Premier League referee salaries: How much do refs get paid?

Premier League official

Premier League officials have been heavily criticised this season.

Despite the use of VAR, a number of controversial decisions appear to be made each weekend.

So much so that, on Monday, we revealed how former Premier League referee Keith Hackett had decided to rank all top-flight officials from worst to best and out of 10.

He didn’t hold back either.

“Sadly I believe that he is not up to the standard required of a Premier League Referee,” he wrote of Simon Hooper.

On Chris Kavanagh, he commented: “He has the potential but needs to improve or be removed from the list.”

He also called Graham Scott to be removed at the end of the season by saying: “This should be his last season at this level – he just has not reached the required standards of an elite referee.”

Graham Scott


So, why do people become Premier League officials?

Well, despite all the criticism, they do pick up a decent amount of money for their troubles.

Using data collected by sportekz and Sporting Free, it’s claimed that referees earn £1,500 per match. That’s on top of their salary that can range from £70,000-£200,000.

That’s not including a yearly retainer worth £38,500 to £42,000. 

Mike Dean

A tidy sum, that!

For context, the average annual salary in the UK in 2021 was £25,971.

Meanwhile, assistant referees earn a £30,000 salary and collect match fees of £850.

Video Assistant Referees also pick up £850 per match.

Premier League referees

The breakdown of a variety of Premier League referees can be seen below with the likes of Martin Atkinson, Michael Oliver and Mike Dean all picking up £200,000 per year as a basic salary.

Premier League referees

Meanwhile, in the Champions League, elite referees make as much as £7,500 per match!

Champions League officiating salaries

Champions League salaries

It’s not a bad gig despite all the abuse you get for 90 minutes!

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