Ref Review 2012-2013 : Wrong RED cards decisions a closer look – Nr. 2

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 4 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 now have a look at the teams that were favoured by the ref his decisions to not award a red card or to give a red card that was wrong.

red card favoured

The first thing we don’t see in this table is the name of Arsenal. So that means that Arsenal wasn’t really favoured by any decisions of the ref. And that is the way I like to see it to be honest. We don’t need to get good decisions. We need to have correct decisions and that is what we got when we look at favours from refs.

Fulham, Reading and West Ham were lucky once last season.

Everton, Man City, Newcastle, Sunderland, Tottenham and Wigan were lucky on two occasions last season.  Twice one of their players should have been sent off but it didn’t happen.

Aston Villa was lucky in 3 matches last season.  Liverpool and Norwich even in 4 matches.

The teams that were favoured most by wrong card decisions and that find themselves in the top 3 of this table are Chelsea who escaped 5 red cards.

In second place we find Manchester United. And they were lucky in 6 matches.  So it is once again clear that the refs were afraid to show 2nd yellow cards and red cards against United players. I think this is disgraceful.

But just as with the yellow cards we see an unexpected leading team. This time it is Stoke. With nine not given red cards against their players they surely were lucky. The refs letting them off the hook on a lot of occasions.

It is clear to see that the kick and kick football is still very much alive and seemingly rather supported or tolerated by the refs.

The next step is to see who was suffering most from these mistakes. See our next table for that.

red card suffering

In this table having a low number is ‘good’ or an indication that the refs were a bit strict in your games. Well they were strict for your opponents anyway.

Manchester United Only suffered once. The same can be said about Sunderland and Swansea.

Fulham, WBA and Stoke suffered twice. Certainly the last team cannot really complain about that number when you lok at the times they could stay on the pitch.

Aston Villa, Everton Manchester City, Newcastle and QPR suffered in 3 matches about a sending off not being given.  For Liverpool it happened on 4 occasions.

The top 3 then. Chelsea and Tottenham both were suffering 5 times when an opponent wasn’t sent off when it should have been done.

But the team that suffered most from refs not daring to hand out a red card against the opponents of  Arsenel is our own team.

On 8 occasions we should have played against only 10 players but the refs didn’t allow us this advantage.

In fact this is almost the same image as with the yellow cards.  It only underlines once more the fact that other teams can kick the Arsenal at random without much punishment. Arsenal player are clearly not really protected as it should have been.

So let us now have a look at each referee.

In this table you will see the name of the referee and the number of red cards decisions each of them got wrong and which team was favoured and which team suffered. For the sake of keeping the table a bit readable and 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.


red card refs

If we look at the numbers of decisions then we can see that each ref made at least two mistakes on red cards. Apart from Jonathan Moss who isn’t in this table and got it all right.

The ref that made most mistakes in this table is Lee Mason. Seven wrong decisions in total.

So who are the refs that have deon a bad job for Arsenal last season? Chris Foy has had most wrong red cards decisions of them all.

The other  suspect is Lee Mason. Kick them till they are down seems to be his reasoning when I see him do our matches. The stats prove this.

Manchester United had quite a few reasonable referees that like them. Just as with the 2nd yellow cards. Refs don’t like to send a MU player to the stand too early.  And the refs clearly do understand that hidden message. Both in 2nd yellows and red cards.

You can look at the other teams if you want and look for strange results when you compare both sides of this tables.

In this series

Wrong second yellow cards

The earlier series of reviews:


9 Replies to “Ref Review 2012-2013 : Wrong RED cards decisions a closer look – Nr. 2”

  1. Interesting, it evens out for Villa, Liverpool and Chelsea. Still, the numbers are unacceptably big. Thanks you again Walter for an insightful article – especially considering the times.

  2. Unfortunately the favouring of Utd and Chelsea in such matters is highly predictable…as is the way we are treated. But Stoke!!!! Why? Maybe because the owner is involved with Bet365….owning a football team and a gambling firm feels wrong in this day and age.

  3. A very revealing analysis. If we suffer 8 wrong red cards against us, assuming all were in the league, that means we were nobbled in 21% of our matches – on red cards only – never mind all the other wrong decisions. Did some prat tell us it all evens out in the end?

  4. Is Piers Morgan good for anything? Why doesn’t UA organize a bombard Morgan campaign. Everyone should bombard him on Twitter with UA’s Ref research.

    Time to fight the odious FaPgmol network through constructive means?

  5. I think it would be quite interesting to see which teams benefited the most from the suspensions from these red cards. Ie the teams who play them the next week(s) with them missing a player.

    The distribution would probably not be even considering the sample size so it may appear skewed to certain teams for no reason other than luck or a pattern in the fixture list, but it would be interesting to see if it happened to coincide with better points gained than expected.

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