Mark Clattenburg will regret "nonsense" claims he had a "game plan" to avoid the headlines in Chelsea’s clash with Tottenham in May 2016, according to Dermot Gallagher.

Clattenburg suggested during a section of a podcast interview that he allowed Tottenham to self-destruct in the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ during the 2015-16 season.

The former Premier League referee says that he could have sent off three players in the game, but instead let Tottenham self-destruct so he was not blamed for Leicester winning the title.

However, Clattenburg defended his comments during an interview with Sky Sports News on Monday and says they have been taken out of context.

Gallagher, who spent 15 years officiating in English football’s top tier, believes Clattenburg’s remarks are nonsense and feels he may one day look back and regret them.

I think it’s nonsense, Gallagher told Sky Sports News. I wonder if it’s a story that’s come out that he looks back and regrets ever saying any of that.

I can’t believe that any referee would go into any match with that mindset.

I think it’s impossible because you have no idea how it’s going to pan out.

As it panned out you saw players who took the law into their own hands because the referee didn’t apply the laws firmly, fairly and consistently as he’s empowered to do.

The fact remains in my view: A – he shouldn’t be going into a game with that mindset, B – he shouldn’t be going through a game with that mindset. And more importantly, he certainly shouldn’t be coming out and glorifying it afterwards.

You are empowered as a referee from day one to apply the laws firmly, fairly and consistently, irrespective of the stakes and irrespective of the match.

Irrespective of anything else, you are the guardian of standards.

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(c) Sky News 2017: Mark Clattenburg game-plan comments are ‘nonsense’, says Dermot Gallagher

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