The shocking figures that show the Premier League is bent

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Victory Through Harmony

By Walter Broeckx, the trend watching ref

As you may know (and most of you appreciate my work on reviewing the refs) I try my best to keep records of each game and how the ref has done his job.

But I also try to keep things in perspective a bit. I try to see a bigger picture. So I also look at differences in games and see if there are any trends visible. And the long term readers also know that half way in the season I made a first round up of the refs and tried to gather some conclusions. At that time I noticed some kind of trend. And some of you told me that this trend was based on not enough games. Which was a fair comment at the time.

I then stated that since the time we became title contenders there was a change in the refs’ approach.  It is in the article I called conspiracy theory or practice. Which you can read again if you click on this.

I said that I had noticed a drop in the level of referees when you look at the global picture.  So if we say that it was not until after 15 EPL games that we could really be considered real title contenders I now have the data from 10 games since then in the EPL.

So let us start with the beginning: the first 15 games in the EPL. The ones everyone laughed at us for saying we would be in it with a chance.

Games cards penalty goals other total
Total EPL includes A Villa 897/1500 824/1500 1384/1500 424/1500 961/1500
% 59,80 54,93 92,27 28,27 64,07

Now this is the result and in fact I think this result itself is a poor result. We are talking about professional refs in the best league in the world.  So only getting 64 % of the decisions right is shocking. This should be at least higher than 70.

And let me add that I didn’t invent this 70% myself. No this is the average score a ref must have in the Belgium Jupiler league to retain his status.  They give the score on 7/10 but this only gives a difference in the numbers you use. We use a score based on 100.

And if a ref doesn’t give a red card (like Dowd managed to do twice in the Newcastle game ) then he will always have a score below 70. Not giving a red card when the rules say you must give one gives minus 3 points. So Dowd would have lost 6 points just for not red carding Barton and Nolan in Belgium and could have had a maximum of 4 on 10. If all his other decisions would be correct. Which in Dowd his game was not the case.

So in fact this would mean that almost all the refs in the EPL would fail this test! Almost none would be in the EPL next season. A shocking thought isn’t it?

But let us move on to the next 10 games. The games since Arsenal has been  very much in the title race.

Games cards penalty goals other total
After Villa 538/1000 250/1000 787/1000 398/1000 521/1000
% 53,80 25,00 78,70 39,80 52,10
Total EPL includes A Villa 897/1500 824/1500 1384/1500 424/1500 961/1500
% 59,80 54,93 92,27 28,27 64,07

Just look at those numbers and compare them.

The decisions  on the cards have gone down from around 60 to 54%.

The penalty decisions have gone down from around 55% to just 25%.

Before around 1 goal in 10 was wrong awarded or cancelled. Now this has gone down to 2 goals out of 10.

And then you could say that the other decisions have been better. Unfortunately this hasn’t been the case at all. Yes in numbers and yes in %. But this all is the result of me changing this system a bit.

As you know when I started this review I didn’t know which problem would come above the waterline. And the one I found that needed justification was the foul and a card decision. If there is a foul and a ref gives it he has done the right thing. But if he has to give a card and he does it he has taken 2 good decisions so I had to evaluate them both. Also if he didn’t give the card (red/yellow) I took points away from him but just calling a foul was still a good decision.

But as a result the “good” decisions in the other category has got higher. But even with this new approach the final outcome is that the total score of the refs who was 64% in the first 15 games has gone down to 52%.

Is this a coincidence? After seeing the last two games I think it is a trend. In those 10 games we had 2 good refs (Mariner at West Ham and Clattenburg against Chelsea) and the rest was poor and much  below the average in the first 15 games.

8 refs out of 10 who are having a bad day? A collective bad day I would call it. Why? Is there someone out there who doesn’t want us to win our games? Why this drop in points since we are in the title race?

Do you find this strange? You just wait till I come up with the next numbers. Because I also did take the cup games and put them in a separate table. And if you have just heard something it is only me falling of my chair. And after picking myself up I can show you the numbers:

Games cards penalty goals other total
After CC Wigan 538/1000 250/1000 787/1000 398/1000 521/1000
% 53,80 25,00 78,70 39,80 52,10
Just cup games 494/800 567/800 721/800 429/800 567/800
% 61,75 70,88 90,13 53,63 70,88

In the first numbers in bold after the % line you have the very low and totally unacceptable average numbers of our last 10  games in the EPL.

