This article is part of the series : REFEREE REVIEW 2012
Untold Arsenal has a team of qualified referees who have reviewed more than 40% of the EPL games from last season. The reviews themselves were based on full match video footage with the advantage of video technology features such as slow motion and pause.
By reviewing those 155 games we have made a database of more than 7000 decisions that have been judged by our panel of dedicated and qualified referees.
The numbers you will see are based on those decisions and those reviewed games.
The next referee in our review is Lee Mason. A ref that had a few horrendous moments in the past in some games. How did he score last season? And this is also a ref that will be in our referee league tables that will come after these articles.
Let us have a look at his numbers.
We did 6 games from Lee Mason last season. And that is 25% of his total games.
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Now let us first check the numbers from Mason and his competency.
Well some disappointing numbers over here. In the un-weighted graphic we only see a score of 67.61% correct decisions. That is below the 70% border line that is being used in other countries and that makes the difference between staying in the top league or going down. What is the change if we put the weight on the decisions?
Well the numbers drop even more. They drop top 64.67% correct decisions. These are really bad numbers. Numbers that are not good enough to be a referee in the PL.
In fact these are numbers that are even worse than the numbers from Stuwart Attwell! And he was relegated during the season. So we can wonder again why Mason was not sent back? Maybe because otherwise we wouldn’t have any more refs left in the PL? But then again this would have been the fault of Mike Riley, head of the PGMOL.
Let us see at the different type of decisions and try to find out from where the bad numbers are coming.
Look at that! Only 78.57% of his goal decisions were correct last season! That means that 2 goals in 10 were wrongly given or ruled out! I think this is a tragic number. This is terrible. This is the PL unworthy.
If we look at his offside decisions…they are of the same calibre. You remember Mike Riley saying that 99% of the offside decisions were correct in the PL last year. Well not when Mason was around. Poor.
If we look at the other decisions that are about the ordinary fouls in the middle of the field we see that he also has a score below the 70%. This just isn’t good enough by any means.
A small change in the darkness of these numbers are the penalty decisions. 60% correct but that is not something to really be proud of I think. Penalties are important so should have a much higher score.
The red cards decisions are maybe what can be predicted by now: bad. Not one correct decision in the games we reviewed from him.
And if we look at the yellow cards the misery only gets bigger. Witt only 44% correct he stays well in the bottom half of the different referees.
In short: this is bad, really bad. Let us now look if we can find any bias for home or away teams?
These numbers give me a double feeling. First of all we have just seen that he was bad. And now we see that he bad for away teams in general. They have a negative bias to overcome of -2.999 points. So we could say that he looks to be a home ref.
If we put weight on the decisions we see the same pattern. But to give him some credit: it seems that he was not out there to destroy a team with big decisions. Of course there have been major decisions going wrong but the total picture between home and away bias remains almost the same.
So not just a poor ref in general, but if you are lucky to have him at home he will give you the benefit of the doubt a bit more than when you have him away.
Let us see at the numbers when we look at the teams.
Two teams stand out on the negative side of things. Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion are the teams that have to climb a mountain to win a game with Mason in charge. And even QPR is not looking to be a favourite of the ref and that itself is remarkable as QRP in general had the refs on their side a bit according to the games we reviewed.
Manchester United got a bit of help from Mason in their games. Not that unusual one could say.
But Mason has something with the colour blue it seems. As both blue teams Chelsea and Everton have been getting a lot of things going their way. Is this just down to a personal love for that colour? Difficult to say.
But take a moment and look at the team he favoured most… Stoke. That really is a big bias in their favour.
Does it change if we put weight on the decisions?
Well it actually does. Arsenal remains firmly in the wrong place. But QPR and WBA also have very bad results in the games under Mason. And also Sunderland suddenly has more than the double of bad calls going against them from this ref.
In the games from Swansea and Manchester City he did rather all right it seems with only a very low bias score.
But he sure had a soft spot for Manchester United. They got a very high bias score. But that is nothing compared to his beloved blue shirt teams Chelsea and Everton. They got an amazing high score when it came to making mistakes from this ref.
But the masters of Mason and his bad calls are Stoke. He almost gave them a free ride it seems. Not just lots and lots of regular mistakes in their favour but the number of big mistakes in their favour are somewhat ridiculous!
If we take the 70% border line that is being used in other countries we can clearly see that this ref was not good enough in the games we reviewed. And by this standard should be put back to the lower leagues.
If we then look at the different type of decisions we see that there are some really bad decisions on the important ones. So that itself should be sufficient to send him down to the lower leagues.
Yet the PGMOL has kept him on board for the new season. So he must have done something they like. Maybe you can find the answer in the team bias tables?
If being crap in your decisions and most of all your important decisions is not enough to send you back, then there must be something else that the PGMOL clearly likes.
If I ever would get the chance to have a conversation with Mike Riley, I would like to ask him about this referee. Dogface had a brilliant article two seasons ago where he warned us that Mason would try to destroy Arsenal in their game against Everton in advance of that particular game. And he was 100% spot on!
And yet two seasons later the PGMOL keeps him in the PL. And that despite quite clearly being not good enough. What is that smell that is entering my nostrils? Or is it the smell of “coincidence”?
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