Provided you’ve got a thick skin, working as a Premier League referee must be a pretty cushy job.
You get to officiate some of the world’s best players at the country’s most prestigious football grounds on a weekly basis and are paid very well for doing so.
Goal revealed earlier this year that referees in the top-flight of English football can earn as much as £70,000 per year.
Premier League refs earn a basic yearly retainer of between £38,500 and £42,000 depending on experience – well over the UK average – plus £1,150 per match on top of that.
All they need to do is keep themselves fit during the week, continuously try to improve their skills and then attempt to make the right decisions on match days.
Bobby Madley was one of these well-paid Premier League’s referees until August, when it was revealed that the Wakefield-born match official had suddenly been sacked.
This unexpected news sent the rumour mill into overdrive on social media – it’s extremely rare for the Premier League to sack one of their referees – until the real reason behind his dismissal finally emerged.
Sky Sports reported on August 30 that Madley had been sacked after sending ‘an inappropriate message on social media featuring a picture of a disabled man’.
Madley had sent a Snapchat message suggesting he would be able to win a race against the disabled man on a school sports day.
The image was seen by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), who informed the 33-year-old that his contract would be terminated with immediate effect.
Three months on from the unfortunate episode and Madley’s life is now very different.
According to The Sun, the shamed match official is currently working in the sixth tier of Norwegian football after being taken on by Abildso in southern Oslo.
All referees in Norway are associated with a team and Madley, who recently moved to the Norwegian capital with his new nurse girlfriend Jenny Emilie Johanessen, must now prove himself in the country’s lower leagues.
He will be assessed at that level before being considered for the Eliteseria top flight when the season gets underway in March.
“I would love to take charge in Eliteseria at some point, but I have to work hard and prove my trust first. It’s just fair,” Madley recently told NRK TV station in Norway.
“Just because I refereed in the Premier League does not make me better than any other referee in Norway and it gives me no right to got to the top level.”
This marks a pretty severe fall from grace from a man who refereed 91 Premier League matches since 2013 and also took charge of the 2017 Community Shield between Arsenal and Chelsea, watched by over 83,000 fans inside Wembley.
One stupid Snapchat message has had an extremely costly effect on his career.