Ref Review 2012/3: The team bias league table – The horrible truth

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.


We  have been doing articles about the teams in a separate way up to now. But with all the teams done,  we will give you a summary of the total bias swing each team has had in the last season.  That way you can see both in a table and in a graphic how much difference there was for some teams.

Now before we give you the final bias table and graphic I want to once more point at the point that although this is a website that has been formed by Arsenal supporters that the reviews we have done in last season are not done solely  by Arsenal supporting referees. I gave the numbers on how many refs supported Arsenal in this article.

So the numbers you are about to see are in majority based on reviews done by not Arsenal supporting refs. In fact 65% of the reviewers supported another team than Arsenal.  Keep that in mind when you read the numbers and want to comment on the numbers.  These numbers are not born in our heads to have a go at a specific  team. These numbers are the result of referees analysing each decision in as many games as possible. We reviewed 202 games or 53,16% of the games.

Now that I hope that this is clear for all and everyone I now will give the league table with the bias per team. A negative number for a team means that this team has had a bias against them. Meaning that more wrong decisions went against them than went for them. A positive number means that this team had more wrong decisions going in their favour than going against them.

Now if we would believe the apologists who say: ‘ it all evens out in the end” we should see a table with all teams having a number close to 0. Because that is when it evens out. If you have 10 wrong decisions in your favour and 10 wrong decisions going against you the final result is that you could say it evens out. Mind you we don’t agree as we think that those 20 wrong decisions shouldn’t have happened.  But now let us see at the final league table that shows the bias for and against teams.

bias table 2012 2013

If we look at this table we see that Manchester United is the stand out team that had most of the bias going in their favour  of them all. In fact they had 2,5 times more things going their way than the team in second place which was Tottenham.

You could say that there has been 6 teams that had a big bias in their favour in the games we reviewed. Sunderland, Aston Villa, Norwich, Stoke, Tottenham Hotspur and of course Manchester United.  One could say that those teams were rather lucky when it came to refs making mistakes.

We then have 4 teams who had a reasonable bias in their favour. West Ham United, QPR, WBA and Everton were the lucky teams who had a bias in their favour, be it not a large one.

Now we also can find a few teams who had a rather small bias score at the end of our reviews: Newcastle, Wigan, Fulham and Chelsea were examples on how it should have been done if we look at all the games we reviewed. Because their bias score is low in total be it against them or favourable and close to zero as it should be for all teams.

And on the other side of the bias spectrum we have the poor teams who had to overcome not just their opponents but had to overcome biased refereeing. If this was deliberate or not is something we cannot say with 100% certainty. We cannot look in the head of the referees. But that will be not that important for the teams suffering from the wrong decisions. They just want correct decisions and the wrong one not hurting them.

On the bad side of the bias we find Reading, Manchester City, Southampton and Swansea with a not completely bad bias against them but still not acceptable. And then there are two teams who seems to be the ideal victims of bad refereeing.  The bias against Liverpool is bad. And way over the top.

But then we see the bias of Arsenal. And this is making me speechless.  I really had the impression last season that at some times the bias we found last year against was less. But the numbers are a shock to my system to be honest.

This is a bias that is totally unacceptable. How is this possible? Well I don’t know for sure. What could be the reason that such a big bias that has been found by 65% of referees who don’t support Arsenal in their reviews.

Last year we also found that the bias against Arsenal was the biggest of all the teams. And this year it is the same.  In fact this is the third year in a row we find such bias against Arsenal. But now with referees who support other teams having stepped in to do the reviews we find that the bias has been bigger than ever!

While I will let this sink in I invite you to look at graphic chart of this bias. A chart that shows even more how Arsenal seemed to have been singled out.

bias graphic

This graphic chart shows you the uphill battle Arsenal had to do last season. This seems to indicate some kind of policy from the PGMOL. It seems to indicate a mindset of : Refs, do your best but in case of doubt give the decisions against Arsenal.

All the numbers and decisions  of each review can be found on the website You can check us for each game that has led to these shocking numbers you have just seen. So if you cannot believe them, you can check each and every game and tell us where our qualified referees were wrong.  We have asked this all season for each review and corrected some decisions even when we made a mistake.

So you can check us on each step of the way. And if you cannot prove us that our numbers were wrong you have to accept a horrible truths:

1. It doesn’t even out for most teams.

2. There was a clear bias in favour of Manchester United last season

3. There was a horrible bias against Arsenal last season (and the season before and…)


As I received a question after publishing I will show below also a summary on how many games we did of each team

games per team 2012 2013

Editorial note: if you want to comment it is perhaps worth having a look at some of the background to this research in the articles below, if you have not come across Referee Decisions before.  We have had situations in which supporters of various teams have not done this, and made comments which, in retrospect they maybe wish they hadn’t.


