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.
|Referee||Referee||Yearly Income (approximately)|
|1||Martin Atkinson||£120,000 (elite panel)|
|2||Mark Clattenburg||£120,000 (elite panel)|
|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.”
|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|
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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