The Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has quit his job in England to take up a new position in Saudi Arabia, it has been announced. A statement from Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGGMOL) announced the decision of its highest-rated official, who was in charge of the finals of EURO 2016, the Champions League and FA Cup last season. “The PGMOL would like to wish Mark Clattenburg well as he prepares for his move to the Saudi Arabaian Football Federation,” the statement said. “Since joining the PGMO Select Group in 204, Mark developed into one of our top officials, refereeing at the highest level and setting standards for others to follow.
“Mark is a talented referee, he has been a great asset to the English game and hopefully an inspiriation to those who want to get into refereeing at the grass roots of the game. “We understand this is an exciting opportunity for Mark as well as further underlining what high esteeem English match officials are held throughout the world game.” Clattenburg, 41, admitted in December that a move to Saudi Arabia appealed to him, and also that he would consider officiating in the Chinese Super League “China are certainly looking to develop their football, looking at their signings and their recruitment,” he 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 [in December] I still enjoy working for the Premier League and UEFA. “Money has never been a driver as a referee. It’s about the drive of doing something different, maybe helping the recruitment,” “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.”