Professional Game Match Officials Board

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The Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOB), and since made a Limited Liability Company (PGMOL, or Professional Game Match Officials Limited), was formed when English association football referees turned professional in 2001, specifically to provide match officials for all games played in the Premier League in England. The Board consists of the three governing bodies' Chief Executives and Referees Managers in addition to The FA's Head of Refereeing. They are tasked with the responsibility of developing excellence in officiating in the English game at professional level. The organisation is headed by former Select Group and FIFA referee Mike Riley.

Riley and colleague Keren Barratt are responsible for selecting which referees will officiate at Premier League matches and appointing officials to fixtures, while David Allison appoints Football League matches and consults with the Football Association (FA) over the FA Cup.

The PGMOB replaced the referees' National Review Board. Former FIFA referee Roger Milford commented at the time: "I am sure this will mean more consistency from the officials on points of law which cause controversy."[1] The Select Group of referee, who primarily officiate in the Barclays Premier League, consists of Howard Webb, Martin Atkinson, Michael Dean, Chris Foy, Andre Marriner, Anthony Taylor, Phil Dowd, Mark Clattenburg, Kevin Friend, Michael Jones, Jonathan Moss, Lee Probert, Lee Mason, Neil Swarbrick, Roger East, Robert Madley and Craig Pawson.


The top-flight referees are continually monitored at games and attend fortnightly meetings in which, amongst other matters, their performances, via the use of ProZone[clarification needed], are evaluated.


The PGMOL employs Simon Breivik as Head of Sports Science and he is supported by Adam Kerr. Both Sports Scientists design training programmes, monitor the referees' training data and fitness test the match officials on a regular basis.

They provide a varied set of training sessions at variable intensities to ensure that match officials are at peak fitness to officiate at the top level of the game.

All training sessions and games are carefully scrutinised thanks to the aid of Polar Heart Monitors.


The PGMOL changed its sponsorship for the 2010/11 season from Air Asia to its parent group, 'Tune Group'.[2]

Coincidentally, the founder of Tune Group [Tony Fernandes] is also the Chairman of Queens Park Rangers football club who entered the Premier League from the 2011/2012 season.

For the 2012/13 season Expedia sponsored the officials. [3] However this agreement only lasted a year. For the start of the 2013-14 Premier League season PGMO had no sponsor, however part way through the season EA Sports signed a long term agreement which will see their logo on the arms of all officials in the Premier League and Football League until 2019. [4]


Since 2010 the neutrality and competence of PGMOL has been consistently challenged by a group of referees from outside PGMOL who have challenged the statistics that PGMOL have provided about their own work, and the reliability of the referees themselves. This led to the group of referees themselves reviewing 40% of all Premier League matches during the 2011/12 season and assessing the referees.

On 2 January 2014, Southampton F.C. made an official complaint and demanded an apology after accusing Mark Clattenburg of making an insulting remark to their midfielder Adam Lallana during their 2-1 defeat to Everton on 29 December 2013. The incident is alleged to have happened after Southampton had two penalty appeals turned down. Clattenburg is alleged to have said to Lallana: "You are very different now, since you've played for England – you never used to be like this."[5] Despite the complaint being dismissed by the PGMOB,[6] Southampton released a statement saying that they did not accept the verdict as the behaviour was "clearly not acceptable", and that it would not be "appropriate" for Clattenburg to referee any future Southampton matches until the matter was resolved.[7] On 6 January, the FA released a statement confirming that they had turned down Southampton's request to continue investigating Clattenburg and that the case was closed.[8] Various media outlets reported that Southampton wanted a new independent panel to judge all future complaints rather than the PGMOB.[9][10][11]




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