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Untold Media: How PGMOL (a shadowy referees organisation) determines the way refs are reported

Untold Media: How PGMOL determines how refs are reported.

Intro: Untold has for a long while been interested in the fact that the media seems to march as one over the issue of reporting refs.  Where mistakes are made it is because of a lack of technology.  And errors always “balance out in the end”.  If there is any suggestion of something odd going on it is always followed by an report of “unusual betting patters”, never a consideration of the way referees have been corrupted by clubs across Europe.  When things got a bit heated every journalist involved in the subject started to talk as one about how many penalties clubs got – ignoring that this is unlikely to be the way in which fixed matches were fixed.

Of course these positions are legitimate, and arguments can be put across in these terms.  But given the amount of material now published showing that there is far more to the issue than these topics, and given that on almost all other subjects the British media fights like mad for new angles and exclusives, the fact that they have universally ignored alternative explanations, ignored the revelations that came from Barca about ref fixing, and so on, this uniformity of approach has been puzzling.

Until now as Anne reports how the referees association is involved in determining what is reported in the press.

Acknowledgement

*To bjtgooner: Thank you very much for providing me with the report that inspired this series.

Regular readers of this site should be well familiar by now with the PGMOL (the shadowy, opaque LLC that manages EPL refereeing). Or at least, with the PGMOL’s operations relating  to referees.

However, in this article, we will be branching out a bit, and examining some of the PGMOL’s media operations. And for those of you who might be thinking:

“What?! I wasn’t aware that the PGMOL had any media operations.”

Well, that would be because they apparently like to keep it secret for some reason….

But lately, I’ve had the occasion to document some rather interesting links between Mike Riley (former EPL referee and current head of the PGMOL), and Dermot Gallagher (former EPL referee and current media pundit), that raise some very interesting questions indeed about the role the PGMOL might be playing in determining what is reported in the media about refereeing decisions.

And just for fun, a little bit later in the series, we’ll throw the EPL itself into the mix as well.

But for now, let’s just take a quick look at our two key players: Dermot Gallagher and Mike Riley.

Dermot Gallagher and Mike Riley have a lot in common. For example, both are former EPL referees, and both managed to parlay their refereeing experience into lucrative new careers following their retirement from refereeing (this is despite the fact that both men are remembered primarily for the scandals that they caused, as opposed to any particular skill in refereeing.)

Indeed, Riley and Gallagher both proved to be quite controversial figures as referees, to the extent that, at the time both men retired, there was widespread questioning of their ethics amongst football fans.  Riley, for example, is probably best remembered by Arsenal fans for incorrectly awarding the controversial penalty that ended Arsenal’s unbeaten streak at Old Trafford.

Gallagher, on the other hand, is probably best recalled for his role in the following disgraceful incident, which ultimately led to his demotion from the EPL and retirement from refereeing:

[ManCity defender] Ben Thatcher’s “forearm smash left Portsmouth’s Pedro Mendes unconscious [and caused him to suffer a seizure…He was] taken to hospital by ambulance…Referee Dermot Gallagher had full view of the incident…and yet saw fit to brandish only a yellow card.”

Gallagher retired from refereeing in 2007, and Riley followed in 2009. Despite retiring as referees, both men chose subsequent careers that allowed them to retain a certain level of influence over refereeing in the EPL. Riley, of course, went on to head the PGMOL. Gallagher, on the other hand, opted for a career in “journalism.”

Currently, Gallagher appears weekly on Sky Sports and Talk Sport as a pundit, with the official task of “clarifying the weekend’s refereeing decisions.” In addition to his work with Sky and Talksport, Gallagher also contributes occasionally to the print media (also “clarifying refereeing decisions,”), and works for the EPL on Barclays Premier League international Matchday Live broadcasts (Gallagher’s work for the EPL will feature heavily later in this article series).

So, it would seem that, at the point of retiring from refereeing, Riley and Gallagher parted ways professionally. Or did they? Personally, I began to have some serious questions about this subject after reading the following comments by Gallagher in a recent appearance on Sky Sports (Thank you bjtgooner for providing me with a transcript):

“Sky: You’ve  spoken to Mike Riley this weekend, what’s he had to say about the decisions over this weekend?

