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July 2021

Wrong calls by refs. We compare Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man C, Man U and Tottenham


Approaching money time in the Premier League.  Which clubs get the most wrong calls against them by the refs?

By Walter Broeckx


In my earlier article about how Arsenal and the other teams are being treated by the refs and where I presented not only the evidence our Ref Reviewers team has gathered but also the evidence from other non-Arsenal related blogs I noticed a few people still having misgivings about what we are doing.

And one could say that those people will never be satisfied until we publish the picture of the bank account of ref X where they can see a sum of money being paid from club Z. But until we become members of the police we will never be able to get such evidence. And I really doubt (after reading Anne’s article about money laundering) that any club would be stupid enough to pay directly to any ref or to any person responsible for the refs. Maybe they should look at accounts opened on pets names.

Now should we just discard the findings of ourselves and two other referee focussed sites? No, we shouldn’t. If we were the PGMOL we would of course. We would publish flashing statements about +93% of the calls being correct without any evidence or clarity how they get to such numbers.

But one could say that at Untold Arsenal are the Anti-PGMOL but it would be fairer for us to be called PGMOR which should stand for Professional Game Match Officials Reviewers.

But to return to the critical remarks of one of the readers. And his remark said that we could not compare the numbers of all the teams because for some teams we only have a handful of games and for others we have +20 games reviewed. And in a way he was right. But in order to keep the article interesting for as many people as possible I thought it would be interesting for supporters of teams like WBA, Everton and indeed all the others to see how their favourite team is doing when it comes to treatment of the officials.

Obviously as a volunteer organisation we can’t cover every match of every team in the EPL and we had to make a decision who to focus on at the top of the league.  We took the view that  the top 6 teams in the EPL would be in alphabetical order Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham. And from all those teams we have done more than 10 games so far.

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(Actually that was not a bad gamble.  Replace Liverpool with Newcastle perhaps, but otherwise it looks like we are going to get it right).

In this article I will try to show you if there is an evolution in how the refs have done their job when it comes to making mistakes in the games of those teams. And I must say it was a rather eye opening exercise.

What we present here are some graphics taken at different stages of the season. A first one after 30 games reviewed. A second graphic was made after 73 games reviewed and the last graphic was taken after 103 games reviewed. And remember if you really doubt our point and write us off as a bunch of biased and disgruntled Arsenal moaners just look at the debatable decisions website or the football is fixed blog.   Or alternatively, set up your own network of reviewers, plus your own web site, plus a group of half a dozen regular writers, and dedicate maybe 10 man or woman hours a day to the project.

So here we go with the first table after 30 games reviewed.

If we take into account the normal 60/40 bias for home and away teams and the supposed 55/45 bias for big/small teams things should even out in the end.  That would mean that each team would get round 50% in wrong calls from the refs.

A club that is getting significantly lower than 50% wrong calls is getting some favours (accidental or deliberate) from the refs.

A club that is getting significantly above 50% wrong calls is being very hard done by, by the refs.

But we are always told by those who believe nothing is wrong that these errors out during the season, so by now we should be seeing most teams getting close to the 50% mark.


Okay after 30 games the world is not exactly perfect, except it is for Manchester City. They are the team that come near the perfect even out number. Arsenal is far away from this number – on 20% to be exact. Chelsea and Tottenham are rather close at this time of the season. Liverpool is getting some things done it seems. Do I remember Kenny complaining at the early stages to a certain Mr. Riley about the refs? And United well they sure are getting the “rub of the green”  it seems. It looks as if the word is: when there is doubt give the decision to United and/or against Arsenal.

Let us move on to our findings after 73 games. This was the time at the start of the year 2012.

Same old Arsenal, always being cheated. Those should be the correct words from the song we hear every week. If after reading the first graphic you thought it couldn’t get worse, sorry, it could. After 73 games Arsenal was getting just under 80% of the wrong decisions against them. If we look at the other teams we also see some interesting developments. Not Chelsea because they keep hanging around the same number of decisions and are close to the desired 50% mark. Tottenham was being treated in almost he same way with a very nice score of getting only around 45% of the decisions going against them.

But look at Manchester City and their drop in wrong decisions. From the almost perfect 50% mark they suddenly get some things done from the refs and end up with a score of lower than 40% of the calls going against them. Liverpool has also improved their position a bit and the same goes for United.