And the second % line are from the cup games we had of which many have been played in the same period of time.  Can anyone explain me a drop in quality of the refs of almost 20% ?  This is at first sight inexplicable.  These are the same refs and yet they perform rather fine (even above the 70% mark which is good enough in Belgium) and yet in the EPL they suddenly under perform?

My first thought was: in the cups there is no or less influence on the refs. Because in those cup games the only game that is important is the final. And in cups you also have a draw to live with and this is (I really hope so) something you cannot get in your hands.  So could it be that the forces that are at work in the EPL don’t work in the cup games?  Or just until the final? Food for thought I would say.

Come back in the next days for more if you are interested in my view on why the games in the EPL have such a drop in quality when it comes to the refs. This series isn’t over yet.

Untold Arsenal – the index on corruption

The History of Arsenal

Making the Arsenal – a little light relief

64 Replies to “The shocking figures that show the Premier League is bent”

  1. Oh and this article also gave me some inspiration on actually to see not who is fit to wear the shirt. But to see which ref is actually fit to wear the badge.

  2. Sorry, I’m trying to figure out what you’re talking about but it’s so unclear. The tables are just confusing.. The first table states that it’s for the first 15 games of the season, and there’s 897 cards? 824 penalties? etc.. I think not. You then go on to say this is a bad result. What result? I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about.
    Interesting idea for an article, but seriously you gotta explain it a little better..
    Also, as much as I do hate some of the refereeing decisions against us, this would only ever be a fair article if you did exactly the same for all the other clubs and compared to see how big a difference there is.

  3. Cheers for your thoughts Walter, the drop in performances is both bizarre and concerning. What would be interesting is whether this is an EPL-wide trend (hence no bias), or just afflicting Arsenal (hence there exists bias against us). Until we know that, any comments in terms of bias beign purely against us will have their doubters.

  4. Oh give me 19 refs who are fans of a EPL team who want to start with this reviewing on a game to game basics.
    Refs who want to be unbiased and who want to follow the rules.
    Refs who base their decisions on the laws of the game. Not on the laws of the pundits of the game…

    Well I can dream, can I?

  5. What is implied but not stated is that the vast majority of the poor decisions we are seeing, especially the important ones, viz goals, penalties, bookings and red cards, are in favour of our opponents. That is to say, these numbers are only convincing if you watch the matches and read your match reports, Walter.
    I have been reading you match reports and find these numbers quite convincing, but I only wish there was a way this could be convincing to others.

  6. Walter,

    I agree with David, you need to explain the tables a bit better. You have put an enormous amount of work into this and it would be a shame for people to not understand the statistics.

  7. David,
    You are right. For the long term readers they will understand more what I mean.
    The number let us take 897 for the cards is based on my match per match review.
    At the end of each game I have a number for that ref in that game for the 4 items (cards, penalty, goals and others) on 100.

    So in the first game a ref could have 80% for his cards and in a next game the ref has 36% of his cards correct and then I add them and get my percentage of correct decisions.

    My fault. For me this is so obvious that I sometimes forget that for others this is not as clear as it is for me.

    If you look for a ref review article you will see down near the end of the article where I get the numbers from.

  8. Walter, is it possible to compare the trend with other title seasons of our competitors? Because, call me petty, but I think there’s a deliberate move to derail Arsenal. WHY? Because we have little contribution to the national team. Should we win the EPL, it will be a real miracle.

  9. So David, a score of 897 on a possible sore of 1500 (in 15 matches x 100) this is how you should read the 897.

  10. I couldn’t agree more with JohnW.

    What an embarrassment it would be to english football if arsenal, the team full of foreigners and with a foreign style,philosophy and manager, won the premier league ahead of the great rooney, ferdinand and co.

    I am seeing an alarming trend in refereeing decisions going against arsenal when arsenal look like they may seriously challenge for honours.

