Russell goes from touchline to take the whistle
Burnley's home game tomorrow will be refereed by Mick Russell from Hertfordshire just one week after he'd been the fourth official for our away game at Millwall.
It seems a strange decision. As it happens, as far as I know, things went peacefully for him as fourth official last week but otherwise this might have not been the wisest choice of referee.
Russell is now in his tenth season as a Football League referee but this will be just his fourth Burnley game. The first of them was a home defeat against Sheffield United late in the 2007/08 season but it was just over four years before we saw him again on the day we won 4-1 at Derby.
The only other Burnley game he's refereed was our final game of last season at home to Ipswich and I think it is fair to say we've had very few problems with him in those three games and such have been his performances that he currently sits in 10th place in the RATE THE REF Table with a rating of 72.85 out of 100.
We might have been hit with one problem last season because of Russell. He refereed the Huddersfield v Sheffield Wednesday game on the last Saturday of 2012. He yellow carded Wednesday's Jeremy Helan but failed to send him off, leaving the player free to play against Burnley on New Year's Day.
Helan finally served his suspension in an FA Cup tie that he wouldn't have been permitted to play in anyway and Russell was given a one month suspension by the Professional Game Match Officials.
His Football League career kicked off in League Two with a game between Scunthorpe and Rochdale in August 2004. He got off to a blazing start with 18 cards in his first three games but by the time his first season had ended there had been just 62 in 32 games which included three in the Championship.
He's not been a heavy user of his cards since but he does have his moments as we've seen this season when twice he's given out seven yellow cards in a game. In total there have been 26 yellow cards and two red cards from him in nine games.
Fifteen of those yellow cards have gone to home team players with eleven to away team players with the red cards going one each to home and away players, both in League Two games.
His last game was on 26th October. It was the Championship game between Yeovil and Nottingham Forest and was his first game at our level since the Burnley v Ipswich game last season.
This was one of his seven card games. All of Yeovil's Dawson, Ed Upson, Joe Ralls and Sam Hoskins were carded as were Nathaniel Chalobah, Jamaal Lascelles and Andy Reid of Forest.
The assistant referees are Glen Hart (County Durham) and Robert Jones (Merseyside). The fourth official is Football League referee Mark Haywood (West Yorkshire) whose last Burnley game as referee was the 2-0 home win against Wolves last season, Sean Dyche's first game in charge.
Previous Burnley GamesSeason Opponents V Res Y R Burnley Players Carded 2007/08 SHEFFIELD UNITED h 1-2 2 0 n Unsworth 2010/11 DERBY a 4-2 1 1 n Bikey 2012/13 IPSWICH h 2-0 1 0 n Stock
Source: Clarets Mad
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