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August 2021

Ref Review 2012/13 : Wigan and the bias of the referees

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.


After having dealt with the different teams and after having examined all the refs and this leading to the best ref of the season according to the views of our referee reviewers we now will bring you something that will be an easy manual to see who is good or bad for a team.

We will of course bring you this in order so that from now on if you see that your team will play and there is a certain ref assigned you can see in a blink of an eye if this ref has a bad or a good history with your team. At least in the season 2012/2013.  And if all goes well we will even try to add the bias from the season before in to each article. And that way you can see possible returning things.

As of course it might be that some referee performances are a one off. But if a ref has the same bias against a team it might show something more. If a ref of course has a big bias in favour of a team it also is saying something about that ref.

A little word of explanation about the graphics you will see. The ultimate referee performance would be that the bias score (which is based on the wrong decisions) is around zero. Alas you will find very few of those scores in the total series. So the zero line will be the middle line of each graphic.

If a ref has positive bias score for the team involved you will see a name (of the ref) and a green line and a number. The bias number for that ref.

On the other hand if the ref had a negative bias you will see again a name but then with a red line and a number. The negative bias score for that ref.

The longer the lines are means the higher the number and the higher that bias has been from the ref. Short lines are better and would be nicer for all. I also included a little table in the graphic just with the names and with a red or green label. This is for those who want to throw a quick look at the names as sometimes the numbers did get in the way with the name.

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So here is the referee table of Wigan in the season 2012/2013 as this is the first team we start this series with:

Wigan bias per ref

So when we look at Wigan we see that in the games we reviewed had 3 refs that had a negative bias score. Oliver with a big score and Atkinson and Jones with a relative small negative bias.

On the other hand we had Moss with a small positive bias. Refs with a bigger positive bias for Wigan were Dean, Probert and Taylor.

Now as promised we will not also have a look at the season before and see if we see some patterns.

I must warn you the table is slightly different from format but I cannot convert it but the main principle is the same. A negative score is a bias against the team and a positive score is a bias in favour of that team.


EPL vs PGMOL - Incorrect calls Breakdown by Referee - WiganAthletic (Weighted) 2011/2012

And here we see again two refs with a negative bias against Wigan. Jones and Dowd with both a rather big negative bias. Refs with a more positive bias for Wigan were Atkinson, Dean, Clattenburg and Marinner.

So if we look at both seasons we find that referee Jones is not really the favourite in Wigan. Two seasons in a row a negative bias.  Atkinson had a negative bias last season but a positive one the season before. And they level each other out a bit one could say. Or with Atkinson it could depend on the team Wigan played.

But on the other hand Wigan had better luck with one ref in particular. Referee Mike Dean from Wirral had in both seasons a firm positive bias in favour of Wigan.


The rest of the series

5 comments to Ref Review 2012/13 : Wigan and the bias of the referees

  • Stuart

    Thanks Walter, this is what I asked about a while back. I find this to be the most useful of the data available, especially when it comes to having a little wager.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think I had told you we were working on such a thing Stuart 😉
    In a way it is a pity we changed our way of reviewing and our score chart between the two seasons as then we would be able to completely compare the two seasons with the same numbers.

    But of course the main thing is a negative bias remains a negative bias and the difference between low and high bias is visible in both graphics

  • WalterBroeckx

    And I agree when you want to take a bet on some games this might be very useful information. Not that I do bet on football (not a tradition over here) but I sure would use my numbers if I would think of doing it (betting that is of course)

  • Mandy Dodd

    all useful info, like the way this is presented.
    Interesting how Wirral ref and Arsenal serial hater Mike Dean got the vital Arsenal vs Wigan game at the very end of last season as we fought off the Spuds for 4th, (enabling us to gain confidence, great team spirit, about 30 million plus and a world class player resulting in us currently sitting top of the league). Just as well out team were to good for both Wigan and Dean.

  • Stuart

    Well your data served me well last season Walter. I’ve never really been a betting man however last season I probably placed as many bets as I had done for the entire 34 years of my life prior. Maybe it was coincidence, a second season will surely be able to tell.