The terrible truth behind how refs are bought in Arsenal games

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By Walter Broeckx

I will start with a question that could be asked at an Arsenal quiz evening and I think that I can bet a few £ that nobody will know the answer.

The question is : Name one referee under who’s guidance Arsenal never lost even one single point in 4 years? Tick tock tick tock goes the clock… found the answer already? Well let me no longer hold you in tension there is such a referee in fact and his name is MIKE DEAN.

I can imagine many fans shaking the head in disbelief right now. No way Walter this cannot be the truth. You made this one up. I’m pulling you a leg or whatever expression you can think of for someone who is telling a joke. So let me show you the games Dean has done in his early years as a EPL ref starting from the year 2000.

PL Date Home Away H A


Premier League  Su 09May 2004 Fulham Arsenal 0 1


Premier League Sa 24Jan 2004 Arsenal Middlesbro 4 1


Premier League Su 19Jan 2003 Arsenal  West Ham 3 1


Premier League Sa 01Nov 2003 Leeds Arsenal 1 4


Premier League We 27Aug 2003 Arsenal Aston Villa 2 0


Premier League Sa 09Nov 2002 Arsenal Newcastle 1 0


Premier League  Sa 03Feb 2001 Coventry Arsenal 0 1


Premier League Sa 09Dec 2000 Arsenal Newcastle 5 0


Premier League  Sa 16Sep 2000 Arsenal Coventry 2 1



Nine wins  out of nine games!

So here it is black on white Dean hasn’t always been a bad ref for us. Au contraire, my friend. At the start of his career Dean was great. Dean was superb for Arsenal. A game with Dean in charge was a certain 3 points. So what has happened to the Dean of those days? Why on earth is it impossible for Arsenal to win any game with him in charge apart from the odd cup game in which even then he tried to screw us but failed miserably?

Well I think I have found a possible answer. For those readers on Untold who have been here for a long time they will remember that I once wrote a series of articles about how refs can get rewarded for their “good” services. The reward came in the form of getting good games, getting top games and getting a Fifa badge.

But in the years I showed in the statistics Dean was just a regular EPL ref with not Fifa badge. But this changed somewhere in 2004 and Dean became a Fifa ref in that year.  But even though he was a Fifa ref he didn’t get many international games. In fact I can only find 2 international games (one friendly and the clash of the giants between Iceland and Latvia)

Meanwhile in those 4 years the results from Arsenal under Dean got a bit worse.  As you can see in the next table.

PL Date Home Away H A


Premier League  Sa 16May 2009 Man Utd Arsenal 0 0


Premier League Su 08Feb 2009  Tottenham Arsenal 0 0


Premier League Su 30Nov 2008 Chelsea Arsenal 1 2


Premier League  Sa 13Sep 2008 Blackburn Arsenal 0 4


Premier League  Sa 23Feb 2008  Birmingham Arsenal 2 2


Premier League  We 05Dec 2007  Newcastle Arsenal 1 1


Premier League Sa 21Apr 2007  Tottenham Arsenal 2 2


Premier League Tu 26Dec 2006 Watford Arsenal 1 2


Premier League Sa 25Nov 2006  Bolton Arsenal 3 1


Premier League  Sa 15Apr 2006 Arsenal WBA 3 1


Premier League  Sa 24Sep 2005 West Ham Arsenal 0 0


Premier League Sa 06Nov 2004 C Palace Arsenal 1 1


Premier League Sa 02Oct 2004  Arsenal  Charlton 4 0



13 games : 5 wins, 7 draws and 1 defeat. Not that perfect any more since Dean became a Fifa ref but in total in 22 games we had 14 wins, 7 draws and 1 defeat.  And if we compare this to the overall record of Arsenal under Wenger we get this comparison numbers

Total games Won Draw Lost
Total Under Wenger





In %




First 7 years under Dean





In %





And so we can see that in those first 7 years the average result of Dean and the overall result of Arsenal with Wenger in charge is almost the same. In fact we lost fewer games with Dean in charge compared to the overall record. So in his first 7-8 years Dean was not that bad for Arsenal as a ref.

