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You will not believe how much PL referees are paid. No wonder they want secrecy in all their dealings

As Germany looks to sort out the mess left behind from the chaos surrounding its refereeing system, they might choose also to have a look at the salary structure of referees in various leagues.

And the first thing we have to note is that just as the PGMO have gone out on a totally different route from all other major leagues when it comes to the way they organise refereeing (allowing referees to handle multiple games involving the same club through the season, existing and working in total secrecy, being unanswerable to no one no matter how bizarre or erratic the refereeing decisions seem), so this policy of being different is replicated with salaries.

The PGMO referees get a basic salary of around £40,000 a year (the exact amount depends on experience).  But then on top of that they get a £1150 bonus for each game they oversee.   The maximum number of games is said to be 35, and so the top salary is around £84,000.

This “bonus” system for each game played means that the PGMO has absolute power over the referees.  If the referee does not perform in the manner or style that PGMO want they can simply stop picking him to play games.   What’s more since, as we have often noticed, the referees can referee the same team as often as they can fit in, doing the PGMO wishes can take on a sinister vision.

Now as I have said a thousand times before, I have no evidence that there is anything untoward going on in PGMO.  But, as I have also said, given that they have chosen to be a secret society, operating in a way that ensures none of us knows what is going on, while running a system which would allow any referee who is compromised by a club to engage in various nefarious deeds, it is not unreasonable to choose to be suspicious.

Referees in the elite group handling PL matches sign one year contracts.  At the end of the year they can be let go or asked to sign again.   The Employment Act in the UK says that after three years of this the referee would be in a permanent contract unless both parties agree otherwise – which I guess they may do.  However it is also possible that PGMO impose the re-registration rule each year and just hope no one challenges them.

According to Totalsportek “Howard Webb made around £120,000 in 2013-14 season as he officiated the most games in the season while some of the other top referees in England also notched up between £90,000 to £100,000, while other referees average income was around £60,000 to £70,000 last year.”

The same site has also produced this chart of earnings which gives a rough overview of comparative earnings in one season.

How Much Premier League Referees Can Earn In 2017?
 Referee  Referee Yearly Income (approximately)
1 Martin Atkinson  £120,000 (elite panel)
2 Mark Clattenburg  £120,000 (elite panel)
3 Mike Dean  £100,000
4 Stuart Attwell  £65,000 basic salary + match fee of 1,000 per game
5 Kevin Friend  £65,000 basic salary + match fee of 1,000 per game
6 Roger East £65,000 basic salary + match fee of 1,000 per game
7 Robert Madley  £65,000 basic salary
8 Andre Marriner  £65,000 basic salary
9 Lee Mason  £65,000 basic salary
10  Jonathan Moss  £65,000 basic salary
11 Michael Oliver  £65,000 basic salary
12 Anthony Taylor  £65,000 basic salary

In most of other countries referees don’t get the retainer fee but the do get a bigger match fee.  This is considered a good way of stopping corruption, since any ref noted to be behaving in a dubious manner could be dropped from running games and so lose his total salary.  In this way the Leagues make it worth players while not to take bribes etc.

Once again therefore we see a PGMO variation from the norm, acting in a way which actually makes corruption more likely.  This doesn’t mean that corruption is happening, rather that the more obvious steps which would reduce the chances of corruption happening  are simply not in place.

As the web site says, “In La Liga refs are getting paid as much as €6000 per match and some of the top refs make over €150,000 a year.”

Referee Salaries In Top 5 Leagues Around Europe
COUNTRY REFEREE MATCH FEE (per match) ASSISTANT REFEREES (per match)
ENGLAND £1,170 (per match) plus retainer fee of £38,500 a year £600 per match plus retainer fee
SPAIN  £4,700 (€6,000) £1550
GERMANY  £2,800 (€3,600) £1400
ITALY  £2,819 (€3,400) £1300
FRANCE £2,650 (€2,751)
PORTUGAL  £925 (€1,188) £465

So once again, as we come to look at England and referees, we find that the Premier League has gone its own way.  Has it helped and improved the game?  I suspect not.  I also suspect that was never the expected outcome.

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10 comments to You will not believe how much PL referees are paid. No wonder they want secrecy in all their dealings

  • Andy L

    There is an interesting article by Bruce Millington of the Racing Post today , available on-line , para phrasing an article by David Walsh of the Sunday Times relating to a dinner conversation with Mark Clattenburg , former top referee . The basis of this is that Referees go out of their way to even up wrong doings on the pitch . Millington adds two and two and is concerned that Referees may have old scores to settle – boy don’t we know that to be true!

