It’s not a good day to be a Level 1 referee for PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Ltd), with news that a court has upheld a decision to reclassify their employment status with the company.
The Athletic report that the officials had long been classed as freelance workers, but the HMRC had campaigned against the same, suggesting that the officials were, in fact, employed by PGMOL.
What the court’s ruling means is that between 60 of the officials, none of whom officiate in the Premier League, they will have to pay back an incredible £584,000 in back taxes.
In simple terms, that’s a payment of approximately £9,700 for each individual, and relates to tax between 2014 and 2016.
The issue which HMRC have successfully argued against is that the part-time officials were doing the work of employed personnel and, as a result, income tax and national insurance was therefore due.
PGMOL chief, Mike Riley, can clearly do without such a scenario affecting his current members, and the ruling may even impact on those thinking about a part-time career in refereeing.