How Premier League referees prepare for the season

Premier League referees prepare thoroughly for the season. “Players become better, so we have to do the same”, says Michael Oliver on the Premier League website. And every referee wants the best games in the league. “This means I have to keep my standards high as well”, says Martin Atkinson.

Premier League referees training at St. Georges Park.
Premier League referees training at St. Georges Park. Photo is screenshot from video

Preparation of Premier League referees

PGMOL managing director Mike Riley explains why referees need to prepare thoroughly. Because of these two factors: physical ability and mental fitness. Riley explains:

  • EPL referees will will cover more ground than any player on the field of play. Nowadays, referees cover about 11 kilometres per game on average.
  • The top referees in England will do more sprints than any other
  • Combine that with the level of concentration that is required to make decisions

“That is what all this preparation is about”, Riley says.

Better players need better referees

In the clip by the Premier League referee Michael Oliver agrees with this. He compares now with nine years ago, because he sees a big change. “Football is a lot faster now”, he says. Players get better skills. “Because the players continue to get better, we have to do the same.”

How do you improve as refreee? Lots of efforts during the pre-season. Michael Oliver: “All of that comes from hard work.”

The new Premier League referees

  • New center referees in select group 1: Simon Hooper and David Coote.
  • New assistant refreees in the highest group are: Neil Davies and Dan Robathan
  • Bobby Madley is no longer on the list. He quits due to personal reasons.

Click the clip below to watch more about the training of Premier League referees. Curious how referees in other countries train? Check the video from La Liga referees.

Premier League referees running
Screenshot from clip by

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