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Ahead of our home game against Arsenal in November I wrote about the referee: “Hopefully it will be a Mason without controversy and that we’ll be talking about the game and not his decision.”

Unfortunately, we were talking about his decisions and his overall handling of the game which, if I am being kind, left much to be desired. This was the Mason no team on the receiving end would want. It was an appalling performance from him that was capped with the stoppage time penalty award that won the game for Arsenal. It was a decision that would never have been given at the other end.

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We know it is not the first time we’ve had serious problems with this referee and in all likelihood it won’t be the last. We can only hope that he doesn’t add another shocker to the list tomorrow and we get a performance more like the one at Wembley earlier in the season when he refereed the Spurs game.

He does have good games. Without them his RATE THE REF rating would be nowhere near 63.62 out of 100 which currently sees him placed 13th in the table.

Tomorrow will be the 46-year-old Mason’s 21st game of the season including 13 in the Premier League. In the last of those Premier League games, between Chelsea and West Brom, he came under scrutiny for failing to give West Brom an early penalty for a clear foul on Jay Rodriguez and then for not sending off Albion’s Craig Dawson for a shocker of a challenge on Chelsea’s Davide Zappacosta.

Dawson wasn’t even carded in a game that saw two yellow cards, and Mason isn’t over eager with the cards. In those 20 games this season there have been just 53 yellows and three reds. Of the yellows, 29 have gone to home team players and 24 to away team players.

His first red card of the season was a West Ham player; he dismissed Marko Arnautovic in their 3-2 defeat at Southampton in August. More recently he’s sent off Tom Cleverley of Watford in a 2-1 loss at Crystal Palace and Cardiff’s Joe Bennett in their FA Cup defeat against Manchester City, another game that left serious questions of Mason’s handling of the game.

His last game came a week ago in the Championship, the game between Derby and Fulham at Pride Park which was won 2-1 by Fulham. Derby had Tom Lawrence, Andreas Weimann and Kasey Palmer yellow carded alongside Fulham’s Stefan Johansen and Aleksandar Mitrovic.

I really do hope we are not talking about Mason again tomorrow evening.

The assistant referees are Harry Lennard (East Sussex) and Matthew Wilkes (West Midlands). The fourth official is Graham Scott (Oxfordshire) whose only Burnley game this season was the FA Cup tie at Manchester City.

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
2017/18Arsenalh0-120Y: Defour, Brady
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