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At last the English media recognise there’s something seriously wrong with the referees

By Tony Attwood

And so, after years of pointing out that there is something seriously wrong with refereeing in the Premier League, the English papers have started to admit that there might be a problem.

Not all of them, and most are hedging their bets talking of referee mistakes, and the views of “Arsenal supporters”, but the magnitude of the shift in attitude that makes them even contemplate the fact that there might be an issue regarding refereeing is something that is hard to over-estimate.

The bigtime news media in Britain – the national press, BBC, ITV and Sky News, tend to follow each other, none wishing to appear too out of line with the main thrust, unless they are launching a crusade in the hope of getting more readers.  There are major political differences of course, differences on the issue of the EU and immigration, and moments when one paper steps aside from the rest – as the Guardian has done by running all the details of the Edward Snowden revelations about US spying on the rest of the world.

But most of the time they take the same line in deciding x is news, y is not news, carefully watching each other and uniting in their definitions.  And if just one paper had broken ranks and started talking about the ref in the Chelsea game, as we have seen overnight, I’d be worried.  But several papers are onto the theme, and that is good.

We’ve known that the English media read Untold for a long old time.  Everything from the occasional notes I get from journalists to the way ideas that appear for the first time here get recycled.  (You might recall the analysis of why English football struggles on the international stage which first appeared here and has appeared in various guises in other papers ever since).  They don’t mention us of course, because blogs are a threat to the traditional media – if blogs get treated as a more interesting form of commentary and investigation then the traditional media wobbles.   But they read us and use us as a source of ideas.

But wobble the media has done, as it did with the “Rangers Tax Case” blog which I’ve mentioned many times before.  With the Scottish media taking Rangers press releases and reporting them as news, they utterly ignored the issue that there was something very rotten within Rangers FC until all hell broke loose – at which point they all rushed in pretending they’d been on the job all the time.

And now maybe we are seeing another case of the same.   I have no idea where the Premier League referee scandal is going, and of course there is a chance that the papers will now drop it as a little pre-Christmas story.  But I obviously hope they don’t.

What Untold has done is researched the data of refereeing in the Premier League and presented it over a couple of a seasons.  This season we’ve moved on and started to use this data to make predictions, and as with last night’s game, we see our predictions coming true.  If you want to see how just take a look at Arsenal v Chelsea: Dean v Arsenal by Andrew Crawshaw published ahead of the game.

Of course the British press have not been helped by the fact that the overseas media have picked up on the theme that there is something very wrong with Premier League refereeing, and are running it as the main story of last night.   The British press is very fond of laughing at stupid foreigners and their silly ways – I guess it is part of the insularity of being an island nation – but even they can get a bit edgy when a story just keeps coming back over and over again.

Fortunately, because of all the hard work done by Walter, and those who over the years have helped him, we have the data that Andrew uses in his ref previews, and we can make the predictions, and now we are being noticed.

Maybe it is because we get around three quarters of a million visits a month.  Maybe it is because there isn’t much news in Britain apart from the trees lying all over the roads (twice I had to turn round and go back last night on the way home from the game, because of the way Northamptonshire’s trees had decided that laying down was better than standing up).   Maybe it is because Untold is so jolly entertaining.  Or maybe it is because we are right that the press are picking up on what we are saying.  I have no idea, but it is what I always wanted.

Thus the story of the refereeing in the Premier League is, at least for the moment, the story.

Thank you Walter, thank you Andrew, thank you all of the ref reviewers who did all those games last season.

And thank you for reading Untold, and for thinking that this fight against both the way refereeing is undertaken in the Premier League, and the way the media has refused to run the story, is worth pursuing.

This isn’t a great victory.  There are no arrests of referees.  Indeed as Walter pointed out in our last game, the refs don’t get a punishment for a mistake.  That honour is just reserved for players.

But it is another step in a road of goodness knows how many million steps and I think we should all be raising a glass today to Walter, Andrew and everyone else who has at any time been involved in the refereeing project.

