Refereeing body PGMOL to spend around £500,000 a year on 12 roles dedicated to improving standards

EXCLUSIVE: Refereeing body PGMOL to spend around £500,000 a year on 12 roles dedicated to improving standards – with retiring Martin Atkinson and Jon Moss set to take two of them

  • PGMOL are set to bring in a training supremo, psychologist and sports scientist 
  • The officials’ body have created 12 new roles in a big plan to improve standards 
  • The wide-ranging PGMOL decision is likely to cost in excess of £500,000 a year 

Officials’ body PGMOL are to bring in a training supremo, a psychologist and a sports scientist as part of a major plan to improve standards.

In a wide-ranging move likely to cost in excess of £500,000 a year, 12 new roles have been created, amid strong criticism of performance levels across the English men’s and women’s game.

The organisation is seeking a coaching director, who will lead the training of the 600 officials operating in the Premier League, EFL and women’s game.

Officials’ body PGMOL have made a major plan to improve standards across English football

The successful candidate will set up a ‘world leading strategy’ and ‘develop a framework for all PGMOL match officials’ which ‘delivers the performance standards required by the competitions’.

Officials say the role will be ‘pivotal’ as they seek to raise their game. 

Upon taking the role, the new member of staff – who will have significant experience of working with ‘world-class, high performance athletes in a football environment’ – will identify areas for ‘performance enhancement’.

The psychologist will support the existing mental health team and report to the head of psychology, providing support to referees as required.

They may also be asked to attend certain fixtures, when requested by referees, with high-profile, high-pressure clashes likely to see officials seek immediate support.

The sports scientist will ‘play a key role in enhancing the long-term athletic development of match officials’.

Reporting to the head of fitness and medical, they will set benchmarks for officials to ‘enable long-term athletic development’ and be expected to ‘construct scientifically underpinned metabolic training programmes’.

Current referee Jon Moss

Premier League official Martin Atkinson

Premier League referees Jon Moss (above left) and Martin Atkinson (right) have retired and will take up two of the 12 new roles – which are expected to cost in excess of £500,000 per year

PGMOL say they are looking for a postgrad applicant with ‘an ability to promote behavioural change’ who will carry out ‘body composition assessments’.

Other roles include an ‘assistant referee coach’ who will be tasked with training linesmen and women across the country. VAR and the offside role will be key areas to focus on for the new arrival.

The move comes following the retirements of long-standing whistle-blowers Jon Moss and Martin Atkinson, who will take up roles of Select Group 1 (Premier League) Manager & Coach respectively from next season, fulfilling two of the 12 roles.

It has been brought in as part of the Elite Referee Development Plan, which aims to enhance the standards of officiating across the English game.

A project manager for the ERDP is also being sought. They will work closely with managing director Mike Riley to ensure the programme is a success.

There are concerns, as a generation of long-serving officials passes 50 and moves towards retirement, that the quality coming through is not what it should be.

It is hoped the new plan will speed up development, within shining stars fast-tracked to elite level.


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