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Welcome to the Pawson-Dean Disaster. Man U v Arsenal, 28 Feb 2016 – The Match Officials.

by Andrew Crawshaw

First the up to date Table of Shame following the Leicester review

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 1 33
Red Cards 1 11
Penalties 3 26
Goals 0 9
Total 5 79
Possible Cost in Points 0 17

To be honest the final performance figure from Mr Atkinson was better than I expected.  From my seat in the East Stand I was expecting him to get another entry on the Wall of Shame but a better second half performance meant he escaped with a score of 52.  Still appallingly bad for a FIFA referee but not quite bad enough.

He still managed to get seven wrong Important Decisions including all four penalty decisions, Leicester should have had Drinkwater sent off for the awful challenge on Ramsey and the Leicester penalty goal shouldn’t have counted as it was never a penalty.  Those decisions raise the number of wrong Important Decisions to 79 so far this year (and counting), that’s still averaging three a game!

Here is the current Wall of Shame

Ref Game Weighted Score Bias against (h/a) Link to Ref Review
Craig Pawson Stoke v Arsenal 34 5/95 Review Stoke v Arsenal
Lee Mason Arsenal v Southampton 34 80/20 Review Arsenal v Southampton
Mike Dean Chelsea v Arsenal 41 5/95 Review Chelsea v Arsenal
Martin Atkinson Arsenal v Spurs 41 82/18 Review Arsenal v Spurs
Mark Clattenburg West Brom v Arsenal 42 9/91 Review WBA Vv Arsenal
Anthony Taylor Arsenal v Newcastle 48 9/91 Review Newcastle v Arsenal
Jonathan Moss Southampton v Arsenal 49 22/78 Review Southampton v Arsenal

On to Sunday and the Match Officials are

  • Referee – Craig Pawson
  • Assistant Referees – L Betts and M Perry
  • Fourth Official – Mike Dean

So a return for the Pawson/Dean combo who combined so brilliantly on 17 January against Stoke earning a place right at the top of the Wall of Shame.  A return visit only 5 weeks after that rape.  Chance of honest officiating on Sunday – Nil.

This will be the third visit this year from Mr Pawson, his first  was the away match at Leicester with Mr Madley as Fourth Official which he did in an honest manner getting an admirable score of 84, no Important Decisions wrong.  Leicester v Arsenal

The second visit was essentially a learning experience for Mr Pawson as he was paired with Mr Dean to ‘educate him’ in the ways of refereeing an Arsenal game.  He duly learned and made eight wrong Important Decisions, two not given penalties and six non awarded second yellow cards, Wollschied, Shawcross and Pieters on no fewer than 4 occasions should have got their marching orders.  The link to the review is above in the Wall of Shame.

Last year 2014-15 we had Mr Pawson twice, our three nil home win against Burnley and our two nil loss away at Southampton

Review : Arsenal v Burnley

72% overall, bias against both teams 84/16 and two wrong Important Decisions both relating to the incident in Min 20 when Boyd deliberately handled the ball in the penalty area preventing a goal, should have been a penalty and sending off, nothing given by either Pawson or the assistant Mr Bryan.

Review Southampton v Arsenal

78% overall, bias against both teams 16/84 and again two wrong Important Decisions, in Min 22 wanyama should have had a second yellow card (his first should have come in Min 9); in Min 66 Gardos was only issued a yellow instead of a red card for a last man offence.


  1. The PGMO are further checking on the loyalty of Mr Pawson, appointing him for the second time to an Arsenal game in 5 weeks.  To check on his loyalty they have sent one of their most trusted Lieutenants Mr Dean to monitor his progress.
  2. After a good performance in matchweek 7 it was 15 weeks before he got another Arsenal game.
  3. Five weeks ago the two combined to a season low score of 34% getting no fewer than 42 decisions wrong during the course of a game.  That they are considered appropriate to officiate another game only 5 weeks later shows the contempt that PGMO hold for fairness and honesty.
  4. We will have seen Mr Dean 3 times since mid-January.  Mind-blowingly blatant cheating by the PGMO.
  5. Expect an engineered United win in an attempt to prevent any possibility of us winning the League this year.
  6. United will be allowed to kick the shit out of our players, any Arsenal player getting within touching distance of United will be penalised.
  7. Unless United turn up carrying and using Uzis the chance of a penalty to Arsenal is Nil, A dive in our penalty area will probably win both penalty and red card.
  8. The only chance of fair refereeing will be for Mr Pawson to tell Dean to “shut up and let me get on with the game” and I just can’t see that happening.
  9. Our away fans will have to be very vocal and in the Officials ears.


The Untold Books

The latest Untold book is Arsenal: The Long Sleep 1953-1970 with a Foreword by Bob Wilson, available both as a paperback and as a Kindle book from Amazon.   Details of this and our previous and forthcoming titles can be found at Arsenal Books on this site.

Just published:


27 February 2010: Ramsey was seriously assaulted by Shawcross on the pitch causing a double fracture of Ramsey’s lower right leg, breaking the tibia and fibula.  He did not play against until 23 November when he played in a reserve game.  Shawcross was immediately given a place in the England squad and at subsequent games large numbers of Stoke fans booed Ramsey.

