Why Mark Clattenburg may have refereed his final Premier League match

Watford v Crystal Palace  - Premier League

Refereeing in the Premier League is an unforgiving task. When officials make the wrong calls they are slated by players, managers, fans and pundits, but when they make a correct decision it is given almost no appreciation whatsoever.

It's easy for the average fan to sit in their armchair at home and blast a referee's decision-making, but what a referee goes through to reach the Premier League and the mental strength they need in order to do their job effectively is something Mark Clattenburg knows about all too well.

The 41-year-old began life as a Premier League referee in a match between Crystal Palace and Everton in August 2004 and has gone on to manage a further 392 matches, dishing out 1301 yellow cards and 56 reds along the way.

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How many of those decisions the Durham-born ref has correct judged over the years could endlessly be debated, as is the nature of his job, but, as one of the world's leading referees, Clattenburg has gone on to manage some of the biggest matches in world football.

Just last season alone, Clattenburg officiated the finals of Euro 2016, the Champions League and FA Cup. But, as reported by The Sun, the long-serving Premier League official could sensationally quit refereeing England's top flight before the next round of fixtures.

Clattenburg has apparently become disillusioned with the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited), in what the veteran Premier League referee has cited as a lack of support from the governing body.

Clattenburg seeking contract termination

The referee had approached PGMOL before Christmas, in hope of cutting his contract short, however, they required 12 months notice. But an announcement regarding his resignation is reportedly imminent.

FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-HULL

Talks are ongoing over a financial package that will allow Clattenburg to be released from his duties, with the Saudi Arabia Federation and China lucrative potential options for the English official.

He has also been tipped to take on a potential television role with BT Sport, taking over from Howard Webb who is set to join MLS' Professional Referee Organisation.

FA Cup snub

A recent snub by PGMOL for Clattenburg to officiate a fifth round FA Cup tie appears to have been the final straw, and he has identified the governing body's management, the management style of Mike Riley, a lack of support and quality of coaching on offer as his reasons for wanting to quit the Premier League.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

With no league action this weekend, due to the fifth round of the FA Cup taking place, that could mean Clattenburg's time as a Premier League referee is up if the Englishman can secure an early exit from his contract.

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