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So what is wrong with PL refs: case study – Dowd

by Walter Broeckx

Next in our series is a ref we will see very soon at the Emirates. Famous for the, well, famous game at Newcastle and probably the reason why most Gooners have the “oh no” reaction when they hear that Dowd is the ref.

But is this sentiment a sentiment that is backed up by the numbers? We will find out in this article.

First for the new readers a little explanation. We took the numbers of all the games each ref did (you can find the other refs on this site but we publish in alphabetical order so still at the start) and then had a look at how each team did in general and compared this with each ref.

So if you want to see how two teams do with a certain ref you can check it out here. This could come handy when you want to bet some money. But I must warn you this is no guarantee of course. The past can tell us some things but on the day some surprises may arise in each game.

Now we took the general result and compared this with the results under the ref. For Arsenal you will see that we have a win percentage in general of 53,45% and when we look at the win percentage of Dowd we see this is 57,69%. So despite one specific game there is a slightly better than average figure with Dowd, but still close to average so we call him an average ref. This is not about his decision making on the field.

So here is the table from Dowd with the teams in the PL

Total won draw lost won draw lost Achieving
Arsenal

797

426

212

159

53,45%

26,60%

19,95%

Dowd

26

15

8

3

57,69%

30,77%

11,54%

Average
Aston Villa

797

287

249

261

36,01%

31,24%

32,75%

Dowd

25

8

6

11

32,00%

24,00%

44,00%

Average
Chelsea

797

414

206

177

51,94%

25,85%

22,21%

Dowd

33

21

5

7

63,64%

15,15%

21,21%

Over
Everton

797

282

230

285

35,38%

28,86%

35,76%

Dowd

35

14

9

12

40,00%

25,71%

34,29%

Average
Fulham

443

137

128

178

30,93%

28,89%

40,18%

Dowd

26

10

7

9

38,46%

26,92%

34,62%

Over
Liverpool

797

389

203

205

48,81%

25,47%

25,72%

Dowd

39

17

11

11

43,59%

28,21%

28,21%

Average
Man City

607

226

159

222

37,23%

26,19%

36,57%

Dowd

29

9

8

12

31,03%

27,59%

41,38%

Average
MU

797

520

165

112

65,24%

20,70%

14,05%

Dowd

28

16

4

8

57,14%

14,29%

28,57%

Average
Newcastle

717

284

192

241

39,61%

26,78%

33,61%

Dowd

24

9

5

10

37,50%

20,83%

41,67%

Average
Norwich

227

68

72

87

29,96%

31,72%

38,33%

Dowd

7

2

2

3

28,57%

28,57%

42,86%

Average
QPR

227

71

57

99

31,28%

25,11%

43,61%

Dowd

11

2

3

6

18,18%

27,27%

54,55%

Under
Reading

101

31

21

49

30,69%

20,79%

48,51%

Dowd

6

3

0

3

50,00%

0,00%

50,00%

Over
Southampton

531

155

146

230

29,19%

27,50%

43,31%

Dowd

13

1

8

4

7,69%

61,54%

30,77%

Under
Stoke

177

53

54

70

29,94%

30,51%

39,55%

Dowd no games
Sunderland

443

119

112

212

26,86%

25,28%

47,86%

Dowd

27

3

6

18

11,11%

22,22%

66,67%

Under
Swansea

63

20

21

22

31,75%

33,33%

34,92%

Dowd

9

3

5

1

33,33%

55,56%

11,11%

Average
Tottenham

797

307

210

280

38,52%

26,35%

35,13%

Dowd

32

19

7

6

59,38%

21,88%

18,75%

Over
WBA

253

62

64

127

24,51%

25,30%

50,20%

Dowd

14

6

4

4

42,86%

28,57%

28,57%

Over
West Ham

641

210

164

267

32,76%

25,59%

41,65%

Dowd

22

6

4

12

27,27%

18,18%

54,55%

Average
Wigan

291

81

73

137

27,84%

25,09%

47,08%

Dowd

23

8

9

6

34,78%

39,13%

26,09%

Average

If we want to put the teams in categories we see that the teams who in general do better than their average win percentage we see that Chelsea is among them as is Fulham. He likes that part of London maybe?

Another team doing extremely well is Reading.  Other extremely over achievers when Dowd is around are Tottenham and WBA.

The teams who perform at their average are Arsenal, Aston Villa, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United, Norwich, Newcastle, Swansea, West Ham and Wigan. That is 11 teams who do pretty much their average with Dowd.

As you can see Newcastle is among them. I do think that that infamous game had not that much to do with Dowd liking Newcastle in particular but the fact that Arsenal had been naughty the game before and had to be punished by the referees for being bad boys against Everton.

I also point at the fact that Dowd is one of the few refs under whom Manchester United have a lower win percentage than in general. So the point raised by one commenter from a Manchester Utd supporters website about Dowd is not that far fetched I think. Dowd sometimes likes to behave like an elephant in a glass shop.  And at his age with his status he can do more than others.

I’m more worried about the overachieving numbers of Tottenham and Chelsea in this table. As they are our rivals and could benefit from overachieving under Dowd. A bit a scary thought isn’t it?

But with 5 overachieving teams, with 11 average performing teams we still have some 3 underachievers. Stoke is not in this table as Dowd is from Stoke and hence doesn’t do them in the PL. Exceptions are presumably only made for Manchester born referees. They can do Manchester games. Refs from Stoke cannot do Stoke games. Oh well. Mike will know why.

QPR, Southampton and Sunderland are in general the teams who shiver when his name comes out of Mike Rileys hat when he picks the referees in random order for the PL games. I hope you don’t take this hat thing serious of course. But they have a terrible record that is no joke.

So want to make a bet in a game when Dowd is the ref? Just check our numbers and see what his record is with these teams. You might one day find a good gamble. If you do so, just buy me a drink next time I come to the Emirates.

Recent posts…

The referee analysis

The full index of articles in order of publication is now available here.

The books…

6 comments to So what is wrong with PL refs: case study – Dowd

  • Mandy Dodd

    This confirms my impression, that apart from that game, Dowd is not a bad ref.
    I agree with you on the Newcastle game, we were punished.
    Maybe Chelsea may yet be punished this season for falsely alleging a very decent ref used racist language to their player?

  • bob

    Mandy Dowd,
    That’s a big “apart” that game, as we well know. He’s shown his availability to put his talents to “good use” when called upon. Also, he’s had a bad reputation hereabouts, prior to more recent displays of capability; which, if I recall, was noted in last season’s ref review. But that prior reputation was based on a fair amount of refshite that seem to have been righted. So, in a sense, the question remains which Dowd will we see at any given time – given that he can perform quite well or at the end of someone else’s strings. Oh to be the proverbial fly on the wall that sees the pre-game machinations.

  • bob

    p.s. so sorry Mandy Dodd (I have Dowd on the brain! – but surely know how to distinguish the two!)

  • Mandy Dodd

    No worries! think someone told me he will be ref for the Utd game,….but could be wrong on this. If so, will watch him with interest. And if so, at least we will not get him at Newcastle again, I am sure that game will be reffed by one of our absolute favorites!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Yep Mandy I expect Dean and Probert to do us one in May…