The next table is the way things stand after 103 games reviewed so far.


And what do we see? Arsenal is still just a fraction under getting 80% of the decisions going against them. Now I don’t know if you realise how much that is but this is ridiculous. This is a number that is almost impossible to come up against. Not just physical but also mentally.

How can 80% of wrong calls in all these games be against Arsenal?

The only top team that can say: “things even out” is Chelsea. They keep on getting a score of around 50%. The ideal score. They get some things going against them but also get the same amount of things in their favour at times.

The score of Tottenham got slightly worse compared to the earlier stages. That is what happens when you come too close to the big boys. But still wouldn’t we love to see that number above the Arsenal name?

King Kenny’s magic has gone lately. There seems to be a shift. The talk between Riley and Dalglish had an effect early one but is has gone. But still a nice score of around 45% of the calls going against you. What a luxury position.

And now come the interesting part of course. If we look at the battle of Manchester we had seen that City suddenly became the flavour of the refs. But now we are entering money time. We are entering the crucial period of the season. And look at the way that the decisions of City has changed. From totally neutral at the start of the season, to very favourable at one part of the season. But now when the threat for United becomes very clear we suddenly see that they are getting a rise in the “mistakes” table. Still a great score and one we can only dream of but it looks as if someone somewhere at some moment in time has said: enough is enough. Now is the time to act.

And this is also clearly visible in the numbers of Manchester United. Because from a score of 36% wrong decisions against them it has even dropped further to around 30%!! And what is mostly interesting is the fact that the Manchester teams show a different line and I will show this in a next graphic with all those teams and where you can see how things have changed during the season.

If you now look at the City line and compare it with the United line you will see the difference from the start with United getting a rather ridiculously low score (and Arsenal a ridiculously high score) but the most interesting part is the moment between game 73 and game 103. City numbers going up and United numbers going done rapidly.

I think you could say we are seeing what can be called “money time” in the EPL in those graphics.


Recent Ref Reviews:

Man City 3 Blackburn 0

Chelsea 3 Bolton 0

Tottenham 1 WBA 0

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Untold Referees Index

47 comments to Wrong calls by refs. We compare Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man C, Man U and Tottenham

  • Mikhail

    Amazing job. Thanks for the stats, as always 🙂

  • legolas still trust Wenger

    thank you for the stats indeed we got a lot a lot of wrong calls . i hope we grab 3 points tomorrow . Best of luck Gooners

  • samgooner

    been saying the same thing for years you don’t need a survey it is obvious (could you do one on divers I bet wooney would come out top) well done great work shame we cant change things.

  • dirk

    great effort! United was clearly favorited by the ref. Shouldn’t arsenal board see this? so they know where to spend in the future 😉

  • Brdgunner

    Hi, great work and the best blog on any subject. However, can you be sure that the analysis of refs is Un-biased? For example if all the games were reviewed by fans of the 6 clubs (not just mighty gooners) would we see arsenal with so much injustice?

    Come on the gunners

  • Kentetsu

    Brdgunner, leaving Arsenal out of the equation, you can still see the trends for the other five teams. But then a nay-sayer would accuse the reviewers of being biased against ManU…

    I think within the limits of the work done here, the level of work is highly commendable. And even if the data is not perfect – is perfection even possible? – the overall trends remain roughly the same.

  • Kentetsu

    One question, though…

    Are the additional games from each graph from the same period in the season?

    Like, for Arsenal the first seven games relate to the period up to 2 Oct. The second graph refers to 20 matches, the additional 13 for the period from 3 Oct to 2 Jan.

    Then, to compare with say Spurs, are the 4 matches from graph 1 also for the period up to 2 Oct, with the additional 3 matches for graph 2 (for a total of 7 matches) for the period 3 Oct to 2 Jan?

  • Gerry Lennon

    Just as a matter of interest, are these ‘purely’ referee’s decisions, or does it include ref’s assistants making the call?
    If the latter, perhaps add in a filter that includes refs and assistants who regularly pair together, and see if that alters the bias in any way?
    Sorry, more work for you …

  • jackson essien

    what an amazing research work here,thanks for the information we are very grateful…………..gooners for life

  • Anne

    @Ref Reviewers:

    Great work. I suppose, as Arsenal keeps getting better and ManU keeps getting worse, we will continue to see these changes represented in the level of ref intervention required.