89 Replies to “Ref Review 2012/3: The team bias league table – The horrible truth”

  1. Arsenal’s first game of this season probably had that number of biased decisions against Arsenal alone lol. Looks like a record breaking season ahead of terms of bad ref decisions against us!! I joke of course but never has it ever been so obvious than vs Villa on the opening day.

  2. These results are scandalous, no other word for it. It’s a miracle we have done as well as we have.

  3. I expected Utd to be the most favoured, and us the least favoured, but never could I expect such swings even from this shower of refs. This is absolutely incredible.The thing that really strikes me, is that how on earth have our team and manager kept us in the top 4 last year against this? Why do our club seemingly do nothing? Really interested to see if Moyes gets the same treatment as Fergie – or will these refs have another who must be obeyed this season…maybe another ref Atkinson may approve of?

  4. I sthere any info on swing bias to points lost or gained?
    What do you do with this info? Do you submit it to the PL?

  5. Mandy,

    I think I might have the answer to your question about Moyes and Fergie treatment already in an article for somewhere tomorrow 😉 So forgive me for not answering this now

  6. What an horror! Should I dare put this on the English FA or I should just assume it was a coincedential individual ref decision,or maybe just an ironic and a glaring coincidence.

  7. Wow! Did someone say it all averages out in the end?

    Silence from Riley as usual.

    The FA are obviously happy for the young English players at Arsenal to be kicked into orbit while simultaneously they bleat about the dearth of young English talent.

    However, what we are seeing here is not just incompetence, but blatant bias from the PGMOL. But why – is it betting oriented, is it just favoritism towards MU (and on what terms for the PGMOL), or is it designed to bring AW and Arsenal down – or a bit of all three. Someone somewhere in the murky depths of football administration has a lot to hide.

  8. Opprivende “stoff” dette her, spesielt for dem som er utstyrt med Liverpool- eller Arsenal-briller!
    Jeg må ærlig innrømme at jeg ofte har kjent på følelsen av at noe måtte være galt med en stor del av dømmingen i PL. Men dette her overgår min villeste fantasi. Siden undersøkelsen må betegnes som nøytral, ut fra bakgrunnen og forutsetningene for det som presenteres her, må det settes store spørsmåltegn ved utøvelsen av dømmingen i PL. Det tabellen viser er ILLE, uavhengig av hvem som blir er skadelidende.
    At jeg sender dette til deg har ingenting med mitt forhold til Tottenham. Jeg foretrekker faktisk Spurs framfor mange andre i PL.

    Håkon M.


    As you know the language we use is English over here but I wouldn’t let this comment in Norwegian go. When I used Google translate I got something like this and sorry if it isn’t completely accurate but it should get the message across a bit:

    Upsetting “stuff” this here, especially for those who are equipped with Liverpool or Arsenal glasses!
    I must admit that I have often known the feeling that something had to be wrong with a great deal of refereeing in the PL. But this exceeds my wildest imagination. Since the study must be described as neutral, out from the background and assumptions of what is presented here, it must be big question the exercise of refereeing in the PL. The table shows the BAD, regardless of who is being harmed.
    I sent this to you has nothing to do with my relationship with Tottenham. I actually prefer Spurs above many others in the PL.

  9. Nice to have it in stat form. Games ARE fixed. Is there a bias for perceived English owned teams and against foreign owned? Have always accepted that there is corruption in English football. Thanks for the research.

  10. In commemoration of Micky R/Don Fergus victory dance, this graphic should become a well-known poster whose title is: HOW THE REDNOSE XX WAS WON. It should appear on the sports pages with an accompanying photo of their handshake; and provide a link to the YouTube video of Riley’s wrecking-ball services at Old Trafford, derailing our unbeaten streak in an audition for the highest office at PGMOL.

  11. Amy Lawrence,
    Will you have the courage to live up to your reputation as a supposed honest broker of Arsenal coverage and to publicize these findings with your commentary? Will you touch this? You wrote here last season to affirm yours and Guardian’s being straight shooters. How about this season? Show us a sign Amy. (Oh, and tell your pal David Hytner to take the finger out and get busy try typing his rebuttal to all this.)

  12. As I stated in the article I have added another table that for some reason was not published.

    I had mentioned how many games we had done in the earlier articles but had forgotten to add the complete table to the article. My apologies for this but it is now added at the bottom of the article.

  13. This has beeb going on for years and explaind Arsenal’s trophy drought and Man Utd’s successes. Referees played a big part in hurting Arsenal.

  14. To Robin Van Persie,
    Belated Congratulations on your tainted victory.
    Aren’t we glad that you’ve rushed to join a side with such AMBITION.

  15. What can one say to this…? Just -Wow! That’s all I can say for now. -Wow!! What a shame!!!

    G Dyke was going on and on about the dearth of British talents in the EPL. He should be more concerned about what will happen to the English Football as a whole once people begin to wake up to what the PG-tippers, or is it PGMOL, are doing. That will surely nearly kill English football completely.

