Photo Bleacher Report
Photo Bleacher Report

There are 22 appointed referees for the 2021/22 Premier League season.

Premier League referees are selected by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the body responsible for match officials in English professional football.

New Referees

John Brooks

Photo Premiere League
Photo Premiere League

John Brooks has previously been an assistant referee in the Premier League after first taking up the whistle in 2004. At 31 Brooks is one of the younger referees and spent most of last season taking charge of games in the Championship where he ranked 12th of 40 referees for yellows shown per game with an average of 3.3

Championship Stats 2020/2021

Apps: 27

Yellows p.g: 3.3

Reds: 5

Penalties Awarded: 5

Tony Harrington

Photo Brentford FC
Photo Brentford FC

Since 2012 Tony Harrington has been officiating in the Football League and prior to that he spent four years as an EFL assistant and four years as a National League referee. The majority of Harrington’s matches that he took charge of last term came in the Championship where he gave out a rather high 12 penalties in 32 matches.

Championship Stats 2020/2021

Apps: 32

Yellows p.g: 2.69

Reds: 5

Penalties Awarded: 12

Michael Salisbury

Photo Southend United
Photo Southend United

Based in Penwortham Lancashire, Michael Salisbury is the son of Football League referee Graham Salisbury, who retired on the final day of last season with son Michael as his fourth official. Michael gave out just 1 red card in 17 Championship games last term and had one of the lowest yellow card averages, with 2.24 shown per game.

Championship Stats 2020/2021

Apps: 17

Yellows p.g: 2.24

Reds: 1

Penalties Awarded: 3

Jarred Gillett

Photo Premiere League
Photo Premiere League

The first foreign referee to officiate in the Premier League will be Australia’s Jarred Gillet. A high-profile name in the A-League, Gillett has taken charge of five Grand Finals and has been named A-League referee of the year on five occasions. The 34-year-old has been taking charge of EFL games since 2019 and possessed the lowest fouls per game ratio of any referee with 10 or more appearances in the Championship last season.

Championship Stats 2020/2021

Apps: 30

Yellows p.g: 3.23

Reds: 3

Penalties Awarded: 9

What does a referee do?

A referee is appointed to a football game in order to apply the Laws of the Game so that it is played fairly and safely. A referee must be confident, assertive and fair in order to successfully control the game.

For more information on the responsibilities of a referee, consult the law 5 of the Laws of the Game.

A qualified referee much affiliate with his or her local County Football Association each season.

Other Referees

Martin Atkinson

Yorkshireman Martin Atkinson began refereeing at just 16 years of age. He first refereed in the Premier League in 2005 and has since taken charge of the 2011 FA Cup final, the 2014 League Cup final and went to multiple international tournaments.

Prior to the start of the 2021/22 season, Atkinson had refereed 433 matches, dishing out 1,479 cards. He is a regular for top-six clashes and was appointed referee for the Tottenham vs Liverpool game last season, which ended 3-1 to Liverpool.

Stuart Attwell

Nuneaton-born Stuart Attwell has been refereeing in the Football League since 2007. Attwell was promoted to the Select Group of referees for the 2008/09 season, making him eligible to referee in the Premier League - but was later dropped in 2012 and returned to Football League duty, with Professional Game Match Officials Limited general manager Mike Riley backing him to improve.

Attwell returned to officiating in the Premier League in 2014 and was promoted once more to the Select Group Referees list in March 2016.

Peter Bankes

Peter Bankes is a regular Premier League and Championship referee who was moved into Select Group 1 ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, after being promoted into the Select Group 2 three seasons before.

Bankes generally doesn’t divide criticism as a referee, though was involved in a controversial VAR call between Southampton and Brighton last season, when he gave a penalty for a foul on Brighton player Solly March in which the contact had started outside the box.

David Coote

David Coote started refereeing as a 16-year-old, in the Notts Alliance League, the Northern Counties East Football League, the Northern Premier League and the Conference North before being promoted to the Football League.

Coote was promoted as a Football League referee in 2010 and was the video assistant referee in the Merseyside Derby who controversially recommended that Jordan Pickford remain on the field after injuring Virgil van Dijk after the linesman had blown for offside.

Mike Dean

Photo The Mirror
Photo The Mirror

53-year-old Mike Dean is one of the most recognised and experienced referees in the Premier League, having officiated since 2000. He has reffed the Community Shield and the finals of the FA Cup, Football League Cup and FA Trophy.

Tranmere fan Dean was the first referee to make 100 sendings off in the Premier League and has a reputation for dishing out cards freely. Last season, Dean gave two controversial red cards in successive games - to Southampton’s Jan Bednarek and West Ham’s Tomas Soucek in successive games - and received death threats. Both cards were rescinded, with Dean asking not to officiate the following weekend.

Darren England

The 2021/22 season is Doncaster-born referee Darren England’s second season in the top flight, following his promotion to the Select Group 1 last summer.

England refereed the League Two Play-Off Final in 2017 between Blackpool and Exeter City and made 69 appearances as a Premier League assistant referee between 2012 and 2015.

