Being a referee in the Premier League is a thankless job, very few individuals are capable of doing. Refs in the UK are under huge amounts of pressure to make correct decisions during important matches, watched by thousands of fans in a stadium and millions worldwide. Even with the introduction of VAR, match officials still have a difficult job, once the technology is refined and improved over time it will be more useful. Despite all the abuse they receive on a weekly basis, officials are generously compensated!
How much do Premier League referees earn?
Depending on experience, referee’s in the EPL earn a basic annual salary of £70,000 to £100,000 plus match fees of £1,150 per game. Refs can make extra money for officiating games in the Champions League, World Cup and European Championship. FIFA recently announced their list of referees for the 2018 World Cup and there will be no British man officiating at the tournament since 1938.
Top Earning Refs in the EPL for 2017/2018
- Michael Oliver
- Martin Atkinson
- Jonathan Moss
- Anthony Taylor
- Mike Dean
- Andre Marriner
- Craig Pawson
- Neil Swarbrick
- Kevin Friend
- Robert Madley
- Graham Scott
- Lee Mason
In 2017, Mark Clattenburg quit as an EPL referee to take up a new job with the Saudi Arabia Football Federation. Clattenburg was growing increasingly tired about the level of scrutiny every decision he made was put under. In Saudi Arabia, he earns £300,000 to £500,000 in tax-free income compared to his previous salary of £97,000 to £200,000 in England. The Englishman also had lucrative offers from China and America but turned them down.
How Much Money Do Referees Make Abroad?
Unlike in England, officials are not paid a basic yearly salary, instead, they are just paid on a per-game basis. For this reason, they are paid hefty match fees to make up for the lack of job security. Refs in the La Liga receive an impressive £5,200 per game while in Portugal they earn £1,000.
Spain – £5,200
Germany – £3,150
Italy – £3,000
France – £2,400
Portugal – £1,000
How to Become a Professional Referee
- The first step in becoming a professional ref in the UK is completing a Basic Referee’s Course run by the FA.
2. Once you finish the course you’ll quickly realise what skills and characteristics you’ll need to reach the top level. The perfect candidates will be self-confident, strong communicators, work well under pressure and possess good people management skills.
3. Starting off as a trainee, you will be refereeing football games in the bottom-tier divisions such as the Sunday league. As you build up more experience and develop a good reputation, you will be promoted up the leagues with improved wages. It should take five to ten years to reach a high enough standard to earn a full-time living.