  16. I think you should get the results of ALL the games to make it 100% fair and if it still shows this ‘bias’ then it needs looking at by an professional independent body.

  17. Walter , while I usually have a cursory look at the ref’s review , those about Arsenal ,I do look in depth ; but the this final table really blew my mind .
    The bias is so scandalous as Mick puts it. I do hope that this review gets a proper airing at some of the more influential sites or associations .

    Let the shit hit the fan and land at the feet of the guilty.

    I had wanted to post these quotes from Leo Busscaglia after reading about him following my posting of an article by him in an earlier thread , but think that its still relevant here .

    We are no longer puppets being manipulated by outside powerful forces: we become the powerful force ourselves.

    If we wish to free ourselves from enslavement, we must choose freedom and the responsibility this entails.

    I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate – it’s apathy. It’s not giving a damn.

    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t let them put you in that position.

    Change is the end result of all true learning.

  18. The results were expected. I am surprised to see stoke so high up. It was probably bias based on pity and not anything else.

    As an aside this was in an article from Talksport

    “A striker was a priority for the Gunners, but after Gonzalo Higuaín secured a switch to Napoli and Luis Suárez opted to remain with Liverpool, the north London side were forced to head into the new season with Olivier Giroud as the lead man.”

    They do not mention that both of them wanted to come to Arsenal but we did not think they were worth the asking price. Talk shite indeed.

  19. Whilst I acknowledge the hard work and dedication that your team undertakes. Plus the new found interest sceptics like TalkSport have taken in quoting your data. There is an imperative need for you to encourage a wider participation, in light of your own acknowledged potential bias from the referee’s undertaking the review. Unless I missed the part where Arsenal/ Liverpool referees dont not undertake reviewing their favoured teams!

    I have an equally long held view that their is not only a percieved, but a tangable and now evidential view of a negative bias towards Arsenal Football Club. I am also of the opinion that the PGMOL are a discredited and in all likelihood corrupt organisation.

    I ask in my first paragraph for you to strengthen your reviewer group in order for such a huge negative swing both against AFC and LFC verses MUFC and THFC to have greater scrutiny. So that your data is not open to challenge against a percieved agenda or ‘home’ bias.

    Scientific/ Statistical anomalies can arise in data collection and such ‘skewed’ results are therefore open to greater challenge, unless the model used has a low error factor.

    I am not stating this to criticise as I fully support your methodology and, as I said before, your dedication. I do, however, wish for you to ensure that the critic has less ammunition with which to criticise.

  20. Walter,

    What I suggest you do when you have time, is to make a comparison across the three years.

    Is there a constant bias against certain teams or certain group of teams?

    Is there a constant bias with teams that is running in place against certain team? (eg. the team running second to Man U)

    you might see a “pattern” from that if there’s any.

  21. PGMOL are the organisation with Limited liability supplying officials as a monopoly to the Premier League.
    1. Who are they answerable to?
    2. Who can we complain to if we feel upset with their officials?
    3. Does FIFA have a control over this aspect of Football?
    4. Does any Government department have responsibility over the corrupt actions of such an organisation?
    5. Can the Fraud Squad of the Police (Scotland Yard) investigate the finances of individuals involved in PGMOL?
    6. Are Referees allowed to bet on football?

  22. I have long believed arsenal were unfairly treated by refs but I always put it down to the brand of football played where it invites more untimed challenges and upsets the less technically gifted but the evidence laid out here suggests a deep level of corruption among premier league refs towards arsenal fc,personally I dont believe it ,I just think premier league refs are not up to the job of reffing arsenal games because of the speed we play at and the technical nature of it.I watch a lot of spanish and german football and you just dont see the same level of bad referees and decisions in these leagues.coyg.

  23. Great work again Walter & Co. I’ve been lucky enough to have followed these reviews from day one, and to have those early suspicions confirmed is a bit of a double edged sword to be honest.

    I’ve just tweeted Amy Lawrence to see if see could be persuaded to take a look at these results and maybe be brave enough to take up the story. Her twitter account is @amylawrence71 in case anyone else fancies trying too.

  24. I really wish something like this was available for the 2007/8 season. A lot has been said about the Eduardo injury but poor officiating cost that season’s title.

    I am not a big fan of the ref articles (I don’t doubt them, I just find them depressing) but I think Walter and his team did a great job here.

  25. You got to admire those who can with one line throw away all and everything 😉

    Based on nothing of course. I mean their opinion…

  26. Stax,
    Let’s pretend for the sake of asking this question that you’re right: What would you say specifically (repeat) about whether/how this information explains (or helps to explain) anything about last season?

