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August 2021

REF REVIEW 2012: Everton – some refs like them some don’t


If you think you know your Arsenal, it is time to think again. Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.


By DogFace and Walter Broeckx

Untold Arsenal has a team of qualified referees who have reviewed more than 40% of the EPL games from last season. The reviews themselves were based on full match video footage with the advantage of video technology features such as slow motion and pause.

By reviewing those 155 games we have made a database of more than 7000 decisions that have been judged by our panel of dedicated and qualified referees.

The numbers you will see are based on those decisions and those reviewed games.

I don’t know if there is an equivalent of St. Totteringhamsday in Liverpool with Liverpool celebrating the fact that Everton cannot overtake them any more in the league table. It sure didn’t happen this season as Everton finished in front of Liverpool. So I can imagine the Toffees being a happy bunch. But let’s check if they were always happy with the refs this season.

Untold Vs PGMOL - Everton 2011/2012

We reviewed 12 games of Everton. And this is the first team in our end of year analysis for which we reviewed over 30%. 31.58% to be exact. That is around almost 1 game in  3. So the outcome of the results should become more reliable in total.

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But if you are still not satisfied with this and you want us to do more games you should give us a helping hand. If you know a qualified referee ask him to join our referee review team.  Otherwise we have to accept that not all is perfect in the world and maybe in some of the numbers. But let us see what we can see if we look at the numbers from those 12 games.

PGMOL Vs EPL - Basic Competency - Everton 2011/2012

If we look at the un-weighted total decisions we see that this is almost the same as the league average.

And if we put weight on it…it is exactly the same as the overall league average we found!

So what else is there to say about that? Maybe that we would have like an higher average score and thus a higher score in the Everton games? Let us see how this looks like when take a look at the different type of decisions.

PGMOL Vs EPL - Basic Competency Breakdown - Everton 2011/2012

The goal decisions were some 2.3% better than the league average. Which is still too low. Like I have said before goals decides who gets the points so this should be at least correct with a score of 99%.

The offside are worse than the league average. Not by much but the difference between the 99% that Mike Riley claimed and this score of not even 89% is a big gap.

The other decisions are slightly under the league average. Only just in above the 70% border line.

Only 50% of the penalty decisions were correct. 12% under the low league average and in fact totally unacceptable. This is the most important decision type just behind the goal decisions so should be much much higher.

The red cards decisions in Everton games was a joke I think. Not one correct decision in those games….

We can get a bit of consolation when we look at the yellow cards. But not much in fact. A score of just under 59% correct decisions is rather low. But at least this number is some 2% higher than the league average.

So not really impressive numbers. Let us see if we can find someone who was happy with those very average numbers.

PGMOL Vs EPL - Incorrect calls Breakdown - Everton 2011/2012

The normal negative bias away from that a team can face is -1.826. Everton had to face a negative bias number of -1.600. So we could say they had to face the normal away bias in general in their 5 away games we reviewed.

The normal positive bias in the league is +1.826 and Everton comes close but only just with 1.714. So a bit lower than normal.  This leaves them with a small positive bias in their favour in total. But very close to the zero score in fact.

If we put weight on the decisions we usually see a negative bias away from home of – 2.619. Everton only has a negative bias of -1.200. So much lower than normal.

But at home they didn’t get the normal positive bias swing that the league average has shown. They are a bit under the normal +2.619 positive swing. Not by much but still a bit of a strange situation with having a smaller negative away bias against them but at home the refs gave them less.

The end result however is still a positive bias swing in their favour but not a big one.

Let us have a look at the different refs.

EPL vs PGMOL - Incorrect calls Breakdown by Referee - Everton (Un-Weighted) 2011/2012

We had 8 different refs in 12 games with Everton.  And nicely spread out 4 with a negative bias against them and 4 with a positive bias in their favour.

Martin Atkinson had a big negative swing against them. Phil Dowd also had a rather bad game for Everton. Mark Halsey seemingly being bad on both occasions. Michael Jones did 3 games in total and had a negative bias in total but not a real over the top big one.

On the positive side for Everton we had Webb with a small positive bias score. Kevin Friend with a bigger one. And then we have Lee Mason with a very big bias swing. People who have been following Untold and the ref previews will not be surprised by that.

Peter Walton also had a big positive bias in favour of Everton in his game.

EPL vs PGMOL - Incorrect calls Breakdown by Referee - Everton (Weighted) 2011/2012

If we put weight on the decisions we see that the score from Martin Atkinson has gone down even more. Also Phil Dowd stays ahead of Halsey in this table. Meaning he messed up a bit more in Everton games. Mark Halsey his number also goes up a bit.

Michael Jones manages to get a lower score. This indicates that the mistakes he made was more on the little calls in the field than on the big ones.

