Mark Clattenburg has revealed that he allowed Tottenham Hotspur "to self-destruct" in their Premier League clash with Chelsea last year.
Nine Spurs players were booked in the ill-tempered match between the London rivals, which has since been dubbed the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
Tottenham, whose fading title hopes were on the line, squandered a two-goal lead against the Blues to draw 2-2, which made Leicester City champions.
The former Premier League official has explained that he went in with a “gameplan” which would avoid him being blamed for deciding the title.
"I allowed [Tottenham] to self-destruct so all the media, all the people in the world went: 'Tottenham lost the title,'" Clattenburg told NBC Sport.
"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. I helped the game. I certainly benefited 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."