And then we come to the final years and I will give the reason to why I split up my time line on this point later on in this article. But here are the results of Arsenal under Dean since half 2009.

PL Date Home Away H A


Premier League Sa 26Nov2011 Arsenal Fulham 1 1


Premier League Su 02Oct 2011  Tottenham Arsenal 2 1


Premier League  Su 07Nov 2010 Arsenal Newcastle 0 1


Premier League Su 03Oct 2010  Chelsea Arsenal 2 0


Premier League Sa 24Apr 2010 Arsenal Man City 0 0


Premier League Su 07Feb 2010 Chelsea Arsenal 2 0


Premier League  We 16Dec 2009 Burnley Arsenal 1 1


Premier League  Sa 29Aug 2009 Man Utd Arsenal 2 1



And if I do compare this again with the overall record of Wenger you will that something is wrong. Utterly and totally wrong:

Total games Won Draw Lost





In %




last 9 games





In %




Even a blind man can see that this is so totally wrong compared to the others numbers and the overall numbers that well this indicates something very strange.

SO WHAT HAPPENED HALFWAY THROUGH 2009? What happened in this period that suddenly turned Dean from that former rather good ref for Arsenal in a ref that seems to find a devilish joy in making Arsenal lose?

And if you could go back to the painful way and the utterly corrupt and biased performance of the ref at Old Trafford that stopped our unbeaten run with the collection of the most bizarre decisions going against Arsenal.  Remember the ref that day at Old Trafford? I think any Arsenal supporter can say his name and curse him at the same time: Mike Riley.

Well the strange thing is that halfway 2009 Mike Riley stopped as a ref to become the head of the refs at the PGMOL. Since that day Mike Riley is no longer a colleague of Mike Dean, no he is his superior.  Now you might say: what has the appointment of Riley has to do with the performances of Dean?

You may remember me writing of this in my articles about rewarding the refs, and this is relevant because now we can see  a strange coincidence. Because as I have written before Dean was a Fifa ref but he hardly got any international games.  So imagine the situation that Dean goes to Riley and asks him why he doesn’t get international games? And Riley tells him: just make sure Arsenal loses as many games as possible.

Far-fetched?  Well let me just show you how many games Dean has got since Riley became head of the refs in Europe and in European competitions?

Europa League Th 24Feb 2011 Stuttgart 0 – 2 Benfica
Europa League We 01Dec 2010 Hajduk Split 1 – 3 AEK Athens
Euro Championships Tu 12Oct 2010 Belgium 4 – 4 Austria
Europa League Th 30Sep 2010 B Dortmund 0 – 1 Seville
Europa League We 02Dec 2009 Valencia 3 – 1 Lille
Europa League Th 05Nov 2009 Dyn. Zagreb 0 – 2 Ajax
Europa League Th 22Oct 2009 FC Bruges 2 – 0 Partizan
Europa League Th 17Sep 2009 Villarreal 1 – 0 Levski Sofia


That ref who hardly got 2 games in 4 years before, suddenly gets 8 games in two seasons. What a turnaround. In fact as big a turnaround as the results Arsenal have in games with Dean in charge.

And so we have it for those who want to see it. Dean isn’t making us lose just because he has something against Arsenal. No he is doing what Riley has done to us and he got promoted for this. And now Dean is making Arsenal lose to get rewards in the form of European games.  European games which not only are very well paid but also get you travelling around the world in first class, staying in the finest hotels, be treated like a king before the games (not during the games by the fans, of course, but that is just part of the job).

European games bring you prestige and people look up at you. And to do this Dean is just doing what his boss has done before him: try to make Arsenal lose as many games as possible.

The good news is that Dean has around 1.5 to 2 seasons to go as a Fifa ref. After that he will return:  Dean EPL ref.  And who knows maybe he will become back the Dean from before who had a normal record in Arsenal games. But until then we will have to suffer the bias from Dean.


