Manchester United fans have every right to question why Michael Oliver has been appointed as referee for our league clash against Everton this afternoon.
The race for top four is on and United have 10 games remaining, but there’s competition from Newcastle, Tottenham and Brighton to achieve Champions League qualification.
Meanwhile, Liverpool and Chelsea fade away in the background.
Eddie Howe’s Newcastle side are currently third and level on points with United, as we sit in fourth due to goal difference. All this means is every game is an important one between now and the end of the season (funnily enough, we say the same thing at the start of the season).
With that in mind, it was confirmed this week that Newcastle fan Michael Oliver will officiate this weekend’s fixture at Old Trafford.
Oliver, who was reportedly in attendance for the Carabao Cup final in February, has previously revealed that he is a Newcastle fan.
He sent Herrera off for the accumulation of team fouls United committed against Chelsea, the first and last time I’ve ever seen something like that. And that was before he had an actual reason to want us to lose (other than seeing his team throw away that Christmas lead in 95-96) pic.twitter.com/3vmUTSciWw
— Scott Patterson (@R_o_M) April 7, 2023
Speaking to the Daily Mail in 2021, the 48-year-old said: “Every decision against Newcastle is a bad one.”
Oliver added: “That’s the way it works. Look, some of the things supporters say are from a different planet. You can take them with a pinch of salt because you know they are so focused on wanting their team to do well and it is never their team’s fault and there is always a reason why they got beat.”
On top of that, Oliver confirmed that he is not allowed to officiate any Newcastle games or any of the games involving teams around them in the league table during the final couple of months of the season.
“I never referee Newcastle games,” he said in the 2021 interview. “We have to declare if we have an allegiance to any club or if a family member works at a club. You can’t do any match involving that team and I can’t do Sunderland, either, for obvious reasons.
“Because Newcastle are invariably involved in a relegation battle, when you get to March or April, it means I can’t referee anyone around them towards the bottom three.
“If Newcastle needed a point to survive and the team they were fighting to get above was say Villa, I couldn’t referee Villa’s game either. I wouldn’t want to. It’s not worth the hassle.”
How is this allowed? Oliver doesn’t hide the fact he’s a Newcastle fan and subconsciously he won’t want us taking all three points in Saturday’s early kick-off.
This is a huge misstep on the FA’s part.
With this season being Newcastle’s first season in over two decades in which they are pressing for European football, Oliver won’t want to blow it for all his match-going friends…
Full list of officials
Referee: Michael Oliver.
Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett.
Fourth official: Graham Scott.
VAR: Paul Tierney.
Assistant VAR: Steven Meredith.
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That’s why we should hit the ground running and take matters into our own hands today.
We should not stop until the match is secure.
I hate selfish players like Antony, who against Brentford kept wasting good situations by senseless shooting time and time again!
With a bit more composure on the final third of the pitch, we should be winning comfortably today!
Definitely should try get at them early.
Harsh to hate Antony – thought he did a good job against Brentford. It’s his first season and he’s a young player.
Jeez… Acting pathetic. If you are to get top four, you will have to earn it, not expect help from the refs.
We want consistency rather than favours from the referees. Oliver said himself that he can’t officiate games involving teams around Newcastle at the end of the season. Well, they’re currently third and United are fourth with the same points.