Arsenal News
Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News

Archives

July 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Is it right to have referees doing two Premier League games over a weekend?

By Walter Broeckx

All kinds of things are really wrong in the PL of course. Clubs spending money they didn’t earn or simply don’t have. Wage inflation followed by ticket price inflation. And then we have the referees. Making mistakes on the field.

But what will follow is not that much about ref’s mistakes.  In this series we are going to show not only what is wrong in general but also show you what might be wrong for each club. A report not based on the decisions from the ref but more based on the decisions from the PGMOL.  And by their decisions I refer to their decision of sending  referees to the games.

So what is the current state of affairs of the PGMOL when it comes to sending referees to games in the PL?

As you know the PL is a 20 team league. This means that each weekend we have 10 games in the PL.

To do those games we have 16 referees. Those 16 referees do the 10 games but also act as 4th referee in those games.   So the first thing that is wrong is that six refs each weekend are doing a double shift one could say.

So we see that on one day Howard Webb is 4th referee at WBA – Sunderland and on Monday evening does the game West Ham United – Tottenham.  And Martin Atkinson who has done Arsenal – Aston Villa will be the 4th ref in that game.  They sometimes use refs from the lower leagues to take up the task of 4th official but each week we see a few refs being present at two games.

This is not ideal I think. Familiarity with players and managers is something that is bad for referees. I don’t say that they should be enemies but imagine the following situation: a manager is unhappy about a referee in a certain game. He complains against the 4th official and they have an argument. And the chance is very real that the next week the ref who is the 4th official will be appointed for the next game as the ref on the field. Imagine there being bad blood after harsh words being said. This can have an effect on the ref and on his decisions.

So the fewer games a ref has of a certain team, the better. This is something that  is known worldwide.  And most leagues work according to that knowledge and try to spread the refs as much as possible.

This is also important as a way of reducing the possible influence of refs on the outcome of the league.  In fact it should be the most important working point of any FA or organisation that runs the referees in a country like we have with the PGMOL:  do all it can to prevent the refs from determining the outcome of the league.

So what do we see now in the PL with only 16 refs? We see that in theory each ref could be doing a number of games of each team. In this case we look at this in theory

Nr games Influence
Current situation
Atkinson

24

6,32%

Clattenburg

24

6,32%

Dean

24

6,32%

Dowd

24

6,32%

Foy

23

6,05%

Friend

24

6,32%

Jones

24

6,32%

Halsey

24

6,32%

Marriner

24

6,32%

Mason

24

6,32%

Moss

23

6,05%

Oliver

23

6,05%

Probert

24

6,32%

Swarbrick

23

6,05%

Taylor

24

6,32%

Webb

24

6,32%

Games

380

 

Now you will see that I have taken some refs with only 23 games. This is because 380 games divided by 16 refs gives me not a nice round number. So I had to reduce one game with 4 refs to get to 380 games – the total number of games in a Premier League season.

(We have 10 games per match day and with 20 teams this means each team plays 38  games. The maximum score a team can get is 114 points).

Now with the above mentioned number of games we could see that each ref in theory could have an influence of 7.2 point per season on each team. Now we all know that this is theory as you cannot do 6.32% of the games of a team. You do a complete game or you don’t do the game.

If the world of referees were a perfect world the PGMOL should make sure that the individual influence of each ref would be even more reduced.

And they can do this in a very simple way. I think for a league like the PL they should have at least 19 refs.  If that were the case then they could make sure that each ref would be having each team twice in each season and the maximum influence on points for each team would be 6 points.

However in my conversations behind the scenes with other people who are active in the refereeing world they have told me that there are not enough upcoming refs who are good enough to fill up the numbers.

Well if that is the case it is a bloody shame and proves  that the PGMOL and the FA  isn’t doing a good job. You cannot tell me that a country like England cannot produce 19 good enough refs for the PL.

But if you look at the geographical influence from where the leader and the referees are coming you see that all the refs are from the North and not a single ref is from the South of England, let alone from London.

Come to think of it… imagine if people from the south had a different skin colour, or a different religion, or … it would sound rather racist I think.

So here it is the first problem: there are not enough refs. The reason is that the PGMOL and the FA are not doing a good enough job apparently. And we have the bizarre fact that you need to come from the North to be a ref in the PL.

To find out if things can go from bad to worse you have to come back tomorrow to read part two of the series.

