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How football referees get paid in Europe’s top 5 leagues?

In football, the referees have the toughest task on the pitch. The decision made by the referees decides the outcome of the match. It is, however, a no-brainer that the referees bear the brunt of the football fans more than anyone for their decision-making; their uphill task also comes with lucrative paychecks. Additionally, as much as handling the 22 men on the field, along with the managers and support staff, makes it a challenging job for the referees, their precision and accuracy also promote them to Europe’s major competitions.

The abilities of the referees have a major outcome on the entire league as well, as it determines the quality of a specific league. In Europe, La Liga is considered one of the best-officiated leagues. The per-match salary for referees officiating in La Liga is £3,688 per game, £10,978 per month, and £219,619 annually. The amount accounts for three times more than the referee’s salary in the Premier League. Additionally, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has a pay of £1,844 per match. The Champions League referring fee for each game is £6,147. Incidentally, in 2020, the Spanish League referees were the highest-earning referees in entire Europe, and Ricardo De Burgos is the only referee in the 2022-23 season to officiate 20 games.

In the Premier League, the referring fee per game is £1,140, £3,246 monthly, and £96,634 annually. However, the likes of Paul Tierney, Michael Oliver, and Anthony Taylor, who are considered among the best Premier League referees, can earn a higher annual income depending on the number of matches officiated. The VAR in the Premier League earns £878 per match.

Although the Premier League has a larger fan base and a large amount of money pouring from its stakeholders, the German Bundesliga referees fetch more than the English League. The per-match fee for the Bundesliga referees is £3,159, £5,268 monthly, and £109,679 annually. None of the referees officiate more than 20 games in one season of the Bundesliga. Incidentally, in the 2022-23 season, Deniz Aytekin and Felix Brych have officiated 17 games each, which is the most from the list of 25 referees. The VAR makes £965 per game in the Bundesliga.

The referees officiating in the French Ligue 1 take home a handsome per-match fee of £2,545, £5,268 monthly, and £105,286 annually. The referees in the top-tier French League are allowed to officiate for a maximum of 23 to 34 games. In the ongoing season, Eric Wattellier and Willy Delajod have officiated 23 games each, while Jeremy Stinat and Ruddy Buquet officiated 22. The VAR earns £790 per game in the Ligue 1.

Whereas in the Serie A, the referees earn £2,985 per game, £3,422-£5,703 monthly, and £122,905. However, the number of matches the referees in the Italian League can officiate is limited to 16 per season. The VAR in the Serie A takes a higher salary of £1,317 per match than their counterparts in the Premier League, Bundesliga, or Ligue 1. In the ongoing season, Antonio Rapuano, Daniele Chiffi, Davide Massa, Fabio Maresca, and Daniele Orsato have officiated in 14 games each.

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