71 responses

  1. legolas still trust Wenger

    as long as Riley & Co are on board i guess soon we will say goodbye to EPL .Fa are either soooo corrupted or sooo weak i don’t get it now before Euro 2012 they lost Capello , they can’t control the English players especially the arrogant ones like Terry, Lampard & & & i love the EPL and i hope we don’t loose it for their sakes.

  2. Stuart

    At the time of these things going on people must think they are just insignificant, it’s not when you take a step back and look at the whole picture as you have done here that you really see there is a deep problem within the whole system of premier league football officiating.

    Thank you Anne for another extremely informative and researched article.

  3. WalterBroeckx

    Dermot is just there to make excuses.
    About the Porto goal….I’m baffled by the way he talked about it to be honest. That was simple basic rule book stuff and he totally ignored it. If you don’t know the rules (anymore????) then it is frightening to think that this once was a top ref.
    Dermot time to dust off the rule book and start studying again..

    Great series Anne. 2501 😉

  4. Neven

    Great work, Anne.

    Good ol’ Dermot seems to be doing a crocodile-style barrel roll, trying to play spin doctor. Embarrassing.

  5. Neven

    “That was simple basic rule book stuff and he totally ignored it.”

    He’s has a loss of concentration – that’s the only thing I can say, Walter, he’s followed the ball, he’s ball watching, switched off for whatever reason and when the ball has come in, he’s moved on and completely not clocked what has happened.

  6. Anne


    2501 and counting 🙂

  7. Anne


    Lol. And thanks, as well 🙂

  8. Anne


    “there is a deep problem within the whole system of premier league football officiating”

    Thank you for drawing attention to this, and I’m glad I was able to help you get there.

  9. Anne

    @legolas still trust Wenger:

    Would the EPL really be such a loss? 🙂

  10. Neven

    Anne: You’re welcome. 😉

    Walter: Have we ever had confirmation regarding who comprise the committee that selects English referees for the big games/tournaments (World Cup, Euros, etc.)? I recall you mentioning the system in Belgium and how it features representatives from big clubs (if memory serves me right).

    “Do you think it is easier.. for referees to give decisions against smaller clubs?”

    “…Ehm, no.”

    Oh, please. 😀

  11. legolas still trust Wenger

    hehehe well to be honest all i care about is my lovely Arsenal 😀 i want us to be back on top and i always believed that Money does not buy class . by the way nice article & a win against a team & a Bias referee is farrrrrrrrrrrrrrr better than just winning 😀 .

  12. Neven

    The deafening silence in the media regarding poor officiating and their curious unwillingness to engage in serious debates about why it keeps happening, preferring to spout the stock party line “they even themselves out” (they do NOT, as Untold has proved with data), is what further lends credence to the corruption/conspiracy theory.

    Balotelli escaping a ban for a Roy Keanesque potentially career-threatening assault on a fellow player (he would’ve been suspended for the game against ManUtd otherwise), the QPR player’s wrong sending-off being upheld (because their manager had dared to criticise officials?) – it seems a refereeing mafia is brazenly at work, with good ol’ Dermot heading their PR department, making sure to add a positive spin to everything their soldati do (Godfather reference FTW!).

  13. Rich

    Its good analysis but ultimately would you expect someone from your own union to give you a kicking in the media? Because that is what Gallagher is and whether we like it or not, he, just like the Players Union/Managers Union will always defend their own.

    The Porto goal was a clear cock up not to signal but the other point Walter has picked him up on (fast restarts near the penalty box) is interesting because to my memory that would wipe off a couple of Henry goals and about a dozen Harry Kewell attempts!! Is that in the rules or just guidance?

    The fact is the referees do an incredibly difficult job and anyone who has volunteered for an amateur game will know, but they make it more difficult for themselves by not taking ownership of the issues they have. They should be driving the conversations about goal-line technology and video replays and they should also insist on being miked up for the games so they can be heard explaining the rules.

    All of these things are there to help them but instead they allow the FA and FIFA to take lead on rules where they are not the ones enforcing them. It would be like changing the rules on Arrest procedures without consulting the Police to see how it works – completly non-sensical.

