The Secret Ref

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a match official in the biggest league in the world? We’ve a group of former referees who give us an insider’s look into the unseen world of professional football, through the eyes of the much loathed role of a referee. They’ve been there, done it, and are now ready to provide us a tale or two, reminiscing and reflecting back on their careers.

Simon Hooper

The Secret Ref | Fitness is just one of the tests ahead

The thinking behind the timing of the post-season get-togethers for Select Group 1 referees has always made sense to me. While there have been changes...

The Secret Ref | VAR has changed the landscape Oliver will encounter

We are all hoping that, by the time the next World Cup rolls around that Michael Oliver, for one, will be the subject of...

The Secret Ref | Fulham plan shows psychology is key to your prep

Years ago the psychology behind the game, even at the highest levels, was left to nothing more than a lonely drive home and the...
Stoppage Time

The Secret Ref | Only a matter of time before time is called on...

There seems to be a widespread misunderstanding when it comes to additional time in particular and timekeeping in general. The only thing likely to hold...
Assistant Referee standing near the technical area

The Secret Ref | Let top assistants step up and apply Law 12 like...

A big worry on reviewing this season's SG1 performances so far would surely be: are assistants tending to think, 'that's just too big a...

The Secret Ref | And here’s the bad news

If I have an issue with my experience transitioning from refereeing at amateur level to the professional ranks that issue would be how the...

The Secret Ref: It’s true, you CAN be in too good a position!

The game where I learned the lesson that you can be in too good a position came with most unfortunate timing, as it was...

The Secret Ref’s YATR début: Let’s all keep our eyes and ears open!

The hunt continues for those guilty of racially abusing Heung-min Son at the Spurs-Millwall FA Cup quarter-final and the sooner this is punished and...
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