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July 2021

Why Refs Are Now Biased in Favour of Man City and Not Man United

An Alternative View on Why Refs Are Now Biased in Favour of Man City and Not Man United

By: Bootoomee

The constant down-playing of Arsenal’s chances forced me to pen this earlier this season. At the time, the question on the lips of every football pundit and the media was whether Arsenal were contenders for the EPL title. At that point in the season, Arsenal were leading the league, as they have done long before then, but the consensus was that the team would ultimately falter, hence the constant and near unanimous questioning of their credentials.

On the contrary, Manchester City and (to a less extent Chelsea) are expected to run away with it. Every pundit and their dog were just so convinced that City are going to win it.

Of course, this was not based on any kind of evidence other than the amount of money that the blue side of Manchester had spent. At the time of writing the linked post, Manchester City had lost to Cardiff City, Aston Villa and Sunderland. It is true that those were away defeats but potential EPL winners don’t lose those kinds of games. Arsenal on the contrary were passing all the series of ‘tests’ that the media and our own ‘non-existent’ AAA kept putting before the team. But still, Arsenal weren’t contenders while Man City were. At this point, one could see the look of embarrassment on Gary Lineker’s face as his MoTD ‘expert’ panels ruled out Arsenal one after the other.

At the end of the same article (sorry that I keep referencing the piece but its concluding part is germane to this piece), I noted that the officials don’t live in a media free bubble. They hear what we all hear and like many, even among Arsenal’s own supporters, are influenced consciously or sub-consciously by it.

A lot has been said about Man United losing their fear factor but that is not really the problem. Man United’s performance on the field has degenerated. The media, after many, many poor performances and loss of points, finally stopped bigging them up and voilà, Moyes is now reduced to complaining about the officials, who like the rest of the population have stopped believing in their invincibility and thus have stopped favouring them. But can anybody recall the number of questionable calls in their favour at the beginning of the season, before it was finally realised that they’ve lost it? Penalties from Ashley Young dives anyone?

For me, it has always been the media (pundits, commentators, journalists, MoTD panelists etc) who are more responsible for perpetuating bad officiating than anyone else. Not the players; not the managers; not the fans; not even the referees.   It’s the media!

Anyone notice how they’ve stopped showing replays of off side calls against Arsenal since that Man City game? The British media collectively are a very annoying pest but a very powerful and influential one too. They love to play the kingmakers. They are now doing in the premier league what they’ve always done in politics.

Man City are the new Man United. Untold Arsenal is well known, positively or negatively, for focussing on officiating in the league. Many commentators, in my opinion, have the motives of the officials wrong. I keep hearing stuff about ‘Oilers this’, ‘Oilers that’ but did Man City just became beneficiaries of an Oil Sheik? Haven’t they had the same owners for about 5 years now? Did they just learn how to use their oil money to influence results? Why didn’t they do this last year when basically the same Man United team ran away with the league? Why did it take a last minute goal for them to win the league on goal difference 2 years ago? Shouldn’t their oil money had bought them something less dicey?

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It is possible that the officials are being induced with oil money to favour Man City but unfortunately, there is no proof.

Are the refs favouring Man City? I believe so based on strings of bad officiating in games involving them but with the victims of the bad calls always being their opponents. But there is no way to prove that they are buying their results. To continue to suggest so would lose us the support of other fans who might also believe, like us, that there is something fishy about officiating but uncomfortable with accusation of corruption without proof.

My position on this matter is based on the team that used to enjoys such benefits: Manchester United. But then nobody ever talked about ‘oil money’, we just assumed that they were in the pockets of Alex Ferguson. And many of them were indeed intimidated or enamoured with the Scotsman. While I agree with the notion (that Ferguson owned the refs), on the other hand, I think that Man United got everything they wanted because of a very compliant media. While the officials might have been intimated by or just loved Ferguson, the British press worship the ground that he walks on. His team was treated with the same reverence. I used to joke that Manchester United is adopted by the English in lieu of their national teams which are perpetual failures at all levels and across genders.

The media have a new darling in Manchester City. They might not have a manager named Alex Ferguson but they have something that the media worship even more than a great personality: MONEY. For all their bluster against and mocking of moneyed people, the British media do their fair share of sucking up to the rich, until they fall from grace by either going broke or being involved in scandals.