    3 or 4 seasons ago (the season when hleb and flamini were on fire and eduardo broke his leg) arsenal were absolutely flying in the league and at one point were 5 points clear at the top. then suddenly a bizzare run of refereeing decisions seen arsenals challenge derailed. we went through a long run of not winning games, and i can recall countless key decisions going against arsenal in almost every game, it was truly unbelievable and even wenger claimed a conspiracy in a BBC interview to which he was, of course, mocked for.

    So, to Walter and the team, I would like you to investigate this said season and perhaps compare it to this season. I am 100% sure that arsenal consistently get the raw deal of decisions; I am just unsure as to whether there is a ‘grand conspiracy’ or if there is just a general ‘anti-arsenal’ feel about english football

  11. why would dowd have any concern over his performance in the belgium assessment?…it is unclear….football as in many sports with a referee is an impure science when it comes to stats (albeit the basics are covered..shots possession etc)….Its a game effort to try and support a theory with stats…but with so many extraneous variables it cannot be proven .
    I do believe there is and always has been a bias against arsenal…..dowd was a joke….and his performance should be investigated.
    Perhaps all teams can use an inquiry card once a season to force the FA to investigate. It wont change the result but it will highlight poor performances. A referee with more than a few “inquiries” that prove poor performance would then be scrutinised in the future.

  12. Don’t suppose the collated /100 scores the FA’s assessors give refs based on their performances are available, or leaked anywhere? That’d be a fascinating read.

  13. Walter,
    while your results are ‘shocking’, you might be over-interpret them somewhat. As Phil has pointed out above, you would need a PL wide assessment system to distinguish bias against arsenal from a general decline in referee performances (a bit like Hull City a couple of seasons ago – strong start to the season and then a complete breakdown)…
    another thing that irks me slightly is the implicit assumption that you are unbiased, but I do not buy this. I mean, I read your referee reports regularly but some decisions could just be legitimately be given in two ways. take the Barton tackle – I agree with you that he went in excessively and was not in complete control, but almost every non-Arsenal supporter I know thinks that this was an OK tackle. Now, according to you, Barton’s foul was a red card, someone else could have easily point out that Barton played the ball and that he did not use excessive force. There is no ‘objective’ measure of control and excessiveness. So while I believe that you are trying to be unbiased, I don’t think that you actually are – and no one is…
    having said all this, Dowd was shocking and so was Mason against Everton. But while you say that Clattenburg had a good game against Chelsea, I have seen a fair few games this season – not involving Arsenal – where Clattenburg was absolutely shocking. I think we can agree that refree performances in this country are sub-standard, but your figures do not tell us much in terms of specific anti-arsenal bias…

  14. You can come with all the statistics you like but if the Wenger assembled team were not so weak and lazy why will they take their foot off the pedal, after 4-0 in 26 mins? Newcastle should have easily lost this game 8-0 if Arsenal continued with their earlier game plan. How often have Arsenal lost a 2-0 goal lead?

    If you know the ref is bias the best you can do is make sure you do the business yourself to give the ref no room for bias. Look at the Aston V game at Villa park. Arsenal knew their defending were rubbish, and having lost 2-0 leads before they decided to go toe to toe with Villa even when 2-0 up and eventually came away with 4-2. This is the attitude Arsenal should go in with every match.

  15. Great work Walter. It’s interesting to see how much stronger the standard of officiating is in the cups, and that by the very same referees!

    I do think you’ve missed a trick here by not including the numbers from your reviews of the CL games, to compare the standard of continental refs with the British ones. And as we lost two of our group games and came second in the group, you could hardly be accused of giving high marks to refs when we win. Which some could use as the ‘excuse’ for CL refs scoring higher.

  16. Re Barton’s tackle on Diaby. Apparently the English don’t understand what ‘reckless’ means.

  17. @emve
    Are your non-Arsenal supporting friends not equally capable of bias? And unless they are trained referees, their opinion on Barton’s challenge being an “OK tackle” should not carry the same value as Walter’s professional opinion on the matter, Arsenal fan or not.

