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Referees Stuart Attwell (pictured) and Paul Tierney have been promoted to the Select Group for next season having been rewarded for their consistent refereeing displays over recent season.

That means that both referees will predominantly be used in the Premier League next season although both were involved in 2015/16, both of them taking charge of four games in the top flight.

The 33-year-old Attwell has been there before and in August 2008 became the youngest ever referee in the Premier League when he took charge of Blackburn v Hull. However, it was a controversial time for him with a number of high profile gaffes, and he was axed in February 2012 and returned to the National Group.

At the time, Mike Riley, general manager of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) said: “Throughout his career in the Select Group, Stuart has demonstrated great courage and mental strength in responding to the challenges that he has faced. Stuart has a high level of maturity and responsibility and I’m convinced that he has a long term future as a referee at the very highest level. PGMOL sincerely hopes to be welcoming Stuart back to the Select Group in the future.”

He’s refereed Burnley on ten occasions, all but three of those since losing his place on the Select Group. I think he’s done OK in those games and I can’t think of too many referees who I would have thought were more worthy of promotion.

Attwell is currently 26th in RATE THE REF with a rating of 64.97 out of 100. That’s ahead of Tierney who is in 42nd place with a rating of 56.02. He’s refereed us just three times but only once in the league. We first saw him at Barnsley in the FA Cup in 2013 when he had a nightmare of a game, yellow carding Brian Stock, having mistaken him and Michael Duff, before giving him a second yellow and a red card before half time.

The pair will join sixteen other referees in making up the Select Group, but that group no longer includes Phil Dowd who has now retired through injury having not officiated since February 2015.

There are other changes within PGMOL. A new group called Select Group 2 will be created for next season and will include professional referees on full time PGMOL contracts and they will focus mainly on Championship matches.

Assistant referees haven’t been left out; a Select Group will be centrally contracted and moved to part time or full time PGMOL contracts.

The sixteen other Select Group referees are: Martin Atkinson, Mark Clattenburg, Mike Dean, Roger East, Kevin Friend, Mike Jones, Bobby Madley, Andre Marriner, Lee Mason, Jon Moss, Michael Oliver, Craig Pawson, Lee Probert, Graham Scott, Neil Swarbrick and Anthony Taylor.

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