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.

EFL Cup: Stuart Attwell to referee Northampton v Manchester United

Newly-promoted Select Group referee Stuart Attwell will take charge of Manchester United’s EFL Cup third round tie at League One Northampton.

Back in the big time: Attwell has returned to the Premier League this season after earning promotion for the second time, along with Paul Tierney (Picture from Sky Sports)

STUART Attwell will be the referee for the EFL Cup third round tie between Northampton Town and Manchester United.

The 33-year-old, from Warwickshire, will take charge as the Premier League heavyweights travel to Sixfields to take on the League One newcomers for Wednesday’s televised clash (KO 19:45 BST, live on Sky Sports).

He will be ably assisted by Peter Kirkup (Northamptonshire) and Marc Perry (West Midlands), while the fourth official is Andre Marriner (West Midlands) – who refereed United’s 3-1 league win at Bournemouth on the opening weekend last month.

But it’s the first time Attwell will encounter the Reds since their infamous 4-0 defeat at MK Dons in the second round of the competition in 2013, when Louis van Gaal’s side endured a torrid night at the Stadium MK.

Jose Mourinho will be hoping to avoid a repeat against another third-tier team, with Rob Page making a positive start to his Cobblers reign since replacing Chris Wilder after they romped to the League Two title against all odds last term.

Meanwhile, before the game in Northamptonshire, Attwell will be on electronic board duties when United visit Watford in the Premier League at Vicarage Road on Sunday lunchtime (KO 12:00 BST, live on BT Sport).

He has officiated four matches across all competitions so far this term – one in the Premier League, two in the Championship and one in League One.

The Nuneaton-based whistler did not give any cards or award any penalties in Norwich’s 1-0 win over Bristol City, Hull’s 2-0 top-flight win at Swansea and Ipswich’s 1-0 win at Derby on Tuesday night.

But he had an eventful game in Oxford’s 2-0 derby win over Swindon in the third tier, in which in he sent off Swindon’s Lloyd Jones and goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux in the second half.

Attwell also awarded a penalty, which Chris Maguire converted just before half-time, but changed his decision on the advice of his assistant after Liam Sercombe was tripped by Nathan Thompson.

He was first promoted to the Select Group in 2008 after just one season in the Football League and made his top-flight debut in Blackburn’s 1-1 with Hull at Ewood Park in August of the same year.

In doing so, Attwell became the youngest ever Premier League referee at the age of 25, however, his record was subsequently broken by Michael Oliver in 2010.

After a series of controversial decisions, including the infamous ‘ghost goal’ between Reading and Watford, Attwell was demoted back to the National List in February 2012.

But having impressed in several trial top-flight games and delivering consistent displays on a regular basis in the Football League, he was confirmed on the Premier League list for this term following the retirement of Phil Dowd through injury.

Attwell has also refereed three games at Wembley in his career thus far – two of which came in May this year.

He was in the middle for Stockport County’s 3-2 win over Rochdale in the 2008 League Two Play-Off Final before performing well in the FA Vase Final between Hereford and Morpeth Town and Barnsley’s 3-1 win over Millwall in the League One Play-Off Final last season.

The Luton Town supporter, who has markedly improved in recent times to become more lenient, will be hoping to make a positive impression early on in an important season for his future prospects.


Bobby Madley referee (Hull v Sheffield Weds - 28th May 2016)
In the middle: Madley officiated his first game as a referee at Wembley in Hull City’s 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday in May’s Championship Play-Off Final (Picture from Sky Sports)

Bobby Madley will take charge of Tuesday night’s televised tie – the all-Premier League affair between Leicester and Chelsea, the champions of the last two seasons.

The 30-year-old, from West Yorkshire, will be assisted at the King Power Stadium by Scott Ledger (South Yorkshire), Harry Lennard (west Sussex) and fourth official Mike Dean (Wirral).

Madley came under fire last weekend in some quarters after awarding Arsenal a dubious late penalty, which Santi Cazorla converted to earn a 2-1 win over Southampton at the Emirates.

The Huddersfield Town fan has dished out 29 yellow cards and awarded four penalties in six games in all competitions this season but is yet to send a player off.

You can view a full list of EFL Cup third round match official appointments here.