It doesn’t stop here, however.  This is, in fact the start.   But it gives me a warm feeling to know that the issue is being noticed.

 

52 comments to At last the English media recognise there’s something seriously wrong with the referees

  • Pete

    From last night’s thread I see the Independent explicitly blamed Dean and Graham Poll in the Mail at least discussed the issues if eventually white-washing. But I haven’t seen anything else. Do you have any links?

  • SouthernGunner

    You’d think refs would want to be careful as to what they allow to happen on the pitch. Not only is the players safety at risk, but theirs as well. Had Dean been caught in the middle of the ocllision with Arteta/Mikel, I wonder how readily he’d have let it go unpunished.

    The man should be ashamed.

  • Stuart

    SouthernGunner,
    Fair comment. Surely in todays sensitive society with the “where there’s blame there’s a claim” culture, the refs are risking liability for players losing their careers. The plauers can afford very good legal teams, imagine if player x on £250K per week for the next 5 years is unable to play again due to the refs negligence. They could be liable to pay loss of earnings.

  • TommieGun

    GUYS !

    I have a brilliant idea for PGMOL –

    Move it to Switzerland ! ! !

    (they will feel right at home with UEFA, FIFA, the Olympic Committee and the rest of the thieves’ guild).

    And Merry Xmas.

  • nicky

    Could this be the thin end of the wedge (to use a golfing term)?
    The PGMOL ignore the power of the press at their peril.
    I like the sound of referees being sued because of negligence. Hit them in their pockets…where it hurts.
    They would soon forget the Fergie Hampers and begin to act fairly.

  • Pete

    I still like the idea of an Arsenal fan suing the PL for the cost of a season ticket due to the fact the competition was misrepresented as fair! Woudln’t win, but great publicity.

    I would hope that Gazidis is on the phone to Scudamore today saying “enough is enough”. The nuclear option would be to go public with the evidence although that would damage “the brand” (i.e. money making machine) for everyone. Who has the most to lose?

  • ARSENAL 13

    @nicky, only Fergie hampers.

    Whats the guarantee that the man operating from singapore didnt buy a ticket to London???? The countries where betting is legal, the betting trend can be looked into and the wrong doings (fixings) can be tracked. BUT in countries like India, where betting is not official (illegal), the trends cannot be identified and hence the rampant match fixing….

    AND for people saying Walter and Co’s work goes unnoticed. Check the link. (Wikipedia)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_Game_Match_Officials_Board

    More the data clear the picture. Keep up the good work. One day ARSENAL will have a fair game.

  • dan

    How did Graham Poll ever officiate a game, the man can’t count!

  • marcus

    I think the press, as Tony points out, act as a homogenous bunch, a bit like a pack of hunting beagles. They stick to the huntmaster’s call. This Independent piece is probably a bit like the Christmas vol-au-vents, not something you’ll see during the rest of the year. Those who step out of line like the Guardian did over Snowden risk very high punitive stakes, i.e getting whalloped under anti-terrorism legislation.

    The argument round these parts is not what is wrong, but what it will take to put things right. I think football is a smaller cog amongst some bigger ones. We all saw Murdoch slip away sinuously when questioned over hacking. It takes quite a lot to bring these matters to book, and at present there is relatively little inclination to tackle the issues.

    The main thing is not to take football seriously. If you get sucked in to the fervour, you will get disappointed and resentful at the obvious unfairness of it all. There are bigger issues in our society that affect us all, that we cannot avoid. e.g. just as the oilmen run football, they also run our country, and can now impose fracking across the board. I say this not to be controversial, (you can pick any number of issues), merely to help people get a sense of perspective. If in 10 years time you are wheezing for breath, or your children are malformed, this will be your no1 concern.

