You may have watched the shirt-drenching match between Wales and Portugal, without knowing that the man dressed in black and red who ran all through the game’s duration with a whistle in his mouth, is a multi-millionaire.
He is not new to officiating big games, having been at the center stage during Ireland’s draw with Poland last year and Liverpool’s Europa League final loss to Sevilla.
He loves football and he’s doing the job as a hobby–not for the money.
Meet the adjudged richest referee Jonas Eriksson. He’s a 42-year-old multi-millionaire Swede.
Writing in his Times column recently, Howard Webb said that Eriksson referees simply because he loves the game.
He’s become known as the millionaire referee after he sold shares in a Swedish media business and that means he does not do it because he needs the money but because he loves the game and the job.
Even in the competitive world of elite refereeing you wouldn’t hear any backbiting about Jonas – he’s universally liked and respected.
He was in charge of Wales vs Russia in the group stage and did a good job with only two straightforward yellow cards.
According to the Daily Mail, some football referees can earn up to £70,000 a year – but Swedish official Jonas Eriksson may be earning more than that in annual interest alone.
Welcome to Jonas Eriksson’s humble abode.
That’s because he became a multi-millionaire after selling his 15 per cent stake in a Swedish sports media rights business over six years ago for about £6million.
Eriksson, who has been a referee since 1994, is understood to be one of three partners who sold their share in the company, IEC in Sports.
Jonas Eriksson became a professional referee in 1994, officiated his first international game in 2002.