Rotherham man in black Howard Webb has been promoted to a new role as performance director for England’s professional match referee and will be the man who selects officials for Premier League matches.
Webb, 43, who retired as a referee last year after a career which included taking charge of the 2010 World Cup final, has been appointed performance director for the Select Group of referees - the 17 full-time professional officials.
He takes over from 69-year-old Keren Barratt, who had been due to retire but is moving into a different role.
Webb, who had been working as technical director for Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) since retiring as a referee, will now take responsibility for managing the Select Group.
PGMOL will also appoint an additional referee coach to work directly with Webb.
Webb will continue to report to PGMOL general manager Mike Riley, who said: “Howard’s role as technical director this season has enabled him to obtain an excellent understanding of the organisation, our officials and the strong work of our support team.
“What has also become clear is that Howard has a natural flair for coaching and his extensive experience of the Premier League means he’s expertly placed to lead and further develop the high standards of the Select Group.”
Webb will have responsibility for the Select Group’s training and development, appointments and day-to-day management. He will also continue his work promoting refereeing.
The role will see him closer to the spotlight in terms of criticism of refereeing - several former referees including Graham Poll and Keith Hackett have built up a media sideline as critics of refereeing performances.
PGMOL is also planning to expand the coaching team for the National List of referees by hiring a new coach.