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August 2021

So have Man United benefited directly from Referees this year and to what extent.

So have United benefited directly from Referees this year and to what extent.

By Andrew Crawshaw

I have analysed all of the available Referee Decisions reviews of the United games from the start of the season up to the Everton game on 10th February, 21 games in total.  I am commenting on them in sequence from the start of the year and have used the weighted scores in the reviews throughout.  At the end of my comments on each game I have given (in brackets) my guess as to any difference between the points United did score and those I think they should have had.

Andre Marriner – Everton v United 20/08/2012 Score 1 – 0

Key decisions – Penalty not awarded to Everton in 4th minute, bias of wrong decisions against Everton 76% – probable score 1 – 1, (-2 points for United)

Kevin Friend – United v Fulham 25/08/2012 Score 3 – 2

Key decisions – Hangerland should have been sent off in minute 74, bias against Fulham 84% – probable result, win for United (no change).

Michael Oliver – United v Wigan 15/09/2012 Score 4 – 0

Key decisions – Minute 3 Penalty for United incorrect, Wellbeck should have been booked for diving; Minute 54 Scholes should have been booked; Minute 55 McArthur second yellow was harsh.  Minute 56 Caldwell should have been booked.  Minute 88 Figuera and Nani should both have been booked.  Minute 92 Wellbeck booked, should have been his second and him sent off.  Mr Oliver seems to have had a bad day at the office and was awarded an overall rating of 64%.  He still managed to have a bias against Wigan of 83%.  It is unlikely that United wouldn’t have got all three points though (no change)

Mark Halsey – Liverpool v United 23/09/2012 Score 1 – 2

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Key decisions – Minute 38 Shelvey sent off (rightly) however Evans should also have been sent off.  Minute 56 Suarez should have been awarded a penalty.  Minute 75 Penalty to United wrongly awarded and the resulting goal should not have stood.  Minute 83 RVP should have been sent off (straight red and three game ban), the tackle was similar to that that resulted in Shelvey being sent off earlier in the game.  Mr Halsey also seems to have had a poor game (65%), bias against Liverpool 82% These decisions changed the game and Liverpool would quite likely have won (-3 points)

Chris Foy – United v Tottenham 29/09/2012 Score 2 – 3

Key decisions – Minute 42 should have been a penalty to United.  Minute 58 should have been a second penalty to United.  Another poorly refereed game with a 64%, overall bias against Tottenham 65% despite the two not given penalties!  Those two penalties mean that United were likely to have won the game (+3)

Howard Webb – Newcastle v United 07/10/2012 Score 0 – 3

Key decisions – Minute 1 “Tioté lets Rooney know he is there. The response from Webb is interesting he rushes over, dont kick Wayne!”  Minute 3 “Rafael leaves his foot in exactly as Tiote did, Webb is in a good position but gives nothing.”  Minute 83 RVP should have received a red card (and a three match ban).  Bias against Newcastle 100% – every wrong decision was in favour of United.  Would fair refereeing have changed the outcome of the match – possible but impossible to say (no change).

Anthony Taylor – United v Stoke 20/10/2012 Score 4 – 2

Key decisions – Minute 45 Scholes should have been sent off for a second yellow card.  Despite this the refree had a good game with a 94% score.  Having to play the second half with ten men I would take Stoke to score an equaliser (-2 points)

Mark Clattenberg – Chelsea v United 28/10/2012            Score 2 – 3

Key decisions – Minute 67 Torres wrongly sent off for diving (second yellow) there was contact.  Minute 74 Hernandez goal wrongly awarded, he came back from an offside position.  Bias against Chelsea 64%.  A game Chelsea should have drawn at least (-2 points)

Anthony Taylor – Norwich v United 17/11/2012            Score 1 – 0

Key decisions – Minute 91 Yellow for Rafael given.  Mr Taylor made no mistakes in this game – NONE! (no change)

Kevin Friend – Aston Villa v United 10/11/2012            Score 2 – 3

Key decisions – Minute 57 Hernandes scores as a direct result of a wrong call in favour of United.  Bias against Villa 89%.  Another poor refereeing performance earning 64%.  Wrong goal shouldn’t have counted so a draw probably the right result (-2 points)

