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August 2021

Referees: When errors becomes bias, when bias becomes calciopoli. It’s not looking good in the PL.

By Walter Broeckx

On a regular basis people play word games. As in our referee reports we often use the word bias they want us to say that we should use the word errors. Or mistakes. And I can imagine the reasoning behind this.

Bias is something that clearly indicates that something is wrong. While errors or mistakes can not really indicate that something is wrong.  An error can indicate that the ref is human and as all humans we make mistakes.

Now I must admit that after starting the referee review system we have changed the words and have gone from using words such as errors and mistake and have been started using the words bias. The reason for us changing this term is rather simple. Because from a certain moment in time errors become bias.

And in fact last weekend was a good example on this.

When we started our reviews all refs were equal in a way. We just reviewed their decisions and noted the mistakes or errors they made. But then we started going further and we looked at more than just one game. And after a few seasons I think we can talk about many games from many refs.

Some refs have been reviewed for more than 40 games. Some 40 games over different teams and different seasons. And that is when we can start noticing strange effects. And when you see some patterns returning in every game the ref is doing then things are changing. Then you can ask yourself : is this making the same errors against (or in favour) of a certain team still an honest error or is there more behind it…and is this some kind of bias.

I have written about the different kinds of bias we have with refs. And how one can ref can dislike a team, manager or player that much that his dislike filters through on the pitch.

But it can also be that the higher circles who lead the referees have something in favour or against a team and that the ref is trying to please his superiors in an attempt to get a Fifa badge, or get better games.  So each ref can have a different reason to giving things to a team or to give things against a certain team.

But when the same pattern comes back each time and certainly over more than one season, we can forget about using the words “errors” or “mistakes” and certainly never use them in combination with the word ‘honest’.  And this is why at Untold and in the referee reviews we have switched from using the word “error” or “mistake” and have used the word bias. As that is what we are looking at.

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Let us take the example of referee Lee Mason. He has been reviewed for more than 25 games over the years. And each and every time we found the same errors or mistakes.

There is his terrible decision-making when it comes to penalties. And his terrible decisions making when it comes to red or yellow cards. Now if after more than 25 games things had evened out between all teams we could call the ref just not good enough for his job. Then he would be incompetent but not biased.

But in the case of Lee Mason we not only found lots of wrong decisions (which could called incompetence) but when we count all the numbers and see who benefited and who suffered from his ‘incompetent’ decisions making we found that some teams always suffered.  That this team is Arsenal is a fact that we in particular don’t like but in fact whatever the team is, it is unacceptable. It should not happen.

And the big thing for me is that and this not for the first time we can actually predict how refs will perform and what they will do before the game. And when a ref like Mason then just does what we predicted he would do (or not do) then this is further evidence that it isn’t really incompetence but more a case of bias.

Now Untold and Referee Decisions have reviewed the games of Mason (and others of course). And we can tell which ref has a bias against or in favour of a team. It’s not quantum mechanics; it is just looking at the numbers and analysing who benefited and who suffered. And if the PGMOL wants to be taken seriously (which after all this time is going to be a very tough PR job as they  continue to stick their head in the sand) they should do what we have done at Untold and at Referee Decisions.

In fact they claim to check the refs on their decisions, as Riley came out with another set of stupid data claiming +90% of important decisions being correct by the refs. But do they check if there is a returning pattern where certain refs only seem to make mistakes against the same team?  This is a question I ask but I’m afraid I know the answer. I am afraid the answer is NO.

And this is why refs can allow themselves to do what we have seen on a few occasions now. They can do what they like against some teams (not all of course – let us not think that all teams are equal) without the PGMOL acting. Without the media saying something about it.

I have heard (I haven’t seen it yet) that the BBC managed to not even show the tackle from behind on Wilshere that should have resulted in a penalty for Arsenal. And this is where things get ever muddier and a lot murkier. Because having wrong decisions on the field is one thing. But when the media is covering those decisions up and not highlighting them then we see another level.

In my country they showed three incidents from the WBA-Arsenal match. The two goals and the not given penalty following the foul on Wilshere. And they were bemused that the ref let that tackle go. So a rather independent  media channel in another country thinks that that was the most important moment of the game. And yet the British media in this case BBC don’t mention it at all! Why?

If you remember my articles on calciopili you will remember how it worked where agreements were made between the media companies who controlled what would be shown and the manipulators behind the scenes.

It seems we have reached that level also in the PL. And we can say this because this is not the first time we have noticed the brushing under the carpet of scenes that might shed some doubt about some referee performances.

So when do errors becomes  bias? When we can prove patterns from the same refs with the same teams over multiple seasons.

When becomes this bias something like calciopoli? When TV stations do the covering up on this.

In a way it would be funny if it weren’t so sad. We have shown the bias, we have said how calciopoli worked in Italy, we have compared it to the things happening in the PL over the last years. And just days after we did it again the media spit in our faces by performing their cover up act.

