The unbelievable unacceptable truth. A first preview of the season numbers about the refs


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By Walter Broeckx


This is just a first step. Not yet a real conclusion of the season. But a first preview of what the ref reviews have learned us about Arsenal this season.

The numbers are very interesting/worrying/criminal/crazy/… make your pick after reading the rest of the article.

Now I will only take on the biggest things in this. I hope that when working together with Dogface in a few weeks we will be able to do this for almost every team in the games we reviewed. So I will not talk about cards, be them yellow or red, but let us just take on the two most important things in footballs that have an influence on the final result: Goals and penalties.

Arsenal has been on the wrong end of goals given against us that should have been cancelled or goals from Arsenal that have been wrongly cancelled. If I have counted it correctly we have been on the wrong end  8 times. Yes that is eight goals.

On the other hand we had 2 (two) goals that were not given and should have been given for the other team.

So if we have to believe the almighty theory from the FA, the PGMOL and the media about things evening out we should get 6 goals given to us.  The refs and the PGMOL will surely give us those 6 goals in the next two games. Or otherwise have they been telling us fairy tales?

And Arsenal has been on the wrong end of penalty decisions a few times also. That is penalties not given to Arsenal when they should have been given. Or penalties given against us that were not penalties. The total count so far is 19 (nineteen!). I must say that even I fell of my chair when seeing this number. We had 3 penalties given this season so far. And this should have been 22 in fact.

I don’t know about you but just imagine that even only half of those penalties would have been given? Can you imagine the impact this must have had on our total points?

Now of course we also have been lucky at times. We escaped some penalties. In fact we escaped 2 penalties this season. One against WBA and one against QPR.

So once again if we have to believe the almighty theory from all those who say it is so without ever giving evidence it should even out. But so far we have had 19 decisions not given against us and 2 in our favour. That is a difference of 17 penalties!! I don’t know about you but this doesn’t sound like something that will even out.

Unless the refs from the PGMOL will give us those penalties in the last two games of the season…  That would mean our defenders can hack down any opponent in our penalty box without being punished. Or our strikers could go down without contact and penalties given for nothing. Ah, for a moment I forgot … we are not young any more.

Now last season I only did the Arsenal games. I then found that it didn’t even out at the end of the season.

This season together with my ref reviewers we have done all the Arsenal games once again (and a few hundred other games)  and again we do not see one sign of things evening out at the end of the season.

So the first times we examine the theory we seem to find that it is nothing more than that: a theory. A wrong theory in fact. I think it is a lie told by people who want us to believe it and who want the audience to believe it.

I will come back to this with more numbers later in the next weeks and months. But it is just a lie that things even out. Nothing more nothing less. It is a theory based on nothing. Our numbers prove it.

And if you don’t believe it… Well, fine. Nobody can force you to believe that the earth is circling around the sun. You can still believe the sun is circling around planet earth. And if you think we start from a biased position as Arsenal supporters seeking to prove something to fit the theory, well that is how science works – by examining a theory (that things even out) and drawing in evidence.

In fact I would like people to challenge our numbers. I would like people to come up with evidence that it does even out. It would make me the football lover much happier. Because it hurts me to see that they are telling us fairy tales.  I had wished that it would even out.

But it doesn’t.


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39 Replies to “The unbelievable unacceptable truth. A first preview of the season numbers about the refs”

  1. I am currently reviewing Man Utd V Villa, a great game to be doing considering what you have just exposed Walter.

    I look forward to seeing how the figures end up for Man Utd, because as their fans contantly remind us, Newcastle had a penalty at OT that never was. proof that it all evens its self out in the end.

  2. To me the most disgraceful was Dwyer’s foul on Rambo in the penalty area at Swansea where he “won” a penalty with his dramatics.
    On the other hand we have the nailed on pen comitted against Gerv at Craven Cottage but in his naievity, he just got up and shrugged it off without appealing.

  3. Walter, off subject but are you coming over to see the final home game of the season?

  4. I have been reading you ref articles with great interest since you began them. I think that they are fantastic and show the problem which has cost us more over the past six years than any performance related matters. The issue of referee error on your evidence is making our game appear corrupt and losing clubs huge amounts of money. It would be marvellous if the principle of what you are doing could be taken up by a large media organisation and kept on a running basis for all premiership games as that would be reported week in and week out on a national level. I believe that this is the only way we will build enough pressure to get the technology the game is crying out for.

    Keep up the good work it’s refreshing to finally see evidence coming into the debate.

  5. A total of 19 incorrect penalties, but not all should have been penalties for Arsenal. To quote you, Walter, “That is penalties not given to Arsenal when they should have been given. Or penalties given against us that were not penalties.”

    How many of the 19 were penalties we should have and how many were penalties that were incorrectly awarded to the opponent? The dive of Bale is the first that comes to mind for the latter.

  6. Kentetsu, you are right. When reading it again I should have made that difference. But I hope that Dogface will save me when we come to the final conclusions and hope we can make the difference out of the numbers in an instant.

