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Referees – First quarter Report. This isn’t healthy.

by Andrew Crawshaw

With 9 games gone in the Pl we are now effectively a quarter of the way through the season and this is a good time to see how the referees have been doing.

Here are links to the nine weekly reports we have published

Matchweek 1 ; Matchweek 2 ; Matchweek 3 ; Matchweek 4 ; Matchweek 5 ; Matchweek 6 ; Matchweek 7 ; Matchweek 8 ; Matchweek 9

Firstly a table showing who has been the busiest and who has spent most of the season so far on the beach (as far as the PL is concerned).

 

Ref

Total No of games

Mike Dean

8

Anthony Taylor

8

Martin Atkinson

8

Michael Oliver

8

Mark Clattenberg

6

Craig Pawson

6

Robert Madley

6

Jonathan Moss

6

Andre Marriner

6

Mike Jones

5

Kevin Friend

5

Neil Swarbrick

5

Roger East

4

Lee Mason

4

Stuart Attwell

2

Paul Tierney

2

Graham Scott

1

So 17 referees in total have been used by the PGMO, all of the usual suspects have been busy but Mssrs. Attwell, Tierney and Scott have had very little to do.  Roger East and Lee Mason haven’t been overworked either both having been given half of the games if the busiest referees.

Who has been seen seen too frequently by supporters ?

I’ll now look at the teams who has had repeat visits from referees and at one quarter of the season played there really should be no excuse for this happening.  It is firmly my opinion that each team should have a referee no more than twice in a season, once at home and once away.  That way any possible influence over results is minimised.

 

Team

One visit from

Two visits from

Arsenal Dean, Clattenberg, Pawson, Madley, Moss, Friend, East Oliver,
Bournemouth Madley, Moss, Marriner, Friend, Mason Dean, Pawson,
Burnley Dean, Taylor, Clattenberg, Pawson, Moss, Mason, Tierney Jones
Chelsea Oliver, Clattenberg, Moss Taylor, Atkinson, Marriner
Crystal Palace Dean, Taylor, Atkinson, Clattenberg, Swarbrick, Oliver, Pawson
Everton Atkinson, Clattenberg, Madley, Swarbrick, Mason Oliver, Jones
Hull Dean, Taylor, Moss, Marriner, Friend, East, Mason, Attwell, Tierney
Leicester Taylor, Atkinson, Oliver, Clattenberg, Pawson, Marriner, East Dean
Liverpool! Taylor, Atkinson, Pawson, Madley, Marriner, Swarbrick, Mason Oliver,
Man City Dean, Oliver, Madley, Moss, Swarbrick Clattenberg, Marriner
Man United Dean, Atkinson, Oliver, Clattenberg, Madley, Moss, Marriner Taylor
Middlesbrough Dean, Taylor, Atkinson, Friend, East, Mason, Scott Swarbrick
Spurs Dean, Taylor, Atkinson, Oliver, Pawson, Madley, Marriner, Friend, Scott
Stoke Dean, Taylor, Atkinson, Oliver, Pawson, Madley, Jones Friend
Southampton Dean, Taylor, Atkinson, Clattenberg, Madley, Moss, Jones, East, Mason
Sunderland Dean, Taylor, Atkinson, Mason, Attwell Madley, Jones
Swansea Oliver, Marriner, Jones, Swarbrick, East, Attwell, Tierney Moss
Watford Dean, Atkinson, Oliver, Moss, Jones, Friend, Tierney East
West Brom Taylor, Atkinson, Clattenberg, Pawson, Attwell Friend, Swarbrick
West Ham Taylor, Clattenberg, Pawson, Madley, Moss, Marriner, Swarbrick, Atkinson

So in only nine games the PGMO have only managed to give three clubs a different referee every week.  Seven clubs have had repeat visits from two referees and Chelsea has seen each of Taylor, Atkinson and Marriner twice.

This isn’t healthy from a potential corruption point of view but is there any evidence that clubs are benefitting or being penalised by these repeat visits in terms of Important Decisions (Second Yellow Cards – YY, Red Cards – R, Penalties or Goals)?

Here is a table giving a breakdown of decisions for and against clubs by referees who have visited more than once

Team

Referee

Decisions in Favour

Decisions Against

YY

R

Pen

Goal

All

YY

R

Pen

Goal

All

Arsenal Oliver

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Bournemouth Dean

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Pawson

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

4

1

0

7

Burnley Jones

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

Chelsea Taylor

1

1

0

0

2

1

0

2

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

2

Atkinson

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

Marriner

1

0

1

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

Crystal Palace Oliver

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

Pawson

0

2

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Everton Oliver

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

1

1

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

Jones

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

2

Leicester Dean

0

0

1

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Liverpool Oliver

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

2

Man City Clattenberg

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

2

0

3

0

0

3

1

0

0

0

1

Marriner

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Man United Taylor

0

0

1

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

1

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

Middlesbrough Swarbrick

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Stoke Friend

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Sunderland Madley

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

Jones

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Swansea Moss

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Watford East

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

2

5

1

1

1

0

3

West Brom Friend

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

2

0

1

0

0

1

Swarbrick

1

0

1

0

2

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

West Ham Atkinson

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

1

0

3

1

0

0

0

1

In the case of Arsenal there is absolutely no signs of bias from Mr Oliver, in both of his games the numbers of wrong decisions for and against Arsenal were identical.

Chelsea can feel aggrieved that Mr Taylor has missed two penalties in their favour in both of his games, but relieved that he didn’t send off their players on two occasions.