Is it just as with the bias we have discovered all just one big coincidence?  Or are people starting to take note?

Untold got over 800,000 visits last month.   Some people are indeed starting to consider the issue.

Arsenal anniversaries for  8 October:

The books…

The sites from the same team…


71 comments to Referees: When errors becomes bias, when bias becomes calciopoli. It’s not looking good in the PL.

  • Jammathon

    What about Koscielny’s bump on the WBA striker in the box late in the game? Or does that not fit in with your argument nicely enough?

  • wam

    Followed you guys for a while, I’ve thought that the prem has always been controlled. Thank you for your hard work that is starting to prove it.

    It’s no surprise that Arsenal’s 2 games where they dropped points have seen 2 of the most shockingly inept/biased performances from the man in black.

  • Dafe

    I have to agree with you… it is the same way we could predict a positive result when some refs officiated for Manu. It is the negative for us… I watched with dismay how he decided to take it personal with Jack and I am glad Jack responded on the pitch. The EPL is being over taken by refs who seem to have celebrity status for some strange reason when all they are meant to do is refer the game. I cant remember the gentleman who was the referee when we played Drogba’s team at the emirates but he too was amazing and I shudder when I see him officiate agains arsenal. I am not saying they go all out to do things to so on purpose but whatever it is we always are in a hole when they do their italian job on us.

  • Richard

    Like your analysis but I see a fundamental flaw in the theory, Mason should have given three in that W B. A game. Now I disagree with mamma thon on koscelny challenge late on, but earlier in the match Gibbs pushed amarflantino and he went to ground in box it was a penalty and should have been given as should the two fouls on wilshere in the box so I think it’s incompetence rather than bias to get three major decisions wrong.


    @ Jammathon

    Do you genuinely believe that bump was a penalty or just have the need to be contrary and avoid issues being raised? Especially in the context of stuff that was let go consistently… Arsenal should have had up to 3 pens, that wilshere one from behind being the most striking of course… Kos has had pens awarded against him for less!

  • Gerry Lennon

    Jammathon – I’ve only just seen the game in full, and Shane Long is very clever when he is in the penalty area. He jumps slightly later than Koscielny, and slightly backwards into him. Because Kos is going ball, unlike Long who simply attempts to create a foul, they collide. Long goes down clutching his head, when in fact it was Kos’s chest that made contact. Linesman/assistant did not flag. Hence no penalty.
    Fortunately their was an action replay well outside the box, and you can clearly see what Long does, but as he isn’t going to get a penalty he does not go to ground. he doesn’t get a free kick either.

  • Nizam

    I think this incident happened before many of the current fans were born. I have forgotten the two teams involved.
    A ref blew for goal after the ball hit the side netting and refused to reverse his ruling ,despite representation from linesmen and the like.
    These guys think they are immune to punishment by the FA. It’s about time the FA make an example of some high profile mo that blunders will not be tolerated. Until this happens you can bet your last dollar , blatant errors will be routine.

  • Alan

    The BBC did actually show the tackle on Wilshere and both Hansen and Shearer claimed it was a good tackle and not a penalty. I always thought going through a player from behind, even if you win the ball, is a foul but it seems the BBC don’t think so. They did however think that Long backing into Koscielny as he jumped for the ball was a foul against Long.

  • Gerry Lennon

    Walter – As above, I have only just seen the match in full, and I was a little surprised at the criticism of Mason, as I thought he ‘let things go’ pretty evenly. That is until, as you rightly predicted, the big errors were on the lack of penalties. I think both tackles in the box on Wilshere were penalties, and for the same reason.

    The first one, when Wilshere ‘get’s his shot away’ as he is tackled. It is the follow through that makes it a foul, therefore a penalty. The slide in with a straight leg on his ankle would be a foul anywhere else, because it is dangerous play? More a certain pen than the second,imo?

    The second one was a tackle from the rear, and he did get to the ball first, but, … and this is the point you highlighted here yesterday. it is a sliding tackle, so no control once committed to it. The trailing leg follows through on Wilshere’s standing leg, which is trapped. It is a scissor tackle that would be a foul anywhere else?

    Both could have resulted in a broken leg.

  • Gerry Lennon

    Richard – There is a flaw in your thought too. The Gibb’s incident was outside of the box.

    Mind, I’ve seen them given?

  • mickw

    Notice Long got hit in the back and lay down clutching his head, a pretty sure sign. He’s a bit like Mark Hughes, dishes it out but can’t take it. Anyone see Yacob elbow Wilshere in the eye? He should have been off before he scored. There were numerous other fouls on Wilshere too that went unpunished.

