Being the Man in the Middle

Mark-Clattenburg

Why would anybody want to be a referee?

Every decision that you make is highly scrutinised, your reputation is constantly called into question and you are often the victim of ironic cheers of glee if you fall over. It takes a special kind of character to be a football referee.

To become a top grade official in the Premier League, La Liga or indeed any of the top leagues takes years of dedication with little financial reward. The FA is currently trying to recruit younger referees and change the image of the role but it is only for the thick skinned individual that does not mind being illogically disliked.

What makes a good referee?

Reading the game from a referee perspective is completely different from being a player. Following the lines of play and anticipating potential flashpoints is essential to successfully managing a game. Furthermore the ability to communicate with players, staff and other officials demonstrates the difficulty with the role; maintaining control under heavy pressure and responding positively sums up the essence of refereeing.

The introduction of media resources and multiple camera setups ensure that every single tackle is reviewed at length by the pundit or fan. But becoming a referee is a huge thrill, the buzz before a match and the ability to get action placed views of the top players in world should be enough incentive for many.

Starting out can earn you some petrol money but working your way through the ranks can result in making a professional living from the game and being an active part of the world’s greatest leagues.

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