But how much do these figures of authority earn for spending 90 minutes often receiving a good deal of abuse and certainly coming under the scrutiny of the national, and sometimes worldwide, media?
Here’s what top referees earn:
|How Much Officials Earn Per
Domestic League Game (€)
|*EPL referees are paid a retainer of €38,500 per season|
Intuitively, the officials hailing from the top leagues earn the most money, though this is a little skewed for the Premier League, who pay their referees a large retainer over the course of the campaign and therefore a smaller match fee.
It’s La Liga where referees are paid most handsomely, with each taking home a €6,000 pay packet, while in Italy, the main official will earn around €3,400 for his 90 minutes work – no Calciopoli jokes, please.
Though French officials are amongst the best paid in Europe, earning on average €73,000-per-season, they are presently threatening strike action over the wage level. But referees in l’Hexagone are not the only matchday officials to threaten a strike this term; Scottish whistleblowers did stage a walkout earlier this season, though this was over their treatment in the media rather than over their pay.
While some spectators may baulk at these significant sums, it’s worth remembering that even the very best referees will be earning a fraction of what the top players earn each week. With wages for superstars spiralling at an incredible rate, perhaps we should spare a thought for the men in the middle trying to take command of players earning more than 50 times their salary.