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October 2016
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Do referees influence results or not?

By Walter Broeckx

For many years Untold Arsenal have been looking at referee performances. When Arsenal lose a match and we point at the errors of the ref some people dismiss our analysis and call it sour grapes or say we are bad losers. But as you can see in our reviews we also don’t accept bad referee performances even when we win. So win, lose or draw we call it as we have seen it. Was the ref good or bad doesn’t depend on the final result. On the table of shame you can also find matches we won.

So with that made clear we come to the next thing that is rather strange. People ignore our reviews or brush them aside as not relevant. Referees are not a reason why we drop points they say.

But when we get a decision in our favour these same people come on Untold and throw it at our feet. Saying things like: now eat that. You see there is no conspiracy. There is no proof of bias against Arsenal. The reason is that they said this is because one goal from West Ham had been cancelled for a wrong offside decision. See, no bias against Arsenal.

People who really saw nothing wrong with the challenge from Carroll on Koscielny for the other disallowed goal from West Ham…. well sorry but you don’t know anything about the laws of the game. You cannot grab a player with both arms and hold him back. That is a foul. Period.

But still one said that we should have lost 5-3 and that the ref gave us the draw. And based on this this person probably will come to the conclusion that there never ever has been a bias against Arsenal in this season or on the past seasons.

But there is the twist. By saying such things the poster does in fact admit that referees have an influence on the final result. But that is something they deny as long as Arsenal is on the receiving end of those decisions. If we are dropping points because referees make mistakes then it is not the fault of the referee. No it is Wenger’s fault. Or him or us making excuses.

However when we benefit once (and there is a lot to say about the man who gave the assist to that disallowed goal being on the field) they suddenly find this as evidence that referees do influence the final result.

But you cant have it both ways. And you can be sure that we do take it both ways. As you will probably find out once the referee review is done and published. We have done so on other instances when we were lucky. I remember a penalty for handball not given against Mertesacker at Swansea. We don’t hide from that.

Thus when we suffer, others dismiss it and hide away from it. It us one way traffic for them. When Arsenal benefit they consider it evidence that there is no bias against Arsenal. The fact is they have to wait usually some 10 matches to find such an evidence once.  On the other hand we found more than 90 decisions where Arsenal didn’t get the call that was justified by the ref. But that is brushed aside. Not relevant.

Now you can say that we are biased. And yes we don’t hide that we are all Arsenal supporters doing the reviews. I then like to point at the season when we did reviews with non-Arsenal supporting referee reviewers and in that season we came to the final result that the bias against Arsenal was bigger than ever before in our reviewing career. It still is on the internet. On the website refereedecisions. Just google it.

But let us for the sake accept that we are biased. And from time to time people question a certain decision. I would say somewhere around 1-5% of the decisions. In fact it is less but let us for the sake of it even say that our bias is making us wrong for 10% of what we find. Then still we have more than 80 decisions going against us in roughly some 30 matches.

Now as those people who brush our findings away as non relevant do find it relevant when we benefit… then why do they brush it away when we are on the suffering end of referee mistakes?

Is it because it doesn’t fit their narrative that Wenger is the one and only to blame for all and everything that goes wrong with Arsenal results in the PL?

Or you say that referees never influence results and that is fine if you really believe that. I also once believed in Santa Claus bringing me presents.  But then you shouldn’t mention it when we get the odd decision in our favour. Because you can’t pick it when it suits your agenda. Accept referees influence results or don’t. But accept the consequences of your point of view.

Based on our reviews you can say that wrong decisions have cost us at least around 10-15 points this season. That is based on our findings. We could even say more but I even want to lower the real number we have found and accept that even we could be biased for about 50%. Even if we accepted that we would get a count of around 12 missed points because of bad referee decisions.

So for those who say we should have lost 5-3 against West Ham I could say, okay I take your point and admit we got 1 point too much now. But are you willing to accept our reviews and say… oh wait a minute we should have had around 12-13 points more this season if referees had made the correct decisions…..  I am willing to say: yes we got a point because of a referee mistake against West Ham. But then I reserve the right to counter that with our findings in our referee reviews. And then the league table would look completely different.

And for those who say this is biased… just search for the alternative league table somewhere in November from a national newspaper in which they said that Leicester at the time had won some five points to much because of referee errors. And in that table we would have won more points because we suffered from referee errors. Not an Arsenal supporting website that said that.

So to answer my question: yes referees influence final results in matches.


Anniversairestoday’s are on the home page and the full index is to be found here

11 April 1961: Bob Dylan made his first live appearance.  You might not be aware that on the internet there is also Untold Dylan – that gets quite a big audience too.

11 April 1964: Arsenal 0 Blackburn 0.  Arsenal had brought forward their final home game in order to install undersoil heating in the summer.  The matchday programme included a note saying that a meeting among London clubs had agreed to fix next season’s ground entry price at 4 shillings (20p) with an enclosure for schoolchildren added (admission 10p).

Untold Arsenal has published five books on Arsenal – all are available as paperback and three are now available on Kindle.  The books are

  • The Arsenal Yankee by Danny Karbassiyoon with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.
  • Arsenal: the long sleep 1953 – 1970; a view from the terrace.  By John Sowman with an introduction by Bob Wilson.
  • Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football.  By Tony Attwood, Andy Kelly and Mark Andrews.
  • Making the Arsenal: a novel by Tony Attwood.
  • The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal by Mark Andrews.

