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July 2021

Untold Ref Review: Manchester United 2 – 0 Swansea City

This article is part of a series stretching over several seasons in which a team of referees analyse the work of refs in Premier League matches.

Our figures show that when we analyse the errors made by refs there are consistent trends which do not “even out” through the season, as some commentators would have it.    All the earlier ref reviews plus analyses of the errors made by refs, and articles relating to our campaign to have the body which organises referees activities reformed, plus an analysis of the background to this campaign, can be found on:

Although this is a site built for Arsenal supporters we welcome comments from fans of other teams, although we tend not to publish comments which are simply abusive or which are completely off topic.


Today’s referee is Chris Foy –

MATCH REVIEW DETAILS – Chris Foy (2012-05-06)
Period 1
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
1 OTHER Gower Rooney C Trip 1
2 OTHER Jones ? NC Not given frontal tackle 1
2 OTHER Scholes ? NC Not given pulling and shoving 1
17 OTHER ? Rooney C advantage given after an attempted trip, field opening up but leading to nothing in the end 1
18 OTHER Dyer Evra C assumed correct 1
20 OTHER Rangel Young C Trip 1
21 OTHER Rangel Young C give the benefit of the doubt to the ref 1
22 OTHER Chicariot Vorm NC moves to block the path of the keeper when a corner is taken 1
22 OTHER Rooney Williams C leaning 1
23 OTHER Scholes Dyer NC not given trip 1
23 OTHER 4 Chicarito NC not given push 1
26 OTHER Carrick Sinclair C pull 1
28 GOAL MU C correct goal 3
31 OTHER Jones Taylor C Trip 1
31 OTHER Smalling Sigurdsson C Trip 1
34 OTHER Young Graham NC Not given frontal tackle 1
34 YELLOW Young NC should have been a yellow as he threw himself and was dangerous 2
41 GOAL MU C correct goal 3
44 OTHER C ref warns Chicarito that he cannot impede the keeper when a corner is taken 1
47 OTHER Scholes Allen C assumed correct 1
Period 2
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
46 OTHER Rooney Allen C Trip 1
52 OTHER Swansea Chicarito C advantage given after a push, leading to a big chance 1
54 OTHER Jones Taylor NC Slid in frontal not given, advantage given but nothing really on this time 1
56 OTHER Rooney Britton C came in late from behind 1
56 YELLOW Rooney NC That was a nasty foul, showing some frustration 2
62 OTHER Graham Smalling C doubtful but no conclusive evidence the assistant and ref got it wrong 1
67 OTHER Valencia Sinclair C wild kick and Rooney is telling the ref a few things in an unfriendly manner it seems 1
70 OTHER Smalling Graham C some pulling before the ball is played in their direction 1
71 OTHER Rooney Britton C Another wild lunge from Rooney, Britton can jump over it luckily 1
71 YELLOW Rooney C Ref had enough of Rooney I think for his shouting and swearing and still had the first bookable foul in mind 2
73 OTHER NC Corner to Swansea not given 1
74 OTHER Rooney Vorm C attacked the keeper in the air 1
78 OTHER Sigurdsson Carrick C Trip 1
91 OTHER Evra Moore C Trip 1

So we had Chris Foy at Old Trafford for the last home game from United this season.  It looked as if he wanted to let Swansea know what they were waiting here from the first minutes. Two fouls from United in those opening minutes were blatantly ignored.  After that a long period with no fouls. One could say that this is one way to restore order on your field but I’m not so sure this is how it is meant to be done.

First the ref ignored that Chicarito was there to impede the Swansea goalkeeper whenever United had to take a corner. But then he called Chicarito over at one corner. Great job I thought but then for the rest of the game he ignored it again.

Young escaped a yellow card for a dangerous frontal tackle and Graham escaped an injury by jumping high up in the air. Poor refereeing and as a result a rather low score in the first half.

Rooney wanted to have a yellow card in this game. He wanted speculation to stop that he has become as soft as a new born baby. He succeeded. Shouting at the ref, complaining at the ref. Two strong tackles and he should have been booked for the first challenge on Britton. After a while even Foy got enough of his behaviour and gave him a yellow card.

Because of Swansea playing fair and square the ref didn’t have to make many decisions and he managed to up his score in the second half.

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COMPETENCY SUMMARY – Chris Foy (2012-05-06)
Period 1 Called Total Correct %
GOAL 2 2 100.00
OTHER 11 17 64.71
YELLOW 0 1 0.00
TOTAL 13 20 65.00
WEIGHTED 17 25 68.00
Period 2 Called Total Correct %
OTHER 10 12 83.33
YELLOW 1 2 50.00
TOTAL 11 14 78.57
WEIGHTED 12 16 75.00
Totals Called Total Correct %
GOAL 2 2 100.00
OTHER 21 29 72.41
YELLOW 1 3 33.33
TOTAL 24 34 70.59
WEIGHTED 29 41 70.73

Leaving him with a just acceptable score on the overall decisions but a too low score on the important decisions.

