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The Premier League Refs analysis: Newcastle United

By Walter Broeckx

Next in our series as we cover each and every Premier League team we have Newcastle United.

Now before any Newcastle  supporters comes on here and suggest that it is not the averages but the actual decisions that count (as some fans of other clubs have done) may we suggest you take a look at both the introductory articles which you can find here and here.  You may also enjoy our other site: Referee Decisions.

And if you did, you can come back and have a look at the statistical pointers we have found when we compare the overall results of Newcastle with the results of each ref when he does Newcastle games.

Of course you might have bad experiences with some refs in some games but who, after seeing the statistics, you find are not really that bad in general. You can share your experiences of course. But this article is not really about those games in particular. It is more about the total picture of the referee and this team.

Under the table I will try to give a short explanation on what you see.

Total

won

draw

lost

won

draw

lost

% games

Newcastle

717

284

192

241

39,61%

26,78%

33,61%

Atkinson

23

8

5

10

34,78%

21,74%

43,48%

9,66%

Clattenburg No games
Dean

33

12

7

14

36,36%

21,21%

42,42%

13,87%

Dowd

24

9

5

10

37,50%

20,83%

41,67%

10,08%

Foy

28

11

4

13

39,29%

14,29%

46,43%

11,76%

Friend

6

6

0

0

100,00%

0,00%

0,00%

2,52%

Jones

9

3

2

4

33,33%

22,22%

44,44%

3,78%

Halsey

30

11

7

12

36,67%

23,33%

40,00%

12,61%

Marriner

17

4

5

8

23,53%

29,41%

47,06%

7,14%

Mason

12

3

4

5

25,00%

33,33%

41,67%

5,04%

Moss

2

1

0

1

50,00%

0,00%

50,00%

0,84%

Oliver No games
Probert

8

1

4

3

12,50%

50,00%

37,50%

3,36%

Swarbrick

4

3

1

0

75,00%

25,00%

0,00%

1,68%

Taylor

7

1

2

4

14,29%

28,57%

57,14%

2,94%

Webb

35

10

9

16

28,57%

25,71%

45,71%

14,71%

The overall win percentage of Newcastle in the PL is just under 40% of their games. They have been present almost all the time in the PL apart from a short period in the past.

The first thing is that there are two refs who don’t do Newcastle games. Both those refs are born in the Newcastle area and Clattenburg is a Newcastle supporter. Oliver hasn’t proclaimed a favourite team as far as we know.

So we only have 14 refs to do Newcastle games. Of those 14 refs we will not take the numbers of Moss and Swarbrick. They have done 2 and 4 games respectively and that is a little bit too small a sample to draw conclusions. But under those refs they perform better than usual in the few games they did. So for Newcastle we can only look at 12 refs out of a possible 16. There again we see the perverse side effect of Mike Riley and his PGMOL of not having enough refs in the PL.

Can we find good refs result wise? And with “good” I’m not talking about the quality of the refs in question but I am talking about being result-friendly for Newcastle.

Well we find one that is staggering. Friend seems to be a very Newcastle friendly ref. A perfect six wins in a row when he is in charge.  And then we have… oh well…that’s it for Newcastle. Only one really good ref when it comes to winning games. And he only has been send for 6 games.  So not really a lot.

Are there more refs under whom Newcastle perform more like their average win percentage suggests? And yes we find Atkinson, Dean, Dowd, Foy, Jones, Halsey. That is six refs out of 12.

Now let us look at the refs under whom Newcastle has a far worse win percentage than average. Webb is not really a great ref when we look at his numbers.  Marriner and Mason are also rather bad for Newcastle when we look at their results.

But it is fair to say that Newcastle has a Dean-ref (local slang for bogey ref) in fact they have two such refs. Anthony Taylor is a walking disaster for Newcastle. But it can get worse. Lee Probert is the worst ref for Newcastle with a win percentage of only 12,50%. Ouch. That’s bad. But this means that Newcastle has five refs in total under whom they under perform.

The good thing for Newcastle is that they only rarely get a Newcastle game. If we look at the number we see that they only get to do the odd game every now and then and only have an influence of around 6 points in a season. 6 points between both of them.  Compare this with the 18 points we have at risk when Dean is around Arsenal and that isn’t that bad at all.

But from the other bad refs we notice that the influence of Webb is much bigger and their win percentage is much lower than average.  Webb comes close to an influence of 15 points on Newcastle in an average season.