You can find details of all five on our new Arsenal Books page

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55 comments to Do referees influence results or not?

  • Alex

    Simple summary will be incompetent manager.

    Had we win the league i guess (wich was highly expected-) you wouldn’t be bothered to write all this.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Alex, I think it was generally expected that Chelsea would run away with the title again and Man City was a possible outsider. I hoped for more, but in live you don’t always get what you hope for. Something I can live with.

  • Josif

    Now that is the way the make a point.

    The referees have been doing Arsenal this season big time. Here is a bit about penaltiy decisions.

    We have had two penalties for this season. Referees who have dared to point to the spot: Mark Clattenburg and Kevin Friend.

    We have had two penalty calls going our way (as opposed to at least ten going against us). Referees who have done it: Mark Clattenburg and Kevin Friend.

    However, given how Clattenburg did us against West Brom and Everton, I have to make a sour joke: Arsenal have only one Friend in PGMO this season, all the others are our foes.

  • Alex

    So do i Mr. Walter
    I was one of your passionate reader during the financial low times.
    But was not the case all along as leicester case demonstrate.

    Arsenal football club is a money making for few entities and Arsene is their servant and will be remembered for that as well.

  • nicky

    There you are Walter, the ultimate accolade.
    Alex was one of your passionate readers
    (but only in the financial low times).
    The moral presumably must be
    “Don’t read Walter when the Club is financially buoyant”. 😉

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Mr Broeckx, by your reckoning, Arsenal should have been on 59 + 13 = 72 points in the League table as the same points as Leiceter who are currently sitting.comfortably on top of the League table.

    Should this be the case, then, one will be tempted to ask if the winning of the Barclays Premier League title this season has been fixed?

    I think there has to be a criminal investigation by the Scotland Yard to find out if the winning of the BPL this season has actually been fixed by the FA and the PGMOL.

    Nevertheless, Arsenal MUST wake up from their slumbers and win all their remaining 6 BPL games of this season irrespective of whether the winning of the title has been fixed or not.

    Arsenal MUST learn how they can be winning their matches against the odds of the Pgmol officiating against Arsenal. Heaven helps those who helps themselves! Arsenal MUST help themselves to win their remaining 6 BPL games lawfully and leave the rest to God to judge.

  • norman14

    Watching the Leicester v Sunderland game yesterday, I was convinced that conspiracy or not, the referee certainly assisted in the outcome, even if he didn’t deliberately influence it.

    I say that, simply because Sunderland were never going to score, not if they played till the end of the week – they were that poor in front of goal. The 3 big Leicester defenders – Fuchs, Huth and Morgan, were at “ease” against the likes of Defoe and Borini. However, the number of times that they individually held or manhandles the Sunderland forwards approached embarrassing to say the least. Huth, in particular, plays like that week in, week out, and referees turn a blind eye to his antics.

    However, can it be said that Leicester are winning the EPL simply because of favourable officials? Probably. That only becomes a possibility though, if other officials in other games are complicit. Therein, I feel, lies the problem. Leicester have had TEN penalties this season, but only 2 given against them. That IS questionable.

    There are two more elements to the conspiracy theories that should be investigated. As well as the FA and PGMOL, bookmakers and the media must also be complicit in the way this season is panning out.

    Before the season kicked off, we were not given a cat in hell’s chance of winning the title. Top 4 didn’t include us, and even the Thursday League was out for most media “experts”. So why, because we now can’t win the title, is it suddenly “this was Arsenal’s chance”? Why wasn’t it Chelsea, Man United, City or Liverpool’s chance?

    It’s a lot more than PGMOL – it’s a total scam!

  • Goonermikey

    Indisputable by anyone with any objectivity Walter.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    How come is it that the PIGMOB supporters don’t put up banners in praise of
    ” all that is best that England offers ” ? I’m sure that being human …………………… , they would really appreciate your kind sentiments .

    How about , ” Mike Riley rocks !”, or ” PIGMOB RULES OK !” ,or “England’s finest !” . Or praise the ref of your choice , in your own words .

    After all they do their very best to keep the game flowing , and ignore all that faking and swishy cheating that those bloody foreigners are bound to try . They make your chest swell with pride.

    As for us AKBs -, well , they make us puke !

  • Rich

    Excellent post, Walter (Continental ref)

    I’ve thought before that a good way to challenge the accusation of bias against your reviews was to say that even if you are wrong on,say, 10 or 20% of the calls then that still leaves the refereeing against us looking very bad.

    For me, it’s 5-10% of your calls, at the very most, which are debatable.

    Want to add something I noticed in Martin Samuel’s column yesterday. Always tricky to assign importance to the views of a journalist, but I found this a corker which does have relevance to the issues we talk about:

    ‘Andy Carroll was magnificent against Arsenal on Saturday, and the calls for him to be included in Roy Hodgson’s European Championship squad were inevitable.
    Yet, it is quite possible his physical approach in that match would have brought two yellow cards from a continental referee. This is not Carroll’s fault, but something Hodgson must consider.
    Strikers of his extreme physicality are uncommon outside England. If Carroll plays in his normal style, he will concede an excessive number of free-kicks.’