  27. Oh my goodness, I knew it was bad but not to that extent. This is just like trying to contest an election against an African despot. Those familiar with African politics will know what this means; all the state machinery is thrown behind the dictator leaving others with virtually no chance of winning whatsoever. Sad.

  28. Let’s put it this way. “Sirs” rule England. If a “Sir” wants something done a quick call to the “old boys network” and it is done. Nuff said.
    So based on that i do not think Moyes would have the same effect, unless he was backed by a “Sir”, but wait, he is, is he not?
    Anyway, let’s see how this season pans out concerning ref’s decision, although we can say it has not started well.

  29. I have reached the conclusion that there are people you couldn’t pay to be happy. I mean we just signed a player of immense talent and yet people are talking about we have all these phantom needs that we have…. I mean Barcelona won almost everything the world of football had to offer with false nines and a ton of midfielders. Plus there is a January window so what is the matter? These blubbering bastions of negativity forget they cried about a DM and they got Flamini. Just this Sunday everyone was euphoric about his performance and yet we are still talking about the same tired line of adding a DM, CB and Striker. I mean we have Kos, Mert, Sagna and TV5. Where would this new CB play? I mean how much better would a new untested, unfamiliar DM perform in comparison to Flamini? We went after Strikers but we refused to pay over the odds and I love a manager who stands his ground. Secondly we were willing to buy a super quality striker in suarez but it takes two. So whats the noise for? We have only seen 15 minutes of Sanogo so how do we know he isn’t adequate? We have Gnabry and Akpom all raring to go… while they are not world class, they aren’t walkovers neither.

  30. Stax
    You know that Website box in the “leave a reply” bit below? That’s where you put a link to your website/twitter page etc. Not this website. We all know which website we’re on.

  31. Of course, it’s always easier to blame Arsenal first. It’s that idiot Wenger. The sooner he leaves the club the sooner our fortunes will change.

    Well, maybe with the exception of Ozil signing for Arsenal because of the manager………

  32. Walter,

    Are these bias swings sum totals so for example, the total for Arsenal over 38 games and the total for Reading over 10 games or have you split this down to a per game basis?

  33. reallycrosscross,
    I spent the close before last season promoting the ref reviews hard amongst other teams blogs trying to find more referees to join and help. It had some success and I’d love to do it again this year but I really wont have the time. Perhaps you wouldn’t mind taking up the reins this time? (or even someone else for that matter).

    I produced an article to be published and included some revealing stats about how each team was affected and tailored the article depending on which team the blog I was guesting on was based upon.

    I imagine 20 refs in total spread across different supporting teams would be great and enable Walter to coordinate all games being covered.

  34. Stax,
    The referees have played a major part in influencing the outcome of games. Last season, there was just 1 game where I felt we came away better off through help of referees yet there were several where we were majorly robbed.

    I know most fans forget about it and move on to the next game but this doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The fact all these teams have been marked using the same system highlights a major problem that needs sorting and then we can truly sort the men from the boys.

  35. Walter,

    Not sure whether your data is adjusted by the number of matches reviewed for each team. Just in case it isn’t, I ran an analysis that ponders the bias swings with that review percentage.

    Not a lot changes. We’re still bottom, Liverpool next, Swansea fourth from bottom, while ManU are top and Stoke stays in 3rd. Totts drop to 7th, Norwich climbs to 2nd. Hope this helps.

    Bias % of matches Adjusted bias
    MU 416 29 545
    NOR 146 11 504
    STO 149 18 315
    SUN 120 19 240
    AVI 129 23 213
    TOT 167 33 192
    QPR 73 15 185
    WHU 78 17 174
    WBA 46 22 79
    EVE 37 22 64
    NEW 4 17 9
    WIG 3 14 8
    FUL -5 17 -11
    CHE -10 28 -14
    MC -67 28 -91
    REA -26 10 -99
    SWA -76 13 -222
    SOU -76 11 -263
    LIV -136 19 -272
    ARS -972 38 -972

  36. Florian,

    I broke it down to bias swing per game. The formatting on the table wont come out but here goes

    Team Games Swing Weighted Swing per Game
    Arsenal 38 -972 -25.58
    Liverpol 19 -136 -7.16
    Southampton 11 -76 -6.91
    Swansea 13 -76 -5.85
    Reading 10 -26 -2.60
    Man C 28 -67 -2.39
    Chelsea 28 -10 -0.36
    Fulham 17 -5 -0.29
    Wigan 14 3 0.21
    Newcastle 17 4 0.24
    Everton 22 37 1.68
    West Brom 22 46 2.09
    West Ham 17 78 4.59
    QPR 15 73 4.87
    Tottenham 33 167 5.06
    Villa 23 129 5.61
    Sunderland 19 120 6.32
    Stoke 18 149 8.28
    Norwich 11 146 13.27
    Man U 29 416 14.34

  37. I hope no player agents are looking at these stats. The numbers doesn’t make Arsenal a very attractive club to play for, especially if you are a world class player. The ref’s doesn’t offer any protection against thugs like Shawcross. Our players are kicked and kicked without any implications for the perpetrator. Why the bias?! What have we done to deserve this? !

