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Let’s get the confusion out of the way first because the appointment of Mark Heywood to referee our game against Birmingham City tomorrow has certainly caused some elsewhere.

Even the Football League, when giving me the name of the appointed referee, asked to ensure I’d got the correct name and that’s because there is a Mark Haywood (with an A) from West Yorkshire and a Mark Heywood (with an E) from Cheshire on the national list of referees.

It’s Mark Heywood (with an E) who is from Northwich in Cheshire who will be in charge and it will be only second Burnley game having previously refereed our 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest back in December 2012.

He had a decent enough game that day giving him a RATE THE REF rating of 72.47 out of 100 which currently sees him in 13th place.

That game was in his second season with the Football League. He’d kicked off in August 2011 with a League Two game between Bradford City and Aldershot, which was won 2-1 by Aldershot, and his only Championship game that season was a 0-0 affair between Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace in February 2012.

Our game at Forest was only his fourth at Championship level and even in 2015/16 he’s much more likely to be seen in the lower two divisions. Only five of his 23 games this season have been at Championship level.

In those 23 games, he’s yellow carded 77 players and handed out five red cards. Of those yellow cards, 41 have gone to home team players and 36 to away team players. and all of his five red cards have been in League One and League Two games.

His last game was Notts County’s 1-0 home win against Stevenage last Saturday. There were five yellow cards in that game. Notts had Wesley Atkinson, Thierry Audel and Jon Stead carded along with Stevenage’s Dale Gorman and Byron Harrison.

What to expect? I don’t know. Last week he was accused of being too petty but in the previous game he was lambasted by Kenny Jackett after he’d only yellow carded MK’s Antony Pilkington for a challenge that left Michal Zyro with a long term knee injury.

The assistant referees are Shaun Hudson (Tyne & Wear) and David Avent (Northamptonshire). The fourth official is Football League referee Lee Swabey (Devon) who hasn’t, as yet, refereed a Burnley game.

Previous Burnley Games

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2012/13Nottingham Foresta0-250Y: McCann, Duff, Marney
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