  • blacksheep63

    If Lee Mason (or any other ref) is incompetent they should not be refereeing professional football matches

    If Lee Mason (or any other ref) is biased they should not be refereeing professional football matches

    If Walter’s analysis (and that of the other Untold ref reviewers) is correct then English football has a problem

  • Emmy

    D fact is arsenal don’t get penalties awarded 2 dem…

  • Mick

    Just hearing on the radio that Halsey has named 6 refs in his book that he thinks are not good enough. You will not be surprised to hear that Mason is one of them.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Unfortunately the English refs have lacked direction and leadership in the power vacume caused by their masters retirement. Who will replace him, moyes, not so sure, look to another who will use the dark arts they clearly are so susceptible to

  • Eddy

    Jammathon…MOTD2 showed Kos’s bump into WBA’s attacker in the last minute and declared that it was a clear cut penalty,which I 90% agree with.Why didn’t they show 2 tackles on Wilshire,in the WBA area that were also clear cut penalties?…I have believe that there is a concerted effort to ignore certain incidents when The Arsenal have been robbed by a biased ref dating back to the Mike Riley Old Trafford debacle in 2004/05,which was nothing short of a disgrace,on and off the pitch.

  • sebjob

    Alan, Match of the Day did not show it…to my surprise.

    3 of the largest newspapers in Norway agreed it was a penalty. As well as the largest TV station. Think it is a bit too much conspiracy thinking though, to imagine that even the TV stations are in on it. There is definitely proof that questions the neutrality of the refs, but there is a big jump from proof to conclusion. Any too fast a jump, turns any evidence into speculation

  • Mandy Dodd

    The sad thing is , if we are still top or near the top near the end of the season, we unfortunately haven’t seen anything yet regarding ref bias. At the end of March, we are due to play the spuds and Chelsea away in consecutive games. what’s the betting we get Mr Atkinson for one of those games. I think Chelsea are a team to watch regarding refs. Prev articles mention one source of bias is if a ref has a reason to dislike a manager or club, it is said we may have provoked a bad reaction from them screening the refs poor mistake at home to Everton a couple of years ago. Well they all may have reason to dislike Chelsea after the way they tried to frame one of their own, Clattenberg. We all know about halseys intervention on this issue, I also heard the refs were very close to going on strike over this. So ample reason to have it in for Chelsea, yet I see no evidence they have since been on the end of the sort of decisions we have, in my perception at least, quite the opposite. Maybe something has counted for them above supporting a wounded colleague? One to watch, that team from west London.

  • Minesy

    Are you at all surprised that the BBC and Sky fail to highlight the failings of the refs ? The Premier League is the golden egg of their sports coverage … why would they want to cast doubt on its’ integrity, (before anyone starts, Andy Gray admitted on camera he had been told by Sky bosses not to go after refs on air) … not only that though, the FA control TV and radio contracts at national and international level, access to the England team and manager, seats for the senior management at Wembley, even which broadcasting suites the companies get there … why on earth would you they to upset the FA ????
    But that is football for you … too many people in nice cosy jobs with nice cosy salaries … why rock the boat ???

  • Chris Slatter

    I followed the match on Arsenals website (commentary only). The commentators were initially horrified with the challenge on Wiltshire calling for a penalty. After they saw the replay they changed their minds and said that the referee got it right, and this from two openly biased Arsenal commentators

  • Jammathon,

    There is one huge difference between the Koscielny/Long contact and the Mulumbu/Wilshere tackle: The BBC’s MoTD saw it it fit to show a bump, whether worthy of a penalty award or not. They analysed it and gave the verdict it it was a penalty. It appears that you got your talking point from them. To sane fans everywhere, Long was play acting to get a penalty.

    On the other hand, the excruciating tackle from behind on Wilshere by Mulumbu was ignored. It was not considered worthy of being included in the programme talkless of analysis. This is why I agree with Walter’s charge of corruption by the officials and cover up by the media.

    Look, we can argue about what constitute a penalty call and what doesn’t but at least let’s have a level playing field for the discussion. About 70% of football fans might not have seen the match live as we most depend on BBC’s MoTD to provide fair and unbiased highlights. Last Sunday, they failed woefully. All I can ascribe their decision to is the need to cover up the ref’s bias. They had so much time on their hands that after making a ridiculous “Goal of the month” choice, they had time to show us other great goals that they failed to even nominate. So, it is not due to time restrictions.

    Those arguing thet there is no bias in the league officiating (and the media’s connivance) need to pull their heads out of the sand and stop insulting those brave enough to speak out against the corruption and injustice.

  • Alan,

    Absolutely not. The MoTD highlight did not include that tackle. Are you kidding? The only penalty issue discussed was Kos/Long and none else. You might be thinking about Sky.

  • Tasos

    @Mandy Dodd


    If we are top, if we become a genuine threat, then we haven’t seen anything yet as regards Ref bias in the Premier League.

    I really enjoy watching this Arsenal team play, respect the manager and the club but we have zero chance of winning this tainted competition under its current regime.

