Arsenal News

Live Arsenal News

Arsenal latest news

Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News


July 2021

Ref Review: Martin Atkinson. Poor on goals, ok elsewhere (unless you are Everton)

The club that changed football

Making the Arsenal


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.

The next referee is Martin Atkinson.  When he did an international friendly the commentators asked before the game if he would be as funny as Rowan, the comedian.

Martin Atkinson
Martin Atkinson

We will only take a look at his numbers if you don’t mind.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

Untold Vs PGMOL - MartinAtkinson 2011/2012

We managed to do 11 games from this ref last season.

And next season we will do more I think as we manage to do all the games of the new season so far on our new website dedicated to the PL referees.

So let us have a look at his competency numbers.

PGMOL Vs EPL - Basic Competency - MartinAtkinson 2011/2012

In the un- weighted score we get a score above 70%. So that itself is good. But the margin is not that big. It is just higher than the league average. So one could say that this is an average referee compared to all the games we did.

When we put weight on the decisions, his competency score drops to just above 70%. So this means that he has made a few big mistakes it seems.

Let us have a look at the different type of decisions.

PGMOL Vs EPL - Basic Competency Breakdown - Martin Atkinson 2011/2012

The goal decisions are shockingly bad. Not even 90% correct of this type of decisions and those are the most important ones. This should be higher.

The offside decisions are around the league average so not really out of order. Unless you are Mike Riley and claim 99% correct decisions.

On the other decisions he had a score of 75% correct. Just a bit higher than the league average. So no real complaints but not that great either.

The penalty decisions are a bit 50/50 one could say. Half of the decisions were wrong in his games, so again nothing to be extremely happy about.

The red cards are very low. Only one correct card in 6 decisions he had to make. So not that good.

And the yellow cards are also close to the (too low) league average. So all in all a very average score with a negative goal decisions score  as the most remarkable thing.

Let us take a look at the home and away bias.

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

Well this is an exception to the rules. This is a ref who doesn’t seem to have a home bias. If we look at the whole league we have found a negative away bias against the visiting teams but this ref has a positive bias in total for the away teams.

And if we put weight on the decisions we see that this positive away bias even gets bigger. In fact this is a very high bias score from this ref.

The result is that he is one of the refs where the away teams score more points than the home teams.

Let us look at the different teams in his game

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

If we look at the teams we see that there are 5 teams of the 9 teams with a low bias score. So that is good. But when the bias is big…it is really big.

Everton must have done something wrong with this ref as they suffer the highest bias against them of all the teams. Arsenal are also not the refs favourite team it seems.

The teams he likes more are Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool.

Let us have a look with weight on the decisions.

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

We see the same over here. 5 teams with little to no bias so that is good. But the bias against said teams are really over the top if we compare it to those 5 teams. As if he had lost it completely with those teams.

The negative bias against Everton is ridiculous and the same could be said of Arsenal.

Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool will maybe not mind him having such a positive bias in their favour. But from a ref points of view it is clear that he did have a problem with some teams this season.


A rather competent referee if we look at the competency score, but there are a few strange things  with this ref.

The goal decisions were rather bad.

I don’t like it when refs have a negative away bias against the visiting teams. But I also don’t like it when a ref has a positive bias for the visiting teams. A ref should have not bias. Not for home teams but also not for away teams. So that is something strange.

And if we look at the different teams we see that he can do good, unbiased games but he largely missed a few games and showed a big bias against a few teams and a big bias in favour of some teams.

Competency wise he is all right for the PL, but he has a problem with  his bias in some games. So something to keep an eye on and that is exactly what we will do this season.


Ref Review 2012 – the index

5 comments to Ref Review: Martin Atkinson. Poor on goals, ok elsewhere (unless you are Everton)

  • godge

    Some people (not me) criticise your site for how often an anti-Arsenal bias is shown among the refs.

    It is when you see results like this, a strong anti-Everton bias coupled with a strong pro-Liverpool bias, that they should begin to realise that there is more to be looked at than just the Arsenal perspective.

  • Doanythingformoney

    We need ANY sort of bias in the PL like a hole in the head. If PGMOL was any good- it would give one warning as to future conduct and then, if necessary, banned full stop. PGMOL are worse than useless. When does bias become a crime?

  • Tristam

    To be fair, the negative bias against Everton and positive bias for Liverpool is mostly based on one game between those two teams. In this game, Atkinson really seemed to give almost all decisions against Everton. But he might have had a bad day or it could have been a fluke. We would need at least three or four more games with those teams and him in charge to confirm that he is indeed a pro-Liverpool referee.

  • WalterBroeckx

    this season we will be able to see more as we now are doing all the games from all the teams on our new website!

  • Chris Scott

    If more proof was needed regardingMartin Atkinson and the bias against Everton, just watch the match 17/11/2012 against Reading. How he is allowed to referee against certain teams with the bias he has,against or for them should be looked into.