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The last time James Linington refereed a Burnley game, we’d just clinched promotion to the Premier League and he now referees us at Huddersfield in what is our first competitive fixture since relegation last season.

That most recent game was the 1-0 home win against Ipswich in April 2014 which came five days after we’d clinched promotion. It was his second Burnley game that season; in the previous one at Birmingham, he upset their manager Lee Clarke so much that he considered making a formal complaint after he’d mocked his captain Paul Robinson.

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In truth, Linington, who is from Newport on the Isle of Wight, was awful that night at St. Andrew’s, but generally we haven’t had any issues with him in his other four Burnley games, the first of which was at Watford in our first promotion season to the Premier League. That ended in a 3-0 defeat for us, but he certainly couldn’t be held responsible after a shocking performance from the Clarets.

That was his first ever Championship game in what was his first ever season as a league referee. Prior to the game at Vicarage Road, he’d refereed just three games in League One and eight in League Two, kicking off with Wycombe v Morecambe in League Two.

In 2016, with the introduction of Select Group 2 officials, he stepped up and has since been predominantly used in the Championship. Last season, he refereed 32 games with only three in the lower leagues although he did referee the League One play-off semi-final second leg between Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland at Hillsborough.

If we are expecting a quiet opening in terms of cards, Linington is unlikely to provide it. He hasn’t had a card free game since September 2020 and last season, in those 32 games, he showed no fewer than 144 yellow and seven red cards. In October, there were nine yellow cards in Fulham’s 4-0 win at Nottingham Forest but he beat that total twice. There were ten yellows and two reds in Derby’s 1-0 home win against Peterborough and when Forest lost 1-0 at Luton, he showed elven yellows and one red.

The red card in that last game referred to was Luton’s Sonny Bradley and was his most recent Championship red card but he did send off two players in his next game between Gillingham and Fleetwood in League One. His final game last season, that play-off game at Hillsborough saw him card Wednesday trio Harlee Dean, Barry Bannan and George Byers alongside both Ross Stewart and Jay Matete of Sunderland.

The fourth official tonight is Matt Donohue; he is still to referee a Burnley game. Back in the Championship, for now, there is no VAR.

Match Officials

Referee: James Linington
Assistant Referees: Shaun Hudson & Paul Hodskinson
Fourth Official: Matt Donohue

Previous Burnley Games – James Linington

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2008/09Watforda0-320Y: Kalvenes
2010/11Crystal Palacea0-070Y: Mears, Elliott, Carlisle, Fox
2011/12Ipswicha0-101
2013/14Birminghama3-330Y: Shackell
2013/14Ipswichh0-120
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