SkyBet Championship: Bobby Madley to referee Brighton v Newcastle

The Premier League referee will take charge of the crucial top-of-the-table battle at the AMEX Stadium between two sides destined for the top-flight.

In the middle: Madley took charge of the first Premier League game of 2017 in a goalless draw between Middlesbrough and Leicester at the Riverside (Picture from Sky Sports)

A Premier League referee will take charge of the crucial SkyBet Championship clash between leaders Brighton and second-placed Newcastle United.

Bobby Madley has been appointed to keep the peace as the two hot favourites for promotion do battle at the AMEX Stadium in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Tuesday night (KO 19:45 GMT).

The 31-year-old will be assisted on the south coast by Select Group linesmen Marc Perry (west Midlands) and Adrian Holmes (west Yorkshire), while Lee Probert (Wiltshire) is the fourth official.

Madley – who hails from west Yorkshire – will take charge of his 28th game of the campaign in all competitions.

Overall, he has so far brandished a massive 119 yellow cards, sent off four players in four different competitions and awarded eight penalties (seven in the Premier League).

It will be Madley’s first Championship game of the season and he has only ventured down into the Football League once before.

He was criticised by Scunthorpe United boss Graham Alexander for his display in the League One leaders’ 3-1 defeat at Southend United earlier this month and dismissing midfielder Neal Bishop for perceived violent conduct late on at Roots Hall.

Bobby Madley referee (Hull v Sheffield Weds - 28th May 2016)
Honour: Madley was a surprise choice as he became the youngest referee to handle a Championship Play-Off Final last season (Picture from Sky Sports)

The Ossett-born whistler, who joined the Fifa list of international referees last year, was only in the middle for two Championship games but one was another pivotal encounter for Brighton which proved decisive in the promotion battle.

On his last visit to the AMEX, Madley oversaw the Seagulls’ 1-1 draw with Derby County in their penultimate league game in May last year, sending off Brighton defender Lewis Dunk for a second bookable offence late on before James Wilson’s late equaliser for the hosts.

Just five days later, he oversaw his last match involving Newcastle, which was a difficult one for him to contend with in a goalless draw at already-relegated Aston Villa as beach balls were thrown onto the pitch in protest by the home fans at Villa Park.

However, he will still be remembered by most Magpies fans from last season’s Wear-Tyne derby against Sunderland for the controversial dismissal of Fabricio Coloccini which led to a penalty and subsequently turned the game in favour of the Black Cats, who ran out 3-0 winners at the Stadium of Light.

Last May, Madley also handled his first game at Wembley as a referee and put in a solid performance in the Championship Play-Off Final as Hull City earned promotion with a 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday, with the appointment coming despite his Yorkshire connections.

It was his second trip to the national stadium last term having been fourth official to Michael Oliver for the League Cup final between Liverpool and Manchester City, capping a consistent and excellent season for him.

Recent: Madley’s last encounter with a Championship side was earlier this month in Fulham’s 3-0 FA Cup defeat at home to London rivals Tottenham (Picture from BBC Sport)

The Wakefield-born official has established himself as one of the better referees in the Select Group in the last two seasons and will no doubt benefit from the departure of Mark Clattenburg at the end of the season with more regular high-profile matches.

Madley’s most recent game was at Selhurst Park on Saturday for Crystal Palace’s 1-0 win over Middlesbrough in the Premier League, in which he somehow booked James McArthur for diving rather than award Palace a penalty when the midfielder was fouled by Stewart Downing in the box.

He only joined the National List of referees in 2010 but has made plenty of progress since.

Madley sent off three players on his Premier League debut when West Brom beat Southampton 3-0 at St Mary’s in April 2013 before being promoted to the Select Group of referees for the 2013-14 campaign.

He is the younger brother of Select Group 2 referee Andy, who endured a busy weekend after being fourth official for Wolves against Birmingham at Molineux on Friday night and sending off Aston Villa’s Leandro Bacuna for pushing a linesman in their 1-0 win over Derby County on Saturday.

Bobby Madley speaks to Yaya Toure (v Everton CO Cup SF 1st leg - 6th Jan 2016)
In control: Madley has shown he can remain calm under pressure, overseeing a League Cup semi-final and a Merseyside derby last season without difficulty (Picture from Sky Sports)

Huddersfield Town fan Bobby has previously handled seven Brighton games stretching back to 2012, all in the Championship, while he has controlled six matches involving Newcastle – four in the Premier League and two in the League Cup.

A referee since 2001, Madley’s experience of the Football League will be required in what is likely to be a fiery and tense occasion under the floodlights on the south coast for the standout game of the midweek fixtures on Tuesday night, with the pressure high on both teams to deliver a positive result.

Newcastle had the edge when the sides met back in August at St James’s Park, with goals from captain Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey securing a 2-0 win over 10-man Brighton.

