Isle of Wight's Harris in charge

Last updated : 26 February 2002 By Tony Scholes

Harris changed all the rules a couple of seasons ago when he allowed Tranmere to bring on a sub for a sent off player in an FA Cup 4th Round tie against Sunderland. He is a referee who has courted controversy on a number of occasions with a string of errors and it has now cost him dearly.

After his farcical handling of that cup tie he was disciplined by the FA and received a suspension. He went over two months without refereeing a game. On his return he was given a Division Three game before being allowed back into the Premiership.

The 44 year old official is now in his eighth season and has now paid the ultimate price for his performances and in particular that game at Tranmere. When he took charge of the Chelsea v Everton game towards the end of last season it was his last Premiership game. This season he has been allocated games outside of the Premiership leaving the Nationwide League to be lumbered with him.

To date this season he has taken charge of 26 games and has issued 82 yellow cards and 5 red cards. As with most referees he seems a lot more willing to wave his yellow card at away team players and of those 82 cards just 29 have been given to home team players with 53 to away team players.

He was quick off the mark with his red card this season and sent of Stockport's Aaron Wilbraham on the opening day of the season in their 4-1 defeat at Crystal Palace, yes the Unprofessionals lost. Tranmere's Seyni N'Diaye was the next to see his red card and again this was in a 4-1 away defeat, this at Reading. Steve Soley of Carlisle was sent off in a 3-0 defeat away to Plymouth and Bury's Jason Jarrett went in a 3-1 reverse at Swindon. The last of his red cards this season was earlier this month when he dismissed Northampton's Roy Hunter in their 2-2 home draw with QPR.

There are no past Burnley games to cover, in recent years Harris has been kept away from our games by his Premiership status. As long as Stan keeps an eye on the Birmingham substitutions tonight and as long as one goes off for each one going on then we should have no problems.