Domestically, Madden was promoted to Category One in 2009 and has built up a wealth of experience and respect to become a Scottish top-flight regular since his first match in January 2011.
He first took up the whistle in 2002 and last year revealed that an advert in the East Kilbride News – spotted by his brother Jamie – inspired him to become involved in refereeing after realising he wouldn’t make the grade as a professional player.
Since joining the Fifa list in 2010, Madden has refereed several Europa League games and been an additional assistant referee for Champions League matches, the 2015 Uefa Super Cup, and part of Willie Collum’s team of Euro 2016 officials for two group games.
The East Kilbride-born whistler has also controlled several domestic cup semi-finals and play-off matches, with his biggest honour coming in 2015 when appointed to referee Celtic’s 2-0 win over Dundee United in the League Cup Final at Hampden Park.
Saturday’s game at Celtic Park – surprisingly not being broadcast live on TV – will be Madden’s seventh of the campaign in all competitions, his third in the top-flight.
He has so far brandished 15 yellow cards, sent off one player and awarded four penalties – three of which came in the space of 23 minutes in St Johnstone’s 3-0 win over Falkirk during the Betfred Cup first round group phase.
Elsewhere, Kevin Clancy will take charge of Rangers’ Friday night trip to face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park and Greg Aitken will oversee his first top-flight game of the season when Hamilton host Ross County on Saturday.
You can view a full list of SPFL match official appointments here.
Madley to handle Spurs v Liverpool on Saturday lunchtime
Moss in charge of Hull v Manchester United evening kick-off
Marriner appointed to Manchester City v West Ham on Sunday
BOBBY Madley will take charge of Tottenham’s Premier League encounter with Liverpool on Saturday.
The 30-year-old, from west Yorkshire, will be in the middle for Saturday’s lunchtime game at White Hart Lane between two sides hoping to finish in the top four this season (KO 12:30 BST, live on Sky Sports).
For the second top-flight game running, he will be assisted by Peter Kirkup (Northamptonshire) and Marc Perry (west Midlands), while Craig Pawson (south Yorkshire) has been appointed as fourth official.
The Huddersfield Town fan performed well in Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Sunderland on the opening weekend, correctly awarding City a third-minute spotkick after Patrick van Aanholt fouled Raheem Sterling.
He has also handled qualifiers in the Champions League and Europa League last month, as well as being fourth official for the Community Shield, Hull’s 2-0 win over Swansea and Middlesbrough’s 2-1 at Sunderland last weekend.
Spurs-Liverpool has been a fixture awarded to progressive officials in recent years – Mike Jones dismissed two Reds players in Spurs’ 4-0 win in 2011 and Craig Pawson gave a steady display in last season’s goalless draw, Jurgen Klopp’s first game as Liverpool boss.
Jon Moss will be the man in the middle for Manchester United’s trip to promoted Hull City (KO 17:30 BST, live on BT Sport).
His team of officials will be Andy Halliday (north Yorkshire), Eddie Smart (west Midlands) and fourth official Martin Atkinson (west Yorkshire) at the KCOM Stadium.
The last time the teams met was on the final day of the Premier League season in May 2015, when United’s Marouane Fellaini was sent off by referee Lee Probert in a goalless draw that relegated Hull.
Andre Marriner will be the referee when Manchester City play host to West Ham at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday (KO 16:00 BST, live on Sky Sports).
The west Midlands official will oversee his second Premier League game of the season after issuing just one yellow card in Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on the opening weekend.
He was also in charge of the Europa League third qualifying round tie between Apollon Limassol and Grasshoppers in Cyprus last month, in which six players were booked.
Marriner was the fourth official for both Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Southampton and Leicester’s goalless draw with Arsenal in the Premier League last weekend.
Before the weekend game in Manchester, the Sheldon-based whistler will be in charge of the Champions League play-off round second leg between German outfit Borussia Monchengladbach and Swiss side Young Boys on Wednesday night.
At the age of 45, this is due to be his final season on the Fifa list before reaching mandatory retirement, having been one of England’s representatives on the international scene since 2009.
He was due to oversee their home match against Stoke but was swapped with Madley after Martin Atkinson pulled out of Liverpool’s game with Newcastle through injury.
Madley was in the middle for last season’s corresponding fixture, which also took place early in the campaign, as West Ham recorded a shock 2-1 win thanks to first-half goals from Victor Moses and Diafra Sakho.
It will be Marriner’s first outing at the Etihad as man in the middle since its expansion – and since his performance was criticised in City’s 1-0 win over Everton in December 2014.
The West Yorkshire whistler will handle his first East Anglian derby, while Paul Tierney is in charge of Derby’s televised Midlands derby against Aston Villa.
REFEREE David Coote will take charge of his first East Anglian derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City this weekend.
The 34-year-old will be the man in the middle when the Suffolk and Norfolk rivals meet on Sunday lunchtime at Portman Road in the SkyBet Championship (KO 12:00 BST, live on Sky Sports).
