43 responses

  1. geoff1
    01/08/2012

    if this is a Arsenal site why on earth are you doing all this work on Chelsea

  2. Dreamiest
    01/08/2012

    @Geoff1

    They’re not doing any work in favour of Chelsea. They’re just showing how incompetent the EPL refs. Check out their other articles on Sp*rs, etc.

  3. WalterBroeckx
    01/08/2012

    Geoff1,
    Last season we only did Arsenal games and people said: how can this be taken serious if you cannot compare with other teams. People said: you need to cover games from other teams because doing only Arsenal games is not enough.

    So we just did what people told us to make it more complete and more reliable.

    And of course all that long and hard work had to be made public. And that is what you see. This is by the way part 17 of the team reviews we have published.
    3 more to go: Manchester City, Manchester United and of course… Arsenal.

    And we are not going to stop after that…no, the Untold referee review train just keeps on rolling… 😉

  4. geoff1
    01/08/2012

    but what are you trying to proof we all know that refs can make bad decisions from time to time and I’ve been watching football for over 50 years and I don’t see any difference in the standard of refereeing.

  5. zigzag
    01/08/2012

    funny, I’ve bee watching football for 50 yrs too and it is obvious to me that many refs are biased and they clearly influence matches outcome!

  6. geoff1
    01/08/2012

    that’s exactly what I mean nothings changed

  7. geoff1
    01/08/2012

    I can remember Franny Lee handballing before he scored I can remember Rodney Marsh diving for penaltys I can remember Alan Hudson getting a goal given that hit the side netting,You see what I mean nothings changed.

  8. cfc82
    01/08/2012

    Ok, first of all Torres and Mata didn’t pay off in the league, yes, but they paid off in the two cup competitions that we one.

    Mata got us through against qpr, dictated the 5-1 demolition of spurs and set up a goal in the final. FA Cup won.

    Torres scored against barcelona and sealed our place in the final. I know it was a late goal but barca can score a goal in a blink of an eye, so it was a worthy goal. Then he won the corner that Drogba headed in to equalise against Munich that led to a victory after PKs. Champions league won.

    Lastly, it’s pretty clear that Dowd hates Chelsea as he sends off/books alot of our players.

  9. Stevo
    01/08/2012

    If i may ask, y would a set of referees use a single club site to do this kind of review? Y should u fools centre ur reviews on chelsea alone? Chelsea ended up sixth in the EPL, what about the champions league and FA cup? Where did arsenal end up in those competitions? True speeking, ur analysis is absolute nonsence. You people should go and find work and do please. Till tomorrow, arsenal is lagging and will continue lagging behind untill somthing tangible is done. Nonsense!!

  10. PaulT
    01/08/2012

    Very interesting article and site – just came across it today. Congrats on your efforts, but it leaves me wondering about your method especially given your comments about Chris Foy. This `negative bias’ seemed staggering so I wondered how many matches it was based on. It seems he only ref’d one Chelsea premier league match last season (away v QPR), according to the match reports on the CFC website. If you’re going to allege `bias’ rather than having an off-day, what’s your test of significance? A claim of bias against a club is surely only credible if based on repeated occurrences. NB I have no reason to defend Chris Foy personally or his performance in the match cited.

  11. Reviewer 02
    01/08/2012

    @Geoff
    This project is in its second year, and will continue to expand we hope with the inclusion of Refs who support other teams.

    We started with the mantra “quantifying the bias” from dogface, we are pretty much on track to do that.

    If you are interested check out the archives, it is all there.

    As for “nothing ever changes” Are you sure that is the right attitude, because if that is the case, we may all as well find something else to do on a Saturday afternoon (or morning, or Monday evening, wed evening etc.)

    As for the Chelsea – Tottenham results, if anything ever proved that the qualified and experienced referees on this site go about their business in an impartial and meticulous manner, there is the proof.

