# Arsenal are 38 points down each season before a ball is kicked

PART 3 : A team analysis

This is a continuation of our series of the way PGMOL is handling the referee crisis.Β  The previous parts are here:

Part 1Β Β Β  Part 2

After having pointed out a few of the things that are wrong with the refs in the PL or more particularly with the way the refs are organised in the PL I now will try to show you which teams referees are “good for” and which teams referees are “bad for”.

The first thing I did was taken the overall win statistics of each team in the PL. And then I compared this with how each team did with said ref. In a perfect world with nothing wrong it is clear that for most teams the overall win percentage should be the same under each ref.Β  Of course there can be some differences but in general terms this difference should be a relatively small affair.

As we expect no bias at all from the refs each ref should have a win percentage for each team that would be around the same as for the overall win percentage of that team. If the numbers are different then this could be the signal to sound the alarm bells.

And this goes in both ways of course. A ref that has a too big win percentage for a team is strange. Just as a ref with a too low win percentage for a team is strange. In the first case this could be an indication that the ref has a soft spot for that team. In the latter it could mean that the ref has something against that team.

But in both cases it would mean that the ref has to be kept far away from that team.

As this is Untold Arsenal we start with our own team. And the table you will see now is the table with all the active refs and their games and the win % of all the refs that are still active in the PL.

 Total won draw lost won draw lost % games Arsenal 797 426 212 159 53,45% 26,60% 19,95% won draw lost Atkinson 28 14 7 7 50,00% 25,00% 25,00% 10,18% Clattenburg 25 17 1 7 68,00% 4,00% 28,00% 9,09% Dean 45 17 14 14 37,78% 31,11% 31,11% 16,36% Dowd 26 15 8 3 57,69% 30,77% 11,54% 9,45% Foy 25 18 4 3 72,00% 16,00% 12,00% 9,09% Friend 5 3 2 0 60,00% 40,00% 0,00% 1,82% Jones 11 9 1 1 81,82% 9,09% 9,09% 4,00% Halsey 23 15 5 3 65,22% 21,74% 13,04% 8,36% Marriner 16 10 2 4 62,50% 12,50% 25,00% 5,82% Mason 13 7 4 2 53,85% 30,77% 15,38% 4,73% Moss 2 2 0 0 100,00% 0,00% 0,00% 0,73% Oliver 6 2 1 3 33,33% 16,67% 50,00% 2,18% Probert 8 2 3 3 25,00% 37,50% 37,50% 2,91% Swarbrick 2 2 0 0 100,00% 0,00% 0,00% 0,73% Taylor 6 4 2 0 66,67% 33,33% 0,00% 2,18% Webb 34 14 9 11 41,18% 26,47% 32,35% 12,36%

There are two refs in this table whose numbers will not be taken into account. Those refs are Moss and Swarbrick and each of them has only done two Arsenal games, which we won. So they have a 100% win record but I think that you only can start looking at trends from a minimum of five games. Anything below cannot really be considered reliable.Β  So even the numbers from referee Friend should be taken with a pinch of salt even though his win percentage is not that far from the league average. So the count on unknown refsΒ  is 2 refs.

Now who are the βgood guysβ? By this I mean the referees under whom we win more than the average. And a few surprises there. The best ref for Arsenal is referee Jones with a very high win percentage. Followed by Chris Foy and Mark Clattenburg. Also referee Anthony Taylor is not a really bad ref for Arsenal but this is only based on 6 games. So no completely reliable.Β  Another ref under whom we do rather well in general is Halsey.Β  So the count is five good refs.

Refs who come close to the average are Atkinson, Dowd, Friend, Marriner, Mason (almost spot on with his average) . I think those are the refs who in general are not really completely against Arsenal unless outside factors play a part. And by outside factors I mean the opponents.Β  Because just as referees can be for or against Arsenal they can be for or against anyone else as well.

I refer here to Atkinson in particular who is not a bad referee but you must make sure you donβt have him when you play Chelsea. More about this later on when we deal with him and with Chelsea in detail. So the count on this one is again five referees who in general are not anti-Arsenal.

Now the bad guys. The ones who, when sent to our games, tend to give us moreΒ  losses than average.Β  We have Howard Webb. But this could have much to do with the fact that we rather have him a lot when playing Manchester United.

But then we go to the referee underworld.Β  I think it is no surprise that we see the name of Dean popping up.Β  And his statistics are rather false as in the first years in the PL we hardly lost a game when he was in charge. Since then things have changed. But other really dangerous refs for Arsenal are Michael Oliver and Lee Probert. Those last two are based on not that many games but still with Probert we have a Mike Dean referee type of guy. So all in all the count for bad referees is four.

But the problem is that those four “bad” referees have done 33,70% of our games in recent years. That means that we almostΒ  have one of our bogey refs every 3rd game. One could say that almost 1 out of 3 games is almost lost before we kick a ball.

And to put that in perspective this means that around 38 points are at risk before a ball is kicked with those referees. 38 points. Thirty eight points.Β  And to add to that I want to say that Dean on his own is in charge of almost 18 points per season for Arsenal.Β  One person can decide on if we win 18 points or lose 18 points.Β  Last season we got 3 of those 18 points when he was in charge.

Remember I said that in a perfect world he would only be responsible for six points in total. Or do 6,32% of the games. So it is clear to see that in some cases some refs are well over that “ideal” number.

It is completely irresponsible that an organisation like the PGMOL can decideΒ  on 18 points of one team. That is also completely unacceptable.Β  There are almost no other examples of the PGMOL sending a ref that many times to a certain team in the last years. And certainly when the statistics show that this ref is a complete nightmare for this team.

And yet the PGMOL does it year after year. If they donβt know such statistics then I wonder what they do all day. It is their duty to check their referees and see if there is any suspicious behaviour or if one can find suspicious statistics.

Yet another example of the PGMOL not doing their job. Or maybe I should come to the conclusion that actually they are doing βtheir jobβ?

### 104 comments to Arsenal are 38 points down each season before a ball is kicked

• Rupert Cook

Excellent. In your fantasy world then we’ve been champions for the last few years. Perhaps you can go and claim the EPL trophy.

