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August 2021

REF REVIEW 2012: Mark Halsey – simply not good enough


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 ref is Mark Halsey. One of the older referees in the PL.

Mark Halsey
Mark Halsey

Untold Vs PGMOL - MarkHalsey 2011/2012

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We managed to do 9 games from this ref and this represents just under 43% of his total games in the PL.

Let us see how competent he was in these 9 games.

PGMOL Vs EPL - Basic Competency - MarkHalsey 2011/2012

Well you see it yourself. In the un-weighted score he only managed a score of 68.33%. That is below the 70% margin we set (and other countries set this also) as a minimum for a PL ref.

And if we put weight on the decisions we see that this even goes down to only 66.41%. So that is not good at all.

Let us see at the different type of decisions.

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

The goal decisions are better than the league average. More than 95% is rather good.

So are the offside decisions who are also better than the league average.

A bad point is the other decisions. A score of 67% means he misses too many things.  The penalty decisions are also bad. A score of only 50% correct is not impressive.

The red cards are also not really impressive. In fact the figure is bad.  And the yellow cards are also not a score that brings happiness in the world of refereeing.

So apart from goals and offside not really good numbers.

Let us see if there was any bias involved in his games.

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

Wow, what a home bias!  A negative bias against the away teams of -3.445 is much higher than the league average. It is almost the double if the league average.

And if we put weight on the decisions we see that the the numbers rise even higher. A very bad home bias in the games from this ref.  This is what we can call a home ref.  Let us see if we can find anything strange with the team bias.

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

From these numbers it is clear that he doesn’t seems to be a pro-Arsenal biased ref. A big bias against Arsenal from this ref. Also West Bromwich Albion is on the bad side of things from this ref. As are Aston Villa, Newcastle and Everton. And a rarity… Stoke City has a negative bias from this ref. Fulham had a zero score in the one game he did.

On the positive side we have Manchester United and Chelsea with a moderate positive bias.

Tottenham has a bigger positive bias and Liverpool is top in the bias table from this ref.

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

And when we put weight on the desicions the bias only bets bigger. Arsenal and WBA not only had a big bias against but also some major decisions going against them. The only two teams that look to have a somewhat normal score are Stoke and Fulham. But when you look at the mess he made in the game from Stoke you see that he was totally incompetent in that game.


This is just not PL material any more for my part. How good he was is hard to say because we didn’t do the reviews in the years before. But his competence score is too low and his bias is also very bad. Bot in the home/away bias but also in the team bias numbers.

So really a bad score all in all from this ref. And yet the PGMOL keeps him in the PL for some reason. Only they will know why because I cannot find any reason to keep him there.


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8 comments to REF REVIEW 2012: Mark Halsey – simply not good enough

  • Mahesh

    I have followed this for quite some time. And if I am correct, this seems to be a deviation based approach wherein deviation from the mean is considered bad (Is that correct?) However, from what I have read so far in your articles, it points to the fact that the mean itself is not something that PGMOL should be proud of. In fact, the mean (average correct decisions) is really bad. That makes me believe that only solution to the problem (and this is my opinion) is to provide the referees with a technology assist (live replay, requested replay by referee – and done by 5th referee, or something on those lines). Otherwise there is no hope! 🙁
    Since, we do not have a comparative study of deviations in other leagues, we cannot say if it is better or worse than other leagues. But certainly, it can be made better with technology.
    Finally, I am really grateful that you have been doing this study which will most certainly help quantify the direction that refereeing is taking year-on-year. And whether there are more interesting patterns (e.g. depending on time of the season). Kudos!!

  • rusty

    Stoke shows NINE major incorrect decisions for and SEVEN against, on a sample of one game… yet there is no other team with seven for and nine against for Stoke to have played against. Could you explain again how the by-team tables work?

  • Strus

    9/7 in single game for Stoke
    A mean of 2,667/3 in 3 games for Chelsea x3 means 8 for and 9 against in 3 matches
    It was Stoke-Chelsea match!
    In 2 another games under Halsey Chelsea got 1 big decision in favour and 0 agaist

  • Doanythingformoney

    Good work and an interesting report. If Halsey is such a homer- what a pity we had Dean at the Ems and not him.

    This is another poor result. There are too many dodgy refs and too many from the North West. There must be some ‘Jack Taylor quality’ refs out there– but they are not being promoted. Time for PGMOL to go. We need higher standards- a higher basic benchmark.

  • rantetta

    “Simply not good enough” I’m afraid, is correct.

    Mark is one of those refs who “lets things go” on a regular basis. A real old-school Walton/Mason-esque type. Violence follows him around because he allows it. Almost every match I’ve seen him in over the last couple of years has seen reckless challenges allowed.

    There was a match – maybe 2 years ago – Wolves v Arsenal, it may have been Carling Cup, maybe Premier, anyway Mark allowed Carl Henry and others to really kick Arsenal around and I can still picture in my mind an horrendous challenge on Chamack – unpunished of course. (I think Cesc smashed someone too, also unpunished, near the end of the match, and this looked like pure frustration from our former captain, but Halsey had allowed things to get like this by his inaction when it was needed).

    I have some sympathy for Mark due to his throat cancer and I was glad to see him back, but his reffing is consistently bad, IMO. Time for you to move up (or down) stairs. Sorry.

  • rantetta

    And don’t forget Liverpool at Anfield earlier this year. Boy, we done really well to win that one – given the way Halsey reffed that one. Henderson on Arteta – Arteta stretchered off. Diaby comes on as sub – kicked every 5 mins, went off after 25 mins. Penalty for Suaracist dive, etc etc.

  • americangooner

    it seems mike halsey jumped the boat this season. from being a liverpool boy to joining the “manure-refrees supporter association.” rodgers was visibly frustrated by halsey. or maybe he was angry that halsey left liverpool. as always is the case refrees are there when manure seems to lose their grips on the pitch.

  • sib

    Halsey may have had a bias to the Home Team and Liverpool last season.
    However, judging by his performance against Man U, maybe he has seen this analysis, and made a conscious effort to change his ways; and went too far!