Referee who showed Leeds United player red in off-the-ball controversy takes charge of the Whites’ Premier League clash against Wolves at Elland Road

Referee Robert Jones will officiate his 13th Premier League match at Elland Road on Saturday.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 12:11 pm

Having officiated 11 Leeds games in his career, Jones has refereed the Whites more than any other club.

The Liverpudlian referee was in charge for one Leeds game last season, a 1-0 victory over Burnley at Elland Road. Five minutes into the fixture, Nick Pope wiped out Patrick Bamford in the box and, when Jones pointed to the spot, the Whites’ number 9 converted for the only goal of the game.

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Of the ten games Jones has refereed for Leeds outside of the top flight, his first encounter with the Whites remains the most memorable.

In January 2018, 10-man Leeds lost 1-0 to Ipswich at Portman Road after Eunan O’Kane was shown a straight red for violent conduct.

The Irishman, who left Elland Road this summer as his contract ran out, had shown some neat skill to invade Ipswich’s box before the ball ran out of play. Then, in a heated exchange between Ipswich defender Jonas Knudsen and O’Kane, the midfielder pushed Knudsen to the ground in full view of Jones, who had no choice but to dismiss O’Kane.

Having had the upper hand until the incident, it was a frustrating afternoon for Leeds who, with ten men, couldn’t respond to a 30-yard stunner from Bersant Celina in the second half which won the game for the hosts.

Leeds United's Eunan O'Kane leaves the field after being shown red at Portman Road. Pic: Stephen Pond.

But the Whites boss Thomas Christiansen felt Jones' decision to show O'Kane red was unjust.

"In this situation it was a provocation,” Christian said in his post-match interview.

“[O'Kane] didn't make a movement to hit. When two players hit each other and one dives as he [ Knudsen] did, the one who stays on his feet is the one who receives the red card.

"Perhaps we have to train players to go to ground in this situation. I don't want that, but it's just frustrating when you see a game controlled and you don't take it.

Robert Jones. Pic: Lewis Storey.

"I think we should appeal because he didn't do anything."

Jones has overseen two Premier League games so far this season, both at Carrow Road, where he’s handed out five yellow cards and one penalty.

On Saturday at Elland Road, Jones will be assisted by Darren Cann and Mark Scholes, with Mike Dean acting as the fourth official. Peter Bankes will take charge of VAR, with Neil Davies assisting.

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Robert Jones sends off Southampton's Jannik Vestergaard. Pic: Neil Hall.