Premier League: Mike Dean to referee Hull City v Leicester City opener

The experienced official will take charge of the first 2016-17 game at the KC Stadium, while Bobby Madley, Michael Oliver and Andre Marriner will also oversee TV games.

Mike Dean watches on (WBA v Manchester City - 10th August 2015)
A year ago: Dean was the man in charge of Manchester City’s 3-0 win over West Brom at the Hawthorns on Monday night on the opening weekend (Picture from Sky Sports)

MIKE Dean will take charge of the first Premier League game of the 2016-17 season when Hull City host Leicester City on Saturday.  

The 48-year-old will be in the middle at the KCOM Stadium as the newly-promoted Tigers host the champions in the eagerly-awaited lunchtime match (KO 12:30pm, live on Sky Sports).

He will be ably assisted by Simon Long (Devon) and Simon Bennett (Staffordshire), while the fourth official is Lee Mason (Lancashire).

It’s the second time Dean will oversee the season opener in recent years, after handling Swansea City’s 2-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2014.

Mike Dean books Juan Mata (v West Brom - 6th March 2016)
Veteran: Dean, who is the most experienced of the current Select Group of referees, will oversee his 400th Premier League game this weekend (Picture from Sky Sports)

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.

Mike Dean stats
Statistics: Mike Dean’s 2015-16 season in numbers (Picture from

Three of his 33 Premier League matches involved Leicester and all were at the King Power Stadium – their dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa in September, 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace in October and 3-0 success over Stoke in January.

He last encountered Hull in the goalless draw at Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round in February.

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.

He was subsequently branded a ‘petulant schoolteacher’ who ‘sucks the life out of games’ by BBC pundit Garth Crooks while Gunners boss Arsene Wenger accused him of being ‘weak’ and ‘naïve’.

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.

Mike Dean talks to Seb Larsson (SUN v NEW - 5th April 2015)
Impressive: Dean’s flamboyant style but firm approach has earned plenty of respect and praise during his stellar career (Picture from Sky Sports)

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.

They will be under the stewardship of former Manchester United assistant Mike Phelan on Saturday.

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 referee (Hull v Sheffield Weds - 28th May 2016)
Rapid rise: It’s the start of Madley’s fourth season in the Premier League, just six years after he joined the National Group of Football League referees (Picture from Sky Sports)

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.

Bobby Madley speaks to Yaya Toure (v Everton CO Cup SF 1st leg - 6th Jan 2016)
Expectations: Madley is set for another important campaign after making excellent progress last season with a number of high-profile appointments (Picture from Sky Sports)

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.

Madley officiated 37 games in all competitions in 2015-16 – 26 of which were in the Premier League. He brandished 108 yellow cards, sent off eight red cards and awarded 14 penalties – more spotkicks than any other Select Group official.

He encountered City more than any other team last season with six games in total – 4-0 wins over Stoke and Bournemouth in April, 2-1 home victories over Swansea and Norwich, 2-1 defeat by West Ham in September, and January’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg loss at Everton.

Madley also took charge of the Black Cats on four occasions last season – most recently in February’s 2-2 draw at Liverpool as well as December’s 3-1 defeat at Arsenal and 2-2 draw against Aston Villa at Villa Park 12 months ago.

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.

Madley – one of eight Fifa referees from England – is the younger brother of Football League referee Andy, who was promoted to the new Select Group 2 over the summer.


Kevin Friend (Bournemouth v Arsenal - 7th Feb 2016)
Last time: Friend hasn’t encountered Middlesbrough since a 4-3 defeat at Fulham in April 2015 but oversaw Stoke’s 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace in May (Picture from Sky Sports)

Kevin Friend has been assigned to Middlesbrough’s first game back in the Premier League against Stoke City on Saturday (KO 15:00 BST).

The 45-year-old, from Leicestershire, will be in the middle at the Riverside Stadium when Aitor Karanka’s side host the Potters.

The experienced Darren Cann (Norfolk) and Jake Collin (Liverpool) will be the assistant referees, while Football League referee Nigel Miller (County Durham) is the fourth official.

Friend, who refereed the 2012 Community Shield and 2013 Capital One Cup Final, has handled almost 150 Premier League games since his first in September 2009.

