Jon Moss left PGMOL role after falling out with top referees

Jon Moss at Man City
Moss, a former headmaster, rose quickly through the ranks at PGMOL - Getty Images/Robbie Jay Barratt

The former referee Jon Moss departed as the director of top Premier League officials after a fallout with some of the leading English referees, Telegraph Sport understands.

A group of leading officials found themselves at odds with Moss, 53, and made their feelings plain to PGMOL, the body run by Howard Webb, the chief refereeing officer. PGMOL, which oversees officials for the Premier League, Football League and Football Association, announced last week that Moss was stepping down with immediate effect.

Moss is understood to have clashed with officials in PGMOL’s select group 1, the top referees. It was Moss who was responsible for critiquing performances and reviewing decisions when the officials met in their sessions every two weeks at St George’s Park and Loughborough University. PGMOL (Professional Games Match Officials) said that Moss was leaving “to pursue other opportunities”.

PGMOL declined to comment on allegations of a clash between Moss and some of the select group 1 referees. Moss also declined to comment. PGMOL claimed that the agreement for Moss to depart was “mutual”. He was appointed as the select group 1 manager by Webb’s predecessor, Mike Riley, in 2022, immediately after retiring from refereeing. He then became director of the same group, encompassing responsibility for the Championship as well.

The role meant that Moss and Martin Atkinson, the select group 1 coach, had major roles in the organisation. Others had an input into match appointments – crucial to referees and assistants, who earn match fees from games to supplement their basic salaries. PGMOL said that Webb will now take over Moss’ role until the end of the season.

A former executive headteacher, with a reputation for turning around struggling schools, Moss was promoted to the Football League in 2005 and the Premier League five years later. He joined the select group as it was then in the 2010-2011 season. When PGMOL announced his departure, it said that Moss had 500 professional games to his name as a referee. He was one of the leading referees over that period.

Moss has also given interviews about his passion for music and DJing. He owned a record shop and live music venue in Leeds, The Vinyl Whistle. He may well take a role at another country’s football association coaching and managing referees.

In a statement on Wednesday, PGMOL said that Moss had “played a key role in the implementation of the elite referee development plan.” It added: “PGMOL would like to thank Jon for his considerable efforts and service during his time at the organisation and wish him all the best for the future.”