The fixture list over the Christmas and New Year period is a demanding one, particularly for the small group of Select Group referees charged with delivering the Premier League programme.
Much is said about the demands that are placed on players at this time in the season and perhaps little focus is placed upon the match officials charged with delivering top class performances.
Players travel in luxury coaches with some teams taking to the air to minimise the impact of travel and to build in appropriate recovery sessions to prepare for that next game.
Referees do not have that luxury and criss-cross the country, driving to and from hotel venues close to the ground in their own cars. Travelling hundreds of miles and with little time to carry out the required recovery training programmes to prepare for that next game
In a period of nine days several of our referees will officiate four games.
Please note this table is scrollable and shows the nine days between Tues 26th Dec to Thursday 4th Jan.
|Appointments||Tues 26th Dec||Weds 27th Dec||Thurs 28th Dec||Fri 29th Dec||Sat 30th Dec||Sun 31st Dec||Mon 1st Jan||Tues 2nd Jan||Weds 3rd Jan||Thurs 4th Jan|
|Martin Atkinson||3||Man Utd||Watford||Burnley 4th|
|Stuart Attwell||3||Bournemouth||Crystal Palace 4th||Southampton|
|Mike Dean||4||Chelsea||West Brom||Man City 4th||Spurs|
|Roger East||4||West Brom||Watford 4th||Burnley||Spurs 4th|
|Kevin Friend||4||Liverpool||Chelsea||Brighton 4th||Southampton 4th|
|Mike Jones||3||Bournemouth 4th||Newcastle 4th||West Ham|
|Chris Kavanagh||3||Watford||West Brom 4th||Stoke|
|Bobby Madley||3||West Brom 4th||Man Utd 4th||Swansea|
|Andre Marriner||4||Watford 4th||Newcastle||Bournemouth 4th||Everton|
|Lee Mason||3||Man Utd 4th||Liverpool 4th||Man City|
|Jon Moss||3||Huddersfield 4th||Chelsea 4th||Crystal Palace|
|Michael Oliver||3||Crystal Palace||Huddersfield 4th||Brighton|
|Craig Pawson||4||Spurs 4th||Man Utd||Stoke 4th||Arsenal 4th|
|Lee Probert||3||Chelsea 4th||Bournemouth||Swansea 4th|
|Graham Scott||3||Spurs||Crystal Palace 4th||Leicester||West Ham 4th|
|Neil Swarbrick||3||Newcastle 4th||Liverpool|
|Anthony Taylor||4||Huddersfield||Newcastle||Leicester 4th||Arsenal|
|Paul Tierney||3||Liverpool 4th||Huddersfield||Everton 4th|
Andre Marriner resides in the Midlands so his Christmas will see him drive from his home to Watford to Newcastle, back to the to Midlands, down south to Bournemouth, then up to Merseyside before returning home. Not much time for Christmas pudding.
I hope that the games go well and that they stay safe on some of these long journeys.
Would like to see the PGMOL providing the referees with a chauffeur driven car to reduce fatigue, thus helping to reduce any injuries.
This period can be physically and mentally draining.