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Bolton referee Lee Mason will be joining us on the journey south on Sunday to referee our game against Spurs in what will be his first Burnley game since January.

Mason refereed us twice last season. He was in charge when we picked up our first points of the season against Liverpool just over a year ago and followed that up by refereeing our 2-1 defeat at Manchester City when he quite rightly sent off City’s Fernandinho.

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He was not the first player he’s sent off in Burnley games but we have to go back a few years to find the other three. Having said that, they came in games when his performances were such that we will never forget them.

Both Chris McCann and Joey Gudjonsson saw red in our 2007/08 home defeat against Preston and a year later, in the same fixture, he dismissed Preston’s Callum Davidson. I think it is fair to say he had two dreadful games,  the first of them saw wrong major decisions go Preston’s way, including the handball on the line in the second minute, while one season on it was us who benefited from some very bad decisions.

Later that season he, thankfully as it turned out, didn’t abandon the game at Blackpool because of the high wins, and since that, despite his controversial reputation he hasn’t been that bad at all when he’s refereed us.

Tomorrow will be his third game this season. He started with a Championship game at Cardiff but last week his first Premier League game was somewhat controversial. He awarded Southampton two penalties in their 3-2 win against West Ham in a game that saw the Hammers play around an hour with ten men after Marko Arnautovic had been sent off for elbowing Jack Stephens.

Saints’ boss Mauricio Pellegrino said after the game: “Sometimes when the referee makes a decision you have to respect them. When they are for you, you are happy; when it’s against you have to suffer and to keep going.”

Beaten manager Slaven Bilic, whose side should have had a penalty themselves, said: “I don’t want to talk about penalty decisions, because there is no point talking about it. I don’t want to talk about the red card either. I am going to talk about the game, not about the decisions.

Besides the red card, there were two yellow cards in the game, to Southampton’s Dusan Tadic and West Ham’s Pablo Zabaleta which took Mason’s card count in his two games this season to five yellows and that one red.

Lee Mason has certainly crept up the RATE THE REF table since his poor start in Burnley games and is currently 10th of the current 18 select group referees with a rating of 64.83 out of 100.

The assistant referees are Harry Lennard (East Sussex) and Matthew Wilkes (West Midlands). The fourth official is Bobby Madley (Ossett) who was the referee for our last game of the 2016/17 season against West Ham.

Previous Burnley Games – Lee Mason

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2007/08Prestonh2-322Y: Elliott R: McCann, Gudjonsson
2008/09Blackpoola1-050Y: Kalvenes, McDonald
2009/10Liverpoola0-420Y: Jordan, Eagles
2009/10Wiganh1-320Y: Carlisle, Alexander
2012/13Blackburnh1-120Y: Duff
2014/15Sunderlanda0-240Y: Marney
2014/15Liverpoola0-210Y: Mee
2015/16Leedsh1-020Y: Barton
2016/17Manchester Citya1-271Y: Hendrick, Keane, Gray
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