Details pf a new group of match officials to officiate across the Sky Bet Championship have now been confirmed.
For the first time in English football, the EFL and PGMOL are pleased to announce that referees in the Sky Bet Championship will now be employed on a full time basis alongside helping support the development of refereeing standards across the rest of the Sky Bet EFL.
A vigorous recruitment process was put in place to identify the 18 referees and 36 assistants that would fill the vacant positions in what will be known as Select Group 2. Financially supported by all 24 Championship clubs, the Select Group 2 programme will enable officials to meet regularly, share learning and improve consistency on the pitch.
This investment to support development of Match Officials in the EFL follows the launch of a new joint initiative adopted across English football that aims to promote positive behaviour across the game.
The recruitment process started with a fitness test before the PGMOL assessed all the referees with four different tasks. The tasks involved match preparation ability, possible scenarios ahead of kick-off, a formal interview and finally, communication and engagement with a first team manager after a game.
The scores from their assessment days counted as 50% of their overall mark, with the remaining 50% comprised on their performance as an official in the Championship over the past three seasons.
EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey explained the benefits of Select Group 2: He said: “The job of a referee has always been an unforgiving one and today, more than at any other point in the history of our competitions, they face increasing scrutiny over how they perform and the split second decisions they make. Therefore, there has to be a collective responsibility between The EFL and PGMOL to ensure we prepare our officials in the most appropriate way. The introduction of Select Group 2 will do this as we continue to look at ways of improving officiating standards.
“The expectations that were being placed on some our officials were exceptionally unfair, given the fact they may have been holding down a demanding full-time job during the week and then being asked to referee a game at the weekend that could have significant consequences for managers, players and supporters. Now, they will have the opportunity to meet regularly, share learnings and devote more time to their profession that will only serve to improve consistency on the pitch.”
Former Premier League official Mike Riley added by saying that Select Group 2 is a step forward for match officiating in the EFL.
“Those officials selected to form SG2 have been put through one of the most intensive and challenging evaluations in PGMOL history,” admitted Riley.
“The continued support from the EFL will allow us to improve our development programme and referees will now be able to meet every two weeks during the season, which follows the successful model implemented in the Premier League. Previously, this simply was not possible as our referees juggled the demands of their jobs with their passion for refereeing.”
Alongside the announcement of Select Group 2, the EFL has clarified its referee and assistant appointment policy for season 2016/17. The restrictions mean match officials will not be eligible to participate in certain games if they:
• Reside in the same town or city as either club;
• Have played for any of the participating clubs at youth, under-21 (reserve) or senior level;
• Take an active interest in a club (season/match ticket currently or previously);
• Have personal connections with a participating club.
Select Group 2 List Profiles
Qualified in 2000 aged 16, following in his father’s footsteps, who also officiated on the EFL. James was appointed to the EFL as an assistant referee in 2008 and to the National list of Referees in 2011/12. In his 5 seasons at this level he has refereed over 150 EFL matches. James has also participated in the PGMO exchange programme which enable referees to gain experience of different football cultures. He has refereed games in America, Japan, China, Iceland and Denmark, enabling him to share experiences with international colleagues and learn new skills.
James previously worked as a PE teacher at a secondary school for 9 years.
Began refereeing in Liverpool in 1996, aged 14. Peter was subsequently appointed to the EFL Referees List in 2014, prior to which he spent two years as a Select Group Assistant Referee, which included his appointment to the FA Cup Semi Final between Wigan Athletic and Millwall. Peter refereed the National League Promotion Final at Wembley in 2014. In his 2 seasons on the referees list he has refereed two Play-Off Final Semi Finals and was the Fourth Official on the FA Vase Final at Wembley in May.
Darren comes from a footballing family. Taking up the whistle at 15 he has progressed to the Select Group 2 referees list, armed with 20 years of refereeing experience, including a year as an assistant referee in the Premier League. This summer marked another notable event with his marriage in July.
A former Select Group assistant referee David was appointed as an EFL referee in 2010. He has officiated at Wembley 4 times, taking charge of the FA Vase Final Referee in 2014 and the League 1 Play-Off Final also in 2014. As part of the PGMO exchange programme he has visited Japan, refereeing 2 senior matches and being 4th official in other games. A talented cricketer David played cricket for Notts at various youth age groups, before committing to his refereeing career.
A former player with a number of clubs at youth level Andy capitalised on this experience to make a rapid rise through the refereeing ranks. He was appointed to the EFL Referees List in 2012/13 and since then has refereed over 100 EFL matches.
