Why Chelsea-Chesterfield referee Jarred Gillett was at centre of controversy in big Premier League game over weekend

The referee for Chesterfield’s much-anticipated trip to Chelsea has been confirmed.

By Liam Norcliffe
Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 6:00 am
Jarred Gillett is the referee for Chesterfield's trip to Chelsea.
Jarred Gillett is the referee for Chesterfield's trip to Chelsea.

Australian Jarred Gillett, 35, will be the man in the middle at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

His on-pitch assistants are Wade Smith and Sam Lewis and the fourth official is Peter Bankes.

John Brooks will be in charge of VAR (video assistant referee) alongside Natalie Aspinall (assistant video assistant referee).

Saturday will be the first time Chesterfield have been involved in a game with VAR.

Gillett was at the centre of some controversy in Arsenal’s dramatic 2-1 home defeat to Manchester City over the weekend.

Gillett, who was the VAR on the day, was criticised for not encouraging referee Stuart Atwell to go to the pitchside monitor to have a look at a strong penalty shout for Arsenal in the first-half following a challenge by City goalkeeper Ederson on Martin Odegaard.

The decision raised eyebrows because in the second-half Gillett did ask Atwell to go pitchside to review Granit Xhaka’s tackle on City’s Bernando Silva in which a penalty was eventually awarded.

Former Spireites loanee Aaron Ramsdale, now of Arsenal, said: "Both penalties. I don't know why the ref is told to see one and not the other. It is there for a reason, go and use it. It is the inconsistency.”

However, former referee Dermot Gallagher had some sympathy for Gillet, saying: "I think the dilemma was if you look at two different angles you get two different versions.”

Gillett made history earlier this season when he became the first overseas referee in the Premier League when he took charge of Watford vs Newcastle United last October.

He was a well-respected referee in Australia's A-League before moving over to England in 2019.

His big breakthrough came at the start of this season when he was promoted to Select Group 1 by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).

So far this campaign he has refereed four Premier League matches, five in the Championship and two in the EFL Cup, handing out 32 yellows and two reds and awarding four penalties.

His other three Premier League games were Brentford v Norwich, Spurs v Norwich and Arsenal v Southampton.