As long as Arsenal fans live in denial nothing will change. I bet Spuds fans resorted to this sort of stuff after years of stagnation.

Perhaps the reason we won a lot under Dean originally was because we had a cracking team. Now we make so many errors in key games that the odds are against us anyway whoever referees. But don’t throw that into the equation, that’ll ruin your conclusion.

• Its obvious that Dean is biased against us for some reason.
Keep up the good work π

• WalterBroeckx

Rupert,
if our team was that bad as you suggest then surely the Dean results should also be found with other refs?
And don’t give me the crap that Dean only does our big games. No it is also seen when playing the small teams. In fact he does more “small” teams then big teams in total.

• shagx

Mmm…….. cracking team my ass! The only reason Manu wins so many game is because they gives out world class BJ to the refs. The Mandes goal anyone? The Rooney dive? The super long injury time (98min) whenever Manu is not winning the game……. I can go on forever.
Manu always have a good or decent team, I give you that. But to claim you guys don’t get a lot of help from the refs is a complete joke. You people must be living in your own fantasy world.

• WalterBroeckx

I think someone has missed the point a bit π

Could you enlarge the header a bit Tony?

• Rupert Cook

@Walter, I’m not giving you any crap but really this smacks of desperation. Are you sure you’re not Comical Ali?

You accuse people of simplifying things and then come out with this. There are so many holes in it Giroud could run through it.

So if Dean hadn’t have overseen all these losses we’d have won all those games would we? How do you know?

And let’s ignore the fact that we’ve played badly frequently this season. That isn’t down to refs.

As I said before if you’ve got proof Dean is dodgy then accuse him to his face. Get him out of football and then see what position we’ll finish. I bet you it won’t be a lot different.

• Rupert Cook

http://www.thefootballnetwork.net/main/s378/st181437.htm

Read this for an alternative reason for our decline.

• El Gringo

Come on Rupert, make your way over to refereedecisions.co.uk and you’ll find that Walter has plenty of evidence for his assertions, especially regarding Dean. But don’t bother with the evidence, that’ll ruin your conclusion.

I think we can reasonably expect lower numbers against better teams, especially (unfortunately) these days. But it’s not an either/or dilemma! Yes, the team is weaker. No denying that. But also, and most certainly, referees can influence results by biased application of the Laws of the Game. There is so much evidence that this happens routinely in the EPL (and not just to Arsenal, Rupert, so don’t pretend this is all about whitewashing Arsenal’s failures), and to call this important and ground-breaking research “denial” is in itself a massive denial of two years of evidence collected on a wide range of matches across the league, touching every club in the league. It’s both/and logic: BOTH a weaker side AND biased refereeing are contributing factors to the current situation. And it happens that Walter’s particular expertise and interest lies with the referees, so he’s doing his bit to change what he can by collecting, analysing, and evaluating evidence. Long may he continue his work!

• El Gringo

BTW Dean was ref when we lost to Blackburn. And the consensus around Untold was that he did a pretty decent job, only we couldn’t score to save our lives.

• Mick

Good work Walter, and ignore Rupert who is himself as much in denial of your evidence as he accuses you of being in denial of other factors.

• Rupert Cook

@El Gringo, their maybe loads of dodgy refs with their own personal bias, be strange if there wasn’t but that doesn’t alter the fact that we’re not going to be 38 pts better off. A child can see through that logic.

You need proper proof, not just manufactured facts. Simplistic conclusions after good research is damns the whole argument.

• Rupert Cook

Apologies for the dreadful grammar, that’s what happens when you post in a hurry.

• WalterBroeckx

Ah as I know I am doing things that nobody did before I know that people will laugh at me, they will try to ridicule me, they will call me names. Part of the ground breaking job π

But of course the thing is that I already have the numbers of other teams and we will publish them all in the next weeks. And so I see how other teams are and how they get treated by the refs.

Stay tuned for the next team I would say Rupert. And then you will see that my numbers are not about being in denial. You will see that in fact it doesn’t matter if the team is crap or world beaters. The yard stick we use is different for each team.

You will see great number and you will see other teams suffering from some refs as much as we do under Dean.

But when the numbers of Arsenal show things like is said in the header (maybe a bit exaggerated but that is part of the job one could say) should we just accept it?

• WalterBroeckx

I’ve said it before and if you still don’t understand it by now I will repeat myself for the umpteenth time:

I don’t want the refs to help Arsenal. I just want that the refs treat Arsenal in a fair way. And I want that the PGMOL keeps an eye on their refs and their bias. And that the PGMOL does all it can to make sure that ALL TEAMS are treated in a fair way by the refs they send to the games. No bias for or against should be found for any team.

And as long as I can find any bias for or against a team I will report it. So stay tuned for another 19 articles like this one. And then I will look at it from the refs point of view. Also very interesting. So refs keep on reading π

• Rupert Cook

@Walter, I’m not ridiculing your work, I’m pointing out that tabloid type headlines based on nothing but wish fulfillment damages what you’re doing.

As you have no idea what results would have happened with “unbiased” refs you can’t make claims about how we would have this or that many points.

I’d be amazed if there wasn’t some bias with refs because humans are weak creatures. But notwithstanding that this team is still extremely average in comparison with past teams under Wenger.

• John

Rupert, you seem to keep missing the point. The article says that 38 points are at risk. It does not claim that 38 points would necessarily be won if referee bias was eradicated.

As for ignoring evidence, you cannot seriously suggest that Dean has not had a direct influence on our results on a number of occasions. This was clear, even before Walter’s research. The data provided largely confirms what was already obvious.

• Va

@Rupert When has Walter said we would be better of 38 points? It is the assumption we would get a better portion of that if the games are shared out. There biased 1 or 2 games and more with the same ref and under on season. Don’t you think that’s a bit fishy? @walter I’m looking forward to the next set of analysed data of other teams. @rupert say you are good at something you know you are but the people around you say you are rubbish constantly sometimes gives you doubt. I had a car accident last year in November with some crazy idiot weaving in and out on the m40 I had to turn into the green as he was parallel to me or I would have hit him clean. With so many injuries broken legs there is a physiological damage you always have on your mind with Ramsey diaby etc. they get no protection from the refs so cannot play to their true potential. Look what happened to ryodiniho! Makes me sick…

• Andy Kelly

Rupert

Do you not find it a strange coincidence that the referee that has officiated most Arsenal games (a number that by itself beggars belief if, as the PGMOL says, there is a randomness to the choice of referee) also results in Arsenal having an incredibly poor record compared to other referees?