  • Barry Wrettom

    Overpaid, incompetant and biased.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    No football fan should be against the referees in the Premier League getting good salaries and allowances for the hard work they rend to the professional football clubs week in week out.

    looking at the category of salary scales and allowances stated above and said to earned by referees in the PL, but if these their earnings are compared with the weekly wages and bonuses being paid by PL clubs to their players, one can note a gulf of disparity existing between the referees and the football players they refereed and having the running up and down on the field of play a common work between the refs and players.

    If taking their decision making and their having to be racing to the directions the ball has gone almost at constant motion into consideration, one might be tempted to say that the salary scales for the referees in the Premier League should be reviewed upwards despite the fact that they are not professional referees but amateur ones working else where and getting remunerated. But I think the remunerations they are currently getting in the PL look to be peanut earnings to the wages the players are being paid by their various club sides in the PL and yet I think the referees are doing at least 1/4 of the work the players undertake on the field of play.

    Furthermore, despite the fact that the Pound Sterling has high purchasing power value, but if it’s their being amateur referees that has made the PL referees to be earning low, I think it be better if the referees will turn professionals. So that they can be doing the referring job in the PL professionally. Besides, why should the amateurs be officiating the professionals? Does it make sense?

    The borne of contention in referring in the Premier League is the PGMO PL matches officiating officials who are widely seen not honest and fair in the discharg of their referring job in the PL. And as a result of these injustices and dishonesties sometimes seen flagrantly been carried out against a particular top club like Arsenal by referees in the PL, football fans are bound to believe there is financial inducement corruption happening at the PGMO. And this is true. Otherwise, why are the PGMO match officiating officials have openly been perverting justice and fairness in their match officiating in the PL? More so, as this is frequent against Arsenal in the PL so as for the PGMO match officiating officials to gain what?

    I think to start with, the cleaning of the PGMO to get rid of the toxins that are there operating and poisoning match officiating in the PL, the rosicrucian order amorc secrecy style that is currently existing and prevailing at the PGMO MUST come to an end immediately with transparency become the new order there before a meaningful progress at reorganising the PGMO to strictly adhered to justice and fairness can be seen happened at there.

  • Gord

    I think there is a big difference between living in London and living some place else (like Sunderland, Bournemouth, Norwich or …).

    As I mentioned in an earlier thread, I would like to see the 18 referees increased to something like 25 or 28. In terms of base salary, I would just as soon make the base low, and tied to local conditions. So maybe 1.25 times a Living Wage? And then better Spain on per game fees (maybe 5k Pounds per game). As there are more referees in the system, than there is a need for, every gameday there will be referees not assigned to do anything. With the expectation that every gameday, the worst performing officials will not be working the next gameday.

  • para

    I always was told they did not earn much, and had other jobs to be able to live. Antway, the ref system needs sorting out.
    I still dont know why having a league table for refs like the leagues is not implemented.
    That way, refs can be promoted and demoted depending on their performances, and good refs will rise to the top league(PL). This of course mean having much more refs, and each ref can only ref a team twice in the season.

    //
    Eddie has been at it again, 4 goals scored. 🙂

  • Brickfields Gunners

    ‘ A great civilisation is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.’ – Ariel Durant.

    While I am not in no way calling that coterie of buffoons of the PIGMOB civilised ,yet the end will be swift, and I shall rejoice in their burial when it eventually happens.

    I like to think that it will fracture from within and not from any outside forces . And it will not be a righteous deed or motive,but rather greed and the love of power.

  • Genorm

    Other top european league referees seem to be fit, lean and under 40. Whereas the majority of pgmol referees are unfit, fat and well over 40. And this is before we even question their abilities as officials, never mind any agendas they are following.

  • Andy Mack

    I thought Clattenburg had left the PGMO to run the equivalent somewhere in the middle east.

  • Could you look into the idea that the bias against Arsenal changed as to when in the season it is applied? It seems to me that for many years it came later in the season so as to nudge the gunners out of contention. But in the past few seasons it seems to be more at the start of the season so as to nudge the gunners out of contention.

    This change has benefits for a “bent” PGMO. The Arsenal drop points and as the focus on the officiating increase they can back off a bit and make it appear they are calling in straight.

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