.

That’s not a problem, but let’s not dress it up as something it’s not.

Back in December, Clatts said, “I’m contracted to the Premier League but must look at my long-term career.

“There is no offer on the table but if they made an offer it would be under consideration.”

That was before this latest bout of ‘intense scrutiny’.

Clattenburg has come under ‘intense scrutiny’ (he really hasn’t) again for allowing Alexis Sanchez’s goal against Hull on Saturday. He reportedly apologised to Hull’s managers and players during halftime which is an absolute disgrace if true. Not only should he not be doing that sort of thing in the middle of the match, he got the decision absolutely correct.

No matter what you think about a ball hitting a hand and then going into the net, at present, that is perfectly legal as long as the it is not deliberate nor struck from a ‘considerable distance’.  There is NOTHING in the laws of the game that says a goal should be ruled out simply for striking a hand. There might well be one day, but for now, we can’t go refereeing games and apologising based on laws that don’t even exist.

If he does leave the UK, one can only hope he takes Jon Moss, Mike Dean, Anthony Taylor and a few others with him.

He won’t go, though. He likes being on TV too much.