Kevin Friend

50-year-old Kevin Friend has been refereeing in the Premier League since 2009. He managed the 2012 Community Shield between Chelsea and Manchester City, the 2013 League Cup final between Bradford City and Swansea City and the 2019 FA Cup final between Watford and Manchester City.

Friend is a Leicester City fan. In 2016, he was controversially prevented from officiating a Premier League match between Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur due to a conflict in the title race.

Simon Hooper

Simon Hooper was promoted to Select Group 2 in 2016 and took charge of the League One play-off final between Bradford City and Millwall at the end of the 2016/17 season. He went on to referee 42 games in all competitions in 2017/18.

Hooper was promoted to Select Group 1 alongside David Coote for the 2018/19 campaign, aged 36.

Rob Jones

Rob Jones was the fourth official for 15 top-flight fixtures in 2019/20, while officiating 26 Championship matches that season. He’s had a rapid rise up to the Premier League and was promoted to the Select Group 1 ahead of last season.

Jones started officiating in the National League in 2014 before jumping up to the EFL two years later.

Chris Kavanagh

Mancehster-born Chris Kavanagh was promoted to the Select Group of Referees in 2017, after five years of refereeing in the National League. He was the ref in charge of the 2021 Championship play-off final between Brentford and Swansea City last season.

Kavanagh was appointed to FIFA’s international referees list in 2019.

Andy Madley

Huddersfield-born Andy Madley has been refereeing in the Premier League in 2018 and was added to the Select Group 1 in 2019. He had been working as a referee in Select Group 2 for three years prior.

Madley has been an assistant referee on all three Football League Divisions and has refereed the 2013 League Two play-off final, the 2015 League One play-off final and the 2019 League One play-off final.

Andre Marriner

Birmingham-based Andre Marriner is one of the most experienced referees in England, having refereed for FIFA between 2009 and 2017 and taken charge of the 2013 FA Cup final, in which Wigan Athletic beat Manchester City.

Mariner first joined the Premier League in 2004, having officiated since 1992 in the Birmingham Amateur Football League and the Southern Football League. Infamously, Marriner was the referee who wrongly sent off Kieran Gibbs in 2014, following a deliberate handball actually committed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Jon Moss

Born in Sunderland in 1970, Jon Moss qualified as a referee in 1988 and was a primary school teacher in Leeds, where he taught future Premier League star James Milner. Moss sent off Milner in 2019.

Moss first refereed in the Premier League in 2010 and has been a regular fixture in the division ever since. Moss is also the owner of a vinyl record store, The Vinyl Whistle.

Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver has been on the UEFA Elite Group of Referees since 2018 and was promoted to the Select Group in 2010, aged just 25. Oliver has reffed the 2013 League Cup final and took charge of the 2018 and 2021 FA Cup finals.

As well refereeing at Euro 2020, Oliver made headlines in 2018 for sending off Gianluigi Buffon in late on in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final between Real Madrid and Juventus.

Anthony Taylor

Anthony Taylor was promoted to the list of Select Group Referees in 2010. The Manchester-born official took charge of the League Cup final at Wembley Stadium when Chelsea defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-0; he was also the first man in over 100 years to referee a second FA Cup final, after taking on 2020 final, three years after his first. Both were between Arsenal and Chelsea.

Taylor was the referee on the pitch during the match between Finland and Denmark at Euro 2020, in which Christian Eriksen collapsed. He was widely praised for his calm reaction to the situation, signalling for medical attention within seconds.

How can I become a referee?

Anyone can become a referee with The FA granted that you are at least 14-years-old and a resident of England.

To train as an FA-qualified referee, you need to undertake a basic referees course with your local County FA. To find a course near you, click here. Alternatively, you can contact your County FA directly.

Paul Tierney

Wigan-born Paul Tierney has been refereeing in the Premier League since 2014 and was promoted to the FIFA list of Referees on 1 January 2018.

Tierney officiated the Championship play-off final between Aston Villa and Derby County and the 2021 League Cup Final between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

Craig Pawson

Sheffield-born Craig Pawson has been refereeing since 1993 and regulating officiating in the Football League since 2012. He first refereed in the Premier League in March 2013, during a Swansea City win against Newcastle United.

Pawson officiated the Championship playoff semi-final between Derby County and Leeds United in 2019 - following the Spygate affair earlier in the season - controversially awarding Derby a penalty in the second half, before reversing his decision on the advice of his assistant. Pawson was also responsible for David Luiz’s contentious red card for Arsenal last season against Wolves.

Graham Scott

Graham Scott of Oxford was promoted to the Select Group of Referees in 2015. He started officiating in 1997.

Scott was almost demoted by the PGMOL in 2017 after reffing just eight Premier League games all season but appealed against his demotion and retained his place. Scott has a reputation for actively discouraging time-wasting, diving and dissent, which has garnered some praise from football pundits and journalists.

How can I become the next top referee?

To become a top referee at the Premier League and international level, it takes talent, dedication, experience and fitness.

Referees in the Select Group (those who officiate on the Premier League) all started out on a basic referees course. Over time, they have been successfully promoted through the ranks from grassroots level, through semi-professional level, up to the Football League and beyond.

If you show enough drive, determination, fitness and talent, there is no reason why you couldn’t achieve the top level of refereeing.

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