Arsenal v Newcastle: the referee who just doesn’t oversee home wins



By Tony Attwood

The PGMO appointments for the match today are Paul Tierney as the referee, with Neill Davies and Nick Hopton running the lines and Anthony Taylor as the fourth official. That leaves Peter Bankes and Lee Betts making up stuff for the benefit of VAR.

Paul Tierney is one of a group of 16 referees who have overseen ten or more Premier League games this season.  Here are the figures from Whoscored

Referee Games Fouls pg Fouls/Tackles Yel pg
3.Paul Tierney 16 21.56 0.64 3.25
4.Andy Madley 16 24.19 0.63 4.63
12.Jarred Gillett 12 20.08 0.52 4.67
13.David Coote 11 24.82 0.75 5.09
4.Andy Madley 16 24.19 0.63 4.63
7.Simon Hooper 15 22.47 0.65 4.93


This selection of six referees who have all overseen between 11 and 16 games this season in the league have a variation of between 24% in the number of fouls they see per game.  The number of tackles they see which they judge to be fouls varies by 44%.  The number of yellow cards they issue per game varies by 57%.

And remember, this is not a case of in an individual game, these are the referees’ average figures across league games this season.  So get Coote as your referee and you are 57% more likely to get a yellow card than if you get Tierney 

Given that the referees are supposed to be implementing the same rules in the same way, and move around from club to club this is ludicrous.  It is as if, match after match, some referees are seeing totally different games from others and applying the laws in different ways.

And more to the point because of the lunatic secrecy of PGMO no one is even commenting on this, let along doing anything about it in terms of retraining and referees.

So let’s have a look at these referees’ results…


Referee Games HomeWin% AwayWin% Draw%
Paul Tierney 16 25.0 43.8 31.3
Simon Hooper 15 53.3 33.3 13.3
Jarred Gillett 12 41.7 58.3 0.0
David Coote 11 54.5 27.3 18.2
Samuel Barrott 11 45.5 27.3 27.3
Average 45.2% 34.4% 20.4%

The are the average figures are across the whole of the Premier League this season, not just for these selected referees.

From this we can see the Tierney Bias as it could be known in the trade.  He sees the lowest number of home wins of any of the regular referees in the Premier League – just 25% – which is 20% down on the average.   

And now we can see why some clubs and various anti-Arsenal sources might want Tierney as a referee for an Arsenal home game.  For while the average rate of away wins this season is 34.4% with Tierney in control it is an astonishing 43.8%.   Not as high as Gillet admittedly, but the second highest in the league.

And with Tierney if a result is not an away win then he seems to be able to make sure it is a draw.

So if PGMO wanted to have a referee for this game that gave Newcastle every chance of an away win, (and of course I write “if” since I have no proof and am just deducing the most likely explanation for the statistics) and failing that a draw they would have chosen Tierney.  And that is who we have got.

What is so ludicrous however is that there should not be such wild variations in referee performances at all.  If all referees were seeing the games in the same way there should be a balancing out in the end.

Now thanks to World Football Net  we can see by way of comparison Tierney’s performance when he oversees an Arsenal match played at the Arsenal stadium  37.5% have been Arsenal wins, 37.5% have been draws and 25% have been draws. .

This compares with our last five home games against Newcastle which have ended up as four wins and a draw, with a goal scoring rate of 11 to Arsenal and a grand zero to Newcastle….


Date Game Res Score
01 Apr 2019 Arsenal v Newcastle United W 2-0
16 Feb 2020 Arsenal v Newcastle United W 4-0
18 Jan 2021 Arsenal v Newcastle United W 3-0
27 Nov 2021 Arsenal v Newcastle United W 2-0
03 Jan 2023 Arsenal v Newcastle United D 0-0

Of course it might just be pure chance that for this match today Arsenal have been given a referee who simply doesn’t oversee many home wins.   But even if that is the case, these sort of referee figures should not exist.   Referees should be overseeing games with results that are closer to the average for all clubs across the season.

The last time Arsenal lost to Newcastle at home was on 7 November 2010.   Of course as I have said, all the above may be a coincidence, but it is hard to escape the view that someone wants this run of 11 victories and one draw to come to an end.

2 Replies to “Arsenal v Newcastle: the referee who just doesn’t oversee home wins”

  1. More ‘coincidences’

    Liverpool fan Jarred Gillett in charge for Bournemouth vs Man City, Peter Bankes VAR at Arsenal (also a Liverpool fan), John Brooks (Liverpool fan) on VAR at Wembley tomorrow.

    City on the dodgy Sky 5:30pm slot for the 2nd week running, Andy Madley reffed their draw and then Liverpool’s win over Luton…

    Something tells me plans are being made for a ‘fairytale ending’ for Herr Klopp, despite Scouse fans claiming to be ‘victims’

  2. Well, Tierney is doing his best but Arsenal are better.
    No yellow on Guimares for a charge from behind… no penalty when Havertz is brought down…no VAR either.

    Their total incompetence is just disgusting…

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