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Premier League Referees: PL Officials For 23/24 Season

Premier League Referees: PL Officials For 23/24 Season

The introduction of Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) to the Premier League in 2019 marked a turning point in the officiating of England's top flight. Ever since, debates have raged constantly about the implementation of this technology, and fans, pundits and managers are extremely divided about the role of VAR in the game.

As a result of this shift, a huge amount of additional pressure has been placed on the people charged with keeping order: the referees. Premier League match officials are under more scrutiny than ever before; it's often said that if you don't notice a ref during a match, it's more than likely they've done a very good job, but these days it's pretty hard to fly under the radar.

As the standard of top flight refereeing in England continues to be a hotly-debated issue, this article will provide some context to that debate, by running you through a comprehensive list of every single referee employed by the Premier League for the 2023/24 season.

Referee Meaning: What Does The Role Of The Referee Involve?

Without match officials, association football simply couldn't happen. Being a referee can be a thankless task, but someone has to do it, otherwise things would pretty quickly descend into chaos. In professional soccer, there will always be four officials on the ground: the referee, two assistant referees, and a fourth official. In certain top-level competitions in the modern day, there will now also be VAR officials watching the game from a studio with the benefit of instant video replays. 

The referees themselves have a variety of duties to perform during the course of a 90-minute game. They must be able to keep up with play, staying close to the action without interfering in players' movements and keeping a keen eye on any potential fouls or conflicts between players. Referees are responsible for ensuring that proceedings are fair and safe at all times and that the Laws of the Game are implemented properly.

Premier League referee assignments include tasks like inspecting the field of play, keeping a record of time, calling fouls and distributing yellow or red cards to offending players, awarding free-kicks, throw-ins, corners and other set-pieces, and keeping a strong line of communication with players throughout the match. To perform at the top of your profession and referee in the Premier League, you need to be confident when it comes to ticking all these boxes. So which officials are working in the top flight today?

Premier League Referees: How Many Are There?

It takes a long time for referees to work their way up to Level 1 of the game, aka the Premier League and the English Football League (EFL). Across these competitions, referees are organised by Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), a body formed in 2001 to lead a team of full-time match officials that now numbers 79. 

PGMOL's Chief Refereeing Officer is Howard Webb, a well-known referee who officiated in the Premier League for many years himself, and at the peak of his career took charge of the 2010 World Cup Final. Ex Premier League referees will usually assume this role, with Mike Riley taking the reins before Webb's appointment.


The list of referees operating in the Premier League under the CRO's supervision will change each season, and new officials can be added to the list during the course of a campaign, too. At the start of the 2023/24 campaign, 20 official referees were listed by the Premier League.

Premier League Match Officials For The 23/24 Season

Being an official in the top flight is a super demanding role, so it's rare for anyone to be operating in the league for more than 15-20 years. Following the retirement of veteran ref Mike Dean in 2022, only one official in the list below are within that bracket.

If you regularly watch the Premier League, some of the names in this list will be very familiar to you, but you may not have heard of some of the less established refs before.

Stuart Attwell

Currently the Premier League's most experienced official, Stuart Attwell made his PL debut back in 2008, when he was just 25 years old. This first game, a 1-1 draw between Blackburn Rovers and Hull City, made him the youngest-ever Premier League referee, a record that still stands to this day.

Michael Oliver

Oliver became part of the Select Group of Premier League referees back in January 2010, making him the second longest-serving top flight official at the time of writing. He joined the league after working his way up through non-league and the EFL, refereeing the 2007 Conference National play-off final in a fixture that made him the youngest person to take charge of a game at Wembley.

Anthony Taylor

Another of the most experienced referees in the English Premier League, Anthony Taylor took charge of his first top flight game back in February 2010, and since then he's become an established figure. He's been referee for some high-profile matches including the 2017 and 2020 FA Cup Finals; the latter match made him the first man to referee two cup finals since Arthur Kingscott in 1901.

Craig Pawson

Sheffield-born Craig Pawson has been a referee since 1993 and got his call-up to the Select Group 20 years later in March 2013; since then, he's overseen numerous high-profile EPL fixtures and also looked after prominent EFL games like the 2019 Championship play-off semi-final between Leeds United and Derby County.

