Mark Clattenburg has won an appeal against his sacking as a top referee and could return as early as April.
The 33-year-old argued that the original sanction for his alleged bad business conduct was too severe.
The Football Association and referees' body Professional Game Match Officials Ltd had acted after claims over debts of companies connected to him.
He was suspended at the start of the season and then stripped of his elite status in January.
But the PGMO has now decided that an eight-month ban, backdated to the start of his original suspension on 6 August 2008, is appropriate.
"PGMO is confident that he has the ability to regain his position as one of English football's top officials," said a PGMO statement.
"Mark Clattenburg has been reminded of his responsibilities and contractual obligations as a Select Group Official, particularly in regard to full disclosure of any outside business interests."
PGMO is confident that he has the ability to regain his position as one of English football's top officials
A Professional Game Match Officials Ltd spokesman
Clattenburg has not taken charge of a match this season since he was withdrawn prior to officiating the Community Shield match between Manchester United and Portsmouth and investigations began into the claims.
The youngest referre to have taken charge of a Football League game at the age of 25 in 2000, has consistently denied all the allegations made against him.
Clattenburg's firm MC Electrical Retail NE Ltd was wound up under the Insolvency Act on 27 June.
Friend and business associate John Hepworth took legal action in a bid to recover a debt reported to be almost £60,000.
In May, Mr Hepworth served Clattenburg's firm with legal papers demanding £59,589.
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