  14. Shard

    What I notice there, is that of all the wrong decisions that Gallagher had to talk about, he only criticised the linesman in the Chelsea game. For the rest he made (lame) excuses. What was the action the PGMOL took in all of that? They dropped that linesman. So, the ‘independent’ Gallagher and Riley both blame only one person among the entire fiasco. I’m sure that’s just based on their ‘knowledge and experience of being a top referee’.

    Incidentally, the same linesman was also the one to be criticised by Roberto Martinez as he denied the need for video technology to judge those calls. Which led to a public apology from Riley, and since then, they’ve had some great results haven’t they? Beating ManU (who had an extra 3 points to play around with because we beat ManCity), and then of course beating us (which wasn’t entirely down to the referee of course)

    All coincidence of course. I’m reading too much into it because I’m a conspiracy theorist.

  15. Shard


    That’s another thing. the PGMOL doesn’t allow the referees to talk to the media. How do you expect them to be ‘driving conversations’ about anything?

  16. mjc

    In amongst all of the debate on the stats that Untold generates, there is often raised a general concern that the personnel generating the stats are themselves biased.

    I just wonder if it isn’t possible to normalize this bias out (if it exists) from the data as follows:

    Take all the refs performances pro and anti for each club and classify them as very-anti, mildly-anti, neutral, mildly-con, very-con for each club.

    Using this data, analyse the allocation of games to referees.

    If there was no bias in the allocations, one would expect that overall no club would especially get more pro- or anti- allocations than existed in the overall sample.

    However, if it could be clearly seen that there was a skew in the data, in that some clubs were getting a more than expected allocation of pro- or anti- refs, EVEN IN EXCESS OF ANY SKEW IN THE OVERALL SAMPLE, them this would, I believe, have normalised out any possible bias.

    I could of course, be wrong in the above (I am not a statistician) but I thought it worth suggesing….

  17. Andy Kelly

    A couple of things.

    There has been a fair amount in the media recently about some shocking refereeing decisions. They have been highlighted and the PGMOL has said nothing. A few days later and the media has moved on to its next big thing with the occassional mention of Ashley Young’s attempt to oust Tom Daley from his palce in the Olympics.

    Does anyone think that the media is reporting just enough but not following it through so that the gullible general public eventually become desensitised to these decisions. Constantly repeating the mantra that “all things even themselves out over the season” also helping to keep things from boiling over.

    My second point is the number of mistakes that some referees make. One week a referee could make 4 or 5 minor mistakes in one game and the following week it can be as many as 30. I believe that when they make few mistakes it is because they are refereeing a game that no one has sought to influence (e.g. Stoke v Swansea) and they have no struggle between their internal values and external forces. However, when they have been told to influence the game their internal values struggle to fight what they rightfully know is wrong causing momentary confusion resulting in a mistake. Constantly making these snap decisions over 90 minutes resulting in a large number of errors.

    Imagine it yourself. You find a wallet in the street with £1000 cash in it and the owner’s details. A policeman sees you pick up the wallet and asks if it is your’s. You immediately have to make a snap decision and your mind is in turmoil wondering whether you can get away with making yourself £1000.

  18. Andy Kelly

    I meant to add in about my second point that this appears to be happening with Dermot Gallagher as well. As Anne has pointed out he seems to be constantly thinking about what he has to say. Are there any body language experts out there that tell whether his mannerisms are congruent with his words?

  19. Anne


    I’m sorry, but was that supposed to make sense? Obviously, it’s way past my bedtime…

  20. mjc

    Yes it was.
    And, obviously, yes it is.

  21. WalterBroeckx

    mjc, I think this is something for people who love statistics. And I’m not the best in doing such things. Maybe someone else can?

  22. mjc

    Let me simplify for other timezones…

    1) If refs are biased for or against a club, then PGMOL should be aware of this.

    2) Therefore, they should ensure that in allocating matches, they do not favour biased refs.

    3) If they do not do this, then we have a situation not dissimilar to the calciopoli scandal.