I have said it before in the other articles, I think the maximum influence from a ref on any team should be 6 points in a season. And with Webb Newcastle face at least double that.   So this is really bad for Newcastle.

In fact once again I have to point my finger to Mike Riley who has been head of the PGMOL since 2009 and who still hasn’t managed to do something about it.

I have been saying it for years that there are not enough refs in the PL. Yet we don’t see anything happening. When a ref stops he gets replaced but that’s it. And with the number of refs who can’t do Newcastle games you see that the whole situation is getting out of hand.

Another example of mismanagement of the PGMOL.  How much longer will we take this? How much longer will Newcastle take this?

And how much longer until the media look in to this? How much longer will  Untold Arsenal to be the lonely voice crying out in the desert?  More refs will reduce the impact of some bad (and overly good refs) for most teams.  Time to ask Riley what is he going to do about it.

Probably he will do what he is good at. Produce some stats with no evidence telling us how good all things are in the referee world and make us fall asleep.

Other reports in this series…

——————————–

The books…

The sites from the same team…

34 comments to The Premier League Refs analysis: Newcastle United

  • avatar John

    Dowd certainly did his bit for Newcastle in the second half of our match at St. James’s Park a couple of years ago.

  • avatar It's Grim Oop North

    Once again Walter, the same spread as all the other cases apart from Man United, one or two good and bad refs, the rest in the middle.

    But, as I mentioned in the Man U comments, the bad refs have a good average on the draws – Newcastle’s draw average is 26.78%.

    Anthony Taylor – 28.57%, and Lee Probert – 50%.

    If these two refs were really biased, surely their draw average would be well below the club average, but instead they are in Taylor’s case just a little better, and in Probert’s case nearly twice as good as the club average.

    If you added the points average of each ref, rather than ignoring the vital difference a point for a draw brings, you might find these “Dean” type refs aren’t as bad as you make them out to be?

    Certainly someone from the PGMOL would pick up on this in a rebuttal of your conclusions (you would hope).

    Of course if we had more referees in the Prem, as you point out, then all this would be irrelevant, and the PGMOL would not leave themselves open to such criticism.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    So in fact you say that Dean is really a complete disaster for Arsenal? ;)

    And in fact seeing one team with a totally different outcome…is well…mind blowing.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    off topic:

    Arsenal has qualified for the 1/2 of the NextGen.

    Arsenal just was the better side and beat CSKA Moscow with 1-0. It should have been a few more goals.
    Gnabry to score the goal after a great 1-2 with Bellerin

    Impressive performance

  • avatar It's Grim Oop North

    Walter,
    what I’m saying is that statistically there’s not much to conclude on the numbers so far, and even less if you include draw averages in your summations.

    If you were to work on points gained under each individual referee, rather than wins/losses, then a truer picture would be painted I think.

    Come on Walter, you need to explain why you’re not addressing this, I’ve pointed it out three times now.

    I can’t find the Arsenal case study to see if Dean’s draw percentage (and the other refs) are worse or better than average for the club, which would show more/less bias, could you post me the link?

  • avatar AL

    Analysing these articles in this series reveals a worrying trend for Arsenal fans; yes while all other sides – bar man utd – have their dean-refs, they do get them once or twice only per season. We have our dean-ref, and we get him the most per season, more than any other ref. Yes, this has been the story the last 2 or 3 seasons. Worrying.

  • avatar AL

    By the most I mean at least 5 times a season

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Al,
    at least you are one who can combine the two tables and the importance of the combination.

  • avatar It's Grim Oop North

    I don’t get it Walter,

    why do you think there is a conscious conspiracy by the PGMOL and other higher ups in the English game, to hamstring the Arsenal?

    Are they not held up to be the model of fiscal responsibility, do they not have representatives in the corridors of power?

    What is the agenda, what would be the point?

    Stopping City, (or Chelsea less so) I could understand, but the Arsenal, the Bank of England club, the club who have been in the top flight for nearly a hundred years?

    Is it all Man United driven? Are they that connected, are they that clever?

    Why has no one ever blown the whistle on these plots within the game, ever?

    Before you call foul ‘tho, you still haven’t explained why you omit the draws from these case studies – is it because they don’t fit in with your pre-conceived notions of skull-duggery?

    Tin foil hats on, let’s hear the theories.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    It’s grim up North,

    Why?
    If we would know that it would be simple. But we don’t know until they say why.