  12. WalterBroeckx
    01/08/2012

    Stevo,
    have you ever taken the trouble to look 1 inch further than your own nose?
    This is the 17th review of a team we have published.
    And this is a review purely based on the PL and the refs in the PL.
    And why so angry?
    And why such abuse?

    Which decision didn’t you like in particular?

    Oh well I guess any team got them… 🙂

  13. yemi
    01/08/2012

    I might not have been around for 50yrs watching football but i can say that the reason why things have not changed is because some people just kept quiet. If refs know that pple are watching them and they could be pointed at in public places for poor officiating, then they would watch their toes. Good work, WalterBroeckx.

  14. WalterBroeckx
    01/08/2012

    PaulT,

    If you would come back in a few days/weeks when we take on the referees in separate articles, you will see why we talk of bias and not about an off-day.
    We have reviewed 9 games of Chris Foy this season (and a few the season before) and well… if you have more off days than good days… we prefer to call it bias in that case 😉

    Now if you would know that Foy is usually a more Chelsea biased ref it opens a can of worms in fact… a can of big fat and greasy worms 😉

    On a serious note: the number of games are mentioned between ( ) before the bias number with each ref.

  15. El Gringo
    01/08/2012

    @ Review Team

    I’ve loved reading these reviews, and I’ve had quite a few eye-openers in them. One struck me today: some refs, such as Phil Dowd and Mike Dean can be excellent when they want. The reviews have singled out Dowd for his performances with a number of teams, and Mike Dean reffed Chelsea for 5 matches with a really strong aggregate score of close to no bias at all. Of course, Dowd screwed Chelsea, and Dean loves Tottenham. Any chance of reviews focusing on individual refs where we’d find out how many matches Dean did, against what teams, and with what biases? That would be some interesting reading!

    @ Chelsea fans, of course refs have already been bad. But these days, everyone is supposed to believe that it evens out at the end of the season. I think the goal over here is to find out precisely how bad they are, and to figure out if it actually does even out at the end of the season.

  16. WalterBroeckx
    01/08/2012

    Yemi,
    just like I said in one of the introduction articles:

    I want to help to make football fair FOR ALL!

    So instead of just complain and moan about a decision I started to act and do something. And once it get picked up the interest will raise and the pressure will mount.

    We are just the start of the (r)evolution. We are like the guy who set himself on fire in Tunisia and who started the whole revolution in the Mediterranean area.
    We are setting things on fire in the hope the internet picks it up and spreads the thought that something must change.

    And If have reached one conclusion so far it is that every team will benefit from better decisions. EVERY TEAM! Not just my team.

    And who knows with a little help from some friends we could review all and every game next season…

  17. geoff1
    01/08/2012

    @ reviewer 02
    it’s not case of attitudes it’s that after watching football for over 50 years I get as much enjoyment out of it that I ever did so I have no problem with the game as it is .so I’m just wondering what your trying to do .You will never get rid of bias it exists in all walks of life.just enjoy the game like I do and without controversies the game would not be the same

  18. buddha9
    01/08/2012

    this is an excellent piece of work and rises above the tribalism which blights football in this country — so pay no attention to the ones who can’t see further than their noses — one sentence i find very disturbing: Half way through the season it was clear that this Chelsea team was not in for the league title. And the bias in the games became more to a reasonable level.
    Wow — i’m a chelsea fan but i don’t want to be tribal here — this sentence is bad for ever one challenging for the title and is the last thing any team wants — its not how the free kick count ends up at the end of the game its when the free kicks are awarded — we all have seen the syndrome that teams down to 10 get sympathy frees from the ref or that when a team is losing and have had a load of decisions go against them and then towards the end of the game the ref starts to even it up well looks like the season may be a game in this regard — the decisions got better after it didn’t matter — THIS SHOULDN’T BE HAPPENING TO ANY TEAM

  19. WalterBroeckx
    01/08/2012

    El Gringo,
    we are working on that behind the scenes. After the team reports we will have a few articles in which we will respond to some critical voices. Critical voices who are always welcome because they keep us sharp and alert and because they make us think and try to find ways to improve this for the future.