  18. emve: general judgement of the population doesn’t matter. I ahd mates telling me “lawro said ti was fine” and “he played the ball”. My responses were that lawro doesn’t have a clue, and playing the ball doesn’t matter if the ref views it as a dangerous challenge.

    the fact is Barton’s challenge wasnt even given as a FOUL, let alone a red card. Whether bias or incompotence, neither is acceptable.

    FinnGun: to nitpick – a ref’s guidelines would say that reckless = yellow card. a red card offence is dangerous / with excessive force.

  19. talkSPORT (yeah, I know) are currently talking about whether or not there is conspiracy against Arsenal and have made reference to a fan site which has featured several articles on the subject. Can’t help feeling that the site in question is Untold.

  20. There are very poor, result changing decisions made by officials in many EPL games.
    Clattenburg had a mare yesterday at White Hart Lane & Chelsea were robbed of a draw when a penalty was not given in the dying moments of the L’pool game.In the man U / L’pool FA cup game
    Gerrards sending off was debatable & Man u’s penalty the result of a dive by Berbatov…and on it goes.
    I think it’s almost impossible to give an totally unbiased performance due to subconscious thoughts & that’s before we get to conscious hostility.
    It’s clearly not just Arsenal that suffer but this season, Arsenal have been in the for front of thinly veiled attacks on referee’s. A few months back it was the protection of our players & dangerous tackles, & last week the implication that officials take bungs.Ever if the latter was said in was still said & it will have an effect.

  21. Emve, in my next articles in which I will rank the refs so far based on their perfomances you will find an answer on the fact that I am biased. Come back tomorrow and see who is first in my table and if you then still think I am biased. Then I think nothing will change your mind and there is nothing I can do about.

    You next question: how many of your friends are qualified refs? Because we get the instructions on what is dangerous. You yourself said he : “he went in excessively and was not in complete control” that is enough to call a foul and a red card.

    In my training as a ref we have been shown what is dangerous and believe me the Barton tackle was dangerous.

    About playing the ball: this doesn’t matter. Just imagine that I come over flying to you with my leg outstretched and I kick the ball away just before you want to head it. And then as a result of my jumping to you my boot ends right in the middle of your face. Do you still think this is a fair tackle? I did play the ball you know.

    When there is dangerous tackle it doesn’t matter if you play the ball or not.

  22. If anyone knows other qualified refs from other teams let them join me and we can look further.

  23. I changed the table a bit which make the look on the screen a bit weird but I have put in the first line the total numbers and the total possible numbers.
    I hoop this clears a few things up.

  24. About how many decisions of those important one has gone against us is something that I would like to give at the end of the season. You know it could even itself out. Would be nice. 🙂

  25. Saying “he played the ball first” when legs are broken is he medieval way of football. Times have changed you know.
    Fifa wants to get those things out of football.

  26. Walter- Really interesting stats. But what would be more of an eye-opener is to show the refs performance in the matches of other title rivals as well. Also in your ref reviews, it would be interesting to see a bifocation of how many incorrect decisions have gone in a match against Arsenal and their opponents.

  27. I`m glad i`ve read this as I have thought this for years but just thought it was me being biased. But this season if you compare bad refereeing going against us and compare it to Man U, we have suffered many decisions that have cost us points but I can only think of 1 thats cost Man U (Lee Bowyers equaliser for Birmingham) where they have had many decisions that have gained them points such as Gary Neville somehow not being sent off a couple of times, Blackpool not getting a penalty when 2-0 up etc etc. Trouble is can`t prove it and because the majority of the media don`t like Arsenal things are never highlighted, in fact they are possitivley brushed under the carpet. So I think goonerforforty years is right the only answer is for wenger to just keep quiet and try to defeat 12 men each week

  28. We’ve seen the problem but what’s the solution. The refs won’t get better overnight and presumably we won’t have a scandal like in Italy to shake things up leaving a simple choice. Do we risk slowing down the flow of the game to be able to challenge decisions and review the replays ?