    I think it is the unbeaten season.
    That achievement was felt as a humiliation in the MU camp.
    Before our game 50 at OT SAF said it would be a humiliation that Arsenal would make it to 50 in their home.
    We all know what happened. Mike Riley took care we lost the game. In what was a travesty of a referee performance.

    When you then know that this same Riley is the person who does the appointments of refs and makes sure that Dean is send to Arsenal games around 6 times each season.

    But this is a theory.

    The reason why I focused on the wins is that if I would take in the 3 possible results my articles would have a length almost three times as long. And even you would stop reading them. ;)

    But I will take the numbers in to a different format and go to average points per ref in the follow up on this series. But first continue per club and then a summary where we put all in one table.

    Then I will try to give those who like to bet on games an instrument they can use so they can see how the teams do under the same ref. Last time I gave a tip based on those numbers someone told me on twitter he won £900 on one game. It involved Arsenal and Dean.

    And then the points per game per ref table.
    Plenty of stuff to look at in the next weeks. ;)

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    And why nobody came out with it?
    Don’t bite the hand that feeds you…

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    And I think you have said in your post why they don’t like the way we work. Imagine all the clubs working like Arsenal?
    It could make the PL less attractive to sell it to the possible buyers.
    How boring to say : Arsenal plays with a lot of own players from their academy. It’s much more interesting to say: hey look guys Chelsea/Man C/MU broke another transfer record today.

    And you can laugh about it but I have seen a Man City fan on here saying the same thing we have said about Arsenal. But then about city.

    The difference is that we try to find out if there is something wrong.

    Of course like anyone who does research to something that is thought impossible is open to some patronizing comments.

    But I think that will have been how they felt in Italy before they finally discovered the truth how the appointments of refs was the way how league titles were won and lost. But in Italy nobody talks about tin foil hats any more.

  • avatar It's Grim Oop North

    Thanks for the reply Walter,

    if eventually a fraud on the scale you suggest is being perpetrated over such a long period of time is proven, then the disgrace heaped upon Man United would be catastrophic!

    It would seriously tarnish their reputation globally, and would surely see them stripped of several honours, as the Italian cheats were.

    As a City fan, there would be much ammunition to fire at their fans, but I’m afraid I really don’t wish that to be true aside from some instant gratification – long term, as a resident of Manchester, with a large Roman Catholic family with reds aplenty, it would cause many of my loved ones serious anguish, and I can’t hope for that.

    My Aunties and Uncles are from a generation who grew up with the Busby Babes, and have supported the reds thru thick and thin, they’re also coming to the end of their time on this earth, and they would be devastated if United were corrupt on this scale – I don’t personally see a conspiracy in the statistics, but I regularly yell at the telly when decisions go United’s way, or against City, or any rivals for the title – that just means I get carried away as a biased fan without a cool, objective look at the figures.

    Anyway, I hope you find nothing but fairness, but I’m afraid human nature might conspire otherwise.

  • avatar iniez

    Its grim oop north,
    I want you to watch this video of united ending our unbeaten run. It’s far from conclusive proof, not even close, but can you watch this and tell me the ref had no agenda?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM747L9Wf8M&feature=youtu.be
    Let’s not call say there’s a conspiracy against us, but that we’re recurring victims. This is just one of the many pitch tiltings we’ve had to endure over the years. There have been some very enlightening articles here on Untold that have shed light on our suspicions, if you’re interested. I’m not sure I could convince you that we get a lot of negative treatment, for one reason or another, but I wanted you to see one example of what we’ve had to experience over the years

  • avatar It's Grim Oop North

    Iniez,

    I don’t need to watch it, I saw it live on TV as my Missus is a United fan, and she always has the matches on, which I keep half an eye on hoping they get stuffed :)

    It was an awful decision, but then I’ve seen United on the wrong end of rotten reffing too in truth, which I’ll admit has had me throwing around accusations of foul play, ref in Fergie’s pocket and so on, but we’re trying to put aside all tribal rivalries here, and look only at the statistics, not individual incidents.

    If you go on Redcafe, a United forum, you’ll find them foaming at the mouth over FA conspiracies and referees ganging up on them, with “evidence” to back them up – same on Bluemoon for City fans, all clubs seem to have lots of fans with an axe to grind with the refs!

