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July 2021

Probert, the ref of the Norwich game, on a mission against Wenger. How it all began in 2009

By Walter Broeckx

In another article Andrew has reported a few things about the ref  who has been appointed by Mike Riley, head of the PGMOL for the Norwich Arsenal match.

But there is more about this ref.

The first time we had him on our radar was early in the season 2009-2010. Our away game at Old Trafford with ref Mike Dean in charge. A very biased performance of Mike Dean and in fact the start of what has become the referee reviews.

For those interested this is what it all started and then from many of you asking to continue we can now look back at what we have.

But in that game there was this incident in the last minutes. Arsenal scored a late equalising goal but it was correctly (oh how biased we are, aren’t we?) ruled out for offside. In his disappointment Wenger kicked a water bottle and Probert thought his moment of glory had arrived. He called Dean over and a in a burlesque comedy Wenger was sent in to the stands in to some kind of platform for committing this outrageous crime.

However this season Probert didn’t mind it when Bellamy was ‘watering’ him with a water bottle in a game at Cardiff. He found it to be very funny. Making a fool of himself in a way I have never seen before of any ref. Not in a local pub league.  So his fear of water and water bottles seems over by now? But back to Old Trafford.

Who has forgotten Wenger standing there on that platform?   But what followed was that even the FA and the PGMOL thought that ref Probert had gone too far.  And so they offered a formal apology to Wenger for the behaviour of the 4th ref. And ever since that day when Probert got in fact reprimanded for his acts in that game we have seen that Probert is purely out to get us.

I can remind you of this game:  Wigan – Arsenal in the season 2011/2012. An amazingly unbelievably biased performance. And he even missed a Wigan player head butting Wilshere. I even had to praise Dean who was the 4th ref in that game for informing ref Probert about the incident.  You can find it there  and there is even some short footage of the wrongly awarded penalty against Arsenal in that game.

We then had the game Fulham – Arsenal a while later.  As was mentioned by Andrew in his earlier article.

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Not giving a penalty to Arsenal. Djourou being kicked to pieces in consecutive tackles with him doing nothing at all. And then sending off Djourou on the first occasion of course leading us to lose the game.

Now I know some people will say it is all moaning and coincidence. I would like to ask them then to show me games that Probert has done of Arsenal in which he gave us some decisions. You know in a way to even it out. As they proclaim it does at the end. So please show me images of Probert evening things out for Arsenal.

On Untold and in the Referee Decisions website we have done our homework and if we take the numbers from Probert and mix them with Arsenal games and Norwich games we come to this graphic:

Probert arsenal norwich


And so it is clear to see that Norwich were his favourite team and as we (or those who want to know) know Arsenal are his least favoured team.

These are numbers that can be found on the different websites (Untold and refereedecisions) and a terrifying thought entered my  mind yesterday.  Just suppose that Mike Riley wants to send a ref that maximises the chance of Arsenal dropping points. Just imagine that he came to Untold, look at the numbers, look at the refs and the teams and then he would say: Oh, look the ref who has the highest bias in favour of Norwich is Probert and he also is the ref with the biggest bias against Arsenal. So that is the ref I will sent over to the Emirates for that game.

Just imagine that we are helping him…. Are we, Mike?

What is however not a joke is that I and a few people who have been following our work over the last few years have predicted this appointment at the start of the international break.  Just as we did last season when we predicted that he would send Dean for our game against Wigan.

So in a way our numbers can be used to predict which ref Mike Riley will send over for our games. And Mike Riley is confirming our numbers and our predictions by sending over the ref we predicted.

So please carry on by calling us names. We see what we see. And like Wenger once said: ‘we know what we can expect’. Yes we sure do.

But having said that we also predicted that Dean would do Wigan and we won that game and despite Dean trying to have his thing going in the first half had to accept he couldn’t beat our team on that day. So all we have to do now is to make sure that our players are up to it and show Riley that whoever he sends we will overcome their bias.

But don’t be amazed if the ref pulls some strange rabbits out of his head. The only fear I have is as I predicted a few weeks ago that one of these days we will see blood again. And if that happens then it will be again the PGMOL and their refs having not done what they ought to do: protect the players on the pitch. ALL the players. Even Arsenal players.

Finally a little stat about this ref showing the win/lost/draw % of Arsenal in general and when Probert is around.

Notice the difference in the won %. And all this against “lower placed teams”. A rather scary set of numbers


Total Won Lost Draw Total games
Arsenal 53,45% 26,60% 19,95% 797
Games 1 2 3
Probert 16,67% 33,33% 50,00% 6

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18 comments to Probert, the ref of the Norwich game, on a mission against Wenger. How it all began in 2009

  • Lim

    Probert is a disgrace of a referee – and if he is once again completely biased against Arsenal something has to be done and these facts needs to be sent to a National Newspaper to investigate further.

