Who We Are

The Rational Behind Ref Support

Ref Support UK is a registered charity in England & Wales and is registered under the charity number (1171000) and are now the only totally independent body to represent the best interests of referees.

Ref Support believes that outside the support of The FA and the county FA’s there is simply not enough support given to the majority of match officials particularly in the Grassroots game where we currently have approximately 28,000 referees operating every week throughout the football season. The Referees Association (RA) of course is a long established organisation steeped with tradition but is not representative of referee development needs of today.  Membership has significantly dropped nationally to around 5500 for the season 2015/16 and we are led to believe out of that membership approximately a third are active match officials. In their recent executive summary the RA admitted that they are concerned in the fall of membership numbers but to date have not yet put in place a robust development plan halt this decline.

We have no desire to work in silo, we have constantly shared our desire to work with the RA, County FA’s and The FA to support their existing good work. We are totally independent, which is why we are different and have credibility within the sector, we are in a position to work hand in hand with any and all key stakeholders without there being any perceived conflict of interest.

Part of our vision is to reach out to all underrepresented groups, as we feel these areas need specific support to develop referees and currently there is little offered.

Our team has of over 100 year’s membership of The Referees Association collectively, and has over 100 years in the pro game, hence we believe our decision to form Ref Support are well thought out and are appropriate to meet the needs of referees in the modern game.  We believe because of our experience and independence, we bring credibility to the existence of Ref Support UK as another referee representative body. 

Ref Support UK wants to and will, promote the same values, vision and KPIs of the national and local organisations in a professional manner with the best interest of all concerned being paramount in our actions.

Meet the Team

Martin Cassidy

Chief Executive Officer & Trustee
Martin is former national list match official and retired early due to injury. He took up refereeing after a knee injury stopped him playing football. He worked for the FA at Wembley in The FA Referees Department for 7 years coaching referees at levels 2b, 3 and level 4. He also ran the South West Regional Referee Development Group for four years. He passed his Referee Instructors course in 2003 and has also made many media appearances on Sky Sports, Sky News, BBC and ITV. He is a regular on Talk Sport representing RSUK and keeping the subject of ref abuse in the mainstream media. He is a married man with 3 children and 6 grandchildren.

Janie Frampton

Active football referee for 29 years and became the second women to have operated within men’s professional football. She worked at the FA for 12 years as National Referee Manager for Education and Training, having delivered education to grassroots through to elite referees on every continent and within every confederation on behalf of The FA and FIFA. Janie is also Vice President of IFSO. IFSO is the platform for sharing knowledge, experience and best practice in sports officiating, and will be seen as the world leaders in the field of generic education and development for the sector. Was one of 8 female FIFA Instructors in the world, and felt privileged to be involved in many FIFA World Cups and workshops. Honorary CEO for Sports Officials UK Ltd an umbrella organisation for the education and development of sports officials across all sports, Director of her own Sports Officials Consultancy for sports officials working across all sports in the education and development of sports officials Janie is also the Patron for the Muslim Women’s Network UK National Ambassador for Women in Football.
Richard Melinn

Richard Melinn

Richard is formerly the UAE FA Technical Manager for Referees and finished his role in July 2023 plus Richard is Co Host at the very popular Referees World Podcast. He is a former match official at the PGMOL and a former respected PGMOL observer of over 20 years. He was a National Referee Instructor for the FA, The Referee Appointments Officer for the Toolstation Western league.

Daryl Ann

Ambassador & Compliance Advisor
Daryl is currently the Referees Development Officer for the AFA and is a Level Four Referee. He has a wide knowledge of FA Regulations and Disciplinary processes and is a very experienced match official.

Phil Prosser

BAME Ambassador
Phil is a highly respected match official who has operated as a FIFA, Premier League and Football League Assistant Referee. He was also a Football League Referee. He is a huge influence in addressing all forms of discrimination and was formerly in the RAF serving in both Gulf Wars.

Ella Chandler

Female Ambassador
Ella is a former referee and current County Cricketer. She came to the attention of RSUK after a very impressive appearance on the National BBC Breakfast TV Show sharing her experiences as a grassroots referee. She is a very eloquent public speaker and a determined supporter of Women in all Sports.

David Brammer

Dave was one of the original group of Premier League Assistant referees when the Premier League was first created in 1992. He is a FA Referee Coach, FA Observer and is a Director of the Toolstation Western League. Dave is also a valued member of our referee coaching group and has over 25 years experience of supporting referees. He is also a Trustee of RSUK

Ceri Travers

Youth Referee Ambassador and Junior League Liaison
As a parent of a young referee who watches him every game. I feel it is important to ensure that we campaign on their behalf to reduce and end abuse, safeguard their welfare and find ways to improve the support and training our young referees require to give them the tools to thrive in the modern game In my full time job as a Learning and Development Manager, I support young people through apprenticeships programmes. I also deliver leadership development to Managers. I am also a qualified L7 Coach I believe these skills can be transferred to positive campaigning and ensure more support is offered and available to all of our young referees.

Tracey Jackson

Youth Referee Ambassador and Junior League Liaison
As a retired referee and parent of two young referees Tracey is very experienced in all aspects of the game. She spends most of her time supporting her son and daughter's progress on their referee journey. She is almost on the management committee of a large youth league. Tracey is well versed in all aspects of safeguarding and welfare of young referees.

Nathan Sherratt

Neurodiversity Ambassador and Coach & Mentor
Active Football Referee with an off the field story which I use to inspire and improve the lives of referees of all ages and levels. Managing Director of The Third Team where I support referees by making them aware about all things related to Resilience and Mental Toughness to Enhance their Performance and Improve their Mental Health. In addition, I work with schools, colleges, universities and in industry communicating similar messages through the vehicle of refereeing.Mental Health Ambassador, Autism Charity Trustee and Speaker. You can contact Nathan on nathan@thethirdteam.co.uk and you can visit his website at https://thethirdteam.co.uk/