    Walter, have you done the Arsenal yet in this series? Can I have the link, I’d like to look at the points averages under the refs too, thanks for your efforts too, we wouldn’t even be be discussing this if you didn’t put the work in :)

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    been away from technology for a couple of days, but reading all these numbers with interest. Firstly, Newcastle, before reading it, I had in my head a possibly favourable outcome from more refs, a northern giant, noisy stadiums, English manager and all that…but this seems not to be the case. Anthony Taylor – have a feeling we will hear more on him ad this study continues. Back to the Utd game, really think Riley is the problem. Most fans see things with their own eyes, this is all a great attempt at quantifying what we see. Seems the refs who look after the big boys become head of refs in their countries / continents.Riley is completely tainted when it comes to Utd.There could be a lot of things at work here, supporting a club, other bias for a club or against opponents, pressure, bullying, powerful manager and dare I say it xenophobia in some cases. If that Wigan kid who recently clattered the Newcastle player had, in a parallel world been… say a French speaking African playing at Arsenal, would the FA have acted…or shall I say not acted? Similarly, if Rooney or Gerrard had been the victim of that lunge would the outcome have remained the same?
    Think all this provides a very interesting angle on betting

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    It’s grim up North,

    The Arsenal article with attractive headline: http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/27769

  • avatar Stuart

    Its Grim,
    Did you watch the video? I hope so as then you would have seen a series of incidents involving inconsistent refereeing (not just 1 as your reply would suggest)

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Stuart,
    I disagree. It was consistent in a way. :( All one way of course if you know what I mean.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    But I agree with the more than one decision. In fact the penalty was just the icing on the cake from a Utd point of view. The climax of bent refereeing. The orgasm of the devil.

  • avatar Finsbury

    Iniez was not referring to a decision but a virtuoso performance over the course of the ninety.

  • avatar It's Grim Oop North

    I just watched the video – it’s ancient history, but it ruined my afternoon – shocking refereeing :(

    But we’re talking stats here, cold, hard evidence, not the odd stinker where a ref loses control, on purpose or not.

    United finished our unbeaten home run in the league this season, that sucked, but so did our performance n truth. I think United were prepared to beat the Arsenal up that game, and they did. They can be dirty b’stards when they want to be, and that’s why they beat you in truth (and why they beat City this season – they did what they had to).

    You can’t go from watching a video like that to number crunching – you’re going to skew the results to reflect your feelings of frustration and anger.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    on the subject of refs, looks like Halsey is in trouble
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/wigan-athletic/9954508/Referee-Mark-Halsey-demoted-to-League-One-over-Callum-McManaman-tackle.html

    In some ways, maybe Halsey is an easy target, and that tackle was shocking – but just wish the PGMOL would be a bit more consistant – eg with refs that did not see things involving teams of a higher profile, the refs who did not see Rooney elbowing a fellow professional

  • avatar It's Grim Oop North

    Walter,

    thanks for the link to the Arsenal study.

    With regard to draws, the four “bad” refs for the Arsenal show a surprisingly positive trend, compared to the losses/wins.

    The Arsenal draw average is 26.6%

    Dean – 31.1%
    Oliver – 16.6%
    Probert – 37.5%
    Webb – 26.47%

    So Dean and Probert are good for Arsenal draw-wise, Webb is average, and Oliver bad.

    If there was a conscious effort to punish the Arsenal, you would expect all four refs to mirror their loss figures, but they really don’t conform, and the worst of all, Dean, is showing positive bias for the Arsenal. In fact, apart from Probert, Dean is the best ref for the Arsenal draws-wise taking out Friend who has only done 5 games in total.

    So, the two worst refs for losses, are the two best refs for getting draws (and therefore valuable points).

    Oliver is bad for both victories and draws, therefore he is the one who you should be looking at more closely, but statistically he may just be unlucky to oversee poor Arsenal performances by chance, or bent as hell – you decide :;

    So it’s not all cut and dried.

  • avatar Adam

    Mandy, we have Halsey as our fourth official this Saturday.

  • avatar John

    How can it be inferred that Dean’s draw statistics reflect a favourable position?

    The notorious 2-2 draw at Birmingham City in the Eduardo game and another draw at WHL when he disallowed a clear goal and then sent Eboue off are clear examples which confirm his bias against us.

  • avatar Adam

    No I don’t understand that either, 1 point gained or 2 points dropped. Bit of a no brainer.

  • avatar Stuart

    It’s Grim,
    Should some of those draws have been wins instead though? If so, I’d see we lost out by having more draws rather than our fair share.

  • avatar It's Grim Oop North

    Of course these are merely numbers, but they do infer that Dean is not all bad (just had a flashback to a Not the Nine O’Clock News sketch – The devil, is he all bad?? by an earnest clergyman, Rowan Atkinson?).