Lee Probert – United v QPR 24/11/2012                Score 3 – 1

Key decisions – Minute 10 Scholes should have had a yellow card (scissor tackle). Minute 27 Not given trip on QPR player just outside penalty area.  Minute 54 Scholes gets a yellow card should have been his second with him being sent off.  Minute 63 United goal came directly from a wrongly awarded corner kick shouldnt have stood.  Bias against QPR 89%.  Against 10 men would QPR have scored – possibly but two is unlikely. (no change)

Mike Dean – United v Arsenal 03/11/2012            Score 2 – 1

Key decisions – Minute 44 Penalty to United (saved) wrongly awarded not intentional handball.  Minute 58 Cleverly should have had a second yellow and been sent off.  Minute 69 Wilshere rightly sent off for second yellow.  Bias against Arsenal 85%.  With Cleverly off in minute 58, would Arsenal have equalised – your guess is as good as mine but I would like to think so (-2 points).

Chris Foy – United v Sunderland 15/12/2012                Score 3 – 1

Key decisions – four missed yellow cards, three for Sunderland, one for United.  No significant bias (55% against Sunderland) (no change)

Jonathan Moss – United v WBA 29/12/2012            Score 2 – 0

Key decisions – Minute 8 Own goal by McAuley, came from a not given foul on a WBA player but they could have cleared the ball and so the decision was allowed as correct.  Bias against WBA 74% (no change)

Mike Dean – United v Newcastle 26/12/1012            Score 4 – 3

Key decisions – Minute 70 RVP goal came directly from a non given foul by RVP, goal shouldn’t have stood.  Minute 93 Valencia should have been sent off for a studs up challenge.  Bias against Newcastle 74%.  Game should have been a draw (-2 points).

Michael Oliver – Swansea v United 23/12/2012                Score 1 – 1

Key decisions – Minute 19 Yellow card not given to United player (3 fouls in total).  Minute 59 yellow card to Tiemdalli was soft.  Minute 76 RVP given a yellow card but it should have been red for pushing the ref on the shoulder.  Bias against Swansea 63%.  Would Swansea have scored a second goal with a man advantage for 24 minutes – impossible to say (no change).

Howard Webb – United v Liverpool 13/01/2013                Score 2 – 1

Key Decisions – Minute 52 Skrtel received a yellow but should have been red.  Overall bias against Liverpool 62%.  With Liverpool with ten men for 38 minutes United would have won more easily (no change)

Chris Foy – Tottenham v United 20/01/2013            Score 1 – 1

Key decisions – Minute 19 Parker should have been booked for diving.  Minute 52 Parker should have had a second yellow card for diving  he therefore should have been sent off.  Minute 62 United should have been awarded a penalty.  The overall bias against United (YES AGAINST UNITED) was 78%.  With a non given penalty and against ten men Unites would probably have won (+2 points).

Kevin Friend – Fulham v United 02/02/2013 Score 0 – 1

Key decisions – two correct yellow cards one for each team.  Mr Friend had an excellent game with only four minor wrong calls all game (but they were all against Fulham) (no change)

Mark Halsey – United v Everton 10/02/2013 Score 2 – 0

Key decisions – Minute 39 Rooney should have been booked for abusive language at the assistant referee.  Bias against Everton 100% (but not many decisions in total). (no change)

So in the 21 games reviewed was there a bias in favour of United? – Yes.  Was it significant? – yes.  Did they benefit in terms of the points awarded? – almost certainly yes to the tune of ten points or so.  Did they receive benefit in the small fouls? – yes in all but four games.  Should they have had players sent off? – Definitely, RVP three times, Scholes twice, Evans, Cleverley, Ferdinand and Valencia; between them 19 matches worth of bans.  Has a team ‘got one over on them’? – Yes Tottenham with a win and a draw which should both have been losses.

One final conundrum – how long will Anthony Taylor have to wait for another United game having had the temerity to make no refereeing mistakes at all in the United loss to Norwich.