  • Chris Slatter,

    Did you see the tackle? What do YOU think?

    It’s a very easy out to quote some ‘biased Arsenal commentators’ like they represent Arsenal group think or something. You should watch and make up your own mind.

    Awarding penalties is always a contentious matter but the fact that BBC edited out that incident is all that I need to know that something is amiss. Plus, I trust my own eyes more than all the commentators in the world put together.

  • Mandy Dodd

    and on that note, congratulations to Arsene Wenger and Aaron Ramsey, manager and player of the month

  • bjtgooner

    I have copied the following from the PGMOL website: –

    “Formed in 2001 to improve refereeing standards, the PGMOL group officiate across all the Premier League, Football League and FA Competitions – all three organisations fund it.”

    Instead of a continuous improvement in refereeing standards what we are seeing is a haphazard regression due to managerial control being distorted by corruption. It looks as if the PL, FL and FA are either desperately trying to hide the truth about the monster they have created, or they are equal contributors to the level of corruption.

    With the media being used to almost instantly rewrite history, it looks as if the PL, FL and FA are just as bent as the PGMOL.

  • Mandy Dodd,

    I can’t recall when there had been such ‘no-brainer’ winners 🙂

    Congrats Aaron and Arsene!

  • CharleyFarley

    I have it on good authority from someone who worked with Alan Shearer when he was a player (his dresser in various ad campaigns) that Shearer hates Arsenal with a vengeance so you’re never going to get a balanced view from him. Personally I hate Liverpool more than even Tottenham dating back to the 70s when they used to get a ton of dodgy decisions particularly at the Kop End and the media laughed it off even then so not a lot has changed but then I’m not on MOTD espousing a supposedly neutral and authoritative standpoint because you’d never get one from me when it comes to those supposedly cuddly Scousers…

  • WalterBroeckx

    As it is a rather popular subject I have written a little article about the Mulumbu-Wilshere penalty incident. At first I didn’t intend to do it but as you van’t stop talking about I felt the need to shed some light on it and add some pictures

  • Stuart


    Firstly, I must thank you for all the work you have put into this. Last season, I used the data from the summaries of refs (who favoured / handicapped which teams) to help me guess what the outcome of various games would be and made quite a bit of money from the bookmakers – lets just say it covered all my football costs last year and took the wife out for a slap up anniversary night out. (and I have never really been a gambling person prior to this).

    Secondly, as you touch on it, people often mis-understand bias. The common mistake is that by saying there is bias, you are saying this can only mean that someone is choosing to go out of their way to hurt or affect someone, this is not however the case. Bias is a measurement of an outcome : whether it is neutral or swinging either way. There are times I am sure when people CHOOSE to be biased but this is not bias, this is CORRUPTION. Bias is the measure/direction of something and not the act of doing it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    The Long-Koscielny foul also reviewed. What was Long holding his head for? He pretended to be hit on his head and the only contact was the chest from Koscielny and the back of Long. Or was he holding his head in shame for the blatant way that he was looking for a penalty.

    Koscielny is holding his ground in this situation and the only movement Koscielny makes is trying to jump up. Long however is running backwards in to Koscielny.
    Now just being on the field and holding your position is not a foul and cannot be judged as a foul. The player moving towards the other player is the one that can make a foul. In this I only see one player who could commit a foul and that was Long.
    Mind you seconds later he again attempted the same thing : jumping backwards to make contact with the defender that is standing behind him and is holding his position.

    Now if the media and the PGMOL is trying to make a penalty of that situation then I am more convinced than ever that they have an agenda.
    Why on earth is the media going out on trying to convince people that Arsenal was lucky and WBA should have had a non-penalty?

    And that this is not the first time that we notice this behaviour from the BBC and other media.

    The only reason I can think of is:

    Give me a C
    Give me an A
    Give me an L
    give me a C
    give me an I
    give me an O
    give me a P
    give me an O
    give me an L
    give me an I

    all together now… 😉

  • jambug

    If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, the way referees referee is set by media agendas.

    They will refereee in a way they feel will ‘fit’ with whatever is the prevailing mind set.

    The agenda set by the media is, broadly speaking, that Arsenal play lovely football and are a joy to whatch, but, they are basically a bunch of foreign, worse still, mainly French, whingers, who roll around on the floor like a bunch of wimps any time a good old fasion Brit goes anywhere near them.

    Basically the media gives refs full reign to make as many bad calls as they want against us knowing full well that they will NEVER be taken to task. Witness the aftermarth of the diabolical decisions in the Villa and WBA games. Either the incidents regarding our penalty claims are not even show or dismissed out of hand.

    Conversly they know that making mistake after mistake in favour of our opposition wont cause them a moments trouble. Infact, it is more than likely to engraciate them to the media. Witness the lengths MOTD went to, to try and prove the Villa penalty conceded by Kos was a penalty. A microscope showing a feather touch was enough to PROVE it was a penalty. Where was the microscope on Sunday MOTD ? Where was the incident ?