Dermot Gallagher:  Well…I went to Mike because I watch, I watch all the games over the weekend, I watch incidents and I informed him (very hard to make out, the witness is mumbling) and let him know what happened yesterday and because of the ManU thing I rung him because it is easier to speak to him rather than text him and i just discussed the two incidents…”

So, very interesting…Based on the above comments, there were three specific things that stood out to me:

1) Gallagher seems noticeably nervous and reluctant to discuss Riley, and appears to be choosing his words so carefully that he can barely string a sentence together;

2) As a pundit on Sky, Gallagher is responsible for “a weekly feature clarifying the weekend’s refereeing decisions.” However, this week at least, prior to giving that report, Gallagher first discussed the weekend’s refereeing decisions with the head of the PGMOL. This occurred because Gallagher phoned the head of the PGMOL for the specific purpose of discussing the weekend’s refereeing decisions.

So, if Riley is “clarifying the weekend’s refereeing decisions” for Gallagher in advance of Gallagher’s report, would Riley not also be “clarifying the weekend’s refereeing decisions” for Sky’s viewers (even regardless of his specific intent)?

Also, what exactly was it that possessed Gallagher to make this call to Riley (at this time and for this purpose) in the first place? Did the idea just strike him out of the blue? Or could it be possible that this is, shall we say, a slightly more “regular” occurrence?;

3) Gallagher refers in a very casual manner to “ringing” Riley and “texting” Riley. In other words, Gallagher is not calling the secretary at Riley’s office. He’s calling Riley’s personal mobile phone. Over the weekend as well. Also, he mentions that it’s always better to phone Riley, as opposed to texting him, because it’s easier to get in touch with him that way.

So, to me, this would suggest that telephone conversations between the two men are, at the very least, not a completely unheard of occurrence. However, the above is simply a tiny drop in the bucket compared to what’s coming next.

This series of articles continues tomorrow

——————————————————————————–

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We’re on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

Players

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The summer transfers: Jan Vertonghen

More on next season’s possible signings on Untold Players

 

51 comments to Untold Media: How PGMOL (a shadowy referees organisation) determines the way refs are reported

  • avatar Marcus

    Getting spicy…….…

  • avatar Arvind

    Cant wait for tomorrow Anne. Thanks : )

  • avatar Gerry Lennon

    When I earlier linked the similarity between what went on with corrupt police at the long since disbanded Metropolitan Crime Squad forty or so years ago, and the current inspection of our referees … I should have added that the clean up did come about from internal pressure within the police force(end of career, not knowing who to trust, etc) but from investigating journalists …
    From the above, it seems for now at least, that avenue of hope is closed off ?

  • avatar malaysian gunner

    Why do you think SAF has been winning matches three goals down and trophies as well? If you add up the penalties awarded to his team,there is absolutely no doubt some should not have been given.
    Add to the penalties not awarded to his opponents,no wonder he will win the epl for the next twenty years.
    So don’t be surprised a ref’s decision will send the epl to OT agagin.

  • avatar Mahdain

    and the plot thickens…you’ve got me very interested Anne.cant wait for the next part

  • avatar DocBrody

    I’m didn’t see the TV spot where Gallagher stammers, and I’m not knowledgeable enough about the individuals involved, so I admit I might be completely off base… BUT it seems like your making something out of nothing here. A real tempest in a tea cup.

    Why wouldn’t any reporter call the head of the PGMOL to get a reaction? Seems like a very good idea.

    And if said reporters entire purpose in life is specifically to provide insight on referring decisions in the EPL, isn’t that all the more reason why he should be in regular contact with the PGMOL?

  • avatar Shard

    Doc Brody

    Are you serious? Any ‘reporter’ would quote Mike Riley then, wouldn’t he? Gallagher isn’t a ‘reporter’, he’s an ex referee supposedly giving HIS take on the incidents every week. If he’s getting his views through Riley, that makes it an official view, not an ex-official’s view, which means you always get the ‘happy’ version of events. Which is basically, go back to bed, there’s no monster here, it’s just us ‘protectors of the game’ keeping you safe. But, lets see where this goes next.