    But you know what? Arsenal plays the best football. And nothing the refs can do can prevent me from seeing that, or change it. And nothing about our position in the table will detract from my pride in our performances.

    And really, ManU is getting to a level of pathetic-ness that makes them kind of funny to watch. They need so much help that it’s gotten to the point where I find it funny rather than infuriating. Where will they be this time next season? 10% wrong calls against?

    Anyway, keep up the excellent work. These numbers are invaluable. And thanks for the acknowledgement of my article Walter 🙂

  • Arvind

    Thanks Walter.

    For some reason these tables/graphs are not visible on my machine. Are these viewable only on a Windows machine? I’m running Firefox 11.0 on Ubuntu 10.04.

  • El Tel

    I have been saying this for years about Refs and now you can prove it. They are Northern bias and always have been.

    Arsenal and Chelsea are the only threat to these Northerners in recent years and throughout history Arsenal are the greatest threat with most titles won.

    Read through the history of the game and you will see that the FA is being run by Northern teams and us Southern softies as they like to call us have always got poor treatment from the FA.

    Check out how Arsenal and Chelsea got a stronghold of the League from 2001-2006 then David Dein gets booted so the Mancs David Gill can step in. They were on the wane until the FA restored the balance.

    The Mancs have become an all conquering team over the past 7 years with piss poor players in their side.

    Although I am Arsenal bias as a lifetime fan of 50 years in my opinion Chelsea have been better than everyone since 2004 until last season.

    It is also ok to see the Spuds getting a decent percentage but they are not seen as a threat by the Northern mafia and some of the dodgy decisions are because they have the mighty Harry ( piss take) in control.

    I love this site as you are proving what many Arsenal fans already know.

    Funny also that when we get a decision in our favour ( offside goal disallowed at Everton) it gets lots of press, however the Odemwingie non penalty for WBA at you guessed it the Mancs got hardly any media coverage.

    Shocking really and a credit to our Team for being anywhere near the top in these difficult circumstances.

    By the way Mark Van Bommel even said the other week when we played his team Milan that Paul Scholes is dirtier than him. Funny that if a player in this country were to say the truth they would get slaughtered by the FA and the media.

  • Chris

    Blimey, you’ve done a lot of work here, and this is very interesting thanks!
    I am interested to know whether you are able to break this down easily into Home and Away games. My expectation would be that intimidating Home venues will skew the results further. Perhaps part of the problem is that Arsenal’s fans don’t scream at the Ref enough?

  • GoonerB

    Interesting stats. Problem is that different stats can be used in different ways and I am sure if a Utd supporter decided to analyse all stats carefully they could use certain ones to make this difference less apparant. I still however believe that there is a massive difference, that they couldn’t completely hide whichever stats they use,and that this has decided where the title has gone in certain years.

    I have not really looked at any favourable decisions to Utd this year but have been acutely aware of bad ones against us and often in a game we have lost by one goal. We had RVDV’s hand ball goal and lost 2-1. At City RVP’s goal was ter shown to be onside but was ruled out and what about the hand-ball in that game (Richards I think). We lost that one 1-0. With Fulham we were 1-0 up and Gervinho had a genuine penalty turned down. At 2-0 would Fulham have come back into a game we ended up losing 2-1. With Swansea Dyer got a penalty at a crucial time when it was shown that he actually fouled Ramsey and not the other way around. We lost this game by one goal. Those few alone contribute to a lot of points for me and even worse 2 were in games against other top table teams.

    The bias also continues with MOTD for me, who often choose to overlook certain Arsenal incidents that could have been a wrong call against us. I have often watched a game live and thought, I look forward to seeing that again on MOTD only for it not to be shown. For me any possible injustice against Utd is analysed just so all officials and anyone running the game are aware that Utd are due a bit of luck back. A classic examplewith us is the Everton game where they highlighted the Drenthe goal, one which we all have to say is one of the few lucky decisions we have got and Everton could rightly feel hard done by. I watched what also looked a stone-wall penalty for Rosicky which I wanted to see again. Cue MOTD and not even an iota of reference to it. It wasn’t even shown in the highlights as a key incident never mind analysed after.

