How football fans have reacted to Anthony Taylor being appointed ref for the Manchester derby

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Has there ever been a popular referee in the history of football?

Ok, maybe the retired Pierluigi Collina is the exception to the rule.

But other than the legendary Italian, football fans have very little respect for referees.

No matter who you support, you always think that certain refs are biased against your favourite side despite them having no allegiances whatsoever.

When an official first joins the Premier League they “must declare who they support and their backgrounds are routinely checked, including addresses, by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) to prevent any bias.”

So when the Premier League announced that Manchester-born official Anthony Taylor will take charge of the Manchester derby on Sunday, it caused a massive stir.

Taylor was born in Wythenshawe, just six miles from Old Trafford and his family are believed to be season ticket holders at Manchester United.

However, Taylor has insisted he is an Altrincham FC fan, rather than a United fan.

That enables him to be able to Man Utd matches.

But it’s a story than some football fans simply don’t believe - especially Man City supporters - and they believe that Taylor has allegiances to Man Utd.

FANS ARE CONVINCED TAYLOR IS A MAN UTD FAN

Check out the reaction on social media:

You can’t blame City fans for questioning the appointment but is a top-level Premier League referee really going to risk his job and be biased?

It’s highly unlikely.

But the appointment does seem odd, especially considering what Keith Hackett said last year.

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"At the beginning of every season the referees' background information is audited," said Hackett, the former head of PGMOL.

"They complete a form that includes who they support, the history of if they've played the game and with the addresses where they are residing.

"That gives you a picture that comes into use when you're appointing. It's about ensuring, for example, you wouldn't appoint a Sheffield-based ref for a Sheffield team."

Let’s just hope we’ll all be talking about the pulsating Manchester derby come Sunday evening, rather than the officiating.

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