  38. @Walter, Sir, now it is my turn to take a deep bow and congratulate you on a body of work that has no comparison to date. You are an innovator for the good of the game and I salute you.

    The data is so shocking, I don’t want to believe it.

  39. Robbie,
    As the agents will look at this (and it’s really no secret), it means it’s more important than ever to pressure for a fair pitch. And to let people and the PGMOL know that it’s becoming well known and documented that they’ve tilted the pitch. To protect AFC and the game, spread the word.

  40. “The experience I would like to share with you and the message I would like to send to all young people is the following: stick to the rules. That means stay strong, don’t let yourself be talked into anything by false friends, don’t even consider straying from the straight and narrow.

    Sport in general, and football in particular, is governed by rules. You learn a lot from it both on and off the pitch: fair play, integrity, loyalty, sportsmanship, having faith in others, knowing how to win…and lose, and working hard to achieve a goal. It teaches you a lot about life.

    It is just not worth throwing away all these wonderful experiences and values. I didn’t stop and think for a second. I understand that not all careers are straightforward and paved with success.

    Life throws many challenges our way. But he who loves football, the true, clean game, the game that children learn to play, is also expected to defend its values. I am convinced of this, not just as a professional player but as a human being.”

  41. @Walter:
    Respect for all the hard work you and your colleagues have put in.

    Have you considered talking to Declan Hill about this? He is a Canadian investigative journalist who wrote a book “The Fix” about organised crime in football. Gambling cartels, Calciopoli etc.

    His website is and there are contact details there as well as a blog.

    As for your findings, it kind of makes it seem futile maintaining much interest in football tbh. If there’s a Calciopoli style system running the Premier League then what’s the point anymore?

    When the matches are decided by brown envelopes full of cash (metaphorically speaking) and the old boy network then it’s not a sport but a pantomime.

  42. We have just signed a player that has made Jose regard us as title challengers, a signing Levy tried to block, a signing that has left his former team mates with reactions from being gutted,to anger in CRs case. We have one of the top ten players in the world, and some,very talented players around him. I worry a bit for Ozil with these refs, he will need a minder, Flamini or the astute Arteta may need calling upon. A couple of days ago, a poster suggested the German FA would not take English refs not protecting one of their star players lying down, I really hope this is correct. Seeing the way Jack is now treated by opponents without protection, we may need to go on a bit of an Ozil watch. Tony a while back was a bit critical of wenger and the club for not using untold data on refs for match prep, I really hope someone from the club is seeing all this and warns Ozil what to expect if he is up against Atkinson and Chelsea, Taylor and any number of good old fashioned English kick and rush clubs, or mike dean and virtually anyone. Just get the feeling something will give with these refs, an ex ref may break ranks and earn himself a very tidy sum, that’s all it will take.

  43. Take a bow ,Untold team!
    The whole setup of reviews made it a very strong evidence what’s happened last season.
    Now it is crystal clear how teams like MU, Tottenham ,Norwich and Stoke overachieved last season.
    And why Liverpool failed to compete.

    There is a clear North bias. Almost all teams from North got positive bias. This is the rule, but the exception are even more telling:
    From North: Liverpool- so much bias against, Man City- negative. hahaha. Guess why
    From South :
    WHU under Sam Allardyce,
    QPR – owner sponsor PGMOL too,
    Tottenham- this one is strange, but..
    Norwich- under a former Spud -see a pattern?

  44. Even though I have now followed this site and the ref reviews for a good while, I was still shocked.

    The difference between Man U at the top and Arsenal at the bottom is so huge. And even compared to any other teams, the bias in favour of Man U, and the one against Arsenal is so enormous.

    This table must have an effect on anyone who sees it, so let us hope it gets about.

  45. Strus, wonder if there wan an arry factor with spurs? Or maybe someone thought helping them could hinder us? Always a prevailing feeling that many wanted spurs taking a p,ace in the CL at our expense for whatever their reasons.
    As for Halsey breaking ranks, would love to see that, that would be a great start. Halsey has faced down something far more scary than the media, the PGMOL, it’s ex ref attack dog, and the powers influencing the PGMOL put together. If he has something to tell, He should tell the world what he knows , and set himself and family up for life.
    It will only take just one credible source to bring it all down if something untoward has been going on, and lets face it, with Utd, at the very best, the refs have been scared of fergie, but at the worst…well neither exactly satisfactory.