  • mjc

    I have two (unrelated) questions:

    1) How could Man Utd possibly funnel money to keep the refs on their side?

    2) Whatever did happen to Bébé (cost=£7.4m)?

  • Yommex

    A great job here Walter which has further given voice to the several years of injustice meted out against our beloved Arsenal. I’m sure over time the PGMOL will become uncomfortable with what is being done on this site as their bias would no longer be easily swept under the carpet(that is if it has not started happening already).

    Given what Mike Riley himself did in our 50th match of the invincible run against who else but the Chosen Ones, I doubt how much sympathy he can ever have for Arsenal. To drive the truth home, can we have a retrospective review of that match and see what percentage of wrong calls went against us? I think it will be discovered that we are still doing well by Riley’s standard as we should be closer to 90 than to 85 percent of wrong calls against us.

  • Shard

    I agree with Anne here. Seeing the match against Wolves, a match ManU won 5-0, I was more amused than infuriated. ManU are a terrible side and have been for a few years. At least 2, maybe 3 of their titles are more down to the referees than anything they have done. Really, it’s reached a point where you can predict what will happen almost all the time. I suspected ManU will win big against Wolves so as to banish from memory them being outclassed and thrown out of the Europa league, and the media can all go on to say how great this team is, and any shortcomings in the team just prove how great Ferguson is because it’s due to his ‘magic’ that ManU are top. The real magic comes from the referees of course and for this reason I can only think of ManU as a joke of a club. Pathetic and no one should ever take them seriously. Pity, because at one time I respected them as much as I hated them.

    It isn’t JUST referees however. I see someone above has already pointed out that MOTD didn’t show the Rosicky penalty appeal against Everton. MOTD obscure facts especially to cover up decisions going ManU’s way, as do Sky who show selective replays from selective angles. Beyond that, I would also like to point out that ManU are getting THREE…that’s 3 extra days… compared to ManCity for the next round of fixtures. ManU played on Tuesday night and their next fixture is Monday night. ManCity played Wednesday night, and play on Saturday afternoon. Well, ManU do need all the help they can get of course.

  • Shard

    @El Tel

    You’ve been watching the game much longer than I have, so I don’t want to disagree completely. In fact, I don’t. There definitely is a north-south bias in English football. It was evident even in the late 90s and early 2000s. But I think because you are so used to the bias being there, you don’t see that it has moved on from being just bias to being something else. Something deliberate. Bias affects judgment in case of doubt or close calls. When it is blatantly wrong, and there are conscious decisions to swing the game a certain way, I don’t think it can be attributed to bias.

  • The question is raised above, how can this be happening?

    The answer we have provided generally is this:

    The structures in the control of referees are very lax – we have very few of them so they get to ref the same clubs over and over, they are allowed to get away with poor levels of accuracy which is not allowable in other countries, and there is no accountability. They can’t give interviews after games, as they can in some countries, and the ref association does not even abide by its own rules (which include educating the public – in fact it closed its own web site down after we started our investigations).

    In Italy what happened was that five clubs would routinely work closely with the ref authorities to ensure they got certain refs for their games, and offered the refs the use of the President’s private villa, the yacht, the private jet etc. In return the refs would do two things…

    a) give dubious calls to the club that offered the inducements
    b) give calls against any clubs nominated by the lead club, who saw them as rivals.

    Because of this double approach it is hard to see the pattern sometimes. If Milan and Juve were both using this approach, Milan might say look after us, but don’t help Juve or Inter. Juve would say look after us but don’t help Milan or Inter.

    From this mythical example we would expect Inter to be done down but the pattern for Juve v Milan games might be unclear.

    We have not got the tapes of telephone calls that they had in Italy, but if it is happening here, the club others are saying “don’t help” is obviously Arsenal. If for eaxmple Man U and Liverpool are both saying “help us but try and hinder Arsenal” that could start to explain what is going on.

    There’s no proof – but it is one explanation. Pure chance is another. Bias by our ref reviewers is another. Personally I doubt the chance and bias explanations, because of the way the ref association refuses to do anything to help sort things out. That is probably the most damning evidence of all.