This isn’t a comparison of one or two games this season but almost 50 games over a number of years. And these games have not been all against top teams.

It would be interesting to see the odds on the number of Arsenal games that Dean is chosen to referee.

• Mandy Dodd

Quite amazing how often we get these “Bad” refs. Even Barca away, we get a ref who has never officiated a losing Spanish team in the Champions League – we all knew what happened next.

• WalterBroeckx

Rupert,
if we would take the number of wins we usually have under other refs (53,45%) and we would take that number and just look at last season under Dean:

6 games and we won 3 points of a possible 18.

So taking the 53,45% as normal we could/should have won at least 9 points (in fact 10 points as it should be 3 wins and a draw in stead of only 1 win in total).
So we would/should/could have 10 points more last season.

That would have given us 80 points in stead of now 70 points.

The same goes for Webb and Probert and Oliver of course. Let us take one win from the games we did (I’m not saying we should take the points from all the games they did!) that would be another possible 9 points.

Ad those points to the points and we get… 19 points.

But sure the team was crap last year. But in the second half of the season despite the crap from some refs we still managed to keep up with the top two teams. With a crap team.

Now I don’t say that the refs cost us those 19 points. Even though thinking of it and looking at some performances of Dean, Probert, Webb last season we sure would have had more points. But the difference for the players for losing after being robbed by a ref and seeing him again is massive. That is what Dean is all about for the moment. He has gotten in to the players their head and he doesn’t have to do anything for the moment. Unless the players get so angry like they did against Tottenham last season.

• americangooner

I think there has been an attempt to take away bias referee decisions out of the equation. To presume that referees are doing their job to the maximum is a statement based on fallacy. Through evidence gathered by UA its quite clear there are many referees better than dean/ dowd. Despite this, an inferior & biased refree is given the responsibility to officiate our most crucial matches. All these doubters can’t give proper answer to a question: ‘why isn’t there one single refree from London area, when there are 5 teams consistently on the PL: arsenal, fulham, chelsea, totts, WHU?’ Can the doubters, who think PGMOL is a sacred institution, give an answer? Arsenal’s performance hasn’t been great but this doesn’t excuse the referees, and by extension PGMOL, from their abject refreeing & refree allocation. Its not just Arsenal problem though. Rodgers is always complaining he didn’t get rub of the green; pulis scheduling meeting with riley. Adding 4-5 refrees would go some way in improving the brand image of PGMOL, but surely its a long shot even to expect a modest improvement.

• Gunz

@ Rupert
Americangoooner has given some good examples of questions for you to answer!
If you wouldn’t mind gracing us with your view on something other than how crap Arsenal are.
COYG

• Dan T

I’m looking forward to the stats for other teams. I think there wasn’t too much new for me in this article as I already know which refs are good/bad for Arsenal but I will be very interested to see this for other teams. Keep up the good work!

• Abhishek Kumar

Hi Walter

Can you please explain(or will you be able to explain) why Ferdinand was let off even when its a blatant foul…

I think United players have become so confident that they dont fear FA any more.. Imagine the same thing done by Torres on Ferdinand.. Red nose would have killed him then and there..

So unfortunate to see that Chelsea is so silent on this issue..

• JohnW

And besides, Rupert Cook, regardless of whether The Arsenal is crap, wouldn’t you rather see a fairer PL, where everyone EARNS their points (or losses) without influence? Because then, we would be able to measure how ‘crappy’ we are. If we are so much crap, why is it that other teams come looking for ‘our crap’ every season? RVP, Cesc, Song, Nasri, Clichy, etc and ofcourse they go on to win things!
I have also noticed, that some refs give fouls, where others wave play-on, and on a regular basis. May be this is ‘the rub of the green’ being talked about, but it sure makes some teams gain more advantage than others.

• Tasos

Excellent work Walter.

Don’t allow the contrary ones to derail your efforts.

One day this league will be exposed for what it is and it will be people like you that will have helped that happen.

• alex luck

i see rupert ask if walter i comical ali. some years ago arsene wenger was called comical ali. I think most of ua readers know what happen.

• Mandy Dodd

So much that is striking in this, not least the amount of times we have suffered Dean compared with other refs.

• AL

Good Article. This is very true. We get Webb over the two united fixtures, and we all know the outcome, so thats 6 points down already. Throw dean in for the mandatory 5 or 6 games we get per season with him, regardless of who we are playing and you have another 15 to 18 points lost, and you start to see a grim picture. If we are unlucky to get any of probert, dowd or friend, or atkinson when playing Chelsea, then is it really any wonder 4th spot has been looking like a struggle ove the last few seasons. I wish there would be a way of inserting a link to UA on all these crapy sites for the whole world to see.

• Royston

Sorry but despite the results Phil Dowd is up there as one of the worst referees. The Newcastle game where we were 4-0 he gives 2 of the dodgiest penalties in PL history and fails to send off Barton for man handling Szeceney. Plus sends off Diaby

Also he referred the Spurs game where they also were awarded a penalty after fabregas put his arm up to protect his face from a free kick.

This ref is always caught on camera chatting with the English players and joking around with them.

• bob

Walter,
Didn’t you establish that Arsenal went all of last season without a single penalty shot being awarded at home? or was it at home and away from home as well? Is there any other EPL team that endured this at home and/or away? Even if there was one goal (just to cover myself if I’m off by one goal), the likelihood is so statistically and existentially improbable that it does not pass the smell test. (As in something is rotten in the state of denmark in addition to nick bendtner.)

Rupert Crocked,
Can your “head-in-the-sand” accusation be expanded to include yourself on the above point? Or do you have an explanation beyond that of Coincidence? As many keep saying (as you bask in wind-em-up attention), Arsenal has had two sets of problems, and one is the chronic refshite under the stewardship of the Golem who rules the hives of Riley.

