Howard Webb has retired as a match referee and has been appointed technical director of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the Premier League has announced.
According to a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, Webb will be responsible for overseeing the technical direction and standards that govern the on-field performance of PGMOL’s match officials. He will also “take a public-facing role, informing and educating on refereeing matters” and report to PGMOL General Manager Mike Riley.
“I am very excited to start this new chapter in my career after a wonderfully rewarding 25 years on the pitch,” Webb said. “I have spent over a decade with the best seat in the house for Barclays Premier League matches, been lucky enough to be involved in nine Uefa and Fifa tournaments, and taken charge of the Uefa Champions League and Fifa World Cup finals.
“Refereeing has given me so much and it’s important that match officials who have had the rewards remain in the game to pass on their knowledge. I also have much more to learn about the business of refereeing and the best place for me to do that is with PGMOL. It’s an incredibly positive working environment and we all have a common goal of improving refereeing.”
Webb’s career reached a peak in 2010 when he became the first person to referee the Champions League final and the World Cup final in the same year.
He also refereed at Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, and was widely-praised for his performances at the World Cup in Brazil.
“Howard has been the foremost referee of his generation and an inspiration for match officials in this country and around the world,” said Riley.
“We are very excited that Howard’s knowledge and skills are being retained and shared for them and the rest of PGMOL’s officials.
“Last season we trebled the funding for referee coaching and training and we will continue to invest in match officials from the Premier League down to the contributory leagues.
“We want to accelerate the development of referees from the semi-professional game so that we have an even stronger talent pool to pick from at Select Group level. There is no one better to lead on that than Howard Webb.”