Jonathan Moss will be well prepared to control the tantrums, sulking and squabbling of Arsenal and Aston Villa players when he steps out on the Wembley turf for today’s FA Cup final.
That’s because the Premier League referee is also an executive headteacher of a primary school in Halifax.
When he is not officiating millionaire footballers in top-flight games, he works one day a week as executive headteacher at Beech Hill School in Yorkshire. Mr Moss became a head at the age of 30 and helped to transform Beech Hill from a failing school to one that is now oversubscribed and rated “good” by Ofsted.
The 44-year-old said the chance to referee the FA Cup final was the best moment of his non-teaching career. “It was a complete surprise. When I got the call it was the realisation of a dream really. For any referee it is the pinnacle of your career,” he told the FA’s official website. “I’ve been involved in the Community Shield and the Conference and Championship play-off finals – but this is the biggest game I will ever referee.”
And Mr Moss has ambitions to move from the centre circle to a possible career on the sidelines, stating that he fancies a career in football management.“I don’t see why not?” he told The Times yesterday. “I manage people on a daily basis. How that will be received I don’t know. It’s never been done, but why not?”
One thing is for sure, his training as a head and a referee would stand him in good stead when it came to managing the dressing room.