• bob

Rupert Crocked,
Your bon vivant invocation of Comical Ali as a joke to label Walter for his work actually offers a window into your make-up. Quite revealing of the strange and toxic brew that has overflood its street gratings.

• bob

^overflowed (yeccch)

• Rupert Cook

@Everyone, I’m not saying Dean isn’t bias, I’m saying prove it and then you’ll get him out of football. I’m afraid if you took this to court it’d be thrown out because too much is based on speculation.

I’m all for a fairer EPL, in fact fairer football worldwide, even if it means we win zilch forever. I’d love all sports to be free of every nefarious influence but it’s a losing battle. That doesn’t mean the battle shouldn’t be fought but it’s one that will probably never be won outright, like the war on drugs.

And the article heading states we are -38pts before the season begins. I don’t see how you can interpret that any other way.

And Walter you know as much as I you can’t just go awarding points to Arsenal because of statistics, the game has to be played, only then can a true picture emerge of our points tally.

• WalterBroeckx

And the more games you have the more likely it should be that the outcome becomes the same. With Dean the numbers drift further and further apart.

And the only thing I can do is question things. I am not a police officer so cannot go looking for “prove”. The only prove I can deliver is showing numbers. Odd numbers.

• Mick

@Rupert
I am amazed that someone of your apparent intelligence has taken the ’38 point down’ headline quite so literally. I sincerely hope you do not unreservedly believe every newspaper headline you read in the same way you have Walters.

• @walter @btjgooner has name for rupert so do not bother a lot explaining. Those of us who saw dean celebrating spunks goal know better.One question though, is the FA(Fu…. As….s)going to do anything about Ferdinand or its normal as always??

• marcus

@Rupert
It’s not a question of proving that any particular referee is biased. That is implicit,
but proving it requires a whistleblower. E.G. An investigative journalist with some incendiary video footage.

What is pretty simple to grasp is that the selection procedure for AFC referees is biased and that the standard of refereeing is sometimes poor, sometimes woeful.

What is also easy to grasp is that if the system was properly run, none of this rigging would take place.

The idea of AFC being a poor team and AFC having their matches adversely affected are not mutually exclusive, so don’t act as if they are.

And calling Walter comical Ali does not stack up with you taking Walter seriously.

Walter’s work is actually quite brave, because when you stand up against heavily vested interests, it can be very dangerous.

• Rupert Cook

@Mick, so am I. But then you know how this blog loves to lay into the media for using the same tactics.

• Rupert Cook

@Marcus, as you say you need a whistle blower.

I have no idea whether the selection for refs umpiring Arsenal games is bias. You seem to have evidence or you believe what people tell you. You maybe right. But until you have a whistle blower you’re just whistling in the dark.

And what vested interests is Walter up against? It all sounds like something out of James Bond. I mean it sounds like you’re implying that the “establishment” has it in for little ol’ Arsenal. I’d love to know why?

Anyway I think Walter is doing great work actually. I may not be convinced by his every conclusion but I’m certain he’s onto something.

• Highamsparkgunner

@Rupert
As usual you come on and talk a load of bollocks
Why you don’t just stick to your Chelsea websites.
Whatever the article is about you come on and make the same points over and over again with a few new tabloid headlines thrown in. You are just really boring and leech on the best Arsenal website on the Internet.
There are so many other websites you can go to where your comments would be appreciated by the moronic fans on the other websites and with the biggest game of the season tonight we can do well without your pointless endless drival
#Munich on tour #
Highams Park Gunner

• nihirealist

Careful Highamsparkgunner. You’ll bring out the martyr in rupert soon enough, and you’ll be accused of trying to silence dissent. It doesn’t matter how annoying he is. His hurt feelings are never far from the surface.

Didn’t we have this whole ‘proof’ discussion about 2 years ago? We may or may not have enough to approach a court of law, but there seem to be some self appointed judges already willing to throw out all the evidence, such as it is.

• nihirealist

Sadly Walter, the pessimist in me has taken over again. I’ve come to the conclusion that this will continue. Wilshere, (whose injury is being blamed on Wenger) despite being England’s bright new hope, gets kicked to bits every match. He’s the most fouled player in the league, and the called fouls are probably only half of the amount he’s actually fouled. (“Where’s the proof?”)

But the media are a persuasive lot, when sticking to a narrative, and the referees’ corrupt role in the football story of the past few years doesn’t enter into it. Arsenal not spending etc does. They’ll stick to it, while the sabotage continues on the field, forcing the fans against Arsenal, doing which makes their prophecies of Arsenal’s model being doomed come true.

What can be done? I’m not sure, but I think when we play, we have to legislate for Dean and co robbing us, and play accordingly. We’ll have to be 20 points better than ManU to win the title (the table, which is also a statistic, will show a gap much less than that)

Anyway, I hope we can somehow finish in the top 4 this season. It was always going to be the target this year once the badger and Song left. We’re entering the next phase of our stadium move. To fall now would be tragic. And perhaps the renewed poisonous atmosphere is also because some sense it’s the last chance to trip up Arsenal. Usmanov’s thinly veiled threat of lowering ambition to below top 4 comes to mind.

Bayern Munich today. I just want us to go in and play with freedom and concentration. They’re a better side than us at the moment. Let’s just give it all we have and give a good account of ourselves.

• Rupert Cook

@Certain idiots. Aiming your ire at me is pointless though it may console you. And by god judging by some of the responses on here many of you need consoling. The real targets lie elsewhere.

• nihirealist

But where’s the proof??

• Rupert Cook

Where’s the Prof, you mean? He will return!

• nihirealist

Didn’t I say the martyr will be back? Heh.. Not very deep inside is it? The only thing you are accused of rupert is being an asshole. Which you are. Does that console me? Nope. But I think you quite enjoy being called one, seeing as you spend all your time online annoying someone or the other. Maybe you like being called an asshole cos it gives you the opportunity to act all butthurt and prove to yourself (you’re not fooling anyone else) how superior you are. Me? I’ve just had enough of bullshit.

And now you’ll say I’m actually angry at Arsenal’s bullshit, well I’m not. Arsenal is family to me. And in my family when someone’s going through a tough time, anger is not the appropriate response. Anger is an appropriate response to your inane roundabout claptrap.