    There we have it. Those damn continental refs (everyone, everywhere, but England?) and their lousy ideas about how to judge football, unduly clamping down on extreme physicality and interfering with the magnificence of a disgusting challenge five mins in, a forearm to the chops, and plenty of other fouls. Curse them.

    Thing is, it wouldn’t be quite as galling if that was just the way things are in England. Across the board, extreme physicality permitted for all, broken legs typically needed for a straight red, a massive reluctance to ever produce a second yellow.

    You’d have to forget about playing particularly stylish football, yes, and have to pack your team with players of extreme physicality; every game a brutal battle; every team making allowances for losing plenty to injuries from fouls. But at least you could prepare for it, and at least, if you didn’t think it the best way, you could accept it’s the same for everyone.

    But…that is not England at all. Extreme physicality is ok one day, or one minute, on another a straight red can come out for, say, catching the ankle with low power like Giroud did against Fulham, or two yellows can arrive for two grabs of the shirt no where near your goal, or for routine yellows like Coquelin’s the other day. Sometimes, often even, the laws are applied absolutely in line with the actual laws. Continental reffing or laws of the game reffing, if you like.

    So, how can you know- will it be English reffing at any moment, or continental laws? Nobody knows. Your only guide is to observe these refs over time. That gives you a reasonable guide but still isn’t much help when you’re out there in the thick of it, maybe on the wrong end of extreme physicality, yet suspecting, based on past events, you could easily be judged harshly should you try and match it.

    ‘Quite possible his physical approach in that match would have brought two yellows from a continental referee.’

    You got to love it. I think that might be a man at war with how much he enjoyed and approved of Saturday’s events, knowing that to endorse it fully stretches his own internal credibility.

  • Mick

    It is inexplicable that the AAA/WOB mob will cite any reason from Wengers outdated training methods, not spending any money, no leaders/spine/backbone, wrong tactics, lousy finishing, useless medical staff, too much ticky tacky, trying to walk the ball in, refusal to take long shots etc etc etc as causes for our not winning any particular match or the league (all feasible possibilities as most on Untold would agree) but will not concede the entirely legitimate fact that referee decisions can and do also influence results.
    Maybe John, who seems to be the resident AAA/WOB spokesman on Untold can give us a plausible answer to this perplexing question.

  • I think you’ll find that the disallowed ‘off-side’ West Ham goal was the ‘it all evens out in the end’ moment for the disallowed ‘off-side’ Aaron Ramsey goal v Liverpool.
    The only difference being that had these been officiated correctly and lead to West Ham beating us and us beating Liverpool, we would actually be 1 point better off. 1 win and 1 loss beats 2 draws. So the ‘it all evens out in the end’ theory still doesn’t even out.

  • timo

    team talk did a review and think Carrol antics could be tolerated by 3/5 0f their referees, and west ham should have a penalty and a goal. i dont know who their referees are or have special glasses to watch. EPL LOOKS predictable by looking at the ref card. whoever is between 3rd and fifth right now will be slowed down for a favorite to play catch up. west ham might suffer till end of season to eliminate competition for fourth.
    next weekend looks a perfect opportunity, villa will get almost no chance at OT. Expect already on holiday Chelsea to have fringe benefits from the ref vs CITY. Leicester are lucky to play WEST HAM at such a moment. As for ARSENAL on Sunday pray we play at 110%, no disrespect to them but Palace+ref, is just more than an opponent.

  • Menace

    Yes referees influence results. The teams that play usually do so under the watchful eye of a set of officials. They decide the level of fair play & implementation of the Laws. The Law in any walk of life can be interpreted slightly differently. In football however there are specific published added instructions to referees to ensure some level of similarity & consistency.

    In the EPL the PGMO seem to have a different set of ‘added instructions’ not published & contrary to the Laws of the game. These seem to be very wrong for sport.

  • thierryhenry22

    It’s very very interesting how those who slander these articles come with ZERO evidence for their point of view. I’m finding it really hard to not see most of these people as thick as shit.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Referees clearly influence results, as we have seen to our cost, time and time again.
    But , as our home game against Leicester recently, may possibly have demonstrated, the crowd may get to refs as well. ur fans in the stadium should use that tactic more often.
    On another note, I see an online WOB God, the man who originally suggested Wenger be replaced by Owen Coyle has admitted this morning, to having been a Spurs fan. The WOB should take more care in who they are influenced by.

  • Gouresh

    so the question I’ve asked many a times….what is the club doing or going to do about this?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think we would all like to know the answer to that Gouresh.
    I doubt if City, Utd, Chelsea or Liverpool would silently put up with the standard of refereeing our players are regularly on the end of…let alone the Spanish and German giants.
    I hope Wenger tells the world what he surely knows after he has retired.

  • Gouresh

    Hi Mandy,
    What’s the point to speaking after he retires? The 1st question people would ask is “what the hell was the club and you doing all these years?”
    We know that something is amiss and I am sure that the club and AW knows a lot more

  • Rich

    Keen to make a stat-based contribution to the site occasionally so I checked up the red card situation in the last 3 seasons (including this one)

    question that got me started was thinking about that Carroll challenge and exactly how many straight reds opposition players had seen against us in recent years. I was drawing a blank until someone came up with Mitrovic from this year

    Turns out that is the only one over three seasons. We have six in that time.

