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"Top officials will earn up to 60,000 a year"
 real 14k

FA chief executive Adam Crozier
"The game needs the standard of officials to be as good as humanly possible"
 real 14k

Former top referee Clive Thomas
"We sell ourselves cheap"
 real 14k

Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Football referees turn professional
Paul Durkin
Paul Durkin may be considered for the top pay
Referees in England will be professional from next season, the Football Association confirmed.

The FA, working alongside the Premier League and Football League, will overhaul the management, training and development of all match officials.

The new scheme will enable officials to go full-time as a result of the financial incentives on offer, and they will also be more accountable regarding their performances in matches.

  The professional referee
More accountable
Divided into two groups
Group 1 (Prem Lge)
24 referees
33,000 plus 900
48 assistant refs, who get an allowance
Group 2 (Nationwide)
50 referees, 188 assistant referees

The referees' National Review Board is to be replaced by a new organisation, called the Professional Game Match Officials Board.

The group will consist of the three governing bodies' chief executives and refereeing managers in addition to the FA's head of refereeing.

The restructuring, aimed at improving the overall standard of refereeing in the professional game, will see match officials categorised into two groups.

The select group will officiate in the Premier League and other competitions and comprise of 24 referees and 48 assistant referees.

Referees in this group will receive an annual retainer of 33,000 plus match fees of 900 for their commitment to training and development over several days each month in addition to their match commitments.

Assistant referees in the select group will receive an allowance for their time dedicated to training.

Referees deserve to earn the sums being talked about
  Former referee
Roger Milford
This group will be the responsibility of referees manager, Philip Don.

Former Fifa referee Roger Milford believes that the move will be beneficial for all.

"I am sure this will mean more consistency from the officials on points of law which cause controversy," he said.

"The fact that the referees will meet regularly for training sessions means they will sit down together and watch videos of incidents which have caused controversy.

Outside of the Premiership, the national group will officiate in the Football League and other competitions, with 50 referees and 188 assistant referees.

Referees manager Jim Ashworth will supervise this group, which will also receive increased training and development.

The top referees could earn up to 60,000 but Milford has no qualms about such figures.

"There are footballers out there earning 20,000 to 30,000 a week - and that is at the bottom end of the scale," he added.

"So referees deserve to earn the sums being talked about."

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18 Nov 00 |  Football
Referees under attack
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