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July 2021

REFEREE REVIEW 2012: Lee Probert – a total anti-Arsenal bias.


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.

Next in our series we see how ref Probert did in the games we could review of him last season.

Lee Probert
Lee Probert

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Untold Vs PGMOL - LeeProbert 2011/2012

We managed to review 40.91% of his total games in the PL. Not that far away from the 50% mark so should give us a clue on how he is as a ref. He can’t have been unlucky every time we reviewed him I think.

It was 9 games we could review and lots of different teams involved. He did 3 Liverpool games in this review. Let us see how competent he was in all the games we reviewed.

PGMOL Vs EPL - Basic Competency - LeeProbert 2011/2012

People who have followed this series before know that 70% correct decisions is the score you must get as a ref in other countries to keep yourself in the top league. Well in the un-weighted decisions Lee Probert surely didn’t make that 70%. He only manages to get a score of 67.10%. So not good at all.

And if we look at weighted decisions the score goes even lower. He then only gets a total score of 66.60% of the decisions correct.

Again I would like to point at the fact that in our reviews when we have serious doubt we give the decision to the referee. So in a way we are rather soft on the refs and then he still can’t make the 70% score… a rather poor score.

Let us now see at the different type of decisions we cover in our reviews

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

Well certainly one type of decisions are great! All the goal decisions in his games were correct. So that really is some good news. This is the score each and every ref should get in his games.

The offside decisions are slightly better than the league average but not really close to the 99% Mike Riley claims.

But then the good news stops. His correct score on the other decisions is only 62.85%.  This is bad. This is the second worst score we have found this season. The worst score on this was Peter Walton. You know Walton who now is head of the referees in the USA. So where will Probert end up later on?  This is a really bad score. What good is it to get a maximum score on the goal decisions whilst the rest of the game you just get it wrong all the time?

The penalty decisions are also not really what we should expect of a ref in the PL. Just over 54% correct. Not really a score that brings joy to my referee heart.

And one correct red card decision in the 8 he had to make… well this is in line with his score on the “other” decisions. Something we also saw when we looked at the numbers from Walton.

The yellow card decisions are also not something that makes us wild. Just over 56% correct.

So apart from the goal decisions, these are rather poor numbers.

Let us see if he had any home/away bias in the games we reviewed.

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

And yes he sure was a biased ref. His negative away bias against the visiting teams is much bigger than the league average. Giving the home teams the calls when he could.

And if we put weight on the decisions the trend remains the same. The away teams have a bad day on the field in general and the home teams get the calls most of the time.

So what do we have so far? Bad competency numbers overall, a home biased ref. Can it get even worse? Let us see how the different teams do when Probert is the ref.

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

We had 12 different teams in our review.  And for 8 teams he was rather good in his bias. I mean that he had a low bias score with only small differences between both teams. So in fact he can be rather balanced. And this exposes the other results even more. Manchester United gets the calls a bit more than average. And West Bromwich Albion gets the negative calls a bit more than average.

And then we come to a team that for reasons only he will know is on his black list: Arsenal.

Arsenal only had Probert one game last season. And they will have been very happy that they only had him once.  Last season and then we also noticed that Probert had a very negative bias swing against Arsenal. There sure seems to be a problem in his mind when he enters the field and when Arsenal is on the field.

Maybe he doesn’t like French? Or maybe he doesn’t like Wenger? Or maybe he didn’t liked it that the PGMOL had to apology for the fact that Probert wanted Wenger sent to the stands at Old Trafford when he placed himself on a platform in that famous pose?  Ever since that day when Arsenal/Wenger cross the path of Probert we can see that he is clearly  biased against Arsenal/Wenger. We have seen it at Wigan a year later and at Fulham last season.

There is clearly something going on and he is not able to do Arsenal games in an unbiased way. I am convinced that it is not that he has it in for Fulham or Wigan (not that I know specific) but he clearly does not want Arsenal to win when he is on the field. He was making a complete fool of himself in that game and thus making a fool of every ref in England at the same time.

Let us put some weight on the decisions.

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

And then again we see almost the same picture. But with some higher numbers for some teams. Lee “poor general decisions” Probert we could call him.

