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July 2021

REFEREE LEAGUE TABLES 2012 – The competencey of the refs Part 2


 Ordinary is Pointless


This article is part of the series : REFEREE REVIEW 2012


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.

In this summary of all the team reviews we will take a look at some of  the different decisions.

I would like to stress that the numbers we show in this article are just based on the decisions from the refs. This is not about which teams got the decisions. The numbers are based on the decisions from the refs in the games of said teams.

Of course for any team it is better to end up with a high score of correct decisions. After all name me one football supporter who wants to see referees making mistakes and screwing up games?

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So in a way it is of course good to have a high % score of correct decisions.

In this article we will focus on the “other” decisions, the offside decisions and the yellow card decisions. The other decisions and offside decisions are weighted with 1 point in our reviews. The yellow cards were weighted with 2 points.


The “other decisions” are the decisions that are being made “in the middle of the field”. It is all little fouls, pushes, trips, shoves, handballs, dangerous play, …. in short all the fouls that happen somewhere on the field outside the penalty area.

To clarify a few things first about this type of decisions. When we could not judge the decision because of lack of images or replays we gave the decision to the ref as a correct one.  Because we always did it like that in case of doubt: we gave the decision to the ref.

Correct decisions other +/- Average
1 SWANSEA 81,340 9,380
2 ASTON VILLA 78,472 6,512
3 WIGAN 76,446 4,486
4 BLACKBURN 76,364 4,404
5 LIVERPOOL 75,826 3,866
6 MAN C 75,054 3,094
7 WBA 75,000 3,040
8 BOLTON 74,254 2,294
9 CHELSEA 73,611 1,651
10 MAN U 72,619 0,659
11 TOTTENHAM 72,285 0,325
12 SUNDERLAND 71,991 0,031
13 NORWICH 71,096 -0,864
14 EVERTON 70,419 -1,541
15 WOLVES 68,844 -3,116
16 NEWCASTLE 67,611 -4,349
17 QPR 67,557 -4,403
18 ARSENAL 67,412 -4,548
19 FULHAM 65,909 -6,051
20 STOKE 65,447 -6,513

So we see that Swansea is the team where the refs made the most correct decisions about fouls in the middle of the field. This is fouls for and against both teams on the field when Swansea was one of the teams playing.  So Swansea fans have not only been blessed with some excellent football the way it is played by the best players, with the ball on the ground and with a fluent passing game. They also have been blessed with referees who have done their best to do their games as good as possible.

Swansea is the ONLY TEAM in the league that has seen a correct decision % of more than 80%. I think this is the standard that should be the minimum for the referees in the PL. Our numbers show it can be done. So why don’t they keep that level of performance for other teams?

In total 12 teams have had the honour of having a correct decisions percentage of more than 70%. On paper that is enough in most countries. But that means that 8 teams didn’t get that score in their games! How can you say that the referees in the PL are good enough when 40% of the teams do net receive the strict minimum that is required?

All 20 teams should have a correct decisions % above 70%. And as long as this is not happening the PGMOL and the referees are not good enough. There is no other way but to put it that way.

As this is an Arsenal blog I point at the fact that Arsenal is in 18th place in this table. So very low near the bottom of the table. Bottom of the table is Stoke City.  They have seen the most awful refereeing in the league.  And that is without even thinking about their style of football.


The next table we will show is the offside decisions. To clarify a few things first about this type of decisions. When we could not judge the decision because of lack of images or replays we gave the decision to the ref as a correct one.  Because we always did it like that in case of doubt: we gave the decision to the ref.

Correct decisions offside +/- Average
1 TOTTENHAM 95,192 4,993
2 NEWCASTLE 95,050 4,851
3 QPR 94,118 3,919
4 BOLTON 93,878 3,679
5 ASTON VILLA 93,333 3,134
6 LIVERPOOL 93,182 2,983
7 BLACKBURN 91,667 1,468
8 ARSENAL 90,698 0,499
9 SWANSEA 90,625 0,426
10 NORWICH 90,164 -0,035
11 WOLVES 89,474 -0,725
12 FULHAM 89,474 -0,725
13 WBA 88,889 -1,310
14 MAN U 88,889 -1,310
15 EVERTON 88,636 -1,563
16 MAN C 88,550 -1,649
17 CHELSEA 87,342 -2,857
18 STOKE 87,179 -3,020
19 SUNDERLAND 85,185 -5,014
20 WIGAN 78,378 -11,821

This season the head of the PGMOL came out with some numbers, telling us that 99% of the offside decisions were correct. Just take a look at this league table then. Our average was just over 90% and as been said we gave the benefit of the doubt to the ref very easy.

