Premier League lose 4 high-profile referees – with 1 new face brought in

There is set to be a big shift in the Premier League next season as four of the most high-profile referees all hang up their whistles, with one new face brought in.

Between campaigns in the Premier League, change is inevitable, with three clubs relegated and three promoted every season.

That often extends to those in black, too – but rarely as significant as this summer.

Four of the biggest names in the refereeing stable have vacated their roles, with the latest to do so emerging this week.

According to the Times‘ Martyn Ziegler, Kevin Friend has joined Mike Dean, Jon Moss and Martin Atkinson in retiring from his position as a referee.

Friend, Moss and Atkinson are already confirmed as having taken up roles within PGMOL, while Dean is expected to remain involved with their Elite Referee Development plan.

The quartet stood among the eight-most experienced referees in the English top flight, with Dean having debuted in 2000.

They were all regulars in the Premier League last season, with Anthony Taylor (28) and Paul Tierney (27) the only referees to take charge of more games than Dean and Atkinson (both 26).

Moss (25) refereed the seventh-most, while Friend (18) was just outside the top 10.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 10, 2022: Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara reacts to a decision by referee Anthony Taylor during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A mass retirement leaves Taylor, Tierney, Michael Oliver, Craig Pawson and Stuart Attwell as the core referees for 2022/23, supported by the likes of David Coote, Chris Kavanagh, Andre Marriner and Andrew Madley.

The Premier League have also promoted one new referee to their group for the new campaign, with Tom Bramall confirmed as having stepped up from regular duty in the EFL.

Bramall joins a fresh crop of officials – with Natalie Aspinall, Nick Greenhalgh and Steve Meredith also taking up assistant roles – as the Premier League relies upon less-experienced names.

Jarred Gillet, Michael Salisbury, Tony Harrington and John Brooks were all brought into the main group last summer and could referee more games from next season.

Friend was dropped from Premier League duty for one gameweek last season after awarding Liverpool a dubious penalty in the 3-1 win over Crystal Palace in February.