    4) Meta-analysis of existing Untold data may be useful in identifying whether the above occurs.

    5) err…that’s it.

    • DogFace


      We will be doing a full statistical analysis of the untold data at the end of the season with proper methods with regards to significance in trends/bias.

  23. Anne

    @Andy Kelly:

    “Imagine it yourself. You find a wallet in the street with £1000 cash in it and the owner’s details. A policeman sees you pick up the wallet and asks if it is your’s. You immediately have to make a snap decision and your mind is in turmoil wondering whether you can get away with making yourself £1000.”

    Personally, I would contact the owner of the wallet, with or without the intervention of the police.

  24. Anne


    I’ll get back to you later 🙂 Cheers.

  25. WalterBroeckx

    Andy Kelly, you second point is spot on!!!

    I have been thinking along the same line and it is something that we should try to examine at the end of the season when we have all the data of the games.

    And yes it..er… was …er…my wallet …er….not 😉 Well I hope not anyway. Losing a wallet with £1000 in it. frightening 🙂

  26. WalterBroeckx

    Just go to bed now Anne 😉

  27. Andy Kelly


    There are some stats that you can’t ignore as they are based on pure facts and seem incredibly unlikely.

    Such as:
    In the last 11 Premier League games where Arsenal have had Mike Dean as the referee, Arsenal have won 6 points out of a possible 44. Extrapolated out to a 38 game season that equates to about 16 points. You may say that it could just be that all of these games were away to Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea but that is not so.

    In the last 47 Premier League games that Manchester United have been refereed by Howard Webb, Peter Walton, Chris Foy and Anthony Taylor, Manchester United have lost just 1 game and, in a 38 game season, would have won 103 points.

    In the last 7 Premier League games that West Brom have been refereed by Jonathan Moss, West Brom have won all 7 games.

    There is no “reviewer bias” here, just stone cold facts that seem to be “not right” when weighed up against results from games that these teams have played.

    I used to think that there was some bias against Arsenal but now believe that some clubs have a number of referees in their pockets, from which Arsenal tend to suffer from due to their position in the league.

    * thanks to the excellent http://footballisfixed.blogspot.co.uk/ for these stats.

  28. Andy Kelly

    @ Anne

    You will never make it as a corrupt Premier League referee 😀

  29. Shard

    Yes. Anne.. Remember.. Respect the referee 🙂

    I think you mean 6 points out of 33. Cheers 🙂

  30. Andy Kelly

    @ Shard

    Yes, my calculator needs new batteries!

    That should then be a whopping 21 points over a 38 game season.

  31. Shard

    Oh and thinking about it, extrapolating it to 38 games would mean about 21 points rather than 16. (6 X 3.45)

  32. Shard

    lol..yeah..you got there before I did.. No worries 🙂

  33. Dan T

    ‘In my opinion, in the following remarks, Gallagher sounds more like a marketing agent for the PGMOL than he does a media pundit, but maybe that’s just me’

    No, It’s not just you. I think when reading them all written down together like this it becomes quite glaringly obvious what he is doing. He is PGMOLs front line PR man, sent out to cover for their inept(or biased) employees.

  34. 9jagunnerdoc

    One thing Anne, if Dermott claimed Atkinson didn’t see that vicious assault on Song by Balotelli, then which official saw it and didn’t deem it worthy of a sending off? And why is he still handling matches?

  35. mjc

    @Andy Kelly
    My core point is this:
    If it is possible for Untold Arsenal or footballisfixed to generate data that shows the bias(es) of some referees, then surely PGMOL, with it’s vastly greater resources, should be generating similar data, and then applying it, in the allocation of referees to fixtures, to ensure that there is no net overall gain or loss for any team.

    If they are collecting this data and not applying it (or applying it selectively) then that is calciopoli.

    If they are not collecting it, then they are incompetent and should not be in charge of Premership refereeing.

  36. Stuart


    No problem, I was fully aware of the problem, I was just mentioning how your work helps those who don’t necessarily take much notice of these smaller individual events as they seem so insignificant at the time. 🙂

  37. jaroda

    I thought Atkinson said he had seen it and that was why they couldn’t issue any further punishment to Balotelli retrospectively.