27 February 2011: Arsenal 1 Birmingham 2.  League Cup final.  The referee was Mike Dean.  RVP scored Arsenal’s goal and Birmingham’s second came from a mix up between Szczęsny and Laurent Koscielny.


28 comments to Welcome to the Pawson-Dean Disaster. Man U v Arsenal, 28 Feb 2016 – The Match Officials.

  • para

    Love 🙁 that:
    “The second visit was essentially a learning experience for Mr Pawson as he was paired with Mr Dean to ‘educate him’ in the ways of refereeing an Arsenal game. ”

    How much more blatant are they going to get?

    Come on Arsenal, time to start running(run, get it?) again.

  • ClockEndRider

    Infantino gets the all clear to change nothing at FIFA and we get the cheat Dean despite it being obvious to anybody who cares to look that he cannot and will not referee our games fairly. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose…..,

  • Josif

    Excellent preview, aa usual.

    Still, if we finally convert at least one third of chances we will create, Dean won’t be able to stop us from winning the game even if he makes Pawson’s eardrums bleed. Taylor couldn’t stop us from giving United a proper beating in the reverse fixture.

    If De Gea, Smalling and Martial are indeed unavailable for the game, as well as Marouane Elbowini, we should beat them with even bigger margin.

    Man United – Arsenal 0:3, Danny to keep his 100 percent record at OT after the departure. Dean to eat his toe-nails.


    P.S. Any three-match ban in this game would lead an Arsenal player to miss a NLD so the players should avoid tackles that would give Pawson’s inner voice something to work with. Coquelin and Gabriel especially have8 to take care.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Cannot help but think that they are building up to allow Dean to really do us, at City, or WHL.
    We should have enough to win this game… long as shooting boots are worn by all.
    But another game where northern rules will apply.
    A couple of early goals would come in very handy. Giroud is due a goal or two.

  • Oluwatoba

    A quick sting in the back just like in the first leg. Alternatively, deal them an unreturnable last gasp blow as in the Leicester game. That’s the best way to deal with biased refereeing.

  • Oluwatoba

    An early salvo as in the first leg or a final blow as in the Leicester game will neutralize any biased referee.

  • nicky

    I hope you are wrong about the officialdom at tomorrow’s game.
    Dean is only the 4th official and cannot really affect the issue.
    And with Keane and the Neville Bros long retired, much of United’s thuggery has been blunted.
    And with the master diver and chatterbox, Rooney, being absent we might actually see a bona fide football match! 😉

  • norman14

    Arsene needs to stand somebody right next to Dean throughout the whole game, recording everything he says.

    Imagine the transcript:

    Dean: “That’s a booking to the Arsenal player Craig”
    Pawson: “I didn’t see it Mike”
    Dean: “neither did I but book him anyway”
    Dean: “that’s another yellow to that player – send him off”
    Pawson: “but he was 3 yards away”
    Dean “Doesn’t matter – the intent was there – send him off”

    One thing about Dean getting all these Arsenal games – it’s a good opportunity for “unusual betting patterns” to emerge!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I also hope I’m wrong. Mr Pawson had a great game in charge of our away game at Leicester getting a score of 84%. His second game was with Dean as fourth official and he had a shocker scoring 34%. The presence of Dean may have had nothing to do with that catastrophic decline in Mr Pawson’s performance but I really don’t believe it. I think he is fundamentally a decent referee who has been bullied by his bosses and that will continue tomorrow. 42 wrong or missed decisions last time, 1 every two minutes. I’m expecting more of that tomorrow.

  • Andy Mack

    nicky, I think you under estimate the power of the senior refs over the lower rank refs.
    Blind Mike will give him his advice on how to ref the game. At half time if he tells his Gimp that he’s missed a penalty for the PGMO team and is being (in his opinion) too soft on us, then the Gimp will make up for it in the second half…

  • timo

    frightening stats. How often do we see a foul go against us as the opponents score directly from the same? its an increasing trend that might soon be a tactic for some managers. Foul an arsenal player and attack them one man less referees are blind to such fouls.
    could Wenger ever see these trends and stats.
    can fans do anything within legal measures to avert such.
    why so much hate against Arsenal?,
    city are not playing, utd may be given chance to mount pressure on a top four position.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think the problem is, and stand to be corrected, the fourth officials are linked to the refs via microphones. Indeed , FIF makes the claim they are linked to unseen people watching in some match centre, if he is correct, this is well outside the laws of the game.
    But such conspiracy theories aside, the mere presence of a senior ref like Dean, should he have an agenda , would be sufficient to bend the will of a ref lower in the food chain that is ambitious , or wants to keep at this level…at the very least, and knows he is onto a good thing when he sees it.
    As for the thugs at Utd, take the point about said thugs and divers having retired, or not being available, but they still exist at the club……remembering what rookie Paddy MCNair did to Wilshere….unpunished of course under Mike Deans watchful, northern eye.
    The strange thing is, Mike Dean was a reasonable ref for us until Mike Riley became PGMOL head…..David Dein was sacked..Dean started getting more and more games involving the monied teams…….take your pick, or add to the list!

