Desperate master’s applicant turns to Howard Webb as academic referee

As the graduate job rejections roll in and deadlines for applications are missed, the quantity of master’s applications across the UK has taken a recent spike.

It is conventional wisdom amongst final year students that the real world is ‘just too fucking scary’ and that a postgraduate degree is the easiest way to stave off reality for another year.

Some students, however, who had not planned on applying have had to be creative with their references.

The Whip spoke to James, a young man applying for a postgrad in London.

‘The trickiest bit of my application to UCL was finding a reference. I haven’t actually held a one-to-one meeting with anyone from Bristol’s School of Political and International Studies, and am yet to encounter my personal tutor. It was alright in the end though, as luckily I bumped into Howard Webb in Saino’s in Putney.

‘Initially, I just asked for a photo but then it occurred to me I had to seize my opportunity to get a reference. I mean, hey, who has better judgement than the 2010 FIFA World Cup final ref – that’ll surely seal the deal!’

James promised he’ll keep The Whip posted on how his application turns out. He did reveal that Webb, 46, was happy to sign ‘literally any document’ requested, in the tradition of his recent move to referee in the Saudia Arabia and the MLS.