  • Norm

    I believe that within pgmol, there is an elite (dean, dowd, probert, mason, Atkinson etc) and a would-be elite (currently staffed by incompetents like Taylor, Oliver etc). The elite know exactly what they have to do and perform effectively, as demonstrated yet again last night by mike shit dean. I was wound up by everything everyone else has said here, but particularly by fouling fat frank and Ivanovic. The Chelsea rabble surrounded Ozil after that boot in the chest and someone hung on to his shirt to make it look like he was trying to prolong the confrontation. Typical JM tactics. As for the biggest backside in football’s dive to get Rosicky booked…. er may we expect an apology from the scrawny, bald yorkie goblin?

  • Pete

    Looked at objectively, I am not sure that match fixing by bookmakers/gamblers can explain systematic bias. The fixer is only interested in making money on a particular match – not systematically favouring one team over another in the long term. A team may suffer – but only if its players are taking backhanders on a consistent basis. I don’t see that at Arsenal…

    So the question is, in whose interests is it to see Arsenal damaged – and Man Utd (at least in previous seasons) elevated? Two things I can think of:

    1. The clubs themselves – could range from bribery (don’t see any proof of that – although someone mentioned a luxury holiday a ref allegedly took in days gone by) – to psychological pressure, which clearly was applied at MU under the old regime. If an unscrupulous billionaire(s) are prepared to plough enormous amounts of money into their plaything, is it that much of a stretch to think that they may “cut corners” to “win” some silvery trinkets?

    2. The League. Will it help enhance revenues if the super-rich clubs with millions of “fans” in far flung places are successful? More TV subscriptions…

  • ARSENAL 13

    @Pete objectively, yes.

    But the teams like Chelsea, ManUtd have a large fanbase outside Europe. In my case, in a crowd of around 300-400 football fans, I am 1 Gooner. Thats the ratio. And thats one reason I think, in the so called big games, decisions go againt ARSENAL.

  • Pete

    @Arsenal 13.

    So I think we agree then? Sorry – a rhetorical question on my part!

  • Marcus @12:18pm,

    I cannot agree with your last paragraph more. I’ve probably never agreed with anything on Untold as much as I do with your comment. Perspective is key.

    Thanks.

  • Gouresh

    i think the media is aware about what’s happening with the ref’s. AW was asked, why the penalty was not given, at the post match interview. Now my question is, what’s the reason for this question? does the interviewer know something more? sure, he does, hence the question. this morning at 10.30 onm talkshite, there was a discussion and they were saying that any Arsenal supporter should be worried if they have Mike Dean as the ref as we have won just 7% of our games with him in charge. infact one of the presenter said that if they were at the last 3 games of the season, with the current league standing, he would be petrified as an Arsenal supportor if we get Mike Dean as the ref. so, they all know what’s happening, the question, is who wants to stick their neck out an actually point out the obvious.
    Another think that was laughable was Egorinio’s post match interview. Every1 who watched the game knew, that they wanted a draw, or play deep and catch us on the break. he was denying it and also admitting it, said something about the future of the way Hellsea would play etc. bullshit.
    this is a team who has spent billions on players, their wages, transfer and have to rely on bottom-of-the league team tacttics. what a waste of money.

  • Terence McGovern

    Until the hierarchy at Arsenal FC publicly challenge this issue they are part of their own biggest problem.

  • blacksheep63

    Pete, I don’t think the PL prosper from this in the way you suggest – after Arsenal is a big draw overseas (as the recent summers’ tours proved). The issue of motivation is important and it could be simple bias, financial reward, or pressure. But regardless of whether the refs are crooked or incompetent (which is really the line the media take, and I believed – past tense – for many years) the problem is actually one of a lack of choice.

    We have too few referees and I would suggest its time for the PL to think seriously about linking up with european leagues and sharing refs around. There is no good reason why a Collina (ok not him now) should not referee PL matches. Less chance of bias and more choice of officials

  • Pete

    @blacksheep

    Unfortunately, the inescapable conclusion of the statistical analysis over a long period of time is that match officials are baised against Arsenal. The last two games are extreme examples – but anecdotal. The 2 year timeframe from Walter and his team prove the bias statistically.