  • avatar doanythingformoney

    @DoCBrody
    Have you never noticed the whitewashing that goes on- regarding the poor standards of reffing and the part played by these actors in it? Look closely at what the TV pundits and hacks say –and don’t say. And–if then–you can’t recognise a cartel or secret organisation at work after a study of the pathetic state of the management and reporting of OUR game- God help you old bean! And on your point about the contact with an old, ref colleague– Sky are supposedly paying him to give a fair appraisal of ref performance and to hammer them when necessary.I did say supposedly–and talking to Riley must be seen as a conflict of interest- at the very, very least. Surely the public want and need someone there to willingly and capably expose any fraud and corruption– not put a spin gloss over it! Do you think the Untold team and their thousnds of supporters can’t smell a rat at the centre of this? Look at it from that position- see the chicanry going– on and enjoy the veil being lifted from your eyes!

  • avatar El Tel

    If you do uncover something sensational,would you be able to prove it? I hope you can find something/anything that exposes Man Utd and Ferguson for what they are. Don’t forget the role their Chairman Plays with the EPL.

    These Referees need to be stopped, we need football to be played on a fair footing with no favoritism. I saw Neville on SSN (MUTV) earlier and to me he condoned diving. He even said he has dived himself. These Manc mob are so arrogant they even have the audacity to tell us they cheat.

    I didn’t see any support for Eduardo when he got accused of diving and I still read about Pires diving v Portsmouth many years ago. Pires might have gone down softly but he was checked and I don’t remember him making an habit of it.

    No one talks about the king of diving Ronaldo and Rooney being divers. Thats without the likes of Young,Nani and many other players of theirs who cheat.

    Please please expose the Referees and more so the cheating Mancs.

  • avatar bob

    Anne,
    So well done to set the UM power-microscope where you do!
    The Riley-Gallagher conversation[(s)?] over this horrific past weekend also seems to indicate that a full blown legitimacy crisis was at hand; and they needed to get out in front of it and shape perceptions before the public could judge them accordingly.

    Further signs of the crisis-management team sprung into action are given by the Manchester Guardian’s Football Department’s [MGFD’s] cover-up of that crisis by running articles on it on Monday and zero follow-up on Tuesday was apparent. Also, their anti-conspiracy feature and allowing Don Fungus to characterize the likes of Young as “dramatic” with little to no independent critique of Young on the part of the (senior) media stenographers who “wrote” the story. And, of course, the amazing piece by Louise Taylor which cited former referee Alan Wiley (rhymes with _ _ _ _ _!) and Phil Dorward, the EPL’s own PR representative on PGMOL relations on how “well prepared” all the refs are in their 90 percent plus accuracy results; which piece ended with an Orwellian bouquet by their old reliable Roy Hodgson to the glories of English refereeing which, he insists, is only acknowledged and appreciated outside of England! (Such irony! WTF!)

    Finally, I would add that the suddenness with which the palliative goal line technology “remedy” was put on the table for public discussion in some key media (like the MGFD) is yet another, and the xenophobic headline that appeared over (back from the dead) Anthony Kastrianikis’s blame-Johnny-Foreigner-for-introducing-diving piece in the Sun are further evidence of a go-to media team for damage-control on their leaky ship, the PGMOL Titanic having struck an iceberg of its own making. (What an anniversary!)

  • avatar bob

    El Tel, doinganythingformoney,
    Super commentary! Lifting the veil.
    Oh, and Sky being 40% owned by Ruppie
    (with voting shares that constitute a
    controlling interest) being the host
    for Gallagher/Riley’s eye-wash operations.

  • avatar bob

    Doc Brady,
    Sorry, mate, but your comment on this being a tempest in a teapot has me thinking that yours is a teapot in a tempest. Anyway, thanks for the word play opportunity. :)

  • avatar Andy Kelly

    BTW

    If anyone wants to see some appaling refereeing, watch The Football League Show from 14 April in BBC’s iPlayer. The Doncaster v Portsmouth game from 32:40 minutes onwards. Shocking.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01gm51w/The_Football_League_Show_2011_2012_14_04_2012/

