MLS and the Premier League have different refereeing systems, with different standards and approaches to enforcing the rules of the game. Here are some of the key differences:
- Referee Training and Development
The Premier League has a more robust referee training and development program compared to MLS. The Premier League referees are trained at the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), which is a dedicated organization responsible for developing referees for the top levels of English football. MLS referees are trained at the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), which is responsible for training referees for MLS and other professional soccer leagues in North America.
- Level of Competition
The Premier League is widely regarded as one of the best and most competitive soccer leagues in the world, with top-level players and teams from around the globe. MLS, while growing in popularity and competitiveness, is still considered a developing league and may not have the same level of talent and intensity as the Premier League.
- Referee Experience
Premier League referees tend to have more experience than MLS referees. Many Premier League referees have officiated in lower divisions and cup competitions before being promoted to the top tier, while MLS referees often come from other sports or have limited experience in soccer.
- Enforcement of Rules
The Premier League referees tend to be more strict in enforcing the rules of the game than MLS referees. Premier League referees are known for being more likely to issue yellow and red cards for fouls and for being stricter on offside calls. MLS referees tend to be more lenient and may allow play to continue even if there is some physical contact.
- Use of Technology
The Premier League was an early adopter of video assistant referee (VAR) technology, which is used to review and potentially overturn decisions made by the on-field referee. MLS adopted VAR more recently, in 2017, and has not implemented it in every game.
- Salary and Compensation
Referees in the Premier League earn significantly higher salaries compared to MLS referees. The exact figures are not publicly available, but it is estimated that Premier League referees earn over $200,000 per year, while MLS referees earn around $40,000 to $80,000 per year.
- Referee Assessment and Evaluation
Premier League referees are assessed and evaluated on their performances after each game by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), while MLS referees are evaluated by the Professional Referee Organization (PRO). Premier League referees are subject to a more rigorous assessment process and are held to a higher standard than MLS referees.