    The question then is: why should this be? I have thrown out two possible theories:

    1. Improper behaviour by other clubs
    2. The PL trying to increase global appeal by favouring (other) big clubs – as Arsenal 13 seems to allude to.

    I do not believe that match-fixing by gamblers would be a significant long-term contributor to bias (although completely abhorrent regardless).

    I would be very happy to consider other theories that fit the facts.

    In terms of finding a solution, which is a different debate, I completely agree that using foreign refs and/or a larger pool should help mitigate this bias.

    I would also suggest that the extreme preponderance of English refs from the north of the country is very unhelpful, to say the least.

    Also, the opaqueness of PGMOL is extremely unhelpful in understanding what is happening and why. How are refs selected for PGMOL? How are refs assigned to games? How do refs get given FIFA accreditation?

    No one really seems to know the answers to these questions which is completely unacceptable.

  • Mick

    @Terence McGovern
    I couldn’t agree more. The club should go on the offensive with this and bugger the consequences.
    I had a quick scan of the back pages of the red tops and they all seemed to be focusing on the Arsenal cry babies angle, as spouted by that ‘master of twisting things to his own advantage’, Mourinho. I am afraid this is going to finish up as whinging Arsenal again, as I witnessed from my mates this morning. Any sympathy we might expect from supporters of other clubs is never going to be forthcoming I am afraid, in fact most of them delight in seeing decisions go against us, such is the effectiveness of the anti Arsenal media indoctrination of the past few years.

  • AL

    Pete
    Regarding your question on who else reported on dean’s shambolic performance, most of the papers I’ve read point this out. For instance, the Telegraph discribed dean’s decisions as inexplicable, The Mirror also said he should have sent Mikel off and failed to award a penalty for a foul on Walcott. Of course the articles will take the occasional dig at Arsenal but they are quite clear on the decisions dean got wrong.
    Let’s hope this is a departure from the usual glossing over poor reffing.

  • AL

    Mick
    Yes, that’s one thing that’s concerning too from the media, they seem to be focusing on the cry-baby statement from Mourinho more. Anyway, I don’t suppose we could expect a complete u-turn from the media overnight….

  • dan

    Borinho commenting “Cry Babies”, this from the man who cheap shots an unaware victim in eye from behind comfort of his Entourage!

    I think I could take him in a fair fight:)

  • WalterBroeckx

    In the aftermath of such a match I have mixed emotions.

    My first emotion is one of pride. Yes I am proud of what we have done over the last 3 years in reviewing the referees. And that by reviewing them we have been able to see who and what is up for what. The reason behind is unknown. Yet. I do have suspicions. Delivered by my sources and my own deductions. But as I cannot prove them I cannot say them. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we had a top man of the PGMOL involved and a top man of the PL. Now there are more top man in both organisations. But I have two specific in mind. Who are running the show behind the scenes. And both are somehow connected to the referee world and know the ins and outs of being a referee. Let me say it takes a ref to understand how another ref can tilt games without it getting noticed.
    And it then takes another one who knows the media very well to cover things up.

    So there is proud feelings for having made it possible to predict what refs will do and even how they will do it.

    And then there is a big sad feeling. Because how on earth can people accept such behaviour? When will competition become fair for all? Till the French elephant has left the building? (In fact Rupert you may have got it spot on but not in the way you meant it)Till the “foreign crybabies” are kicked out of the game?

    Think about this for a moment. Arsenal was viewed as a French team. And we don’t have to be stupid about it there still is a big anti-French sentiment with many English people. Now this French elephant does the unthinkable thing. He turns “French” Arsenal in to “French-German” Arsenal. And again we must admit that if there is a strong anti-French feeling living amongst many English people the same can be said about an anti-German feeling.

    Is it just down to pure xenophobia? When I see the comment of a certain person who I disagree with a lot but who seemed well educated and not xenophobe at all… I do wonder…

  • finsbury

    The use of video tech would help protect officials from mafia and ‘intimidators’, and expose those who don’t need to be pressurised, sorry I mean those who are ‘incompetent’.