Arsenal v Man U:

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The most detailed study of Premier League Refs ever:The referees 2013.

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61 comments to So have Man United benefited directly from Referees this year and to what extent.

  • Dave

    You need to a) get out more and b) stop obsessing with united and worry about your own average seasons. Oh by the way, nice business model. Worth every trphyless season that is.

  • Lysglimt

    Wow – this was serious stuff!

    First you deduct United points against Everton – in a match Everton actually won.

    Newcastle 4-3 – conveniant that you actually forgot the main talking point of that match. The offside-goal scored just before the break to give Newcastle 1-2

    Arsenal 2-1. Arsenal played so poorly that even if Cleverley had been sent off (I can’t remember that situation but for sake of argument) – you would never have got a point. Let’s not forget that the goal you scored was the last kick of the game.

    Spurs 2-3. Overall bias against Spurs despite you stating that United should have had 2 penalties. The way I see it – if you are lucky in 2 penalty decisions – the bias is certainly in your favour.

    Stoke 4-2. Would have been harsh to send off Scholes – but even if we agree to that. United were 2-1 up at the time and would probably have won anyway

    Significant bias ? With your own calculations – United have gained 15 points – and lost 5 due to referee decisions (the correct number should be 13 as United lost to Everton and you still deducted 2 points)

    Imo – 4 if not 6 of those points are incorrect (esp the Arsenal and Newcastle-games) – so yeah ok – over 35 matches maybe we have been lucky with 2-4 points.

  • William

    I aint surprised at the 10 point advantage for 21 games. If you include the remaining games,then it shdn’t surprise anyone the red face will win the epl season after season.Then ther is the case of Anthony Taylor.
    That is why the red faced for all his epl dominance can’t makde an impression in the cl. It’s obvious otherwise how do you explain his poor cl record.

  • Olusanmi

    What a funny analysis! Too irrational! Anyway,that’s what jealosy brings:Irrationality

  • landofconspiracy

    Only games United were the victims of bad calls in were against the 1 team you are more obsessed with than United.
    What are the odds.
    Just a few observations, among the many available-
    1) the arsenal game- wilshere should have already seen red, this would make your calls on cleverley null & void- & whilst you would “like to think” that you would have gone on to claim a draw, surely even the most blinkered of arsenal fans would have the self-respect to admit that it wss probably the mist flattering 1 goal defeat you are likely to be end the end of.
    2) similar with the chelsea game, wrong yellow for diving for torres,, ignoring the red he should have got even earlier for his studs up waist high challenge, unmentioned here of course.
    To summarize once more then, United wouldnt even qualify for the chamions league if it wasnt for all these corrupt referees.
    The other thing is, with your outrage at such blatent cheating, did you hear united fans up in arms over either of those 2 spurs games? No, get on with the game, worry about your own team instead of united, & i will guarantee youll be a lot happier in kife.

  • kel

    we all know fergie has influence on refs which i have no doubt has helped win a few titles… but to be fair william his poor record in the CL? the man has won it twice and lost the final twice.. not bad imo 😉

  • Mick

    RVP must be in heaven, being allowed to get away with reckless challenges that he would have been heavily penalised for at Arsenal. Add on all the penalties awarded in Manures favour, many of them dubious to say the least, after having come from a club where a penalty was a rare luxury. He obviously realised that he would never win anything at Arsenal with things stacked so much in rednoses favour.

  • Oscar

    Why not hold your hands up and admit that United have been the best team and deserve their title? they had goals not given against city and reading, two games they could have dropped points in. Decisions favour every team over the course of a season. atleast it favoured arsenal vs westbrom, vs Norwich etc… So stop being bitter and support your team.

  • pen against arsenal not intentional handball you gotta be kiding

  • Mandy Dodd

    Quite incredible but unfortunately not surprising. Rvp seems to get away with a lot these days. This will not change until Riley fergie or both have gone.

  • Even from over 12,000 miles away I clearly see this as a biased report by a highly biased Arsenal supporter. The follow up comments stink of nepotism. Whatever happened to fair and unbiased reporting? There never was and there never will be an unbiased report, one way or the other where Manchester United are concerned.

