Mark Clattenburg: I allowed Tottenham to 'self-destruct' vs. Chelsea in 2016

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has told NBC's "Men In Blazers" podcast that he "allowed Tottenham to self-destruct" when refereeing the infamous 2-2 draw at Chelsea in May 2016.

Spurs needed to win at Stamford Bridge to have any chance of beating Leicester City to the Premier League title, but they squandered a two-goal lead at half-time to confirm the Foxes as champions.

Clattenburg said he "went in with a gameplan" so he could not be blamed for Tottenham losing the title.

He booked nine Spurs players -- a Premier League record -- in the bad-tempered match, dubbed "The Battle of the Bridge," but now claims he could have sent off three visiting players.

Chelsea and Tottenham received record fines from the Football Association for failing to control their players in the game, while Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele was retrospectively banned for six games for violent conduct after appearing to eye-gouge Diego Costa, which was missed by Clattenburg at the time.

"I allowed them [Spurs] to self-destruct so all the media, all the people in the world went: 'Tottenham lost the title,'" Clattenburg said.

"If I sent three players off from Tottenham, what are the headlines? 'Clattenburg cost Tottenham the title.' It was pure theatre that Tottenham self-destructed against Chelsea and Leicester won the title."

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas reacted to Clattenburg's comments via his Twitter account.

Asked if he helped to "script" the game, Clattenburg added: "I helped the game. I certainly benefitted the game by my style of refereeing.

"Some referees would have played by the book; Tottenham would have been down to seven or eight players and probably lost and they would've been looking for an excuse. But I didn't give them an excuse, because my gameplan was: Let them lose the title."