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Burnley’s Premier League game today against Manchester United will be refereed by Martin Atkinson from Leeds and it will be his second Burnley game this season having taken charge of the home games against West Brom and Swansea.

No referee has taken charge of more Burnley games in the Premier League. Three in the 2009/10 season, four in 2014/15, three last season and the two earlier this season means today will be number 13 and that’s two more than Mike Dean and Mike Jones.

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We haven’t done too badly in the 12 so far. We’ve won five, drawn four and lost three. Given that eight of them have been on the road, that’s a good record. He’s right up there in the ratings too on RATE THE REF. At the last update he had a rating of 74.84 out of 100 and was in fifth place. A warning though; that’s not much better than Michael Oliver’s rating.

Leeds based Atkinson first reached the Premier League as an assistant referee but then went into the middle and joined the Football League list ahead of the 2003/04 season; his first game was Macclesfield v Boston.

Within 13 months he’d refereed his first Premier League game between Crystal Palace and Manchester City, a game which featured former Claret Joey Barton. He was appointed to the select group for the following season and is now, almost exclusively, a Premier League referee.

He refereed a Championship game in September between Bristol City and Derby, but his other 13 games this season have all been Premier League games in which he has handed out 42 yellow cards and four red cards.

The yellow cards have been evenly distributed with 21 to home team players and 21 to away team players. There was just one red card in his first ten games; that to Hal Robson-Kanu at Burnley but he then added three more in successive games, sending off Tottenham’s Davison Sanchez in a 1-1 draw at Watford, Jonjo Shelvey for Newcastle as they went down 1-0 at home against Everton and Leicester’s Onyinye in a 3-0 home loss against Crystal Palace.

In the game before this trio, he’d failed to send off Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet in their 3-0 win at Stoke. Mark Hughes called for him to be axed.

Last time out he refereed the 3-3 draw between Arsenal and Liverpool last Friday, a game which saw Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi pick up the only yellow card.

I thought Michael Oliver was going to be a good appointment last week; I was wrong, so I won’t tempt fate with Atkinson who generally has been fine in Burnley games.

The assistant referees are Stephen Child (Kent) and Harry Lennard (East Sussex). The fourth official is Lee Mason (Bolton) who refereed our recent home game against Arsenal.

Previous Burnley Games – Martin Atkinson

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2004/05Crewea1-110Y: Whittingham
2004/05Sheffield Uniteda1-220Y: Cahill
2006/07Norwichh2-020Y: Caldwell
2008/09Tottenhama1-410Y: Duff
2009/10Wolvesa0-230Y: Gudjonsson
2009/10Boltona0-150Y: Elliott, McDonald
2009/10Hulla4-160Y: Mears
2010/11West Hama1-520Y: Rodriguez, Elliott
2014/15Stokea2-140Y: Ings, Heaton
2014/15Chelseaa1-131Y: Boyd, Kightly
2014/15Tottenhamh0-020Y: Trippier, Mee
2014/15Hulla1-010Y: Ings
2016/17Bournemouthh3-240Y: Arfield, Boyd
2016/17Hulla1-131Y: Westwood, Barnes R: Barnes
2016/17Middlesbrougha0-030Y: Ward, Barnes, Keane
2017/18West Bromh0-111Y: Barnes
2017/18Swanseah2-020Y: Ward
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