Is it possible to create an approximate draw with the earning of the referee in the most important sports(Soccer/Basketball/Volleyball/Tennis/Cricket etc.)?

  • 4
    I know that in soccer some of the refs have a full time job alongside their career as a referee so I can't imagine they earn a lot unless there is a big difference between what top refs make in comparison to middle of the road refs
    – RoB
    May 8, 2014 at 8:50
  • 2
    @RoB The referee appointed for the Champions League final has a job alongside.
    – Bernhard
    May 8, 2014 at 10:45

2 Answers 2


Referees and umpires get paid much differently depending on the sport.

For the first example, let's take the most watched sport in the world: football (known to Americans as soccer). European soccer referees get paid, on average, about the equivalent of $120,000 a year (salary plus match fees). Of course, this depends on the quality of the referee, but it is quite apparent that this is nothing compared to soccer players (about a two weeks salary in average).

For the most watched sport in the United States, American football, referees get paid much higher. For the 2013-2014 season, NFL referees got paid on average $173,000 (an increase from $149,000 the preceding year). Of course, rookie (first year) referees make much less, and verteran referees can make up to $200,000 per season.

In tennis, the idea is different. Umpires get paid by the match, since every tournament has a different level of importance (Grand Slams being the most important). The salaries also differ depending on the tournament. For the sake of simplicity, let's compare the salaries of "Gold Badge Umpires" (the highest position for a tennis umpire), from the four grand slams. A spreadsheet obtained by The New York Times showed that Wimbledon paid gold badge umpires £189, or about $306 daily. The French Open paid 190 euros (about $270), even for the tournament’s qualifying rounds, while the United States Open pays $185 a day for its qualifying rounds.

At the Australian Open, gold badge umpires earn about $383 for each main draw day, and they make overtime if they work more than 10 hours, a perk none of the other Grand Slam tournaments provide.

Cricket umpires can make anything from $30,000 to $45,000 in annual salary. This is just the salary. Depending on the match, either a ODI (one day international) or a test match (which last considerably longer than ODI's), they also gain match day fees. For a test match, the fee is usually around $3,000 while a ODI can pay around $800-$1,000.


Goal.com had a table on how much refs get paid in the top leagues in Europe from around 2011. How Much Officials Earn Per Domestic League Game (€)

England 1,170* (Referee) 375 (Referee Assistant)

Spain 6,000 (Referee) 2,000 (Referee Assistant)

Germany 3,600 (Referee) 1,800 (Referee Assistant)

Italy 3,400 (Referee) 1,700 (Referee Assistant)

France 2,751 (Referee) -

Portugal 1,188 (Referee) 594 (Referee Assistant)

*EPL referees are paid a retainer of €38,500 per season which explains why their fee per game is lower than some of the other leagues.

On average top tennis umpires can expect to earn £50-£60,000 per annum, but it takes a long time to get there! Most earn around £30,000. On average a line judge can expect to earn £20,000 (BBC Sport).

In cricket;


1 Aleem Dar (Umpire) $45,000 (Basic Yearly Salary) $3,000 (Test Match Fee) $850 (ODI Match Fee)

2 Steve Davis (Umpire) $45,000 $3,000 $1000

3 Tony Hill (Umpire) $30,000 $3,000 $850

4 Ian Gould (Umpire) $45,000 $3,000 $1000

5 Rod Tucker (Umpire) $45,000 $3,000 $1000

6 Marais Erasmus (Umpire) $35,000 $3,000 $850

7 Kumar Dharmasena (Umpire) $30,000 $3,000 $850

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