In the midst of the perhaps worst refereeing crisis in the EPL, with crucial and avoidable mistakes week in week out, talks emerge across the country on whether the time has come for a PL referee rebuilding.
Blatant proof of the current crisis is that no UK referees worked in the last Russia 2018 World Cup, something that had never happened before.
The fact is that bad refereeing, plus a bad overall video assistant referee operation, has been currently influencing the Premier League results, and that’s the main reason why a renovation might be needed sooner or later.
If you have ever dreamed of taking part in the EPL, but haven’t been fortunate enough to be born with natural gifts for becoming a football player, why not try a career as a Premier League referee?
However, what does it take to become a top PL referee? That’s what we’re going to be talking about today, as just like football players, there’s a whole path to be walked through before ascending to a top position in your referee career.
FA Refereeing Programmes
According to the Football Association’s website, it is mandatory that aspirants take parts in basic officiating courses and programmes. The FA runs ref programmes themselves, but to take them, you need to fulfil some prerequisites to register yourself.
The first step is to get in touch via email with your local County FA or the one that’s located the closest to your home. There are 48 County FAs across the land, and they’re located near to or at most major English cities.
You can access the FA’s website to get more details about the email addresses of your local FA headquarters, but one of the prerequisites is that you’re at least 14 years old at the time of registration to take the refereeing course.
Apparently, the basic course takes up to 24 hours to get completed, and you’ll learn in-depth football rules and also be mentored by a professional or semi-professional referee.
You’ll also be invited to officiate at some amateur football matches, always having your mentor to support you in the task. Don’t waste this opportunity. Try to make some connections with insiders, as good networking buddies can be worth it in the future.
National Refereeing Levels
Once you get your FA certification, you’ll become a level Seven ref, meaning that you’ll be able to officiate at the youth level. Before actually becoming a top PL referee, you’ll need to go through levels Seven to One and eventually get drafted for the International List, where fewer than 15 British are allowed to officiate now.
However, it is important to mention that while you’re not level Two, perhaps you won’t be able to make a living as a youth football referee, and that’s perfectly normal.
Although there is no accurate information on wages for referees at the lower levels, most of the current non-Premier League refs have side jobs, so that might be necessary at this early stage.
It’s crucial that you keep reasonably fit and perform well at your early days as a semi-professional referee. Most of the semi-professional games you’ll officiate won’t even have VAR, so all is in your hands. Make the most of it, and try to be as impartial as possible, always avoiding unnecessary controversies, and you might do well and achieve your ultimate goal.
Also, use the new normal in your favour, as a lack of supporters might be good in case you cannot handle the pressure very well.
In any case, you’ll be technically and psychologically trained to deal with the challenges and downsides to becoming a top-level ref, and if you put in the dedication and passion, there’s nothing you cannot do.