23 responses

  1. Dino Abby

    Beautiful article. I hope the officiating in football will get better soon coz to me, the smell really stinks!!

  2. WalterBroeckx

    never argue with the ref when he has given you a card… 😉

  3. DogFace

    Sorry Walter – I tinkered with your Graph JPG and cropped off the white space, hope you don’t mind?

    Good article!

  4. WalterBroeckx

    No please do, Dofgace, because I can just manage the ref reviews and keep them reasonably readable but then the knowledge stops for the moment.

  5. Woolwich Peripatetic

    It makes you wonder if the whole thing is orchestrated by someone who’s analysed the core values of the EPL brand isn’t quite smart enough to see what they really are.
    It’s as if the analysis is conducted by looking at what people like/dislike about other leagues and not by looking at what people like about the EPL.
    The EPL’s primary appeal is that it is a competitive league but the marketing men seem to have decided that a fight between two MASSIVE teams is more interesting because the only matches people bother to watch in Spain involve one or both of the big two.
    People like the idea that EPL teams never give up and would rather lose 4-1 than 1-0. Which is rubbish, the refereeing and the finances force most teams into dire, defensive, unmitigated rubbish in the hope of nicking a win or salvaging a draw.
    Because a global audience likes seeing global players you have a bizarre mix of poorly trained British players and talented foreigners acquired on the cheap, again mainly driven by finances.

    The end result is that for most supporters:
    They cannot identify with the players because they are all mercenaries;
    They cannot identify with the style of football because playing well and losing is much more interesting than playing badly and losing;
    They have no real hope against top teams because the players won’t get a chance and the referees will tilt the game to suit the TV audience.

    And they wonder why football appears to be dying…

  6. Cape Gooner

    Accepting this level of performance is an open invitation to corruption. It doesn’t matter if the corruption is payoffs from the betting industry, payoffs from the football industry, bias by PGMOL or bias by individuals – while this level of performance is accepted and cannot be effectively questioned, then the door is wide open for corruption.

    While red cards and penalties are obviously game changing, we have seen in the last two games how yellows can do the same thing. Song’s yellow forced us into a change of shape with Arteta playing DM and Song playing further forward, while Mertesaker’s yellow limited his options when trying to deal with the TV header. And as you might expect from the data, one was right, one was wrong!

  7. mark

    good article

    The offside decisions are better because there are two people working together to get it right. Clearly having another ref on the field would help increase the correct decisions in other areas. Two refs with two linesmen would help and are needed even if goal line tech and video replay is adopted.

    One other thing that your graph does not show and that is the inconsistency toward one team or another. The refs in the EPL are not good enough but they also seem to have bias. It is rare that they are equally bad to both teams. Why is this?

  8. Gord

    According to the PremierLeague.com, we were scheduled to get Attwell for the 26th. Since the game has been moved back 24 hours (27th), any chance we’ll get a real referee? And who might that be?

  9. mike in atlanta

    don’t expect anything to change anytime soon walter. you may see the logic in it and i may wonder why the premier league continues to allow the FA to debase their brand. but experience tells me people like to wallow in the mud they are already in. most institutions you see around you are run the way they are because the lowest common denominator tend to rise to the top and promote their own kind to surround themselves with an aura of safety in numbers.

    your analysis is not wanted there as only neanderthals need apply. they will change when the stands are emptier and their feeble minds eventually catch on. look at blatter for instance; the man is a dunce. do you really expect him to understand video technology? he’s just now getting used to his walkman.

  10. Woolwich Peripatetic

    “your analysis is not wanted there as only neanderthals need apply. they will change when the stands are emptier and their feeble minds eventually catch on. look at blatter for instance; the man is a dunce. do you really expect him to understand video technology? he’s just now getting used to his walkman.”

