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Category: Job of a Ref

How Much are Refs Paid in Football

Being a soccer referee is not an easy task. The jobs requires you to run around a football pitch, keep the players in check and in addition to these you also have to make some challenging calls. Referees have the power to change the outcome of a game with just the blow of a whistle. A referee needs to have the eyes of an eagle so as to issue potential penalties, call back play in case of a foul, issue a yellow or a red card depending on the intensity of a challenge and also be on alert for any offside play. Lucky for them, they are paid very well. The salaries paid to referees usually differ depending on the league they are officiating and also
the event.


The USA Major league

In the USA Major League Soccer commonly abbreviated as MLS the referees are paid depending on the experience they have and the tournament stage. In terms of experience you are paid based on the total number of games you have officiated. Those who have officiated 0-20 games are paid $ 900 per game, those who have officiated 41 to 75 games are paid $ 1000 per game while those who have done more than 76 games are paid $ 1100 per game. During tournaments, the referee in charge of the quarter finals is paid $ 2000 for the game while a semi-final referee is paid $ 2,800.

European leagues

In Europe we have quite a number of leagues but we will only look at the main leagues.


Referees in charge of the English premier league which has the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal can earn on average $2000 per game. This totals up to around $ 50,000 a year depending on how many games he is involved in. The assistant referees or part timers receive £ 475 on average per game.


In La Liga, which is the main league in Spain where Messi resides, the main referees receive on average £ 5,200 per game while the assistant referees are paid £ 1550 per game. You will notice that in comparison to other leagues, La Liga pays quite well.


In the Bundesliga, the main league of Germany where we have the likes of Bayern munich and Borrusia Dortmund, the main referee is paid on average £ 3,600 per game while the assistant referees receive £ 1,300per game.


In Italy, the land of the Old lady Juventus, the main referee is paid on averag £ 3,400 per game while the assistant referees are paid £ 1,300 per game.


In France, where we have Paris Saint Germain commonly abbreviated as PSG, the main referees are paid on average a salary of £ 2751.


In Portugal, which is the birthplace of Cristiano Ronaldo and features teams like Porto and Sporting Lisbon, the main referees receive a salary of £ 1,188 per game while the assistant referees receive a mere £ 465 per game.

The champions League

In the champions league which is the tournament that brings all the top teams in European football together, payment is based on experience. The most experienced receive over £ 5,500 in every game. They are considered as the elite category referees. The referees below them are paid £ 3,800 while those at the very bottom receiving £ 700 per game.

The World cup

To wrap this up, let us look at the world cup. The main referees in the world cups of 2010 and 2014 were paid on average $ 50,000 for officiating these tournaments. In 2018, the main referees were paid around $70,000 while their assistants received $25,000.

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