  • Nicky

    @Andrew&Andy Mack,
    You may both be right,
    My thoughts were restricted solely to the minutes on the field of play. Didn’t think that Dean could nobble him at halftime (and woe betide his behaviour in the second half)..Grrr.

  • Andy Mack

    timo, one thing I have noticed is how often refs play the ‘advantage’ for us when it’s no benefit.
    If we’re 3 against 2 and one of ours is taken out then they’ll play advantage 2 against 2. But if we’re 4 against 2 and one of ours is taken out then the foul is called even though we’re still 3 against 2. It seems to be a special thing where we only get the advantage if it leaves us in a worse position…

  • anybody know the dean statistics as the 4th official for arsenal

  • apo Armani

    whatever…this League is RIGGED!!!

    Anyone watch the Chelsea or Leicester games today will come to the same conclusion.

    I have been saying since the start of the season (after our very first game) that PIGMob will decide…and will not change my opinion.

    Its a shame that the PL had to come to this!

  • jake

    pretty sure we will get nothing from the ref and tbh look back at the us vs leeds games, it stretches back from before the invincibles,

    little later on a liverpool handball in the final of the fa cup not punished and nothing seems to be changing oh wait it is its getting fucking worse

  • mojola

    Sometimes I wish these referees would have the opportunity to come officiate a Nigeria professional football league match some years back when fans roundly dealt with referees at the slightest indication of bias whether actual or perceived.

  • Menace

    Radio interference is the answer. Easily done because its a fixed frequency. White noise is easy to generate & prevent their agenda.

  • Menace

    mojola – you’re welcome to take them. Use them as officials & feed them to the wild life if you want the wild life poisoned!

  • Menace

    Watched the SFC v CFC game & Atkinson was true to his team. He let play continue as if it were advantage when it was a foul by Chelsea to the point where they scored. It was a typical Gods of Football by PGMO performance. Dean was a little less obvious in the Sunderland game.

  • Gord


    You have an electronics background I think. Interference would make it difficult for deany to do his job, but it doesn’t help football fans. How much RF leakage would his headphones have? What if someone took a directional antenna (pringles) inside. Could that pick up RF from the headphones?

    If the signal comes through something which flashes a LED, there are optical things which can pick that up and convert it to digital audio. I don’t know how difficult it is, I imagine it isn’t trivial.

  • para

    After yesterdays results it is now set up for the refs to increase the lead spuds has over Arsenal, the very two teams to play today. Not looking good at all.

    With our dip in form this season and lack of goals, it has not got any easier. I do worry that our form seems not to be improving and our focus and sharpness has also degraded.

    AW in his interview today does not fill me with much confidence at all. He appears to me to be still angry, and maybe this will again spur the team on to a magnificent performance.

    All that said, Arsenal is capable of wonders and now needs to man up again.

  • Menace

    Gord – Yes. Iam a retired IT hardware / software troubleshooter. No need to focus on RF leakage as signal is radio & broadcast to receiver/transmitter of the officials. Capturing signal is not an issue & I’m surprised no one has recordings of PGMO conversations. Off the shelf receivers are available. Many plane spotters use these to listen in to the air/ground conversation near airports. The noise would only be to scramble communication between officials. Issues are it may interfere with other radio broadcasts including emergency.

  • markyb

    I’m sure Dean only booked the Hull diver because we were on a break with the clear advantage.

  • Gord

    I would imagine that most teams would take a dim view of someone bringing a “scanner” type radio into the game.

    In terms of content on the PGMO channel, I would kind of expect it to be encrypted in some way. Might it be encrypted in a really dumb way? Wasn’t it CopyCat that encrypted data by XOR?

    But a person could probably bring in a SDR configured to play commercial radio. And maybe change the configuration once in the grounds, to pick up these other frequencies. I think most stadiums approximate a Faraday cage, except with the top open. The only really good place to record radio originating inside the stadium would probably be in a drone flying above, and that is now frowned upon. SDR inside might be an alternative.

    Just guessing. I’m “just” a materials person, not really supposed to know anything about what materials are used for. 🙂

  • blacksheep63

    Andrew, much as enjoy your referee reviews I do not appreciate the use of the word ‘rape’ in relation to a football match.
    It bothers me that this word which describes an appalling crime (usually but not always against women) has become a commonly used adjective for one-sided games of football or a poor performance. So for you you to apply it here (‘A return visit only 5 weeks after that rape’) is in my view, unacceptable

    best wishes

  • finsbury

    “Today we face one of the toughest challenges in English football.”
    LVG’s programme notes

    Nope he’s not talking about the team or club or manager that is constantly vilified by a press corps that only succeed in lampooning themselves and their readers. He wouldn’t be referring to his opponents football before a football match would he? Could it happen?

    He’s not referring to the presstitutes, don’t think he has much time for them.

    And neither is he referring to having to carry the burden, the hopes and dreams and strong sense of self worth that emanates from the modern and screeching celebrity fan or even the self-declared Expert (in finance, physiotherapy, football etc.) that spend their time attempting and failing to troll other people’s blogs.

    He is of course talking about about the pigMOB.