    Sadly true. La Liga is dying on it’s arse, I wonder which will happen first, the top two break away or the bottom eighteen? The only reason the other clubs haven’t done it is they know their biggest pay day is when those two show up in town and the stadium fills with the plastic fans.
    Attendances are down at all grounds this year. What’s never mentioned is that Arsenal still packs in more fans per game than most other big clubs (barring United) who don’t sell out either, despite our ticket prices.

  11. Gf60

    @Mike in Atlanta
    I’m a dunce…IT challenged is an understatement…but I uderstand, want, believe the world needs, video technology. So comparing me to Septic Bladder is a real insult! 😮

  12. 037

    100% agree with this article!!
    Football’s officiating definitely needs help from video evidence.

  13. LRV

    Walter, I admit it. I am one of those football fans who have been put off watching football. I feel that it’s become so bad as to rival the worst WWF show.

    95% of the time these days, you could almost predict what is likely to happen when certain teams are playing. What’s the point of that? Where is the thrill? The FA, PGMOL, Media & Pundits have all colluded to rob us of the joy of football.

    Only Football Fans can change the situation, I believe.

  14. Sammy The Snake

    What’s to be done, Walter? Course of action? You’ve made the point we all suspected, but let’s take the matter seriously and take action.

  15. Donnyfan1

    Cheers Walter.
    The difference in quality of performance between euro refs and ours is astonishing. Euro refs are not vastly superior– but they ref fairly. This is all we ask. The ‘agenda of bias’ our refs seem to use for the important games and the drop in standards (obviously) that goes with it- is being noticed in Europe. As with every unpalatable truth- the FA, the Media and the Press are not big enough to handle it- so don’t expect any leadership from them. They are all lap-dogs following the money!

  16. Laundryender

    Great stuff Walter, the disparity between red and yellow cards demands explanation, it is far greater than it should be and suggests I believe that Referees do not apply the letter of the law in red cards but a “can I, can’t I” attitude, an interpretation based on the anticipated backlash.
    How will the press and media receive it?
    How will the managers receive it?
    How will the players react?
    Does he play for England?
    How will the crowd react?
    Is he a home or away player?
    Is he foreign?
    How badly is the other player injured?
    How early in the game is it
    Add to the list as you see fit, but what is a fact is that on the issue of red cards, Referees often bottle it, last night’s game (Spurs V Chelsea) as the game Chelsea V Man City was ample evidence of this fact. On both occasions the Referees did not apply the letter of the law because they did not want to upset the apple cart, or to be the headline. It is simply an abdication of duty, they are well rewarded for what they do, they are well rewarded to make the right decisions, and to ensure that the game is played within the laws. They are employed to apply the laws regardless of outcome, only in doing this can the sport be considered fair. If the application of the laws is not even handed, and without prejudice, it is not sport. SO WHERE ARE WE THEN!!!!

  17. DogFace

    @Laundryender light entertainment?

  18. bob

    Sammy the Snake, Laundryender, UA,
    Perhaps it’s Online petition for video replay/monitoring time?

  19. Gooner Gal

    @ Laundryender – you ask some very, very important questions.

  20. Laundryender

    @Dogface 🙂

    @Goonergal, dogfaces answer has credibility

  21. bob

    but no petitioning has credibility, does it.

  22. Laundryender


    re a petition

    the views of the FA were changed this year when Frank Lampards goal was chalked off against Germany in the W/C, they then decided that goal line technology was desireable, only because that decision may have cost them millions, funny that money forging opinion. The way that games are refereed is in the hands of FIFA, the FA can only lobby, FIFA is an instititution that is truly corrupt as recent evidence has highlighted.

    Do you think they will listen to a petition!

    In my opinion, change to the way the game is refereed will come about slowly, or after a monumental fuck up and exposure. The latter being the most probable, we live in hope.

  23. bob

    While you wait for the monumental fuck up,
    I think a petition is a first step toward
    fans getting off the couch and deciding what to do next.
    But “do you think they will listen” is
    exactly the fatalism that helps keeps things
    the same way until the deliverance of the monumental fuck up that you await. And, then, who would step in to fix it? FIFA?

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