    Published guidelines for players and officials to follow. E.g. The English Cricket Board issues information and guidelines to all professional players and officials in England in case they are approached by any fixers or mafia. All players, not just the internationals. As in Domestic players. To be clear for those who may still be confused: For those who play in England.
    These guidelines were formulated with the assistance of police or security consultants.

    Fortunately we know through the complete avoidance of this topic by football journalists that there is nothing to worry about in Football. Lots more money and games and people watching then in cricket. Nothing to worry about. Or, perhaps the Sky plundits bizarre and embaressing (for him) insistence that the referee performed well in yesterday’s game was a transparent effort to disguise the loud boos directed by the home crowd towards the officials at HT and FT? They’re ‘avin’ a larf!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Interesting thing on wikepedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Dean_%28referee%29

    and I quote this from the article: History against Arsenal FC

    Dean is accused of having a heavy bias against the North London football club Arsenal. Since 2009, Arsenal have a record of 1 win, 9 losses, and 6 draws in games Mike Dean has refereed. To put this into context, in games officiated by Dean since the 2009/10 season, Arsenal have a 7% win percentage, while their average in the EPL is 54%. The latest controversial match happened on 23 December 2013 against Chelsea FC. Arsenal are reportedly thinking about writing a formal complaint about Mike Dean to the English FA after this game.

  • finsbury

    French Elephant?
    I think the poorly confused and illogical petty jingoist (twas always thus) must have meant a Wooly Mammoth, or Mammuthus Primigenius. the only member of the elephant family that ever lived so far North. And, of course, those crazy tika taka-ing mammoths would’ve tippy toed their way across the Thames Valley back in the day (land bridge!).

  • dan

    @Walter

    Yes, but, anyone can edit wiki. The admins will adjust as needed.

    xenophobia – is in English blood, as harsh as that sounds, you only need listen to the media.

  • colario

    I couldn’t believe Dean. It was game 50 all over again and of course these people have nothing to answer for because they are always right. To quote Marvin Williams. ‘There is no better test of a man’s integrity then when he is wrong.’

  • WalterBroeckx

    I know Dan but maybe someone who had some inside information wrote it down as a kind of warning?
    I do hope the club sends a complaint to the PL, FA and PGMOL

  • dan

    @Walter

    I fear the repercussions not only from the powers that be, xenophobia – as mentioned earlier, every white van man and his cat will cry a foul. Arsenal aren’t the most beloved club amongst the die hard England devotes.

  • Wooby

    @Walter … I do believe the current Anti-Arsenal started in part as an Anti-French. Afterall, the two nations had a rather lengthy and historic rivalry with each other. 🙂

    AW was one of the first, if not the first, foreign managers in the PL and he brought along with him a totally different philosophy as well as reliance on non-English (particularly French) players. Meanwhile, the PL in the 90’s was seeking to gain a foothold in the world, and Beckham was both English and a globally recognizable name. Put the two together and it would do the PL “brand” much good to have he and his team (i.e. MU) be as successful as possible. It would be necessary to have a villain in this narrative (as all good storylines must have), and AW, together with the infusion of Viera and Henry (all French) was the perfect foil.

    Then Arsenal and AW had the audacity to lead the charge to build a new stadium with private money, which is unique because most often, teams like to hold local governments hostage to get some public money to fund stadiums. Who knows how many people, both in and out of the football community, were upset by this. At the same time, AW re-builds the club around young players but these were mostly (astute) purchases of talent (e.g. Cesc, RVP) rather than locally developed (i.e. English/British) until the current “British core”.

    Meanwhile, major money started coming into the PL, beginning with the purchase of Chelsea by Roman. City was purchased. Even MU has large investments from the Glazers. David Dein, influential within the FA, was leading the charge to have Arsenal follow the sugar-daddy model. Yet the club resisted and insisted on a different model.

    All in all, it’s not hard to see that when one views the history of the club with AW in charge has been quite the anti-establishment. Perhaps we should not be surprised that the deck is quite stacked against us.