63 Replies to “The terrible truth behind how refs are bought in Arsenal games”

  1. Walter

    It would be more accurate to compare stats of last 9 games with MD with stats of total games of Arsenal of 2009/10 and 2010/11.
    But it almost does not differ from overall stats.
    Total games Won Draw Lost
    2009/10 55 33 8
    2010/11 58 31 13
    113 64 21
    57% 32% 10%

  2. You deserve to get sued for this. You have not one shred of proof. Everything you say is circumstantial. How about the fact that in the earlier years quoted Arsenal were an outstandingly successful team and in the later years we have not been ???

  3. Chris from Cambridge,
    do you have any inside knowledge on how refs get promoted and get “rewarded”? I do.
    Not how it works in England completely but I do know how it works in other countries. And why tell me why would England be completely different compared to the rest of the world?

    But maybe you could give me the reason why from 9/9 wins we go to 0/9 wins. Because the statistics still show that we win almost the same number of games in total now as we did before.
    Because as far as I can remember we didn’t stop winning games since a few years. Because if we would win no games at all there would be nothing wrong at all.

    But don’t stop from proving me that nothing is wrong with Dean.

  4. @chris from Cambridge
    The percentage of wins, draws and defeats of Arsenal does not differ too much from season to season
    Won Draw Lost

    1996/97 57,14% 25,40% 17,46%
    1997/98 54,00% 33,00% 13,00%
    1998/99 54,00% 31,00% 15,00%
    1999/00 57,28% 32,04% 10,68%
    2000/01 56,73% 30,77% 12,50%
    2001/02 54,55% 35,45% 10,00%
    2002/03 54,63% 31,48% 13,89%
    2003/04 53,15% 34,23% 12,61%
    2004/05 53,27% 34,58% 12,15%
    2005/06 57,28% 32,04% 10,68%
    2006/07 55,66% 28,30% 16,04%
    2007/08 53,21% 33,03% 13,76%
    2008/09 54,95% 30,63% 14,41%
    2009/10 57,29% 34,38% 8,33%
    2010/11 56,86% 30,39% 12,75%

  5. Nice write up Walter,
    Stats can really be revealing.
    I only want to know if there is
    any possibility Riley himself
    might be fronting for some
    hidden interest(S).

  6. i dont have the figures but one is definitely cooked, Alek, 2003/2004 Arsenal went unbeaten so drawn games was 0%, please use your brain a bit even rigging stats dont exempt some imagination and facts

  7. @micro – I would say that it depends if he is including cup games.. which he probably shouldn’t.

    I can generate these figures pretty quickly though?

  8. In 2003/2004 Arsenal went unbeaten in EPL
    but in all competitions 2003/2004 there were 7 lost games
    my numbers is for all competitions

  9. The percentage for EPL is
    —–Won -Draw -Lost
    1997–98 60,53% 23,68% 15,79%
    1998–99 57,89% 31,58% 10,53%
    1999–00 57,89% 18,42% 23,68%
    2000–01 52,63% 26,32% 21,05%
    2001–02 68,42% 23,68% 7,89%
    2002–03 60,53% 23,68% 15,79%
    2003–04 68,42% 31,58% 0,00%
    2004–05 65,79% 21,05% 13,16%
    2005–06 52,63% 18,42% 28,95%
    2006–07 50,00% 28,95% 21,05%
    2007–08 63,16% 28,95% 7,89%
    2008–09 52,63% 31,58% 15,79%
    2009–10 60,53% 15,79% 23,68%
    2010–11 50,00% 28,95% 21,05%