The vastly-experienced former Premier League official Keith Stroud was in charge and issued six yellows as well as dismissing Sam Baldock for a second bookable offence for a challenge on Newcastle keeper Matz Sels.

Brighton, managed by former Magpies boss Chris Hughton, went top of the Championship on Saturday after a 3-0 win over promotion rivals Reading in the evening kick-off, following Newcastle’s 2-2 draw at home to struggling Bristol City.

Rafael Benitez’s men came from two goals down to earn the point which keeps them one point behind leaders Brighton with 13 games remaining.

Meanwhile, after the game at the AMEX, Madley will be back in Premier League action at the weekend after being appointed to Saturday’s evening showdown between heavyweights Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield.

Michael Oliver to referee Capital One Cup Final

Michael Oliver will take charge of the 2016 Capital One Cup Final between Liverpool and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on February 28, the Football League has confirmed.

Michael Oliver (Man United v Liverpool - 12th Sept 2015)
Regular: Oliver has controlled 16 Premier League games so far this season – with two involving Liverpool (Picture from Sky Sports)

MICHAEL Oliver will referee the 2016 Capital One Cup Final between North West rivals Liverpool and Manchester City later this month, the Football League has confirmed.

The 30-year-old will take charge of an eighth game at Wembley in his career when the two Premier League giants compete for the first domestic trophy of the season on Sunday, February 28 (KO 16:00 GMT).

He will be assisted by linesmen Adrian Holmes (West Yorkshire) and Simon Bennett (Staffordshire) while the fourth official will be Bobby Madley (West Yorkshire) and Eddie Smart (West Midlands) is the reserve assistant referee.

Oliver, from Northumberland, was in the middle for City’s 3-0 defeat by Arsenal in the Community Shield and Liverpool’s 2-1 FA Cup semi-final loss to Aston Villa last season.

He has also handled two other FA Cup semi-finals and last season’s FA Trophy Final between Wrexham and North Ferriby United as well as the 2007 Conference Play-Off Final and 2009 League One Play-Off Final at the national stadium.

Oliver – a former Newcastle youth player – was also fourth official for both the Capital One Cup Final and Community Shield in 2013.

The high-profile appointments in his relatively short professional career include being an additional assistant referee for the 2014 Uefa Super Cup in Cardiff – a role he could fulfill as part of Mark Clattenburg or Martin Atkinson’s officiating team for Euro 2016.

It was widely predicted among refereeing circles that Andre Marriner and Mike Jones were the front-runners to take charge of the 55th League Cup Final but it is deserved recognition for Oliver for a number of consistent displays in 2015-16.

The Ashingdon-based whistler has officiated 21 games in all competitions so far this season – brandishing 69 yellow cards, sending off five players and awarding nine penalties.

Oliver didn’t officiate a game for six weeks across October and November after being selected for the U17 World Cup in Chile – where he oversaw three games including the final between Mali and Nigeria alongside Stuart Burt and Gary Beswick.

His most recent game was last Sunday’s 1-1 draw between Chelsea and Manchester United in which he issued three bookings but was accused by United boss Louis van Gaal afterwards of giving Chelsea too many free-kicks late in the game.

Last week, it was rumoured that Oliver has been selected by United skipper Wayne Rooney to referee his testimonial at Old Trafford in the summer.

Last five League Cup Final referees (as of 9th Feb 2016)

Earlier this season, Oliver made headlines when stepping in to replace an injured official at a women’s match being refereed by his wife Lucy, while he stepped down as head of Northumberland FA’s referee academy in November 2014.

Oliver – whose father Clive was a Football League referee until retiring in 2009 – became the youngest official in Premier League history when he was in the middle for Birmingham’s 2-1 victory over Blackburn in August 2010.

He had spent three years in the Football League and four years at non-league level before gaining promotion to the Select Group at the start of the 2010-11 season – and progressed to Fifa level in 2012 having impressed in handling over 120 top-flight matches.

The highly-rated Fifa Category One official first took up the whistle in 2003 and remains the joint youngest among the 17 full-time referees in the Premier League along with Madley.

He is still yet to take charge of a Championship Play-Off Final or the FA Cup Final – the most prestigious honour which only comes once in a referee’s career.

Michael Oliver
Second time around: Oliver’s only other game involving the two sides was City’s 3-1 Premier League win over Liverpool in August 2014 (Picture from Sky Sports)

Oliver is widely regarded as one of the best officials in the country who is regularly considered for high-profile games and is tipped to be England’s refereeing representative at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He has not encountered City since their 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace last April but oversaw Liverpool’s goalless draw at Arsenal in August and 3-1 defeat at Manchester United in September.

2014 League Cup winners City will be hoping to claim the first silverware of a potential quadruple before Manuel Pellegrini’s summer departure.

But Liverpool – who beat City 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals on their way to winning the competition for a record eighth time in 2012 – will take inspiration from their 4-1 win over City at the Etihad Stadium back in November as they bid for a maiden trophy under Jurgen Klopp.