Mark Clattenburg is eager to build a refereeing legacy in Saudi Arabia after ending his 12-year association with the Premier League to assume a senior role in the Middle Eastern country.
The 41-year-old Englishman is widely regarded as one of the finest officials in the world, having taken charge of the finals of Euro 2016 and last season's Champions League and FA Cup.
But he had been linked with a move abroad for some time and on Thursday the Saudi Arabian Football Federation announced he would manage its referees in the country.
The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the organisation which provides and trains officials for the Premier League, English Football League and Football Association, confirmed his departure and it is anticipated he will not officiate any more matches in the English top flight.
Clattenburg, who became an assistant referee in the Northern League at 18 and joined the Premier League's Select Group in 2004, had reportedly grown unhappy with the level of public support officials are given by PGMOL.
But he hopes he will be backed to implement his ideas in Saudi Arabia.
He said on the Saudi Arabia Football Federation's Twitter page: "This is an important move forward. We have professional referees in the country that I am leaving, which has been a big positive.
"One thing I'd like to do is work with the refereeing team and the president to make this happen so that it will be successful for many, many years to come."
Another former Premier League referee Chris Foy, who now holds a position within the PGMOL, is unconcerned Clattenburg's exit will herald an exodus of England's top officials, eager to chase the riches on offer abroad.
He said on BBC Radio 5 live: "Not really, this is a really good opportunity for Mark and I'm sure it's not a move he's made lightly.
"It's a shame to lose someone of Mark's ability. This leaves an opportunity for someone to take his place.
"The world is a small place now and people can seek opportunities and challenges and if people decide to go they do with our good wishes."
With no Premier League fixtures this weekend, Clattenburg's final top-flight game was Arsenal's 2-0 win over Hull on Saturday - another game with a refereeing controversy when a handball was missed before Alexis Sanchez's opening goal.
Hull have also been fined £20,000 for failing to control their players, who surrounded Clattenburg following his decision to show Arsenal full-back Kieran Gibbs a yellow card for fouling Lazar Markovic when the winger was through on goal.
Clattenburg has been a FIFA referee since 2006 and also officiated the Olympic men's football final at London 2012.
His career has not been without lows, though, as he served an eight-month suspension in 2008 and 2009 after PGMOL investigated his business dealings.
In 2012 Chelsea made a formal complaint that he had used inappropriate language towards Jon Obi Mikel during a game against Manchester United. He was, however, cleared of any wrongdoing.
He was also reprimanded by PGMOL boss Mike Riley in 2014 for breaches of protocol when he drove to Newcastle to see an Ed Sheeran concert after refereeing a Crystal Palace game and speaking to Eagles manager Neil Warnock on the phone after the game.
The PGMOL paid tribute to Clattenburg, saying: " Mark is a talented referee, he has been a great asset to the English game and hopefully an inspiration to those who want to get into refereeing at the grass roots of the game."