    They are clear, run away winners of the E.P.L and taking into account the number of ‘vital area’ injuries the whole team, manager, trainers & medical staff are to be applauded.

    Yes Robin van Persie has been excellent for Manchester United, however as proved during RvP’s 10 game lean spell, Manchester United are NOT a one man team.

    I suggest to the author of this highly biased report that he gets a life, one without the fixation of his hatred of Manchester United.

    Bred Red!!!

  • Not surprising

    yes, ‘Bred Red Wet-the-Bed’, not surprising that you’re a Man U fan from ‘12,000’ miles away, glory-hunting troll. I suggest you traipse over to ‘Republik of W4nkunia’ if you want Man U-biased reporting. This is a Gooner blog, so you should not be surprised of any bias.

    Furthermore, you should not be surprised that Man U(re) get preferential treatment from English referees; look at Greedy Badger elbowing a player off the ball earlier in the season – no sanction – carry on, son. Greedy Badger won you the title, no mistake; no hint of the media suggesting this like they tried to against Arsenal last season ‘one man team’.

    Enjoy the victory parade in May. Watching it on TV.

  • Cyberian

    I appreciate this analysis; however, it underestimates the effect of the “undeserved” points that likely influence the dynamic of the season. For example, getting points early in the season puts pressure on other teams. In a similar way, keeping pace or picking up the pace later in the season negatively impacts teams playing catch-up. Witness the greatly diminished importance of the outcome of the recent Manchester derby between the top ranked teams. The downside of this comment is that I do not offer a way to model this dynamic.

  • Stuart

    You also need to take into account the points lost by the other teams and how it may have affected them.

    By the way, you list only 20 games.

    This is how many extra points the opposition teams would have gained (or lost) with these results:-
    Everton +1
    Fulham = no change
    Wigan = no change
    Liverpool +3
    Spurs (-4)
    Newcastle +1
    Stoke +1
    Chelsea +1
    Norwich = no change
    Villa +1
    QPR = no change
    Arsenal +1
    Sunderland = no change
    West Brom = no change
    Swansea = no change

    So for Arsenal, 4th place would currently be secure.
    Chelsea would be level with us on points and goal difference.
    Everton would be battling Tottenham for 5th and and need 4 points to overtake us
    Liverpool would still have a chance of 5th too being only 2 points behind Everton and 3 behind Spurs but with a better goal difference.

  • Stuart

    * by 4th place secure, I mean even if other win their game in hand, we would still be at 4th.

  • AL

    Good work Andrew, sure it’d have been more undesreved points won than the 10 only had you included all of their games to the current 34(in their last two games alone they ‘scored’ 4 goals that stood despite being scored from offside positions, and yes by one man RvP)

    Agree Rvp is getting away with murder these days, & benefitting from some amazing generosity from the match officials; sure he must be cursing himself why he didn’t make the switch to the rednose pirate’s camp much much earlier, as he would’ve at least won world player of the year by now.

  • Mick

    Off topic but Spurs held by Wigan, final score 2-2.

  • Jerry

    Good work on the article, I’ve been wondering how many points they were given since they clinched the championship. Also wondering, when is the case study on United, Norwich, and Arsenal going to be published? Look forward to that study!

  • Ruks

    Ya’l get trash tomorow! Guard of honour shud ad d extra salt to ur injuries. Rvp! MAN UNITED LEGEND!!!!!

  • nicky

    All this hooha merely emphasises the need for some other form of officialdom controlling football matches.
    Robots are on their way….not in my lifetime, but they are inevitable.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    So, with a lead of several bazillion points, regardless of the referees we should be congratulating ManU. I might also point out, there may be illegal machinations but most certainly not all ManU supporters, administrators or players are involved. We might not like the refereeing or the characters involved but we should hold our noses and shake their hands.

  • WalterBroeckx

    May I point the MU fans at the fact that the numbers are taken from the website refereedecisions and that the reviews were done by referees and the majority of those referees ARE NOT ARSENAL SUPPORTERS!

