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August 2021

Ref Review 2012 – 2013: What we did and what happens next.

By Walter Broeckx

After having counted the games and the decisions we gradually are getting ready to start publishing the referee review of the season 2012-2013.

The first thing is to show you how many games we did. And those who have been with us from the start will have known that the objective was to cover all the games.

Did we reach that goal? Alas…  At the start of the season the enthusiasm of the reviewers team was very big. And for a few weeks we managed to cover all the games. But then as the reviews are time consuming, personal matters that interfered, some of the reviewers had to cut down a bit. And some even had to drop out.

As I have already explained two of my friends from former seasons and both Arsenal supporting referees were the first to drop out. And the longer the season went on the more reviewers had to call it a day. And at the end of the season I found myself in the position that all those who had stayed with me let me know that they will not carry on next season. So one could say that for the moment we are back to where we started four seasons ago.  Just me and Dogface the man behind the scenes who helps me with the numbers.

We have to face it that doing the reviews is something that is very difficult to do. And doing it for free is something that can be done for a while but not over a long period.  There is more in life apart from reviewing games and certainly when you don’t get paid for it. So this is it. This is where we stand. One could say this is the end. Unless someone stands up and comes along to help us in a financial way. No happy message for the start of our referee review.

But you can be assured that I will do anything that is in my power to keep the referee reviews going in some way. And whatever people may say about this: we have an enormous amount of data on teams and refs over the last two seasons. A database that they will not be able to ignore completely.

So apart from this rather bad message to start with let us start with showing you how many games we actually did last season. And I will show this in a graphic.

Games reviewed 2012 2013

We managed to do 202 games of last season PL games. That is 53,16% as you can see in the graphic. And a lot more than we could do last season. But as you will understand not really what I had hoped for but still a number that can fill us part time referee reviewers with a lot of pride.

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In a next table I will show you how many games we could do from each referee.


Nr of Games

Nr Reviewed

% Reviewed

Howard Webb




Mike Dean




Phil Dowd




Martin Atkinson




Andre Marriner




Anthony Taylor




Kevin Friend




Lee Mason




Lee Probert




Michael Jones




Jonathan Moss




Michael Oliver




Mark Clattenburg




Chris Foy




Mark Halsey




Neil Swarbrick




Roger East




Robert Madley




Craig Pawson









In the first you see the total numbers of games each ref did in the PL. And then you can see the numbers of games we did from each ref. The referees we reviewed most was Martin Atkinson and Mike Dean when you look at the numbers of games. But when you look at how many of their games we did we can see that we covered more games of Martin Atkinson than from any other ref. We did 70,83% of all his games.  Of course the more games we cover the better and the more accurate the numbers should be.

And if we look at this table we see that for 13 referees we did more than 50% of their games. So the numbers of their games should be very accurate. There are other referees for whom we did less than 50% of the games. For those refs we should be rather careful when looking at their numbers.

And we also have two referees that we couldn’t review at all. As they only did 1 game each. Those refs were Robert Madley and Craig Pawson.  So we can completely ignore them in our review. I also would be very careful with the numbers or Roger East as we only did him 2 games and that is not really enough to draw any conclusions.

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9 comments to Ref Review 2012 – 2013: What we did and what happens next.

  • rantetta

    Thanks, Walter.

    I can’t wait to see the results of this incredible body of work. Thanks also to the other ref reviewers. Thanks for giving your time. And a special thanks to Dogface – one of my heroes. I often look in on his twitter thingy because he has so many interesting things to say, and his page often links to other very interesting stuff too (including much splendid repartee with the gorgeous Ms Black, though of course, the political stuff is more important – yeah right!)

    It’s a pity many ref reviewers are unable to carry on but I’m hopeful that a new bunch of refs will be able to continue this role in the future, and I think it’s great that Walter has fully acknowledged and thanked them for the work they’ve done – in this article.

    Well, I can’t wait to see the results of the 2012/13 referees performances. Again, thanks.

  • Stuart

    Do you think a newspaper might support this project? Maybe one in Spain, Germany, Italy or France where they may have a disliking / envy towards the premier league.

    They might provide some financial backing in exchange for exclusive rights to publish the data and they will already have a large distribution base. They may also be able to provide more referee contacts.

  • Pat

    A lot of very useful information has already appeared from the referee reviews, and the immense effort has not been wasted.

    Thanks to Walter, Dogface and all the reviewers.

    Looking forward to further analysis based on the over fifty per cent of EPL matches reviewed.

  • Adam

    @Walter, I have Pawson’s, East’s and Madley’s career stats on my PC if you interested in them?

    Have you considered approaching a higher learning institute (university or college) to see if they can help? I know alot of Universities in England now have sports science programmes. It maybe of interest to them, because of the psychological effects refereeing decisions have on sports people.

    Just a thought?

  • blacksheep63

    I think Adam’s idea is a good one Walter, a university research project would also add a level of disinterested rigor to the process which may make it harder for the FA and others to ignore. But in the meantime thanks for the sterling work you’ve all done

  • bjtgooner

    Walter, I think we all appreciate the immense amount of work that has been put in to these reviews, all with the object of eventually achieving fair play in the beautiful game.

    The sad thing is that if the PGMOL was doing its job effectively, then these reviews would not be necessary.

    I do hope you can find some way to continue the reviews until the necessity disappears.

  • Yudhoyono

    Very informative but will be keen to see how it will affect the teams next season

  • iniez

    Have you considered using Kickstarter? People may be willing to throw some money into the pot for a project like this. Plus you don’t have anything to lose. You just set a goal and people have until a certain time to donate towards that goal (sometimes even exceeding the goal). If the deadline arrives and you haven’t met that goal then no one loses any money leaving no one feeling like they donated in vain. Not sure how much money you would have in mind, but if you feel it’s realistic to achieve based on the support you have then why not have a go at it. Before even going to the trouble of setting up a kickstarter project, you could gauge responses ahead of time via a survey here on Untold. Set one up asking if and how much people would be willing to pay and there you go. I know you probably don’t want to ask people for donations so directly but clearly many of us want to help. Would be sad to see Ref Reviews go

  • saketh

    feel broken for you walter.

    dont feel too bad. we love your site, love your work.
    many thanks.

    – the million arsenal fans who cant do without untold