Scott started his career as an EFL referee in 2012/13 taking charge of Port Vale v Barnet. Since then he has refereed over 100 matches including both the EFL League 1 and League 2 play-off semi-finals and the Southern Area Final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. Scott will combine his role on Select Group 2 with his work as a part time prison officer instructor.
A talented footballer in his youth Geoff started refereeing aged 16. He was appointed to the EFL referees list in 2009/10, with his first game being the 2-2 draw between Morecambe & Hereford United. Geoff was the
4th official in the League 2 Play-Off final between Bradford City & Northampton Town 2012/13.
An EFL for 8 years Simon has refereed over 100 Championship games. He took charge of the League 2 Play-Off final at Wembley between Wycombe Wanderers and Southend United in May 2015. A member of the PGMO Development Group Simon officiated matches involving 4 Premier League teams last season, including his first Premier League game at Norwich City.
Tony began refereeing in the Teesside Junior Football Alliance at the age of 14 years old, having completed the basic referee course whilst at school as part of the Duke of Edinburgh award. After 4 years as an EFL Assistant Referee and 4 years as a National League Referee Tony was appointed to the EFL referee list in 2012/13 and has now refereed over 100 EFL matches.
Chris started refereeing in 1998 at the age of 13 years old. 16 years later he was appointed to the EFL Referees List and has now refereed over 50 EFL matches, including more than 20 Championship games. As part of the PGMO development programme Chris officiated in the Dallas Cup in 2014 and was appointed as the 4th official for the FA Vase Final at Wembley in 2015.
Oli is a very experienced match official, with 8 seasons as an EFL referee. As part of the PGMO development programme Oli has officiated in the Dallas Cup and Algarve Cup. He has refereed approaching 200 EFL matches and has taken charge of many high profile games, including several play-off semi-finals.
James can claim that every match in the EFL is an overseas appointment, requiring the short hop over from his home on the Isle of Wight. He is a very experienced referee having refereed in the EFL for 9 seasons. In 2010 he was the 4th official for the FA Trophy Final at Wembley, returning to the same stadium 2 weeks later to referee the League 2 Play-Off final between Dagenham and Redbridge and Rotherham United.
After an injury playing at Huddersfield Town academy Andy took up the whistle in 2002 at the age of 18. His early career saw him appointed as the assistant referee for the League 1 Play-Off final between Millwall and Swindon Town in 2010. He also ran the line on the Premier League before becoming an EFL referee in 2011. He has twice refereed at Wembley, taking charge of the FA Vase Final in 2015 followed shortly afterwards by refereeing the League 1 Play-Off final between Preston North End and Swindon Town.
Steve’s father and grandfather were both Football League officials and encouraged Steve to take up the whistle in 2002. Steve’s rapid rise saw his appointed to the EFL assistant referee list in 2008 and to the National League referee list in the same year. After four years he became an EFL referee and has taken charge of over 150 games. His experience includes an appointment as the 4th official at last season’s League One play-off final. As part of the PGMO exchange programme Steve visited Japan in 2013 where he refereed three J-League games.
Tim was appointed to the EFL referees list for the start of the 2012/13 season, taking charge of his first game between Southend United and Accrington Stanley. He was the 4th Official at Wembley for the League 2 Play-Off Final between AFC Wimbledon and Plymouth Argyle in May 2016. As part of the PGMO development programme Tim represented the PGMOL at the Dallas Cup 2012 and at the Nike Cup in China in 2012.
Jeremy is a former International assistant referee, officiating in many Champions League and other international games. He opted for a career with the whistle after refereeing the 2012 National League Play-Off final between York City and Luton Town. He was then appointed to the EFL referees list in 2012/13 and, in his 4 years on the EFL list he has refereed over 100 matches.
Keith is a vastly experienced referee at this level. In his career he has been an International FIFA assistant referee and ran the line in the 2003 FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Southampton. Keith also served as a Premier League referee for 2 seasons before returning to the EFL list in 2009/10. Keith has refereed over 300 EFL games, including the League 2 Play-Off Final in 2013 between Bradford City and Northampton Town. In 2012 Keith was the referee for the Cerebral Palsy Paralympics final between Russia and Ukraine and in 2015 refereed the Cerebral Palsy World Championships final with the same teams as the finalists.
Andy is a vastly experienced EFL referee. He was appointed to the referees list in 2004 and has refereed over 300 EFL matches. Prior to that Andy served as a Premier League assistant referee for 3 years and was the assistant for the League Cup Final in 2003 and the FA Community Shield in the same year. Andy was the referee for last season’s thrilling Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final between Barnsley and Oxford United.