    Straight reds 6 (65, 80, 15, 53, 45, 18), ; Opp players 1.(16)

    Taking total red (2 yellows + straight reds) cards into account the figure for the same period is :

    Reds for (Arsenal players sent off) 10 ; Reds against (opp’ players sent off) 6

    7 of those for us came before the 70-minute mark( 67, 65, 80, 15; 78,53; 45, 18, 79,55) , whereas with the opposition only two did so and the remaining 4 occurred on 84 minutes or later (89, 90, 84, 16, 90, 54)

    Compiled the figures from following website-

    -which is nicely organised to select a season and click through games quickly to check for sendings off.

    Hoping I’ve made no errors and would be surprised (dismayed) if there’s more than one in there.

    These stats offer no definitive proof of anything, but to me constitute valid supporting evidence to anyone who feels there is something wrong with our treatment from referees.

    I don’t know if it is a good term for it but they seem to defy the laws of probability and common sense, especially after taking into account the obvious truth that we are not a dirty football team.

  • Stefan

    You’re absolutely right, refs clearly influence decisions.
    I sure it’s annoying listening to people who dismiss this.
    When an argument is polarised as it is now between Arsenal fans, people don’t like to give an inch.

    By the same argument, it can be frustrating for the people who want change to never hear a bad word said against our manager.

    It would be great to hear references to bad luck and refs on this site AND still have space to discuss the manager’s performance.
    Perhaps you would see it as giving in to those sitting on the other side of the fence. I don’t know.

    But it is ever so hard to read articles here that blame results so consistently on the refs and bad luck, and on nothing else.
    I used to do that too when times were tough, but I just cannot justify it any more as the sole reason.
    Simply because I just cannot believe bad results over the last 5-10 years can be just down to these factors.
    And because I’m no longer blinkered so mistakes being made again and again which any discussion should at least reference.
    They are so glaring a passing comment at least is warranted, even if on balance you still believe Wenger is good for the club.

    But never mind all that.
    I’m going to assume for a minute our lack of trophies and achievement is all down to refs and luck, and not the manager.
    By that argument, when times were good then, we just had the luck and refs liked us back then. Wenger really had nothing to do with it.
    But if he rightly takes some credit for our successes, surely he must take a little bit of the blame when it doesn’t go well. At least a little.
    Surely the conspiracy against us didn’t start exactly when results faltered.
    As you say, you cannot have it both ways.

    I used to be 100% behind Wenger, now I’d like him gone. That’s ok. I’ve changed my mind. It’s ok to do that.
    Please know that most Wenger out types haven’t been of that persuasion for ever. They like me changed their mind, based on what they saw.

    By the way, can you tell me if there is a point at which those of you who support Wenger would hypothetically like to see a change in management? Just hypothetically? Lack of CL football, league position, over what period of years must it go on for? Or is Wenger untouchable?


  • John

    I do agree that refereeing decisions can influence and have an effect on matches as sometimes they don’t see offences and have a different opinion on incidents that have happened during the game.But for whatever crazy reason to say that it only happens to Arsenal and that they are affected the most is plain wrong and stupid.If you asked or went onto any other fans websites they would tell you that their team were affected more that any other.That is just human nature.I do think that the manager of a club has a bigger effect on matches and the team ,from picking the team ,employing the tactics,making tactical substutions and getting the players mentally right.To say when we are 13 pts off Leicester that its down to referees is plain wrong.The abject performances against utd swansea and watford when it really mattered was down to our players and the manager!!!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Stefan, cannot speak for others on here I am sure we all have different thresholds on what is and isnt acceptable on Wenger and many other issues. And the season has not finished yet, we will not win the league, but maybe second place is an option, surely it would be madness sacking him in the last year of his contract for finishing second or third. Nor should 4th be a sackable offence in the circumstances for our most successful manager. Outside the top 4 – not going to happen now, so no point even commenting on that.
    Wenger is not untouchable….well… some say he is with Stan, but we do not know that…but whatever our thresholds or criteria for change, it doesnt matter in the scheme of things. Wenger will know when its time to go, he knows a lot more about the realities of the club, players, improvements, perhaps constraints, possible successors than we do, so in the absence of a complete catastrophe, which is highly unlikely under Arsene Wenger he will be in post a while longer…. at least until the end of his contract.
    There is clearly some work to be done, and should he conspicuously fail to do this work, which I sincerely doubt will be the case, then yes, he may place himself in a more precarious position…with some… than he needs to regarding a new contract, , but in reality, looking forward to a strong finish in the coming weeks, and a strong 2016-2017….when changes behind the scenes may start yielding dividends we have yet to fully see. They say the league is going to be tougher than ever next year, Wenger will rise to this challenge, I am sure there in things being planned or in place already. should it go badly wrong next year, …which it wont BTW, I believe Wenger will refuse a new contract, Stans apparent loyalty alone wouldnt keep Wenger should he feel it time to go.

  • Tom

    Good post.
    Unlike you, I don’t want Wenger relieved of his duties for a couple of reasons. Mainly because he is still under contract and I don’t believe he’s done anything to warrant the termination of said contract.
    Also, it would be a slap in a face to turnish his illustrious managerial career with, what would be in effect, a firing of him.
    The fact that I believe he’s been underperforming on many fronts is irrelevant, because I don’t think he’s missed out on what the board set out he needed to achieve, which is clearly top four and only top four.
    Everything else would be a bonus.
    Having said that, I don’t believe anyone should have a job for life , which is probably what the answer to your question directed to UA proprietors is.

