Thursday, 27 November 2014


 THE young referee booked to take the match next Tuesday between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa has become embroiled in controversy.

Michael Oliver, still only 29, has taken understandable umbrage at a remark attributed to a high-ranking Northumberland County FA official which has  irked his partner, Lucy May, who is also a referee.

The official  is said to have told her that “a woman’s place is in the kitchen and not on the football field”.

Oliver, who is from Ashington, has reportedly resigned from his county FA’s referees’ academy in protest at its tepid response to Cummings’ comment

The 29-year-old is undoubtedly the rising star of the refereeing world.

He officiated at  the FA Cup semi-final between Wigan Athletic and Millwall in April 2013.

Wigan went on to win the FA Cup and played Man Utd in the subsequent FA Community Shield  match for which Oliver was fourth official.

At the start of this season, he was the referee for the Community Shield final in which Arsenal beat Manchester City 3-0.

Villa have seen relatively little of Oliver over the past three seasons - and nothing in 2014-15.

He was last  in charge during the 0-4 defeat at Manchester City (May 7, 2014),  the 2-2 draw at WBA (November 25, 2013) and the 4-1 win at Norwich in the Capital One Cup (December 11, 2012).
Palace fans may remember him for matches last season when their side lost 2-0 at home to Man Utd and 2-0 away to Spurs.

He was also in charge during the 0-0 draw with Brighton in the Championship play-off semi-final.

This season,  he was in the middle for Palace’s away win at Everton.

For latest developments on the current controversy, including pictures, see:

For the assesssment of Mark Halsey on Oliver's performance in  the Manchester derby earlier this season, see his report in the Bolton News: 

The full list of Premier Leaguematch appointments for next Tuesday is below:

Tuesday 2 December 2014
19:45Burnley v NewcastlePhil DowdD BryanD CannC Foy
19:45Leicester v LiverpoolLee MasonS BennettA HallidayM Clattenburg
19:45Man Utd v StokeJonathan MossL BettsS LongN Swarbrick
19:45Swansea v QPRKevin FriendS ChildH LennardG Scott
20:00Crystal Palace v Aston VillaMichael OliverS BurtE SmartA Taylor
20:00West Brom v West HamMike JonesJ CollinR WestR East

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