BT Sport is to premiere the latest instalment in its acclaimed BT Sport Films series, Ref: Stories From the Weekend, on April 4 on BT Sport 1 at 10.30pm, with the most in-depth look ever taken at the world of referees, from all levels of the game.
Featuring never-before-seen behind-the-scenes access into the day of a household name Premier League referee, the documentary compares and contrasts refereeing at the elite level to those experiences of men and women doing the job at different levels of the game.
Ref is a look at how referees carry out their role on the field of play and how they deal with the issues of abuse, both verbal and physical, which every referee will face at some point in a career.
It also explores why someone chooses to start on the path to refereeing and how life is for a would-be referee, looking at how referees move up the ladder.
Contributions in the film include senior elite group referee, Michael Oliver, who the film follows through the course of a day in charge of a Premier League clash at Leicester’s King Power stadium.
BT Sport’s Howard Webb, one of the most respected match officials of recent times, appears in the documentary having taken charge of domestic and European matches at the highest levels between 2003 and 2014 and refereeing the FIFA World Cup Final in 2010.
Simon Green, head of BT Sport commented:
“For the first time, Ref will take viewers behind the scenes at completely different levels of football to capture the emotions, challenges, satisfactions and perils experienced by the men and women with, arguably, the most difficult job in the game.
“We challenge the pre-conceptions we have about match officials and discover what life is really like out in the middle.
“Through BT Sport Films, BT Sport is committed to bringing sports fans the stories behind the sports, teams, athletes and events that resonate with them.”
The film, produced by Dunlop Goodrich for BT Sport, also hears from Jason Jarrett, who made 296 appearances in league and cup competitions in a 13-year career in the Football League.
In 2013, Jarrett took an FA refereeing course whilst gaining experience refereeing on Sunday mornings in the Lancashire Sunday Football League, but abandoned his effort to become a top-flight referee, claiming that the system is against ex-players succeeding as match officials.
Executive producer Grant Best added:
“We wanted to make a film that went inside the world of refereeing.
“We discover what life’s really like during the 90 minutes out in the middle from the highest level in the Premier League to where it all begins at grassroots level.”
Ref: Stories from the Weekend is on BT Sport 1 at 10.30pm on Tuesday 4th April.