Arsenal v Wolves. Is this the most biased referee in the League?



By Bulldog Drummond

The referee for the final game is Andre Marriner, and in the table below (drawn from data from WhoScored) we can see the way in which the number of fouls per game varies and the number of yellow cards per game changes depending on the referee that each match has.  Pawson gives a third more fouls per game than Gillett, for example.  Salisbury gives over 50% more yellow cards than Salisbury.  There really is no consistency.


Referee Games Fouls pg Yel pg
Craig Pawson 21 23.90 3.76
Michael Salisbury 15 23.33 4.40
Andre Marriner 12 19.17 3.83
Jarred Gillett 16 17.88 2.88
Stuart Attwell 24 20.00 3.21


But that is as nothing compared to what we find when it comes to results,

This referee only oversees one third of his matches as home wins, but an astonishing 42% of his games as away wins.

Now when you consider that every club except one in the Premier League this season has got more points at home than away from home, it is simply beyond belief that there are referees in the Premier League (allegedly the best league in the universe) who actually oversee more away wins than home wins.  

But there are and for this final match we have got one of them!   Andre Marriner has a games tally this season in which 33% are home wins, 42% are away wins and 25% are draws.


Referee Games HomeWin% AwayWin% Draw%
Michael Oliver 30 60.0 23.3 16.7
Paul Tierney 30 50.0 30.0 20.0
Peter Bankes 21 61.9 4.8 33.3
Jarred Gillett 16 31.3 43.8 25.0
Michael Salisbury 15 53.3 33.3 13.3
Andre Marriner 12 33.3 41.7 25.0


Yet now have a look at these figures for the season – although you might want to sit down first, and have a stiff drink ready at hand, especially if you have the opinion that all is ok with refereeing in the Premier League.


Results League figures Marriner figures
Home Wins: 48% 33%
Away Wins: 29% 42%
Draws: 23% 25%


So somehow, (maybe of course one might argue by pure chance, but it seems incredibly unlikely), while across the League this season almost half of all games have resulted in being home wins, with Marriner in charge that figure drops to one third.   And the away team with Marriner in charge is 13% more likely to get a win, than with an average referee.

And I need to stress that.  Those figures of Marriner’s are being measured against an AVERAGE referee, not the most extreme referee.

So why has Marriner, who has only overseen 12 games all season, suddenly been wheeled out for this game?  After all there are 15 other referees who have more experience than Marriner this season.

One reason might be that the PGMO themselves have started to get worried about Marriner, so he has been restricted in the number of games he has been given while he has been sent for re-training.

That might certainly be possible, and of course we don’t know because the PGMO is the most secretive of all organisations in football.   While in countries like Germany the referee can come on television and discuss his decisions, in England the referee gets fined if he even gets in the wrong car to be driven away from the match, let alone if he ever were to speak to an interviewer.

The only other explanation is that for some reason PGMO want Arsenal’s record dented and Wolverhampton’s increased, and certainly putting Marriner in charge gives that every chance of happening.

Now why would PGMO want Arsenal’s record reduced?  We know Arsenal are going to come second, but a win for Wolverhampton would take them above Chelsea if Chelsea were to lose.  Has someone put a bet on this?  That again seems unlikely, but with an organisation as secretive as PGMO one never knows.

So the most likely reason for getting this underused referee whose figures show a ludicrous away team bias must be as part of his training, perhaps seeing if he has been weaned away from giving the benefit to the away team.

If that is not the reason, then there is no reason, and PGMO is operating in a mode of chaos, not noticing that one of its referees oversees 70% of his games as home wins and 12% as away wins, while another is getting 31% home wins and 54% away wins.

Of course, there will be variance in these numbers, but this variation is so huge, that there must be something wrong somewhere.  That is not in doubt.  The big questions are

  • Why has PGMO been allowing this to continue?
  • Why has PGMO suddenly wheeled out a much underused referee with a profoundly strong away team bias for this particular match?

Really there are only three possible reasons.

1: PGMO have no idea what they are doing and are not even aware of the statistics.

2: PGMO specifically want Arsenal to lose and/or Wolverhampton to win for reasons we cannot fathom.

3: PGMO have desperately been trying to retrain this referee, and are giving him a final chance to see if he has changed his ways.

We shall perhaps see, by observing the match closely.

6 Replies to “Arsenal v Wolves. Is this the most biased referee in the League?”

  1. I don’t know how you come to that conclusion, Marriner hates our guts and never gives the wolves a fair chance, maybe it’s because ars- enal stuffed it up winning the league you have to blame someone.

  2. This is the only day of the season where 10 PL matches will be played at the same time. PGMOL will have to provide 10 referees, 10 assistant referees, 10 VAR referees, and 10 AVAR referees, who will all be working at the same time. Stockley Park is going to be even more sweaty than usual.

  3. Do teams managed by Graham Potter have difficulty finding the back of the net? If you compare Chelsea and Brighton results with Potter as manager to Brighton results since De Zerbi arrived there is a marked contrast.

  4. Wolves fan here, Grats on your season, a few of my gunner mates are a bit down hearted at the end, but 2nd place at the start of the season you would give your left arm for that.
    Anyhoots, dont worry about Marriner being the ref, he capitulates to any of the top 6, he Gives Wolves nothing, hates us, you will be fine from a refereeing point of view.

    Again Grats on a successful season…. lets get it on, not wishing you any luck tomorrow.. 🙂

  5. Of course, it could be that the PGMO are also embarrassed about Marriner’s figures and by giving a game that, in theory, should be an easy home win, it means that his figures would not look nearly as embarrassing in an end of season analysis. A home win would leave him with 38% home wins and 38% away wins, which is not nearly as suspicious!

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