  • Stuart

    How many refs are there now Walter? What about the split between clubs they support?-

  • Anaekwe patrick

    Great job Andy. Begin to observe the trend referees show case in officiating matches involving contending teams next football season . It is here refs make way forMan U to lead the rest of the team that early.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Firstly my apologies – the Everton v United game was, of course won by Everton so my comment should have been Everton to have won by two goals to nil, and no change to the number of points that United scored. The final total to be -8 instead of -10.

    I have missed the Southampton v United game referee Mike Dean on 02/09/2012 which United won 4 – 0. There were no significant decisions, Mr Dean got a good overall rating of 88% with an even split of wrong calls giving no significant bias to either side. This game correctly a win for United so no change for the points there, still -8.

    I have also missed the City v United game, Martin Atkinson on 09/12/2012 Score 2 – 3. Key decisions – Minute 4 Missed yellow cards for Valencia (dive) and Ferdinand (intimidation of referee). Minute 13 missed yellow card for Balotelli. Minute 25 Missed yellow card for Y Toure for diving. Minute 58 Goal to United wrongly ruled out for offside – good goal. Minute 61 Ferdinand given a yellow card, should have been his second and a sending off. Minute 95 second yellow card should have been awarded to a City player (name not stated). The overall competency rating was 66% but an even bias against both teams. The extra goal would have counteracted the not given sending off so no change in overall score – still -8.

    So 22 games in total not 21 and two more with an even split of wrong decisions.

    To all of you United fans posting, thank you for your time. You have your opinions and I mine, it is unlikely we will ever change each other, but I do urge you to go to the Referee decisions website and look at the work there with an open mind, I honestly did this review of their work without knowing what the outcome was going to be and tried to follow the evidence.

  • Mandy Dodd
    If this guy is correct looks like utd have yet another friend in a high place

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd, Walter,
    As you say, if he’s right, even half right, it’s a spectacular analysis and so very disturbing.

  • bob

    From you understanding, would Gazidis new position (or is it FA, not EPL?, etc.) have afforded him any input?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Don’t know bob but really hope Ivan is using his influence for the greater good

  • bob

    Just curious about the nature of your posting: Were you at the Nuremburg Rally at Old Toilet when you kicked us out of our undefeated run? From today’s posting I better understand the sadistic bloodlust that continues in postings like you from then to now. What a deluded disgrace. Will you pull the wings off the flies that encircle your goosestepping march to the league trophy?

  • ken

    Stop worrying about the officials and look at what Arsenal need to do to be competitive again.

  • @babakrdaemi

    Interesting stuff again. Nice one.

  • Vivek

    This is so absurd…….I know you guys are die hard Arsenal fans and so am I. i respect the the fact that you strive for a lot of positiveness when there is so much negativity surrounding Arsenal. That said, the way you are writing this is really in bad taste……while Utd have got some decisions going their way, may I point out that so have Arsenal……we seem to be having a lot of calls going our way this season. on the whole I think we have around 5-6 points in the kitty because of questionable refreeing. Does that mean Arsenal are ‘bribing’ referees? Now, you would stand it if I said that, would you? i know Arsenal wouldn’t do such things and you just can’t run your mouth about how Utd have been helped by referees. The standard of refereeing has been below par and that needs to improve but I am sure the refs aren’t out there with an agenda. The are human and sometimes, the pressure, the pace of the game, players reaction, crowd and the managers all does influence them…..i am sure neither of us would get even 30% of those decisions right.

    Sometimes you need to accept that our rivals are very good and we are poor, simple. you can support Wenger and that doesn’t mean he is right always. And just because you run a successful blog, you can’t come out and write biased articles just because you have the freedom to……….

  • I think it might be helpful if you read the analyses carried on Referee’s Decisions, and indeed the analyses carried on this site last year.

  • Stuart

    If what you are saying is all it is and the referees make mistakes only because they are human then this article and all the research in the background is still just as important & valid as it highlights the need for a non-human method in calling or reviewing these decisions.

