Mike Riley (referee)

Mike Riley
Full name Michael Riley
Born (1964-12-17) 17 December 1964
Leeds, England
Other occupation Accountant
Years League Role
1989–1994 Football League Asst. referee
1994–1996 Football League Referee
1996–2009 Premier League Referee
Years League Role
1999–2009 FIFA listed Referee

Michael Riley (born 17 December 1964) is an ex-professional football referee from Leeds[1] in West Yorkshire, who has refereed matches in the Football League, FA Premier League and for FIFA. Riley currently serves as the general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited.


Riley became a national Football League referee in 1994, having previously served five years on their assistant referees' list. He was later granted FIFA status in 1999 allowing him to officiate international fixtures.[2]

In 2002, Riley refereed the English FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea, which he later stated was "the highlight of my career".[3]

Riley took charge of the 2004 Football League Cup Final, between Bolton and Middlesbrough, in a game that saw all three goals scored within the first 25 minutes. He awarded a penalty to Middlesbrough after seven minutes and cautioned five players during the course of the game.

Riley also headed England's refereeing team alongside assistants Philip Sharp and Glenn Turner at the UEFA Euro 2004 finals.[4]

Riley refereed the 2004 match between Manchester United and Arsenal, also known as the Battle of the Buffet, with the result ending Arsenal's record-breaking 49 match unbeaten run.[5]

Riley officiated the Football League Championship playoff final between West Ham United and Preston North End in 2005. West Ham ran out 1 – 0 victors, seeing them promoted to the Premier League.

Riley was invited to go to Hong Kong to take charge of the Hong Kong FA Cup 2006-07 final between South China and Happy Valley in 2007. South China won by 3–1, allowing them to achieve a treble in local competitions (First Division League, Senior Shield and FA Cup). Riley gave three penalty kicks in the match, two for South China and one for Happy Valley.[6]

Mike Riley was appointed manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOB) in June 2009, replacing Keith Hackett. This effectively ended his career in refereeing matches.

Career statistics

SeasonGamesTotal per gameTotal per game
Please Note: There are no available records prior to 1997/1998


  1. "David Moyes questions Mike Riley's allegiance to Manchester United". London: The Guardian. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  2. Profile Archived 15 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine. at the Football League Official website
  3. "FA Cup Final 2002 – the highlight" of Mike Riley's career: Interview at TheFA.com
  4. Confirmation of appointments for Euro 2004: OfficialSports.co.uk
  5. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/eng_prem/3727552.stm Match report from the BBC website
  6. Hong Kong FA Cup Final, match report: EnglishSINA.com
Preceded by
Graham Barber
FA Charity Shield
Succeeded by
Andy D'Urso
Preceded by
Steve Dunn
FA Cup Final Referee
Succeeded by
Graham Barber
Preceded by
Paul Durkin
League Cup Final
Succeeded by
Steve Bennett
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