• nihirealist

You got one thing right though. It is pointless to aim any ire at you. You are the most shameless twat around, so it makes no difference to you.

• Rupert Cook

@You’re an idiot mate.

• nihirealist

For calling a cunt a cunt? Perhaps..Mate! Some people don’t like facts being highlighted.

• Sam

I feel like I see this article every couple of weeks, and the comments tend to be the same every time; one group blames it solely on ref performance, one group blames the team, and then El Gringo (correctly) points out that it’s never just one factor, and that perhaps it is a combination of a side not playing to its potential along with some very poor decisions against us. Really, unless you are going to try and balance them, you’re probably going to come off as too far one way or the other.

@Rupert – I think you are reading this article with the expectation that it should cover all the possible reasons; however, the article is clearly intended to look at one specific facet, and that is completely fair of Walter to do. If you want to write a separate article on a different possible reason, I don’t think anyone would stop you, but you shouldn’t accuse Walter of ignoring other causes in an article clearly intentioned to look at just 1.

That said, some of the personal attacks on this site are embarrassing and childish. It reflects poorly on those who make them and makes us as Arsenal supporters look stupid to be bickering with personal insults rather than having an intellectual debate (nihirealist, why call someone an asshole? Just take the high road. You aren’t going to do anything by lowering yourself to the level of calling someone names on the internet. I have no problem with you being angry, but if the only way you can outlet that anger is insulting other people, whether it be accurate or not, then you need to find healthier outlets.)

• nihirealist

Sam,

I appreciate the sentiment. Not being sarcastic here when I say that. I actually do. But there is occasionally a need to call it like it is. Politeness and a general manner of discourse has to be respected by all. When some people abuse it, in spirit if not through ‘abuse’, the rules change. I maintain it is healthier to resort to abuse rather than debate with those who actually don’t intend to. It is also healthy to stop visiting the blog, which I have mostly done. So, thanks for your input. I still think you are wrong. (in this specific case, not in general)

• Rupert Cook

@nihirealist, you adopted the epithet idiot yourself. My comment was aimed @certain idiots and it seems you elected to be one.

You can tell when people have little of interest to say when they start using vile insults. You ought to go wash your mouth out.

• nihirealist

by the way Sam, the term ‘abuse’ is subjective. Would you classify terming Walter ‘Comical Ali’ as abuse? I would. Even if it isn’t a swear word. And that’s hardly an isolated comment by the individual you are defending.. I could put **** instead of cunt, but what’s the point? It is still the same word, carrying the same connotations. So why can’t I say it? (Although I might have my comments deleted by the UA team soon- I can deal with that. Their house, their rules)

• bob

“until you have a whistle blower youβre just whistling in the dark.”
Rupert Crocked: (Your title for smearing as smart, hard-working and earnest a person as Walter Broeck, whose name is public, with “Comical Ali”:)
Say what? That’s the choice? Your choice. Produce a whistle-blower or you’re whistling in the dark? Bollocks. Your Diktat is really a defense of the realm — the realm of refshite. Against your so-called standard of proof – a demand for absolute proof (impossible to achieve Certainty) – Walter and others have provided observation-based statistical probability. The statistical likelihood of something being bent or massively incompetent is overwhelming.
For one example, what is the likelihood that a side would go through a season (last) without a single (or at most one) penalty shot awarded at home (and/or away)? This must be double-checked, but it is my memory of what was repeatedly asserted here throughout last season. This would indicate to many people that there is prima facie evidence of an abnormal outcome.
If so (Walter, would you Re-confirm this?), then it’s either a statistically-improbable coincidence, or it’s statistically-probable that it’s by design (intention).
In practice, Your demand of “courtroom proof” means: amass the funds to mount a case, go up against a massively-funded opponent with similarly-situatied allies. Lodging your impossible to satisfy demand (unless a well-financed club were to take it on and risk becoming a pariah in the league), you’re tell people (politely) that they have their “heads in the sand”. (Parenthetically, it’s shut up until you reach my “standard of proof.”) Because this won’t happen in this society at this time (as opposed to your zone of pure argument), and you well know it, your telling people to do so or they’ve got nothing is mendacious. There is probablility, the example of no-penalty card being rewarded and the evidence of years of observation. None of which stand up to your impossible to achieve standard of proof. Whatever you think you think, the upshot of your chronic mantra is to kick sand in people’s faces, insist it’s their burden of proof, and thereby (objectively) add your grain of sand protect the perpetrators of refshite from the demand for change and fairness that you have claimed to uphold.

• Rupert Cook

@Sam, yes there are many factors involved in the decline of our club. Ref decisions may be one. Poor buys in the transfer market, wasting money on average players, outgunned in the transfer market, poor tactical decisions and probably several other things I’ve forgotten all contribute.

I took Walter to task on one issue in his piece and then of course an avalanche of outrage was unleashed. Among some of that outrage some interesting arguments emerged. I really can’t see why debate is something to be afraid of.

• nihirealist

rupert

Yeah. I have no problem being termed an idiot by you. Because you obviously are full of shit. Let’s not get into semantics. You know you meant me, I knew you meant me, I chose to respond. Oh hahaha.. I’m such an idiot.

And to clean something, you need to get something else dirty. I’m acting the fool taking on somebody like you rather than ignoring it. But I couldn’t ignore it any longer. So, guilty as charged. I am an idiot. But I’m not wrong about you.

• Rupert Cook

@Bob, brilliant. I recall a case where a couple took McDonalds to court over something, can’t recall what, so I don’t see why Arsenal can’t do the same. Present all the relative information to the correct authorities and go and do it. Or if Arsenal won’t do it get people on this blog to contribute monies to fund the case. I’ll gladly donate some money to the cause.

• nihirealist

Here we go again rupert. Telling anyone who’ll listen that people suppress your voice and are afraid of debate.. People are just sick of your shit rupert. Tht debate is not the problem. You’ll find a lot of people make the same points you claim to. But their intention is to actually debate it, rather than be snide towards everyone (and then claiming you were abused when someone reacts to it)

• Rupert Cook

@nihirealist. I didn’t aim the comment at you actually but you seem so outraged that that might be the case I fear if I took it back you’d be upset.