He officiated 31 games in all competitions last season – brandishing 99 yellow cards, six red cards, and awarding seven penalties.

Andre Marriner (Everton v Sunderland - 1st November 2015)
Top-flight: Marriner, who was an additional assistant referee at Euro 2016, officiated 24 Premier League games last season (Picture from Sky Sports)

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.

Michael Oliver referee (Man United v Leicester - 1st May 2016)
Busy: Oliver oversaw 37 games in all competitions last term, including Liverpool’s defeat on penalties to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup Final (Picture from Sky Sports)


Mark Clattenburg referee (Euro 2016 final France v Portugal - 10th July)
Unprecedented treble: Clattenburg refereed the FA Cup Final, Champions League Final and Euro 2016 Final in quick succession (Picture from BBC Sport)

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

Craig Pawson confirmed as Community Shield 2016 referee

The Fifa whistler from Sheffield will be the man in the middle for Manchester United v Leicester City at Wembley on August 7.

Craig Pawson speaks with Tom Heaton (v Brighton - 2nd April 2016)
International: Pawson became England’s seventh Fifa representative in January 2015 and has since refereed numerous Europa League games (Picture from Sky Sports)

CRAIG Pawson will referee the 2016 Community Shield between Manchester United and Leicester City at Wembley next month, the Football Association has confirmed.

The South Yorkshire whistler will take charge of the traditional curtain-raiser to the domestic season when FA Cup winners United take on the Premier League champions on Sunday, August 7 (KO 16:00 BST).

He will be ably assisted by Stephen Child (Kent) and Lee Betts (Norfolk), while Bobby Madley (West Yorkshire) has been assigned fourth official duties.

Pawson, who turns 37 on July 18, has only just returned from France after being part of Martin Atkinson’s team of officials who officiated three games at Euro 2016.

It will be a familiar match-up for the Sheffield-based official, who oversaw a 1-1 draw between the sides in the Premier League at the King Power Stadium last November.

That match aside, Pawson also officiated Leicester’s home games against Arsenal, Manchester City and Newcastle last term before their 1-1 draw at Chelsea on the final day of the campaign.

He took charge of United’s goalless draw with Newcastle in August and 3-2 win over Arsenal in February, both at Old Trafford, prior to their 1-0 success at Norwich on May 7.

Norwich City v Manchester United - Premier League
Established: Pawson has handled 60 Premier League games to date since his 2013 promotion and impressed last term with more responsibility (Picture from Getty Images)

Pawson, who first took up the whistle in 1993, has plenty of previous experience of Wembley having refereed three games and been fourth official for three others.

He was in the middle for Crewe’s 2-0 win over Cheltenham in the 2012 League Two Play-Off Final, Cambridge’s 4-0 victory over Gosport in the 2014 FA Trophy Final and, most recently, Crystal Palace’s 2-1 FA Cup semi-final success against Watford in April.

The Sheffield Wednesday supporter was also on electronic board duties for the 2014 FA Cup semi-final between Wigan and Arsenal, as well as both the Capital One Cup and FA Cup finals in 2015.

And Pawson is looking forward to returning to the national stadium for the eagerly-awaited opener to the 2016-17 campaign.

He told the FA’s website: “It’s a great start to the new season for me, obviously I’m really excited to be back at Wembley.

“Leicester had such a great season and went on to be champions, so it makes for a very exciting game against a Manchester United side with their new manager and new signings.

“It’s the curtain-raiser to the new season and it’s a game that everybody watches.”

Martin Atkinson referee
Team member: Pawson was an additional assistant referee to Martin Atkinson for two group games and a last-16 tie during the European Championship (Picture from BBC Sport)

David Elleray, chairman of the FA’s Referees Committee, added that Pawson and his team was “carefully chosen” and have “the skills and experience” to handle “what should be a fascinating and entertaining football match”.

In April, Pawson demonstrated the Premier League’s new official timekeeper for next season with Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri, provided by Swiss company TAG Heuer.

It’s also a quick return to the national stadium for fourth official Madley, who assumed the same role for last season’s Capital One Cup Final and refereed Hull City’s 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship Play-Off Final in May.

The 94th edition of the Community Shield, which raises funds for community-based initiatives across England, will be broadcast live on BT Sport.