    Your ref reviews suffer a credibility issue due to numerous factors, not the least of which are a lack of any balance whatsoever in regards to any match analysis. ” A bad day at the office” , or “Arsenal weren’t at their best”
    aren’t any real attempts at analyzing the team’s play, but are a standard go to ‘s on here.

    Also, apart from a dozen or so of real die hards on here, most other posters have realized that factual reporting is often times ignored in favor of popular opinion.
    Case in point; one of the latest postings by Proudkev , which in part was proven to be flawed from the statistical point of view, and when this fact was clearly brought to the site proprietor’s attention, no subsequent amendments were made.

    I’m even wheeling to ignore personal opinions , such as ” Suarez bites people to facilitate a move to a bigger club”, which is a lunacy, or ” Arsenal job is so toxic and unattractive ” that there would be no managers interested in doing it if Wenger left”, which is another gem.

    It’s a shame really, because I see it as opportunity lost to put some fire to PGMO’s feet , seeing as THERE IS a clear anti – Arsenal bias amongst the PL referees and it’s costing Arsenal ( among other things not related to refereeing) a real shot at the league title every season.

  • Rich

    Walter, we may have been missing a trick all along when posing questions about what PGMOL’S reviews of matches look like in contrast to the ones produced here : Dermot Gallagher

    Not a complete review, but a great insight.

    A cynic might say that the verdicts Gallagher gives are little more than a calculated attempt to influence people, cover mistakes, and generally do whatever is in pgmol’s interest to maintain their credibility; and that if he was responsible for a match report covering the same incidents he might say something else, but we can’t be cynical all the time…

    His most recent ref review is a masterpiece in my opinion. If it is in line with the general pgmol view and perception of the game then at last we have quite a good guide to how they see things and what is likely to be in their own reviews.

    For instance, Carrol’s early ‘tackle’ was definitely not a red, absolutely not- ‘It was early in the game, it wasn’t really nasty and, while it’s not nice, the referee has got that right’- though he may have been lucky not to get a 2nd yellow for the elbow.

    perhaps my favourite part is this (about that tackle) ‘A yellow card was fair, it did set the tone for a great, feisty game to watch.’

    So refs have…erm, an appreciation of a tackle like that…for the part it can play in setting up a great, feisty game? Weird. I’d never have imagined them approaching the game from that angle. If they do, well, I guess it explains some pecualiarities.

    But wait, he’s not keen on all foul play and the good it can do for the game. His harsh words are reserved for Gabriel. YEP. Gabriel was very lucky NOT TO BE SENT OFF for lashing out at, and narrowly missing Carrol after a foul. The tone is very different here. It would not have made any good contribution to the game, that foul. And, unlike Carroll’s, which was so deliberate and definitely dangerous, but which was certainly no more than a yellow, this one should probably have been red because…God knows.

    The enthusiasm for Carroll’s play radiates off the page, while for Gabriel the ex-ref seems to have taken it almost personally, his condemnation is very clear. He sounds pretty sore that Gabriel got away with it. there wasn’t any ‘need’ to try kick Carroll (presumably there was a need for Carroll to do his number on Kos- for the good of the game, maybe?)

    Later on, discussing a horror leg break in another game he offers a reminder that it is not about the damage caused when judging if it’s a red or not, but the danger of injury; or, ‘It was dangerous as a tackle because of the tackle, it didn’t become dangerous because the player suffered such an horrific injury’

    Strange talk from Gallagher there as surely the main thing is trying to get a good feisty game going, and that challenge could have helped if not for a bit of bad luck.

    Anyway, I think it’s a masterpiece of a kind. And if that is the quality of review pgmol are actually performing, and judging and instructing their refs with, then the whole thing becomes a fair bit more understandable.

    It seems quite likely Gallagher is still employed by PGMOL in some capacity (he’s listed in their section on the prem website as doing some work for them), so maybe he helps out with some of the reviews.

  • Zedsaunt

    What massively complicates the issue – every pound spent on the TV Rights to transmit the EPL is a pound spent to continue the activites of the PGMO. Buy the EPL, buy the PGMO. Some might say – I’m one of them – the PGMO is the guarantee of the theatre, and the theatre of the EPL is the guarantee of the cash flow. Football as a sport barely comes into it.

    Sport as soap opera. Sport as a betting market. Sport as 24/7 TV wall screen filler.

    The EPL has nothing to do with football, everything to do with making a profit. This makes it damn difficult for the Arsenal Board to get behind Mr Wenger and demand a level playing field: it makes it damn difficult for Mr Wenger himself to demand a level playing field.

    Just the geographic distribution alone of the PGMO panel of referees should be enough to disqualify the PGMO as an unbiased panel of referees upholding the rules of football.

    It might well be the case that the fans themselves will have to act against the PGMO.

    As for PGMO referee bias season 2015/2016

    Leicester City 8 penalties
    Arsenal 1

  • Zedsaunt

    Rich posts

    ”perhaps my favourite part is this (about that tackle) ‘A yellow card was fair, it did set the tone for a great, feisty game to watch.’

    Gallagher’s comments tell you everything.

