By Gemma Bell
No … You’re probably not. In fact, your career of maybe 20 years has guaranteed its fair share of critics and abuse. You probably started out as a 16-year-old child who loved football but didn’t quite have the high standards to make it in the academy. What made you choose to ref? I don’t envy your job. In fact, just ask anyone in our local youth league… I won’t be chasing your job… I am diabolical. So, while I won’t agree with your decisions, I won’t berate you for them either. I will let your assessor give it to you and no doubt you will watch it back 20 times kicking yourself for your mistake. You are only human though remember!
Is Refereeing a dying trade left with poor quality? If so, what is it that’s killed it? Is it the pay? Is it not worth the average £300-£500 a game? Well that’s according to our trusty friend Google. Admittedly full-time premier league refs get a substantial amount more though a year’s wage will still never come close to, for example, Eden Hazards weekly wage. Is it the attraction of Sunday afternoons, at 18 years old, stopping Big Daz from the Dog and Bone ripping the head of Robbie the Ratchet from Shouldagone Pro FC? I doubt it very much. No referee goes out on a Sunday wanting to get abused, but it happens all too often. As a Grassroots Coach and Club Welfare Officer I pride myself on trying to support the brave Men, Women and youths who do a job I simply could not. Without them the game simply wouldn’t happen. They are equally as important to the game as the footballers.
There is no doubting that we need referee standards to improve. But that’s easy for us to say and not so easy to put into practice. Not when Tom and Tim from down your road are abusing the referee week in week out at the local u9s game. Let’s face it… nobody wants to put up with it. I take my hat off to anyone who pushes for promotion from their starting level 7. They have to be assessed and deemed competent to move up the ladder detailed below. Want to know more about the mammoth task of becoming a level 1 referee to stand in the centre at Sincil Bank? Head over to http://www.amateur-fa.com/referees/refereeing-support for more details.
Level Y - Youth Referee (qualified referees under 16 years old)
Level 7 - Junior County Referee
Level 6 –County Referee
Level 5 - Senior County Referee
Level 4 - Supply League Referee/Contributory League Assistant
Level 3 - Contributory League Referee/Panel League Assistant
Level 2 - Panel League Referee/Football League Assistant
Level 1 - Football League Referee
Select Group - FA Premier League Referee
· FIFA List - International Referee