  • Johnny Deigh

    Interestingly, in Italy’s calciopoli scandal, it was alleged that bribes were paid to Italy’s version of MOTD.

  • Dan T


    The Champions league is perhaps a good indicator of Man U without ref Bias in their favour. Not getting through the group stages when they don’t have their 12th man.

    If they carry on increasing the help from refs in the EPL then they will get an even bigger shock in Europe next year.

  • Dan T

    Assuming they’re not thrown out of the Champions League by next year for match fixing.

  • Dave Right

    Excellent work Walter as usual. The charts are easy to read and hard to take.


  • Andy Kelly

    Can anyone offer up an explanation as to why this is happening? If there is an anti-Arsenal conspiracy, what is the reason for it?

  • Tommy London

    It would be interesting to see if there is a correlation between the number of players on a particular team who play for E,W, or S and the favourable calls received. I imagine there is tremendous pressue on a ref when he is yelled at by Rooney or Scholes, who are national heroes. On the other hand, it must be a nice feeling to have Ferdinand come up and shake your hand at the end of a match – something to tell the grandchildren.

  • the mickster

    I think the NW – London slant is the most fascinating of all, is it possible (sorry for asking you guys to do even more extra work !) to see if you take out this big 6, to see if say a similair pattern exists between fulham & QPR vs Wigan, Bolton & Blackburn. This would then suggest a geographical bias in the PMGOL, as highlighted before in the only Northeners can ref article. or do Sunderland & newcastle get better or worse treatment than WBA, Wolves and Villa.
    Brilliant stuff btw and please keep going, if only for my own sanity !

  • ak47

    not to mention motd moving up north. keep up the good work. either this will pay off and we’ll finally get instant replays deciding matters or we’ll become so good as a team it wont matter. either way it will be fun if you love football and not trophies.

  • Stuart


    An unintentional bias is also a credible explanation. Refs can make decisions on an ‘Autopilot’ basis rather than with an intention.

    Never the less, it is a bias which needs to be stamped out.

  • Arun

    The rise of the ‘money line’ is definitely going to continue to rise for mc for the rest of the season and downhill for the other half as a mediocre side wins the title again. Arsenal, by far, the most suffered team among all the 6 teams.
    @ Tony and all, what about submitting all this evidence to any newspaper which will be ready to publish it, after all it’s gonna give them a lot of hits.
    @ Dave, thanks for telling us the true full name of the organisation called as PGMOL.
    @ Tony, please check your mail as I have sent you the article for this week.

  • 1 p1ssed off gooner

    Absoluetly none of this surprises me.

    In fact it makes me angry, angry because football is fixed by the refs. It’s so blatant.
    I (and others) spend £1000 or more per year on our season tickets and regularly feel cheated.

    They way I see it, my outlay since 2006 on going to Arsenal (all inc.) is probably about £15-20k
    I reckon I should be able to take that amount worth in damage out on the referees body parts. Mike Riley – No knee caps, Phil Dowd – Adams apple rippied out with my teeth etc etc

  • Andy…

    If you accept the notion that there is some generalised match fixing going on, on the Italian model, then there will be some clubs that are indulging in it – with a win no matter what mentality – and some that would never indulge.

    You can make out pro- and anti- cases for various clubs. Man U, with their desperate need for money to pay the Glazers have an equally desperate need to win. Man City and Chelsea do tend to look a little foolish when having spent the GDP of a small nation on winning the league, fail to win the league.

    And you could say Arsenal are very “old school” and simply wouldn’t indulge in this. Mr Wenger has form for walking away from French football and the match fixing going on there. You could say that Chelsea and Man City wouldn’t fix it – what’s the point when you have all the money you need anyway.

    Liverpool it could be said are not fixing it, because the new American owners have no history of such activity. One might say that Tottenham are not fixers because they have interest in other things to do with money, but of course I have no proof of that. Or, because it is widely thought that Tottenham’s owner is keen to sell, they are fixing, to get the champs spot, and then sell.

    Newcastle and the teams below probably don’t have the money to do it, even if they wanted to. Besides you need a good team first, in order to cover the wrong decisions.

    Leaving everything else aside I would say that a club with a desperate need of success in order to shore up a desperate lack of cash most (not all, but most) years, combined with a distinct disparity between European performance and domestic, would be the club I would look at first. Incidentally this disparity between domestic and European ability was one of the pointers in the Juve match fixing case.