  • Mick

    Nobody on this site claims bad decisions are exclusive to Arsenal. And you are right to say that supporters of other clubs think they are hard done by as well. And it is simply untrue to say that Untold writers and commenters always blame everything on the ref when things go pear shaped. We all agree for example that our shooting has been lousy this season which is a contributory factor to some poor results.
    However the fact remains though that Walters Untold ref reviews, Debatable Decisions web site and two newspapers have looked into the ref decisions accuracy and all four have come to the same conclusion. Arsenal suffer more than anyone else from poor decisions. Three out of four sources with no connection to Arsenal (so no bias there we can assume), even if you discount Walters findings because you think them biased.
    That is more than enough evidence for me to smell a great big, fat, rat.
    If you or anyone else can provide some concrete data to show that things do indeed even themselves out in the end and that Arsenal do not repeatably get the shitty end of the decisions stick then I will be gladly review my opinion.

  • finsbury

    Do referees influence results

    if they didn’t then they wouldn’t have ever been asked to take the field in the first place. I’d like to see the logic loop that can be applied to the MOBs defence here.

    When they start to apply their own personal interpretations as ‘Game Managment’ as can be unequivocally* observed from Gallegher’s summary (thanks to Rich for that!) then they are no longer applying the laws of the game but indulging in something altogther quite different.

    The show must go on.

    Looking forward into the kind of forensic investigations into LCFCs owners that we get when the meedjah misrepresent the cost of an AFC ticket.

    *20th century aids for the officals such as replays in otehr sports still manage to maintain repsect for the on-field officals judgement call on tricky calls. Where there is a will, there has been a way.
    When the likes of 5live debate officals oyu’ll never hear such simple common sense. Or sensible references to other sports. You’ll get joey barton and the partners of the owners of LCFC instead spouting forth swith some gibberish or other.

  • bjtgooner


    Good comment re Gallagher.

    I further noticed last week in the Sky trailers pre the w/e matches that the trailers showed a series of crunching & unfair tackles, some verging on assault level – in other words Sky were advertising their perception of the “English Game” – an extremely violent confrontation – rather than an exhibition of footballing skill.

    This mindset by Sky is a major part of the problem & the development of thuggery rather than skill is one of the reasons the national team rarely does well in international tournaments.

    Gallagher does know better, but is unfortunately part of the PGMO/media propaganda system.

    Walter – a good article – yes the refs do influence matches – re our missing 25 points!

  • Mick


    ‘For instance, Carrol’s early ‘tackle’ was definitely not a red, absolutely not- ‘It was early in the game…..’

    What a ridiculous statement from a top referee!
    How is the time in which an incident occurs relevant. A foul is a foul whether it is the first minute or the last and should be sanctioned accordingly if necessary.

  • Zedsaunt

    It is the guiding principle of all Health & Safety Legilsation that no person should come to work and risk injury or death.

    If that tackle on Kos had resulted in a broken leg, then what would have been Dermot Gallagher’s response then?

    A red card too early in the game? It set the scene for a feisty encounter?

    Eduardo’s injury was so horrific Sky TV did not transmit the tackle which destroyed his career. Your wonderful, freedom loving all action TV broadcaster. Hypocrisy rots everything it touches.

  • Mick

    Gallagher is an absolute twat, he shouldn’t be taken seriously, but unfortunately he is by the media who never question what he says.
    A good example of his nonsense was his assertion after the Leicester game that the referee was correct not to have blown for a foul on Ozil in the build up to the Vardy penalty dive. The only person in England, other than Danny Murphy, who did not think it was a foul.

  • No one knows what goes on behind closed door’s and certainly not at Arsenal. If people who do not want to see the ref’s reports on here for what they show then let them start writing their own reports on matches and publish then here on this site and let’s see what they show from the first minute till the last. Let them do those reports like Walter and others do and let’s see how they compare. Show your evidence, but don’t come on here to try and rubbish the work that is put in by honest people who call it as they see it on the field on play as they have refereeing experience.
    Now people on here see what has been going on for to long time and ask why AW has not spoken out about all that is occurring.
    He has asked for blood testing and look who turns up the next day to test Arsenal players.
    I truly believe that in many ways his hands have been tied behind his back. If he speaks out on his own and there are those in management who cannot or will not speak out because they are implicit in this and let’s not forget that AWenger is and always will be an outsider in the English PL .
    This man came along and changed the English way of preparing for matches and changed the diet of players and no more drinking was allowed.
    He wanted to play football in the way it should be played but was laughed at by other managers and other supporters. He did get his teams to play the most beauiful football seen in the EPL. Now other teams and their managers did not like it and thus we can see clearly with the challenges to Ramsey, Diaby and Edurdo and others who were out for month’s on end because this upstart Wenger comes here and tries to change the playing field and let’s show him and his team’s how EPL teams play the English way by breaking players leg’s the elbows flying the stomping on players legs and let’s not forget the choke hold’s and blatant shoving a of players in the face just to mention a few.
    No matter what Wenger does he cannot win with even people who are supposed to love this club. He is even blamed for the players who have been out for so long yet none of us know what has gone on behind the scene’s and if the players have contributed to it taking so long. We don’t know and he will never say if that has been the case because of his loyalty to these players, be nice if they felt the same way with him.
    I don’t know if it has to do with the medical team but I would doubt it.
    If he needs to change that team he will, everything he does its for the sake of this club. He sends these players out on the pitch to preform and for those who say he does not do tactic’s well it’s just another example of anything that they can clutch at and makes them look so foolish.
    He changed this club and took us to a new Stadium when those players who he had nurtured and made them Star’s left like rats from a sinking ship
    When he Needed them the Most to help the transition period and it could have made all the difference to us then.
    We do not have the money of other Club,s like Man City, Man Utd Chealsea, Real Mad, Barca and PSG. The club did not want to drown in debt and he knew this and helped but knew his hands again once more were tied. This is why this man will always have my support, he took this club to a better place way ahead of time and the football I have been privileged to watch has at times been breathtaking and the only what teams could compete was but hacking players down and nearly ending careers. Yes he has his faults but what he has brought to Arsenal FC and English Football will be in the spoken about long after he he and myself are gone. Given an even playing field we could have won a lot more.
    His honestly is something that the PMGO do not like at all and it’s the reason or at least one of them as to why there is so much bias against him and the team’s he puts out. The money that is in the game now speaks for itself and its tentacles reaches far, and if people can’t it won’t expect that then that is up to you, I feel really sorry for you because one day hopefully you will stop listening to the message it’s all Wengers fault but then again I really do not care.

