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By Walter Broeckx
Things are getting interesting as the PGMOL are coming out with some numbers of their own. As was written in this article in the Daily Mail
In the article they talk about the rise in speed and the fitness of the referees. Those are things that are monitored by Prozone. Prozone once answered my questions on this and they said that they looked after the fitness of the refs and looked at the statistics about how much they run. They say that the game has become 20 per cent faster in the last 5 years. And who are we not to believe this.
And then comes the for us more important part of the article. The part about getting the decisions right. And first of all the PGMOL has confirmed that their match delegates give points to the refs and check their decisions. So this question finally is answered now: we know the PGMOL does something similar to what we at Untold do.
And then the PGMOL is telling us and I quote from the article: “But PGMOL believe that, for the most part, the professional refs are getting the ‘major decisions’ right. Statistics compiled by the match delegates claim referees get 92.3 per cent of those calls right with results for assistant referees even better; a staggering 99.3 per cent.”
So what are we complaining about here at Untold some might say. Look at the numbers from the PGMOL they say 92.3% is correct. And the assistants get 99.3% correct. Okay Walter tell us your numbers. And lo and behold you will get my numbers in a second.
But first and maybe the PGMOL should clarify this a bit is what are “major decisions”. For us at Untold we think major decisions are : Goals (obvious), penalties (also obvious), red cards (obvious) and yellow cards. And then you get the fouls themselves which lead to the 4 categories themselves. Because if you don’t see the foul that should be punished with a red card you cannot give the red card itself. So this is what we at Untold count under “major decisions” and maybe next time around when the PGMOL tries to tell us what a great job they do, they could be more specific about what they think is a major decision.
But let us take the bull by the horns and look at the numbers we at Untold gathered this season. AND VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE NOW: TO PREVENT PEOPLE SAYING WE ARE BIASED BECAUSE WE ARE ARSENAL SUPPORTERS WE ONLY INCLUDED AND COUNTED THE NUMBERS FROM THE GAMES WITHOUT ARSENAL INVOLVED! Sorry but had to put this a bit in the spotlight.
So the numbers you will see have nothing to do with Arsenal. The numbers you will see are based on 68 games in the EPL so far this season. And this is what we got from our reviews
|Major decisions||% correct|
|GOALS CORRECT||87.51 %|
|RED CARDS CORRECT||16.92%|
|YELLOW CARDS CORRECT||54.08%|
|Total Major decisions correct||67.70%|
So the questions is what did they count? Just the goals? Because that is the only number that comes near. So let us assume they only take major decisions like goals in their count. This means that still 1 goal in 10 is wrong! And that is almost the same number as we come up with. And we think that this number should be around 99,9% of the goals should be correct. Not in the low 90ties or in the high 80ties like we found in our numbers. I still think this is unacceptable.
And if we would consider the other decisions we end up with not even 6 out of 10 penalty decisions being correct. And if we take it all together we would see only 67,70 % as correct. Now that is a big difference between the nice shining PGMOL numbers and ours. And again I point at the fact that these numbers have nothing to do with Arsenal games and so no bias from the part of the ref reviewers would have a big impact on our numbers.
If we take a look at the offside decisions and the fact that the PGMOL claims that 99,3% are correct we look at our numbers and we see that only 87.68% are correct in non Arsenal games. And as I have said before when we doubt we assume the decision correct and we can not even check half of the decisions most of the time.
But credit must be given because first of all I think it is great that the PGMOL has come out in the open with some numbers. And maybe we at Untold have done our bit to force the PGMOL to come out with some numbers. In the article they mention that they have to contend with new social media like twitter. And maybe they have spotted us on twitter. And for those who follow twitter a bit they will have seen that there are a number of people talking about referees and people waiting for our reports at Untold. So maybe the internet revolution has forced them to try and come out with something. That is good news and shows that they get influenced by this.
My second thought is that in this article they first talk about Prozone and that is a company that sells data to the PGMOL. So the data of Prozone will be correct as they also give data to the football clubs about how much players run. And then they go on and bring up numbers but those numbers ARE NOT PRODUCED BY PROZONE. I know this because Prozone has confirmed a while back that they only look at the fitness levels of the referees not at the decisions itself.
So the numbers about the correct decisions are from the PGMOL itself. So is this an attempt to silence people like us a bit and bring some good news about what a jolly good bunch of referees we have and that all is good and well at the FA and the PGMOL? Would you believe it when you walk in to a Burger King (can I get one for free next month?) or a Mc Donald or whatever and they say that they have 3 Michelin stars? You would say: get lost. And then if they would say: We have done a study and checked ourselves and we are certainly worth all 3 Michelin stars. I think you would have a laugh.
But in a way this is what they PGMOL is doing right now. They control their own refs and then come out and saying we get 92.3% correct in the games. But they don’t tell us which decisions it is about. They don’t tell us how they did the surveys. And most of all they don’t give us any evidence about how they came to these numbers. Can we check them? No we cant. Can you check the Untold numbers? Yes you can. Can we see in which game according to the PGMOL a mistake was made? No we can’t. Can you see in which game a mistake was made at Untold? Yes you can.
So what we get here is an organisation that has no openness at all on how they work and on how they do things. An organisation that is lead by persons who have their own not so glorious past in the business. And they just come out with one (okay two) numbers and tell us: all is fine and well when it comes to refereeing in the EPL. So be a good boy, go to bed now, close your eyes and have sweet dreams.
Sorry my friends of the PGMOL, it doesn’t work that way you know. Only when you come out with all the files open I could believe you. Time to open up completely so the people can see themselves how you did get to those numbers. And if you don’t do this your numbers are worth not much. So I find your numbers hard to believe without any evidence. I don’t believe in fairy tales any more.