    And after that we will give some interesting league tables where we will show how the teams are placed against other teams. After all we are football fans so we love tables don’t we?

    And then we go on to the individual referee reports. I have planned to run a count down and end up with what we have found “the best ref of the season”.
    The refs are out there running and it looks to be a close finish between the number 1 and 2. We maybe even need a photo finish to decide who gets the honour of winning the prestigious award “The Untold Referee of the season”. 😉
    It will be based on a combination on % of correct decisions but also of having the lowest bias score of course.

    And my God one of the strong contenders will be one hell of a surprise. I could hardly believe it myself to be honest.

  20. WalterBroeckx
    01/08/2012

    Geoff1, believe me if you travel a whole day to a game and pay lots of money and you know within seconds that the ref screwed the day with a wrong decision on the field the enjoyment goes down a lot.

    Why would football lose it soul when the decisions are more correct?
    As a ref I find no better satisfaction to go home after a game in the knowledge that things were fair and honest and that the final score was correct.
    But well maybe that is just the way I am…

  21. WalterBroeckx
    01/08/2012

    buddha9,
    I agree with you and maybe I didn’t make myself clear enough but I do think it is unacceptable that such things happen.

    When I was writing the final conclusion I had been thinking of throwing in a rather controversial point. I left it out because it was maybe looking a bit far fetched but will give this thought now in the comments:

    I just was wondering because at the start of the season some big negative bias could be seen and some big calls going against Chelsea.
    So I was thinking that maybe someone somewhere didn’t like the idea of another Portuguese manager being successful. So having a few refs putting extra pressure on that manager could be enough to make him doubt and maybe make him go down under the pressure. If that was the plan.. it worked.

  22. Reviewer 02
    01/08/2012

    @ Geoff

    The time you have been watching football is no qualification. I stood on the Old Shed, the CBL at the Den, The Valley watching Keith Peacock and Mike Flannagan, I watched Derek Dougan, and Bobby Moore play and was fortunate enough to see George Best play for Man Utd and Fulham. That proves nothing other than I love going to football matches and have been doing so for a long time.

    What is without doubt is that the game HAS changed, and how we watch it has changed, how much we pay, and the amount of money in the game, the laws, the amount gambled on the game, the global audience, the game has changed beyond description since it became a worldwide product, YES PRODUCT!. We are supposed to be watching a sport, and thus we accept human error, and that it will all balance its self out in the end!

    However what if that does not happen, where are we then!

    Personally, as a football fan, someone who has invested heart body and soul into watching, playing managing and officiating for as long as i can remember, with football being the backdrop to my life, i believe i see something rotten in the game, patterns that demand explanation. I believe the root cause generally being vested interests. you dont have to change the way you watch a game hugely to see that the dice are loaded, just adjust your focus slightly to account for the changes that you deny have happened.

    Are you as a football fan happy that 17 out of 18 Refs come from the midlands northwards? And that London and the SE, and the SW does not provide a single ref to the PGMOL, or to be exact, has not been selected by the PGMOL.

    When you see Howard Webb or Mike Dean at OT, what do you expect to happen?

    If you are happy just plonking yourself down in your seat and calling the ref a cunt fair enough, you are on the wrong site, but if you think sport should be fair, and that football should open up and follow the examples of Tennis, Cricket, Rugby etc etc where dispute has been eliminated and official influence on results is beyond doubt, you will find yourself amongst many likeminded people here.

    Like i said, check out our archives. here is a few links to help you

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/17677
    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/23282
    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/22381

  23. geoff1
    01/08/2012

    WalterBroeckx.
    I may being negative here but I just don.t think things will change there will always be bias and always mistakes that’s just how it is.I can remember going away to Anfield in the late 60’s and 70’s and thinking thats not fair,but thats what following football is all about.

