Premier League Referees

Introducing Technology into Premier League refereeing

Remember this, the Frank Lampard “equaliser” against Germany in the World Cup on 27th June 2010. After which Sepp Blater promised action as soon as possible.

For up to date news and views on refereeing issues go to referee watch.

Football is the most popular sport on the planet but the most backward when it comes to officiating.

I would like to see a fair result is gained in a match by the rules being accurately and correctly applied.

This to be addressed by simply giving the 4th official TV replay capability to help out the 3 officials when requested over their on field mikes.

Sky TV have 24 camera’s at a Premier League game and the match officials are not allowed to view any of them until after the game.

Hard Line Refs

What grass roots football really needs is for referees to have total authority and stop being abused by the players and in particular people who should know better, the managers.

In the 2009/2010 season Alex Ferguson made a completely unwarranted and very public attack on referee Alan Wiley about his fitness and the FA did nothing more than warn him.

Howard Webb’s show of strength in the 2010 World Cup final – he booked 13 players and sent off Holland defender Johnny Heitinga in that bad-tempered final – could inspire other referees to stand tall against the abusive treatment they receive each week.

This will then encourage referees at grass roots level and particularly junior football to stamp out bad tackles and abuse with instant red cards.

Having officiated in junior football for the last 10 years there is nothing I would like more than to see strong refereeing with instant red cards. That certainly does not happen down there at the moment.

Paying Premier League Referees more salary

A Premier League referee earns £85k per season for refereeing someone like Wayne Rooney being paid £240,000 per week. The referee and his 2 assistants are crucial to the success of football and the fair outcome of the match. They should be paid an appropriate salary, much more than currently.

Even worse is the payments giving to the Assistant Referees who give the crucial match changing off side decisions (and without technology to help, often get crucial decisions wrong).

An assistant referee gets paid £600 for each match he is selected for, which could amount to £12,000 a season. They are only paid by the match, so if they get injured they get no money at all. On top of this they are only supplied with one set of kit and if they require a change of shirt they have to buy their own. Pretty much amateur status then for the Assistant Referees then !!

Premier League Referees

There are 19 professional referees who generally referee the Premier League matches. Despite all their training their approach to discipline can be quite inconsistent as can be seen from the table below. Personally I would like to see more straight red cards until footballers (and their managers) stop blaming the officials for every thing that goes wrong on the field and accept their decisions as competitors in most other sports frequently do.

Cards Table:

Referee M R Y Average
Mike Dean 31 8 123 4.23
Mike Riley 23 4 90 4.09
Steve Tanner 11 3 41 4.00
Lee Mason 16 5 58 3.94
Andre Marriner 20 4 68 3.60
Stuart Attwell 5 2 16 3.60
Steve Bennett 22 0 79 3.59
Martin Atkinson 26 6 87 3.58
Howard Webb 35 6 118 3.54
Michael Jones 12 3 39 3.50
Chris Foy 25 3 82 3.40
Phil Dowd 29 6 92 3.38
Rob Styles 26 6 80 3.31
Alan Wiley 28 2 80 2.93
Keith Stroud 5 0 14 2.80
Peter Walton 27 3 67 2.59
Lee Probert 11 0 27 2.45
Mark Halsey 27 2 37 1.44
Mark Clattenburg 1 0 0 0.00

KEY: M = Number of Premiership matches officated, R = Red cards issued, Y = Yellows, Average = cards per match
Note: In the case of a dismissal for a second bookable offence, the second yellow card is not included in the above figures.
Table from:

Premier League Assistant Referees

It’s the three man refereeing team of Howard Webb (center), and linemen Darren Cann (right) and Mike Mullarkey (left), who refereed the 2010 World Cup final when Spain met the Netherlands.

Who are these anonymous guys with the flags who make the crucial often match changing off side decisions yet only get paid on a match by match basis at £600 per match, but nothing when they are injured.

Daren Cann and Mike Mullarkey got lots of publicity for being assistant referees in the World Cup final and are claimed to be among the best in the world yet I had never heard of them prior to that.

The other thing I would add is that being an Assistant Referee is a specialist job requiring great expertise and experience to be in the right position to make the right calls on off side decisions i.e. not something a referee can easily just fill in for (we have much experience of referee’s making a complete mess of Assistant Referee duties in junior football).