  • Since PGMOL is a company (albeit funded by FA) , why don’t this company bring in experts from afar. After all the Premier league company makes its money from all over the world and all the companies ( a.k.a participating clubs) do bring players from all over the world and sponsors from all over the world, why not PGMOL ?
    Refs from spain anyone ?? for the next time rooney kicks someone in the groin and gets away with it ? or gool ‘ol frank for getting away with no yellows yesterday .

    It atleast will be a start if the matches i.e retrospective reviews are done by foreign based refs. we are not talking refs approved by FA of luxemberg here(simply mentioning as an example due to their small size country wise – if there are luxemnorgians ?? don’t take offence for it, substitute Maldives if you want), let there be FIFA accredited ref from other countries and I don’t mean Scottish refs who shine the shoes of red nose but continental refs.

    If foreign players can improve player standards for England , so can foreign refs improve refreeing standards.

  • Jax

    @Terance McGovern & @Mick
    I doubt that Arsenal would go public on this issue as they stand a good chance of a charge of bringing the game into disrepute which could lead to a deduction of points, but I do like the idea that Pete put forward of a season ticket holder taking them to court.

  • AL

    mourinho is the biggest tw*t to ever manage in the prem, and the saddest thing is the English media suck up to him. He knows to say and what they want to hear, like his statements about Arsenal’s foreign players wanting to cry a lot. Ferguson leaving and mourinho rejoining the chavs in same year meant that we were denied even a year of football free of manipulation of officials, and all the other nonsense that comes with it like mind games and what ever else. This idiot was branded the scourge of Spanish football, and how the English media manage to take this man to their hearts like that I’ll never know. I’m not a violent person nor do I condone violence but right now I feel like punching the living daylights out of that c*nt called mourinho.

  • insideright

    Forget Arsenal for a moment – do we think that Steve Clarke would have been sacked by West Brom had Ramires (of Chelsea, of course) hadn’t got away with the most blatant dive in the match between them the other week?
    No board/owner would have had the guts to sack their manager shortly after a win at Chelsea so the answer has to be no. Perfectly decent people are losing their jobs because of what Untold believes is true.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @al, was wondering if Mr Wenger too is fed up of this shit talks form Jose….how about a Mikelesque sliding tackle on him. Let’s see how he rolls around…..

  • Stuart

    My theory for it all is that one has to conform to a certain way to be fully accepted by management. This is the case in any company or organisation around the world and the PGMO as a place of employment is no exception.

    Mike Riley has previously illustrated his personal opinion of Arsenal (see game 50 for one example) and being the head of the PGMO, he sets the companies culture, ethos, ethics, values – the overall flavour of the whole organisation – he is the leader and everyone else follows or risks finding themselves surplus to requirements.

    In order to get on, develop your career and progress, one must be a “company person” and work in a manner that is in line with the general attitude / direction of the company as a whole. I gather refs stand to lose a lot of money if they get demoted from the ‘select group of referees’ so any career minded person who is more concerned about their career than what is right and ethical will adhere to the (unwritten) company policies in order to a) be noticed b) keep their income secure and c) progress.

    It is possible to change this culture with new management however this is when you see people leaving as by a general rule of thumb, people don’t like change however this would also allow some other employees / refs to feel free from the shackles and express themselves as an individual. I long for the day that we can see this happen.

    As there is no competitor to this company, they really have the market cornered and are able to set the benchmark for themselves. (someone mentioned sharing the pool of refs throughout Europe – this is a great idea or even allow them to compete against each other for the business ie games to officiate).

  • AL

    Arsenal 13
    That’s very tempting. If he was within reach I wouldn’t think twice about doing that, take one for the team 🙂
    I now understand why Ferguson was punched by a total stranger….

