Referee: ROBERT MADDEN
Assistants: Simon Shaw and Steven Rushton
Fourth Official: Jack Clench
Ok, I confess, I always get Bobby Madden and Bobby Madley mixed up. I saw Madden and thought, ‘great, we’ve got a good one’, before realising it was not the same guy. That could have been embarrassing.
Madden is, to a degree, football royalty. It was only this summer he made his way onto the English list, but he’s been a firm fixture in Scotland for the past 20 years. He’s officiated in nine Old Firm matches, and almost a year ago to the weekend, he was in charge of The Derby of Thessaloniki, PAOK and Aris, over in Greece. He was a FIFA list referee; he’s taken charge of internationals and even officiated in the Champions League; he’s taken to the field of the San Siro and Allianz Arena as an official. You’d expect he won’t be overawed by the atmosphere in Shrewsbury this weekend.
How is he doing in terms of stats this season? Well, he might b experienced, but he does like the sound of his whistle – in his seven League One matches, he’s awarded 26.29 fouls per game – that’s the third-highest and the most for an official with more than three matches under his belt. He is only sixth for fouls awarded per tackle, which suggests that perhaps he has had a few tough matches to officiate, but he’ll be letting nothing go.
Here’s the interesting thing – despite awarding so many fouls, he’s 44 out of 55 for yellow cards per game, averaging just 3.14 across his seven appearances. That foul count might creep up, but he’s one for keeping his cards in his pocket. As he’s been in charge of such big games, it is a surprise that the numbers suggest he’s prone to losing control a little. He was keen to get his cards out during his first game in England – he sent two off in the Bradford Doncaster clash, including veteran striker Lee Tomlin for some theatrics just before half time. The only other red he’s given this season was to Ntahn Thompson of Peterborough, the same player sent off for them during our match with them in 2020/21.