Mike Riley, the head of Premier League referees, will step down from his role next season, with Howard Webb set to replace him.
It was previously reported that a host of Premier League sides were pushing for a change in command, as they believed too many mistakes were made during games in the 2021-22 season.
In a statement from the Professional Game Match Officials Board, it has now been confirmed that Riley will leave his role next season – one which he had held since 2009 when he replaced Keith Hackett.
Riley’s role is set to be split after his departure with PGMOL, aiming to appoint a chief refereeing officer, in charge of developing match officials, and a chief operating officer, who will manage the organisation.
Speaking after his departure was confirmed, Riley said:
‘l am proud of the contribution our match officials have made to the professional game and have enjoyed working with such a dedicated, professional and high-quality group at all of the levels that PGMOL manages. ‘As the Elite Referee Development Plan begins to take shape, now is the right time to plan for the future and allow the new leadership team to build on the strong foundations that we have in place.”I look forward to working with the new team over the next season and giving them my support before I stepdown.’
It had previously been reported that the Premier League are planning to bring Howard Webb back into the fold. According to reports, Webb has been in London this week at meetings with the PGMOL and is likely to step into the role at the end of the year.
A succession plan will be phased in over the course of the coming season as Webb currently remains under contract in a similar role with Major League Soccer.
His contract in the States runs until December, but Webb’s profile and reputation in the game has seen a number of clubs put him forward as the ideal candidate to be Riley’s successor.
His wife, the former Bundesliga referee Bibiana Steinhaus-Webb, is already PGMOL’s select group director for the women’s game which leaves her husband in a god position to secure the role.
Source: Daily Mail