Open main menu

Robert Madley (born 6 October 1985) is an English former professional football referee who between 2013 and 2018 was on the list of Select Group Referees who officiate primarily in the Premier League.

Bobby Madley
Robert Madley 2015.jpg
Full name Robert Madley
Born (1985-10-06) 6 October 1985 (age 33)
Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England
Years League Role
2010–2018 The Football League Referee
2013–2018 Premier League Referee
Years League Role
2016–2018 FIFA listed Referee

He officiated in the Football League as a referee from 2010 and was one of the youngest officials to progress to the top-flight of English football. Madley was previously one of the referee development officers for the West Riding County Football Association[1] before taking up a full-time PGMOL role. His older brother, Andrew Madley, is a Football League referee.[2]


In his early career, from 2001, Madley refereed in the Wakefield and District League and then the West Yorkshire Association Football League. In 2010, he joined the National List of referees who officiate in the Football League.

In 2012 Madley was added to the FIFA fifth officials' list.

In April 2013 he took charge of his first Premier League fixture, between Southampton and West Bromwich Albion at St Mary's Stadium.[3] Madley sent off three players during the game, one from each team for violent conduct, and later a second Southampton player for serious foul play.[4] "All three red cards were correct," the West Brom manager Steve Clarke said after the game, which his team won 3–0.[5]

In June 2013, Madley was promoted to the panel of Select Group Referees who officiate all fixtures in the Premier League.

In April 2015, Madley was selected to officiate both legs of the FA Youth Cup final between Manchester City and Chelsea.

Madley was promoted to the FIFA referee list in January 2016.

On Sunday 6 August 2017 Madley was the referee of the FA Community Shield 2017 match between Arsenal F.C. And Chelsea F.C..

Madley endured a difficult 2017–18 season and was adjudged to be making too many dubious decisions by a number of former Premier League referees including Keith Hackett, Graham Poll and Mark Halsey.[6][7][8] Halsey criticised Madley's positioning but also the PGMOL and Premier League for the lack of support and coaching for referees.[9]

Madley quit suddenly in August 2018, when he "decided to relocate due to a change in his personal circumstances", according to a statement by PGMOL.[10][11]


  1. ^ West Riding CFA: [1] Retrieved 16 May 2015
  2. ^ "List of EFL match officials". 9 June 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  3. ^ Match officials appointments 27–29 April Archived 25 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 23 April 2013
  4. ^ "Southampton 0–3 West Brom: Three up front paid off – Steve Clarke". BBC Sport. 27 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  5. ^ Nick Szczepanik (27 April 2013). "Southampton 0 West Bromwich Albion 3 match report: Three off as Fortuné completes the set of goal, assist and red card". The Independent. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Ref Watch: Should West Brom have been awarded a penalty against Arsenal?". Sky Sports. 26 September 2017.
  7. ^ Poll, Graham (21 August 2017). "Bobby Madley's decision to send off Manchester City's Kyle Walker is a mystery – this ref is not good enough and this game was too big for him". Daily Mail.
  8. ^ Hackett, Keith (26 December 2017). "Referee Bobby Madley was absolutely wrong on the two big decisions in Bournemouth's draw with West Ham". The Telegraph.
  9. ^ "Mark Halsey: Bobby Madley is having a poor season and it's down to his fitness… he looks overweight". The Sun. 28 December 2017.
  10. ^ Wallace, Sam (16 August 2018). "Exclusive: Premier League referee Bobby Madley quits 'due to change in personal circumstances'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Bobby Madley: Premier League referee quits". BBC Sport. 16 August 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.