How much referees are paid – Premier League and World Cup wages revealed

Referees do not have an easy job. Every decision they make is under intense scrutiny, not only from the stands full of braying fans, but the pundits who dissect each decision, benefiting from slow-motion, rewind and multiple angles.

In contrast, a referee has only a split-second to make his decision but that doesn’t stop them getting pilloried and criticised by managers, players, fans and pundits.

There have even been examples of referees receiving death threats, such as Michael Oliver , whose wife was sent threatening text messages after Oliver’s controversial decision to reward Real Madrid a penalty.

The referee’s job is to maintain order on the pitch and ensure that the game’s rules are enforced . As referees get closer to the upper echelons of the game, it becomes very well paid indeed.

We take a look at how much referees get paid.

How much do referees earn in the UK?

Referees in the lower leagues don’t earn a huge amount, whilst those officiating in the Premier League earn an awful lot of money.

Amateur referees work on a game-by-game basis and they are paid between £20 to £40 per game, depending on local football associations.

At a semi-professional level, referee’s expenses are paid and they get £80 per game.

At the top level is when the big bucks come into it and they get paid a regular salary with match fees on top of that. They can earn as much as £70,000 a year if they officiate a few games.

They are paid a basis yearly retainer of £38,500 to £42,000 based on experience, and then paid an extra £1,150 per match.

Referees in the Championship receive the basic yearly retainer but are paid £600 per game.

How much do referees earn abroad?

The Premier League is known for its opulence and wealth so having salaried referees is quite remarkable.

In the rest of Europe’s top leagues referees are paid on a game-by-game basis.

Unsurprisingly, out of the European leagues La Liga pays the highest match rate with referees getting €6,000 a game, which is just over £5,200. Italy and Germany’s league pay just over half of that, with France and Portugal paying less.

  • La Liga pays £5,200 per game
  • Bundeslegia pays £3,150 per game
  • Serie A pays £3,000 per game.
  • Ligue 1 pays £2,400
  • Portugese Primeira pays £1,000

Champions League referees are divided into tiers depending on their experience, and those in the Elite tier get paid over £5,500 per game. Elite Development Tier get £3,800 and the bottom tiers referees get £700.

How much does a referee earn in the World Cup?

The Champions League is seen as the pinnacle of European club football, but above that is international football, with the World Cup the peak of professional football.

During the World Cup 36 referees individuals are chosen from across the globe. According to FIFA, the selection of the officials for the 2018 World Cup "was based on each referee’s skills and personality, as well as his level of understanding of football and ability to read both the game and the various tactics employed by teams."

Whilst FIFA haven’t released the patements, UOL Esporte say each referee will be paid $70,000, just under £52,700 pounds, with a further $3,000 (£2,260)for each game officiated.

Although being a referee won’t make you popular, it will certainly make you rich if you do it well.

Do you agree with the wages? Let us know in the comments below.

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