There is also the new religion-like belief that it is money and money alone that wins championships. The routine is: you get loads of money (source’s integrity is irrelevant), you spend them on players, you win trophies. I wonder why they don’t just hand over the league title and other cups to the club with the biggest transfer kitty. But then clubs like Wigan, Swansea, Birmingham City etc appear once in a while to make a mockery of this mind-set. At least in the cups.

There is no doubt in my mind that Man City are being favoured but, in my opinion, it is because they are the new anointed team of the media. Of course, I could be wrong but I can at least back up my notion in terms of the coronation-like coverage of Man City compared to Arsenal and even Chelsea. Arsenal, on the other hand, get shafted from time to time by the officials who seem not to like us very much but they only do this because there is always little to no blowback from the media. Two good goals from Arsenal got chalked off for wrong off side calls and all the media ran with was how much thrashing Arsenal got. Newcastle lost a goal to a bad call and it was given enormous coverage. The media seem to love Man City with the same intensity with which they hate us.

I still believe that we are going to win the league. Although Man City’s improved away performances and all the help from the officials are making this difficult for many, including at Untold, to believe. I don’t begrudge those who panic, I just hope that they can keep such to themselves and not spread disbelief among the less panicky Gooners. The team is defiant about their chances. The least that we the supporters should do is back them up, not with wimpy, panicky doubtful moans but loud and vociferous roar of: Yes We Can!

Keep the faith.

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272 comments to Why Refs Are Now Biased in Favour of Man City and Not Man United

  • what a load of rubbish we should have had a penalty in the first minute against Cardiff but the ref said no, so what are you on about anyway we stuffed you 6 goals to three no ref biased there we should of scored nine, up the city.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I find oh so very funny how suddenly not only the ref seem to have turned but also how suddenly Man City fans have turned in to Man United fans.

  • WalterBroeckx

    For your attention kevin, we should have stuffed you 5 goals (2 wrongly disallowed goals for offside) and probably have been given a penalty and could have also stuffed you 6 goals in that match.
    The fact you missed chances is part of football. In that match we had Giroud who missed a hattrick in 5 minutes in the second half with 3 clear cut chances. So that could and should also be 9 goals.

  • Lisa

    Oh my god , the most ridiculous drivel I have ever read. The sad thing is you honestly believe this. Oil money , buying refs , media bias. For god sake , get a life you pathetic little man !

  • Spot on man, this is exactly what the British media is doing. Arsenal are top but the so called pundits in the British media houses do not see them as title contenders.British media is very much corrupt. This is the reason why England national team will never be a force in world football.They media promote mediocrity.

  • JOHN

    Come on KEVIN , why not biased 2 goals chalked offside (non existent) a clear penalty and you say 6 goals against 3 .
    Yes we where at times outplayed but bad decisions are bad decisions and remember a clear sending off on yaya toure.
    Yes the refs at the moment are favouring City indeed but i hope it is not money .

  • WalterBroeckx


    I think you are partly right. Refs get influenced by what happens in the (football world) and by what is said.

    But what do you think of this as a possible explanation?

    As Gord pointed out in the comment section of another article about John Willimans becoming the Chief Executive of Southampton.

    “Williams established a formidable reputation at Blackburn but left Ewood Park following the takeover by Venky’s in 2011, and has since worked for Manchester City.

    He left Manchester City 12 months ago but has remained in football as chairman of the referees body, the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL).

    So to get this clear: a Manchester City director becomes head of the referee company and City gets “very lucky” with lots of offside calls….. LOL it’s a strange world isn’t it…

  • Kevin were it not for ref disallowing Tiote’s goal, man city could not have won that match for a fact.

  • DRT

    Dear Tarquins,
    will you stop your petty jealousy of our good fortune, if you really need someone to hate look in the mirror, it shouldn’t be too hard for you once you clear the smoke of hypocrisy that stinks from the Fulham reserves roots that you seems to have forgotten about.
    God forbid you take the petro dollar again to build your pious crap into a a mission of superiority, tosspots one and all.

  • Black Hei

    Well, if this is 100% so, the Ref would have just red carded Mbiwa after that Nasri tackle. But they didn’t.

    Our own Flamster escaped a card too on Saturday.