    How you interpret the stats is a matter of opinion I suppose, indeed is Dean converting wins into draws, or are his games purely negative for the Arsenal by unlucky chance?

    I have been arguing during this series for a comparison by points average, which would include draws, and so be more accurate an indication of how much of an effect an individual ref may have on a team’s success.

    We really need to get to the end of this series to look at all the numbers, and we can also make other deductions such as whether certain refs are intimidated by large crowds and angry Scottish Lords of the realm :)

    It would be very useful to have the stats broken down to home and away results, as I theorise many referees are influenced by tens of thousands of angry supporters, despite their best intentions, rather than the conspiracy theories we have which accuse the PGMOL of an organised campaign against certain clubs, and for certain clubs.

    Newly promoted clubs seem to get fewer breaks from refs, possibly because their managers are not likely to even be in their posts the next season, never mind be able to stand up against poor decisions unlike those managers at the top who have plenty of clout within the media – refs do not need to be afraid of upsetting these clubs compared to the bigger clubs

    I’m of the opinion human nature and error is all our referees are guilty of, and I hope the stats reflect that.(always bearing in mind human nature can be fickle, greedy, corrupt, and devious – Italian football is hardly too dissimilar to ours, so I’m prepared to be disappointed by our referees, or some of them).

  • avatar iniez

    Grim,
    But wouldn’t watching a game that warrants such frustration and anger hint that there could be something amiss? Furthermore, so regularly? Most fans don’t like the refs of their respective leagues, and all teams get hurt by a ref at some point. Which is why I’m not going to try to convince you that we’re special :P. Hopefully Untold will help us find out the truth. I’m eager to be proved right or wrong, I’m the guy after a messy break up that just wants some closure. I just want to know why so many referee mistakes seem to happen in epl games and, in my opinion (for what its worth), mostly in our games.

    Though I must admit, I feel like we used to be more hard done when we were actually competing. Just a thought..

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    One of the things you bring up Grim is the home bias.
    It is found in studies that it does exist. As I also do reviews of games and to exclude even my review being coloured by the reaction of the crowd I usually watch them on mute. No pundit, no match commentator and no crowd can affect me that way.

    Back to the starting point: home bias. Studies show it exists. And in our findings of last season we found that home bias does exist. As in all the games we found that the wrong decisions favoured the home teams in general.

    And despite this we have Mike Riley saying last season: there is no bias at all in the PL. This is sticking his head in the sand in an unbelievable way.

    I think a real leader and certainly a visionary leader should be on the lookout for all things that can have a bad influence on the referees. Home bias is such a thing. So he should acknowledge it and try to do something about it. Making the refs aware of this. Try to work on ways on overcoming this bias.

    But alas… Mike Riley chooses the easy way: deny the problem and then there is no problem. It’s such things that make my blood boil.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    By the way I hope you don’t mind calling you just “Grim” ? Your full name ‘It’s Grim Oop North” is a nice one but ooooohhh soooooo long to type ;)

  • avatar A. Stewart

    ” deny the problem and then there is no problem. It’s such things that make my blood boil.
    ..”

    If the “problem” is referee incompetence and inconsistency then sure, that needs to be addressed and ALL CLUBS have legitimate complaints of being wronged not just AFC. And it needs to be addressed with better training, better/more refs, sensible use of technology, perhaps rethinking the retroactive punishment policy etc..and generally more efforts to a) take advantage (like other pro sports have) of the spectacular technological advancements of the age we live in in order to, b) minimize the inherent human element and error that comes with well…humans making split second high pressured judgment decisions.

    If the “problem” is some spectacularly coordinated effort (with no whistle blowers after all these years given the suggested size and intricacies of the coordinated effort) to conspire against Arsenal specifically, because we went unbeaten some years ago and “embarrased” Ferguson (as is put forth around here as a credible theory), then yes, many people will deny that “probelm” exists.

    Your work (well effort really) is admirable, yes I’ve read the sites you redirect many people too, but at the end of the day, they are merely stats and ALL stats can be manipulated to some degree, and there are so many qualitiative components that need to be addressed to properly analyze the supposed effects of referees on results and viewing them simply numerically and as simplistically as you do, such as….the most obvious qualitative measure affecting results……performance.

    Perhaps a cool drink and you’re blood won’t boil as much over a difference of opinion on a supposed problem, a problem that is only narrowly defined as you see fit.