‘You want the buzz of having done well in a game that wasn’t easy’: a sociological examination of the job commitment of English football referees

2015-04-10T12:43:35Z (GMT) by Tom Parsons Alan Bairner
Based on a critical reading of relevant literature and in-depth interviews with football referees from various levels of the game in England, the aim of this study is to understand why referees become involved and, more pertinently, why they remain committed to the role despite the abuse and disrespect which they regularly encounter. Having considered the development of the football referee, the essay then examines existing literature concerned with refereeing as well as studies of job commitment in other human-service occupations. The subsequent data analysis leads to conclusions which both confirm and challenge findings of the limited research previously conducted in this area. Finally, the study suggests directions for organisations to follow in order to ensure the retention of referees.