  • avatar Mahdain

    oh look our former captain,the dear former poster boy of Arsenal,the one who is still loved by a fanbase eventhough he stabbed us in the back when we needed him the most just took a swipe at the man who made him a player he is today
    “Fabregas: ‘I’ve learned a lot tactically. I know my position on pitch. At Arsenal I played wherever I wanted and was not good tactically.I got lost tactically on the pitch at Arsenal, I played where I wanted. At Barca I am more mature. I do job for the team.'”
    he also said that he celebrated Barca going through to the final eventhough we lost in the semi final just one day prior..
    so he is basically saying Arsene doesnt know tactics,that he made a mistake to change formation so that he could get the best of him,that he was wrong to nurture him to a player he is today and that Wenger is clueless.. What a way to say thank you Cesc and how magically have your hamstrings became cured..
    In my books he is just in the same category as Nasri and Adebayor and never will he get a legendary status from Arsenal atleast not from me

  • avatar Anne

    @Arvind and Mahdain:

    Hopefully Part II won’t let you down :)

  • avatar Anne

    @Gerry Lennon:

    I would say that the PGMOL and EPL have a strangle hold on most of the corporate media, so I wouldn’t look for them to be trying to clean up corruption anytime soon. But in this case, it’s gotten so bad that the fans are noticing it anyway. So maybe the role of the journalists can be circumvented in this case? :)

  • avatar Anne

    @malaysian gunner:

    I thought it was interesting what Gallagher said about “the ManU thing” here. I’m not sure what he meant by it.

  • avatar Anne

    @DocBrody:

    I didn’t say that Gallagher was “stammering.” I said that he appeared to be choosing his words carefully. If your definition of “providing insight on refereeing decisions” means repeating to the public what Mike Riley says about them, then I guess you have a point.

    Come back tomorrow and tell me it’s no big deal.

  • avatar Anne

    @Shard and doanythingformoney:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. :)

  • avatar Anne

    @El Tel:

    Given our level of investigative resources, it’s extremely difficult for us to prove anything conclusively. But then again, how much extra evidence do you need to prove something that everybody already knows anyway? :)

  • avatar Anne

    @bob:

    “the PGMOL Titanic having struck an iceberg of its own making”

    lol. Yes, I think you’re right that they’re starting to get desperate. I also think you’re right about the goal line technology debate. Do you think that they’re going to try to introduce that to placate us?

  • avatar Anne

    @Mahdain:

    Couldn’t agree with you more about Cesc.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    Anne, this article is superbly thought out and written – as usual! And leaves us all in some anticipation!

    One question that came to mind – why is it necessary for Gallagher to review the matches and report to Riley? I can’t understand why Riley can’t review the matches for himself. The only explanation for the contact between them is the one you have alluded to – that Gallagher is clandestinely being used as part of the PGMOL publicity machine.

    I found the phone call v text interesting. After all, if Riley dropped his phone & it was found by an Arsenal fan – who examined a string of text messages……

  • avatar Johnny Deigh

    Sounds like two co-conspirators getting together for damage control and spin doctoring.

  • avatar Anne

    @bjtgooner:

    I agree. It doesn’t make sense for any other purpose. Also, interesting point about calling vs texting. I guess that text messaging would leave a trail of evidence. I didn’t think about it like that, but you’re right.

  • avatar Anne

    @Johnny Deigh:

    That’s what it sounded like to me. The second part of the article is going to add an additional angle to this. It’s kind of frustrating to only be able to comment on this half :)

  • avatar bob

    “Do you think that they’re going to try to introduce that to placate us?”

    Anne,
    Yes, and to use goal line technology to divert from the discussion of video replay for another 5-10 years; and to reward contracts to those who are doing the testing of the system; and to those who will build and install the system; and to those who will get envelopes for having awarded the chosen and installed systems to their favorite bidders.

    This will mean hundreds of millions of Euros to those who feed at the public trough. And then surely they can have a tax write-up for the expense of adopting goal line technology…and so it goes.

    And I can hardly wait until their media crew (surely those who will likely come up in your further research) lines up and salutes the string-pullers for being so democratic and far-sighted in bowing to the public’s desire for greater accuracy and pursuing their eternal desire to bring forth a higher quality game.

  • avatar Mahdain

    i dont know if anyone else has noticed but the bayern vs madrid officials that Uefa chose are the worst PGMO has to offer(bar Clattenburg)..says a lot really
    Ref – Howard Webb
    4th official – Mike Dean
    assistant refs- Stephen Child(Louis saha offside goal) and Michael Mullarkey
    5th officials aka the statues behind the goal- Martin Atkinson and Mark Clattenburg

  • avatar Mahdain

    im sure PGMO are really itching to have that team(take out Clattenburg and bring in Probert) at once in an Arsenal match..can you imagine it?