  • Todd

    This is one of the best overall assessments I’ve seen yet. Even if you were to try correct for bias, I can’t imagine changing the #’s by 20-30%. Goos Job guys.

    On the other side, I know this is an Arsenal supporting site, But don’t write the the quality of MU so easily. They’ve had some very good sides in the last 7 years.

  • Anne


    “1) How could Man Utd possibly funnel money to keep the refs on their side?”

    If ManU wanted to funnel money somewhere, the number of ways in which they could do it are almost infinite. Although that seems a little simplistic, in my opinion, as a theory for why the refs are on ManU’s side.

    “2) Whatever did happen to Bébé (cost=£7.4m)?”

    On loan to Besiktas.

  • Brdgunner

    Great stuff tony. I have been convinced for years. If you go back to 2007 (I think) and last year I bet you would find a distinct link between the wrong decision and the fact we were looking good at the top. Since Chelsea turned up every year we pull something together there is this sudden loss of ability. With closer inspection you will see we drop points in tight games that utd always find a pen in or we have an extra 5 yards to be off side.

  • Anne

    @Andy Kelly:

    “Can anyone offer up an explanation as to why this is happening? If there is an anti-Arsenal conspiracy, what is the reason for it?”

    Well, that’s not a complicated question at all… 🙂 I’ll try to answer you, though. 🙂 There are several things that we need to consider here:

    1) Arsenal has been targeted in the EPL through the refs
    2) Arsenal is targeted through the media
    3) Arsenal has been targeted in European competition through the refs

    While there are probably a confluence of motives for this, the targeting of Arsenal occurs on essentially all fronts. So, why is this happening?

    The logical place to begin would be by looking at Arsenal itself. Specifically, if Arsenal is being uniquely targeted in a way that other EPL clubs aren’t, well, what about Arsenal is unique compared to other EPL clubs?

    And to answer that question, you don’t need to work very hard, because the media keeps beating us over the head with it, don’t they? “Spend some fucking money!” 🙂

    Arsenal, unlike other EPL clubs, is not buried in debt. Arsenal, unlike other EPL clubs, does not blow the bank on transfers. Arsenal, unlike other EPL clubs, is not spending vast sums of money despite being virtually bankrupt on paper.

    So, there’s your starting point. While the answer for why Arsenal is being targeted wouldn’t really be as black and white as what I’ve just presented above, I believe that this is at the heart of it, and to figure out the rest, you would need to work outward from there.

    So, why don’t you give it a shot, Andy? 🙂 How could Arsenal’s refusal to spend money in the same way other EPL clubs do lead to refs favoring those other EPL clubs over Arsenal on the pitch?

  • bob

    With your “unintentional bias” hypothesis, you must be talking about robo-refs – wind-up humans that just can’t help themselves and don’t know it. Hmmmm…. 🙂

  • bob

    A beautiful chart in this fateful year of the Rednose XX would be to chart out the 38 game road to the Coronation of Lord Football like this:

    1 2 3 4 5 6 ………………………………….38
    % % % % % % …………………………………. %

    I know it’s 38 games to review, but the visual result and elegant simplicity of this graphic would be a thing of beauty to behold: the people’s trophy. Like Martin Luther would do, it could be nailed to the doorway of the PGMOL. It would turn Fergus’s Ascension into Napoleon’s March through Russia. And it would transform the 2011/2012 season from ManUre Pile to the year of the Great Turnaround. This is a big ask, I know. But surely a girl can dream…


  • Gord


    One path comes to mind. Prozone contracts to most of the EPL, or at least most of the top of the EPL. PGMOL also buys services from Prozone. Next year, PGMOL could look at continuing their contract, and find that not only is the contract already paid in full, there is an excess of X million Pounds Stirling on the account. Would you like a rebate?

    But what do I know? 🙂 Heck, I can’t find the time to watch games, all I see is the BBC play by play on the website.

  • Anne


    The path I was thinking of myself definitely involves PGMOL, but Prozone, on the other hand, had not even entered into my wildest imagination 🙂 So, if you don’t mind my asking, what would be the money path? How would Arsenal’s money get to Prozone?