Recent posts

The books…

The sites from the same team…

35 comments to Is it right to have referees doing two Premier League games over a weekend?

  • Harry Barracuda

    Egads man that is some serious straw clutching going on there.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Harry,
    elaborate please???

  • Matt

    You really love the sound of your own voice.No doubt part 2 will show us how unlucky Arsenal have been and what a great manager Wenger is.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Any one wants to talk about Bayern around here? Or ir it more convenient to prove the world wrong (media, refs, police, etc…).

  • Adam

    I wish I had known you was putting this together, You have to remember Walter that some referee’s do not do certain sides so the ratio’s alter for teams such as Liverpool & Everton, who, we have two refs (Dean & Foy) who support them so cannot do there games, so the select pool of refs drops to 14 for these two sides.
    Halsey doesn’t do QPR games so QPR has 15 refs
    Clatenburg doesn’t do Sunderland or Newcastle so they have only 15 refs available to them.

    What I have been putting together is a list of national list refs who also perform the fourth official role for premier league games, this is their introduction into the select group and we can usually see who is going to be promoted by looking at this list of refs and seeing which ones have started to get the lower premier teams when they meet in cup competitions such as Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire) & Roger East (Wiltshire), whom both have already officiated premier league games this year so I expect them to be promoted to the select group next season.

    I have so far a list of about 20 national list refs who have performed the fourth official role this season with only a couple actually taking charge of premier league games, Pawson & East. Again neither from the south of England.

    We do have some refs from the south east of England but none are getting higher profile games that would suggest progression in to the select group.

    http://www.premierleague.com/content/premierleague/en-gb/referees/profile.html/craig-pawson

    http://www.premierleague.com/en-gb/referees/profile.html/roger-east

    However I do agree that these refs seem over-worked at times, and the geographical spread is not impressive and opens up insinuations to locality bias. On top of this we can start to point to a numerical bias as well with fewer refs being available for some teams, which we can then rightly question why we get some refs up to 5/6 times a season when we have more officials available to us.

    Lastly why a certain ref from Manchester officiates over teams from that area is mind boggling, I refer to Anthony Taylor.

  • Malaysian gunner

    If we had an epl man in charge of MUand RM game,Nani ould probably not have been sent off. Ai most it would be a yc.
    That’s why rf is distraught. He can’t have refs not bowing to his will.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @Matt No doubt you will doubt

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @Sammy

    the post is about refs (I know it is more convenient to bash Arsene Wenger).

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Walter,

    Does your work on the Refereedecisions website give you any ideas on the relative competencies of the assistant referees, if it does perhaps you could supply a list of the best to the PMGOL and suggest that they look at promoting them. I am always pleased to see Sian Massey, who seems to make very few mistakes and I am sure that there are others.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Adam,
    you are giving away some of my second article 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    Matt,
    you can always write your own articles. Nobody is forcing you to read what we write.

    But I can tell you you are wrong. We will talk about Arsenal of course. But we will also talk about all the other teams in detail.

    I think in the articles I have written so far the name Wenger will not be mentioned.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Maybe it is time for some that they are reminded that as long as Untold has existed we have covered different things and always try to look for new angles on things.

    But I can understand some only want to talk about “Wenger out”. If so you can go to the sites dedicated to this subject.
    Maybe people who want to look at other things and learn more about football in general, referees, FA, money, and try to have a smile on their face every now and then, can stay here and enjoy those things.

  • Dan T

    @Harry Barracuda

    Where is the straw clutching occurring in this article? Walter hasn’t really drawn any conclusions in this first part so struggle to understand how he is clutching straws. Please enlighten me.

    @Matt

    ‘You really love the sound of your own voice’ Aside from the fact that I cannot hear Walters voice by reading words on the page, I think it is rather difficult to be an author of anything without using words isn’t it? I would be curious to know your suggestion of how to write a post without an authors words…

    @Sammy The Snake

    Was the title not fairly indicative of what the article was going to be about? Personally i thought it was a bit of a giveaway. Did you really manage to deduce from the title that it would be a match preview for Arsenal vs Bayern?

    Aaaanyway. I personally agree that there needs to be more referees and the north/south ref divide is bizarre. I find it hard to imagine that there are zero capable refs in the bottom half of our country. Certain widely supported teams in the north are sure to gain some unintentional bias. I know it is supposed to be the case that refs will not officiate for clubs they support, but what about when they are officiating a game that in involves that clubs rivals? Is it humanly possible not to show some bias?

