Brazilian refereeing is once again in the limelight and the comparison is inevitable: "in Europe referees are much better". But is the comparison fair? Does refereeing work the same way? Does the technology already work there? And how much does each referee get paid? The answer is simple: the cold comparison is unfair.
ESPN has collected data from the top five European leagues (Germany, Spain, France, England and Italy). In all of them, the payment of referees is extremely superior - which allows them to be professional, in most cases. On the other hand, none of them has been working with the same dynamics; Brazil is the only one of these six countries with a sextet of referees, since none of the Europeans have the AARs behind the goals in their national championships. On the other hand, Germany and Italy already have the help of VARs this season. England, however, counts "only" on the goal-line technology, which is used to determine whether a goal has been scored or not. Interestingly, UEFA is the only organization that implements the same model as Brazil in their two club competitions (Champions League and Europa League), with AARs behind the goals and without technology, at least for now.
But the difference is even bigger when it comes to money. In all these five countries, the referees earn a fixed amount plus match fees. Thus, they are guaranteed to always have money coming into their bank account and the fixed salary is very high. Even in France, the country that pays the lowest among the five, is about 40,000 euro per year. In Spain, the place that pays the most, referees can reach up to 134,000 euros. Italy pays 80,000 euro, while German referees get 75,000 euro. In England, this figure varies between 43,500 and 48,000 euro, depending on the referee's experience. The fees paid per match varies between 1,300 euro (England), 2,900 euro (France), 3,700 euro (Spain) and 3,800 euro (Germany and Italy).
In Brazil, there is no fixed payment. The referees who are or have been on the FIFA List earn 1,075 euro per game, while the other referees get 780 euro. Assistant referees have 60% of that value (between 465 and 645 euro), the AARs earn 215 euro and the fourth officials take 145 euro.
Spain: 134,000 euro (salary) + 3,700 euro per match
Italy: 80,000 euro (salary) + 3,800 euro per match
Germany: 75,000 euro (salary) + 3,800 per match
England: 48,000 euro (salary) + 1,300 euro per match
France: 40,000 euro (salary) + 2,900 euro per match
Brazil (FIFA referees): 1,075 euro per match (no salary)
Brazil (other referees): 780 euro per match (no salary)