  • avatar Anne

    @Mahdain:

    I know what you mean. Seeing that group of refs together is like a nightmare :) They looked to be favoring Madrid, but Bayern still won.

  • avatar Anne

    Oh, and while we’re on the subject, Dermot Gallagher seems to be quite a fan of Howard Webb:

    http://www.skysports.com/video/clips/0,23791,16426_6252701,00.html

  • avatar Anne

    @bob:

    I don’t think you left anything that I would be able to add to that :)

  • avatar Mahdain

    @Anne im sure PGMO cant send that team to us out of fear of making it way too too(not a typo as it is already too obvious) obvious and not shame…they have already proved how shameless they are by sending us Dean again for the 6th bloody time and 4 times in 14 matches aka once after every 3 games

  • avatar bob

    Anne,
    Maybe by the time of His Ascension to Lord Football, a starting xi of PGMOL’s affiliated media stenographers will have manifested itself.

    Perhaps readers will consider sending in their nominations for top stenographer(s) of the year?

  • avatar Gord

    @Anne (et al)

    I suspect you have quite a crew in your media group. I’m not going to try to guess who is in it.

    Any of you comfortable with running command line programs? Are you familiar with spreadsheets? Databases? Which?

    Why? From the Perl world, we have Lingua::EN::Ngram. The EN indicates it is designed for English language. An Ngram is N words in a row. If I take the corpus (that is what the language researchers call text) “I am weird.”, it contains two 2grams (bigrams) “I am” and “am weird” and one 3 gram “I am weird”. For all Ngrams higher than 2, the module only calculates frequency. For 2grams, it also calculates something called a T score. A T score is a better estimator of significance in text than frequency is.

    What is Gord babbling about?!?

    Many people tend to use the same vocabulary and phrases across different pieces of text. If you cut and paste the content of articles that are attributed to a given author, you should see similarities in the Ngram frequencies (and Tscores for 2grams). If the set of documents looks like it has 2 different sets of Ngram structure, it is possible that two authors are using the same nom de plume (I think I spelled that correctly). Alternatively, if you run across “anonymous” blog entries that have a similar Ngram structure to some known author for which you have a lot of data, it is possible the anonymous author is actually the known author.

    Is that of any help in your work? Have any other ideas that a geek might with?

  • avatar Anne

    @Gord:

    Right now, the actively contributing members of UM are me, bjtgooner, and Shard. And unfortunately, none of us is comfortable with command line programs, spreadsheets, databases, or any combination of the same :)

    But what you’re saying about Ngrams sounds very interesting to me. Just out of curiosity, I’d like to know more about how the T score is calculated for 2grams, because I’m having a hard time conceptualizing how such significance could be derived from patterns of just two words. Do you happen to have a link?

    As to your specific question, I think there’s a chance that this could help in our work. Basically, it looks to me like a huge portion of the media reports about football are being written based on a single script that is being dictated by someone behind the scenes.

    And what I’m wondering is, if this is the case, would this common script manifest itself through the Ngram structures of the different articles that are based on it? Does that make sense?

  • avatar Gord

    @Anne

    I can dig up references on T scores. The problem for me, are these articles going to be readable for your group. I suspect what the T score is doing, is adjusting for very common two word constructions in the English language, or rather, adjusting for one of the two words being far too common. If a piece of text has “the player” as a 2gram, regardless of how often it occurs, it should be discounted as “the” is too common in English text.

    With respect to your last paragraph, I’ll describe it in a word as plagiarism. If someone is grabbing a chunk of text from elsewhere, and wrapping it with something of their own, they are “diluting” the statistics of the original text. It would be more difficult to detect things in common based on statistics.

    The Ngrams in a piece of text, can be compared to other texts. And among the things that Perl module will do is find the intersection. Or in better words, it will find the Ngrams that are common to the two texts. A person could write something to find all the 2grams, 3grams, and so on, that are common between two different texts.

    A completely different interpretation of your last paragraph just flashed by. A person could write a program to analyze a particular article, and generate statistically similar articles. This sort of process tends to generate nonsense if the body of text we are generating from is small. But, if one has a large body of text to draw statistics from, the “random” documents you generate can be “close” to real text. There are likely to be strange errors, but a person can make filters to remove some of those.