    It is also crazy that certain refs will get all the ‘big’ club games. Surely the refs are either up to EPL standard or not. So why do only some of them get the top of the table clashes? And why do some get more games in general? I’m sure this series will be heading in that direction though…

  • WalterBroeckx

    Andrew,
    That is something missing I’m afraid. We only see at them when they make bad mistakes. If we would take on the assistants in separate reviews it would be too much for the team we have.

  • Dan T

    @Walter

    Am I correct in assuming that referees of any nationality can ref in the EPL? If so then I wonder why we don’t scout refs from other countries like we do with players. Considering the EPL is widely considered as one of the best and most competitive leagues in the world then I would have thought that the EPL would be a fairly desirable place for referees from different countries to come?

  • JohnW

    Matt,
    I didn’t see Walter mention any Arsenal in his post. Do you think you have read the right one? Because the game of football has now become big business, don’t you think it’s vitally important to have the fairest system in place to officiate those matches?
    Don’t you think that England as a country has suffered enough in international tournaments because of problems that start, first of all, from the scarcity of fair refereeing in the PL?
    Finally, don’t you think you should wait for part II, if there are any deliberate inaccuracies, then you give Walter stick?

  • Mick

    I generally enjoy reading the comments as much as the articles. however increasingly there seems to be comments such as those from Matt which do nothing to add to the discussion and really do no more than irritate genuine contributors and readers. I and I would guess most people do not approve of censorship but in some cases wouldn’t it be preferable than having to put up with idiotic comments like Matt’s.

  • Philbet

    People like Matt will always occur,no matter who Arsenal had as a manager they would always be detractors,its the same at all the other clubs,the first year ManU under perform the ‘Fergie Out’ brigade will be formed, Mancini is under-performing this year according to some so called ManCity fans, we wont even go to Chelsea.
    Last week the phone ins were full of Everton types calling for Moyes to go, a manager with perhaps the most respect from fans of other teams in the EPL yet getting beat by Wigan tipped a few over the edge, the truth is and this is to Matt and all his like, The board hire a manager and the board fire him, if you want a say on who gets the job then try to get a seat on the board,the alternative is buy yourself a football club then hire and fire all you want, being a Arsenal fan (or any other team for that matter), means supporting the club,disagreeing with manager,players,directors is legitimate but to kid yourself that you have a say is delusional, to try to convince others that your opinion counts is bordering on total insanity, maybe you want to join the Blackburn fans who wanted Kean out, I think they were third in the table when he went, now the crowds are lower and the team has recently clawed its self back to mid-table obscurity,hardly a glorious success story.
    You should try a bit more loving and a lot less hating you may even be a happier person.

  • Adam

    Sorry that’s why I put two links on there, so it would have to pass moderation. Sorry.

  • AL

    Why should one of the richest industries in the country have such a low number of suitable officials anyway. Is it because majority of would be refs just don’t look like they’ll tow the line, hence never get promoted? I wonder if other sports such as Rugby or cricket also have such critical shortages of competent officials. Maybe Walter you could come out of ‘retirement’ and come over to England, we need you here:) ( I just can’t imagine you being in the same office as Mike Riley at the same time:) )

    Also the distribution is just wrong, about 90% of those 16 hail from one corner of England.

  • AL

    Off topic, Ferguson refused to shake Rafa’s hand yesterday, the same Ferguson who said Suarez should never play for Liverpool again after refusing to shake evra’s hand as he could’ve caused a riot. I can only imagine what he would’ve come up with had it been nani getting that kick from arbeloa, given he claimed rvp could have been killed by a shot to the head. Hypocrite doesn’t even describe what this man is.

  • @AL i thought i was the only one who saw that but this time around i will go for Furgus he was shaking like a Jerry fish and chewing his cud like a cow he was fucked up and guess what he might have thrown a boot to Vanper$ie.

  • WalterBroeckx

    No problem Adam. It’s a teaser for the rest 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Al,
    ;- about being in the same room with Mike Riley 🙂

    Hi Mike. Enjoying the article? You can always comment of course. 🙂

    Within the rules of the site of course

  • bob

    Micky R,
    Now that Walter has gained you attention, would you tell the fans what happened at Old Trafford on the day when your calls upended our winning streak? To refresh your mind, if Walter would provide the link (to the catacombs at Making the Arsenal), there is a detailed ref review of your performance and there is still a video floating around the web which you will always be remembered by, even as you may choose to forget it (or expunge it from the internet). Why not clear up that stain on your illustrious career and set the record straight, so that fans like me and a few zillion others are able to better appreciate your skills and legacy?