  29. My view on Arsenal and winning the EPL: After the mid-week and weekend game against Everton and Newcastle respectively, I can say Arsenal will not be wining the EPL with all conviction. The incidents that confirmed my conviction 1. The blatant offside goal by Louis Saha how shocking 2. The 1st penalty call against koscielny (Debatable) 3. The 2nd penalty call against Rosicky & Koscielny simply ridiculous 4. Wengers’ post match reaction – it was obvious and apparent he knew something or forces don’t want Arsenal to win the EPL. How can a team criticised for its over reliance on foreign imports by the British win the EPL over the Adorable Rooney, Ferdinand, Scholes etc…. I will be a gunner for as long as I breath

  30. @charlie,
    this is the solution, let them know we know. i am sure someone posted earlier saying that talkshite radio had mentioned an arsenal comment site had mentioned dodgy refs, being gobshite radio they’ll probably pan us and get us all the negative press going but as long as other customers of the EPL brand know there is cheating going on, there is a chance that refs performances will be looked into and some explanation given for dismal showings like we have seen for and against many teams in the last few seasons. we are a pretty fortunate bunch in that we play the sort of football that generates discussion- if we as arsenal fans can highlight the fact that the utter farce that is the organisation of our sport is lagging appallingly behind the times, there is a chance that the whole football establishment might just wake up to just how much damage this corrupt system is doing to (y)our country as a whole- the whole apparatus has to go… it is such a horribly contrived structure propped up by ‘tradition’- it has no place in the civilised society or even england!

  31. Walter your comments saying the only game thats important in a cup is the final frightens the life out of me since we have one comming up soon.
    If we loose that due to a biased referee I will go nuts altogether.

  32. PS great idea by desi gooner would love to see that referee doing an article or ANR even 🙂 send him a mail 🙂

  33. On a seperate note why do Arsenal and Birmingham play in the FA cup on the 15th of this month and then Arsenal have to play a midweek fixture on tuesday before the carling cup final and birmingham play no one.
    We have played 25games so far and they have played 24 ? and we need to be extra tired for wembley ?

  34. @walter,
    it’s just struck me that you don’t mark referees for throw ins, i know it probably might dilute the potency of your coring system but i remember one or two calls esp. in the newcastle game where throw in were awarded to newcastle which were ours- as a way to cheat it is one that passes easily under the radar as it is easy to assume human error when of course every one knows he is wrong.

  35. @tony(the real one),
    the banner had me rolling around in stitches, you are a one and no mistake!

  36. Red gooner and as it will be Dean as a ref in the final I feel bad about it.
    We will have to beat the ref also. I will be writing an article on Dean before the game and on what you should take notice on how he will try to tilt some things.

    And if he doesn’t and has a good game I will eat my words. 😉

  37. I was at the Everton game and something very disturbing was going on. Whether it’s a concerted attempt to stop Arsenal or simply bias from individual referees I’m not sure but either way the playing field isn’t level. The decisions throughout the first half of the Everton game were unbelievable.

    It’s interesting how Arsenal are currently in the process of having 5 consecutive Premiership games which aren’t live on TV. A good opportunity for consistent poor decisions to go under the radar of the general public.

  38. Walter, Mike Dean worries me. I think we will win the CC but it could be a long drawn out and costly game in terms of injuries for us. Have a nasty feeling he will give the likes of Bowyer freedom to do what Lee Bowyer does, or what he is only capable of doing. If Dean lets early fouls go, Brum will read a lot into it, if our players retaliate to provocation, they will be sitting ducks, a bit like a previous CC final we played in.
    Some reckon Dean may possibly have a bit of a Spurs thing going – if there is any truth whatsoever in this, what better game than to damage our chances in the league and help Spurs out.
    Call it paranoia or a gut feeling or just seeing this ref for what he has done in the past, but this final really worries me in terms of our end of season.

  39. Excellent spot Walter. For similar reasons (ie, no ‘mustn’t beat Man U to the title’ type pressure) I bet Champion’s League refs do a fairer job than EPL refs- although I will never forget Uncle Kuyt at Liverpool a few seasons ago!! Giving Dean the CC is a sinister move by the way.

