Ref Review 2012-2013 : Wrong 2nd yellow cards decisions a closer look

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.


On this site we have published all kinds of reports over the season 2012-2013.

We have dealt with the different teams. We have looked  closer at the refs themselves leading to the best ref election of the season according to the views and based on the numbers found by our referee reviewers.

We then had another look at the bias from the refs with each team.

The next step is looking at the four most important decisions on the football field that could have the biggest impact on the final result of games.

We will examine the wrong decisions about second yellow cards, red cards, penalties and goals. And we will show which teams gained and how many times they gained but also which teams suffered and how many times they suffered. Of course when the ref makes a mistake there is always a team that benefits but there is also a team that gains from the wrong decision. So it is important to have a look at both sides of the medal.

And to round things up we will also show which refs made which teams suffer or gain from their wrong decisions.

So let us first have a look at the teams that were favoured by the ref his decisions to not award a second yellow card or to give a second yellow card that was wrong.

second yellow card favoured

The number in the table behind the name of the teams is the number of wrong 2nd yellow cards decisions from which the team benefited. So when you see that Arsenal has a 1 behind its name this indicates that on 1 occasion was lucky to not have a player sent off with a second yellow card. For those interested this was in the match against Manchester United when Sagna could and should have got a second yellow card.  So Arsenal was lucky on that occasion.

As were a lot of other teams once in the games we reviewed. Aston Villa, Everton, Southampton and Stoke being the others.

In the teams that escaped twice we find Fulham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham United.

There was one team that escaped 3 times and that was Manchester City.

Chelsea got lucky on 4 occasions.

The top 3 of  ‘lucky’ teams when refs made mistakes about yellow cards were Sunderland, Manchester United and as top of the bill we find QPR.

I think not many will be surprised to see Manchester United high in this ranking. You have to be a brave ref to send a Manchester United player off with a second yellow card.

But many will be surprised that Sunderland was there and nobody really expected QPR to be there. That is of course if you don’t know who is also sponsoring the PGMOL and the referees of course.. Or is it a coincidence?

Next step is to see who suffered from the wrong decisions.  You can see this in the next table.

second yellow card suffering

Having a low number behind your name is good in this table. It means that you only suffered a low number of times that the other team should have lost a player on two yellow cards. Aston Villa, Sunderland, Fulham, Norwich and WBA only suffered once in the games we reviewed.

There are 4 teams that suffered twice when the ref made an error by not sending another player off with 2 yellow cards. Manchester City, Stoke, Swansea and West Ham.

Chelsea and QPR suffered 3 times when an opponent wasn’t sent off with a second yellow card last season.

Everton suffered 4 times. And in this table we also find Manchester United facing the not sending off from an opponent with two yellow cards.

But top of this list and with an amazing big difference is Arsenal. This means that on 11 occasions the ref ‘forgot’ to send an opponent off with a second yellow card. This is a good example on how teams are allowed to kick Arsenal players without being punished as it should be according to the rules.

I think this is disgraceful.

The next step is to see which refs were responsible for these wrong decisions. And to see how many times they made that mistake with the teams involved.

So in this table you will see the name of the referee and the number of second yellow cards decisions each of them got wrong and which team was favoured and which team suffered. For the sake of keeping the table readable in the middle I had to make abbreviations of the names. But I think you will understand the names of the teams. And when you see a number in front of the name of a team it means that this team suffered x times from that ref. For instance ‘2 Sun’ means that Sunderland was lucky (or suffering=penalised) twice from that ref.


second yellow card ref

What we see is that the number of mistakes made by the refs vary from 1 (Moss, Friend, Swarbrick) to 6 (Atkinson). Of course the lower the number the better for the ref (and for the teams also of course).

If we look at the results of Arsenal we see that Taylor (so no real surprise any more then), Atkinson and Dean made a wrong decisions and let a player on the field that should have been sent off with a second yellow card. I know Dowd also did it twice but he was the only ref also to let us off the hook on one occasion so the final score for Dowd against Arsenal is only -1.

Look for your other favourite or most hated team and see which refs were kind or not that kind.

When you are looking for an Arsenal Christmas present try this

10 Replies to “Ref Review 2012-2013 : Wrong 2nd yellow cards decisions a closer look”

  1. I think this just puts the statistical information behind what many of us have known for years. Great Walter, keep up the brilliant work, this information is vital to attempt to prevent another fergie type era and to educate people about the information that the unelected powers that be seek to cover up.

  2. More proof we get stitched by refs, again. Surely anyone failing to see this will need to go to specsavers. Good to see Jonathan Moss doing well, again. This guy will be a top ref one day, if promotion is based on merit.

  3. DUMMY ?

    A young ventriloquist is touring the football clubs and stops to entertain at a local football club bar in a small town.

    He’s going through his usual run of stupid Referee jokes, when a large, Referee in the fourth row stands on his chair and says, “I’ve heard just about enough of your denigrating Referee jokes! What makes you think you can stereotype Referees that way? What does a person’s physical attributes have to do with their worth as a competent Referee?” The ventriloquist looks on in amazement.

    “It’s guys like you who keep Referees like me from being respected at work and by the fans,” he continued,
    “and of reaching my full potential as a person because you and your kind continue to perpetuate discrimination against not only Referees but Assistant Referees at large… all in the name of humor.”

    Flustered, the ventriloquist begins to apologize. The Referee interjects,

    “You stay out of this, mister, I’m talking to that little ‘blighter’ on your knee!”

  4. The Referee had accidentally collided with a player, fallen and injured his knee.

    On his way back from the doctor’s surgery after the match, he met one of the players from the game.

    “You all right ref? You don’t look so good. Bad news from the doc?”

    “Yes it is. He says I can’t Referee.”

    “Oh. Seen you in action has he . . .?”

  5. Definition of a good referee

    1) Must be fair

    2) Must be consistent

    3) Must make correct judgements

    4) Must be able to stay in control

    5) Must award your team at least two penalties and give out two red cards to opposition players

  6. thanks – it always amazes me to see how much the refs go against arsenal. I think most would find one or two bad decisions understandable but 11 wrong decisions! That is horrid.

  7. Heard united have given Wigan permission to speak with Moyes, even though Wigan have not sought the permission to speak with him 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *