The Wigan Athletic Vs Manchester City game will be officiated by Burtonwood referee Alan Wiley.
Wiley has been in the news recently firstly he was the fourth official in the Manchester derby and was seen sharing a joke with Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson has the Reds beat this weekends opponents Man City with a late, late, late goal that was well over the supposedly added time much to the annoyance of City manager Mark Hughes.
Then whilst refereeing Manchester United at Old Trafford in their game against Sunderland, United boss Alex Ferguson tore into Wiley claiming that the referee was unfit and struggled to keep up with play, Fergie ranted: ‘He was not fit enough for a game of that standard. The pace of the game demanded a referee who was fit. It is an indictment of our game. You see referees abroad who are as fit as butcher’s dogs’
Fergie has since retracted his statement and issued an apology with one referee commenting: “We`re getting sick of it, Ferguson is the past master. It deflects any criticism from his team and players and he succeeds every time. Why doesn`t he just talk to the match delegate?”
Anyway lets hope that Mr Wiley is not involved in any controversy in the game at the DW Stadium.
The 49 year old official has been refereeing in the Football League since 1994 and a member of the Select Group of Premier League referees since 1999 and he ref’ed the Latics Vs Man United Carling Cup final in 2006.
Below is an excerpt from a recent interview that Wiley conducted with refworld.com:
How did you get introduced into refereeing?
I used to go with my father to watch professional football when I was younger, and like other fans I used to moan and groan about the match officials. That was when my father said to me ‘If you think you can do any better, have a go at refereeing.’ I took a referees course and that was how I started.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
It has to be the 2005/06 season when I was appointed as referee to both the Carling Cup Final and the FA Cup Final.
What is the best game you have officiated and why?
The 2006 FA Cup Final between Liverpool and West Ham United was the best game I have officiated. It is not very often you get an exciting and high scoring Cup Final, but this game ended 3-3 and a great advertisement for the English game. The bonus for me was that it was the Cup Final that I was appointed to.
In your opinion who is/was the best referee?
I can think of several referees who have been outstanding in the past and present. In the 1970’s Jack Taylor was outstanding with is strong match control.
George Courtney was consistently good with his decision making and dealing with players. More recently, Philip Don was the model for consistency and for fitness, and over the past few years Graham Poll was always seen to manage top games both in England and abroad.
Obviously, Pierre Luigi Collina was outstanding in the way he prepared for games, down to the most intricate detail.
All those mentioned have been appointed to major European or World Finals, and England have a potential future World Cup Final referee in Howard Webb. Howard has taken the European stage by storm and has a fantastic future in front of him.
The full Alan Wiley interview on refworld.com can be accessed here
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