The figure of the referee, often controversial, is key to the proper development of soccer matches. It is a figure who has a great responsibility, and it is necessary that he/she knows all the rules and regulations regarding the functioning of the sport.
That is why, given the weight of their decisions on the pitch, many people wonder how much referees are paid for their work, and whether it is really worth it to be often vilified and exposed to criticism from clubs and fans.
The truth is that, depending on whether we are talking about a First or Second Division match, we are talking about a different salary range. The same applies to referees at the European Championship, whose salaries are quite different. Do you want to know more details? We look at them below.
Being one of the most important sports in the world, it is not surprising that the refereeing staff is reserved only for the best referees. Given the knowledge they must have of the rules of the sport and the pressures they are under, it is clear that the salaries have to compensate for all these handicaps to ensure that their services are provided whenever they are required.
The first thing to bear in mind about First Division referees is that they are paid a fixed amount of money per month, regardless of whether they whistle or not. Their monthly salary is around 12,000 euros. To that amount, which is the base salary, some additional amounts per match must be added.
To these 12,000 euros per month, a little more than 4,000 euros per match must be added. VAR referees, on the other hand, receive an additional compensation of just over 2,000 euros per match.
Thus, the salary of a First Division referee, taking into account the fact that he/she whistles two matches per month, could reach 20,000 euros per month. If we look at annual figures, the salary of a first division referee could be between 250,000 and 300,000 euros.
Although in essence their work is practically the same, in soccer the prestige goes by stages, according to the level of the spectacle and the relevance of the matches. This is the reason why Second Division referees are paid considerably less than 1st Division matches.
In the specific case of Second Division referees, a minimum annual salary of almost 78,000 euros is established for all referees. If we count it per month, it would be approximately 5,300 euros gross, divided into fourteen payments, twelve ordinaries plus two extraordinary ones.
As in the case of referees in the top flight, second division referees receive additional compensation per match refereed. The amount is variable and is negotiated on a case-by-case basis, as it is influenced by whether the referee is a regular or assistant referee.
Taking into account the matches refereed per year and the fixed amount established as a base salary, we can know how much Second Division soccer referees earn per year: between 120,000 and 180,000 euros.
Euro matches have an enormous prestige, and refereeing them is a responsibility, since the decisions of the referees can be even more important than in other matches of lower categories.
According to UEFA data, the basic salary of referees at the European Championship also includes a much higher bonus than that received by any referee, assistant or regular referee, in First and Second Division matches.
This bonus per match refereed is around 10,000 euros for the main referee, in any phase or group. The amount is almost halved for the two assistant referees, who each receive 5,500 euros per month for their services.
UEFA also confirmed that the fourth official, who works from the bench area, receives 4,000 euros per match. And the reserve referee, who will only perform his role in the event of injury to the main referee, receives around 3,000 euros per match.
To these amounts, which are included in the basic salary and bonuses, must be added other items such as per diems, since the nature of his work requires him to travel to the meeting points, and the referee is always paid the costs of his accommodation and meals.
From this, it can be deduced that, although the basic salary of a referee is what mainly differentiates the referees of the First and Second Division, as well as those who referee Eurocup matches, it should not be forgotten that it is the match bonuses and, above all, the category of the referee, which substantially modify the real amounts received by these professionals for their work.
Therefore, in order to know how much a referee earns, it is not only necessary to look at the gross amount of his annual salary: to know what the real economic remuneration of these professionals is, it is also necessary to know how much a referee earns per match, in which Division he performs his function and what is the category of the referee.
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