  10. Here you go:

    Season Won Drew Lost Won % Drew % Lost %
    1993/1994 18 17 7 47.3684 44.7368 18.4210
    1994/1995 13 12 17 34.2105 31.5789 44.7368
    1995/1996 17 12 9 44.7368 31.5789 23.6842
    1996/1997 19 11 8 50.0000 28.9473 21.0526
    1997/1998 23 9 6 60.5263 23.6842 15.7894
    1998/1999 22 12 4 57.8947 31.5789 10.5263
    1999/2000 22 7 9 57.8947 18.4210 23.6842
    2000/2001 20 10 8 52.6315 26.3157 21.0526
    2001/2002 26 9 3 68.4210 23.6842 7.8947
    2002/2003 23 9 6 60.5263 23.6842 15.7894
    2003/2004 26 12 0 68.4210 31.5789 0.0000
    2004/2005 25 8 5 65.7894 21.0526 13.1578
    2005/2006 20 7 11 52.6315 18.4210 28.9473
    2006/2007 19 11 8 50.0000 28.9473 21.0526
    2007/2008 24 11 3 63.1578 28.9473 7.8947
    2008/2009 20 12 6 52.6315 31.5789 15.7894
    2009/2010 23 6 9 60.5263 15.7894 23.6842
    2010/2011 19 11 8 50.0000 28.9473 21.0526
  11. And under Mike Dean:

    Season Won Drew Lost Won % Drew % Lost %
    2000/2001 3 0 0 100.0000 0.0000 0.0000
    2002/2003 2 0 0 100.0000 0.0000 0.0000
    2003/2004 3 0 0 100.0000 0.0000 0.0000
    2004/2005 1 1 0 50.0000 50.0000 0.0000
    2005/2006 1 1 0 50.0000 50.0000 0.0000
    2006/2007 1 1 1 33.3333 33.3333 33.3333
    2007/2008 0 2 0 0.0000 100.0000 0.0000
    2008/2009 2 2 0 50.0000 50.0000 0.0000
    2009/2010 0 2 2 0.0000 50.0000 50.0000
    2010/2011 0 0 2 0.0000 0.0000 100.0000
  12. Omg Walter this is unbelievable. But then the question now is what does Riley have against arsenal?

  13. The problem Walter has is that it’s difficult to convince many of you. However, I have said in these pages before, that there’s some thing about referees in England and The Arsenal. And yet I live very far away in Uganda, and i’ve been to only one PL match before, way back in 2004. But even on TV you can see that the parameters used to officiate Arsenal games is far different from other top 6 teams. Where a penalty would not be granted, one is given against Arsenal; where a tackle would ordinarily result in only a caution, a yellow is given to an Arsenal player.
    Even now, I wonder how Rooney’s violence on some New Castle lad the other day did not draw atleast a yellow for him! Do you think if it had been Song or RVP, that they would have gone away with it? Besides, the stats are very clear, we’re at the top losing points unfairly almost for 6 years.
    But the negative refereeing depicts itself in England’s international record. Had Rooney used a CL or even Euro match to throw a tantrum, he would almost automatically have been sent off.

  14. But what is also interesting is the handicap swing – which gives a good indication to our relative performance (be it over/under) – I cover this in my blog posts… I only have data for this going back to 2005 though as it’s based on bookmaker odds:

    Season Matches Average PPG Average Swing
    2005/2006 2 2.00 -0.13
    2006/2007 3 1.33 -0.92
    2007/2008 2 1.00 -0.88
    2008/2009 4 2.00 1.25
    2009/2010 4 0.50 -1.00
    2010/2011 2 0.00 -1.13

    Zero prepresents a neutral performance negative is underperformance and positive is an overperformance.

  15. WOW!

    This is eye-popping stuff Walter…

    I hope your stats are correct…if so….

    the stench is unbelievable

  16. So are we saying that SAF’s favourite red is (V)alpolicelli?

    On a very sombre note, Gary Speed seemed in very high spirits before his hanging.

    I just hope he isn’t the David Kelly of the media football complex.

  17. Marcus,

    I got the Dean games from the internet statistical site about referees.
    I could also have a look at the bookings over those games but didn’t go that far…yet. Hey maybe we can see something special in the cards also?
    And could check the penalties also maybe…

    Walter Hercule can do some more research… 😉

  18. Tragedy is when someone as obviously troubled as Mr Speed finally decides to end it all, their apparent mood takes an upswing.I can only imagine that this is because they have finally settled on a ‘solution’ to their problems.
    I have seen this behaviour in several people unfortunately.
    May he and his family find some solace in the fact he cannot suffer any more.

