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Man Utd fans are fuming that 'Newcastle supporter' Michael Oliver is referee for Everton game

Man Utd fans are fuming that 'Newcastle supporter' Michael Oliver is referee for Everton game

Michael Oliver is a self-confessed Newcastle supporter.

Manchester United fans have publicly questioned the decision to appoint Michael Oliver as referee for their league clash against Everton on Saturday.

With ten games left of the season, Erik ten Hag is under pressure to finish in the Premier League top four as the likes of Spurs, Brighton and Newcastle battle to achieve Champions League qualification.

In fact, Eddie Howe's in-form Newcastle side are currently level on points with United, who sit in fourth on goal difference, meaning Saturday afternoon's clash against Everton is an important one for the Reds.

With that in mind, it was confirmed this week that self-confessed Newcastle fan Michael Oliver will officiate this weekend's crunch game at Old Trafford.

Oliver, who was reportedly in attendance for United's Carabao Cup final win against Newcastle, has previously opened up about being a Magpies fan.

Speaking to the Daily Mail in 2021, the 48-year-old joked: "Every decision against Newcastle is a bad one."

He added: "That’s the way it works. Look, some of the things supporters say are from a different planet. You can take them with a pinch of salt because you know they are so focused on wanting their team to do well and it is never their team’s fault and there is always a reason why they got beat."

Oliver also confirmed that he is not allowed to officiate any Newcastle games and interestingly, the Ashington-born official also revealed that he can't officiate the games of any teams around them in the league table during the final couple of months of the season.

"I never referee Newcastle games," he said in the 2021 interview. "We have to declare if we have an allegiance to any club or if a family member works at a club. You can’t do any match involving that team and I can’t do Sunderland, either, for obvious reasons.

"Because Newcastle are invariably involved in a relegation battle, when you get to March or April, it means I can’t referee anyone around them towards the bottom three.

"If Newcastle needed a point to survive and the team they were fighting to get above was say Villa, I couldn’t referee Villa’s game either. I wouldn’t want to. It’s not worth the hassle."

Some United fans have brought up the inevitable questions around Michael Oliver's appointment ahead of Saturday's kick-off.

One said: "How is this allowed @FA, @premierleague? Clearly he's a Newcastle fan and subconsciously he will be against Manchester United," while another wrote: "A Newcastle fan should not be refereeing United games rn, can't believe this actually needs saying."

A third commented: "To @FA_PGMOL Care to explain why you have chosen Michael Oliver as the official for the early kick off game between Manchester United & Everton? He is a public Newcastle fan so couldn't you have picked an official with an impartiality about them? A huge misstep on your part."

Others have defended the decision.

One fan commented: "Man Utd fans need to calm it, Michael Oliver is the best ref in the country by a mile he won't be swayed by club allegiances he's a professional, second its hardly a defining game of the season."

A second added: "Every referee supports a football team. Every match in the premier league has some link or impact on every other team in the league. If you are implying that a professional and ‘the best referee the English Premier League has’ is going to cheat then you should stop watching footy."

Thoughts on the decision? Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Twitter

Topics: Newcastle United, Manchester United, Premier League