He will be ably assisted by new Select Group 2 assistant referees Nigel Lugg (Surrey) and Ian Cooper (Kent), while the fourth official is Oliver Langford – who will fulfil the same role for Nottingham Forest against Wigan on Saturday.
Coote – from Halifax in west Yorkshire – is one of 18 full-time referees forming the new Select Group 2 which will predominantly officiate in the Championship and help drive up standards across the English Football League.
He will handle his fourth game of the season and third in the EFL – all in the second-tier – having so far issued eight yellow cards, no reds and awarded one penalty.
Coote began refereeing in 1996 at the age of 14, when he spent two months as an assistant referee for his dad David and uncle Mick’s team in the Newark Alliance.
The cricket-loving whistler – originally from Winthorpe, near Newark in Nottinghamshire – made his journey through the Notts Alliance League, Northern Counties East Football League and Northern Premier League.
It eventually took him to the Select Group of assistant referees in 2009-10 after three years as a Football League linesman, which started at Stockport County’s Edgeley Park for a League Two game against Hereford.
He became a Football League referee in 2010 and has since forged a reputation as a reliable and lenient official across the three divisions.
He also ran the line for the 2009 FA Vase Final when Whitley Bay beat Glossop North End 2-0, as well as the FA Trophy Final between Barrow and Stevenage a year later and being fifth official for Portsmouth’s 2-0 win over Tottenham in the 2010 FA Cup semi-finals.
Paul Tierney will be the referee for Saturday’s televised Midlands derby between Derby County and Aston Villa in the Championship.
The 36-year-old, from Lancashire, will take charge as the promotion-chasing Rams host their relegated neighbours at the iPro Stadium in the evening kick-off (KO 17:30 BST, live on Sky Sports).
The former hairdresser, from Wigan, was promoted to the Select Group of Premier League referees over the summer along with Stuart Attwell.
He has so far dished out six yellow cards and awarded one penalty in two games this term – Birmingham’s 2-1 win at Leeds in the Championship last Saturday and the 1-1 League Two draw between Hartlepool and Colchester on the opening weekend.
He has issued four yellow cards in each but opted not to send off Gers midfielder Harry Forrester for a second bookable offence at Dens Park last time out – even Rangers boss Mark Warburton admitted another referee might have done so.
Thomson did, however, give Killie boss Lee Clark his marching orders after just 10 minutes the week before at Rugby Park on the advice of the fourth official.
It’s one of three Scottish Cup Finals that Thomson has overseen as referee, as well as three Scottish League Cup Finals on his CV.
His vast experience as the longest-serving official amongst the current crop includes 16 games at Hampden Park, a number of play-off matches across the divisions, Champions League and Europa League games, international asssignments and selection to officiate at Euro 2012.
The Wirral-born official, who is now based in north Wales, is the proverbial safe pair of hands when there is no margin for error and has been entrusted to control the first top-flight match since the summer rule changes.
Dean – who first took up the whistle in 1985 – has been refereeing in the Premier League since 2001 and spent a decade on the Fifa list before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 45 in 2013.
The Tranmere Rovers fan only officiated in four competitions last season and was at the helm for three Championship games – including Middlesbrough’s 1-1 draw with Brighton in the automatic promotion decider on the final day.
Incidentally, Dean was heavily criticised for his display in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge last term – dismissing Gunners duo Santi Cazorla and Gabriel but failing to send off Diego Costa, who raised his hands to Laurent Koscielny.
Dean’s major honours include the 2004 Community Shield, 2004 FA Trophy Final, Championship Play-Off Finals in 2006, 2009 and 2015, the 2008 FA Cup Final and the 2011 League Cup Final.
The managerless Tigers, who beat Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 at Wembley in May to secure an immediate top-flight return, have endured a torrid summer following a series of injuries, a lack of signings and boss Steve Bruce’s resignation.
Meanwhile, Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes will begin the defence of the Premier League crown they won against all odds last season after losing 2-1 to Manchester United in last weekend’s Community Shield.
Bobby Madley will be the man in the middle for Manchester City’s Premier League opener against Sunderland in Saturday’s evening kick-off.
The 30-year-old, from west Yorkshire, has been appointed to oversee Pep Guardiola and David Moyes’s first competitive games in charge of their respective clubs at the Etihad Stadium (KO 17:30 BST, live on BT Sport).
The Huddersfield Town fan will be assisted by Peter Kirkup (Northamptonshire) and Marc Perry (west Midlands), with Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire) on fourth official duties.
Madley has already refereed two European qualifiers so far this term and was fourth official for Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Leicester City in the Community Shield last weekend.
The Ossett-based whistler, who has been a referee since 2001, surprisingly received more responsibility last term but excelled with a number of impressive displays.
He was the fourth official for the Capital One Cup Final in March and then became the youngest ever referee to handle the Championship Play-Off Final in Hull’s 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday – his first game as a referee at Wembley.
But the game Sunderland fans will remember most is the 3-0 win over Newcastle in October in Madley’s first Wear-Tyne derby, in which he awarded the Black Cats a penalty and sent off Magpies skipper Fabricio Coloccini for a professional foul.