  19. Well, if you want to look for a correlation, you’d say it was with David Dein/Patrick Vieira leaving Arsenal.

    So if you want a disgusting conspiracy theory you say that Dein bought Mike Dean and Vieira used whatever threats you can use on a referee on the pitch on the lines of ‘we’ll shop you to the NOTW if you don’t do what you’re told……’

    I’m not for one second saying there’s any truth to it.

    But until you come up with proof that Dean has been bought, this argument has as much validity in science as what you are saying.

    It’s just that it’d be a bit uncomfortable to consider the possibility, however remote, that when Arsenal were winning things they bought referees like everyone else………

    I’m the scientist, you’re the referee……..

  20. i agree with the writer and i personally think that some of these refs do bet in these games. FA must carefully investigate some of these ref. rem. man u vs nc. dean stopping boring football with your bad professional!

  21. slim, Walter,
    Based on wikipedia info, it seems Riley is appointed head of PGMOL in 2009. The question may be what they – whoever they are – who brought in Riley in 2009 have against Arsenal. And, of course, who ultimately pulled Riley’s strings when he ended our unbeaten run (and those ManUre fans and Fergie were so United in mendacity).

  22. Rhys Jaggar,
    Sorry, but imho, you’re not a real scientist. They deal in hypotheses and probabilities; you demand absolute proof, that even the science you invoke knows well enough not to promise or represent. A working hypothesis poses a possibility and leads to more information, as this article may well achieve. Has this article not at least posed a hypothesis and offered an interpretation that is a real possibility, to be followed up on in whatever way others may choose? Or do you prefer to interpret the absence of absolute truth, in this moment, as sufficient reason to rule out the possibility?

  23. Think Riley could be certainly part of the problem. He is widely believed to be a Manc supporter anyway, that team have certainly been given a few favours over the years

  24. Hi Rhys,

    Interesting the David Dein angle – Walter emailed me the same thing this morning (and I’ve always personally suspected that he had influence in the FA that did benifit us) – it’s worth digging into this a little more I think.

  25. @ Dogfacen or Alek

    I don’t suppose you have any stats on how many penalties have been given at Old Trafford over the last 10 years or so. I’m curious after a very intereseting game at Old Trafford at the weekend. A penalty, which to my view, was a good tackle. And an offside goal which was mere inches offside. Certainly decisions we are not used to seeing in the red part of Manchester.
    Has the money made the decisions go to the blue side of manchester now? It will be interesting to see how this develops over the season.

  26. @Dan

    I have no stats on how many penalties have been given at Old Trafford.(((

    ‘Has the money made the decisions go to the blue side of manchester now?’

    It seems to me that this is the very good question. 😉

  27. Walter, this is a most facinating article and it has provoked some interesting comments.

    We know Riley screwed us against MU in one match, but do we know how Arsenal fared under Riley over the seasons when Riley was an EPL referee? Can we compare results under Riley to the aveage win/draw /loss ratio? Also was there any change in results during his EPL time, if so can we correlate that to any event? Basically can we do on Riley the same research that has been done on Dean. What I am looking for is something to explain Riley’s apparent attitude and why he would want to influence his minions against us.

    The change in Arsenal’s fortunes under Dean are very dramatic, would it be worth looking at results under Webb, Dowd etc to see if our fortunes there similarly changed? Is there a pattern?

    Sorry to suggest what could be a lot of work, but I think you could be onto something.

  28. Personally, I would be curious to just know the last time that Arsenal was awarded a penalty. Period 🙂

  29. Not sure if you guys are all joking. Can’t believe anyone takes this seriously. Look at the opposition during each of the periods. At the start it’s all fulhams and Boltons. By the end it’s all chelseas and man utds. Arsenal losing to stronger opposition, as mike deans career progresses he refs bigger games. Arsenal not as good a team now as they were 7 years ago.

