Premier League - Attwell demoted from Premier League list
Thu, 16 Feb 11:59:00 2012
Stuart Attwell has been demoted from the Premier League's 'Select Group' of referees after a series of gaffes.
The Nuneaton official became the youngest referee in Premier League history when he took charge of a clash between Blackburn and Hull in 2008 aged just 25.
During that fixture, Attwell awarded a 'phantom goal' when he ruled Watford had scored, even though the ball had actually bobbled well wide of the post.
His most recent high-profile gaffe came last December when he dismissed Bolton's Gary Cahill (now with Chelsea) for denying Scott Parker a goalscoring opportunity despite the incident happening near the halfway line.
That red card was later rescinded and the company that supplies English football with referees then decided he would be better off continuing to learn his trade in the Football League.
"Throughout his career in the Select Group Stuart has demonstrated great courage and mental strength in responding to the challenges that he has faced," explained former referee Mike Riley, who is now general manager of Professional Game Match Officials Limited.
"He has shown many of the attributes of a top flight official but the Premier League is an exacting standard with huge demands. It is imperative that PGMOL deliver the best officiating possible to the English game at all levels.
"This is not the end for Stuart. There are several match officials who have returned to the National List and benefited from it.
"Stuart has a high level of maturity and responsibility and I'm convinced that he has a long-term future as a referee at the very highest level."
Attwell, now 29, accepted his demotion: "I have learned a great deal from my involvement in the Select Group over the last four years and I am now looking forward to building on that valuable experience.
"I strongly believe I have a lot to offer refereeing, and I now look forward with commitment and enthusiasm to the new challenge that I am undertaking.
"This is supported by a determination to continue my career development, and return to the Select Group as soon as possible."