Angry Newcastle fans moan after Merseyside-based referee Rob Jones is assigned their clash with Brighton… while they battle Liverpool for a Champions League place
- Rob Jones has been placed in charge of Newcastle’s match with Brighton
- Newcastle are currently in a battle to make the top four ahead of Liverpool
- Jones lives on Merseyside, and Newcastle fans are worried about his impartiality
Furious Newcastle fans have called for referee Rob Jones to be taken off their crucial Premier League clash with Brighton on Thursday due to concerns about his impartiality.
Newcastle head into the match at St James’ Park knowing that a victory will take them a step closer to a top-four finish, but they are being hunted down by Liverpool, who have won their last seven matches to move to within a point of the Magpies.
Jones has been assigned the game, but is based in the Merseyside area, and some Newcastle supporters are worried about the appointment given where he resides.
‘A referee from Liverpool should not be refereeing this game. Plain and simple. All eyes will quite rightly be on his performance,’ Newcastle-based journalist Liam Kennedy wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening.
‘@newcastle_world has asked the @premierleague for clarity on the appointment.’
Merseyside-based referee Rob Jones (above) has been put in charge of Newcastle’s game with Brighton on Thursday night
Newcastle fans want him taken off the game as he is from the Merseyside area and they are involved in a top-four battle with Liverpool
Liverpool fans pointed out Newcastle-supporting Michael Oliver (centre) referees their games
A Newcastle supporter was in agreement with Kennedy’s scepticism, and urged the Premier League to have a re-think.
‘Nah, this isn’t on,’ the Twitter account named “Mouth of the Tyne” insisted.
‘I’m sure the Club has it all in hand but there’s no way a game of this magnitude should be going ahead with a Scouse ref in charge. He may not even support Liverpool but there’s always a chance that his friends/family members do.’
The same account followed up with a further tweet, adding: ‘Robert Jones. The Premier League ref who lives in the Wirral area of North West England.
‘Liverpool are our direct rivals for a CL spot with 3 games remaining. He simply CANNOT be allowed to ref our game on Thursday.’
The outrage received short shrift from some Liverpool supporters, though.
The Anfield Talk replied to the criticism of the appointment with the message: ‘Michael Oliver regularly referees Liverpool and is literally a Newcastle fan,’ alongside a picture of the official wearing a Newcastle shirt.
It is well-documented that Oliver is a Newcastle supporter, and he was spotted partying with the club’s fans when they took over London ahead of the team’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester United in February.
Due to his allegiance to Newcastle, Oliver cannot referee the Magpies, but that has not stopped him being put on other high-profile matches, including ones involving Liverpool.
There is no suggestion at this stage that the Premier League will replace Jones before Thursday’s match, as Newcastle aim to win their game in hand on Liverpool to close in on Champions League qualification.
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