    I personally am a believer of the fourth official (or other) reviewing video replays of incidents on request of managers whilst the game is still in play and if it is deemed the ref missed something then play stops and goes back, if not, play continues. Obviously this would have to be controlled in some way to prevent misuse so I would suggest allowing managers a maximum of 2 incorrect requests.

  • Stuart

    Bore off!

  • Vivek

    I have no problem with analysis…..I do know you guys spend a lot of time on ref reviews and I read some of them. You tend to get your decisions right sitting at home, not in the thick of action. And also, directly linking wrong decisions and match results is quite childish and doesn’t reflect what you say you are doing….

    I’ll give an example. I’ve seen you guys say that the ref missed giving yellow card for a foul. you then say the player in question does recieve a yellow for a subsequent foul. You add the two up and say that by now, the player should have had two yellows and sent off. Really??

    If the player had a yellow card, he might not have committed the subsequent foul. He might have been subbed by his manager fearing a red. there are so many ways things might happen and you can’t just link one to another and come to conclusions. Your ref analysis and conclusions about results and points tally are way off the mark no matter how you write them. Because what happens on the pitch can’t be simulated on a word document.

    If at all your aim is to really improve standards of refereeing by doing this study, please leave out the bias percentages, altered match results and imaginary points tally. You can report on all wrong decisions and come out with the no. of times decisions are right, wrong and individual ref stats without saying which ref is biased to which team. i am sure you would sound much more serious and genuine without those I’ve mentioned.

    Agree with your need for tv reviews. Two decisions per team. Get them right, you keep your challenge. If wrong, it’s down the drain!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    you comment about the two yellow cards is important. Because it highlights how a good first decision “could” rule out another foul and maybe not making that foul could lead to a goal scored by the opposition.
    Now because being let off the hook the firs time he can make that foul and get away with a not sending off and also maybe prevent the other team to score a goal.

    One mistake could influence the outcome of a game in more than just that one decision

  • Mandy Dodd

    have a feeling we may need to watch out for the officials today

  • Adam

    If the referee review has stated a player should have been booked and is then booked at a later time in the match, the facts remain the player has committed two bookable offenses, I don’t see how that can be misinterpreted. One booking has been omitted by refereeing mistakes or bias.

    Its a weird situation where a person uses omitted decisions to justify their reasoning. Very odd, and I have not come across that before. Weird, and then to accuse the authors and researchers of being childish is bemusing.

    Vivek, you then continue to agree with the need for TV replays or an official with access to instant TV replays, but wish to put a limit on justice, interesting stance and not one I’m inclined to agree with.

  • Mick

    ‘we seem to be having a lot of calls going our way this season. on the whole I think we have around 5-6 points in the kitty because of questionable refereeing.’
    Come on then put your money where your mouth is and give us the evidence. Or is that a guess based on your obvious belief that it all evens out over the season. Also Man U no penalties against and no red cards for. Explain that please.

  • Stuart

    That is a very valid point regarding second fouls maybe not having been committed if the first was penalised and one that I always have in mind however, these reviews are here to clearly highlight the deficiencies with official and that is exactly what the reviews (and subsequent articles do).

    These reviews are not really to highlight the players making dangerous challenges but rather the referees failure to both keep discipline in order and apply the rules fairly and with equal effect for both teams. I wont pick a specific example as there are hundreds to choose from where one team sees their player booked for a challenge which was borderline and a player of the opposite team not being booked until their second career threatening challenge.

    The long and the short of it is, the refs have lost control OR they know exactly what they are doing when applying the rules differently for different players / teams.

  • Stuart

    Further to this, if the player was booked on the first instance, they would surely be less effective over the rest of the game due to being ‘careful’ so maybe on this occasion, things do even out over the course of the game 😉

  • Stuart

    Further to your 10.53 comment.

    I am merely stating my main interest in this series, I would like a case to be made for video replays and so far, this is the best study to research that need that I have seen.

    With regards to biased refereeing, I think there is also a point to be proven and answered and anything that pushes the FA / PGMO / Premier League to operate more open and transparently is never a bad thing. These figures are not plucked out of thin air, they are specific and factual meaning the PGMO should be able to justify them if they are right.

