By Walter Broeckx
When is a referee error not a referee error? Now we know – it is when PGMO (the shadowy body that controls English Premier League refereeing) doesn’t see it.
As Mr. Riley head of the PGMO has come out in the open with his numbers that I have talked about in another article I think it is time to look further in the numbers and compare the findings of Untold with the findings of PGMO.
As I said in my previous article Riley skipped the question of how many of those decisions or non decisions were correct. Of course the non-decisions are not really talked about in the numbers Mike Riley released. And this is something that can have an even bigger influence than a given decision.
A not-given penalty can have a very big influence on a game. But does it get any reflection in the way the PGMO and the FA and the PL look at the refs?
What better way than to look at an official publication from the PL where not only the instructions are given to match delegates and referees but also has a report on the numbers of last season. And thanks to a beneficial wind this report got blown on to my desk.
And what a great coincidence that Untold Arsenal did a big referee review of the same season.
So for the first time we can compare our numbers with the numbers of the PGMO. Now one thing is that we don’t know how they came to their numbers. We know we reviewed each game we did completely and we did more than 40% of the games in the season 2011-2012. The PGMO did all 380 games.
So let us see what they say about the performances of the referees in the last few seasons.
In the last column you can find the number we gave based on our reviews of 155 games in the PL.
Top class performances according to the PGMO
Good performance in the PL according to the PGMO
“Key errors” in a performance in a Premier League game (known as “bad performances” in Untold terminology)
Now I don’t know what the criteria are for the PGMO but for us, the top class performances are performances with a score of +90%.
The good performances are based on a score of between 60% and 89,9%. And the key errors performances are based on a score of below 60%. I do think that with the description “key errors in performances” the PGMO is trying to avoid the word: bad performances. Untold however likes to call it how it is.
Now I must say that I have hesitated to call the performances between 60% and 70% as good performances. Because in my book I don’t think only making 60% correct decisions as a ref is not really that good.
If we take a stricter application of our numbers we get this score:
|Key errors / Bad||9%||46%|
Now of course as we don’t know at what point the PGMO thinks a good performance becomes a bad performance (or an excellent of course) we don’t really know how we can compare the numbers. A little bit of informing the public wouldn’t be bad I think. But then again we are talking about the PGMO.
Now let us move on to the errors in the games. And in the report we find these numbers.
According to the PGMO and the PL there have been 36 key errors in all the games in the PL in the season 2011-2012. Based on their reviews of 380 games. The numbers from Untold are only based on 155 games.
Also notice that we didn’t make the division the PGMO did so the Untold numbers are total numbers. And in a way it doesn’t matter if a goal decision is wrong on how it was wrong. Wrong is wrong and right is right. That is what matters.
Anyhow the key errors can be divided like this:
|Missed red card offence||4|
|Incorrect send off||4||77|
|Goal incorrectly disallowed for foul||1|
|Goal given but foul on the keeper||1||40|
|Ball over the line but goal not given||2|
So all the people from the PGMO could find was 36 wrong key incidents. And we at Untold could find in 40% of the games a total of 208 wrong key incidents. Let this sink in. They found 36 mistakes in the whole season. We found 208 mistakes in 40% of the games.
Let me put this another way. If we assume that the 40% of games Untold reviewed that season were typical of all the games (and yes I know that is an assumption but in terms of statistical analysis that is a far bigger sample than that which is generally used), then Untold would have found 620 errors against 36 from PGMO.
For every error PGMO found, we found 17.
If our figure is correct PGMO is only reporting 5.8% of all the errors.
Shall I put that another way? For every 100 errors Untold found during that season, PGMO found under six.
This is totally out of proportion if you ask me. I really would like the PGMO to give us some more information on that short list with key errors mistakes. A short list of 36 mistakes perhaps, with just the game and the names of the teams involved and the time of the incident and why it was wrong. Then we could check and compare this with our numbers and our data. Would the PGMO dare to do this?
You could argue that at Untold we have been too strict. But we reviewed the games as if we were a 4th official with the power to correct mistakes. I have a feeling the PGMO has done their reviewing in the way of: “could he have seen it or not.” And that totally ignores the fact that within seconds someone on the other end of the camera could see it.
Or maybe the PGMO just wanted to fabricate a report to make them look good? Just imagine that? Could this be possible? Could it be that the PGMO is not an honest organisation?
Or could they just be getting a little fed up with the constant focus that Untold and Referees Decisions give to Premier League Referees
Just a question I ask.
Do you trust an organisation that doesn’t give anything away during the season and is as closed as can be? An organisation that doesn’t do what they should do (like informing the public about referees – as it says in their limited company declaration). An organisation that has rules but which doesn’t follow the rules?
So do I trust them? Can I trust them? Do you trust them? Do you trust your government? Completely? Don’t you think they try to keep things covered up?
So is there a difference between the PGMO and what any government would do? Change the numbers a bit so they will fit them? As long as the PGMO doesn’t open up and let us see their analysis from each game I cannot trust their numbers.
As for Untold and Referee Decisions all our reviews are published and are open to see for each and everyone.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Royal Arsenal: from the Common to the Manor. Coming next.