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August 2021

Ref Review 2012/13: Who was the big friend of Sunderland 6

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 Premier League refs (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 each individual team.

We will of course bring you this in order so that from now on if you see that your team is playing 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 if there are any possible situations that return from one year to the next.

And we do this because it might well 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. For if a ref 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 below.  The ultimate referee performance would be that the bias score (which is based on the wrong decisions) of 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.   That is the bias number for that ref.

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

The longer the lines, the higher the number and the higher the bias that ref produces.  Short lines are better and would be nicer for us all, if only the world worked that way. I also included a little table in the graphic just with the names and with a red or green label. This is for any readers who want to have a quick look at the names as sometimes the numbers can get in the way.

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Next in our series is Sunderland

Sunderland bias per ref

If we look at the negative refs for Sunderland in the last season we find Kevin Friend as not really a friend of Sunderland.  We can also mention Roger East. Lee Mason also has a negative bias but this is a relative low bias.

We also have one ref with a zero bias and that is Martin Atkinson.

A ref who has  a small positive bias for Sunderland is Phil Dowd.

But then all goes out of the window and we see some big positive bias from several refs.  Foy, Probert, Dean and Marinner were all over each other in attempting to be kind to Sunderland.

But they all have to accept that the big friend of Sunderland was ref Taylor. What an amazing bias score that is.

Let us have a look at the results we found in the season 2011/2012:

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

And what a surprise we find here.  The ref with the biggest negative bias we find here is the one with the biggest positive bias from last season. Was he making up a few things the next season?  The same question can be asked about Dean.

No such question with Mason. In both seasons he was not really very kind to Sunderland.  And the same can be said of ref Kevin Friend.

Chris Foy then had a zero bias so we could think he has nothing against them. And the same can be said of Dowd and Probert who in both seasons had a positive bias in favour of Sunderland.

Swarbrick and Webb were the most positive for Sunderland in that season but we didn’t do any games of them when Sunderland was on the field in the last season so we cannot say anything about that.

To answer the question in the header: they had a few good friends at Sunderland (but some are changeable).


2 comments to Ref Review 2012/13: Who was the big friend of Sunderland 6

  • Stuart

    ”  The ref with the biggest negative bias we find here is the one with the biggest positive bias from last season. ” – see Walter, things do even themselves out in the end.

    On a more serious note, this to me highlights not intended bias but more like incompetence and how the officials need technology help (video replays).

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    The Anthony Taylor performance last year was Sunderland’s home game against Arsenal. More a case of negative bias against Arsenal rather than positive for Sunderland I would think!