    But, is journalism just a few people writing original text, and lots of people making random changes to things?

    Does this make sense with what you asked? If not, I missed something.

    I guess I’ll have to work on things a bit on my end. I need to find a way for people like yourself or Walter, to initiate a “conversation” with my computer. And this isn’t likely to be sorted out before the season ends.

    I am not used to analyzing text, but statistics are statistics. I know a person can generate synthetic texts that have the same statistics as some “seed” document. The big problem I seen in trying to look at generating statistics on journalists, is that the web pages are filled with endless crap (advertising and similar) that is actually not content to the article. And the only practical way to get the content, is to get a person to do cut and paste.

    This is too long. Hopefully I’ve answered some of your questions. If not, feel free to ask again.

  • avatar Anne

    @Gord:

    I just realized that I left bob off of my list of UM contributors. That should have read:

    “the actively contributing members of UM are me, bjtgooner, bob, and Shard.”

    Sorry bob :)

  • avatar bob

    Anne,
    it’s good to be on board!

  • avatar Anne

    @Gord:

    It looks like this is what you’re talking about?

    http://search.cpan.org/dist/Lingua-EN-Ngram/lib/Lingua/EN/Ngram.pm

    I think I understand about the T-Score. I found an equation that wasn’t completely helpful because it didn’t explain what npp and np1 are, although it did explain n11 and n12. Not that I would fully understand it even if I had all of those values, but I think I get the general idea. Basically, I can see that it’s a way to adjust for the fact that most bigrams would be statistically insignificant just based on frequency alone. Or at least, I think that’s what it is :)

    As for the recurrence of n-grams across various texts in football journalism… basically, it sounds like the same sort of analysis I’ve tried to do (just using my own brain) in relation to “talking points.” Based on my own attempts to look at the repetition of certain words and phrases and attribute significance to that, I’ve found that you really need critical analysis as opposed to statistical analysis.

    Because the journalists will repeat talking points, but they’ll switch up the phrasing in such a way that the same talking point can be repeated 20 times over without once using the same n-gram. You do probably have some common bigrams, but that’s pretty much it. Is there a way to adjust for that mathematically? (and by the way, if I’ve totally misunderstood the concept of n-grams, bigrams, etc, here, just tell me :) )

    In relation to your point about finding statistically similar articles, would that be what the journalisted.com website is doing here?

    “How does Journalisted work out what journalists write similar stuff?

    The algorithm follows the same lines at the one used to determine similar articles and goes roughly like this:

    Take a number of the journalists most recent articles
    Identify the significant terms within those articles
    Search for other articles containing those terms
    Rank the journalists who wrote those articles according to the closeness and quantity of the matches”

  • avatar GoingGoingGooner

    I am a Physical Education teacher. In class it is not uncommon to notice a child who is uninterested in playing the game according to the rules. However, it is the reaction of the rule-abiding pupils that is most striking. When one child abandons the rules, it is not a problem. The others complain, perhaps, but they continue playing. The same goes for the second and perhaps third rogue player. However, it would seem that a critical mass is hit when the number of students rejecting the rules hits a noticeable amount of around 20-30% of the total participants. At that point, the other pupils, noticing the breakdown of game integrity lose interest in the activity.
    Fulham’s owner Mohamed al Fayed’s recent comments would seem to indicate that WE ARE NOT ALONE. Other people are beginning to seriously talk about the rogue players in the system-in this case the referees. Notwithstanding Roy Hodson’s defence of the boys in the club, one must ask how long can the system continue the way it is right now? How many clubs will have to defect before the jigs up? Judging by my 20-30% of total participants in a class of schoolchildren, I would say only 4-6 clubs would have to be on board before the cracks in the system become untenable. With the everything or nothing mentality of the Premiership vis-à-vis entrance into the Champions League and the costs of going down to the Championship, a ‘blown’ call or an ‘interesting’ interpretation of FIFA rules can be the difference between getting or losing 40 million pounds sterling.
    So, what now?
    Unfortunately, we haven’t hit the critical mass of people ready to speak out, as of yet. Clubs, including ours, do not feel that there is anybody out there that is listening…or is sufficiently afraid of the truth coming out. The powers that be believe that we, the irritants can be washed off their festering corpses with judicious applications of whitewash, cover-up and Teflon. It is up to us to continue to pick at this sore until they give up and leave. The game will continue regardless of whether or not FIFA, UEFA, the FA or the Premier League are here or not. We must not be afraid to bring down the whole termite-infested edifice. It is irrelevant; the game is played on the ground. AND WE ARE THEIR PAYMASTERS.