Graham Scott

At 55, Graham Scott is the oldest referee currently working in the top flight by several years. He was first promoted to the league in 2014 and initially wasn't selected to oversee many games, but he's gradually established himself as one of the country's more consistent match officials.

Paul Tierney

First appointed in 2016,  Paul Tierney is now a well-known Premier League referee; at the time of writing, the Wigan-born match official has overseen 13 top flight fixtures so far during the 2023/24 season. The 43-year-old is a well-respected ref who was given the responsiblity of managing the 2023 FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Manchester United.

Chris Kavanagh

Kavanagh is the next longest-serving Premier League ref after Tierney, having received his first few Premier League referee assignments during the 2017/18 season. He's since become a familiar face to regular EPL viewers, and marked his biggest day as a referee in England at the 2024 EFL Cup final, where he took charge of a dramatic late victory for Liverpool over Premier League rivals Chelsea.

Darren England

Appointed to the Premier League's group of refs in August 2017, Darren England has been refereeing top flight games for several years now. Earlier this season, he experienced his most controversial day in the job so far; on VAR duty for a match between Liverpool and Spurs, he was judged to have made a "significant human error" by failing to retrospectively overrule an offside call against Luis Diaz. Mistakes happen in football, but England received a lot of criticism after this match.

Simon Hooper

Hooper is one of the Premier League's most consistently-used referees, having overseen 28 top flight matches in the last 12 months. He also regularly refs in the League Cup and FA Cup, as well as occasionally in the Championship.

David Coote

Based in Nottinghamshire, David Coote is now an established figure in the Premier League having joined the Select Group back in 2018. His biggest match to date took place in February 2023, when he oversaw the EFL Cup Final between Manchester United and Newcastle United.

Robert Jones

In 2019, Jones made his Premier League debut after being given the responsibility of reffing multiple EFL and National League play-off finals. He's since presided over numerous matches both on the field and as a VAR official.

Andy Madley

40-year-old Andy Madley is an experienced ref who was first promoted to the Select Group 1 in 2019 and has established himself within the top flight, reffing 17 matches so far during the 2023/24 season.

Peter Bankes

Select Group 2, the level between Select Group 1 that mostly oversees EFL matches in England, was where Bankes did his work for several years until he got the Premier League call up in August 2019, looking after a match between Leicester City and Bournemouth. 

Tim Robinson

A near-constant presence throughout the 2023/24 season, Tim Robinson has embedded himself within the Premier League officiating landscape this campaign after being promoted to Select Group 1 last summer. Before that he took charge of the odd Prem game, having made his debut in 2019.

Jarred Gillett

Gillett is one of the few foreign-born refs in the Premier League, having grown up in Australia and cut his teeth both in his home country and in Japan's J-League. He moved to the UK in 2019 and joined Select Group 2 before reffing his first Premier League game in 2021.

Michael Salisbury

Alongside Gillett, Michael Salisbury was another new referee for the 2021/22 Premier League season, taking charge of his first game in November 2021 in a match between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.

John Brooks

The month after Salisbury's debut, Leicestershire referee Brooks oversaw his first match in the Premier League. He's one of the division's youngest officials, aged 32.

Tony Harrington

After a decent spell in the EFL, Tony Harrington oversaw his first top flight match in December 2021 around the same time as Brooks, becoming a familiar face in the division in the years since.

Tom Brammall

Another younger referee, 32-year-old Brammall was brought into the Premier League picture in August 2022 after successfully refereeing that summer's FA Trophy Final between Wrexham and Bromley.

Sam Allison

The newest addition to the Premier League's list of referees was Sam Allison, who made history on Boxing Day 2023 when he took charge of a match between Sheffield United and Luton Town, becoming the league's first Black referee since Uriah Rennie, who officiated in the Prem between 1997 and 2008. Up until 2020, Allison was the only Black referee in England's top four divisions.

If you'd like to find out more about the role of the referee in elite level soccer, check out our in-depth guide to the key game officials that operate in a professional football match.

Keen to learn more about PL whistlers? Check out our article on how much Premier League Referees get paid.