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30th Dec 2016

Loads of football fans are saying the same thing about Mark Clattenburg’s Chinese Super League move

The Premier League ref has admitted he's open to the idea...

JOE

2016 has been quite the year for Mark Clattenburg.

Having refereed last May’s FA Cup final between Manchester United and Crystal Palace, he then took charge of the all-Madrid Champions League final in Milan a week later. Then, to complete an impressive refereeing hat-trick, he was also the man in the middle for Portugal’s triumph over France in the final of the European Championships.

As if his tattooed forearms weren’t enough of a memento of truly remarkable year, Clattenburg was then named the best referee on the planet at the prestigious Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai.

Representatives from the Chinese Super League were also at the event, and reports the day after suggested Clattenburg was well and truly on their radar as they looked to improve the standard of officiating in their money-flushed league.

Acknowledging that an official approach from China is yet to be made, the Premier League referee has let it be known that he’d be open to the idea of upping sticks to the CSL.

“China are certainly looking to develop their football, looking at their signings and their recruitment,” he told The Associated Press.

“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.”

As his quotes filtered on to social media, it soon became clear that plenty of other people were ‘open’ to the idea of him relocating to the other side of the planet.

In fact, many of them were more than happy to help him get there, too…

https://twitter.com/Panayisalad/status/814812741055680512

https://twitter.com/fadge76/status/814849632580829184

Others were more concerned that other Premier League referees were being overlooked by the Chinese Super League…

https://twitter.com/LukeCox20/status/814853905809018880

While plenty of people appeared quite happy at the thought of Clattenburg starting out on a brand new Chinese adventure, Matt here was looking at it from his point of view…

https://twitter.com/MattJamesJoy/status/814833708150779904

This point considered, it’d be tough to blame him for moving on.