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July 2021

Halsey v Manchester United. Everton and Liverpool has cause for complaint.

Halsey v United – A case to answer?

Andrew Crawshaw

There are two Halsey games for United reviewed in Referee Decisions for 2012/13 that are worth considering.  Liverpool v Man U and United v Everton

Liverpool v United 23/09/2013 (1-2) and United v Everton

Overall performance:   Decisions called correctly 130 out of 155 – 83.9% but adding weight the numbers changes that to 160 out of 245 – 65.3% so a lot of important calls were missed or called wrongly.

The overall bias numbers indicate that 19 decisions favoured United and 5 favoured Liverpool.  Or put another way 79% in favour of United.

Weighting the numbers increased the percentage in favour of United to 81%.

Looking at key decisions (second yellows, reds, penalties and goals) the Review indicates five wrong calls in these categories.  The first key incident being in minute 38 with a 50/50 challenge between Shelvey and Evans – both players were reckless, Shelvey rightly sent off but the same should have happened to Evans, so Liverpool went a player down.

In minute 56 Evans tripped Suarez in the penalty area but no penalty was awarded.

In minute 75 Johnson is judged to bring down Valencia in the penalty area but there was no contact with his feet and the reviewer judged that it wouldn’t have been a foul anywhere else on the pitch.  A penalty wrongly awarded to United from which they scored an incorrect goal in minute 80.

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The final wrong key decision is RVP not being sent off for a dangerous lunging tackle in minute 83 (the tackle being similar to the one in minute 38 when Shelvey was sent off).

I think Liverpool fans would probably think that they were owed an explanation.

Manchester United v Everton 10/02/2013 (2-0)

Overall performance: – decisions called correctly 119 out of 126 – 94.4% but adding weight the numbers changes that to 119 out of 139 – 85.6%. In this game a rather good performance with only seven decisions missed, but they all favoured United!  None were key decisions and may not have affected the result.

The wrong decisions started in Minute 39 where Rooney should have been booked for foul mouthing the assistant referee.

After that we have Minute 43 where there was an incorrectly awarded free kick against Fellaini, Minute 57 Rooney again should have been booked for furious disagreement with the referee, Minute 71 Jelavic wrongly adjudged offside (assistant referee error) – he would have been one on one with the keeper, Minute 83 foul wrongly called against Fellaini – no foul so no free kick.

Despite all of the wrong calls going against Everton it is difficult to see how they affected the outcome of the game.

Going back to the 2011/12 season there are three games (NB the way decisions were noted and scored were different so direct comparisons on numbers with 2012/13 are not possible but the results are consistent within the year).

United v Villa  15/04/2012 (4-0)

Overall performance – decisions called correctly 27 out of 37 – 73.0% adding weight the numbers change to 40 out of 54 or 74%

The key decisions in the game were – Minute 6/7 Young dives for a penalty which is awarded and Rooney scores, Young should have been booked. Minute 29 Halsey tells Villa to kick the ball out with Scholes injured (not a head injury) Villa in promising position. Minute 55 Evra and Gardner challenge for the ball both going down with head injury Rooney is attacking so ref allows play to continue.

Some strange decisions with an important wrong penalty for United in the sixth minute.

Fulham v United (0-5)

This was a truly awful refereeing performance – 23 of 38 calls were correct – 58.5%.  There were 8 incorrect calls against Fulham and 7 against United.

The key wrong decisions in the game were – Minute 1 Dempsey should have been sent off for elbowing Evans in the face.  Minute 31 Senderos fouled Wellbeck in penalty area without penalty being given.  Minute 38 Young dived for penalty which was not given; should have been booked. Minute 46 Evans should have yellow for bad challenge.  Minute 52 Young should have second yellow card for following through into oncoming player. Minute 55 Senderos should be booked for diving to win penalty (not given).  Minute 56 Giggs should be booked for studs up challenge. Minute 58 Valencia pushes Dempsey in back in penalty area, penalty incorrectly not given.  Minute 73 Hangerland should be booked.  Minute 91 Nani should be booked for diving for a penalty.

With the wrong decisions even there was probably no intentional bias just a really bad day at the office.

Everton v United (0-1)

30 Correct calls out of 35 for 73.2% overall

The key wrong decisions were – Minute 26 Rodwell should be booked for trip on Jones.  Minute 68 Rooney and Vidic double team on Fellaini in penalty area nothing given. Minute 92 Evra runs into the back of Everton striker in penalty area should be penalty and sending off , neither given (NB in minute 94 Baines runs into the back of Valencia and is penalised).

A game where Everton supporters are entitled to an explanation I think.

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21 comments to Halsey v Manchester United. Everton and Liverpool has cause for complaint.