  46. The findings do not surprise me in the slightest. I lose count of the number of times opposition players are allowed to commit 2, 3 or even 4 yellow cards before they get their first bookings at the Emirates, but as soon as an Arsenal player commits one foul in retaliation/’self defence’, they are carded! If the laws of the game were enforced properly, most teams would go down to 10 or even 9 players against us at home. Also:

    1) Opposition players are given carte blanche to ‘target’ our players, including England’s ‘saviour’ Jack Wilshere, yet no refs in England understand the concept of protecting skilful players, which leads to:

    2) Players exaggerating fouls and even ‘diving’ to make sure they get protected. This has been my argument in defending ‘simulation’, that players do it to get protection from referees for bad tackles, which in my book is the REAL cheating, as it is an admission that they can’t beat a team with the ball. What is even more laughable is that the British media try to claim it is a ‘foreign’ thing when the man who invented ‘diving’ was that dirty cheating English ‘foreigner’ Francis Lee of Manchester City from the 1970s! With that in mind:

    3) If people were serious about eliminating ‘simulation’, they would want to clamp down on bad tackles that could end players’ careers, and that starts with officiating games like they do on the continent, maybe foreign referees would help? I recall the French league swapping referees from other countries about 10 years ago so it would not be that new. All this means that:

    4) If Greg Dyke is serious about producing gifted English footballers like the Spanish/German/Dutch/French/South Americans, he would start by ordering referees to be harsh on excessive physical contact in football. Once that happens, the technicians are given more licence to express themselves, which would encourage more coaches at all levels to develop more technical players as they know that it would be encouraged at the top.

    Any other measures are just cosmetic and, in the case of a quota system, would be counter-productive as the quality would diminish without the superior overseas players from whom we should be learning and not demonizing!

  47. @Stevie E (September 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm)
    You know that Website box in the “leave a reply” bit below? That’s where you put a link to your website/twitter page etc. Not this website. We all know which website we’re on.”
    Have noticed ‘Dial Square’, ‘Alan Lawless’ and ‘Stax’ have all put a link to ‘http://untoldarsenal/’, which is a non working address. Why would they all make the same mistake?
    Keep up the good work Untold Towers!

  48. All this another irrefutable reason to adopt full video replay with some kind of challenge system. This goal line technology contract is only useful for a mere fraction of pitch events and is mostly high-priced cosmetics that enrich the contractors (and brown envelopers) while permitting the refshite to continue unabated.

  49. Walter, Dogface and ref reviewers

    Thank you for these reports. I can only imagine how much time and pain has gone into making all of this happen.

    I expected to see the huge bias against Arsenal. It couldn’t have been any other way – certainly not from what I’ve seen over a number of years.

    At some stage you’ll get proper comprehensive recognition of your work.

  50. We may need do something drastic to get their attention .
    Like this ….

    According to a news report, a certain private school in Sydney ‘s Eastern Suburbs was recently faced with an unusual problem .
    A number of the senior class girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. Their game is to see how much of the mirror surface they can cover.

    Every night the maintenance man would remove them and the next day the girls would put them back . Finally the Headmistress decided that something had to be done . She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man .
    She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night (you can just imagine the yawns from the little princesses – so what? that’s his job!) .

    To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the nearest toilet bowl, and cleaned the mirror with it.

    The silence was broken by a large number of gasps and then DEAFENING SILENCE! Since then there have been no lip prints on the mirror .

    There are teachers . . . and then there are educators ….and innovative thinking. ..

  51. Adam @ Sept.5th 10:08pm – Some very fine advice for the youngsters . Some more of the same that all should follow .
    Take time to read it . From –

    8 Qualities of a Successful Person

    (Post by Pardeep » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:27 am)

    1. Burning Desire
    The motivation to succeed comes from the burning desire to achieve a purpose. Napoleon Hill wrote, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” A burning desire is the starting point of all accomplishment. Just like a small fire cannot give much heat, a weak desire cannot produce great results.

    2. Commitment
    Integrity and wisdom are the two pillars on which to build and keep commitments. This point is best illustrated by the manager who told one of his staff members, “Integrity is keeping your commitment even if you lose money and wisdom is not to make such foolish commitments.”

    3. Responsibility
    People with character accept responsibilities. They make decisions and determine their own destiny in life. Accepting responsibilities involves taking risks and being accountable which is sometimes uncomfortable.Responsible people don’t think that the world owes them a living.

    4. Hard work
    Success is not something that you run into by accident. It takes a lot of preparation and character. Everyone likes to win but how many are willing to put in the effort and lime to prepare to win? It takes sacrifice and self-discipline. There is no substitute for hard work.

