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All refereeing appointments are handled by Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL). Match observers are appointed to each EFL match and provide a report on the match officials’ performance together with a report of any extraordinary incident which may have taken place.

Club managers also compile a report on the Referees’ performance and all of this data helps to produce a ‘merit list’ of match officials on which appointments, retention or reclassification are based. Clubs are encouraged to provide constructive feedback on match officials and dialogue is encouraged with PGMOL.

The EFL Referees’ Manager works with his group in a bid to constantly improve standards and support the development of match officials.


What does PGMOL stand for?

Professional Game Match Officials Limited.

What is PGMOL responsible for?

Formed in 2001 to improve refereeing standards, the PGMOL group officiate across all EFL, Premier League, and Football Association (FA) Competitions – with all three organisations funding it.

The training, development and mentoring of 117 referees and 177 assistant referees is run by Managing Director Mike Riley (a former PGMOL referee) and a team of managers and coaches.

What levels of referee are there?

Select Group 1 – Officiate Premier League, Championship and the occasional League One and League Two matches.  Some of Select Group 1 are FIFA referees and referee Champions League and Europa League matches

Select Group 2 – Officiate Championship matches and occasionally League One and League Two games.  Select Group 2 can also operate as fourth officials at Premier League matches.

National Group – Officiate League One and League Two matches and are occasionally fourth officials in the Championship.  

What level of representation do PGMOL have officiating on FIFA competitions?

PGMOL has 15 FIFA listed referees and 16 FIFA listed assistant referees.

Select Group 2

Following an extensive assessment process, eighteen referees were chosen to form the new Select Group 2 and became full time professionals at the start of the season.  Each Championship Club contributes £50,000 per season towards these costs.

Select Group 2 referees meet every fortnight for two days training and development meetings at Warwick University.  At these meetings, incidents are analysed and debated, with sports scientists directing the physical training and general wellbeing of the group. Sports psychology is used to aid decision making and outside speakers help to develop a knowledge of team tactics.

As full time referees the group are better prepared for matches than ever before.

All of the Select Group are involved in community work in schools, with local referee associations and at football clubs.  

Breaking Barriers

PGMOL have been working on an innovative webinar series called ‘Breaking Barriers’ and consulting on its wider work around equality, diversity and inclusion. 

The first session was held in February and featured experienced referee Howard Webb as well as leading official, Sam Allison, while the second session focused on women in refereeing, with Premier League Assistant Referee Sian Massey-Ellis and groundbreaking grassroots referee Jawahir Roble featuring. 

The sessions are available to watch here.