10 responses

  1. CB

    As always, very revealing/interesting.

    If any of your readers have contacts in the media then they should let them know these findings and what PGMOL say. I have and will let you know if anything comes of it.

  2. Mick

    This is compulsive reading and well done to you for presenting your findings in such a clear manner. I dread to think of what the percentage bias figures would be when teams from London play teams from the NW, especially if the match is in the NW or a ref from the NW is officiating. It would seem that the London teams need a miracle to get a result under such circumstances as they are effectively a goal or two down before the game has even started.

  3. Stuart

    So PGMO should either rule out any chance of bias or ensure each season, the number of refs in each season is inversly proportional to the number of teams in that region. I’d say the first is easier to look at.

  4. Matt Clarke

    I would the echo the two comments above.
    Sterling stuff.

  5. jaroda

    I note in the London Bias report that 4 out of the 5 London clubs received a +ve bias and yet because of the massive Arsenal -ve bias the overall arithmetic mean for the region is -ve.
    If you exclude Arsenal’s figures then the bias unweighted by decision importance is +ve 2.863 and weighted by the games played and unweighted by decision importance +ve 1.789, the corresponding weighted by decision importance are +ve 3.878 and +ve 2.423.
    What this shows cleary is that London teams (excluding Arsenal) receive a +ve bias.(Think back to the Spurs (H) and QPR (A) games v Arsenal, they got the dodgy calls, we didn’t) It is only Arsenal that receives a -ve bias and massively so.
    The first question any outsider is going to ask is how did you acheive impartiality when compiling these figures. Wait… what’s this… this is an Arsenal blog and Arsenal are hardest done by? It is a shame because I believe this is great piece of work and my gut feeling over the season is that Arsenal were robbed in key decisions all season. However, having Arsenal stand out so far, accurately or not, greatly affects the credibility of the study to any other interested parties.
    My alternative suggestion is that the study is recalculated excluding all of Arsenal’s matches and figures to create numbers that are less likely to be affected by our own ‘bias’ towards Arsenal.
    Would this study show the same conclusions as the one including Arsenal? If yes then brilliant. You are truly impartial. If not then it poses more questions.

  6. WalterBroeckx

    I understand what you mean and I am fully aware of that remark.

    Later on in this series I will take on that question about us being biased. That article is in fact 95% ready.
    Believe me (for now) I can prove that others have reached the same conclusions and those are not Arsenal supporters.

    About excluding all the Arsenal games is something that I will ask Dogface.
    If there is one person in the universe who could do this, it would be him 😉

    In a way to answer it myself: I have apart from the database that we have built tried to look at the difference in the numbers with our without Arsenal games.
    I only have the numbers with me for the moment of all the games minus 1 but to give you an impression on how short the numbers are to each other I will give it from my file:
    Only total scores in average correct decisions overall:

    All games: 71.37% correct
    Non Arsenal games: 71.91 % correct

    So there is a negative impact from Arsenal games on the final numbers. But I can prove you (will do this later on and not with just our numbers) that Arsenal has been screwed most of all teams by the refs.

    (I could give you other numbers also but this is a number we have used to compile the region numbers so will just stick to that one)

    Maybe will use it in a further article later one in fact. thanks for the idea 😉

  7. WalterBroeckx


    the easiest solution is to have as many refs so that each ref can only do two games of the same team in one season. Maximum impact of a ref would be 6 points in that way.
    That would be one gigantic step forward. A step you could compare with men being able to fly to Mars I think ;-)But much easier done…

  8. Andrew Crawshaw

    Walter, Dogface,
    My question is why are we subject to do much bias? I believe that we were denied about 20 penalties (net allowing for those against us). Many of those decisions alone cost us points and that in reality we should have been challenging for the title rather than scrabbling for third place. Assuming the bias is institutional rather than individual who is it who gains out of our misfortune and is it financial in a direct sense, or reputational (financial gain being a secondary consequence).

  9. bob

    Walter, Dogface,
    This is admittedly simplistic, but surely a question or line of future inquiry that is begged by your striking findings. The Queen Bee of the Hives of Riley, Micky R himself hails from West Yorkshire. Does his selection by the PGMOL board (whoever they are, which is knowable) or whomever, fit these regional findings in any statistically meaningful (or more than coincidental) sense? Not that it must to prove something, but I’d be curious about what, if anything, you guys might see in his ascension.

  10. Tony

    The question of why the bias exists is really interesting. As is the question of why the PGMOL don’t make a few simple changes in order to show that we are wrong.

    Another interesting question is why the PGMOL shut down their web site, as we started to publish all this data.

    I think slowly we are getting to the answers – but it is important to publish all this data first.

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