  40. Anybody remember the league Cup final last year. Phil Dowd gifted it to Manure by not sending off Vidic in the 5th minute for a blatantly obvious last defender denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity. Dowd gave the penalty as it was too obvious not to, but gave no card to Vidic, when the laws of the game say that Vidic must have been expelled from the match.

    For this year’s final, I can’t see Mike Dean giving us a fair match or any protection from nasty challenges.

  41. There is a bias against us alright …Just look at tonights head line in the football section of the gutter press aka the sun. Cesc to chelsea now lol
    Sheesus the bastards never give up.

  42. Anybody remember the league cup final 4 years ago between us and Chelski?

    We were winning 1-0 after Theo had just scored and Julio Baptista had his legs taken out in the penalty box by Diarra, but Howard Webb ignored it and waved to play on.

  43. Walter,
    sorry that you took my point as a personal attack as it was merely a philosophical point about bias. I have pointed out that no can be ever unbiased (including me and my non-referee friends) as there is no god-like point of view. I have, however, expressed my belief that you do your best to be unbiased, which is a laudable aspiration, although I doubt that it can ever be realised in full.
    sorry that your stats don’t convince me so far, that is not because I believe that you are biased, its because they do not have much of a comparative element to it. of course, as an arsenal supporter, I feel we are hard done by PL refs, but I lack the conviction – so far at least – that the arsenal is singled out by them.

  44. @ugandan goon

    it is such a horribly contrived structure propped up by ‘tradition’- it has no place in the civilised society or even england!

    The last 3 words made me laugh 🙂

  45. Interestingly, here in India, it was reported that a State Cricket Association was adjudged by the Supreme Court to be a public body, despite being a private one. This was following a petition by someone alleging corruption by its members and demanding documents via the Right to Information Act. Since the Act is only valid for govt and public bodies the State Association refused, but the court held that it had public obligations and responsibilities and it should be accountable to the public.

    Any chance of a similar judgement in England? Though probably that’s just wishful thinking.

  46. Shard thanks for your last remark. A very interesting idea I will take on in a series that I am working on

  47. Walter; thanks for looking in to this, and it now seems ever more evident. And if, yes still if, something is going on, it is high up the ranks…
    But we’ve discussed the problem enough. What can we do for the solution!?
    Can we take legal action? Can we commission a proffessional firm (say an audit firm like Deliotte, who I think does some football related research) to take a look at the situation and provide us with proper unbiased documentation?
    I’m dead serious.

  48. Hi
    I have only just come across this site due to the bbc story. I have often pondered about setting up a blog on the back of what I see as a very different set of rules from refs to those that other clubs recieve.
    I thought better of it due to the fact that I would be labeled one eyed & biased.
    May I say well done with this project I am glad it is not just me that thinks this way!
    One observation, do you think having “Bribesville” at the top of the site is a good idea? I feel this gives the site a “gimmicky” look rather than the well researched site it appears to be.
    You should send a link to Mike Riley & Arsene!

  49. Thanks Dorset Gooner. Actually the line with Bribesville in it changes quite regularly as we launch a new series or go off in a new direction. Prior to this we were running the “North London is ours” chant… The name, as you may have seen, comes from the rough translation of the Italian word used in their scandal.

    But I do take your point and will maybe change it to “as featured on the BBC!”


  50. We have here the commentary of a biased fan, if the value judgements in the cases of Barton and Nolan are typical (my own bias is that I think Barton should have not be allowed to play football):

    1 The Barton tackle was one-footed and collected the ball. That at worst would have meant a yellow card. The subsequent cowardly attack on Barton from behind was a clear red card.

    2 In the Nolan case, the timewasting by the goalkeeper merited a yellow; the subsequent wrestling match merited a yellow for each of the participants. So it could be argued that the goalkeeper committed two yellow cards – though a sending off would have been harsh (and no doubt seized upon as evidence of “corruption”)

    Conclusion: For a fan to be the arbiter of fairness is daft. For that same fan to imply that his bias can be ignored is delusional.

    I am not an Arsenal fan; nor am I a Newcastle fan. Though I do feel that the blindness of Mr Wenger where his own team’s discipline is concerned rubs off on his players and the fans.

