Referee taken off Blackpool game because of his name

The Lancashire club’s majority owners, Owen Oyston and his son Karl, were on Monday found by a High Court judge to have been guilty of ‘fundamental breaches’ of their duties as directors.

Referee bosses have made the bizarre decision to take experienced official Ben Toner off Blackpool’s League One clash with Portsmouth after his name caused amusement on social media.

Toner, 32, had been named to take charge of the game, leading to a number of Blackpool fans pointing out the irony that his name sounded like ‘Bent Owner’.

The Lancashire club’s majority owners, Owen Oyston and his son Karl, were on Monday found by a High Court judge to have been guilty of ‘fundamental breaches’ of their duties as directors.

Referee bosses have taken official Ben Toner off Blackpool’s League One game v Portsmouth

Referee bosses have taken official Ben Toner off Blackpool’s League One game v Portsmouth

They were ordered to pay £31million to former club president Valeri Belokon, and on Friday issued a statement confirming the club had been put up for sale.

As for Toner, who is in his third season as an EFL ref, discussions were held between League officials and PGMOL, the body which runs professional refereeing, and it was decided to replace him by elite Premier League referee Jonathan Moss.

An EFL spokesman claimed the decision was taken because the likely ‘increased scrutiny’ on the match following the court case meant ‘it would be appropriate for a select group 1 referee to take charge of proceedings’.

Blackpool owners Owen Oyston and his son Karl have ordered to pay millions to former partner

Blackpool owners Owen Oyston and his son Karl have ordered to pay millions to former partner

A number of Blackpool fans have pointed out that referee's name sounds like ‘Bent Owner’

A number of Blackpool fans have pointed out that referee's name sounds like ‘Bent Owner’

However Sportsmail’s refereeing expert Graham Poll said: ‘If I was Ben Toner I would be very disappointed and I would wonder what I had done wrong.

‘Of course you have to look at the bigger picture and accept it is not always about you, but if I was in his shoes I would feel that Jon Moss referees select group games — not always successfully — and wonder what makes them think he would do things any better than I would.

‘Of course Ben won’t be able to say anything like that because if he does, he won’t get a game next week.’

Toner has been switched to take charge of the League Two clash between Carlisle and Yeovil after the referee originally scheduled for that match picked up an injury.