Graham Poll

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Former Premier League Referee

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The former World Cup ref is now a sales director for an IT recruitment company. For after dinner guests Graham focuses on the challenge of controlling 22 young millionaires running around a field. Despite the ruling that makes referees right even if they’re wrong, he might refer to the Croatia game.


Graham Poll is probably the best known and most experienced English referee of all time - the first to officiate at 300 Premier League fixtures. He is also remembered for issuing a single Croatian player three yellow cards at the World Cup in Germany.

Poll began his career in sales, originally with Canon. An excellent communicator, he quickly progressed to managing an expanding direct sales force at Coty, alongside his burgeoning refereeing career. After that he developed an internet site, which he sold in 2001 to devote more time to football.

Graham combines his sporting and sales experiences to produce an entertaining insight into the importance of motivation, teamwork and leadership. He demonstrates the need for a step-by-step process towards achieving goals, how to turn negatives into positives, and how success must breed ambition, not arrogance. ‘Challenge yourself and avoid the temptation to knock others, control whatever can be controlled and remember that the best achievements are worth sacrifice and sheer hard work.’

After dinner, Graham reveals what goes on behind the scenes - and what it takes to control twenty two millionaires running around a field.

Now retired from refereeing, Graham continues his radio and journalism duties, and he also features in a panel show on ESPN, The Umpire Strikes Back.

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Conference Speaker Graham Poll on Staying Focussed

Graham Poll Conference Speaker