    Simple answers. Put the conspiracy theories to bed fellas.

  30. Richard,

    3 of these 9 games have been against smaller teams like Burnley, Newcastle, Fulham.
    2 one could argue tottenham and City 😉

    I did leave out an important piece of the article because it would become too long. That is the part in which he screwed us in to defeat all those games or held us to a draw.

    Like the fact that when we lost 2-1 at United Dean gave them a penalty (okay can happen at Old Trafford) and refused to give us at least 2 penalties. One was so blatant when Fletcher (I think) dived in with two feet caught Arshavin on his legs came not even near to the ball with his feet and to make things worse he then stopped the ball with his hand and got up and ran away with it.

    Against Burnley again a blatant penalty for Arsenal not given and one (correct) given to Burnley.

    Against tottenham a handball not given from which they score

    I know in one of the Chelsea defeats he also was very efficient in knocking us down when he didn’t give a blatant foul on a defender and from which Chelsea scored their first goal. In that game he also let Chelsea kick Diaby off the field by allowing some criminal tackles on his ankle (he was out for a few games after that game in fact)

    I could go on but I think by now you should get the message I think.

    But for the rest it’s only because it was against the small teams. Yep, forget about the continued “mistakes” always against Arsenal. By coincidence.

  31. Oh and Richard,

    Not calling fouls on Arsenal players in a defensive position is his trademark way of operation. I think he got it copyrighted.
    And in a way this is great way to operate.
    Because the defending team thinks they have the ball and relax a bit and some players run forward to start the attack. Then the defender gets fouled, the players anticipate the whistle and stop their run and Dean just let play continue.
    So the defence is out of position, the other team is close to the Arsenal goal and so the chance of them scoring is very big.

    Nest time keep your eyes open now you know what to look for.

    Oh and the rule and instructions are very clear: a foul on a defender should always be called!

    Oh, I can hear you say: he is just a poor ref.

    Could be but why on earth does the PGMOL and the Fa keep a poor ref in the EPL??? And hand him a Fifa badge????

  32. @Walter:

    Here’s another interesting set of numbers that, unfortunately, may be a little more difficult to link to Riley 🙂 (Although I want to make clear that this particular statistical link could VERY EASILY be nothing more than a complete coincidence). But anyway, the numbers I’m referring to are as follows:

    These are the statistics I calculated earlier this year about the volume and tone of Antony Kastrinakis’ Arsenal coverage in the Sun (I only went back through 2008):

    AK’s Arsenal coverage in 2008:

    Total volume of coverage: 15% approximately

    Tone: Mix of positive and negative, low frequency of talking points

    AK’s coverage in 2009 (which had to be divided and analyzed in three separate segments due to abrupt changes in tone and volume)

    Coverage from 1 January – 29 June 2009:

    Volume: 15% approximately

    Tone: mix of positive and negative, low frequency of talking points

    ****Here’s where it starts to get interesting***

    Coverage from 1 July, 2009 – 24 November 2009

    Volume: Abruptly TRIPLES (almost) from 15% to 39% of total coverage

    Tone: Abruptly CHANGES, becomes negative in tone, and talking points first emerge

    Coverage from 24 November 2009:

    Volume: Jumps an additional 10% on this date to 50% of total coverage

    Tone: Makes the leap from “negative” to “obscenely and ludicrously negative,” also talking points first noted in July at this point are established and fully entrenched in the coverage.

    So, what I documented above in my AK article appeared, to me, to be a specific talking points campaign (as I’ve argued previously). If I had to make an educated guess, I would say, based on my observations, that this campaign was actually first launched in July of 2009, with a planned transitional/introductory period that led up to the full launch in November of that year.

