Where there is power, money and greed there is corruption



By Tony Attwood

 “Where there is power, money and greed… there is corruption.”

That is what one banner said at Everton, and I would agree.   In football however, there is a problem in that most clubs and their supporters don’t comment on such matters until it affects them personally.

And that of course weakens their case when they do take up the fight over a matter relating to them.   The rest of football looks at Everton’s protests, remembers they have not spoken out too much in the past, and just moves on.

Their argument now seems to be that the Premier League is corrupt.  OK, but why were they not saying that clearly when other issues have arisen, most notably the continual use of PGMO as the official supplier of referees – an organisation which if not corrupt, is most certainly behaving very oddly with this incessant demand for secrecy, and its requirement that the number of referees on its books be kept artificially low, while referees are allowed to fly long distances to referee in other countries.

Considering such matters I wondered just how Everton had been treated by referees in recent years.  Of course there are thousands of metrics one can use to consider this, but since it is just me working this out on my own, I’ve restricted myself to one simple metric: the relationship between fouls and yellow cards.   And because we have readily available the figures for Leicester City, I’ve included those figures for previous seasons.  Data comes from WhoScored, ratios by Untold.

Now of course you might argue that the issue of fouls and yellow cards has nothing to do with the 10 point deduction that Everton has just been given.   But the banners and placards at Everton speak of corruption – without really giving any details of how, what and where (since the other clubs being prosecuted at the moment – Chelsea and Manchester City have not had their cases concluded yet).


Club Fouls  Yellows Fouls per yellow
Arsenal 2019/20 421 86 4.89
Leicester 2019/20 418 41 10.19
Everton 471 70 6.72


Immediately those figures look curious.- Leicester City were getting away with over 50% fouls more than Everton before getting a yellow card in that season.   Arsenal were suffering even more, but let’s stay with Everton and see if we can make a case for them.


Club Fouls  Yellows Fouls per yellow
Arsenal 2020/21 345 47 5.21
Leicester 2020/21 416 61 6,82
Everton 2020/21 388 59 6.57


Now it that season it looks as if Leicster and Everton were being treated in a similar way but Arsenal were really getting hammered.   Everton could commit 26% more fouls before getting a yellow card than Arsenal.



Club Fouls  Yellows Fouls per yellow
Arsenal 2021/22 365 60 6.08
Leicester 2021/22 357 55 6.49
Everton 2021/22 369 78 4.73


So yes it does look as if referees were coming down hard on Everton in 2021/22 – they were now getting away with even fewer fouls than Arsenal two seasons earlier, before the yellow card was waved.


Club Fouls  Yellows Fouls per yellow
Arsenal 2022/23 372 52 7,15
Leicester 2022/23 410 59 6.95
Everton 2022/23 395 79 5.00


And certainly in 2022/23 Everton were getting a bit of a raw deal for the second season running.  They were now committing fewer fouls than Leicester but picking up many more yellow cards.

So let’s move on and see what is happening this season…


Club Fouls  Yellows Fouls per yellow
Arsenal 2023/4 124 17 7.29
Everton 2023/4 156 26 6.00


In fact Everton are doing better again by being able to commit more fouls before they get a yellow card: they are up to the level Arsenal were at two years ago.

These figures – and remember it was figures based on this type of analysis along with the number of tackles, and figures based on the number of penalties awarded that allowed us to show that there was something very fishy going on in the past with Leicester City – now suggest that Everton could be getting a bit of a raw deal out of the league and PGMO, but it’s not that great an issue.

And really with the ultra-secretive approach that the League and the PGMO operate when it comes to refereeing matters, if some corruption is going on, that is where we would see it.  Indeed it is where we have found highly dubious figures in the past.

So the question remains, if the League is corrupt and wants to kick Everton, why is it using such an overt and obvious way as coming up with a 10 point deduction?  Answer: because no one can bring up an statistics to prove the league is wrong.

In a recent Manchester City game there was a plane flying over the stadium with a banner demanding the release of Ahmed Mansoor, in jail for speaking out against the government.  What’s more, the Everton simplistic statement of corruption appears awfully weak and self-serving, in the light of this.

You might or might not appreciate our work in the past in which we showed Leicester City were getting figures in relation to tackles and yellow cards – and then later in relation to penalties – that were totally out of sync with all other clubs.   In each case, once we had released a few articles, matters changed.

Of course it could have been pure coincidence each time, and I can’t prove otherwise – but the result was positive.  Leicester started getting fouls per yellow card figures pretty much in line with other clubs, and after the penalty articles, Leicester simply stopped being awarded penalties each time Vardy played his penalty area trick.

What I take from this is simple: if you want to protest, bring in some evidence, and then just hammer away with it, embarrassing the League into submission.  It worked in the case against Leicester – twice.

8 Replies to “Where there is power, money and greed there is corruption”

  1. It’s hard to have any sympathy with anyone really.

    As you point out Tony, Untold has been banging on about the oddities of refereeing in the Premier league for years. It’s not just about winning and losing, we monitor and analyse referees win lose or draw.

    By and large we get either ignored or worse, ridiculed as paranoid conspiracy theorists.

    When you said:

    “…most notably the continual use of PGMO as the official supplier of referees – an organisation which if not corrupt, is most certainly behaving very oddly with this incessant demand for secrecy, and its requirement that the number of referees on its books be kept artificially low, while referees are allowed to fly long distances to referee in other countries.”

    you didn’t even mention the enormous bias in the geographical distribution of Premier League referees, whereby they do not have a single one from London, and virtually none from the the entire South of England.

    I haven’t noticed any Everton fans suggesting that may be corrupt, as I’m sure they would if all referees were from London and the South.

    Sorry, all this outrage is all too little too late.

  2. Newcastle have just been robbed by VAR. Now they know how it feels.

    Of course all the commentators are devastated for them.

    At the end of the day, despite the commentators saying how proud they should be, and how well they defended they should of lost by 3 or 4.

    PSG had 31 shots for pities sake.

    Penalty was extremely harsh though.

  3. Mick

    He’s not the only one. McCoist is also ‘furious’.

    Remember, this is the guy that admits Kovacic should of been sent off against us but was happy he wasn’t, if you can work that out. What he actually said was:

    “Was it the wrong decision yes. Should he of been sent off yes. But I’m happy he wasn’t”

    So, he thinks poor decisions are fine, depending on who they are against I guess.

    The guys an idiot.

  4. Great to see the karma police alive and well in Paris.

    The Toon blogs are complaining vociferously about injustice and whatnot. I can’t imagine what they are so upset about.

  5. Now they know how it feels to be defeated by dubious VAR at the hands of a team owned by an oil state.

  6. I am hearing and reading plenty of “rants” from pundits and mainstream media. A mass media change of stance on VAR now one of their favourites has been affected. All the words, disgrace embarrassing, shocking etc, which drew such criticism when used by Arteta are now being used by the media in support of Eddie and his valiant toon warriers.
    Newcastle got a taste of their own medicine.

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