for the love or money


RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
every ref loves football, that's a default i think

i became a ref to see if i could more than anything as it had been somethng i'd wanted to do for some time. looking back i'm glad i did but wish i'd taken the course a few years earlier when i'd first thought about it.

it wasnt for the money at all (as i had no real clue how much refs got paid) but the money was and still is very much appreciated
Agree with this.
I didn't know the fees back when I started the course. More, I didn't care either.
I was messed about as a youth player, playing for 3 different teams up until u16s. I wasn't fantastic but I could read a game very well. Positioning was my strongest point if tackling wasn't. I also was very quick at the time.
I took the course as I quit the playing side of things. I enjoy playing the 5/6 a side leagues, as my belly gets bigger.
For me, I've noticed the fees jump more and more. There was a time I could potentially have made a weeks worth of money from my day job refereeing on Saturday and Sunday. In fact, there was one weekend I done that many games a few years back I did. I done 2 Saturday morning kid games, a Saturday afternoon game, Sunday morning men's match and then, finally, 2 Sunday afternoon youth matches "earning" me about £260..
Yes it was a huge risk for injury and letting the other games down if it happened, but a risk the teams took as I did explain it. They were all struggling to get refs otherwise they'd have to ref themselves anyway.

I've since moved away and found doing 2 games a week still brings in nearly £100 a week. A new job, earning less than before, means those 2 games I earn just under half my contracted hours of my day job. Which shows you my lack of earning at the moment.

Right now, it is for the money more than the love of the game because I don't earn enough to pay my bills but overall, I'd say it has always been the love of the game.
I've always found refereeing a release for me from the mostly unhappy life I am having. That's another story.

On top of that, I have given back and done many games free of charge. Especially charity matches. I do get paid for them but I tend to just chuck the fees in their buckets or raffles etc. I've never kept the money. Done a few kids matches because neighbours were desperate and I had nothing else to do. Reffed for my brother on occasion too because he needed my help. Cheekily id ask for, in return, to come back to his and enjoy his wife's Sunday roast (she makes a gorgeous Sunday roast).

Kent Ref

Well-Known Member
Up until the last 5 or 6 years (20 years of reffing then) i would have reffed for free, if asked.

After that point i would never ref for free.

The slow decline in society and attitude of CFAs and clubs has also declined.

At tournaments i will only ref if the money is fair. If not i don't bother.

Any referee is worth £75 a day minimum - that is the ref "giving back" at that fee level IMHO. Especially when the clubs can make over £5000 profit.


Forum VAR
Staff member
Level 6 Referee
FA Referee
When I started the going rate for a junior game was £6. Adults was a tenner. Certainly didn’t do it for the cash then and don’t now. I was that desperate for a game 2 seasons ago after mine got called off, I did a 90 mile round trip and didn’t claim any expenses for it, just the match fee. I even won the football card that day and gave it back to the club.


Level 7 Referee
I do it because I generally enjoy it and it provides me with transferable skills for my career as well as fitness.

However, the money is nice. I put it in a drawer each time I have a game and come back to it at the end of the season and it normally pays for my West Ham season ticket.

Another important point is that I reinvest that money when needed to make sure I have the best equipment and clothes etc. I’ll never have anything but the latest Nike referee and training kit to make sure I create the best first impression.


RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
As most above, I don't do it for the money but wouldn't do it for nothing.

When I was working and doing an U23 line in the evening, I don't think rushing home from work early, praying the tube was working properly, getting in, trying to eat something while getting ready, sometimes driving for over an hour and then a bit less coming home, arriving back at about 11.00pm, it was unreasonable to be paid £25 - £30!

Even without work, as we all know, pre covid, midweek games account for a whole evening with the vagaries of travel thrown in.

Of course, on the other side, there are local enjoyable/easy games I have done and felt a little guilty taking the £35.

I always put £20 of any match fee towards my QPR season ticket and Mrs Pinner wastes the rest on bread and milk etc! ;)