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Simon Hooper will referee us tomorrow for the second time this season and again it is an away game against a team whose traditional colours are red and white stripes; that previous game was at Sheffield United.

We can only hope he has a better game than he did at Bramall Lane. He certainly wasn’t responsible for our poor performance and the 3-0 defeat but his performance that day was no better than ours and he managed to get the supporters of both teams singing “You don’t know what you doing” on more than one occasion.

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I have to say though that generally he’s been ok when refereeing Burnley games and I’d say that was the worst of his performances and, of course, he has refereed a Burnley win at Ewood Park, that in the League Cup two seasons ago.

He’s not an experienced Premier League referee. He got one game at the start of the 2015/16 season between Norwich and Crystal Palace but his performance in general wasn’t good and he was castigated for one incident in particular when he ruled out a brilliant overhead kicked goal from Cameron Jerome when he mystifyingly decided it was dangerous play.

It was two and a half years before he was given another top flight game. That was our 1-1 draw at Newcastle on the last day of January 2018. It was his only Premier League game that season but he was promoted to the select group ahead of the next season.

He still referees more often in the Football League than in the Premier League with tomorrow’s game just his eighth in the top flight in what will be his twentieth game of the season and it will be only the second time he’s refereed a Southampton game in the Premier League having previously taken charge of their 1-1 home draw against Watford in November 2018.

Looking at his games this season and in those 19 fixtures he’s given out 69 yellow and two red cards. Of those yellows, 34 have gone to home team players and 35 to away team players. The two players he’s sent off have both come in Premier League games and left the home teams with ten men. He dismissed Simon Francis in Bournemouth’s 2-1 home defeat against Wolves in November, his first game after our game at Sheffield United, and in his final game of 2019 he sent off Watford’s Adrian Mariappa but they went on to beat Aston Villa 3-0.

Hooper’s most recent game was two weeks ago tonight when he was in charge of the Championship game between Cardiff and Reading which ended 1-1. Cardiff trio Sean Morrison, Curtis Nelson and Ashley Richards were yellow carded alongside Reading pair Jordan Obita and Sam Baldock.

Kevin Friend is the fourth official tomorrow. He’s refereed us three times this season, at home against West Ham and in the away games at Spurs and Chelsea. On VAR duty at Stockley Park is Michael Oliver and he’s refereed us four times this season. The first of those games was at Brighton and he’s since been at the Turf three times, for the Premier League games against Chelsea and Aston Villa and more recently the FA Cup defeat against Norwich.

Match Officials

Referee: Simon Hooper
Assistant Referees: Simon Beck & Derek Eaton
Fourth Official: Kevin Friend
VAR: Michael Oliver
AVAR: Gary Beswick

Previous Burnley Games – Simon Hooper

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2011/12Millwalla1-050Y: Trippier, Bartley, Easton
2012/13Charltona1-040Y: Austin, Lafferty, Vokes, Paterson
2013/14Leedsh2-120Y: Jones
2015/16Ipswicha0-210Y: Kightly
2015/16Brightonh1-140Y: Mee
2015/16Middlesbrougha2-130Y: Barton
2017/18Blackburna2-030Y: Bardsley, Long
2017/18Newcastlea1-130Y: Barnes, Vokes
2018/19Barnsleyh1-020Y: Long
2019/20Sheffield Uniteda0-330Y: Tarkowski, Barnes
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