  51. @ James Campbell – AS for the idea of timewasting by the goal keeper. I would absolutelty like to know how anyone could possibly call 6 seconds (yes watch a replay and time it) timewasting? Six Seconds!

  52. James Campbell,
    A biased fan you say? And the Arsenal’s keeper deserved a second yellow? Yes, that’s right, getting in the way of Kevin-the bloody thug Nolan’s forearm surely is yellow card offense.

    Daft indeed.

    Nice attempt, but run along now.

  53. james just see my next article and see who has been the best ref so far in the eyes of this “biased fan”.
    The best ref this season was Jones who was in charge of our lost game at home against WBA

    And what about the horrible tackle from behind from again BArton in the extra extra time of the first half which was not given and it was tackle going from behind through Arshavin. That alone was a yellow.

    The tackle from Barton on Diaby was dangerous. And when you commit a dangerous tackle it doesn’t matter if you touch the ball or not.

    I might be biased, but you clearly don’t know the rules.

    And did I ever said Diaby didn’t deserve a red card? Maybe reading what I wrote would be a good start before critising me. Which you can but please base it on facts.

  54. hiya walter
    love your articles about ref’s and they seem to be objective which is a novelty in the premiershit. especially among the referees fraternity.

    i have suspected for a couple of years now that there has been a conspiracy against arsenal.( This does not account for our poor defending).
    i think the last 2 games go a long way towards confirming what a lot of arsenal fans suspect. the offside goal against everton and the penalty that never was against newcastle.
    When does coincidence become conspiracy?
    We should look a little harder to find more coincidence like the extra extra time that the smirking ref added at sunderland. we should anilyse a few matches then send the report to the Football Association.
    It would be no good sending it to the press because they like the match of the day deadheads take great pleasure in putting arsenal down.
    you only have to look at the way the press and tv got together to portray EDU as a leper after the celtic game.
    the press now seem to have a campaign going to drive cesc fabregas out of the premiership.
    when you think about it there is more mileage in man united winning the title for a record number of times than an arsenal win
    Keep up the good work Walter and i hope your articles draw attention to the bent ref’s in the premiership.
    you have to admit you have never seen poorer ref’s in the premiership than this lot. they are killing football for a lot of people.

  55. Maybe Arsenal FC themselves are finally waking up to the fact that the referees are biased aginst us as well.
    I wonder if it was actually coincidence that the off-side goal was shown again on the big screen at the Arsenal v Everton match?
    Especially when you consider that a Commons Select Committee were guests at the match that evening.

  56. Re your decision that that Barton should have been given a red card is rubbish. His challenge on Diaby was a hard but legal tackling and Diaby made the problem.I have refereed for over 20 years and Barton did not come near to injuring Diaby. When I played I would see three or four such tackles in most games, without the player losing the ball losing his head. Yes,Nolan should have been sent off for attacking Szczeny in the manner he did but did the referee see it and what about the Assistant referees?
    Wengers John Cleese like antics on the touchline do not help the referees opinions of Arsenal. For a normally placid man he becomes a laughable figure and his interpretations of the laws of the game are more often wrong than correct. I have supported Arsenal for 64 years so I am not at all biased in my comments. Otherwise keep up the good work but please be a little more liberal in your views.

  57. Clive Robert Davis
    As for the Diaby incident- if a ball is loose and a player goes for it- he is not entitled to go through his opponent to win the ball- that is what Barton did and he used excessive force in the tackle- which is a foul. Barton is a thug who can also pass the ball- but he lacks self control- don’t be fooled by camera angles- Walter got it right- and not for the first time.

  58. Clive Robert Davis,
    and what about the tackle from Barton against Arshavin just before half time?

    I don’t know in which time you were a ref but such tackles should be banned now on football fields.
    And when I played 30 years ago mad tackles did happen. Believe me I still can see the scars on my legs where the doctors had to operate my broken leg which ended my career.

    And Fifa rightfully said a few years back that they should protect the players from crazy tackles and changed the instructions.
    What was normal in the past is not normal today. The times have changed, the laws have changed and the instructions have changed. All to prevent criminals kicking legs to pieces or making an end to footballers careers.

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