List: every Premier League manager’s favourite team
Much hoo-ha over the appointment of Manchester-based referee Anthony Taylor for the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United. The idea is, presumably, that Taylor will favour Man United over their rivals? Or maybe he’s a diehard United loyalist who hates the club owning Glazers and wants their version of United to fail and will favour Liverpool? Or maybe his loved ones support Manchester City or Everton and to keep them happy Taylor will go studs-up on United’s David De Gea and red card Paul Pogba for having non-regulation hair?
Twitter user @TheLFCPoll investigates another options: “Manchester born referee Anthony Taylor will be in charge of the Manchester United game. His wife is a Manchester United fan. Seems neutral.”
Taylor doesn’t support Manchester United, preferring the allure of non-league Altrincham. The rules state that referees can only be barred from officiating matches featuring a club they support.
So what of the criticism of Taylor? Former referee Keith Hackett says Taylor’s treatment has been “grossly unfair”. Ex-ref Graham Poll says Taylor “should certainly not raise any eyebrows despite him living and working in the Manchester area”.
Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was fined in January 2014 for pointing the finger at Bolton-based referee Lee Mason and his officiating of the Reds’ 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad. “I was surprised that we are playing in Manchester and we had a referee from Greater Manchester,” Rodgers said. “Hopefully we won’t have a Greater Manchester referee with Liverpool-Manchester games in future. We had nothing that went our way at all. I never go on about officials but I thought they were horrendous.”
A referee’s address is not a factor in selecting them for matches.
Keith Hackett explains more:
“At the beginning of every season the referees’ background information is audited. They complete a form that includes who they support, the history of if they’ve played the game and with the addresses where they are residing. That gives you a picture that comes into use when you’re appointing.”
Anyhow, if you want to know which ref supports which team, here you are:
Mark Clattenburg (County Durham): Newcastle
Mike Dean (Wirral): Tranmere
Roger East (Wiltshire): Unknown
Kevin Friend (Bristol): Bristol City
Simon Hooper (Wiltshire): Swindon
Mike Jones (Chester): Chester
Robert Madley (Wakefield): Huddersfield
Andre Marriner (Birmingham): Aston Villa
Lee Mason (Bolton): Bolton
Jon Moss (Sunderland): Sunderland
Michael Oliver (Ashington): Newcastle
Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire): Sheffield United
Graham Scott (Oxford): Swindon
Keith Stroud (Dorset): Luton
Neil Swarbrick (Preston): Preston
Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe): Altrincham
Paul Tierney (Wigan): Wigan
Conclusion: If you want to be a top-flight referee, the advice is to support a team that is either never there or one prone to relegation.