How Much Do English Premier League Referees Get Paid

How Much Do English Premier League Referees Get Paid

How Much Do English Premier League Referees Get Paid?

English Premier League is the display of the fiercest and energy-packed performances by the eminent names of the men’s football in the UK. 

Naturally, the footballers’ behavior needs to be controlled. Also, the footballers need an assessing authority to ensure that their performance is judged correctly and in an unbiased manner. 

All of it makes an English Premier League referee’s job quite a demanding one. Let’s try to understand their earnings structure through some frequently asked questions.

How Much Do English Premier League Referees Get Paid

According to the English Premier League’s latest payment structure, the referees are paid as follows: 

Referee/Per Match Fees/Salary

Andy Madley – £1,500 – £48,000

Lee Mason – £1,500 – £48,000

Peter Bankes – £1,500 – £48,000

Simon Harper – £1,500 – £48,000

Graham Scott – £1,500 – £48,000

David Coote – £1,500 – £48,000

Craig Pawson – £1,500 – £48,000

Jonathan Moss – £1,500 – £70,000

Andre Marriner – £1,500 – £70,000

Kevin Friend – £1,500 – £70,000

Paul Tierney – £1,500 – £70,000

Chris Kavanagh – £1,500 – £70,000

Stuart Atwell – £1,500 – £70,000

Anthony Taylor – £1,500 – £70,000

Martin Atkinson – £1,500 – £200,000

Mike Dean – £1,500 – £200,000

Michael Oliver – £1,500 – £200,000

This means that referees are given an annual rental and they can make extra money by per match remunerations too.

As per the latest annual salary slabs, the referees are paid £48,000, £70,000, and £200,000 as fixed salary part according to their years of experience and years with the league.

Who is the highest-paid referee?

Three referees share the title of the highest-paid referee in the English Premier League. They take home the fat check equal to £200,000. 

Mike Dean, Michael Oliver, and Martin Atkinson make the wealthy referee trio and have maintained a good reputation too.

Mike Dean: He was appointed as Select Group Referee which started his career with the league in 2000.

He has been officiating FA Trophy, Football League Cup, and FA cup finals along with rendering his services for the Premier League. He is a member of the Cheshire County Football Association.

Michael Oliver: He is a professional football referee from Ashington. He is a member of the Northumberland Football Association.

He won the FIFA badge in 2012 to officiate international championships. He is refereeing in English Premier League since 2010.

Martin Atkinson: Martin comes from West Riding County Football Association. He made his first Football league appearance in 1995 and served as an assistant referee. 

Interestingly, he started refereeing at the early age of 16 when there was no referee for a local match. 

How English Premier League referees qualify for this position?

According to rules, any English resident can become an English Premier League referee after gaining experience and officiating numerous semi-professionals, league, and higher competitions.

After they become a part of Select Group, they can oversee the English Premier League matches.

The minimum age to get selected as FA referee is 14 years. They need to qualify for the Football Association referee position first. Qualification criteria is an FA-approved training program.

The aspirant has to take a basic referee course with local county FA to start the professional journey as a Premier League referee.

What level are Premier League referees?

EPL referees belong to Select Group level. It is the highest promotion for English Football referees, but one position lower than FIFA cup referees.

Since the Premier League started in 1992, the referees of PL became pro only in the year 2001 after completion of ten years of the league.

Their appointment is done by Professional Game Match Officials Limited. 

The Premier League referees are full-time and are paid an annual salary too. However, they can make bigger money by officiating in more matches than contemporaries. Per match, the fee adds £1,500 to the referee’s earnings. 

How many referees are appointed in English Premier League?

20 referees are inducted into the Select group and hold the responsibility of enforcing the laws of the Game (LOTG) in a Premier League season.

There are assistant referees and video referees (introduced in 2019-20 season) also for ensuring a better quality of law enforcement during the matches.

The referees start as trainee referees at the start of their career. They move to stages like:

Level 9 – Trainee referee

Level Y(8) – Youth Referee

Level 7 – Junior Referee

Level 6 – County Referee

Level 5 – Senior County Referee

Level 4 – Supply League Referee

Level 3, 2b, 2a – Select Group Assistant Referee

Select Group – Premier League Only

This is the career path to be followed by someone who wants to make it to the referee squad of the English Premier League.

Which referees officiated maximum matches in Premier League?

The top 5 referees who have overseen maximum matches in Premier League are:

  1. Phil Dowd: He is a retired referee now, and was a part of Staffordshire Football Association. He officiated PL matches for a long span of 15 years. He called it off after the 2015/16 season after an injury. He was present in 307 PL matches in his referee career.
  2. Graham Poll: This man is also retired now. He is known to have officiated some of the most crucial matches of the Premier League. He was a listed referee in PL right from the 1993 season. The total number of PL matches he oversaw is 329.
  3. Andre Mariner: Sailing through his 50s, Marriner continues to be a respected figure among English Premier League referees. He belongs to Birmingham Football Association. He officiated his maiden PL match in November 2004 season and commanded 345 matches since then. His most remembered presence is in the FA Cup final in 2013.
  4. Martin Atkinson: A respected veteran among Premier League Referees, Atkinson is still seen running around the grounds and disciplining the teams. He has been on rolls of Premier League since 2005. He has refereed 424 Premier League Matches to date.
  5. Mike Dean: With an inspiring figure of 521 matches, Mike Dean remains at the top of the referees’ list who officiated maximum matches in EPL. He has been refereeing the league matches for more than 20 years. He is also a FIFA affiliate since 2003. Mike is the most paid referee in PL, too. With 521 PL matches in his career, he has made £7,81,500  approx. in match fees. In the 2018-19 season, he referred to 29 matches in PL, which earned him £1,500 per match in addition to his annual retainer.

What are various designations of referees in the English Premier League Referee’s squad?

 A typical EPL referee squad constitutes 19 referees and 35 assistant referees. 

Some of the referees are; 

  • Mike Dean, Rob Jones, 
  • Stuart Attwell,
  • David Coote, 
  • Martin Atkinson, 
  • Darren England,
  • Rob Jones,
  • Chris Kavanagh
  • Andy Madley
  • Andre Marriner
  • Lee Mason
  • Jon Moss
  • Michael Oliver
  • Craig Pawson
  • Graham Scott
  • Anthony Taylor
  • Paul Tierney

Then, there are 35 assistant referees: 

  • Simon Beck
  • Simon Bennett
  • Gary Beswick
  • Lee Betts
  • Stuart Burt
  • Darren Cann
  • Dan Cook
  • Neil Davies
  • Derek Eaton
  • Constantine Hatzidakis
  • Adrian Holmes
  • Nick Hopton
  • Ian Hussin
  • Peter Kirkup
  • Scott Ledger
  • Harry Lennard
  • Simon Long
  • James Mainwaring
  • Sian Massey-Ellis
  • Adam Nunn
  • Marc Perry
  • Dan Robathan
  • Mark Scholes
  • Eddie Smart
  • Richard West
  • Matthew Wilkes
  • Tim Wood

With the introduction of the video refereeing system, the video referees and assistant video referees are also included in the PL officials’ list.


Being a football match referee is not a cakewalk. It requires years of persistence and hard work to deliver high-quality decisions.

Apart from mental resilience, exceptional fitness is also needed. On average, a football referee runs about 11 km during the matches.

Thus, every penny earned is a result of hard work and an unquestionable display of knowledge about the football match. The best advice is to start early to train as a referee to make it to Select Group.