Andre Marriner and Michael Oliver will take charge of Sunday’s televised Premier League games at the Vitality Stadium and Emirates Stadium respectively.
Marriner will oversee Jose Mourinho’s first league match as Manchester United boss when the Reds visit Bournemouth (KO 13:30 BST, live on Sky Sports).
The West Midlands whistler, 45, will be assisted by Simon Beck (Bedfordshire) and Scott Ledger (south Yorkshire), with Roger East (Wiltshire) the fourth official.
And straight afterwards, Oliver will be the referee for Arsenal’s clash with Liverpool in the standout game of the opening weekend (KO 20:00 BST, live on Sky Sports).
The 31-year-old, from Northumberland, was also at the helm for the corresponding fixture last season – a goalless draw almost 12 months ago to the day.
The linesmen will be Stuart Burt (Northamptonshire) and Eddie Smart (west Midlands), while Craig Pawson (south Yorkshire) will be the fourth official.
There is no game for Euro 2016 Final referee Mark Clattenburg, who won’t be involved at all in the opening round of matches.
The 41-year-old handled four games in France, including the host nation’s 1-0 defeat by Portugal in the Paris showpiece on July 10.
He is said to be taking an extensive break following his exploits at the tournament, while last week it emerged he had two of his major achievements last season tattooed on his arm whilst on holiday in Spain.
Click here for a full list of appointments for the Premier League’s opening weekend
Like Celtic, the Motherwell-based whistler is on European duty in midweek having been assigned to referee the Europa League third qualifying round second leg between Hadjuk Split and FC Olexandryia.
He has awarded one penalty in each of his four games so far this season – three of which were in the Betfred Cup, including Rangers’ 3-0 win over Stranraer at Ibrox.
Beaton – who is still a part-time communications officer at the University of Strathclyde – was the referee for Celtic’s 1-1 draw with Leicester in the International Champions Cup at Parkhead a fortnight ago.
Aside from the League Cup tie, he encountered Hearts on four other occasions last season – twice in the Premiership against Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock at Tynecastle, and twice in the Scottish Cup against Aberdeen and Hibernian.
A Category One official since 2009, Beaton has established himself as a regular in the Premiership since his first game in 2012 and is one of seven Scottish referees on Fifa’s international list.
He has officiated the 2015 Ramsdens Cup Final, two League Cup semi-finals, two Scottish Cup semis including one last season, and been an additional assistant referee for two Scottish Cup Finals.
Nick Walsh will take charge of the Premiership opener between Partick Thistle and Inverness Caley Thistle at Firhill on Saturday (KO 15:00 BST).
The 30-year-old from Stirling, who was promoted to Category One over the summer, is only in his fourth season as a senior official.
He will be assisted by Andrew McWilliam and Graham McNellie, while Mat Northcroft will be the fourth official.
Walsh has dished out 13 yellow cards and awarded two penalties in four League Cup games so far – Queen of the South’s 2-0 victory over Airdrieonians, Motherwell’s 3-1 victory at Annan, and Peterhead’s surprise 2-1 win against Dundee.
He was also called up as a late replacement for Willie Collum for Ayr United’s opening 2-1 success over Hamilton Accies.
Kevin Clancy will be the man in the middle for the Championship’s standout opening match between Falkirk and Hibernian on Saturday (KO 15:00 BST).
The 32-year-old has been assigned to the opening weekend game between two expected promotion hopefuls at the Falkirk Stadium as Neil Lennon prepares to take charge of his first league game as Hibs manager.
Clancy – who will be assisted by Alastair Mather and Daniel McFarlane – has received more responsibility in the last 18 months having overseen a number of high-profile games such as Edinburgh and Dundee derbies, and last season’s Scottish League Cup Final.
The Renfrewshire-based whistler has handled a Champions League qualifier, Europa League game and three League Cup matches so far this season.
Glasgow-born Clancy – who has been a Category One official since 2009 – took charge of Hibs’ 1-1 draw with Falkirk at Easter Road last December, among 10 Championship games in 2015-16.
He has also been appointed to referee the televised League Cup second round tie between Premiership sides Celtic and Motherwell at Parkhead on Wednesday night.
With one of the most unpredictable seasons in years in store, guessing the final outcome across England, Scotland and Spain has proved difficult.
AFTER the briefest of breaks following the unexpected climax at Euro 2016, football makes a welcome comeback as the new domestic campaign begins in earnest.
2016-17 promises to be more dramatic, exciting and entertaining than seasons gone by with new managers, players and teams settling into their fresh surroundings and hoping to make an impact.
From Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Old Trafford to Burton Albion’s Championship debut, there are many intriguing sub-plots which could present more shocks and surprises – such as Leicester City’s stunning Premier League title triumph as relegation favourites last term.
Such is the uncertainty of how clubs will fare amid the hive of summer activity, unrivalled spending and the fall-out from last season’s outcomes, predicting the precise outcomes in the promotion, play-off and relegation pictures in all leagues is an incredibly tough task.
Here’s my rough guess on what the final standings might look like across the main divisions in England, Scotland and Spain when May eventually comes around…