  • Tjekem

    I hope Arsène and the players are aware of this bias and put the game out of reach early.

    What can be done to get the bias of these referees highlighted in the mainstream media?

  • cesc

    I think you would be hard pressed to find a decent Ref in the Premiership. They all look poor to me. Scared of their own shadows.
    The standard of Premiership Ref’s is deteriorating at a rapid rate.
    Can you remember how Webbs incompetent World Cup performance spoiled the biggest game on the planet? And he is supposed to be our number 1. lol

  • Tonia Reeves

    We are aware of the ref’s mission for tomorrow….at the end of the game, he will hang his head down in shame because, Arsenal will be victorious!!!

    Gooner 4life

  • Robert Kalatu

    this article has reminded me of the game that almost lowered the flavour of epl as the famous

    league man u vs arsenal ” rvp equalising”. FA shwn tha wrld that they favour one en could be the reason y balon d or has not been won won by epl 4 yrs. we r watching u.

  • Zacharse

    Don’t you think it will be obvious if Probert f***’s it? According to your info it’s a foregone conclusion so perhaps his bosses may be thinking the same thing… As happened after the Villa game, the ref was rightly demoted- they’ll surely be willing to do the same again wouldn’t they? Sounds like it’s going to be an interesting match…

  • westy

    who investigates match fixing? Is Riley being pressured by the bookies? Polish mob? etc. Or is he just so anti arsenal? Its all too much and it keeps costing us, whilst the other big clubs seem to never have enemy refs. Maybe were not in on the paying the refs?

  • bjtgooner

    Tomorrow it is important that the fans get behind the team early and give them very vocal support. Equally, we need to let Probert know we are on to him.

    We have had to win against 12 men on several occasions recently & with a good effort and vocal support we can do it again.

    Probert, Taylor & Riley – what a disgrace to English football and to those in higher authority who permit them to continue.

  • Snuffle

    After the injustice Norwich suffered in this fixture last season, it would be ironic if the decisions went for them this time !

  • Doanythingformoney

    Manure have to win the title. They are not an outstanding team however. They need help. So what about scuppering the opposition? But giving this match to a ref who seems to favour Norwich so strongly looks like an incentive too far -to me!

    Will the ref be even-handed? As Walter says, will ALL the players get the protection they deserve? Does he know that 5 of Arsenal’s players are likely to go to go with England to Brazil- but only if fit?

    It is nearly Bonfire Night. Imagine Riley with feathered hat, 3/4 britches and beard. He has placed the powder kegs and lit the touch paper. Now we all wait- breathless. Who wants to be anywhere else but at the Emirates this weekend?

  • Shard


    Just to let you know, Anthony Taylor was NOT demoted after the Villa game. He was 4th official in the Crystal Palace match (I forget who it was against. Maybe Sunderland)

  • Jim_NCFC

    Well if there is supposedly a prem ref who favours us against any of the big boys then that will be news to Norwich fans! Flattered you think we have such influence.

    Do you have any idea how paranoid you sound and how rich it is to hear fans off one of the big teams bleating on about not getting refereeing decisions? Walk a mile in our shoes and then see how you like it?

    Fingers crossed for a good game today not ruined by the officials! I would take a repeat of last year even though we were done by the officials on that occasion.

  • Florian


    The moment I read “The excellent Oliver”, the article became nonsense. Thanks again Walter @ Co.

  • AL

    Thanks for sharing that link. Graham Polls comments look like they were plucked right from Untold! He confirms exactly what Walter and Andrew have been saying here. I just had to quote the below;
    “Luckily Chris Hughton is not the type of manager to react to this and send his team out with the intention to apply strong tactics to disrupt Arsenal. But who could blame him if he did? It would work if Probert continues with his style of almost no involvement in a game.”

    OMG, that’s an admission other managers will set their team out based on the who the ref is. So those who say we imagine these things and we have an obsession with refs blah blah blah, what more evidence do they need. Hope this will shut them up for good.

  • The font

    Probert water problem with wenger = probert Walter problem with untold

  • AL

    I do feel Poll is doing his own Halsey in a more subtle way. Last week he came out with stuff saying refs do not need to fear Moyes the way they did Fergus. And this article on refs letting other teams kick others off the park. Whatever your angle is Mr Poll, keep it coming!

  • SB

    Good job here Walter. I’m sure you know Mike Riley wouldn’t need your stats to find out who favours/hates which team. Hopefully this would make (if) any favouritism/bias was to be shown by the ref, this would put that in check or atleast raise a doubt.

    Especially if you are able to continue predicting such a trend, then it’s bound to be taken notice of & eventually corrected (hopefully).

    You & others may have already planned it – some comparitive stats on the predicted ref bias & actual bias for a game. It would prove the theory or Mike R & co would notice & are forced to keep their bias under check