• nihirealist

rupert

Logic and courtesy do nothing to keep you in check. Perhaps fear is a good thing. Stay afraid then of my ‘outrage’. Though we’ve already established its futility. Sigh…

• Rupert Cook

@nihi, no one’s suppressed my voice. As for abuse I got plenty, mainly for calling Walter Comical Ali, which was hardly that abusive. At least I didn’t call him a cunt. Which I don’t think he is before you jump to conclusions.

• bob

nihirealist,
Indeed, we have had this selfsame roundabout two years ago with the exact same arguments and standards of “proof” of refshite that Rupert Crocked offers over and over like the proverbial broken record. It came at a similar time when AFC/AW were under intense 24×7 rubbishing by the collective mercenary media.

A bit of research on UA would provide the specific “names” here of those (now disappeared) who argued in exactly the same way, politely, smartly, but heartlessly, costing many hours of attempts to debate with someone(s) whose purpose is just to debate and not to seek truth. Perhaps “Rupert Cook” is one of those very names; unlike Walter Broeck (whom he abusively labels as “Comical Ali” — which some hereabouts might actually remember and understand) whose name is courageously in public.

I especially appreciate your calling a prick a prick because that’s what an abuser in spirit, one who hides behind politeness and etiquette and offended martyrdom deserves. Sam, I too appreciate your point of view and seeming genuineness; but I wouldn’t be so fast to extend it to shield the chronic performances of Rupert Crocked.

• nihirealist

But I meant what I said. And it’s not just about today, and it’s not just about ‘Comical Ali’ and you know it. Anyway. It is useless doing this. You’ll still be as you always are, regardless of what I say. I’m outta here. As I said to Walter, I’m getting more pessimistic about things. People like you, who I shall not describe accurately anymore, since it seems to offend people’s sensibilities, seem to be everywhere in this world, and they are well suited to sticking to their ‘qualities’, regardless of any opposition, abusive or otherwise. So keep on being your misleading, snide, abusive self.

• Tasos

Arsenal couldn’t possibly expect take the PGMOL/EPL to court and win. It would be extremely foolish for the club to even think of taking such actions.

Moneybags Chelsea tried to stand up to the ref-shite this season with the Mark Clattenburg case but there accusations were dealt with contempt by the authorities.

Your dealing with a corrupt system here.

• WalterBroeckx

It’s not because I am a ref and am used to some abuse that being named Comical Ali doesn’t touch me.
But as a ref I have learned not to react on such things. I just pick it up, put it in my bag and walk on.
But surely apart from maybe Iraq the name being a “comical ali” has a bad sound.

In fact the fact that other people didn’t like this comparison tells you enough about the sound of calling me comical Ali.

But I can live with such things. As I said that is what you get when you lead the way.

• Rupert Cook

@nihi, love you too mate. Kisses.

@Blob, see we can all play with names. It makes us really smart.
I told you my thoughts and I am willing to help fund this court case against the travesty of modern day refs. And yet you seem strangely indifferent to the idea.

• Rupert Cook

@Walter, it was ferkin joke. I apologize if I offended you or anyone else.

Now can we get back to people abusing me.

• Rupert Cook

@Tasos, I think Chelsea were lying a little bit or do you actually believe their story?

• WalterBroeckx

And about getting abused. Last Saturday night I had the privilege of being abused in the most vile and freaky way by another Arsenal supporter. One of the non existing AAA.
The abuse he aimed at me was well even for me rather unbelievable. But I did what I always do as a ref: stay calm and relaxed.

I don’t think any spud or MU fan would abuse an Arsenal supporter in such a way. But that is life. If you stick out your neck expect people who will try to break it. π

But I rather like a good debate but not that much a fan of the insults.

But I do admit at times I can try to take you back. π

• Sam

@nihi/bob – you both make the same, valid point. I did in some way sort of single nihi out, which was not my intention. There are many different insults being hurled from many different mouths (or in this case fingers) currently. I took one example to express a more general opinion, which I think maybe is where I put a foot wrong. Apologies π

• bob

Rupert Crocked,
If you know who the namesake of Comical Ali was, you are a prick. If you do not know who the namesake of Comical Ali was, then your label is xenophobic. And, before you rehash calling me Saint Bob, I’m not. And (if I caught the drift of that piece of nastiness a few weeks back, Rupert Cook, we’d be better off directing our energies to somethings more important in this world than this virtual bash-a-thon.

• nihirealist

Thanks for the support bob. It helps. Glad you agree. π

• Tasos

@Rupert

I think Chelsea wanted to stand up to the ref-shite but they went about it the wrong way.

What I’m saying is money is not the object here. It doesn’t matter how much you want to throw at the problem, and Roman Abramovich has more cash than any of us, the system is corrupt.

• Rupert Cook

@Blob. lighten up mate, your halo’s slipping. Only a joke. There’s never been any nastiness directed at you. In fact I think your posts are good and I mean that. You’re extremely sensitive, that’s all.

Anyway are we going to court with this or not. I keep asking.

@Tasos, you’re implying that the courts are bent too.

• Rupert Cook

@Tasos, you could well be right about Chelsea trying to make a point. Bloody daft way to do it unless you have solid proof.

• nihirealist

Cheers Sam. No worries.

• Tasos

@Rupert

NO. You know I’m not implying that the British justice system is bent here.

I am suggesting that the scales of the English football system are weighed heavily in the favour of one team. You take them on at your peril.

• bob

Rupert Cook,
“Strangely indifferent”? What does that mean? Oh, you’d put in a few bob? Ok, then count me in — I too would help back a legal challenge. That said, the aggrieved would have to show standing to bring the case as well as have the smoking gun mode of witness that you demand in order to prevail. And the magnitude of the opposition would require a pro bono barrister who was willing (or glory-seeking or outraged enough or well-to-do enough) to take this on? A standing court would not convict on the basis of probability, as you know. But the court of public opinion is where this is really being fought out. And public opinion has the potential to modify, change or uproot the toxic weeds on the pitches of this green and pleasant land. And it is in this court, potentially decisive, where arguments like yours objectively foster fan indifference to the refshite that, in part, severely (but not exclusively) undermines AFC’s prospects on the pitch.

