Several reports out of England claim that Professional Referees Organization general manager Howard Webb is in line to become the English Premier League referees chief.

Webb will replace Mike Riley after he steps down as head of EPL referees, several English newspapers and websites reported on Saturday.

The Daily Mail reported that Webb has been in London this past week with the Professional Game Match Officials Board and would

Webb, who is a top official in PRO, has a contract that runs until December, newspapers reported.

“Webb’s profile and reputation in the game has seen a number of clubs put him forward as the ideal candidate to be Riley’s successor,” the Daily Mail reported.

The Professional Game Match Officials Board said in a statement that Riley will leave his role next season. He had held that role since 2009.

“I am proud of the contribution our match officials have made to the professional game and have enjoyed working with such a dedicated, professional and high-quality group at all of the levels that PGMOL manages,” Riley told the Daily Mail.

“As the Elite Referee Development Plan begins to take shape, now is the right time to plan for the future and allow the new leadership team to build on the strong foundations that we have in place.

“I look forward to working with the new team over the next season and giving them my support before I step down.”


FOR YOUR SUMMER READING: An entertaining book about the Rochester Lancers and an education about the early days of the modern pro soccer era

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at