  38. WalterBroeckx



    I think you have brilliantly summarized things in that comment.

    That is what it is about. Is the PGMOL corrupt in the calciopoli-way or is Riley and the gang just incompetent.

    What do you think now Dean is preparing himself for the 6th Arsenal game in 27 games? Which answer looks more likely?

  39. bob

    me just being an unscientific luddite here, but would you think that having THE DEAN officiate us for the 6th time this season, that would be 6 out of 35, (when there are 16(18?) other choices might qualify as ref,) is not just any old anomaly, but an outlier (or outright liar) that would be worthy of widespread attention and outrage? How elaborate do we need to get before FOUL! is rightly shouted from the rooftops? Perhaps you could/would calculate the statistical likelihood of that outcome? And if not you, perhaps someone could give statistical expression to this probability in advance of the match. That would be a statistic worthy of mass attention.

  40. mjc

    I seem to recall (though it doesn’t seems documented anywhere) that a professor of statistics showed that Man utd chances of always having also gotten the easiest draw in the FA Cup Semis was more than a million-to-one. Only then did the FA quietly admit to the “warm-ball” theory. Wonder what that professor is doing now….

  41. mjc

    With regard to THE DEAN, perhaps our plea to PGMOL for next season should be: “Can you at least not be so bleeding obvious!”

  42. bob

    Sister Anne!

    Your speaking the evidence of things unseen is downright sacred, in my book. Silence is golden only to the gold-digging Mammonites at PGMOL/EPL HQ. And Dermot does speaks silence, as you eloquently say.

    Untold, the good book of fair play, has become football’s Book of Revealations. Your latest being Revealations: 2501


  43. bob

    Let him now go by the name, Dermot “The Silencer” Gallagher, the 13th man on Micky R’s pitch.

  44. bob

    p.s. actually I know a worthy Gallagher, so I hereby amend my nickname to the far easier to type: “Dermot the Silencer”

    savor that for a bit, mates. with a bow to Luca Brazzi (Godfather: 1)

  45. bob

    Amy Lawrence, still MIA? What? Amy, give us a sign.

  46. bob

    Perhaps Dermot the Silencer knows of Amy Lawrence’s whereabouts? Is she stowed away in the writer-protection program? too fair-minded to be trusted? that is, until the end of the Rednose XX period?

    (Amy Lawrence has been (was?) the one consistently fair-minded to Arsenal writer in the orb of the Manchester Guardian’s football department. Perhaps she’s been on (sent on) an extended vacation? Amy, your voice is missed. Perhaps Tony would find a space hereabouts for her insider scoops (how I wish!)

  47. Mahdain

    @bob how about Dermot “The Misinformer” Gallagher? Cos thats exactly what Mr Gallagher is doing on behalf of his master Riley spreading misinformation and misleading people

  48. bob

    yes! good one! 🙂
    I’d say, then, that, so far, he has two:
    Dermot the Misinformer (for being a spinmeister); and
    Dermot the Silencer (for not reporting or – because of his semi-official status – ensuring that jornos don’t write what should not be said)

    (Another candidate: Dermot the Two-Faced ? what do you think?)

    There will surely be more to sum up his portfolio of public (and private) services to Micky R, Don Fungus, the Rednose XX, and the continuation of football as we know it (i.e., the televised product). What’s in a name? well, surely there’ll be more to come!

  49. ak47

    when they talk about the triumph of evil they dont specify about the amount of good ppl needed do they.

    mik6 d6an 6.

    how about Derminion the misinformer?

  50. Mahdain

    @ak47 thats even better

  51. ak47

    thanx 🙂 i always imagine ppl like him as gollum type characters.

  52. bob

    Good one: DerMinion is his true status and function in their power hierarchy;

    DerMotley reflects the true quality of his work.

    And, Dermott the Perfumer comes to mind, as ultimately, his con job is to make acts of ref_ _ _ _ _ smell sweet. (especially regarding the scent of ManUre)

  53. bob

    another of yours: DerGollum!
    (Dermot to Micky R: “show me the ‘precious’!”