The score from Webb remains reasonable. The score from Kevin Friend is starting to give me some uncomfortable feelings.

The scores from Mason and Walton are …well a bit over the top I would say. Maybe good for Everton but bad for football, referees and the image of the PGMOL.

PGMOL Vs Everton - Incorrect calls Seasonal Handicap - Everton (Weighted) 2011/2012

At the start of the season we see a few games with a bit negative bias against Everton. And as a result they didn’t get much points in those games.  In week 23 they had a game with a big bias in their favour and they won that game. The exception to this is the game from week 29 when they had a big bias in general decisions but couldn’t capitalise on it.


If we look at the last table we see that having the ref having a negative bias score can lead to losing points. A positive swing usually gives more points. Not every time but most of the time.

They had a few games with an amazing high bias in their favour but also a couple of games with a big bias against them.  We could say that in 6 of the 12 games we did, the refs did rather well with small bias lines. But in the other games things look very bad for the refs and as a result for the teams on the field.

Some links to the games we did

 Manchester United – Everton
Everton – Sunderland
Everton – Tottenham
Liverpool – Everton
Everton – Arsenal
Everton – Chelsea
Everton – Manchester City
Arsenal – Everton
Everton – Manchester United
Manchester City – Everton
Everton – Liverpool

Editorial Footnote: Occasionally readers wish to make the point that our figures or methods are themselves fixed or biased.  If you have such a view and wish to argue that point please do take a look at our article on data and conclusions first.   If you want to see past articles in this series they are at EPL REFEREE REVIEW 2012- An historic study on the refs in the EPL




15 comments to REF REVIEW 2012: Everton – some refs like them some don’t

  • CB

    The has been tidied up again, someone has removed all the Untold Arsenal links and the QPR connection.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Somebody’s watching, somebody’s watching us 😉
    Hi guys.

    I think we were the only ones who talked about the fact that someone had added some details to the PGMOL page. And look now they changed it.

    I think it is strange however that the fact that they don’t want to let the people know that the sponsor of the PGMOL is also the sponsor of a PL team….

    I’m not suggesting there is anything to hide of course…but they do for some reason are not that happy when someone adds what is only the truth on to wikipedia…and thus want to hide that part…

  • colario

    @ WalterBroeck.
    “I think it is strange however that the fact that they don’t want to let the people know that the sponsor of the PGMOL is also the sponsor of a PL team…”.
    That cannot be good for the PGMOL. Who is the sponsor and which club do they sponsor?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Tune Group – Air Asia is the sponsor. Same owner as QPR

  • LRV

    Colario: The owner of the company that sponsors PGMOL is also the owner of QPR. Got it?

  • El Gringo

    There are two interesting groupings in the last graph. First, there are 3 matches with high negative bias in 5 weeks, plus another with a lot negative bias in the same time period. Second, there are 4 matches with positive bias (two of which were very strong positive bias) in a 6 week period. Can we regard this as evidence that the league was trying to make things even out for Everton? Or are there other factors at play that I’m unaware of?

  • WalterBroeckx

    El Gringo,
    sometimes things can depend on who a team is playing you know.
    Let’s assume two teams that you don’t want to win their game. But when they play each other you have a problem. You can try to go for the draw but that is always a risk (last minute goal or so). So it can happen that they have to make a choice and this could bring in a swing in the refs bias

  • I have edited the Wiki page on PGMOL with a new section on Untold’s challenge to PGMOL.

  • Jim


    I think it’s a bit sad that Arsenal fans have to make a website to judge referees’ performances in relation to their games lost. Maybe it’s your players that result in you losing? Oik approved!
  • WalterBroeckx

    So Jim to which “lost” game you refer? If my memory serves me right we won both games against Everton last season.

    And maybe the referees amongst the Arsenal fans over here just wanted to check the old “wisdoms” that are said like : it evens out and other rubbish lines.

  • El Gringo


    I think for the lower half of the table, much of the bad officiating is determined by which top team they’re playing. For example, Fulham got every call going for them vs Arsenal, but were denied the obvious penalty at Old Trafford. It could be that sides such as Everton, who seem to be neither in nor out with the PGMOL, are really just collateral damage in the war for and against the obvious in-sides and out-sides.

    I hadn’t ever thought of the situation you’re posing, though: two must-wins or two can’t-wins in the same match. It makes it hard for you and DogFace to sort out the motivations behind it all.

  • El Gringo

    Nice work, btw. We’ll see how far it goes…

  • Reviewer 02


    Do you have a better suggestion? we would love to have refs that support other clubs involved and are actively trying to recruit them.

    Have you read any of the reviews?

  • Doanythingformoney

    Excellent work as usual. Are Riley and PGMOL as open, honest and as dilligent in seeking what all football fans want and expect- a level playing field. Without absolute fairness and integrity- there is no sport, no game–only theatre.