    If you compare this to events at Sunderland. The ref, inadvertantly, perhaps mistakenly, blows his whistle for a foul a fraction too soon. It was possibly not even a foul as both had hold of each other to start with but thats by the by. More to the point is how the media treat it. During the game I lost count of how many times they mentioned it and how it had changed the whole course of the match. After the game all the talk was about THAT decision and how it changed the course of the game. Maybe even the Earths Orbit it was that bad !!!!!

    Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. Thats not my point. My point is what all this analysis, critisism, or lack of, depending on who is involved, is bound to have an effect on HOW REFEREES REFEREE.

    The message from the media to the refs, either intentionaly or inadvertantly (which I doubt) is:

    Skrew Arsenal all you like and you’ll be fine. Give them something in the least bit contencious and YOU WILL be held to account.

    So no I, don’t believe it is anything as sinister as a planned, co-odinated vendetta against Arsenal by the refs. But I do believe they know under which rules they work and they act accordingly, to greater or lesser degrees, and those rules are not set by the PGMOL they are set by the media.

  • bob

    “I felt the need to shed some light on it and add some pictures.”

  • Nizam

    Agree with Eddy on 2004-05 incident.The bald eagle gave a spot kick to red face after Campbell was adjudged to have fouled the bull dog in the penalty area when it was outside.
    Not only this incident but the Neville bros rough treatment of Reyes was blatantly ignored. A yc was given but by then the gunners were trailing.
    That is why the gunners face an uphill batlle to win the epl.Until and unless the error prone refs are kicked out will I have confidence in the refs.

  • jambug


    I’m sorry mate but at the risk of repeating myself it is not the refs we need to change, IT’S THE MEDIA.

    Until they change there anti-Arsenal stance the refs will NOT change.

    And as it’s the very media that sets the Anti-Arsenal agenda that we need on our side to change anything, that is hardly likely to happen any time soon.

  • El Gringo

    Just watched the MOTD coverage. They SHOWED the Long/Koscielny incident. They attempted no ANALYSIS whatsoever. Hansen just baldly asserted it was a penalty but gave no evidence. Then Hansen and the bald guy spent the next thirty seconds laughing at the presenter who apparently questioned their perfect footballing wisdom. But–and here’s the important thing–the presenter said that he was not allowed to have an opinion. And Hansen and crony laughed, and since there was no other opinion, theirs stood without having to defend itself.

    Sub-text: if you disagree with the Official Media Stance, you don’t have a voice. Just fall in line, suckers.

  • gouresh

    here’s something: Yesterday i was driving to get a gift for my son and as i was changing the CD, talk shit comes on and its the “daily Arsenal”. the presenter was upset @ Falminis tackle that he swipped the leg with the intent to break that players leg. that arsehole failed to tell that as Flamini went for the tackle the WBA player changed direction and Flamini was completely off balance and desperately tried to get that ball. he called Flamini a dirty player and was wonder why the Arsenal fans are quite. Again he fails to point out that we are the only club to have 3 players with broken legs. but that’s not imp i see. the next thing he said that Flamini is on 4 yellow cards and he then went to to say that we have 2 easy games and the 3rd will be against LPool and he was wondering is Flamini could purposely take a booking in the next game and miss the following so that he can play the LPool game. He pretty much accussed the club of cheating and asked the listeners to keep an eye out. talk about stirring shit. this is the same presenter who actually said a few weeks before the WC that he would not mind if Gerrad dived and won a penalty which would result in England winning the WC. and he talks that Arsenal MIGHT CHEAT? some how there was no mention of the Manu players diving etc. The co-presenter did point it out but it was brushed aside as it was not the same thing. i always thought that a CHEAT is a CHEAT, no matter how its done. This in my view is clear PROOF that the media is against us.

  • potter

    Koscielny stood his ground and Long backed in. Had it been on the halfway line nothing would have been said.

  • para

    When i originally had some concerns of something wrong in football was long ago, back when Leeds were in the top league. My brother and friends all said i was crazy, but as time went on and i became aware of many other things outside of football, i realised that football was not exempt.
    I am really glad that Untold manages to highlight these issues, and that they continue to do so.
    Match commentators, seem so afraid of calling it as it really is and tend to align themselves to the ref’s decision in the end.
    So i hope that this becomes a bigger thing and it gets much attention. How about those who have the video editing gear to put together all the bad decisions by refs for this current season. The fact that BBC, (well i’d never have guessed) would be a part of this, shows us exactly how high it goes. This is not a minor thing, this is a co-ordinated attempt to damage Arsenal. I think it has to do with UK football in general and no success internationally.
    They want to revert to the “thug” football and forget the skilled football, but they are doing UK youth wrong, most youth want to learn to be skilled footballers today, to emulate their heroes, and will not be satisfied with thug football. Another thing is that many teams in UK are and have changed their football style mostly because of AW, and many others are following, this is not accepted by the “old boys club” seeing as AW is also not a part of it, keeps himself to himself, and tries to be a person of integrity, which, i must say, these old boys definitely ARE NOT in my view, their motto is “anything goes”, so there we have it.