The game will represent Jose Mourinho’s first competitive outing since replacing Louis van Gaal as United boss and, just like at Soccer Aid in June, he will be up against Ranieri, who masterminded the most unlikely of title successes for the Foxes last term.

Community Shield 2016 match officials
Community Shield match officials (clockwise from top): Referee Craig Pawson, fourth official Bobby Madley, and assistant referees Lee Betts and Stephen Child


2015:  Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea
Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

2014:  Arsenal 3-0 Manchester City
Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

2013:  Manchester United 2-0 Wigan Athletic
Mark Clattenburg (County Durham)

2012:  Chelsea 2-3 Manchester City (Villa Park)
Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

2011:  Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United
Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Bobby Madley to referee 2016 Championship Play-Off Final

Bobby Madley will be the referee when Yorkshire rivals Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday meet in the 2016 Championship Play-Off Final on Saturday, May 28, at Wembley.

  •  First match at Wembley as referee for Madley
  •  West Yorkshire official a surprise choice for crucial game
  •  Becomes youngest ref to oversee Championship PO Final
  •  Hull and Sheffield Wednesday aiming for Premier League 
Bobby Madley in action (Man City v Stoke - 23rd April 2016)
Up and coming: Madley is only in his third season on the full-time Premier League list but is now a Fifa referee (Picture from Sky Sports)

BOBBY Madley will take charge of the 2016 SkyBet Championship Play-Off Final between Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, May 28.

The 30-year-old, from west Yorkshire, has been confirmed by the Football League to oversee the Wembley showpiece as the Tigers and the Owls battle to join Burnley and Middlesbrough in the Premier League.

He will be ably assisted by Simon Bennett (Staffordshire) and Peter Kirkup (Northamptonshire).

The fourth official was Roger East (Wiltshire) – who fulfilled the same role in last season’s Play-Off Final between Norwich and Middlesbrough and replaced Phil Gibbs who was a late withdrawal.

The reserve assistant is Marc Perry, from the West Midlands.

Madley could be considered a surprise choice for a crucial game between two Yorkshire rivals as a result of his Yorkshire connections – particularly after Kevin Friend was removed from a Tottenham game recently because of his allegiance to their Premier League title rivals Leicester.

Given the high stakes and intense pressure, the Championship Play-Off Final is normally awarded to more experienced officials with so much at stake – with Mike Jones the favourite among refereeing circles.

But the trend appears to have been defied this year with the appointment of Madley, who has not even refereed 50 Premier League games yet.

The Ossett-based whistler has already visited the national stadium this season as fourth official for the Capital One Cup Final between Liverpool and Manchester City in March.

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 had only handled 17 top-flight games in his first two seasons but has overseen 26 this term and was entrusted with several high-profile matches this term, including a first Wear-Tyne and Merseyside derbies.

Madley, the younger brother of Football League referee Andy, 32, was also elevated to Fifa status in January 2016.

Last Five Championship Play-Off Finals (as of 24th May 2016).jpeg

He has overseen three Championship games this term – one being Sheffield Wednesday’s 1-1 home draw with Ipswich on April 16 in which he dished out four bookings.

Madley has not encountered Hull since their 2-0 FA Cup third round defeat to Arsenal in January 2015.

Overall, he brandished 104 yellow cards, sent off eight players and awarded 14 penalties – more than any other Premier League referee – in 36 games in all competitions this season.

Madley has previously officiated 34 Championship games in his career – dishing out three bookings per game on average.

The match – the first of the three Football League Play-Off Finals over the Bank Holiday weekend – is at 17:00 BST and screened live on Sky Sports 1.

Promotion to the top-flight for either side is believed to be worth up to £200 million when next year’s improved TV deal kicks in.

Steve Bruce’s Hull can secure an immediate return to the top-flight with victory in their first Play-Off Final since 2008.

The Tigers, who finished fourth in the regular season, beat Derby County 3-0 in the first leg of their semi-final before losing 2-0 at home in the second leg.

Both league meetings between the sides this season ended in draws but Wednesday can guarantee a first Premier League return since 2000 with a win in their first trip to Wembley in 23 years.

The Owls beat Brighton 3-1 over two legs in the semi-finals after finishing sixth in the Championship in head coach Carlos Carvalhal’s debut season at Hillsborough.

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.