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August 2021

Referee Review 2012/13: Norwich – more errors than acceptable

By Walter Broeckx

This article is part of the series of the Referee Review 2013. You can find links to earlier articles on the bottom of this article.


In this part of the series we have a look at each team and see how the bias panned out for each team. This is based on the decisions themselves without putting any weight on each decision. A total table will be published at the end of this series and then you can compare each team with the other teams.

And it will be an interesting table I can assure you of that.

First we are providing a table for each team highlighting each type of decision. This gives the totals as for when the team in the article got a favourable decision and when they got it against them.

If the traditional mantra, “it all evens out at the end of the season” is true it should show in these statistics – and indeed for some clubs we have already reviewed, that is the case.

But as I said, in the table we just show the decisions as a decision and we didn’t put any weight on the decisions. That is something for later on. Now we just take each decision at the same value, which is of course not saying all because a wrong penalty call is a bit more important than a wrong throw in decision.

But now let us move to the sixth team in our survey:  Norwich

One of the things we must keep in mind is that we only managed to do 11 games when Norwich was involved. That is 28,95% of their games so one has to be careful to draw conclusions. But as we have always done it we just consider the numbers as they are and expect  them to be more or less the same as if we did all of their games.  In terms of most statistical analyses 28.95% is easily enough to make such a judgement.

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In the second column we see the type of decision. And in the column “favoured” we see how many decisions favoured this team when we reviewed them.  In the column “Penalised” we see how many times a wrong decision went against them.  The total swing is the difference between the favoured decisions and the penalised decisions.

A negative number in this column means that the total was against the team and a positive number means that the total decisions was in their favour.

In the last column we see the average swing per game. Based on the games we reviewed. And this gives an indication on how many decisions went against a team or were in favour of a team. The lower the number the lower number of decisions that were wrong. And a positive number indicates that in each game they get some decisions in their favour and a negative indicates how many decisions the team has to overcome.

We had a total of 149 wrong decisions in the 11 games we did with Norwich.  That is more than 13 wrong decisions per game, almost 14. This is again one of  the highest  numbers we have seen this season. 13-14 wrong decisions on average each game. Terrible. Completely unacceptable.

Of those 149 wrong decisions we had 98 in their favour and 51 going against them. The difference is 47 decisions in favour of Norwich. And that is a rather strange number. Because this means that Norwich on average had the benefit of the wrong calls for more than four decisions each game.  This is a big difference. Inexplicably big one might be persuaded to say.

This might be fine when you get the decisions going your way but for the other teams this is a mountain to climb.

Now let us first look at the things that went against them. We see that this the 2nd yellow cards going against them but this was only one incorrect decision. And also the goal decisions. We had three wrong calls and two went against them.  This might have cost them a game or so but it are the only decisions that went against them.

But all the other decisions ended up with a bias in their favour. And the bias when we look at fouls/free kick decisions is very big.  Also the penalty decisions went mostly their way. And also the red and yellow cards went in their favour in an inexplicably big way.

Sometimes people talk about big team bias, but we cannot consider Norwich as a big team so what is the reason for this big bias?  I seem to remember a same pattern last season in our end of season review – so it is not new. What is it that the refs push to giving Norwich the benefit of the doubt on so many occasions? I don’t have a clue to be honest but surely the numbers are very strange for one of the smaller teams in the PL.

Earlier articles in the series of ref review for 2012/13

14 comments to Referee Review 2012/13: Norwich – more errors than acceptable

  • stuart

    What about the 3 goals at Arsenal last season proven all of them should not have been allowed. And you say no bias to the ‘big’ clubs.

  • Sam

    One simple answer, Grant Holt! He was expert at earning free kicks for little to nothing and such a niggly player that he no doubt commited multiple fouls that went unpunished.

