THE recent Premier League match between Burnley and Newcastle was an undistinguished game between two teams in the lower half of the table.

Both managers, however, chose afterwards to launch criticism on the referee.

Tim Robinson qualified as a referee 19 years ago and worked his way through the levels of the refereeing pyramid.

Four years ago the became a full-time professional SG2 referee, refereeing in the Championship.

Since then he has refereed 127 Championship games plus 12 in the FA cup and 12 in the League cup.

He has also appeared at Wembley three times.

BUT and it is a big but, this was his first Premier League game.

All referees will tell you every jump up the ladder is a big one and they don’t come any bigger than this.

Instead of showing a little empathy, both managers sought to attack him.

Newcastle boss, Steve Bruce, asked: ‘Is this really the right occasion for him to make his debut?’ showing he realised it was Robinson’s first Premier League game.

Meanwhile, Burnley manager, Sean Dyce was no better.

He questioned: "If they are going to blood these people into the highest division, which needs to happen, why is it only at our games? Why not the big games?"

Was he really suggesting a referee’s first Premier League game should be say, Liverpool against Manchester City?

This intolerance happens at all levels.

I admonished spectators at a game where I was mentoring a 14-year-old referee, at his first game between Under 12s.

Of course he made mistakes.

Who did the parents expect, Howard Webb?

On another occasion, I had refereed a Reading League game when a new referee on the park came into the dressing room in tears.

‘They won’t pay me’, he explained, ‘they said I was rubbish’.

I charged into the home team’s changing room and ensured the referee got his fee.

That referee went on to be successful in senior football and for three years running, was the highest marked referee in the Reading Sunday League. Everyone should give new referees a chance.