BIAS SUMMARY – Chris Foy (2012-05-06)
Period 1 Manchester United % Swansea City % Total
Correct For 7 53.85 6 46.15 13
Correct For Weighted 11 64.71 6 35.29 17
Incorrect Against 1 14.29 6 85.71 7
Incorrect Against Weighted 1 12.50 7 87.50 8
Fouls Commited 11 64.71 6 35.29 17
Fouls Penalised 6 54.55 5 83.33 11
Period 2 Manchester United % Swansea City % Total
Correct For 3 27.27 8 72.73 11
Correct For Weighted 3 25.00 9 75.00 12
Incorrect Against 0 0.00 3 100.00 3
Incorrect Against Weighted 0 0.00 4 100.00 4
Fouls Commited 8 72.73 3 27.27 11
Fouls Penalised 7 87.50 3 100.00 10
Totals Manchester United % Swansea City % Total
Correct For 10 41.67 14 58.33 24
Correct For Weighted 14 48.28 15 51.72 29
Incorrect Against 1 10.00 9 90.00 10
Incorrect Against Weighted 1 8.33 11 91.67 12
Fouls Commited 19 67.86 9 32.14 28
Fouls Penalised 13 68.42 8 88.89 21

The bias index looks very interesting. And strange. I can give you a number from our year survey that you will be able to read here in the next weeks about the number of wrong calls against Swansea.  In the 6 games we have done them so far they have an average wrong calls against them of 2.3.  This is the lowest of the league in fact.  And now in this game they got 9 (nine) wrong calls against them! Is this a coincidence that this has happened at Old Trafford? Such a number way out of line with the rest of the season?


11 comments to Untold Ref Review: Manchester United 2 – 0 Swansea City

  • Red Rupert


    Very good – everyone knows refs are homers. It’s easier to get a pen at OT for a visiting side than half the PL. Such a lazy load of shite you could be a journo – now try United at Anfailed or Newcastle or Stoke etc etc etc. Very selective, unoriginal and predictable when it has been well publicised all over the place that (oddly enough) after l’arse, United suffered more than any other side in the PL for incorrect ref decisions….yet oddly enough, United’s best season in years for pens. You need to do a bit more work on this instead of trying to popularize myths. Oik approved!
  • WalterBroeckx

    Hi Red Rupert,
    I hope you have read the whole article also the opening lines? If not, please do. I will wait a minute.

    Okay, clicked on the link? Untold Ref Reviews …(that one) and then start counting. And if you have counted correct you should have seen that our team of referees have reviewed United 30 times this season. And I think still a few games to come involving United.

  • Alex

    Are you actually a qualified ref? You seem to state these as facts but in fact whether it was a foul or not is your (rather biased) opinion. Interesting how you use emotive words only when referring to fouls by Mr. Rooney.
    Try offering some balance and perspective, I really can’t take you seriously.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And to continue

    I think we did you at Anfield. And at Newcastle (Webb was the ref) and we did you at Stoke. Was it this season that they didn’t give a penalty on Chicarito and a red card for the defender? Walton was the ref I think. Stoke who for some strange reason is seems to be the darling of the referees.

    And about the other website I think you refer to debatable decisions? They do a great job in fact. They also come up with Stoke being the darling of the refs. If you could explain that would be great as we cannot understand it to be honest.

    But back to debatable decisions and their great job. They do have one big failure in the way they work. They only base themselves on the highlights that are shown in MOTD. And as we (I don’t know for you) know those are “debatable” a bit. We have noticed some slight bias in the way they sometimes show games. And in the way they show some incidents. And they use a panel of football supporters who decide the important decisions.

    And I have noticed them using all kind of excuses to judge decisions. It doesn’t matter if it was difficult to see if a ball passed the goal line or not. The only thing that matters over here is: did it pass or not. (I’m not wanting to sound over critical on the debatable decisions as I like what they do)

    We work different. Our referees (yes a real referees) looks from the first till the last second of each game and judges all decisions or non decisions. One review takes about 2 hours (for an easy one) up to 3 hours (for a more difficult one).

    If all goes well we should have done around 150 games at the end of next week. And then we will publish all and everything about each club and each referee in a series that will take a few weeks I guess.

    I don’t know of any other survey on PL refs of that seize ever been done before.

    Now say again: who do you think again should do a bit more work?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh sorry Red Rupert, just noticed one of the United reviews is still not published. So you should have counted 29 games. My mistake.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Alex, also qualified refs have emotions you know. 😉

    That means ‘yes’ to your question.

    But do try to read other reviews concerning other teams and you will see that after a review emotions can be introduced. Also referee reviewers (who are all referees themselves) are human. Human with emotions and stuff you know…

  • Matt Clarke

    “You need to do a bit more work on this instead of trying to popularize myths.”

    I trust that this was a reflection on your own post.

  • Dino

    I don’t think it’s so much OTraff as it is Fergie. We all know OT is a quiet stadium with prawn fans. The most intimidating thing about OT is the camera flashes in the crowd from plastic fans from India and China. The refs are scared of Fergies PR machine that chews up professional reputations of decent people and harms careers if things don’t go Fergies way. The FA should stop being so weak in every situation facing them. Graham Taylor needs sacked also, joke of a man.

  • Eddy

    Interesting that,despite all the evidence pointing to the contrary,some people will take the easy route and ignore hard facts in preference claiming some preconceived notion of bias against a team.It doesn’t seem to be in the powers that be interest to address a situation where one team is favoured year in year out in the balance of match changing decisions(Carrick’s foul against Fulham being a prime example).Well done for your continued hard work.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Alex, if you are still with us: you do have a point in a way. We had a period when we were very sec in our comments. Even sometimes we didn’t comment at all on a foul or card. Just said: correct of not correct.

    But then people asked for explanations and one word lead to another and so emotions could be seen around sometimes.

    Just look at it this way: you can perfectly eat a steak without salt and pepper. But I know it tastes much better with salt and pepper.

  • its an old story. Man u is regularly favoured. A number of particularly Web’s decision can attest to that. This is not about being emotional or biased or having passion as a fan for the club you support but about fact and reality.

    But its high time those biased refs stopped it so that they do not rubbish the integrity and standard of EPL.