Not one team came close to the claimed 99% score from Mike Riley. The closest was Tottenham Hotspur with 95% and Newcastle also got above the 95% mark. 9 teams got a score above our league average score. And 10 teams got a score of over 90% in total. The other 10 teams are below the 90% mark. With even Wigan only getting a score of 78%.

How on earth can we take Mike 99% Riley seriously after this?  If he wouldn’t have claimed that 99% we could say about the offside decisions: oh, well this will be the highest possible score that can be made on this. But after Mike 99 raising the bar and expectations to this height he is the one to blame for our disappointment about this score.

As this is an Arsenal blog I gladly point at the fact that Arsenal is in 8th place in this league table. And Arsenal is one of the “lucky” teams that has a score that is higher than the league average.

Yellow Card decisions

The next type of decisions is the first that has a weight on it: the yellow card decisions league table. We came up with a league average of 62,24% correct decisions on yellow cards. An already devastating low number. Let us see how the different teams fared.


Correct decisions yellow +/- Average
1 ASTON VILLA 68,966 12,677
2 NEWCASTLE 68,235 11,946
3 SWANSEA 64,286 7,997
4 BLACKBURN 62,222 5,933
5 ARSENAL 59,361 3,072
6 EVERTON 58,730 2,441
7 STOKE 57,576 1,287
8 CHELSEA 57,447 1,158
9 MAN C 57,051 0,762
10 WIGAN 56,757 0,468
11 TOTTENHAM 56,637 0,348
12 SUNDERLAND 55,172 -1,117
13 WBA 53,571 -2,718
14 MAN U 53,165 -3,124
15 LIVERPOOL 53,097 -3,192
16 QPR 50,000 -6,289
17 FULHAM 49,020 -7,269
18 NORWICH 48,889 -7,400
19 BOLTON 47,368 -8,921
20 WOLVES 38,636 -17,653

The team with the best score is Aston Villa. But even in their games the 70% score was not reached. So all in all this really is a disappointing result. But in all this worse decisions making Aston Villa had the privilege of seeing the best of the worst one could say.

11 teams got a score above the league average. Meaning we also got 9 teams with a lower score than the league average. And in the games when Wolverhampton was around it was just terrible. This must be the most miserable number of them all. More than 17% below the already unacceptable league average.

I don’t know how to describe this. This is so disappointing.

And if I can shine a little light in this total darkness and as this is an Arsenal blog I like to point at the score of the games in which Arsenal played a part.  Arsenal finished in 5th place in this league table. So in the Arsenal games we can say that only 4 decisions in 10 were wrong when yellow cards had to be given or not of course.

In the next article we will move on to the most important decisions: red cards, penalties and goals.



7 comments to REFEREE LEAGUE TABLES 2012 – The competencey of the refs Part 2

  • bob

    Walter, Dogface,
    Surely there are reasons either way, but why not give readers a link at the start of the article and at the end of the article, back to the Index for the whole series? It’s a natural move and helps bind together the entire series, plus gives new readers a way to discover and explore the entire series.

    Also, why isn’t the Arsenal ref review part of the list of Team by Team reviews?

    I can’t fathom why, so in the interests of a win/win outcome, why not?

  • Charlie

    We often see Free Kicks given leading to goals which were wrong decisions. How are they considered in your results ?

  • WalterBroeckx

    A free kick directly leading to a goal is counted in the wrong goals.
    An example:
    A striker dives for a free kick= a wrong decision in the category “others”
    From the free kick the “diving” team scores= a wrong decision in the category “goals”
    This is done like this because the goal directly resulted from the mistake from the ref.

  • WalterBroeckx

    The only reason I can think of is… time, time and time…or the lack of it.

    I admit: You are right about what you tell us to do. I will try to add that in the next articles

  • WalterBroeckx

    I jumped to the main page and filled up the gaps and linked to the main page in the article.

    When you don’t have time, you should make some time is an idiom in my language. So I just did that. 😉

  • bob

    Bravo! Exactly, it’s only the busiest people that don’t have the time and get things done! Cheers 🙂

  • mark

    Why are yellow card decisions so often wrong? Is it that the ref did not really see the foul? Or is it that they refs are influenced but other factors in giving a yellow (crowd, team, player acting, injury, and other)? Or is that they don’t understand or apply the rules consistently?

    I still think that two on the field refs would help with this area because four eyes would see more (in some cases they would have 6 eyes with lines man) and two brains could be working to make sure the rules are applied consistently.