Premier League Career: 1992-1994
First Premier League Match: Manchester United 0-3 Everton (19 August 1992)
Final Premier League Match: Oldham Athletic 1-2 West Ham United (15 April 1994)
The arrival of the Premier League in 1992 gave Keren Barratt the opportunity to continue in the top-flight for the first two seasons of the new era in English football. He spent 13 years as a referee before retiring in 1994.
Based in the Midlands during his time as referee, he became a Football League linesman in 1979 and his progression was swift. Within two years, he was on the Referees List. By the late 1980s, Barratt was taking charge of many games in the old First Division so his experience was vital in the new generation of officials that were emerging when the Premier League was born.
His first game in the Premier League was in the first midweek round of fixtures and it produced one of the early surprises of the season as Everton recorded a fabulous 3-0 away victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. He finished the season with the ultimate accolade for any official by taking charge of the 1993 FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium between Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday. The original final finished 1-1 and five days later, Barratt took control of what turned out to be the final-ever FA Cup final replay. Arsenal won the replay 2-1 thanks to a late header from Andy Linighan, ensuring the Gunners beat the Owls in both domestic cup finals in this season.
Barratt’s career continued into the 1993-1994 Premier League season and he showed his only two red cards in his PL career in this season. First dismissal came for Queens Park Rangers defender Karl Ready in the 87th minute of a narrow 1-0 victory at The Dell against Southampton in December 1993. The other unfortunate victim of a red card from Barratt was John Polston of Norwich City – dismissed for two yellow cards before half-time of a 2-2 draw between the Canaries and Blackburn Rovers in February 1994.
Since retirement, he has worked as a referees’ assessor during matches for the FA and has also been working as the PGMOL referees Select Group Manager, first alongside Keith Hackett and now, under Mike Riley.
Sometimes, experience is vitally important and Keren Barratt’s career means he is a wise head in his current role today.