Bournemouth had a shocker from Craig Pawson in one game where he made seven wrong Important Decisions, all against them, but he made none in the other game.

Most of the other clubs have only had one out of the two games from any individual referee where they have justification in believing that the referee was ‘against’ them.  Where that happened the other game was either clean or in their favour.

I therefore conclude that if there is any bias it isn’t happening with the ‘big decisions’ that we have been monitoring for all clubs.  It might be there in the timing of lower level fouls but that will require a whole lot more analysis beyond the scope of this article.

Who has done well and who hasn’t so far this season?

Here is the table showing all of the wrong Important Decisions.  It is sorted so the referees with the most wrong decisions per game are at the top and the ones with the fewest are at the bottom.  If I were a manager, I would be looking forward to visits from Mike Jones and Martin Atkinson but not looking forward to seeing Roger East, Robert Madley or Craig Pawson

 

Referee Games 2nd Yellow Red Pen Goal Total Avg
Roger East 4 2 2 7 1 12 3.0
Robert Madley 6 3 7 5 1 16 2.7
Craig Pawson 6 2 7 6 0 15 2.5
Mark Clattenburg 5 4 3 4 1 12 2.4
Mike Dean 8 2 5 7 4 18 2.3
Jon Moss 7 6 3 4 2 15 2.1
Graham Scott 1 0 1 1 0 2 2.0
Anthony Taylor 8 4 2 6 2 14 1.8
Michael Oliver 8 4 3 4 2 13 1.6
Kevin Friend 5 1 5 2 0 8 1.6
Paul Tierney 2 0 2 1 0 3 1.5
Andre Marriner 6 3 3 1 1 8 1.3
Lee Mason 4 2 0 1 2 5 1.3
Neil Swarbrick 5 1 1 3 1 6 1.2
Martin Atkinson 8 2 6 1 0 9 1.1
Stuart Attwell 2 1 1 0 0 2 1.0
Mike Jones 5 2 0 1 1 4 0.8

Totals

39 51 54 18 162

One hundred and sixty two wrong Important Decisions in nine weeks, 39 second yellow cards, 51 straight red cards, 54 penalties and 18 goals.  These are truly awful numbers. and in no way supporting the typical PGMO statistics.  Remember you can check every single one of our decisions yourself by looking at the video clips that are provided with the weekly reports.  You can’t check any of the PGMO statistics because they don’t publish how they arrive at their numbers.

Now as well as the bad decisions, referees also make good ones and here is that table.

Referee Matches 2nd Yellow Red Penalties Total
Mark Clattenburg 5 0 0 12 12
Andre Marriner 6 0 1 10 11
Michael Oliver 8 0 0 11 11
Mike Dean 8 0 0 10 10
Robert Madley 6 0 0 9 9
Craig Pawson 6 0 0 8 8
Jon Moss 7 0 2 6 8
Neil Swarbrick 5 0 0 7 7
Roger East 4 0 2 5 7
Martin Atkinson 8 0 0 6 6
Anthony Taylor 8 0 0 4 4
Kevin Friend 5 0 0 4 4
Lee Mason 4 0 0 4 4
Mike Jones 5 0 0 4 4
Paul Tierney 2 0 0 4 4
Stuart Attwell 2 0 0 4 4
Graham Scott 1 0 0 2 2

Totals

0 5 110 115

What is interesting about this table is that the overwhelming proportion of the correct decisions are penalties.  No referee has correctly issued a second yellow card this year and only Marriner, Moss and East have correctly issued red cards.

Referee of the Season so far – Mike Jones – 5 games, four wrong decisions and four correct.  Well done Sir!

Tales from Untold 

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

10 reasons why England fail and will always fail in international football

Commons Committee questioning of Greg Clarke, Chairman, The Football Association,

Open letter to FIFA on Remembrance Day

Violence and corruption in Greek football, humanity and respect at Rochdale

Who spends the most, and who gets the most from player sales?

Reasons to be cheerful are slipping away like snow in spring

Referee Appointments and Results Matchweek #09 complete with video evidence

How Tottenham’s 451 fouls can equal no red cards at all.

 

3 comments to Referees – First quarter Report. This isn’t healthy.

  • Andy Mack

    The good rate for Atkinson is only a temporary blip.
    Sadly he’ll be back to his usual poor level soon enough.

  • Usama Zaka

    Andy Mack,

    Yes, you are right about that, Atkinson was the ref for Sunderland vs Arsenal at Week 10, and we all know what he did. And the report for Week 10 is nearly ready.

  • Robido

    This is a fantastic effort and a great resource for reference and discussion around the key refereeing issues.

    There will always be those who contest the interpretation of events especially where intent is entailed, outcomes as there are examples where teams thwart what “should have happened”, and certainty of impact eg a major decision goal/no goal in the last play of a game irrefutably impacts the score but all we know is that a score will otherwise not go down. (To introduce consensus and probability weighting would be interesting but probably too onerus and may not affect the outcome?).

    Provided we can, as readers say to ourselves that shirt colour does not influence the panel decision or language used to describe it (which I think we can) we can use it to draw our own conclusions.

    Do you see a regression from the anti rugby stance initially adopted at the start of the season towards allowing greater physicality of which the pgmob has traditional supported (allowing teams to compete by “not taking them on at football”). This leads to more second yellow scores which in all likelihood would not have occurred had the first been given, and players will push the boundaries. It may show that the refs are not necessarily inept but follow the direction of the FA and other paymasters.

    When England’s new manager wants players to be more streetwise I do wonder if the message goes to refs to allow them to practice.

    Good work guys.

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