  • Gord


    I was thinking how ManU or other teams with too much money might get it to PGMOL. It just seems wrong for Prozone to consult for teams in a league, where they already have an arrangement with the officials, and vice versa. It is too easy to pass on data that shouldn’t pass. It doesn’t seem a stretch to pass on money at the same time.

    Proof? None.

  • Anne


    That’s kind of brilliant, actually. I really know almost nothing about Prozone, but if you’re correct that they create a direct business link between EPL clubs and the PGMOL, with only themselves in the middle, then they would create a ridiculously easy means of passing money.

    Do you know where I can find any more information about business deals between Prozone and PGMOL? Or anyone else? Thanks.

  • Abdulaziz Alfarhoud

    Excellent work, i remember when Barcelona won the 6 trophies in one year, their ex-president said we don’t have many to buy player ??? i think paying the refs are on of reasons & we know how they reach finals, many bias calls for them such as 4 penalties not given to Chelsea, what happened with Arsenal, how the draw is on their side by playing many times the 2nd league match on their home.
    Last year against Bolton at Reebook stadium, Van perise got tackled by one of their defender near the ref and Robin just ask him for foul ! what happened ? directly a yellow card for Robin even he is the captain that ref should discus with him some issue during match !!
    Why Arsenal are in fight with Media why every year they claims that the refs are with Arsenal ? Why always Arsenal?

    I think we should have the same Italian Calciopoli in England, why refs always mistakes against Arsenal !

  • Anne


    Follow the money… 🙂 Once you start, it will lead you all over the world, and through every major event in world history (or at least going back to that unfortunate day when they invented “currency”).

  • seagoon

    Very thorough and something i have always suspected but we mustn’t forget that the officials at Goodison donated us the 2 points to overhaul the Spuds. It certainly can’t always be money as some decisions look correct in the heat of the moment only showed to be wrong on replay e.g. Everton’s “equalider” should have stood and Dwyer actually fouled Rambo (not the other way round) followed by a spectacular dive for Swansea’a penalty.
    In a multi million game it is crucial we use technology to at least get some decisions right.

  • vibhas

    Or we can look at debatable decisions where only the major decisions which actually definitely affect the game are published, and by less bias people (Arsenal fans telling us 80% of decisions go against them?) and see that yes arsenal are worst off, but that both manchester clubs are worse off than if we had ‘pefect’ refs (the equivalent of ‘50%’ on this chart). I trust them much more than i trust you!

  • Matt

    I’ve read through your article and charts and must confess it all seems a bit pointless without proper analysis. For instance, how have you arbitarily decided what constitutes a wrong decision and a right one, who decides, if there are more than one people reviewing how do you account for differences in what appears to be subjective decision making. You’ve already introduced a huge bias in your assumptions for home team and away team bias…anything from that point is bound to be affected by your judgement.

    Sorry, its a good genuine attempt to compile data on wrong decisons but its utterly worthless the way you have done it.

    I think to do this accurately you would need to decide what consitutes a wrong decision, have at least 2 reviewers at the match and at least 2 video reviewers on tv, average your results, bring in some statistical analysis, maybe try to test a hypothesis, perhaps then you would have a ‘cleaner’ set of unbiased data.

  • WalterBroeckx


    Thank you for your comment. Our dream would be to have each game done by 3 reviewers. But alas they don’t grow on the trees the reviewers.

    Last year we had one reviewer doing just the Arsenal games. Not enough people said. this year we have more reviewers en are doing more than 120 games so far this season. Again… not enough.

    Now our work could be more easy if the PGMOL would just publish their reports of course and then we only have to look at the game and confirm or disagree. Now for each game we have to start from scratch to build it up. And that is very time consuming.

    About the fact that we arbitrarily decide. Yes. As refs ourselves we should be competent enough to know the rules and to know when and how they should be applied.

    If I may point you at the fact that even a former ref like Dermot Mcgallagher doesn’t seem able to know the rules compared to one of our ref reviewers. Oh what the hell. I knew the rules better than Dermot. Or that CL ref Hanson or what was his name. 😉

    It is my/our arbitrary view against the arbitrary view of the ref on the field. And I/we have the advantage that I/we can see the incident as much as I/we want to see what happened.