  54. bob

    ak47! sorry, I have aka on the brain because of the many sides of DerMinion.

  55. Rawiri

    great article, worthy of being front and back page, i have never believed in the “they even themselves” quote (how do they know that? they have have statistics to back that?), that quote doesnt make sense. really enjoyed reading the article by john sinnott (wasnt aware of that article), i wonder why it didnt get more coverage, i mean i read a lot of sports related articles and didnt even know it existed, there is an expert (professor david forrest) in the analysis of sports and gambling industries saying it should be looked into with more depth and still they label all this as a “conspiracy theory”, in my country there is a saying “if there is smoke its because there is a fire” and this has been burning for some time now

  56. Rawiri

    oh there is another saying (a personal favorite) “if it looks like sh*t and smells like sh*t, well its probably because it is sh*t” (not sure if moderation allows this, if not i apologize)

  57. Anne

    @bob, Mahdain, and ak47:

    Thanks for the comments. Don’t really have anything to add to that 🙂

  58. Anne


    I’m glad that you liked the John Sinnott article. I agree that it’s excellent. As for why it didn’t get more coverage… Well, I think that’s part of the “smoke” suggesting that there’s a fire, unfortunately.

  59. bjtgooner

    A magnificent series Anne, very very well thought out.

    Reading through DermoGall’s statements brought home just how pathetic his explanations were, but the PGMOL obviously thought he was the correct person to re-explain the unexplainable. I don’t think DermoGall will convince many, despite media repetition.

    The revelations by Dykes were most revealing and showed the behind the scene workings of the PGMOL wrt media. Why is it necessary for the PGMOL the establish this link? The obvious answer is to cover up deliberate bias, but that can’t be all, probably the second half of the answer is that the PGMOL wish to continue as they are – they are feeling the heat from Untold and others – but they have a need to continue manipulating results. Is Don Fungus (thanks bob for that one) XX1 on the cards?

  60. Anne


    Glad you’ve enjoyed the series. I agree that Gallagher isn’t likely to convince anyone with those explanations. In my opinion, all that the PGMOL is accomplishing with this is discrediting the media as well as the referees.

    And if you notice in the Dykes article, he said that Gallagher was a new addition this season. It sounds to me like they’re getting desperate because the public isn’t buying what they’re selling. Unfortunately for them, they don’t seem to understand why, which means they’re only making it worse.

  61. Laundryender


    the snakecatcher,

    exposer of lies

    seeker of the truth

    Long may she reign

  62. WalterBroeckx

    Had a good sleep Anne? 😉

    I got the feeling that you and other new and interesting things to come in the next days are lifting the site to yet another level…

  63. Anne



  64. Anne


    Yes, I did follow your earlier advice and get some rest 🙂 Now you’ve got me quite curious about these other new and interesting things that will be coming up soon

  65. LRV

    Anne, the beauty of your brilliant expo is only surpassed by you yourself. Just keep them coming.

  66. Anne


    Will do. And thanks 🙂

  67. Anne


    Thank you for your comments on my article. Now that I’m fully awake, I can see that your comment about statistics does, in fact, make sense 🙂

  68. Wooby

    Anne, finally had a chance to read this 3rd article, one more time – great work!

  69. rantetta

    This is another excellent series. I won’t add anything, but “Thanks”, Anne. So many good and useful comments spread over the three pieces.

    I’ve nothing against Gallagher, but, how about: Dermot the ******* ly***, ********, *******, ****face?

    Remember, this is the ‘official’ who allowed Sunderland to smash around Arsenal players until Dan “****” Smith removed Diaby’s ankle – for which Smith merely got a yellow card. This yellow card lit the touchpaper that ensured Robinson, Essien, Bowyer and Barton, amongst others, don’t even get a foul called against them when they try to dismember our Abou….

    In six years I haven’t seen a lot written in the meedja ’bout any o’ ‘dat.

  70. rantetta

    Dismemberment without real punishment seems to have become the “norm” for Arsenal’s players. Witness Mario B’s attempt! (the latest in a long, long line…).

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