  • Jambug,

    Spot on again. To a very fair extent, we like to talk about how Ferguson influenced the officials to favour Man United but they (Fergie and ManU) only got away with it because of the complicity of the press. Man United can do no wrong while they clench their teeth to give Arsenal the merest of compliments.

    It’s the media. Period!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Halsey and Graham Poll having a right go at each other on Talksport today. Halsey has named who thinks are good refs , and who he thinks are poor refs in the Sun today. Fair to say that a lot of who many Untold Readers would see as arch villans, he regards as good refs. He suggests six of the refs are not up to in, and names them, saying they need help and should not yet be getting big games, pointing the finger of blame at Riley, and his assistant – I think called Kieren Barrett? of something like that. Apparently the assistant of Riley is the one they should go to if they have problems or need help, but this guy is also the one in charge of assessing them, and has direct influence over a bonus they can be paid on “performance”, which is news to me! Halsey says that if they rock the boat, they get removed from fixtures. So a clear conflict of interest, they have nowhere to go to get help, and have to tow the line, if ex ref Halsey is to be believed. AND, the PGMOL assessors outsource their data to the USA to be analysed – why dont they just use Untold? Poll was furious at Halseys claims, the naming and shaming saying it would not help current refs, and put off future refs, those two clearly do not like each other, and are competing for the limelight, Poll can also be critical of refs in his Daily Mail column. Tellingly, Halsey states that the PGMOL management are on a power trip, are not fit for purpose, and hinder the development of refs in need of help. Great – the game is really safe in the hands of such people!

  • bjtgooner

    I have never heard of Kieren Barrett, does anyone know about him?

  • bjtgooner

    Just thinking through the Halseygate revelation. I can see us debating on this subject quite a lot over the next period of time. To help focus that debate can anyone illustrate the whole PGMOL management structure.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sorry, I made a slight spelling mistake, it is actually Keren Barratt, assistant to Mike Riley, have never heard of him either

  • marcus

    Lol, brushing under the carpet, airbrushing under the carpet.

    I remember the Shawcross legbreaker, and how the BBC freezeframed it at a certain angle with no reference to the ground.

    To quote Brian Blessed ” It’s all bollocks”

    btw, Madrid are over half a billion Euros in debt:

  • marcus

    “Think it is a bit too much conspiracy thinking though, to imagine that even the TV stations are in on it.”

    Really? Why?

    Sadly we already know it is well within the realms of treachery, since Halsey confirms that refs ring MOTD and like to have editorial control of what highlights are shown.

    The only real anomaly in Mason’s game was that he didn’t give the last minute penalty. Except that a draw is almost as good as a loss – so if this is a case of being subtle rather than brazen…

  • OMGArsenal

    The Laws of the game clearly state the criteria for awarding a penalty or other punishments under Mulumbu’s circumstances:

    1)Serious foul play
    A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.A tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as
    serious foul play.Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force
    and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.

    In this case was Mulumbu’s tackle from behind serious foul play?

    2)Playing in a dangerous manner involves no physical contact between the players. If there is physical contact, the action becomes an offence punishable with a direct free kick or penalty kick. In the case of physical contact, the
    referee should carefully consider the high probability that misconduct has also been committed.

    Was Mulumbu guilty of playing in a dangerous manner involving physical contact?

    3)Denying a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity:
    Referees should consider the following circumstances when deciding whether to send off a player for denying a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity:
    • the distance between the offence and the goal
    • the likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball
    • the direction of the play
    • the location and number of defenders
    • the offence which denies an opponent an obvious goalscoring opportunity may be an offence that incurs a direct free kick or an indirect free kick

    Did Mulumbu deny Wilshere an obvious scoring opportunity in an illegal manner?

    There are other circumstances which guide the official in determining whether a tackle from behind is legal or illegal but these are the key ones to consider. My take on this event is that, in response to point 1, is that it could have been considered serious foul play.
    To point #2, it is again possible to consider his tackle to be done in a dangerous manner.
    To point # 3, Mulumbu did deny Wilshere an obvious goal scoring opportunity but was it done illegally based on the above 2 points, it certainly looks so.

