The FA Community Shield

Martin Atkinson returns as referee, with Sian Massey-Ellis as first female official

Thursday 11 Jul 2019
Martin Atkinson becomes only the second referee to take charge of the Community Shield twice

Martin Atkinson has been appointed as the referee for this year’s FA Community Shield supported by McDonald’s.

The 48-year-old official will take charge of the match between Emirates FA Cup winners Manchester City and Liverpool, who take part due to their second place finish behind champions City in last season’s Premier League.

Liverpool v Manchester City
  • The FA Community Shield supported by McDonald's
  • 3pm, Sunday 4 August 2019
  • Wembley Stadium connected by EE
  • Live on BT Sport

Atkinson will be joined at Wembley for the game by assistant referees Sian Massey-Ellis, who becomes the first female to officiate in the Shield, and Dan Cook. Stuart Attwell will be the fourth official and Neil Davies is the reserve assistant referee.

To complete the team, the VAR will be Anthony Taylor and assistant VAR is Steve Child.

“It’s just a great honour to be appointed for this game, it’s massive for me and a privilege to be asked,” said Yorkshireman Atkinson, who previously refereed the 2006 Shield between Liverpool and Chelsea in Cardiff, as well as Manchester City’s FA Cup Final win at Wembley in 2011.

Atkinson during the 2006 Community Shield between Chelsea and Liverpool at the Shield in 2006

“When you look at the two teams and how they played last season, they both had fantastic seasons in their own right and the way in which they went toe-to-toe all year and the style of football they played, it was fantastic.

“I was lucky to do the first league game between them last season at Anfield and they’re just two wonderful teams.

“They both play great football which people like to watch, to be involved in that is brilliant for us as match officials.

“Hopefully, everybody will talk about the football and how good the game was rather than the refereeing. We’re there to stay out of the way and let the teams shine which is what it’s all about.”

Speaking about the appointment, Referees’ Committee chairman David Elleray added: “We’re very pleased to appoint a strong set of on-field and video match officials for the 2019 FA Community Shield, which is always an important showcase to open the season.

New laws for 2019-20
  • Ball does not have to leave area from goal kicks
  • Players being subbed to leave pitch at nearest boundary
  • Attacking players not allowed within 1m of defensive wall
  • Non-contested drop ball procedure

“This year’s Community Shield is particularly important given the important law changes which will be in force for the first time.

“For example, the ball not having to leave the penalty area at a goal kick, a player being substituted leaving the field at the nearest boundary point and a non-contested dropped-ball procedure.

“In addition, attacking players are not allowed within one metre of a defensive wall.

“With this in mind, the Referees' Committee decided to appoint Martin Atkinson to his second Community Shield; he refereed the match between Liverpool and Chelsea in 2006.

“It’s rare for a referee to officiate this match twice, the last person to do so was George Courtney in 1979 and 1990.

Sian Massey-Ellis becomes the first female official to be involved at the Community Shield

“Martin’s appointment recognises his distinguished on-field career but also the important charity work he has undertaken with sponsored football-related bike rides which have raised over £85,000 for various charities.

“The other notable feature of the appointments is that of Sian Massey-Ellis, who will be the first female match official to officiate in this important match.

“Sian is the most successful female official in The FA’s history and the Referees’ Committee felt it was fitting that her achievements and undoubted abilities are recognised by this historic appointment.”

Fancy being at Wembley for the Community Shield? We still have packages available in Club Wembley.

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels