neil swarbrick of referee career

Neil Swarbrick is an English professional football referee who was promoted to the Select Group of Referees in 2011. He is one of the Premier League’s best referees. Learn more by reading more.

Where Is Neil Swarbrick Football Referee From?

where is Neil Swarbrick football referee from

Born on December 20, 1965, at the age of 56, Neil Swarbrick is a former referee in England who mostly worked in the Premier League after being elevated to the SGR in 2011.

The Lancashire County Football Association counts him as one of its own, and he calls Preston, Lancashire, home.

Neil Swarbrick’s Referee Career

Neil Swarbrick started officiating at the late-to-the-game age of 29. After only six years, he was elevated to the position of assistant referee on the National List. Four years later, he was appointed to the Referees’ List after having successfully completed this position.

Before being promoted to the Football League, he worked as a referee in the Football Conference. In addition to refereeing games in the FA Cup, he has also worked in the Football League Cup. In December of 2010, Swarbrick officiated his first Premier League game, a 0-0 tie between Fulham and Sunderland. Swarbrick showed DJ Campbell of Blackpool a red card after Blackpool’s 4-0 loss on the road to Wolverhampton Wanderers in February 2011, his second Premier League job.

neil swarbrick of referee career

Swarbrick’s promotion to the elite group of referees who oversee all Premier League games was announced on June 20th, 2011. For the 2011–12 season, he was elevated to the Select Group along with fellow official Jonathan Moss.

Neil Swarbrick took heat following Sheffield Wednesday’s February 24, 2018 match against Aston Villa. It was felt that the referee had favored the visiting team unfairly by awarding 16 fouls to them while only awarding one to the home team during the whole game. Swarbrick also denied Wednesday’s penalty appeal, gave Villa a dubious penalty late in the game, and let Villa defender John Terry off the hook for what seemed like a red card violation for a tackle on forward Atdhe Nuhiu. An ex-referee in the Premier League, Roger Dilkes, defended his work.

Although Swarbrick hung up his whistle at the end of the 2017–18 season, he will still be leading the Premier League’s Video Assistant Referee department. Neil Swarbrick oversees the Premier League’s Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) implementation and is a part of the team preparing Select Group 1 and Select Group 2 officials for the next 2019–20 season when VAR will be used for the first time.


Season Games Yellow cards Red cards
2012/13 31 111 1
2011/12 30 107 7
2010/11 40 108 8
2009/10 35 104 8
2008/09 36 82 4
2007/08 38 76 8
2006/07 34 96 9
2005/06 29 57 2
Premier League Records
132 441 11


Additionally, he has officiated FA Cup and Football League Cup games. City ultimately prevailed 3–0.


Neil Swarbrick is a member of the Lancashire County Football Association and is headquartered in Preston, Lancashire.

Life Events of Neil Swarbrick

His life has had a lot of changes through major life events. Typically, cases such as.

Referee Neil Swarbrick 1 month, 2 misfires

In the earliest match in the 30th round of the Premier League between Man City and West Brom, the “occupational accident” came to the English referees. Right in the 2nd minute, he showed a red card and sent off a player of the away team. Not to mention whether this red card is too heavy-handed or not, even Swarbrick’s dismissal of Gareth McAuley also surprised viewers. Specifically, Swarbrick cut the whistle to blow the penalty when Craig Dawson illegally intercepted Wilfried Bony outside the penalty area. Still, he insisted on drawing a red card to McAuley, who continued to collide with Bony later when the striker was inside. West Brom penalty area.

In this situation, Man City was only awarded a direct free kick close to the 16.5 m round, and at that time, everyone understood that Swarbrick had sent the wrong person. Many people joked that McAuley had to pay for his own mistake. Before that, it was McAuley who passed the ball to… Bony went down, and Dawson was forced to foul.

This is the second time in the past month that the referees in the Premier League have sent off the wrong person. In the match between M.U and Sunderland in February, Wes Brown was sent off even though John O’Shea was the one to blame. After that, the English Football Federation removed the card with Brown.

Head of VAR of the Premier League

life events of Neil Swarbrick

The head of the video assistant referee (VAR) department of the English Premier League – Neil Swarbrick, admitted that the quality of the VAR system equipment did not meet the optimal requirements.

Since the video assistant referee (VAR) system was applied in the English Premier League, controversies and discussions about this technology have appeared.

Most notably, the situation took place in the opening round, when striker Raheem Sterling was penalized for offside because he stood a very small distance above the opponent’s defender – only 2.4 cm.

Although it can function properly, the VAR system still needs improvements in terms of technical quality. This is a comment from former referee, who holds the position of Head of VAR department of the Premier League.

Read more: All the facts you need to know about Darren Drysdale


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