• va

lots of love here. Rupert loves the attention acting like a kid lol

• Rupert Cook

@Taso, ok, just wanted to be clear. I didn’t think you were.

@Bob, well that’s told me. Whilst I do agree with your reasoning I still think it would be worth taking this to court. If you change your mind I’ll be up to donating a few bob.

• Rupert Cook

@va, oh are you feeling left out? Big hugs.

• Mike T

@Rupert Cook

There was more to the Clattenburg affair at Chelsea than most realise. Chelsea put the FA in a very difficult position and from what I am told there was doubt as to what just did happen and that the club werent going to let matters drop if they were charged.
If you recall just about everyone voicing an opinion suggested that Chelsea would indeed be charged over the issue if Clattenburg himself wasnt but they werent and far from condeming Chelsea the FAs language was supportive of the approach adopted by the club.
In their statement following the incident the FA made this telling comment
The FA is satisfied that the allegation against Mark Clattenburg by Ramires was made in good faith.

Referees arent perfect human beings and they are subjected to unacceptable abuse on the pitch but in my opinion they have the power to sort such matters out so a significant amount of the blame lies on their shoulders

• bob

Rupert Cook,
“…that’s told you” what? Exactly what?
Again, you play in your official court of first and last resort. Can you afford a large-scale backing for such an effort? I cannot. Do you have a pro bono barrister in mind? Are you, perhaps, that barrister incognito? Said barrister would need such subpoena power. Would said barrister take this on without subpoena power to search for the potential smoking gun(s)? And who, outside the club itself, would have legal standing to demonstrate to a court how they were injured/aggrieved — that would be a legal barrier to show material grievance.

Some fans might be able to prove standing to claim prima facie fraud – say at Old Toilet where Micy R stuck the cleats in to end our undefeated run. (Is that why the YouTube videos have largely been taken down? Rantetta?) But in a Court’s narrower terms, would any group of fans’ psychological grievance(s) not be deemed frivolous (that is, not material) by His Lordship, and the case thrown out.

So beyond your baited fiscal hook, it comes back to already having the smoking gun evidence that you demand to clinch the court case; and you well know that that is not there until it’s there (by confession, conscience, whistle-blowing). Absent that, it’s money down a rat-hole.

Which is why the court of public opinion is what matters; and where your demand for absolute courtroom-proof certainty, and endless roundabout of debate for debate’s sake, and insisting that the accuser’s have the sole burden of proof, are so destructive.

• bob

Now I remember. Two spring’s ago, Rupert Cook’s alter ego then was “Dark Prince”. Rupert, are you Dark Prince? Alas, I’ve forgotten the name of last season’s spinmeister; but perhaps someone else remembers, the bloke who took readers here round and round the roundabout with no exit, and no intention to actually seek substantive truth on the matter of refshite and media mendacity, both of which are defended by Rupert Cook.

• Rupert Cook

@Bob, no I can’t afford the cash. I was hoping a vast squadron of enraged fans would stump up the money, and not just Arsenal fans.

But I concede your point as you seem to be familiar with the whole process and make it clear that it would be extremely difficult to take the case to court.

I don’t think my arguing for proof is destructive. It’s what any objective outside agency would demand. Certainly though in the court of public opinion your case would almost definitely succeed.

@Mike T. Fair enough.

• Rupert Cook

@Bob, no I can assure you I’m not Dark Prince. Or any other past poster. I think Walter could confirm that.

And I’m not defending refs or the media. I know you are bright enough to know that.

• AL

Hey Rupert, and other who think like you, just Google the name Arsenal and see what headlines greet you on the eve of this clash with bayern. If someone came from outer space they would be forgiven for thinking Arsenal was the german side, and vice versa for Bayern.
In case you cant be bothered I have copied a few links below;

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/9927589/Bayern-Munich-v-Arsenal-Thomas-Muller-warns-Arsene-Wengers-side-they-will-be-shown-no-mercy-in-Bavaria.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/european/bayern-munich-v-arsenal-what-arsenal-would-give-to-be-burdened-by-bayerns-issues-8531821.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/article-2292587/Gary-Lineker-Arsenal-fans-fury-Arsene-Wenger-dropping-players.html

Not even one headline making any positive reading, unless you’re a bayern fan of course. Thats embarrassing to say the least, shame on these vultures.

• bob

Rupert Cook,
It’s surely a plus that you’re not Dark Prince. But you do the roundabout with the same relish and logician’s cold calculation; and, imo, time-wasting hereabouts in the area of refshite and it’s wrecking-ball impact on AFC’s prospects.

That said, and backing away from refshite’s abyss, I have found us in agreement on the chronic transfer-window flaws of AFC – specifically in the last 4 windows -, and find in that morass, a large degree of self-wounding that needs to end with the proverbial big splash of the putative (promised?) 70M (unless it disappears with the loss of CL standing, failures to move the deadwood, dwindling attendance at the Ems).

This and the refshite have both combined to undermine our prospects. Hopefully the bleeding will stop in ten EPL games time, and another great turnaround commence.

• nihirealist

bob

We have about 123m in cash reserves. But this was in November. Taking out money required for expenditure, and money spent on purchasing Monreal and Walcott’s new contract, plus also the component required for bank guarantees, the cash in hand is less. I did ‘calculate’ it at some point but I’ve forgotten the figure. It wasn’t as much as 70m.

That said. We’ll have some part of the Emirates money coming in at the end of this season (though this will be reduced if we don’t make CL), and we’ll also get some money from the new TV deal. Add to that, we should have some players leaving. Arshavin and Squillaci are out of contract. The likes of Fabianski, Bendtner, Chamakh, Park, Denilson (he’s still our player) might leave us too, freeing up wages.

Considering we now have some cash we can spend AND that we have the assured income from the new commercial and TV deals, I think the club have to spend on retaining (which we’ve done- except Sagna) and buying more players. I think we will buy either way. But if we don’t make the CL, we might not be able to buy our primary targets due to lack of funds, and the players’ wish to play in the CL.

I still maintain that we have a good core at the club, and aren’t as far as it seems. Keeping a stable squad will go a long way towards improving performances. We’ll still need to add though. Perhaps 3 or 4 players. But that’s for the summer. This season we need to finish top 4, and tonight, we need to play with all we have and give a good account of ourselves. Dead rubber or not, the Milan game last season gave us the confidence to push on in the league. We need something similar.

