The referee for the South Wales derby on Saturday evening is Paul Tierney – a Premier League referee taking charge of his first Championship game of the season.
Tierney was promoted to the Premier League list back in 2014/15 and his first game after that promotion was in charge of the Swans when we hosted West Brom in August 2014. His 19 Premier League appearances this season have seen him issue 74 yellow cards and 3 red cards, stats which would certainly suggest the issuing of a few cards in Saturday’s clash. Overall it will be his 10th appearance with the whistle for the Swans.
Tierney was the subject of wide discussion earlier this season when he was appointed as referee for the clash between Liverpool and Man Utd back in January. Liverpool fans feared that his record of favouring Man Utd (and they pointed out that the referee was from Lancashire) and he enraged them more when he blew the whistle for half time with Sadio Mane through on goal.
This prompted former referee Keith Hackett to tell yardbarker after the game “We saw an incident many years ago when FIFA international referee Clive Thomas blew his whistle moments before Zico scored a winner for Brazil against Sweden.
“There was a huge uproar as a result of that, and unfortunately that one decision put an end to his international career.
“With Liverpool on the attack and with a clear run at goal Paul Tierney blew the whistle for half time. What he did is supported by law, but since that incident with Clive Thomas referees are coached to end the game when the ball is in a neutral position.
“I would’ve hoped that he would put a little more thought into that moment when he’s deciding to bring the half to a close.”
Tierney’s last game in charge of the Swans was our 3-1 win at QPR last season whilst he also took charge of Cardiff’s play-off semi final second leg against Fulham at the end of the last campaign.
Tierney will be assisted by Simon Long and James Mainwaring whilst Michael Salisbury is the fourth official.