  7. Wow, 22 is insane. I am really looking forward to the other numbers. Great work you guys do.

    I have asked a friend of mine if he would like to do some video editing. But unfortunatly he goes to Australia for half a year and then he is graduating. If only someone could put those not-given penalties into one short video…

    With windows movie maker it is possible to cut parts from the video (in this case the Arsenal games) and put them together in the order you want. It shouldn’t be that hard. Even i can do it, but it wont look very professionaly. But then we need all the games (complete games, cause in the MOTD highlights they only show bad calls when it is in our favor (twice a year or so)) and other people who can do it also. Cause i don’t have all the time in the world anymore (graduating).

    If you know a way we can download all the Arsenal games, and if it is possible to find 5-6 others who are capable of editing the video, i am in. We can upload it a hundred times at youtube, spread it trough blogs and other websites, use social media etc.

    Please let me know what you think about it, and if you know a way we can manage it. People might question your words, but they can’t question those images.

  8. Stuart, I am.

    This morning I did a final check of my train ticket, my Eurostar ticket, my Arsenal mail, my oyster card, my Eurostar ticket home and my train ticket home.

    It all is waiting for me to get up tomorrow morning at 6 and leave home on my way to the Emirates.

    Just have to get my Arsenal shirt out of the closet this afternoon when I get home 😉

  9. Dutchie,
    a great idea and I have been thinking about it and doing it myself. But alas I don’t have the needed equipment and software to compile such a thing.

    But if anyone out there wants to do this we could give him the games, the minutes of the games he has to record

  10. Dutchie/Walter – I would be no help to you on the production side but if you also had details of Man U penalties given/opponents penalties not given that would also make a great video in contrast.

    Very powerful stuff, great idea.

  11. Walter,

    Windows movie maker is a free software. I think it comes with windows, but if not there is a free download on the official website.

    The main problem is where to get all those matches. But as i understand you can offer them on demand. And indeed, you’re detailed analyses will make it so much easier. Only have to jump to that minute and watch it for 5 minutes, to see witch part should be cut (with replays etc.).

    With 19 not-given penalties, let’s say with the help of an advert on your blog we can find 4 editors (including me) who can all do 4 games (i guess those 19 not-given penalties are devided over about 16-17 games?)… put those short pieces together, and spread the video (where everyone comes in… cause everybody has to help trough social media etc.).

    I’m already imagining how to start the video. We can start it by a line that says: ”So these were judged as penalties”… here we show some dives of Young, Suarez’ dive against us, Dyers dive against us etc. And then another line ”but these weren’t… and then show all the stone cold penalties we didnt get. Oeff im getting excited by the idea.

    So is it possible to advert on your blog for some video-editors? They don’t have to be professionals… im probably the worst editor you will ever see, as long as the video speaks for itself it is enough.

  12. ”your detailed analyses”… pff everytime i post on this blog i come to the conclusion my English s*cks :p.

  13. to people asking who will be our ref in the last 2 matches well we dont know who will it be vs Westbrom yet but for Norwich its the manc Anthony Taylor and Lee Probert as 4th official

  14. Walter,
    And please,when it’s all over, give us a prominent enough link back to your ref review of last season so that, if you’re not keen to do so, at least a few of us in the Comments section can further ruminate and express further fond memories of that “biased” (ground-breaking) masterpiece. 🙂

  15. Walter, I take it you will be meeting with one or two (or more) other untolders for the game. Will you be frequenting a watering hole prior to the game or does your train schedule only allow you to go straight there?? Just wondering as I’m also attending (a local pub in Arsenal area, not the game) and thought it might be nice if those going met up first for an official unofficial untold brew.

  16. @Red-Man, I think a bunch of us were all over it in the comments on another post. It is an absolute farce to assign Webb to the City game given his well documented favoritism towards ManUre. As for the Dean’s work for Spuds, what can one say here about the Dean that has not been said?

  17. Mike the max,
    Glad you feel so strongly re the refshite.
    Imo, the problem is that the mainstream media are not the neutral arbiters that you might assume. There are old boy networks (straight and/or bent) that give and receive mutual aid and,in the media, basically serve as paid stenographers for FIFA/UEFA/PGMOL/ManUre, with ManUre being the flagship franchise of the EPL. I don’t mean to lecture but just to say that we are dealing with networked interests, not individual journos or wholly independent sports departments. The real change, to whatever level, will come from the blogosphere and, as you know, sometimes at item catches on and goes viral (as on YouTube) and it creates massive attention and responses. So don’t feel that if it’s not the mainstream media that it’s not effectual. Anyway, I really otherwise concur with your strong sentiments.

  18. Dutchie, Walter,
    (For the next to last frame:) “But, hey! No worries, mates! It all events out at . . .
    (last freeze frame): “The End.”

  19. Dutchie, Walter,
    Some of us have been calling for this and having occasional threads with Walter over the last two seasons. Your call and practical hands-on approach are spot on! Let’s find any takers who could use these intuitive software products and assemble a brilliant video or several video. And perhaps there could be links to it (or references to it) from the final report(s) itself. In sum, an interactive final report (with at least some embedded photos wherever possible).

