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Michael Oliver both started and ended our home programme in the Premier League last season, refereeing the games against Chelsea and Stoke and tonight he’s back to referee us in the Football League against Derby.



I wondered whether he would referee us this season given that his last three Burnley games in the Football League have all been against Blackpool. He was in charge of the wins at home in 2011/12 and the following season and also refereed our 1-0 win at Bloomfield Road in April 2014 that took us to the brink of promotion.

There is no doubt that Oliver is now considered one of our top referees. He operates almost exclusively in the Premier League and that game at Blackpool, some 21 months ago, was the last time he took charge of a Football League fixture.

It wasn’t always the case; the young Oliver was pushed through very quickly and had some poor games. His mistakes were often highlighted on television and there are certainly a couple of Burnley games, particularly one against Swansea, where he had a poor ninety minutes.

Still aged just 30, but it is now five and a half years since he refereed for the first time in the Premier League, that coming in a game between Birmingham and Blackburn in August 2010. He had previously been allocated the Fulham v Portsmouth game in the previous January but that game was postponed. Had it been played, he would have been the youngest ever Premier League referee at 24.

This season, he’s already refereed 16 domestic games. that includes one FA Cup tie with the rest in the Premier League. In those games he’s handed out 56 yellow cards and three red cards with two of those reds coming in the same game when he sent off Stoke’s Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam in a 1-0 home defeat against West Brom.

Of those yellow cards, 23 have gone to home team players and 33 to away team players. There were four in his last game which was Swansea’s 1-0 home win against Watford last Monday. Both teams had two players carded; for Swansea they were Leon Britton and Gylfi Sugurdsson with Watford having both Jose Manuel Jurado and Allan Nyom carded.

Michael Oliver is currently in 14th place in RATE THE REF with a rating of 72.24 out of 100.

Undoubtedly, we have one of the best referees in the country in charge of our game tonight.

The assistant referees are Darren Cann (Norfolk) and Scott Ledger (South Yorkshire). The fourth official is Football League referee Tony Harrington (Cleveland) who refereed our home game against Reading in September.

Previous Burnley Games

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2008/09Plymouthh0-021Y: Eagles R: Eagles
2008/09Swanseah0-221Y; Elliott R: Duff
2012/13Blackpoolh1-040Y: Mee, Paterson
2013/14Blackpoola1-050Y; Marney, Jones, Duff
2014/15Chelseah1-320Y; Sordell
2014/15Stokeh0-030Y; Boyd
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