  24. Jbh
    01/08/2012

    Walter
    Excellent work as usual. However I get back to my main criticism. All of this work is wasted as it is “from” an Arsenal website. Unless/until you put all of this on a separate website you will not generate the attention/impact it deserves.

  25. geoff1
    01/08/2012

    reviewer02
    of course the games changed so has life but if your saying that the end result is being influenced by the refs performance we will just have to disagree at the end of the day the best teams normally win the titles and cups and have always done.

  26. Mahdain
    01/08/2012

    @Walter dont tell me Dean is in the running for the ref of the season award? Ill go berserk if thats the case..i can handle it if its Webb but Dean? Riley will have some explaining to do

  27. createstrain
    01/08/2012

    dont listen to the trolls there are obviously either jealous, corrupt or extremely ignorant.
    remember the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good ppl to do nothing.

  28. WalterBroeckx
    01/08/2012

    Mahdain,
    only one way to find out 😉
    But I will do like Wenger from now on: I don’t react to speculation.
    Is Dean a candidate? Well he is a referee so he could be a candidate but do I think it will happen? We are not close to signing him at the moment. 😉

    (we should sign him now that his contract with arry has finished 🙂 )

  29. Blue2theCORE
    01/08/2012

    No need to review UTD they have must have a positive bias of +10 esp with WEBB.sometimes its hard to watch them play coz of bias

  30. DogFace
    01/08/2012

    @Blue2theCORE – Oh… please stay tuned – those numbers are coming very soon!

    Shall we see if your instincts were right? You might be surprised about Webb though.

  31. Saurabh
    01/08/2012

    This is amazing stuff though i’m not suprised to say the least!

  32. C4
    01/08/2012

    lol @ Walter: “We are not close to signing him at the moment”
    and “we should sign him now that his contract with arry has finished”
    So you mean we get Dean on a free? That must mean he’s rubbish. Why can’t make a big name signing like Webb or Dowd. That would send a clear statement of intent. But no, as usual we’re going to lose out to a team with more ambition than us.

  33. WalterBroeckx
    01/08/2012

    C4 🙂 🙂

    LOL that was an even better one 🙂

  34. C4
    01/08/2012

    All I left was: plz winger sing this guy, we nid trowfie at d emarets

  35. Tony
    01/08/2012

    I am interested both here and in the replies to some other articles that some people find it hard to grasp the notion that this is a football site from an Arsenal perspective.

    It reminds me of those Tottenham supporters who kept writing in when we first started broadening our approach to say, “you are fixated on Tottenham”.

    Now I must balance that by saying that of late we have had some great exchanges with fans of Tottenham, Chelsea and Man C who recognise that while, in the stadium, we retain our tribal loyalty to Arsenal, as they do to their clubs, we are also intelligent enough to have more serious discussions outside of that scenario.

    I am starting to wonder if after each post about another club we shouldn’t just gather up the trolls commentaries and put them in a troll file – so they are there if anyone wants to read them, but they don’t get in the way of the discussion.

  36. bob
    01/08/2012

    geoff1,
    You are so one-note and no-minded in your so-called thinking that you are beyond reasons and reasoning. This website is about reasons and reasoning.

    jbh,
    You are so Tribalist and closed-minded in your so-called thinking that you are beyond reasons and reasoning. This website is about reasons and reasoning.

    A large-enough minority of fans, maybe more, are focused or can focus on reasons; and they can put their childhood’s tribalism – at least partly – in check and at least consider something out of the usual box – their media-induced prison-coma.

  37. bob
    01/08/2012

    p.s. Geoff1, you can still snap out of your trance. Step one is to realize you’re in a trance. Once you do, you’ll find plenty of good company.