Now only 5 teams have what we can call an acceptable score. Chelsea joins the teams that are seeing some bad decisions. Sunderland suddenly gets some big calls in their favour. West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United are each others opposite.

And of course Arsenal is the one that stands out with Fulham the team that benefited from Probert and his grudge against Arsenal/Wenger.

The bias exposed in those games is unacceptable. And the fact that the PGMOL didn’t punish Wenger when he rightfully exposed Probert after the Fulham – Arsenal game for his comments on Probert show that even the PGMOL knew Probert was way out of order in that game. But no apology this time for Arsenal or Wenger for Probert and his behaviour.


This ref has got a competency score of below 70% so he is not fit enough to stay in the PL.

He is a home biased referee that doesn’t get the required score. That could be the short final conclusion.

However the fact that he has a grudge against Arsenal and more in particular against Wenger is something that is unworthy of a PL ref.

The Old Trafford incident can happen. Probert got it wrong according to Keith Hackett and Wenger got an apology. By the way the ref on the field was Mike Dean that day. More food for thought I would say. Hackett said that Probert and Dean failed to handle the situation properly. Since that day Arsenal can hardly win a game under Dean and Probert. Coincidence?

But as a ref you should get over it. Okay you made a bad decision at the time and the PGMOL didn’t back you. But as since that day Probert is shockingly against Arsenal in his games the PGMOL should take note and act. They should make sure that Probert nowhere gets near a field where Arsenal is playing a game.

Apparently he can’t control his emotions since that day (I don’t have any numbers of games before or incidents before the Old Trafford incident to be honest) against Wenger and/or Arsenal. And that is the worst part for any referee.  Holding a grudge against a team or a manager should result in him asking not to be involved in a game with that team or manager. If he feels he cannot control himself he should ask not to be appointed for those games.

But he clearly didn’t ask for it and he gets the odd Arsenal game now and then. The PGMOL should know about that and if they didn’t know it until now they are negligent in their job. They should have noticed it. Hell, even I have noticed it for almost 2 years and I have written about it since the Wigan game. How the hell did the PGMOL not notice it as they should keep there eyes open for such things?

So Mike Riley, if you read this and have any decency left inside you must talk to Probert about this. You must confront him with this situation and tell him to stop his feud against Arsenal and Wenger and if he cannot do it you should demote him or never let him near Arsenal games in the future.

His competency numbers are clearly bad enough for getting demoted, so act or be part of the rubbish that Probert makes when he does an Arsenal game.



11 comments to REFEREE REVIEW 2012: Lee Probert – a total anti-Arsenal bias.

  • keysersoze

    I may not agree with everything this site says but this one is spot on. Probert has a personal agenda against Wenger ever since that incident. And he is a little man.

  • howard

    Check this out. Official validation.



  • Mahdain

    i remember that fulham game really well.. It left a very bad taste in my mouth for Twatbert as he was beyond shocking with his foul inventing tactics.. Totally unacceptable refereeing and have to say Walter that review was the best thanks to the video bits

  • Mahdain

    whats up people? Dont you have words to bash this pathetic excuse of a ref? Come on.

  • Doanythingformoney

    You really do wonder how slippery refs like this geezer manage to climb the slippery pole to the top Prem jobs. It ain’t talent- so where is the helping hand coming from? Sack the prat!
    Great work again crew!

  • rantetta

    A very good and accurate review. Indulge me whilst I nitpick, please:

    “Since that day Arsenal can hardly win a game under Dean and Probert.”

    I contend that Dean started before the Old Toilet mess. (Eduardo @ Birmingham, at the latest). The message had been put out. Arsenal were 5 points clear in Feb (08?) Both Brummy goals were dodgy (1 free kick & 1 Penalty). Dean had the audacity to **** the game up despite Edy’s leg being ripped off – and what did the press talk about…. Yeah, Gallas sat on the pitch/ he is weak/Arsenal are weak (that’s why they break their own legs).

    People, do you not realise that the way refs allow our players to be repeatedly hacked around, unpunished – has a bearing on players’ thinking when it comes to contract renewal and Trowfys.

    There’s reason to believe that RvP wouldn’t have earned much less, particularly, by staying at Arsenal. He (like others) has seen how Gunners are treated (including a couple of red cards for Vierra, where the “tackles” on him were worse than those inflicted by him, in retaliation). vPersie must’ve noticed the crap Manu get away with – and of course they’ve still “won” titles. (I mean – Scholes/Nevilles/Ferdinands/v****horse/Rooney, et al).

