Keith Hackett column: The lack of succession planning by PGMOL will hopefully change with four new refereeing appointments this season

I have over many years been critical of the lack of a real succession plan been operated by the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd., and the need to ensure that they have a flow of younger referees into the Select Group One panel.

This is the group that officiate on the English Premier League and have a career ambition to become a FIFA Elite referee.

PGMOL have selected four referees to join the elite group of professional referees next season.

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Their promotion is well deserved but now these four referees need to step up a gear, increase their fitness levels and workrate, and learn to work with VAR.

I wish them every success.


For Australian, Jarred Gillet, the pathway was somewhat different. I remember Jarred visiting us at the PGMOL SG1 training camps and spending time with us.

He participated in our physical training, the lively discussion groups where Premier League referees discuss and review video clips of decisions the previous week, taking training sessions and also taking on board the advice we offered.

Back in Australia his rise to the top was rapid, where not only did he become a FIFA referee but received the recognition of being Australia’s number one referee.

Remembering that Australia doesn’t operate a panel of professional referees, Jarred had to pursue a career despite being at the top of his game, and this involved a big decision to come to Liverpool University.

Keith Hackett
Former Premier League and FIFA referee Keith Hackett is a columnist for

It was a no brainer for the PGMOL and the Football Association to accept him onto the National List of referees where his skill sets and his performances have accelerated him to the top.

Ted Kearney, based in Brisbane, is the referees coach who I have exchanged views with over many years.

Quietly spoken and demanding that his officials give their best every time they run out onto the field of play, I know that he is very proud of Jarred and his achievements to date.


I have known Michael’s dad, Graham, a recently retired and very experienced football league referee who gave great service to officiating, for many years.

Michael was a Select Group Assistant referee and has quickly gained a top-class reputation in the middle of the Championship.


After four years as an assistant referee in the English Football League and four years as a national list referee, he was promoted to the Select Group 2 panel in 2016 and has
officiated many top Championship encounters.


John has experience in the Premier League having operated as a Referee Assistant where he gained a reputation as being very reliable.

I was delighted when he decided to make a career change and, in 2018, he was appointed to the Select Group 2 panel as a referee.

Solid performances in the Championship have earned him his promotion.