  20. Walter,
    Of course “it all evens out”. Look, you haven’t read the footnotes where it’s further explained that when it all evens out is in the afterlife. So, ffs, enough whinging away on this point. Or you’ll start to sound like a certain French coach of a certain English team and prove you’ve lost the plot. Read the footnotes, will you?! 🙂

  21. “It is a theory based on nothing. Our numbers prove it.”
    (You’re too rational.) It’s power is the power of repetition. Hypnotic. Entrancing. Comforting. Addicting. The Big Lie.

  22. A light bulb just went off in my head. If you line up the penalties given to ManUre on one side, and the penalties give to all other teams on the other side … “it all evens out” … 😀

  23. I’m ready to make the video but I will need the exact minutes and some clips that I might not have access to.
    Sometimes, I do feel that how silly I was when I was young and believed nearly everything that the commentators and media said about the mistakes from the referees. But it’s not difficult to find people who have 100% trust in mainstream media and to break them out of this ‘everything evens out’ myth will need some time but it’s definitely possible and making these videos can be very helpful in this type of situations.

  24. Adding to my previous post, it will be much more interesting to see how many of these were actually shown on MOTD???

  25. I think the fact that this study can be proved wrong or the original hypothesise “it evens out in the end” makes it scientific. A scientific study is a hypothesis that can be proved wrong.

    Can’t wait for the results

  26. Thats true facts, i donts know why people said that all Arsenal fans critic refs, unblieveble only 3 penalties on EPL this season !!! Even they gave more than 4penalties against Arsenal & All of them “Dive” !!
    If anyone want to make Video i will give you the penalties ( H as home & A as Away) & thats for you @Arun : i wrote the players name that got tackeled:
    1- Newcastle A ( Gervinho 2nd half )
    2- Liverpool H ( Ramsey )
    3- ( 2 ) blackburn H ( Gervinho 1st half & Walcott 2nd half)
    4- ( 3 ) Wolves 1 at home ( 2nd half handball from defender) & 2 at Away ( RVP tackel by Zubar & Mijas on Ramsey)
    5- (5) QPR 2 Home & 3 Away, hand ball for Barton & Young on 1st half at Home. 2 hand ball by Tawio & Ferdinand tackel on Chmakh.
    6- Chelsea ( Cahill pushed RVP )
    7- Wigan A ( ramsey tackeld on 2nd half)
    8- (3)  Man City at H ( Kompany pushed RVP ) & at A ( Richards hand ball & toure tackeld Ramsey) btw also RVP scored onside goal at Away
    9- Aston Vila A ( RVP on 2nd half)
    10- (2) Stoke A ( Benayoun & handball by their defender)
    11- (2) Fulham at A ( Gervinho & Sanderos pushed RVP)

    Thats all the penalties & i hope i didn’t forget any other 🙂 & follow me on twitter @azizalfarhoud

    Thanks for the Article

  27. Arun,

    That would be great mate. I am sure Walter and the others can give you all the data you need. I myself can help you with the clips, cutted out of the complete match-video (first have to receive those) if that is too much work for you.

  28. @bob:

    “(For the next to last frame:) “But, hey! No worries, mates! It all events out at . . .
    (last freeze frame): “The End.””

    That’s good 🙂

  29. @ All, thanks for the support and encouragement.
    My exams have just ended and I badly need a break. I am completely mentally tired now and will be taking a full week off doing nothing. I will ,most probably, have no access to internet during this time as I believe it’s a big distraction for me. I will be back on next Saturday when I write my weekly statistical preview article and then I will also begin work on the same. Even then the season will be finished and we will be able to include the remaining two games. If everything goes well, I might be able to finish it around 20th May.
    But now, I can’t do anything and sorry I won’t be able to reply to the comments on my article.

  30. Anne,
    Cheers – My true calling: incite-full video. This video is a dream come true!
    My other dream, a few (dozen) video clips catching the TV “sports journalists”
    showing their anti-Arsenal bias! It would be a nice UM complement to the Refshite video, imo.

  31. Arun,

    For the penalties other teams get (to compare with Arsenal in the video)

    Ashley Young vs Qpr

    Ashley Young vs Aston Villa

    Dyer vs Arsenal

    Suarez vs Arsenal

    Bale vs Arsenal

    Fulham vs Chelsea

    All very clear, no penalties.


    I also remember Dowd not giving us a penalty after a Richards handball against City (away) and a couple of weeks later he gives a penalty to Liverpool for a very clear unintentional handball. This moment can be very effective to proof bias if you show them with some lines explaining it is the same ref etc.

    What about the two penalties Webb gave to Man Utd against Chelsea. A week after that an obvious foul on Van Persie from behind in the penalty box against Sunderland (FA cup?) he did not give. If you compare that to his resolute whisteling (took him 0,0001 seconds to whislte after Evra and Welbeck fell to the ground) with the two Utd penals… effective proof of obvious bias.

    But i will mention it again when you’re working on it. Enjoy your free week.

  32. This kind of stuff has been happening to arsenal for years now i think i have got used to it,not 1 penalty at the emirates all season is some statistic,come on the gunners!!

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