  • dan

    Funnily enough Mr Halsey was on the radio, fire-fighting utd’s call for his questionable conduct on the pitch. May be utd want a more fair playing field!!!

  • stan howard

    this disgraceful referee took charge of 31 games involving man utd they ever lost one.

  • The Liverpool game was very iffy. All the decisions you mention I believe could have gone either way, none were really awful but as I say all could have gone either way. The fact that he gave all of them in Uniteds favour I felt was poor at the time now it just looks suspect. It’s not that he is specifically in “their pocket” but subconciously he must be thinking about favouring them. Very very dodgy indeed.

  • Stuart

    I love this analysis. To those who question the point of the Ref Reviews : this is what the ref reviews have been for – spotting trends and analysing them.

  • jimmymac62

    Every performance should be judged on its own merits however; its fairly easy to look for data that supports an agenda when specific games are viewed in isolation. How many games has Halsey officiated in where decisions went against United? That data would either support or challenge your statistical analysis and yet you do not present it here. I am not in a position to judge myself but in the interests of accuracy and fairness you really should expand your database. There are 4 officials at every Prem game and a review body as well as a League Managers Association and of course the F.A. itself where complaints and representations can be made if there are specific concerns. Have there been any complaints made, if so were they investigated and the findings made known? Its easy to come to a premature, incomplete, faulty or false conclusion when you want it to be true. If you can provide a more inclusive and balanced analysis then you should of course publish it. The game has changed in so many ways, not all for the better, none of us are naive enough to claim that Football is exempt from corruption but it shouldn’t be tolerated and any exposé is to be welcomed.

  • Robby

    What about Drogba scoring winning goal in Old Trafford a yard clear offside?

  • Gonnerjoe

    They are talking about Halsey and he’s book right now on talksport

  • AL

    More proof that there was probably more to the Halsey/ferguson relationship.
    Everton could have lost the other game 2-1 though, if Jelavic had not been wrongly flagged offside when one on one with the keeper. Although, admittedly, this was down to the assistant’s error and not Halsey himself as you point out, I think there is a possibility that the assistant ref can be subconsciously swayed in their decision making/calls if they see the ref giving very little to one team. Even the fans in the stadium can spot a ref calling fouls one way only, so it could affect the assistant refs too. So in a way Halsey is to blame for that too.

  • Tasos


    Ian Ridley on Talksport. He ended up saying something along the lines of, I don’t care what they (The Premier League) do to me now (for publishing Mark Halsey’s book).

    Made it sound like he’s dealing with the f-ing mafia.

  • Tasos

    “For helping Mark Halsey write the book”

  • AL

    Off-topic, but still on the subect of refs, noticed the daily mail inserted some stats on dean being our bogey ref in an article talking about Arteta returning to full fitness. They say our percentage of wins under dean is only 7%, in a run of games lasting 15 matches. Seems people are starting to notice, and lets hope with the Halsey fiasco making all the headlines dean tries to be fair by not wanting to draw too much attention on himself.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Robby, who was the ref? Halsey?

  • WalterBroeckx

    what you ask has been put in the comment section of the first Halsey article if I remember correct.
    14 wins in a row under Halsey I thought and no losses and no real decisions going against Utd.

  • Arvind

    This is an excellent Article Andrew and builds on Walter, Dogface and team’s excellent work over the years. I’d love to see mmore such trends as Stuart says above. With a focus on Arsenal : ). Thank you again.

  • Linz

    Well Wenger has Halseys number and used to regularly phone him whilst he was ill and donate to his cancer charity.Heard it on the radio (keys and Gray).

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    True, Halsey had minimal bias regarding Arsenal, and AW sent him get well cards when he was being treated for cancer. AW even praised Halsey in public a couple of times.

  • Byo

    This is definitely a bit off-topic, but could not help it.

    It has been reported that Song suddenly finds himself frozen out at Barcelona, his job is to make 5-yard passes to Xavi/Iniesta if/when he get a game. If only he read what a lot of gunners said then.

    Now some are suggesting a return to The Arsenal! They forget the fact that Wenger moved him on because he was causing disharmony in the squad(like Adebayor, Nasri). Wenger being a gentleman would never say this in public. You could see it in the body language, it was that obvious to me. Why would AW ever want him back into a team that is now in harmony?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Guess that’s how you earn fergies respect. In the light of such performances maybe it is surprising he highlights fergie stuff. Still puts the behavior of the refs in the spot light and goes some way to confirming what we have said all along which can only be a good thing

  • Micko

    “Heard it on the radio (keys and Gray).” – well it must be true then !!!
    I suppose you think that women linesman is crap too because someone told you so.