    5. Character
    Character is the sum total of a person’s values, beliefs and personality. It is reflected in our behavior, in our actions. It needs to be preserved more than the richest jewel in the world. To be a winner takes character. George Washington said, “I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most valuable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”

    6. Positive believing/Thinking
    Positive believing is a lot more than positive thinking. It is having a reason to believe that positive thinking will work. Positive believing is an attitude of confidence that comes with preparation. Having a positive attitude without making the effort is nothing more than having a wishful dream.

    7. The Power of persistence
    The journey to being your best is not easy. It is full of setbacks. Winners have the ability to overcome.Persistence means commitment and determination. There is pleasure in endurance. Commitment and persistence is a decision. Athletes put in years of practice for a few seconds or minutes of performance.
    Persistence is a decision. It is a commitment to finish what you start. When we are exhausted, quitting, looks good. But winners endure. Ask a winning athlete. He endures pain and finishes what he started. Lots of failures have begun well but have not concluded anything. Persistence comes from purpose. Life without purpose is drifting. A person who has no purpose will never persevere and will never be fulfilled.

    8. Pride of performance
    In today’s world, pride in performance has fallen by the wayside because it requires effort and hard work. However, nothing happens unless it is made to happen. When one is discouraged, it is easy to look for shortcuts. However these should be avoided no matter how great the temptation. Pride comes from within, which is what gives the winning edge.

    Pride of performance does not represent ego. It represents pleasure with humility.

    The quality of the work and the quality and the worker are inseparable. Half-hearted effort does not produce half results; it produces no results.
    Excellence comes when the performer takes pride in doing his best. Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it, regardless of what the job is, whether washing cars, sweeping the floor or painting a house.

  52. Good post Vikrant Dogra @12:02

    Gunz 01:23am
    That could suggest they’re all one person, or they work for one organization if different people. Where are these links? Sorry if I’m missingssomething, just scanned this article’s comments section quickly.

    I think we need to ratchet the noise up a bit till someone takes notice. The problem with doing nothing is it will only get worse. We can’t risk players like Ozil thinking he may have been better off joining some team, not because of us playing badly, but through the realization that its impossible to win anything. I have always believed most players who left us in the last few years had partly this as one of the reasons on the back of their minds too. Esp in the traitor’s case where if the motive was simply money only he could have got more at city. This has to stop.

  53. Its an absolute disgrace that a player like Jack would get more protection from the refs playing for a side like Stoke.

  54. Stuart

    You have my email. I am on twitter with the same user name. If I can help I will.

  55. IS there any way this kind of information from the public can be presented to the FA? Can the public as to present this kind of info to people at the FA in appeal to take some action? This is just shocking but it is what we have all been seeing for years. Man U get breaks and some other teams get screwed.

  56. @Stevie E,AL
    Could well be the same person, or from the same computer, used by different people.
    Just thought it bizarre that comments from 3 different Names(highlighted in red), hyperlinked (not sure if that’s the correct term) to the same web(site) address, which doesn’t work.

  57. @Pete, Halsey is from my area and has family still in the area, I have been considering how to approach. Any suggestions would help.

  58. @Adam

    Sounds like a good idea, but sorry that I cannot help – I have no suitable contacts with Halsey.

    I am contemplating writing to my MP – but without much confidence – she has made a mess of most things that she has got involved in – however she would be obliged to pass on any concerns to the Minister of Sport. Any views on this?

  59. BJT, yes, but make sure they’re not Man U fans first.

    Seriously though, with the ambitious, that have put themselves forward or been put in their position, they have nothing to gain from honesty within the game so I cannot see the point in petitioning them.

    I personally think it will take a whistle blower (pun intended) to shake the country into action.

    How many people need to sign a petition to get it into or before Parliament?

  60. @Adam
    “…at least 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in the House of Commons.”
    What are e-petitions?
    e-petitions are an easy, personal way for you to influence government and Parliament in the UK. You can create an e-petition about anything that the government is responsible for and if it gets at least 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in the House of Commons

  61. Gunz & all,

    A petition which might be of interest (although there has been little so far) :

    I have recently corresponded with Tony over the possiblity of setting up a petition about the standard of refereeing. We could call for either a completely independent and transparent review panel or something along these lines.

  62. I would be up for collecting signatures. 100,00 you say, two footie stadiums.

    Sounds like a project in the making.

    What needs to go into a petition?

    Would it have to be a legal document?

    How can I help?

  63. Adam,
    It would be more about the wording and making it appeal to a larger audience rather than just Arsenal fans. It would also need to draw on the probable financial meltdown when fans have had enough of the fixed results. What has happened in other countries where this has come out? How do their leagues & countries fair revenue wise after such events become public knowledge?

  64. Stuart, I was also thinking along the lines, that, the PGMO only really service the premier league, so how to go about getting the lower league fan bases involved? In my mind the PGMO involves itself with the premiership, FA cup and Championship play-off with a few select group refs doing a few Championship games, which also highlights their selective nature.


    What is actually needed at government level?