  • Keisha

    Actually i dont believe they have really. I get Sky sports news in Jamaica and i have noticed that they have started having a ref watch segment. However it is a smokescreen. For eg for the ref review of our Man City they reviewed only one decision – the handball call and said the ref got it right. Then they actually commented that it was surprising that such a high scoring game did not have more reeree talking points. REALLY. Toure’s tackle not to mention all the incorrect offside calls. Then this morning when reviewing the Chelsea game the ‘experts’ determined that Mikel’s tackle on Arteta, based on the weather conditions wasnt really deserving of a card and wld be yellow worst case and that Walcott was never a penalty. So i believe there is a bit of lets pretend to talk about this but cloud the view how we want it to look going on

  • rantetta

    Good comments, Wooby and Stuart.

    “Arsenal and AW had the audacity to lead the charge to build a new stadium with private money…. Who knows how many people, both in and out of the football community, were upset by this.”

    Well, I don’t know HOW many people were upset, but it’s plenty. Whilst Emirates was built, on time and on budget, Wembley was the opposite, and it has left the FA with debt they’ll struggle to clear.

    Note also that since Heysel, CL finals have been played in mainly modern or new stadiums. (Liverpool played Milan in Turkey and the stadium wasn’t properly finished, according to TV commentators. How often has Wembley hosted a CL final since it was rebuilt? It’s at least twice, maybe three times.

    How often has the Emirates been considered or chosen? **** all (FA), I’d venture. They even have the audacity to host Brazil’s games at The Em’s. Therefore, Arsenal are taking the piss, innit, somewhat, somehow?

    Imagine those Ars-bastards building a new stadium, in a new location (not Milton Keynes. Wembley was built on the old site), and having to relocate the buildings that stood where the Em’s now is, and funding transport improvements, and building classy apartments within the Listed Building that was Highbury Stadium, and building flats for actual “social housing”, and not giving dividends for shares. It goes on and on. (It has taken almost a decade for major house builders to find a way of not building the social housing they’d agreed to as part of getting planning permission – just pay a paltry fine, or just don’t do it at all)

    So, Ars-bastards, we’ll **** you over, big time, forever if we can. You’ll not win anything with a young team. You’ll not win anything with a team with experience. We’ll appoint refs who’ve been involved with criminal activity/betting, who therefore will tow the party line in order to keep their jobs. The ‘fit and proper person’ bolux for club ownership will demonstrably be its own euphemism (and don’t forget Yoo-ey-fah).

    As for the press picking up on Dean – it’s just a small blip, I fear.

    Anyways, as far as I’m concerned, those who love The Arsenal may choose to recognise what this fantastic club has done and is doing. If we win trowfies it’ll be a miracle – one that I’ll enjoy to the full. (I’m still basking at winning the Fair Play thingy. I’d thought of making the pilgrimage to Islington Town Hall but realised I’d be on my own).

    And for those who say we must get more and more players, please bear in mind that even having a £40 million pound player – the fact that he plays for Arsenal simply ups the odds of him getting his head kicked in on the pitch, UNPUNISHED. If you’ve got a promising young midfielder who plays for England, he’ll have his ankles smashed – forthwith, UNPUNISHED. Etc, etc!

    Listen, I’m venting. I love Arsenal, and I hate seeing the things that continue to happen to our team. Let us all continue our undying support.

    Thanks again Untold and Untolders. Season’s Greetings.

  • AL

    Ok, won’t kick anyone, but just disappointed.

    Noticed the Independent have reworded their headline to;
    “Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0 match report: Referee mistakes, including Theo Walcott penalty appeal, deny Premier League top spot to Arsenal”

    Now I think that’s even more specific than the last one which just generalised that ‘dean’s mistakes deny Arsenal top spot’.
    Not superstitious but the report also mentions Liverpool last topped the table at Christmas in 2008, and we all know what happened then.

  • bjtgooner

    Walter I like your comment at 3.00pm. I always felt that for the continuous ref bias against Arsenal to be sustainable someone at (or close to) the top of the PGMOL had to be involved, further someone in the FA or PL had to be covering the operation. The Minister of Sport would be a higher authority, but as fans of “Yes Minister” would tell us, the minister may only be advised what his “servants” feel is expedient. Further, I feel that there may be other interests, including major money interests, mulling around in the background.

