Referee Stuart Attwell dropped from senior panel  

The Warwickshire whistler's first Premier League was in 2008: Blackburn vs Hull City 

By Alex Byrom

Referees Editor 

Stuart Attwell has been demoted from the Premier League Select Group of match officials. The Warwickshire whistler has been heavily criticised for high profile blunders this season.

This was supposed to be his season: The season he pushed on to even higher levels, especially after being appointed onto the UEFA panel last summer. His season started okay; he was even appointed to a couple of UEFA match plus a Euro 2012 qualifier.  

But things went wrong when he inexplicably dismissed Bolton defender Gary Cahill in Bolton's 4-0 defeat to Spurs at White Hart Lane in December. He also sent off Nenad Milijas of Wolves in their 1-1 draw at Arsenal on December 27th - his last Premier League game involving a big club. Somehow Wolves held on and the red card was upheld.

He was of course famous for the 'Ghost goal' at Reading when they played Watford. He thought the ball had gone over the line - indeed it had - but for a goal kick, not a goal.

The youngest person ever to referee in the Premier league - a record he held for a season until beaten by Michael Oliver - he was promoted to the select group in 2008. His last Premier League match was on New Year's day: When Everton won 1-0 at the Hawthorns against West Brom. His last match in all competitions was the Npower Championship match between Crystal Palace and Brighton, on January 31st, in which he dished out five bookings.

He had 10 Premier League games this season, in which he handed out 33 yellow cards and three reds. He also awarded two penalties. His overall stats for this season thus far: 70 yellow cards; five red cards; six penalties.

He will continue refereeing in the Football League, but it is unclear whether he will be stripped of his UEFA License and it leaves seventeen referees in the select group - soon to be sixteen due to Peter Walton's imminent retirement. 

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