    What would the football fan base be asking for?

    What are the specific details that we would be asking our elected officials to look into?

  65. A little info from the link above.

    The PGMOL to employ Match Officials and to make match appointments in the PL and FL from a
    pool of Licensed Professional Football Referees.
    Licensed Professional Referees to be encouraged to establish their own Association and be
    recognised by the Football Authorities as the professional body acting on behalf of all Professional
    Referees in England.
    A new, more effective system to be established in relation to selection, training and assessment
    for Professional Referees including Referee Performance Analysis (video) for every game in the
    PL and FL.
    The FA to re-define the Professional Football Technical Review Committee responsible for
    recommending to the Professional Game Board of The FA proposed Law changes to submit to the
    International Board. This Technical Committee should include representatives of the PFA, LMA and
    Professional Referees Association.
    A Referee Academy to be established preferably, at the National Football Centre (NFC) to meet
    the needs of Professional Football Refereeing with the responsibilities for research, talent
    identification, training, continuous professional development and quality control for Licensed
    Professional Refereeing. This institution would be established with its sole purpose to support
    Professional Football Refereeing in England. The FA, PL and FL together with the PFA, LMA and
    Professional Referees Association to provide the members of the Board of the Referee Academy.
    The Referee Academy Board to appoint a Director of Professional Referee Training, to include all
    the responsibilities of research, talent identification, training, continuous professional development
    and quality control concerning Licensed Professional Football Referees. The Director of
    Professional Referee Training (DPRT) should report to the Board of the Referee Academy and
    also sit on the PGMOL.
    The DPRT to establish and chair a Working Party of technical stakeholders and industry experts as
    required in the following areas:
    • Research.
    • Development
    • Talent
    • Training
    • Continuous
    • Quality
    Each Working Party should include representatives of The FA, PL, FL, PFA, LMA and the Professional
    Referees Association.
    Under the direction of the DPRT the Working Parties to achieve specific outcomes within the set time.
    An appropriate number of Referee Academy Staff Tutor Assessors to be appointed,
    based preferably at the NFC, reporting to the DPRT.
    A formalized Complaints and Feedback Service for Clubs, Managers and Players to be established.

  66. @Adam

    I like the thinking. But before we can get to that stage we need to shake somebody up severely to get the wheels in motion.

    I also like the idea mentioned above of inviting the Liverpool fans (and any others who feel hard done by) to participate in whatever action is taken.

  67. @Adam.
    Great link Adam. Thank you.
    We need to give some practical support to Tony and Walter.
    Problem is that we are not in the one place so cannot discuss and form a united programme. Yet we are united in our love for Arsenal. There must be a way of resolving this problem.

    I do have an idea for this but I need to do some preparation. I will try and do that today and will post the details here when I have done so.

  68. @Vikrant Dogra

    Excellent run down.


    Love the one about the schoolgirls and the mirror.

  69. At the moment Ian Holloway of Crystal Palace is ideal to get advice from. He has first hand knowledge of poor officiating.

    I thought the card for Welbeck was similar to that given to RVP v Barcelona, except that RVP was sent off as a result. It is a professional way of cheating, specially in the Champions League where there are several balls available!! and consequently there is minimal loss of time when the ball is kicked out.

  70. @stax Referees are governed by their associations. It is strange that the ones appointed to the top were also very involved with controversial decisions against Arsenal.

    If the fraud squad were able to investigate betting, I am sure they will find a lot of corrupt patterns.

    The lack of trophies are not due to poor officiating. However, how can a club that is so consistent in its performances (16 years in the top 4) be so consistently penalised by poor officiating (allowing foul tackles against quality ball players)? The number of times Arsenal players are kicked after they have passed the ball is not in any statistics!!!

    When Arsenal players use a bit of strength in challenges, the PGMOL officials brandish their cards even if the tackle is Lawful. The Aston Villa game was the most vile vision of a cheating PGMOL official for a long time.

  71. Great stuff people. I would happily sign any petition that calls for more light to be shed on PGMOL. Certainly think that why referees are not forced to face examination after performances by an external panel should be put forward in any such petition.

    The figures for last season are shocking, but I’d hate to see a similar table for seasons before that. I’m sure that now with our English contingent referees are starting to ease up on us as policy, the Aston Villa game being an exception.

    Still, all calls for greater transparency into refereeing should be both made and met to try and restore some integrity into what is, imo, a thoroughly corrupt game. Don’t forget that video technology would eliminate more blatant cheating by referees and that’s the reason it hasn’t been introduced. And that’s coming from the highest echelons.

  72. “Don’t forget that video technology would eliminate more blatant cheating by referees and that’s the reason it hasn’t been introduced. And that’s coming from the highest echelons.”
    Perhaps this should be the demand.
    Rugby does it.
    Let’s demand it to keep rugby out of football.

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