  • Mahdain

    @Mandy interesting that from Halsey. He is saying what we all know and that is PGMOL is mafia like where you have to follow orders or you are in trouble
    @bjtgooner with all the secrecy PGMOL operate on i would be amazed if anyone knew their management structure

  • Mandy Dodd

    Seems that way Mahdain. According to wiki, this mysterious keren Barrett is an ex ref from Coventry who took charge of our cup final against Sheffield wed in 1993. Remember the game , but not him, maybe that is a good thing

  • bjtgooner


    You are probably correct, it may well be difficult to build up an accurate picture of the structures within the PGMOL, but any bits of information we get are worth noting. I also would like to get information on their accounts – audited preferably.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Bjt, think fergie is the only one who has ever audited that lot

  • Pete

    Should be able to get a copy of the accounts from Companies House for a small fee.

  • AL

    Jambug, Bootoomee
    I’m with you guys on this one. The media is the biggest problem here. They set the agenda, and other ambitious refs use this platform to enhance their own careers or push their own agendas. As an example of how they brainwash people a workmate who doesn’t even follow football said he didn’t like Wenger, and when I asked him why his response was he’s a whinger. This coming from someone who couldn’t even name half of the England team! I probed him further to give examples of this, and he started rambling about how he didn’t like the French as they left the English fighting ‘their’ war. In the end I just concluded his views of Wenger and Arsenal were from what he heard or read in the media. Is it any wonder that refs find it easier to screw Arsenal even when we are playing a non-league side in a cup like the COC. Its because the refs know give a penalty against Arsenal and no-one will make a fuss about it.

    It’s not just an Arsenal problem though, because the media are failing to do their job, this in turn breeds other issues like corruption. The refs now know they can screw up and they will not get slaughtered. An unhealthy relationship has developed between those that work in the media and those controlling football in this country. Halsey is being attacked left right and centre in the media for daring to speak out instead of being congratulated. And I’m afraid its getting to a point where he will start getting ridiculed like Rafa was that in the end no-one will listen to him. The message they’re sending out is anyone else who maybe thinking of doing a Halsey in the future don’t even think about it. They seem to have a problem with anyone telling the truth.

  • Stuart


    I love that. I too used to work with a guy who did something similar. This person was a self confessed “not interested in football – they’re a bunch of girls” and preferred Rugby. He once said he can’t stand Arsenal because the team are all French and he doesn’t like the French. I challenged him to tell me how many are French and he said something like ‘well only 1 or 2 are not French’. This was for the 04/05 or 05/06 season ( I can’t remember specifically) when we had about 5 French players whom not all were automatic starters. Funny how the lemmings believe everything they read in the papers.

  • Pat

    Another example of the media view of things –

    Speaking about the first half of the match at West Brom, Arsene Wenger said that Jack Wilshere ‘was pushed over a lot and he didn’t get the fouls.’

    Alan Smith, writing in the Daily Telegraph after the match, said of Jack, ‘the player’s match fitness gets slightly compromised; that and his sharpness and awareness, his ability to see the tackle coming long before it does and either ride it with a skip or accelerate away. As it is, the 21-year-old is constantly getting caught. Countless times this season he has ended up writhing on the ground after being flattened by the kind of challenge he would normally evade.’

    This sounds as if Alan Smith is saying it is Jack’s fault for being fouled, and not the referee’s fault for failing to call the foul.


  • AL

    Exactly Stuart. They try to use this anti-French sentiment(why it’s there in the 1st place I have no idea why) to make everyone in general, inc those that may not be mad about football, hate Arsenal. You could see the way they tried to associate the Thierry handball incident with Arsenal despite that he’d moved on from Arsenal long before then. Of course he’s an Arsenal legend but was it necessary to mention Arsenal in every line this incident was mentioned.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Alan smith joins Ian wright , Merson, Robson, tony woodcock, even the great tony Adams at times, and others in the ex player trying too hard to go along with the UK media agenda syndrome. Sad when once good or great players are reduced to media whores. They insult the short they once wore, in stark contrast to the likes of ray parlour, a wonderful player and a man, as far as I know has never sold the club out.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Meant to say shirt but short applies as well,

  • Mick

    @Mandy Dodd
    I agree to an extent about Ray Parlour not disrespecting the club like Merson. Robson etc. However when he is on Talksport whilst he doesn’t join in with the anti Arsenal agenda neither does he say much to contradict the hateful remarks emanating from the likes of Durham and co. I don’t know how he can listen to their crap without giving them some back with both barrels, but the fact is he doesn’t say much in defence of his old club. I find myself saying ‘go on Ray, don’t let them get away with that, give them some back’ but he rarely does. Maybe he doesn’t want to lose his job.

  • bob

    Ok, here’s an eye-opener what the “great” Graham Poll says about “Judas” Halsey:
    “He is 100% betraying what paid him a living he would never have earned as the warehouse manager he was or the taxi driver he was,” Poll told Talksport. “The refereeing fraternity are absolutely appalled at what he is doing. He hasn’t thought it through. Mark has got to take a long, hard look at himself. He won’t. I know the guy. I have known him for years. He is that type of character.” Does this ever help explain some things: Either you go along with “the fraternity” or its back into the ditch-digging. Be grateful and zip it, says Graham.
    To read the article, try this:

  • AL

    Comments disappearing again? Posted the below but couldn’t see it on the board, so re-posted again.