    Then there’s Hleb, who was thoroughly pissed off at his sending off, coming as it did after a season of being relentlessly hacked and mowed, again without refs punishing the offenders. I believe that’s the real reason he left the club. ‘Arsenal can’t win anything’ – because the closer we come to winning (even a single game) results in more broken bones and further injustices.

    Bear in mind that AD2, Ed9, and AR16 – may be the famous ‘bruk-leg’ victims but it goes far beyond that. CF4 was often targeted and BS3 got ****ed TWICE last season.

    Even MC29 was targeted after a good start to his Arsenal career. At first he got a penalty or 2 for blatent foul play but after that…..? How about AA23? Another target, oh yes, clear pen at OT. Darren Fletcher (oh, the Karma). I’ve seen all of that.

    I’ve seen horror tackles on TW14, EF26, EAdebay(can’t remember his no.) WS1 got a rabbit punch (thanks phat phil, you’ll be properly exposed one day – after your disgraceful crap during Newc 4 Ars 4, where you allowed Barton to injure AD2 and also gave ‘ghost’ fouls aplenty and 2 Penalties for… what?)

    Just imagine – players at our club – watching this shite – year in, year out.

    The thing is: We will overcome. And it’ll be partly due to these ref reviews. Because punters will become more aware of what’s going on, and it’ll all become increasingly embarrassing for the people who run the game.

    As this excellent article shows; Lee needs to be Probed(erted).

    Have faith, Gunners and Gooners, and enjoy our performances – with the players who chose to stay and fight for this wonderful club.

  • Sav from Australia

    Thanks for the continued good work guys. You are appreciated by football watchers the world over.

    Your comment reminded me of watching Arsenal in the last few seasons, maybe the last 5 years or so (before that I probably didn’t play close enough attention). You would watch the match and just feel like the decisions were all going against Arsenal – unfairly – and if the game ended in defeat for Arsenal due to said cheating referees, it would leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

    I actually stopped watching the EPL for a while, such was my disgust. But I came back, hoping that the underdog would beat the entrenched bullies. And in part thanks to Untold’s ref reviews, this may yet come to pass. Maybe this season even?

  • Micko

    @Rantetta – great post, agree with you about why players are continually leaving as well.

  • bob

    People, do you not realise that the way refs allow our players to be repeatedly hacked around, unpunished – has a bearing on players’ thinking when it comes to contract renewal and Trowfys.

    Entirely agree! I’ve said so, a few others too, but very few echoes of this even hereabouts. It’s like a dirty unspoken secret. Cesc and Hleb and Sagna and others too watched in horror at what was done to Eduardo. You can see their faces in the videos. And it goes largely unpunished and abetted and Eduardo gets blamed. I’d have hoped that even one such player would admit as much and perhaps break the wall of “unmanly” silence to admit as much. Wouldn’t that help the club?! Or would the club not risk it for fear that it would put the kibosh on future signings if it were acknowledged, even by protestation. Maybe the player-agents involved don’t want such sentiments acknowledged or they’d lose out on future Arsenal transaction fees. Yet for all that, it seems that one such admission – perhaps after someone’s retirement – would go very far to help continue to turn the tide of the refshite which by turning a blind eye is actually giving a wink and a nod. In any case, this possibility ought to be openly addressed, whatever the outcome of the discussion.

  • rantetta

    @Sav, Micko and Bob,

    Thanks for your comments. It’s so sad that one ends up in a position where you can’t watch because of dodgy-ness.

    Bob, you express one of my main desires: Someone please tell what’s going on – relating to refs and their treatment of Arsenal players. The nearest I can recall – to this happening was after a game at the Em’s a couple o years ago, where Everton were given a ridiculous offside goal. Cesc asked the assistant how much he was being paid.

    I say to all my doubting friends: It’ll all come out in our lifetimes.
    I fear I may be naive but it remains one of my biggest hopes along with Arsenal winning the league, some day.

    I love Arsenal more than ever.

  • Mahdain

    Goodness me this guy is going to be the ref for our match vs Norwich