    Now, again, the above is nothing more than speculation, and an educated guess on my part. I could easily be wrong. However, I do think it’s interesting the way some of these dates match up with the abrupt change that Walter noted in Arsenal’s results under Dean. Specifically, I documented a talking points campaign beginning in July, 2009 (possibly). And Walter, above, documented an abrupt change in Arsenal’s results under Dean that first appeared (apparently) in August, 2009….

    So, to quote Alice on her journey through the looking glass…

    “curiouser and curiouser.” 🙂

    Does anyone else have any thoughts on this apparent coincidence?

  33. Richard, the figures up to 2004 are fairly incidental.

    The plot thickens post game I vaguely remember was

    Premier League Sa 21Apr 2007 Tottenham Arsenal 2:2

    Seem to remember some jiggery pokery there.

    “Put the conspiracy theories to bed” you say….sorry mate, save the fairy tales for your kids.

  34. Summer 2009 , maybe in anticipation of deans alleged mate… arry’s first full season with spurs? He started with them oct 2008.
    I would not be surprised that after fergie, redknapp has been one of the most widely influential managers in the league, look at the way the media behave towards him,
    Summer 2009 , could be wrong but think there was a bit of a stan vs usmanov buy up and a few things of that ilk going on? Significant?
    I also think by that date, it was clear this team, built by very unconventional methods in terms of the modern Epl was a real threat to the big spending more traditionally run teams. Teams were going out to stop us by maiming players, and refs were certainly aiding and abetting the situation.
    Maybe we were just an easy target at not having won anything for a while.
    Maybe there was resentment we were clearly going along with the upcoming Financial fair play,in contrast to other English clubs, and we could not be seen to succeed in such a way, that would embarrass the epl in their fight against FIFA.
    Maybe there is resentment at us having a foreign manager and the perception we do not play English players. As for foreign managers, I remember rafa getting similar treatment to wenger, tho Jose managed to avoid this.
    Maybe the media is full of supporters of spurs and the northern teams.
    Maybe football has gone down the corrupt route of cricket, or the ref biased world of rugby union, just look at performances of refs in the last three rugby world cup finals, a slight southern hemisphere bias just may have been present!
    I am sure there are plenty of other factors we do not yet know about, maybe we never will.
    But this site has clearly demonstrated this team have been on the wrong end of something.

  35. Another point, know it is a bit of a way back, but is there any info on how Portsmouth did under dean when arry was in charge there? That would be interesting….

  36. @Anne

    I was wondering if it was possible to show any correlation between Dean’s treatment of Arsenal on the field and the way we were reported post match and overall. As usual you are way ahead.

    It has sometimes looked as if the poor ref decisions and some press reports were complementary parts of a campaign to undermine the manager and team; but as anti Arsenal press reports rarely go into match details and certainly do not discuss wrong ref decisions, it could be that the press have a secondary directive or purpose – to distract the public/fans from what really happens on the field and in part cover up ref bias.

    AK has had a fairly low profile since being “exposed” on Untold, unfortunately Dean is still hurting the club.

  37. Walter …excellent effort at presenting some statistics to show a curious ¨trend¨ towards MD’s punishing AFC on occasion but that said, we are far from having any conclusive and easily replicated proof that could be provided to the authorities. In the world of Football officiating, there is almost no possibility of demonstrating absolute and unequivocal bias or ¨bentness¨ as my Aussie mates like to call it. I really wish we could get a private investigator to delve into DM and other officials/coordinators’ dealings (if any) with bookies, the mafia, or even EPL managers. Now that would make interesting reading, like your article, but would also put a noose around any corrupt officials/administrators’ necks!
    On a more sombre note, Gary Speed’s apparent lightheartedness only days before his suicide are classic symptoms of suicidal intention and ideation. He had made his peace with the world, his decision and himself and was awaiting the denouement. May his soul rest in peace!

  38. after the dodgy penalty at Old Trafford (shock, horror) against man u… anybody think oil money is buying the title in more ways than one?

