- Ticket touting at Arsenal: prices rise to insane levels. So what is going on?
- The failure of managers: how has Arsenal got it so right?
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…
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)
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton: their problems with fouls and cards, and the team
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton: the club that gets cards at over twice the rate of Arsenal
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers: where will each team finish?
- Arsenal v Lens: what we found, what we felt, what they did
- Arsenal v Lens: the team, the home/away form and the strange coincidences