Dean removed, but referee bias just continues unreported and unabated





By Tony Attwood

When a referee or VAR official makes a mistake in a football match, nothing happens.  There is no comeback for the club – no appeal after the end of the game, nothing the players can do during the game.

But what is utterly amazing in this situation is that no one but no one is totting up which clubs are affected by acknowledged referee and VAR officials’ errors.  There is no data on the PGMO website that even acknowledges that referees make mistakes, let alone on the issue of correcting those errors.

One of the referees in question is of course Mike Dean who was removed from the Premier League list of referees recently.  He was taken off selection in the Premier League with performance levels part of the decision (not for his bias) sources have told ESPN. Since then he hasn’t been given a game in the League of the FA Cup

Mind you it is not just Dean that has found VAR impossible to handle.  Lee Mason who is the only other full time VAR referee, “failed to identify Christian Norgaard was in an offside position before Ivan Toney scored Brentford’s equalising goal in a 1-1 draw at Arsenal,” according to the Independent.  John Brooks, the same article reveals, “recently applied the offside lines onto the wrong player to disallow a Brighton & Hove Albion goal in a game the Seagulls drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace.”

The response of PGMO has been typical.  They are “reviewing” the situation.  We are given no detail as to who is doing the review or how long it will take or what it includes or, well, basically anything.  But we can be fairly sure that all the mistakes referees have made will not result in any club getting back the points it has lost because of the gross incompetence of PGMO as an organisation, or of the referees.

However a PGMO statement said it was accepted that there were “significant errors in the VAR process”.   Which was actually no good at all, since we all already knew that.  All that indicated was that PGMO were, as ever, way over time in making decisions.  Mason left PGMO after complaints about him.

Now we already know that the head of VAR in the Premier League (Neil Swarbrick) is leaving VAR at the end of this season having taken it over in January, which is not surprising given that Fabinho of Liverpool (long suspected as a club that benefits from referee decisions because of the phenomenally low number of yellow cards they get) was not properly dealt with over his challenge on Evan Ferguson of Brighton in the FA Cup.  PGMO has admitted it “got that one wrong,” as if that somehow excuses them.

Now it seems Dean’s future has been part of that review, while there is no confirmation if he will be appointed again this season or if he will return for the 2023-24 season after going through additional training.

While Dean was not at fault on the weekend of February 11, he had made a number of high-profile errors across the season.

In August, he failed to give a red card against Cristian Romero of, of course, Tottenham, for a violent hair pull on Marc Cucurella. From the corner, Tottenham scored – in the 95th minute to get one point out of the game.

The list of Deanish errors is huge and they affect all clubs and benefit quite a few clubs.  And unthinkable though it would have been a couple of years back, there is now a small amount of coverage in the media.

As of course there has to be even thoughhe media will not discuss referee matters, presumably because PGMO has told them not to, after our revelations concerning the difference in the ways home win, away wins and draws pan out between referees.]

Just compare these latest figures…

Referee Games HomeWin% AwayWin% Draw%
Simon Hooper 21 71.4 4.8 23.8
Craig Pawson 18 33.3 44.4 22.2
Peter Bankes 15 46.7 6.7 46.7


I am not saying that these referees are biased, but rather that these figures are so far beyond the realm of probability there should be an investigation.  The media should be questioning the issue.  But all we get is silence.  (Referee data from WhoScored)

5 Replies to “Dean removed, but referee bias just continues unreported and unabated”

  1. …,”Significant errors in the VAR system” translates as “were they even watching / they don’t even know the rules”.

  2. mike in atlanta

    Indeed, 15 of the 21 matches in the Premier League refereed by Mr Hooper were won by the home team! The only blot on his copybook? Aston Villa 2 Arsenal 4!

    Peter Bankes is the ‘draw specialist’…

  3. Unfortunately, I believe that they are not all incompetent and unaware of the rules, especially Dean, in particular. Thus, their bad decisions, notably to Arsenal’s detriment have been delberate.

    As for Dean on VAR, my outstanding memory concerns the Everton player stamping on Tomiyasu’s face, which was the subject of a VAR check. The outcome?
    Not a red card, not a yellow card, not even a foul.

    This was not a mistake, it was a deliberate decision.

  4. Guys,

    I’ve been beating this drum for a while now and am happy to see that things are unraveling at PGMOL. They can say and argue whatever they want, the whole world is watching and seeing their incompetence (like the un-capacity to be neutral and hide their preferences as fans).

    And the PL needs to ‘sell’ a product that gets better because other leagues exist, FIFA and UEFA want to sell their competitions. So the quality of the product needs to be worth the billions paid. Dean was fired – even if this vocabulary was not used – because he brought disrispute to the PL. You can bet your arse that after some of those errors, the owners were texting, emailing, calling, furious and screaming ‘I’ll be damned if I accept this one more time – get rid of this moron’ : cannot imagine someone who invested hundreds of millions just staying zen and thinking : in the end it all evens out.

    Games are played and referee/VAR decisions are more talked about then the game events. I don’t see this happening in France, Germany, the US.

    The PL is slowly cleaning up it’s act. PGMOL as we’ve known it in the past 2 decades is dying – good riddance. The Freguson-old-boys-club is dead. Their incompetence is blatantly visible, has become the elephant in the room and their arrogance has finally started to bring down the whole potemkine-village type organisation.

    UA needs to keep banging the drum however. Talk about repeat same teams for referees, about the incredible differences in home/away statistics. This will help burry them once and for all.

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