  • If people can’t see that and will not except it then that’s up to you.

  • One more thing as I’ve seen someone post about ProudKev on here. We all make mistakes in life and this mistake was an honest one. Yet their are people in this world who think that they do not make any sort of mistakes whatsoever or at least will never admit to them. ProudKev is one of the great posters on here who I admire and have respect for. People taking cheap shots is totally out of order but I expect no less from some who come on here. I bet they have been waiting and watching for a mistake to be made so as to gloat. Tells me something of the character of people.
    Proud Kev I look forward to reading your posts as I’m sure many do on this site which was set up for the Pro Arsenal and Pro Wenger people. Why this site attracts so many of different opinions is a testament to those who write and set up this site as he seems they just can’t get enough of it.

  • gouresh

    mandy, just a question. why shoul aw decide when he should go? does he own the club?surly that should be 4he decision of the owner or management.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Gouresh, for starters , he has done nothing to have his contract terminated, so leaving this summer, unless on wengers terms is out of the question.
    After that, Stan will most likely offer Wenger a contract anyway, why wouldn’t he if he is the money obsessed man with no knowledge of the game his critics claim he is….but Wenger is a man of integrity, if he has done well next season, my guess he will stay, if he hasn’t, and there is a successor, there is surely a good chance he will leave, but that will be his decision.

  • Pat

    Linda, some twerp sat and pressed the dislike button 23 times after your excellent post. Another Spurs fan maybe? Anyway, someone with enough hatred of Arsene Wenger and time on his or her hands to waste it like that.

    The earlier quotes from Dermot Gallagher show what we are up against match after match. Arsene Wenger used to comment on this type of play until he realised it just unleashed even more derision on him.

    He still comments on the refereeing sometimes but carefully so as to give the baying hounds of the media no excuse to call him a cry baby.

    He knows his only chance is to give his players the power, belief and positive strength to somehow outplay the opposing team and the ref match after match. This must take superhuman effort. We should all be grateful he still makes that effort. If it doesn’t always work, what right have we to be surprised?

  • @Gouresh. It is a two way street sir. He cannot stay one day longer than his employers want him to. But then, consider also that he also reserves the right to decline if he wants. No matter the amount of money on offer and whatever other ‘sweeteners’ may be added. If the man does not want to continue…. he is not bound by any law to stay. Except you think he is a slave or something like that.

    Arsene Wenger is still the manager today because his employers want him and ALSO because he is willing to continue. I expect that you should at least know that. Nobody can ever suppose that he will go when he wants, and only then. Am sure you also know that.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Pat , a lot of Spurs fans causing mischief..they sense a one in twenty year event. still think we will catch them, though, and they will lose their best players, like we once did.
    But, yes, Linda’s posts are excellent.
    Agree on Kev, Proud Kev come back, Arsenal need you!

  • bjtgooner

    Picking up on recent posts:-

    Linda – excellent post, don’t let the morons who have found out how to use the dislike buttons put you off.

    Proudkev – like others I am looking forward to your posts again!

  • @Proudkev is one of the reasons (not the only one) why I visit this site as regularly as I do. I cannot but agree with @Linda and stand up for him. So please lay off him, you lot who want to make collateral of any real or imaginary mistake. He has always been honest in his posts and if he made one mistake he should not be crucified for that. He’s a good man with a good heart and I can relate to that.

  • Tom

    Linda wrote:

    “People taking cheap shots is totally out of order but I expect no less from some who come on here. I bet they have been waiting and watching for a mistake to be made so as to gloat. Tells me something of the character of people.”

    Oh Linda ( sighs)

    Here’s the definition of gloating in case you are unfamiliar with the word’s meaning:
    Gloating( verb) – to feel or express a great pleasure or satisfaction because of your own success or good luck, or someone else’s failure or bad luck.

    And this is what I wrote:
    .”………..The latest posting from Proudkev , which in part was proven to be flawed from the statistical point of view, and when this fact was clearly brought to the site proprietor’s attention, no subsequent amendments were made”

    Where in there you saw examples of gloating, only you must know.