  • Sammy The Snake

    Hey, I’m no Wenger basher! All I’m trying to say is that I have more imminent things on my/our minds. We can talk ref in the summer when we have nothing to look forward to. I still think we have a slim chance in our tie against Bayern, a 2-0 win will do it for me and I still believe our coach & players have it in them to do some magic.

    I’d rather see us rally the troops for Wednesday.

  • Adam

    With regards to Bayern they are missing a few key players.

    And hope is a wonderful thing, I’m really looking forward to this match, with hope.

  • Linz

    Adam,you know Wilshere is out,Szez too? That Geoff geezer on twitter, who seems to have some contacts at the club,said that he had heard it is a season ending ankle ligament injury,but the club are just saying an ankle injury.Anyway,Jack was spotted on monday in Dubai by some mate of Keys and Grey, because they mentioned it on their show.Thought it was a load of bollocks,but now the club have confirmed he picked it up in the NLD. The fact that he injured it up ten days ago, and this is the first we have heard of it, makes me suspicious that it is indeed serious.I really hope not,because without Wilshere i just cannot see us getting a European spot next season,given how well Spurs and Liverpool are playing. Only 5th gets Europa League this season ;what would be the consequences of NO European football at all next season?

  • AL

    Not sure why people always want to read about sensational stuff which is more than adequately covered in the gutter press. For me, I find articles like these very refreshing; filled with facts & figures, at the end of which I learn something about the game I love. Only a few weeks ago I had no idea how pro Chelsea Atkinson was, or who Pawson was & how we have performed under him, but thanks to UA now I do. I can say with a high degree of confidence the majority of football lovers in England have no idea how many referees we have in the prem, or where they come from. This stuff you will never read in the mainstream media, only on sites like this one. So do I want to come here and read about how Mancini is facing the sack, or of the latest spat between Rafa & Fergie? I will just go to the Sun/DM/BBC, if I can muster the courage, for that. Yes, we can talk about that stuff here too, but in my opinion its the fact laden articles like this that make UA stand out, and why I keep coming back.

    On the Bayern front, anyone knows if Jack is fit to play? Think Bayern themselves will be missing a few key players, so it’d be nice if we are at full strength.

  • Matt

    I am glad my post provoked such reaction from the Akb’s on this site.Well done lads!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    So Matt you are just here to provoke unrest?

  • Matt

    Definately not Walter. I believe the things i say and do really care about the club even though i have a totally different view to you and some of the posters. Which in reality just shows how split the Arsenal fans currently are and that in itself is a massive problem for the club.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Well I can agree with your last sentence. Maybe a start.

  • bob

    Dan T,
    Just as the players are from across the globe, you’re right to wonder why the ref pool is not.

    I think the answer (keeping it general for now) is that you can’t control what is not beholden to you; and the PGMOL clearly has northern bias and that means it is selecting from among beholdend people who know people who know people (socially, economically, as neighbors, as a reciprocal means of upward social mobility, as an escape from routine/boredom, etc. etc.) To be selected into the PGMOL ref pool provides a measure of salary and security that is not accessible to most people involved in any way in the football universe. Going along to get along and not to breach company policy (stated or unstated) is part of most institutions’ standard operating procedure. So, it might seem provincial, or short-sighted; but staying narrow rather than going wide is a more effective way to instill “best practices” and police the game, its values, its parameters, its desirable outcomes and to exclude alternatives.

  • Domhuail

    Everything is a complete enigma with the PGMOL, so here are a few questions that need clarification:

    1)How are officials selected for any EPL game?
    2)How are the officials assessed and are any results of these assessments available?
    3)Why are there no EPL referees south of London?
    4)Does the PGMOL answer to anyone,directly or indirectly?
    5)Why are there only 16 EPL officials for 20 teams? (It would seem to make more sense to have 20 officials, n’est-ce-pas?
    6)Who decides which officials can reach the EPL level?
    7)Who decides which officials are removed from the list and for what reasons?
    8)Why are there only 16 officials capable of handling EPL games in a country that created the Laws, created Association Football and for many a decade, had the best international referees?

    There are more issues to be addressed but these seem more important at this time.