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By this time last season, referee Mike Jones from Chester, had taken charge of three Burnley games against Watford, Everton and West Brom; he later refereed two more against Sunderland and the return game against West Brom.

Yet we’ve had to wait until December this season for Jones, who has been a regular for Burnley matches over the years, to get his first Clarets’ match of the season.

When I saw regular, it will be Burnley game number 38 for him tonight. The first of them was way back in the 1997/98 season when he was in charge of our 1-1 home draw against Brentford and that 2-2 draw against West Brom last season was the last of them.

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it won’t be his first Burnley v Stoke game either. He was here in the 2004/05 season, sending Michael Duff off in a 2-2 draw. Ian Moore and Robbie Blake had given us a 2-0 lead that day but Stoke came back with two Ade Akinbiyi goals after Jones had sent off Michael Duff for two yellow cards. Two seasons later he was in charge of the 0-0 draw between the two sides at the Turf in what was Owen Coyle’s first game in charge of the Clarets.

I think, had RATE THE REF been running back in his early days of refereeing Burnley games then he would have been very low in the table, but his performances since the start of the 2007/08 season have been much better and his rating, which continues to improve , is now 68.18 out of 100 which sees him in 10th place.

Fast approaching his 50th birthday, he’s been a Football League referee for over twenty years and is now in his tenth season as a select group referee. This season, however, only half of his games so far have been in the Premier League.

That’s 12 games in total in which there have been 49 yellow cards and just the one red card which he showed to Cardiff’s Omar Bogle in their 2-1 defeat at Bristol City. Neil Warnock admitted to having no problems with the decision but then blasted Jones for not sending off a Bristol City player later in the game.

His most recent game was the Championship clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Hull last Saturday at Hillsborough. It ended in a 2-2 draw in a game which saw five players yellow carded. They were Wednesday’s Joost van Aken, Adam Reach and Gary Hooper along with Hull pair Sebastian Larsson and Kevin Stewart. He also sent home boss Carlos Carvalhal to the stands.

That performance prompted former referee supremo Keith Hackett to label Jones as not being good enough to referee in the Premier League. “I could go on about Mike Jones,” said Hackett, one of the worst referees I’ve ever seen. “Putting it bluntly, he’s not good enough. He’s had his time and I think they might give him a job as a Video Assistant Referee next season.”

Hopefully, it will be a calm night for Jones tonight with no major controversies. We’ve had enough of those in recent games.

The assistant referees are Mark Scholes (Buckinghamshire) and Simon Long (Cornwall). The fourth official is Michael Oliver (Northumberland) whose last Burnley game was the 1-0 home win against Crystal Palace in September.

Previous Burnley Games – Mike Jones

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
1997/98Brentfordh1-120Y: Payton
1998/99Chesterfielda0-130Y: Cooke
1999/2000Bristol Citya0-030Y: Mullin
2000/01Wolvesa0-120Y: Cooke, Weller
2001/02Wimbledonh3-250Y: A Moore
2003/04Cardiffa0-240Y: Branch, Grant, Jensen
2004/05Stokeh2-221Y: Duff R: Duff
2005/06Derbya1-240Y: Akinbiyi, Sinclair
2005/06Readingh0-310Y: J O'Connor
2006/07West Bromh3-251Y: Djemba-Djemba, Harley, Elliott
2007/08Norwichh2-130Y: Alexander, Unsworth
2007/08Stokeh0-040Y: Mahon, McCann
2008/09West Bromh3-110Y: Caldwell
2008/09Southamptona2-270Y: Paterson, Alexander, Caldwell
2009/10Hullh2-041Y: Elliott
2009/10Wigana0-140Y: McDonald, Duff, Mears
2010/11Aston Villaa1-221
2010/11QPRh0-070Y: Duff, Alexander, Fox, Thompson, Cork
2011/12Leicestera0-010Y: Marney
2013/14Wigana0-020Y: Duff
2014/15Evertona0-141Y; Barnes, Arfield, Shackell R: Barnes
2014/15Aston Villaa1-030Y: Ulvestad, Arfield
2015/16Blackburnh1-060Y: Lowton, Ulvestad
2015/16Middlesbroughh1-130Y: Marney
2016/17Watfordh2-040Y: Lowton
2016/17Evertonh2-150Y: Arfield, Hendrick
2016/17West Broma0-400
2016/17Sunderlandh2-030Y: Defour, Barton
2016/17West Bromh2-240Y: Barnes
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