  • Tom

    Stan The Man

    I suppose Tony and Walter aren’t good people then, since I have referenced all three in my post and only the mentioning of Proudkev’s article brought about the backlash it has. 🙂

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Good post

    Proudkev where are you
    Waiting for your posts.
    Pls come back.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    ” You can go to thousands of places of worship , pray as much as you want ;
    but if you always think bad about about people , ruin the good they have done ;
    disrespect those who have done good to you ; talk only bad about people ;
    judge someone based on assumptions , then ,no prayer in the world can help you.”

    Anonymous .

  • Rich

    Gotta add my voice to those hoping to see Proudkev posting again soon.

    For what it’s worth, I had plenty of struggles with my wording when compiling for and against red card decisions yesterday.

    Get back here, mate.

    Felt a bit like this at times here this weekend.

  • Zedsaunt

    Certainly add my voice to those hoping to see Proudkev’s posts pretty soon.

    With the recent publicity about Leicester City’s financial/marketing shenanigans, and their likely winning of the EPL, and the naming of Sir Dave Richards as their marketing man in South East Asia, and their proximity to the FA’s training centre in Burton, and the sheer size of the betting industry in South East Asia, there are enough questions to go around.

    A perfect fairytale, a perfect storm.

  • Mick

    Me too, come back Proudkev, Untold needs posters like you.
    And Jambug, we don’t hear much from you now’days either.

  • Zedsaunt

    Howard Webb, born in Rotherham, an officer of the South Yorkshire Police. Sir Dave Richards, ex-chair of Sheffield Wednesday, ex-chair of the Premier League, steps down from the Premier League, takes a senior managerial position at Leicester City, his son sets up a company in Sheffield which becomes central in the financial shenanigans at Leicester City. Howard Webb retires from active refereeing and becomes Technical Director of PGMOB in 2015, everything is above board chaps. Don’t worry.

    Dave Richards knows a lot of Thai business people. So what? Leicester’s results change dramatically after Webb takes over as Technical Director of the PGMOB. Nothing to see here folks. Leicester City is the first Thai owned club to win the EPL. Nothing to note here, people. The betting market is massive in Thailand and throughout SE Asia. FIFA and Interpol have it under control. Irregular betting patterns are always noted. Trust us.

    Rest assured, everyone is fit and proper. The English do not do corruption. There is a point where the volume of money flowing through meets the control systems and generates the requirement to establish a conduit. Hence the shenanigans at Leicester City concerning FFP, David Richard’s lad stepping forward with a solution. David Conn in the Guardian has started to ask some questions. Others will have to follow.

    The only person missing from the rollcall is Paul Sykes, the Yorkshire businessman who has pumped millions into UKIP and the drive for the UK to leave the European Union. Sykes made his money in the 1970s buying up old busses and bus parts and exporting them to Thailand. In the early 1980s Mrs Thatcher’s economic policies razed huge chunks of the Sheffield steel industry to the ground, a vast acreage could be had for next to nothing. Sykes, an ardent Thatcherite, in partnership with another developer from Rotherham, stepped in and purchased a huge plot of land in Sheffield where the steel mills used to stand and built Meadow Hall, a huge shopping complex, the biggest in Yorkshire.

    You see the same faces stepping out into the light.

  • Zedsaunt

    Would these people be so crude? Football is the great elixir, the ever-lasting life in a provincial city, that precise moment at the hotel lobby bar where the man in a suit becomes the man he dreamt he could be when he played as a kid. Dave Richards, as a football man over decades, has come out with inflammatory statements about foreigners and footballers which, in themselves, deny football history.

    More, Fergie at OT had such control he had his own time, but since his departure the legacy is no longer so forbidding. Is there a vacuum to be filled?

    Leicester City is the nearest premiership team to the FA’s National Coaching centre at Burton-on-Trent. Leicester City, as EPL title holders, establish a base in the middle of England comprising the FA’s national Coaching Centre, the Gary Lineker Fan Club in the media, the PGMO under Howard Webb as Technical Director, in SE Asia as the first Thai owned EPL title holder. A massive financial input.

    Neither Manchester nor London. More, in the theatre of the soap opera produced and presented to us as the EPL, a fairy tale. A team coming out of nowhere winning against all the odds. Your plucky Englishman. It grabs the heart, it grabs the mind. It is Brian Clough and Nottingham Forest all over again. You can watch Leicester City win the title in the haze of a dream.

    The problem – Leicester City 8 penalties
    Arsenal 1

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Even the West ham fan site showing Leicester stands 2nd for getting wrong favourable refs decision in the league.
    Arsenal are 14th.

    Isnt it enough evidence to support UAs stance on biased refreeing against Arsenal and highly tilted decisions favouring Liecester.

  • Last time now that I will waste time on you.
    You knew what you were doing when you put “flawed” in your post.
    Fancy words do not hide the fact what you se out to do.
    Any credibility you may have had just went out the window
    You just can’t help yourself can you.
    You will never get another reply from me and let me say this, ProudKev is right up there on people’s estimation but you like to get your little digs in without having the ball’s to come out and say just what you think.
    You dance around issues with your little barbs and I’m willing to bet a pumped up chest.
    Go to your Spur’s site and regale them with how bloody wonderful you seem to think you are. Beneath Comtemp so I won’t waste my time with you. Grow up.

  • John

    It sounds like your feeling a little better than last night and are off your death bed!!