  • AL

    ” Also Man U no penalties against and no red cards for. Explain that please…..”

    And also Arsenal have received 5 reds this season alone, more than any other team. Think it was last season where we went a whole season without being awarded a penalty at home too. Facts dont lie.

  • Vivek

    Let me clear what I am trying to say here.

    1. I agree that there have been a lot of wrong decisions and that has to stop. Many teams have been affected and quite a few clubs have got the rub of the green several times, including Arsenal. While I appreciate your work on reviewing several matches, I don’t agree to the conclusions you come to. I still believe none of us can predict what will happen after a certain decision and how that will affect a game. A man down wouldn’t mean the opposition is going to score and that doesn’t mean +2 pts to one team and -2 to the other.

    2. Adam, I didn’t accuse the writers of being childish literally. It appears to me that the conclusions drawn from their ref. reviews aren’t justifiable because this game is unpredictable. Refs generally don’t book first offences unless it is absolutely necessary. And I agree two bookable offences means he shouldn’t be on the pitch. But, does that mean a win for the opposition? If he had subsequently scored, does it mean no one else would have scored? How can we be sure when we all know the ultimate joy of this game is it’s unpredictability?

    3. And Walter, sorry if I might have sounded rude. Though I disagree on this, I still respect you and your team for your work and among the Arsenal blogs I read, you are right up there. Above all, I hugely admire the site’s dedication, the huge amount of work you guys do and the positiveness you try to find in every situation regarding Arsenal. Again I am not on the same book but neither am I a pessimist. I see there are problems but I am pretty sure the club tries to do it’s best.


  • AL

    “Many teams have been affected and quite a few clubs have got the rub of the green several times, including Arsenal”

    Really? Are you going to try and put Arsenal in the bracket of teams that have got lucky decisions, several times? We may have had the odd luck, which would be down to a mistake by the officials, but to say it was several times is just not true.
    Get in Theo! COYG!!!!!

  • landofconspiracy

    Any updates on off-side goals or non red-cards for Sagna?
    All these corrupt officials, tut tut…..

  • Shard


    Yes..One match after ManU have won the title proves that the entire season’s analysis is worthless. Do you live in a goldfish bowl?

  • Arun

    What about the evans tackle on Podolski which wasn’t even worthy of a replay???

  • landofconspiracy

    @mandy dodd- 12.25 pm. Wise words indeed.
    @Aron-6.42 pm. I’m not bleating about the decisions, i’m simply making the point that United aren’t the only read in the league who benefit from incorrect officials calls. Your recent Norwich game as another example.
    I don’t mean offence in this, but seriously, some of the comments I’ve read on your site on this & previous posts show some of your support have a very unhealthy obsession with united, & seem blinded to your own reams obvious flaws, such as dreadful centre-halves & unconvincing keepers.

  • Adam

    Vivek, Fair comment.

  • Arun

    What exactly was the wrong decision in the Norwich game??? Our third goal was offside but their goal also came from a dive. The penalty decision has been discussed on the site in detail and was correct but the media portrayed in a negative light claiming that the ref helped us which was bollocks.

  • landofconspiracy

    As you’ve yourself said, the game was littered with errors & incorrect calls,important ones. That’s my only point.

  • Stuart

    so you can mention two games this season where we’ve had a decision in our favour.

    I know for a fact that in those games there was also decision go against us and also in the other 36 in fact in the majority of games the decisions against us outnumbered those for us by a huge margin. I wish people like you would get your head out of the sand in this regard.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Of course one refereeing decision influences subsequent decisions and it is entirely probable that a second yellow card wouldn’t be given. That is why it is important that a good even tone is set by the officials from the first kickoff, sadly not always the case. The most telling statistics for me were the overall bias numbers, which I thought strangely lopsided and indicative of many small fouls being given against United’s opponents and not to the United players. These are the kinds of decisions that affect the flow of a game taking the ‘wind out of the sails’ of one whilst giving encouragement to the other.

