Howard Webb, the new Chief Refereeing Officer of match officials body PGMOL, says former professional players should consider moving into refereeing.
The 51-year-old did not expect top footballers to become referees but he said it could prove to be a viable career option for ex-players.
“We need to look at how we can entice people in. We’ve always struggled to get ex-players involved,” Webb told reporters on Thursday.
“But somebody that has played a decent career, that’s got good knowledge of the game, maybe late 20s, suffering with an injury or whatever, it might be that means they can’t play as regularly.
“I think there’s an opportunity for someone to really blaze a trail and we would welcome them wholeheartedly with the skills they have got from that playing career provided they have got the other skills they need to be successful.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), the Football Association and PGMOL are running a joint initiative named ‘Player To Referee Pathway’.