  39. Ed,
    In terms of marketing and television exposure, I’ve read a strong analysis proving that worldwide, MU is clearly the EPL’s most representative and merchandised brad (thus, the most TV appearances). Do you see anyone on ManShitty that comes near to the positive and frequent exposure that’s usually granted to Wayne Rooney or Lord Fergie? I believe, when push comes to shove at the end of this season, that MU will prevail for the alleged good of the league. Which is not to say that a given match might not come under other control; but I don’t think enough to derail MU’s eventual first place finish. We shall see.

  40. there’s a ‘trend’ but not conspiracy. But EPL is like any other league in the world , there ARE people who can influence game results by whatever means for whatever reason. The problem with Arsenal is that we have too nice a gentlemen Arsene as manager, not vocal and supportive enough in public from the board. But I do believe there’s a hidden hierarchy in the footballing world, no need for proof or anything like that. If the ref can’t be questioned for his action/inaction on the field (rarely query that is), it’s a uphill battle for teams to fight that extra huddle to be in a level playing field.

  41. @Ed

    One decision doesn’t mean anything in isolation. So ManU drew. Apart from Chelsea so did all the other teams who are going for the top 4. ManU didn’t lose ground on City. Not saying all those games were rigged. Just that ManU weren’t really caused much damage, and they do get a lot of help usually. It’s possible that they won’t be helped this season, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    Of course, why Chelsea and even ManU could be subjected to bad decisions etc while ManCity win, is that it could be another way to promote the concept of increased spending among their fan base and in the media. Since that is the only way to win, isn’t it? So IF Chelsea really are making efforts towards the FFP, the pressure on them (from media and the refs) could be a result of that. Just a thought.

  42. @bjtgooner:

    At this point, I still have to say that the link between Walter’s numbers and mine is falling in the realm of “interesting coincidence” as opposed to “correlation.” Really, I would need a lot more documentation before I would call it anything more than that, even privately on a personal level. I believe that, on the comments thread of my AK article, someone pointed out that the Sun also changed sports editors at around the time these coverage changes occurred.

    What made me think of it was because, in the same manner that I did with AK’s coverage, Walter documented an abrupt change in volume (in this case relating to Arsenal’s points under Dean), that could be linked to a specific date. Since I had been analyzing AK’s coverage under much the same framework, the proximity of the dates when we documented volume changes really jumped out at me.

    And while it doesn’t establish anything at this point, I do find it interesting, and I thought it was worth noting. If anyone turns up anything else relevant that correlates with this time period, I would definitely appreciate an update and/or link.

  43. @Mandy Dodd, Dogface:

    Interesting points about the summer of 2009. Thanks for the reminder about some of the things that were going on back then.

    As for your question about Dean, I was also going to link you to Dogface’s Tottenham RefWatch, but I can see that he beat me to it. I just wanted to encourage you, along with anyone else who hasn’t read it, to go take a look. In addition to answering your specific question, the general analysis of Dean’s statistics is very impressive.

    I already said this on another thread, but I just wanted to compliment you again, Dogface, on that particular RefWatch. Calling it “impressive” is actually a complete understatement of the regard in which I hold your work on that one.

  44. Am really baffled about certain things. Its the British Media which worked out on the back of the match fixing and spot fixing going on in the cricket world. Coming from a cricket crazy country, its been long since I really saw any match without an aorta of doubt that also includes today’s India vs WI ODI.

    When people like Dogface can do so much wonder with very little scientific tools possible except data data and only data and computers how come the media sleeps on it?

    There seems to exist a favoritism and a bias which is very much out in the open for even a layman to see and if the media remains a mute spectator of things then there something is working behind the natural eye.

  45. The screwing of Arsenal began before Riley’s appointment as the head of officials. Look at the way the Gunners were screwed in 07/08; I believe that was the season when Wenger told a post-match interviewer that there are “dark forces” in English football (but refused to elaborate.) The most obvious example that season was probably the 2-2 draw with Birmingham City. Who was the ref that day? Michael Dean. 😀

    Riley is not calling the shots here. You need to go further down the rabbit hole…

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