    I am a strong believer in each team (captain or manager or both) having challenge cards to refer any decision to an video referee, If the challenge is overturned, the card is retained else it is lost. This would help ensure that the bigger decisions were correct. I don’t hold out much hope of this happening anytime soon though.

    landofconspiracy, the Arsenal v Norwich referee review was published during the last week on both the Untold and Refereedecisions web sites. Please look it up for yourself. Arun, from memory I’m sure that your reading was correct.

  • Vivek


    To be honest, all the four goals during that Norwich game shouldn’t have stood. The corner before our penalty, wasn’t a corner so no penalty. If you say the shirt pulling deserved a penalty, look at Giroud in the buildup to our second. He tugs at Bassong’s shirt and pulls him down. Should be a foul and a free kick to Norwich if I go by your statement, right? And the third was offside.

  • Shard


    Fair points about not being certain about the true impact a ref has on the game. A wrong decision impacts the game in ways that cannot really be measured accurately, and hence say a not given yellow card doesn’t mean that a similar offense again should have led to a red. That’s an example I think you used.

    So how do you measure, or quantify something, which is not really determinable. The way the analysis is done in this case, is one way of doing it. It has its flaws obviously, but any methodology would. That doesn’t make the numbers useless.

    The analysis, based on a certain methodology, reaches some numbers, and based on those numbers, reaches a certain conclusion.

    Do you feel the conclusion is wrong, but the numbers themselves are correct?
    Do you feel the numbers are wrong since the methodology is wrong?

    If the latter(as it seems to me from your post), then what is the alternative? To carry a study with a ‘better’ methodology. Possibly one which can better quantify the impact of a referee of a game. Can you suggest one? I’m sure they’ll take suggestions on board. They have in the past.

    The other alternative is to do no analysis.

    I don’t think these analyses are perfect. I do believe that they are highly significant and of value.

  • Vivek


    You feel that I am writing off the entire effort? You say that’s what you understand from my comment, well mate, you either need to start analyzing better or read twice.

    I never questioned the numbers. I suggested that they should put together their numbers and show the percentage of right and wrong decisions made, performance levels of referees, etc. What I don’t agree with is their conclusions about no. points to be added or deducted based on ref. decisions (as in this article) or how certain teams benefit and others suffer, or their bias percentages. this is as comprehensive as any performance analysis can get so I am not questioning their methods.

    You see, I believe their efforts are to show the standard of refereeing and present proof to backup their claim that something needs to be done. If they are here to prove some sort of conspiracy, then the conclusions that I reject wouldn’t sound bad. But when you wanna prove to the entire community that you are fighting for better referee performances, these conclusions would appear biased and diminish your credibility to an extent. At least that’s what I feel.

    Had i questioned the entire methodology, why do you think I would agree to the author’s suggestion for review system?

  • Shard


    I didn’t think you were dismissing the entire exercise, although I might have given that indication. I also could have read your post better. I apologise for that.

    I think however, that how it is perceived shouldn’t be the criteria for not amassing certain information. Which refs tend to have a statistical bias in favour of which teams is an important study in itself, regardless of whether this is based on corruption. If anything, it is a crucial part of discussion when it comes to reducing the impact of referees on results, and hence improving referees. Conspiracy or not, is something people have to decide for themselves based on the numbers.

    In fact, they could probably do more tracking of referee appointments, as to which referees get what games after what kind of performance. They could perhaps also have a database tracking which players get suspended for which games, and whether said suspension was deserved or not (and overturned on appeal or not) But I guess all of that would make it too complicated a process.

    Once again, sorry about intimating that you were dismissive of the entire analysis (even though that’s not what I truly felt)

  • Clown shoes

    Thanks for putting this together, 90% of football fans know it happens (bar United) but it has never been spelt out in plain English.

    The current United team is one of the weakest that has won the league (great forward line, but short almost everywhere else), and for anyone watching it is clear that the referee’s have had a major impact on the game.

    The media ignore it (how difficult would it be to put something like this in print, to actually put pressure on the FA to remove the corruption/inconsistencies from the game). So my hat is off to you.

    Keep up the good work.