Football referee salaries in details


For a spectacular football game, you need three ingredients: a duo of top teams, a large stadium and a crowd of charged fans. However, not a single match would take place without this person – a football referee. For ninety minutes the referees must cover the field back and forth, make quick but impartial decisions, while resisting the pressure of players, coaches and football fans. How much does such tiresome and responsible work cost?

Do not worry if you have failed to become Lionel Messi, or at least Mario Balotelli. Anyone can become a football referee. Of course, you will not get 200 thousand a week, but your bank account will be replenished with a fair amount of money annually.

As in professional football, a referee’s salary depends on the qualification of the referee himself and the level of the competition. For example, in most top European leagues, the referees are paid per match. In the Premier League, referees receive an annual retainer fee plus a match fee. Now, let’s get closer to the numbers.


In the amateur leagues of England, the referees get a modest fee for the match played – just 20-40 pounds. At the semi-professional level, football referees can count on 60-100 pounds per game, but they must be also covered for the mileage expenses. In the Championship, all referees receive a fixed 600 pounds fee for one match, but they also have an annual salary, the sum of which depends on several factors. The referee panel that works in the Premier League became fully professional in 2001. Since that time, they began to receive a basic yearly retainer fee and a fixed fee for the match. As a rule, each football referee in England signs a 1-year-contract before the new draw of the season. Today, a Premier League referee can count on the retainer fee in the amount of about 40 thousand pounds, as well as a decent per-match-fee of 1100 pounds. If, on average, a referee will hold 30 matches in a season, he will earn nearly 70 thousand pounds. Elite level referees, for example, Martin Atkinson or Mike Dean, earn more than 100 thousand pound a year.


As we said earlier, only in England, referees receive per-game-payments and a basic yearly retainer. In the other top European leagues, a referee does not receive a salary, but this is offset by higher match fees. It will be advantageous to work as a referee in the Spanish La Liga. The average fee for a match here is 5 thousand pounds. In other words, a hard-working referee in Spain will earn no less than a British one. Further in the amount of fees for the match are Germany – 3200, Italy – 3000 pounds, France – 2400 pounds, and Portugal – 1000 pounds.

Champions League and International Football

Only the best football referees are invited to the Champions League matches. But even among the best, there is a hierarchy. Depending on the type of license and international experience, the referee holding a Champions League game can receive a fee ranging from one thousand to six thousand pounds. As for the final stage of the World Cup, it is worth understanding that we are talking about the highest level that can be achieved in the career of a referee. For the previous World Cup that took place in Russia, 36 best football referees from all over the world were selected. Each of them was awarded a contract for 50 thousand pounds. In addition, all referees got a match fee of 2,200 pounds.

In general, a football referee’s career will not make you as popular as a modern footballer, but it will easily make you rich if you do your job well. By the way, many current elite panel referees began to judge matches as a hobby and as a source of additional earnings. If you want Football Geeks to make a video on how to become a football referee, leave a comment under this episode and hit a subscribe button. See you soon!