Date: 2nd February 2007 at 9:14am
Written by:

The referee for the match at the JJB Stadium will be Mr. Graham Poll from Hertfordshire.

One of the most experienced referee`s, Graham Poll arrives at the JJB stadium on the back of 19 Premiership matches this season and 3rd in the Premiership Referee`s Table. He currently averages 4.21 cards per match, as a result of issuing 77 yellow cards and 3 red cards thus far. Nobody else has issued as many yellow cards this season as Graham Poll who tends to throw his yellow card around like a man with no arms, only Mark Clattenburg comes close with 70.

He has officiated as referee for both clubs this season prior to this match; he was in charge of the Fulham v Wigan match which resulted in a 1-0 win for the away side, Wigan`s De Zeeuw, Scharner found their way into his book that day. He was in charge of Portsmouth`s 2-0 home win over West Ham, during which he took the names of Pompey`s O’Neil, Campbell, Pedro Mendes, Johnson – a total of 8 names were taken that day. He was also the referee for their 3-1 home win over Sheffield United and this time not a single Portsmouth player was booked.

The most he has booked this season in any one match was nine, which was the West Ham v Fulham match – Tottenham`s 2-1 win over Chelsea saw 8 more bookings, so it will be little surprise to see the yellow card flapping around again during this encounter at the JJB. Interest may also be on the 4th official who is from Lancashire – he has courted much controversy as a referee in the Championship recently and any suggestion that he has a deep connection with Wigan Athletic will be hotly denied of course.

Mr. Poll began his assault on the Premiership by first starting in local league football before joining the Isthmian League in 1980. By 1986, he had become a Football League linesman, moving onto the National List of Referees in 1991. Just two years later, he had been selected as an FA Premier League Referee, which was shortly followed up in 1996 by selection as a FIFA Referee.

Domestically he was the referee for the 1998 FA Charity Shield between Manchester United and Arsenal, the 2000 FA Cup Final between Aston Villa and Chelsea, the 2002 League Cup Final between Blackburn Rovers and Tottenham Hotspur and the 2004 First Division Play Off Final.

On the international front, he was referee during the Euro 2000 tournament, the 2002 World Cup Finals in Japan/Korea and most recently the 2006 World Cup Finals which were held of course in Germany.

His interests outside of football include playing golf, keeping fit and spending time with his family.


The Match Official Team:

Referee:
Graham Poll (Hertfordshire)

Referee`s Assistants:
Red/Yellow Flag: Gary Brittain (Yorkshire)
Yellow Flag: John Flynn (Wiltshire)
4th Official: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)


Match Delegate: D. Dent
PGMO: L. R. Dilkes