  • avatar Gord

    @Anne

    I kind of suspected Bob was on your list as well.

    In terms of variables, I suspect the book presents theory involving some matrix N. The book author then presents code using a naming system that is common. Hence n11 is the element in row 1 column 1. np1 is probably n plus 1 and npp is an increment of n. Lots of programmers use similar mechanisms to name things. The page you found at CPAN does give the book reference.

    Nugues, P. M. (2006). An introduction to language processing with Perl and Prolog: An outline of theories, implementation, and application with special consideration of English, French, and German. Cognitive technologies. Berlin: Springer.

    I don’t have the book, and my local college probably doesn’t have it either.

    This particular Perl module references another (Text::NSP), which also finds Ngrams in text. There is another pair of modules (Lingua::EN::Summarize and HTML::Summarize) which attempts to summarize a body of text. The HTML version does better, as it provides some structure. Unfortunately, the HTML version needs to work on a “clean” HTML file (no script, no images, no CSS, all text in the file is related to the topic at hand, …). A related module uses the Summarize module to find keywords. I suspect your journalisted is using some of all of that stuff.

    I have worked with some of these modules before, but not a lot. As these modules are interpreted (not compiled), the source code is available to read, there may be more comments in there for me to look at. And I suspect there are other researchers in the same area also using the term T score.

  • avatar Gord

    @GoingGoingGooner

    The gym I work out at is part of a church. And the person that runs the gym is a pastor. I have seen him working with children (rugby) and once observed a growing number of children leaving the game. Similar to what you wrote about. I can try to bring up your point with him when I see him next.

  • avatar Gord

    @Anne

    A little history. Most computer languages were invented by computer scientists or engineers. Perl was invented by a linguist. It is very good for working with text.

  • avatar Anne

    @Gord:

    Thanks for this. I’m a lot smarter now than I was yesterday, which often happens as a result of your contributions :) Please keep it up.

  • avatar Anne

    @GoingGoingGooner:

    This might be one of my favorite comments on Untold ever, probably because you so eloquently voiced what it essentially my own opinion on these matters as well. Thank you:

    “Unfortunately, we haven’t hit the critical mass of people ready to speak out, as of yet. Clubs, including ours, do not feel that there is anybody out there that is listening…or is sufficiently afraid of the truth coming out. The powers that be believe that we, the irritants can be washed off their festering corpses with judicious applications of whitewash, cover-up and Teflon. It is up to us to continue to pick at this sore until they give up and leave. The game will continue regardless of whether or not FIFA, UEFA, the FA or the Premier League are here or not. We must not be afraid to bring down the whole termite-infested edifice. It is irrelevant; the game is played on the ground. AND WE ARE THEIR PAYMASTERS.”

  • avatar GoingGoingGooner

    @ Anne

    Aww shucks!

  • avatar Anne

    @GoingGoingGooner:

    I respect your attempt to respond to me in the indigenous language :)

  • avatar Anne

    @GoingGoingGooner:

    But do you really think that someone like Mohamed al Fayed is on the side of the good guys here?

  • avatar GoingGoingGooner

    @Anne

    No, Mohamed al Fayed is firmly on his own side but like most overly rich people he cannot stand it when someone with a like-sized wallet gets what they want and he doesn’t.

    All WE want, by contrast, is a fair shake.

    He, by breaking with the party though, is in a position to help us by letting the world know what happens in those shady alleys out of the public eye. And, he can back it up with money to litigate if necessary.

    The enemy of my enemy and all that…

  • avatar Gord

    @GoingGoingGooner

    I talked to the pastor at the gym today (he just recently passed his exams to be an athletic trainer) about your observations. He agrees that what you said happens, but he isn’t sure if it happens at 20-30%. He says that personally, he tries to stop this with the first child to lose interest. He will try to place that child in a quiet space away from the others. But if he gets two or 3 others now losing interest, he will try to change the activity as he can easily lose the remainder.