    Thanks for the link bob. I found the Telegraph to have covered Halsey’s response even better;

  • colario

    We notice that Poll attacks the person of Halsey and not the points made by Halsey.

    It seems to me that Poll can not defend the ways of the PGMOL so seeks to evade the issue of the PGMOL by attacking Halsey.

    The only means we have of knowing what is going on in the closed shop of the PGMOL is for someone in Halsey’s position to inform us.

    Clearly Poll took the £50 000 silence money when he finished employment with the PGMOL we know that Halsey didn’t.

    For me that says everything.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Angry people are not always wise.”
    ― Jane Austen.

    “It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.”
    ― Maurice Switzer.

    “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”
    ― Abigail Van Buren.

    It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.”
    ― Leo Tolstoy.

    “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.”
    ― Lao Tzu

    “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”
    ― Confucius.

    “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens”
    ― Jimi Hendrix.

    All quotes from…

  • Brickfields Gunners

    What are the perks offered by the PGMOL to keep their flock happy and faithful ? Any of these on offer ?

    Might be a tad too bland for most – maybe there are more exotic / erotic perks we know naught of ?

  • Stuart

    Your 7.11 comment says it all.

  • Jonßob

    We just need to f*kn nail the goals thru the goal past the net till it’s torn so they can stop f*kn messing with our team.
    I wonder y an old man is in charge of a fast passing team like arsenal.
    He’ll never look at the fouls in our one touch plays wc we usually use while punishing teams wit a goal. If I had all the powers, I would strike mason n hang him on the cross as a play him the playback videos as I question his empty old skull

  • jambug

    When you read a thread like this you really do begin, (as if I didn’t already) to realise what you are up against.

    What Untold clearly and irrefutably shows is:

    Our refs are diabolical.

    Our refs are biased. Basicaly in favour of, or against whatever the media want.

    My problem is that after reading all the input from you guys on here is that it is even worse than I thought.

    From @ gouresh talking about that prick Durham somehow turning Flamini and Arsenal into cheats on the basis of one foul and something we havn’t even done yet !!!! This guy has a history in that department. Earlier in the year when on one occassion Theo and then another the Ox where withdrawn from the England squad he accussed Arsenal of being underhand and again ‘urged the public to watch them be back for the next Arsenal game’. Surfice to say niether Theo or the Ox played in the next Arsenal game. No idea if he appologised only listen when on in mess but I doubt it.

    To Halsey. Yes, at least he is trying to let the cat out of the bag but then you see his list of good/bad refs and you see Dean on the good and all hope is lost. Not only that but he thinks the ref was right regarding the foul/tackle on Jack. For Gods sake @OMGarsenal has spelt out the rules above and under NO circumstances can you apply those ‘Rules’ and come to any other conclusion than Pen AND Red card. Yet, he KNOWS that, and still either couldn’t bring himself to, or more likely wasn’t allowed to suggest Arsenal had been hard done by !! That would never do would it SCUM !!

    As I said the other day this anti Arsenal agenda is a juggernaut out of control.

    I’ve mentioned Untold, it’s work and findings to a couple of guys. They look at me as if I’m mad. Paranoid Arsenal fan. No matter the evidence they don’t give a toss. They see it as an ‘Arsenal’ issue, not a media or bias issue. They’d rather believe Durham !!

    We are like the perfectly sane man locked up in a madhouse, the more he shouts, the louder he shouts, the madder they say he is !!

  • bob

    “Clearly Poll took the £50 000 silence money when he finished employment with the PGMOL we know that Halsey didn’t. For me that says everything.”
    spot on!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think Adrian Durham is only a small insignificant though unpleasant little pawn a wider agenda. Would be interested in who owns or is behind his station and what their links are

  • bob

    jambug, AL,
    jambug, your point about Halsey’s unwillingness to red card Mulumbu’s foul on Wilshere is well made. To NOT bash Arsenal seems like it’s considered the final irreparable break with “the fraternity” (as Pool so delicately calls it). That said, with thanks to AL for the Telegraph link, here’s what did not appear in the Guardian’s coverage of the controversy: “” “The PGMO is running the whole show on an apparent power trip while creating an atmosphere of fear and paranoia.
    …”That is not helping the weaker officials improve and the ­system often confuses and frequently frustrates the best referees who get mixed messages about what is expected of them.” [End of quote]
    If that’s what Halsey’s saying in general, it’s still quite a contribution; even as he won’t go the extra mile with a bow toward Arsenal. Anyway, methinks there’s more to come here as severance-taker Poll seems to be calling for a witch hunt.