    Re the media, it is encouraging that some elements are starting to look at ref decisions, but my opinion is that for now mainstream media will close ranks against any disclosure – why – they are already part of the problem and are in too deep.

    When the truth outs as it eventually will, I suspect a very large prison will be required.

  • Sav from Australia

    Seasons greeting mates!

    Well done Untold! Well done referee reviewers! And excellent comments by everyone. Privileged to share a blog with you lot, with your great capacity to enlighten and entertain.

    All the best and happy Xmas from Sydney!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Bjt have a feeling this goes to the very top as well as the dregs of uk society. Also have the impression some quite dangerous people are involved and maybe control some agents. As I say the refs are just pawns take an easy buck once then they are owned

  • OMGArsenal

    Pete……7 FIFA referee candidates are nominated by their national FA, based on recommendations from the national referee association or equivalent (PGMOL). Each year their nomination is reviewed and if kept, they continue to be on the FIFA ¨list¨ up and until they are removed, either by FIFA or the FA. Usually a FIFA referee is removed due to age, injury, or like Poll, incompetence.
    As far as the PGMOL assignment of officials….that is still a total mystery.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Be thankful to those who teach us the right values .
    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO UNTOLD ARSENAL .

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151799261275658&set=a.10150523921480658.372668.270212045657&type=1&theater

  • Armin

    I accept fact that refs are only human beings, and their decisions sometime can be due lack of view, lack of assistance from linesman. But for tackle on Theo, Dean was about 10 meters from spot, had clear sight. I checked it 10 times watching replay. Actually one of cameras which was on pitch level somewhere in line with Theo and Dean showing it clearly. He could spot every single detail, where legs were, where ball was, and it was not super fast action so he had enough time to see it. For tackle on Arteta I couldn’t see Dean or linesman position, so ok there I can “accept” he maybe dint had best view (but than, how come referee put him self in situation he is out of site)

  • Anthony Taylor is allegly from Chesire according to PGMOL website, in reality he is from south manchester.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wythenshawe

    He reffed a game a few weeks ago between Southampton and Citeh.
    Yet no one found this strange?

    Haha my autocorrect tried to change reffed to reoffend.

  • jb

    Two key factors in the bias.
    1. Very strong Northern bias in PGMOL from highest level, also reflected at the FA (remember when Dein was passed over for Chairmanship despite being the outstanding candidate, City’s man Bernstein got the job). In this MU is most favoured but obviously Arsenal is no 1 enemy/threat (and I don’t think it is because of French mgr, players, etc which other teams are replicating).
    2. Very strong pro Tott bias from the upper echelons of key media outlets (BBC, Sky, ESPN, etc). Pro MU and Liverpool also to an extent but Arsenal meets all the “villain” characteristics being perenially overshadowing TH and the main threat to Northern dominance. The only former Arsenal players that get anywhere in the media do so provided they “play the game” fully. Great example from Alan Smith in describing the Walcott “non-penalty” the other night. As stone wall a penalty as you can see. Smith instead of stating stone wall, clumsy forward’s tackle etc. said “Walcott went down easily” “not clear” usual cover up for the ref.

    AW is this season being a bit more aggressive with his highlighting of the problem. On several occasions he has said the ref had a poor game and he is running closer to the limit of what he can get away with, but in general it is a losing battle. Despite the great talent and strong start to the season I fear that as in previous recent seasons the extent of the bias will push the team down in the standings. The league is hard enough to win without getting basic penalty, foul, and card decisions, and more importantly even a basic level of protection of the players (broken leg every season for the past 5 including 2 (both Sagna) last season).

  • KH

    just found your site .. not a gooner but thank god someone is highlighting the obvious problems with referees in this country .. to be clear, refereeing decisions decide 100% how the game is played across this country. The style of play reflects what the referee will allow on the field of play … it cant be any simpler ..