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REF ABUSE: FA losing increasing amount of referees each year


There has been a significant increase in referees quitting in England after the abuse they’ve received whilst officiating games. 

Nathan Sherratt, a County Durham referee has made it his mission to help fellow officials by launching his own organisation, the Third Team.

Nathan states on his site that it was an incident of violent conflict that occurred whilst he was officiating that was one of the reasons he set up the Third Team.

“I’ve witnessed extremely violent conflict and that is one of the reasons for setting up The Third Team, because of the way I felt afterwards.  A younger, less experienced referee might not have had the level of focus and resilience I did to deal with that kind of situation.”

“That incident was the inspiration for the business.  Though I look at the business as a wider entity, not just dealing with pressurised situations like that.  I look at Positive Mental Health, Resilience and Mental Toughness development to try and maximise the potential of referees, workforces and students.”

Not only does Nathan use his own experiences to help other referees, he is a resilience trainer and a mental toughness practitioner.

With the Third Team, Nathan works with individuals and groups, having provided many a lecture to county FA referees.

Whilst speaking to Local TV Nathan stated: “a lot of people, they see the black kit, they see the badge, they don’t see the human being behind the kit, that’s a big big challenge we need to overcome.”

Unfortunately, this is the sad reality for officials in grassroots football at this current time.

Officials as young as fourteen are being threatened verbally and in some cases, with physical violence.

Many protests have already begun from officials around the country, with many referee’s leaving coaches and parents to officiate games, to see how they deal with the pressure they endure.


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