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Wanted: Man U, Man C, Chelsea, Liverpool fans (and fans of other clubs) who are qualified refs

Last year we ran referee reviews on Untold Arsenal.  They were written by qualified refs who for the most part were Arsenal fans.

This season we wanted to go much further, so we launched Referee Decisions – a web site that publishes reviews of Premier League referees by referees who are supporters of various clubs.

Now we want some more refs to join us.

We cover as many football matches from the English Premier League as we can by watching videos of matches, and recording each decision, noting if it was right or wrong.   If you are a qualified referee and would like to help us there are more details on how to do this below.

You’ll see what we have been doing by going to the Referee Decisions site.  If you would like to see what the referees are doing to your club, just go to that site and look on the right side of the page and you will see a heading Category Specific RSS.

Scroll down that list until you see your club and then click on your club’s name.  You will be taken to a page that shows all the articles we have published about your club – including a review of how the refs treated your club in 2011/12 (except of course for Reading, Southampton and West Ham who we didn’t review in that season while they were in the Championship).

Our research revealed that the old adage that mistakes “all even out in the end” is the opposite of the truth.  An extraordinary, some would say frightening, bias was revealed.  That’s why we are continuing, and going further.

Our instructions to those who join with us are simple: referee the match on TV as you would referee any match – with impartiality and fairness.

We will then publish our reports on the club-neutral Referees Decisions web site, that has just been set up for this purpose.

Below you will find a link to our analyses for the past season – and within each article on individual clubs you will find links to the games we covered.   But you might already have a couple of questions, so I’ll try and answer them.

First, is there any money in it?  The answer is no.  It’s a labour of love.  Of course we dream that maybe just as Opta started out as a little research project among friends and turned into a multi-million pound business, so might this.  And if so, money will be shared out, but for now, no. All I can say is that we started our Arsenal site three years ago with no readers, and last month it got 800,000 visits.  So we do know a bit about getting an audience.

Second, do I have to do lots of matches?  Again no.  If you can only do one a month, we’d like to have you on board, although ideally we’d like one a week – or even more if you can give the time.  The only thing we ask is that you are clear in your commitment.  The one thing we want to avoid is taking on a ref who says “yes, I’ll do two reviews a week” and then we get nothing.  We know circumstances change and sometimes we can’t do what we offer to do – we just ask our ref reviewers to keep us informed.

Third, what actually is measured?   We have a standardised grid – just look at some of our reviews and you’ll see what we do.

Fourth, will I be identified?  No – our ref reviewers are listed by number “Ref Reviewer 3, Ref Reviewer 8″ and so on.

Fifth, is anyone taking notice?  Yes – the BBC picked up on our work, and ran a significant story on what we are doing.  Then, the PGMOL (the organisation that runs Premier League ref affairs) suddenly changed its web site from an open site that talked about educating fans into the laws of the games, into one that only members of PGMOL could enter.  (Of course we can’t prove that was down to what we were writing, but it was one hell of a coincidence).  And the entry on Wikipedia about PGMOL now mentions our work (although of course this could change any day!)

If you are a ref and you are interested, just email WalterBroeckx@hotmail.com and tell Walter about yourself.

If you are a statistician, journalist or a blogger and you are interested in our data for collaborative analysis, just email TheAmazingDogFacedBoy@Gmail.com and tell DogFace about yourself and what format you require the data to be presented. Our data sets are far more extensive than the match reports presented on this site so please ask it you don’t see the information you are looking for.

If you are a wealthy philanthropist and you wish to make a donation to help fund our service and the work that goes into it; then we will accept all donations gladly.

5 comments to Wanted: Man U, Man C, Chelsea, Liverpool fans (and fans of other clubs) who are qualified refs

  • Sammy The Snake

    Great timing to change the subject by Untold. Gooners are interested in discussing the state of their club, not ref decisions or any of your other recent articles trying to divert attention away from…

  • Sav from Australia

    What state of the club Sammy?

    I look at the amount of matches yet to play and I see there is plenty of time to move up the table. Take a chill pill mate.

  • robl

    What state dear Sammy? We appear to be 1 win off the top 4, our next game is against someone we last put 7 past and the draw for the last 16 is next week.

    Or do you want to belittle the work of the reviewers and their quest for impartiallity?

    Tell me Sammy, what have you ever achieved?

  • bjtgooner

    I can’t see anything wrong with UA trying to increase the number of referees in the panel. Further, widening the club allegiance of the panel is all to the good.

  • Stuart

    Sammy,
    I’m very interested in how the referees are tainting the game and distorting the results, if you are not then I really doubt you have watched a game involving Arsenal.