  38. Domhuaille MacMathghamhna
    01/08/2012

    The endless debate and speculation about which official ¨prefers¨which team(s) will never be satisfactorily resolved, since Richard Nixon’s Republican mantra, ¨deny,deny,deny…and make it plausible¨ always protect them. If Riley says it isn’t so then according to the media and the FA…it isn’t. If,on the other hand, UA and its excellent referee reviews say that there is demonstrable and provable bias for certain teams both on the field and in the EPL Boardroom, then the media, the PGMOL and the EPL scramble to ¨explain¨ such concerns as ¨it all evens out in the end so why worry?¨
    In response to any and all who say why bother…nothing changes…I say that Arsenal and those associated with it have ALWAYS been in the vanguard of leadership, innovation and agitation for improvements in the Game and will continue to do so regardless of what the ¨establishment¨ wants and promotes. Trying to make the Game fairer and those responsible for its development more conscientious is both a noble and honourable vocation….more power to Arsenal!

  39. geoff1
    01/08/2012

    Bob
    I may be in trance thats what watching Chelsea since 1957 does.Look mate I accept that theres been some fantastic work done here on this site all I am saying is that it’s not going to make any difference because if you did a ref review in 50 years time you will probably come up with the same results. I think the game has changed and evolved may ways [ie not playing on mudheaps]but you aint gonna do anything about the refs unless you want to use technology which is a totally different argument.

  40. Stuart
    02/08/2012

    geoff1
    Who’s to say this doesn’t lead to the use of technology? That is exactly how I anticipate this leading to and have all along. The modern game is too advanced for the old refereeing system and IMO Technology or 22 refs is the only way forward. It will come down to which is the most viable.

  41. WalterBroeckx
    02/08/2012

    Geoff1,
    We could have done what 99,99% of the people do. Moan each week without having any clue of what you are moaning about is right or wrong.
    We could have done what 99,99% of all football supporters do: do nothing.
    We could have done what 99,99% of all people do in live: just accept it.

    Well with that mentality this blog would not have existed, the internet would not have existed, we probably would still be sleeping in cages and beat animals to dead with primitive tools.

    Progress can only be made when that 0.01% of people actually start searching and digging. Things can only change when that 0.01% of people start demanding change.

    Well I like to think that we over here are part of that 0.01% of people.

    Will it change because of what we do? Probably not immediately.
    But if ever things will improve I think our contribution will have been valuable.
    In order to get things changed in football you need much pressure. Pressure is what we provide over here.

    And maybe for the first time people will actually be able to see if the mantras from the media and the FA, PGMOL, UEFA and FIFA and whoever is responsible in football is based on facts or on thin air?

    Progress has to start somewhere and I think that is what we try to start. If it leads to nothing… so be it. But at least I and my fellow referee reviewers and Dogface will be able to say: we tried to do something about it. Don’t blame us for football not being fair. And don’t come crying when your team has been robbed by the refs. People should have joined us and help to put pressure on the bodies that rule football.

    At the end of the reviews we will come up with propositions to improve football and most of all the standard of refereeing. And for the first time such propositions will be based on facts of what is really wrong. Not on feelings what could be wrong but on numbers from 40% of the PL games from last season.

    And if it leads to nothing? Well at least we tried.

  42. Ed
    03/08/2012

    it sure is annoying to see people come on here and talk lots of shit.

    i think its a great job you guys are doing and to spend so much time on it – so well done! 🙂

    to all the haters… whether you take a biased look at your own team or a balanced view, there are dodgy refereeing decisions in nearly every game. if biased, you notice it going against your team, if balanced, you notice happening all the time.

    what the guys on this site are trying to do is to show a pattern. whether it proves nothing, bias, corruption, or all of them, we dont know and may never know.

    however, just highlighting what they have done, can only bring good – to let the officials know we are evaluating them (better and more publicly than their bosses), whether to put pressure on them to improve, to encourage bring in use of video replays, or to make some refs think twice before taking bribes etc.

  43. Carson
    03/08/2012

    You shoulda review QPR v Chelsea. It must be THE MOST NEGATIVELY BIASED MATCH AGAINST CHELSEA.

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