Robert Jones takes charge of just his fifth Championship match of the season when the Swans face Blackburn on Tuesday but one of his previous four has overseen a Swans win in Lancashire – he had the whistle in our opening day win at Preston. He has handed out 10 yellow cards in those four games.
He was promoted to the Select Group 1 panel at the start of this season though and has officiated in four Premier League games this season and his promotion came after three years as a Select Group 2 referee and taking charge of some Premier League games last season.
He also took charge of the South Wales derby at the Liberty last season as well as the last game at the Liberty that was played in front of a crowd (against West Brom back in March)
Jones was slated by former referee Keith Hackett at the end of last month when he first awarded a match winning penalty to Leeds and then ruled out a seemingly good equaliser from Burnley which prompted some pretty fierce criticism from Sean Dyche after the game as well.
Hackett wrote after the game in his Daily Telegraph column – “This was a worrying performance. Yes, Jones is new to the Professional Game Match Officials Limited – this was only his fourth game in the Premier League, and third this season – but he has had several years of experience at Football League level, and should not be making an error such as this.
“Jones needs some operational advice: his movement is pedestrian and at no time did he apply any dynamic sprinting to get into good viewing positions and angles.
“There were occasions when he lost contact with the game and in this particular instance, this shortfall in pace exposed him to the error of blowing too quickly.
“Referees have to be able to keep pace with the match. Everyone knows Leeds, in particular, play a fast brand of football where the ball travels quickly from one end of the pitch to another.
“Jones did not seem to be able to keep up, which is a failure not only of his officiating but of the appointment process.”
Dyche himself said “When you do speak to referees, and it is difficult, because they have just finished and it is an emotional game for them as well in any game because of the physical side of it,
“They were perfectly civil, as was I, but I am incredibly frustrated today.
“He said he felt it was a clear foul from Ben Mee on the goalkeeper,
He added: “If the referee is suggesting, as he did to me, that he felt the had a decent game today, then that needs to be fed back. That is for the powers that be.”
Jones will be assisted by Ian Hussin and Adrian Holmes whilst Geoff Eltringham is the 4th Official