  • Daniel

    Personally, I think you need to take a good hard look at your statistics. Let’s just say they look a bit flawed. Norwich received only 3 penalties in the entire season (one of which in the League Cup). The first of which on the 9th March, the second the 4th May. Yet they conceded 8; Fulham QPR (twice), Newcastle, Tottenham, West Ham, Sunderland and Arsenal. Out of all of those decisions, the one that stood out was the ridiculous call from a linesman at Arsenal. You know the one, where the referee from 10 yards gave nothing, but the linesman at 50 yards gave it. No offence Walter, but get your facts right before you spout out such a ridiculous article. Norwich were one of three teams that were known as getting key decisions against them. The others being Swansea and Southampton.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Editorial note:
    People who just come here clearly unable to understand the whole article and then start calling names will not see their comment appear.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I hope you have understood this:

    One of the things we must keep in mind is that we only managed to do 11 games when Norwich was involved. That is 28,95% of their games so one has to be careful to draw conclusions. But as we have always done it we just consider the numbers as they are and expect them to be more or less the same as if we did all of their games.

    Of course the results are based on just under 30% of the results. We could have shut up about your team as some proposed in less polite ways.

    One final note: people see this always as having a dig at their team. Smart people will understand that in fact we have having a dig at the referees and the PGMOL. PGMOL is the organisation that runs referees.

  • Yassin

    Will that penalty was a penalty if the ref or the linesman flagged it, on replays it was a penalty. Yes there was an offside on walcot before the 3rd goal i think, but come on, your goal came from a foul that shiuldnt be given, oh how media manipulates everybody.

  • WalterBroeckx

    The 3-1 should have been a 1-0 to the Arsenal if my memory is correct. The Giroud goal was a valid one. The Norwich goal was wrong (dive to win a free kick and they scored from the free kick) the 3rd Arsenal goal was offside. The penalty can’t remember really.

    Okay next?

  • Stuart

    Having trouble with the Norwich fans? I remember last time around when they all jumped in feet first and went mad. Some people never learn.

    Bloody Carrot Crunchers.

  • Stuart

    For anyone interested in ‘that’ Arsenal vs Norwich game, here is the ref review.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Yeah somehow other fans see it as an attack of their team and in fact we attack the refs and their wrong decisions. But it looks that even daring to suggest that a team got some benefit at times is not acceptable at all.

  • Yassin

    @ walter, tony

    I just got something to my mind in order to advertise the referee site, why dont you take it to facebook, twitter, and make applications for smart phones for it.
    Like why dont you make a page for it and put the link to the blog there, and keep it as a non Arsenal page, similarly on twitter, plus an android application to notify and maybe show the article on the phone, this will hugely advertise the referee site….
    Maybe someone who comment here and know a bit about android apps can help?

  • Stuart

    That’s not a bad idea. An Android / iPhone app that notifies you of when your team has a review published. Are there any app developers who read Untold I wonder who would be open to have some involvement in such a crusade?

  • Doanythingformoney

    Thanks Walter. I wonder if Norwich are one of the teams who benefit when refs are ‘hard’ on the teams they are playing. The teams Norwich are playing might just be challengers, and therefore a threat, to the Hedgefunders, the ones who have got to, and usually do, win the premiership. In other words, by default, Norwich get the benefit. What better team could you choose to hide such deceitful chicanery. I am certain Villa were a beneficiary against us big style but amazinly were robbed against Chelsea and definitely not wanted to win. But how predictable was that actually?

    We ought to call the teams by a special name when they ‘benefit’ in this rather strange way. They are being used as stool pigeons so to I suggest the term ‘stoolie’. And the game is to pick the ‘stoolies’ in advance for this weekend. Yassin, warning teams that they could be stoolies in advance would be great fun- unless it was Fulham this week! Who is the ref?

  • Nelson Wong


    The way describe it reminds me of… money laundering. Its not difficult to pick out.

    Just list the game these teams play against top 5 or 8 teams. If these are consistantly favoured when playing some teams, and harmed against others, that is a hint that this is at least might be happening.

    btw, if you can pick out these teams, you can a pretty good chance when you bet on their match. much better chance of them getting favourable results against certain teams and absolutely no way of them winning against some others.