• bob

nihirealist,
Some have said (I haven’t seen it) that the size of the Emirates deal will be reduced if we fail to reach CL/4. Have you heard that?

• nihirealist

bob,

Yeah. Emirates confirmed that sometime after the joint announcement with Arsenal.

• Rupert Cook

@Bob, we certainly are in agreement over poor performance in the transfer window. At least we’re not getting steamrollered by Bayern though it’ll be frustrating if we win 2-0 and miss out on progressing by one goal.

• americangooner

Todays refreeing was one of the worst I have ever witnessed. I heard that particular refree was banned in his own country from officiating. Why was he given a crucial match to officiate. see there, we are always allocated bat-shit refree to officiate in crucial matches. Now you can’t hide the biases of this refree with how arsenal performed.
Despite a breakthrough performance, we were let down by incompetent ref.

• Domhuail

Rupert….I live in a province and country with the same judicial system (British common Law) supplemented by the Napoleonic code (very confusing at times) and the general jurisprudence seems to be that sports litigation is always avoided in the law courts and dealt with by special sports tribunals and professional league organizations set up for that specific purpose.
Having once been forced to litigate to save my officiating career, I know that the courts and law enforcement are very reticent to charge athletes with crimes that, if perpetrated on the street or outside the stadium, would certainly lead to arrests and convictions. If a player can’t easily pursue his opponent for assault and battery or similar charges because it happened before 50,000 fans in a Football match, how can we expect any court to give credence to a team claiming officiating bias…which is very difficult to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt?
I think your suggestion is simply a cynical ploy to laugh at your fellow supporters’ naivete and gullibility.

• bob

americangooner,
would you have a link to where this ref has been banned at home? that would be something. perhaps, one is led to imagine, that they give such wounded creatures yet another chance (promotion); which, in turn, gives the string-pullers a lock on such refs to “perform” when called upon to do a service to their dons. would you rule that out in his case?

• bob

nihirealist,
would you have a link to Emirates announcement of that condition? for purposes of full disclosure and clear thinking, it would be better for people to know this Now in the business end of the season. perhaps if Emirates reduces the money for a non-CL finish, AFC would (and should!) reduce the number of stops on the mistimed grand summer tour (as it is always an obstacle to the gelling and bedding-in of the new signees, if there are any…)

• bob

Walter, Mandy, american gooner,
Starting with Busacca,
It is jaw-dropping to see how much controversy, even rioting had surrounded the so-called referee, Massimo Busacca; the one, who, following his studs-up cleating of us on behalf of Barfa, was elevated to FIFA’s chief of referees. This man performed his Riley-like service. Have a browse/read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massimo_Busacca

Ok, now on to tonight’s ref, Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic). If, indeed, he was banned or suspended in his own coutry (as american gooner notes may have happened) and banned under dodgy circumstances, then perhaps there is a (hypothetical) pattern that controversial or flawed refereeing makes certain (agreeable) refs eligible for “Promotion”; that is, a significant promotion in exchange for an eventual major service to be rendered (in the round of 16 or higher). And that this is part of the actual business model. If the ref gets cold feet and backs out, or does not deliver, then his career will suffer: perhaps getting tossed into a scandal/investigation, perhaps getting to referee third tier games in the FIFA/UEFA prison league, etc.

Given the exalted positions attained by the likes of Riley (PGMOL), Busacca (FIFA), Peter Walton (MLS), all of less than commendable even-handed performances, might we not (hypothetically) expect a similar reward (or eligibility for such rewards) for one Pavel Kravolec? Is he not worth ‘following’ on Untold twitter? π

• Highamsparkgunner

@RUPERT
YOU ARE SUCH A PRICK
FUCK OFF AND GO TO A WEBSITE THAT APPRECIATES YOU LIKE THE DAILY MAIL
#WANKER#
YOU ARE A PRICK AND NOT A PROPER SUPPORTER WHO REPRESENTS NOONE
ESPECIALLY ME

• Highamsparkgunner

@rupert cook
What a cock
Fuck off and die

• Highamsparkgunner

That referee must have been Mike Deans brother
#whatacunt#

• americangooner

Bob, here’s the link that he was banned for 6 games.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/sport/football/international/article1746271.ece

Although the ban was quite a while ago, around 2008, he has officiated many games since. Nevertheless, it brings the question ‘why a guy banned in a not-so-high profile league is given chance to be a refree on a much higher level?’ Getting banned for 8 months is a considerable evidence for him to not officiate matches in the future. UEFA being UEFA, it replaced the original refree in this 2nd leg with an incompetent one.

• Rupert Cook

See what I mean about abuse. Perhaps you should read Sam’s post. I don’t know how old you are, I suspect about 9 but you really need to calm down. We lost and it isn’t my fault. Aim your abuse at those who deserve it. And don’t shout, it doesn’t make your stupidity any more relevant.

@Domhuail, interesting post, thanks for the info about how things work in your judicial system. There’s no cynical ploy involved at all in my suggestion and I’m not laughing at supporters at all.

Bob enlightened me about the difficult process of taking these findings to court and as he appears to be knowledgeable about the process then I accept his points and appreciate how extraordinarily hard it would be to exact justice that way.

@Bob, I don’t take relish in arguing certain points. I merely get frustrated with statements that can be undermined by anyone with a quick mind. There is a lot of very convincing points in the above piece but this is a little weakened by sensationalist conclusions regarding points tally. That notwithstanding I admire Walter and his diligence in chasing down crazy ref decisions.

• nihirealist

bob,
the only link I could find quickly was the Daily Mail, so apologies. But the Emirates spokesperson is quoted there. Although it appears that not finishing in the CL this season won’t impact on the deal. Which makes sense, since the deal only starts after 2014. These were the Emirates senior vice president Boutros Boutros’ quotes :

‘There are certain clauses, from 2015, that we pay them a percentage less if they don’t perform,’ said Boutros.
‘The Champions League is part of the new contract. It’s just to keep them on their toes.
‘It’s fair to us and fair to them.’