Shropshire Star

Johnny Phillips: Whistleblowers all set to provide a unique insight

When it comes to officiating, this has probably been one of the most controversial seasons for the Premier League.

Referee Jon Moss (second left) awards a penalty to Manchester City during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Picture date: Saturday December 11, 2021.

With the added layer of VAR and a fresh influx of referees promoted to the top division, the 2023/24 campaign has not passed without trouble.

Match officials have some of the toughest jobs in the entire football industry.

The pressure to make the correct decision in the blink of an eye, while all the time mindful of the overbearing presence of Big Brother – VAR – makes it an unenviable task.

The speed of the modern day game, the intense media scrutiny and the personal abuse directed in stadiums and on social media towards the men in the middle, and their assistants, just heaps on more pressure.

Two of the game’s longest serving referees are coming to Wolverhampton next month for what is sure to be a revealing insight into their world.

Mike Dean and Jon Moss refereed over 1000 Premier League games between them, as well as a host of cup finals and international fixtures.