Premier League Career: 2014-PRESENT
First Premier League Match: Burnley 1-1 Aston Villa (29 November 2014)
Graham Scott is one of the current breed of Premier League officials and he is now into his sixth season as a top-flight official. Educated at Abingdon School in his early life, Scott has actually been a referee now for over 20 years and has worked hard to make his way onto the Select Group of officials.
In his youth days, Graham was an amateur footballer and played as a goalkeeper for Abingdon Town FC. He was forced to retire from playing the game at the age of 27 after a persistent back injury which was threatening longer-term damage. So, having to give up the dream of playing the game, Scott elected to officiate and therefore, keep his ambition of being involved in the English top-flight alive.
Beginning out in the lower leagues like many of his peers, Scott took charge of his first match in 1997 but initially, seemed reluctant to progress up the referees’ ladder. Players though like his approach to the game and he is another official who will do what he can to allow matches to flow rather than break them up and book players for every small foul that takes place in a match.
Joining the National List of referees in 2008, he took charge of a host of important games in the Football League and in November 2014, he refereed his first Premier League match at Turf Moor between Burnley and Aston Villa. He awarded Burnley a late penalty in the game, converted by Danny Ings for the match to end in a 1-1 draw.
On the eve of the 2015-2016 Premier League season, Graham Scott earned promotion to the Select Group, replacing Chris Foy who had retired at the end of the previous campaign. He has had to battle hard to keep his place, especially at the end of the 2016-2017 season when he took charge of only eight Premier League matches. Former official Keith Hackett has been critical in the past of his promotion but Scott enjoyed a rise through the ranks in 2017-2018, taking charge of 20 Premier League matches and a League Cup semi-final tie between Bristol City and Manchester City.
As of the March 2019 international break, Scott has taken control of 15 games this season, shown 35 yellow cards and only one red card this season which was to Etienne Capoue of Watford in their 2-0 defeat to Leicester City in December. Watford appealed the dismissal but this was rejected by the FA Commission. He has shown six red cards so far in his 48-game Premier League career. The first recipient of a dismissal from Scott was Swansea City right-back Kyle Naughton who was red-carded in the first half of their 4-2 home defeat by Sunderland in January 2016. When not required for Premier League duty, he still takes control of his fair share of high-profile games in the SkyBet EFL Championship.
Strict on cutting out dissent, diving and time-wasting, Graham Scott is rising through the ranks and proving any doubters of his ability wrong. He has the potential to become a mainstay of Premier League refereeing for the next several seasons.