  • Lisa

    Walter , could have should have blah blah blah. City DID stuff Arsenal 6-3 and come March you will be out of the title race. Not because of oil mney but because of a better group of players , playing better football. Enjoy the next few months , tick tock !

  • Macky

    Walter,you are spot on,the goals they scored were mistakes from our back time at the Emirates.

  • Fact psychologically when you score and the goal is disallowed that takes steam and a bit of energy from the team and players. This cancelled goal affected Newcastle United and took a way their focus for some time.

  • steve

    load of rubbish! Been to every CITY game this year, the refs are against us! Arsenal were the ones fouling us constantly, whinging and moaning about everything, trying to get everything thier way, just as usual.

    This has happened to us several times this season, more noticeable in the recent game against Cardiff. We should have had several penalties and they should have at least had a couple of their players sent off.. The ref Being biased in our favour? you having a laugh? **** you

  • Macky

    Man city is indeed favored by refs..look at their games against arsenal,liverpool & newcastle,robbin’ teams of goals..Officating in Epl is openly selective,big spenders are the ‘choosen ones’ digustin’.

  • Brianstorm

    The way Arsenal fans re-write history on that game is hilarious. Giroud was clearly offside and thus was adjudged offside. Beyond that, he didn’t turn and shoot for 3 seconds or so after the whistle had blown. The play is dead. There is no “disallowed goal” — he was lucky to not get a yellow card for clearly ignoring the whistle.

  • WalterBroeckx

    For those living in the perfect world: even when United was much favoured by the refs they still got some decisions going against them.

    As was proven and shown by Untold ref reviews of course 😉

  • Benn O

    Is this the same Media that hounded Eduardo for his alledged penalty dive against Celtic in the champions league qualifier for 10 days (mainly talkshite),
    but for some reason, Suarez’s penalty dive against Aston Villa, was a certain penalty according to the experts and the Media, hhhmmm, sometimes you start to wonder what is truly going on

  • Tai Obasi, Lagos

    Kevin, what about the off side call against Liverpool’s Sterling? …the worst I’ve seen in football! What about ignoring Suarez’s penalty call? What about disallowing Tiote’s goal at St James’ Park?

    To your match against Arsenal, City shouldn’t have won that match without biased officiating! Like fouling Wilshere repeatedly…like Toure’s red-card challenge on Giroud that didn’t even attract a yellow…like fouling Gnabry enroute to sixth goal…and besides wrong offside calls that lead directly to goals…three further of such calls robbed Walcott (twice) and Monreal(once) from very advantageous positions.

    I believe it’s the money…The British are so happy the likes of Chelsea and City enrich the Home Office with billions in name of taxes from players high wages. They need to be encouraged to pay more and buy more trophies. After all, Mourinho just added a Nemanja Matic the Blues do not need!

    But poor Gunners, what can they offer the Inland revenue? Very meagre in comparison!

  • Doofy

    Sorry but get a grip I don’t think any team are getting biased decisions. City prob would of beat Newcastle anyway the other week goal or no goal and other decisions will go for an against all teams over the season. This article just spells paranoia and your making us look stupid . I’m sure you’d be writing articles if you thought arsenal were getting better decisions in our favour ….. Nope

  • Gaz

    What a load of rubbish! Blogs I shit them! You don’t watch city so how can you comment on decisions you do not see or are you just picking the ones that suit? Cardiff scored a offside goal in the 1st game and should have conceded a penalty in the 1st minute at ours but didn’t get any of them decisions! That’s just 2 games against the same team. Arsenal the new Tottenham always moaning!

  • Al 2.0

    Oh Kevin – Financial powerhouse you may be but European powerhouse you are still not. Come back when your blue moon of despair and filthy oil money, matches our tally won with Class.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Looking behind the scenes…yeah Man City fans are just the same as the ones in red were in the last seasons. 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh and for those telling rubbish things as ‘it evens out’ could you please give us evidence of this. Please do.

    Because we have studied this for a few seasons and it doesn’t even out.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Maybe the City fans could comment on this:

    Williams established a formidable reputation at Blackburn but left Ewood Park following the takeover by Venky’s in 2011, and has since worked for Manchester City.

    He left Manchester City 12 months ago but has remained in football as chairman of the referees body, the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL).”


  • Gaz, I think if you looked at our site a little more you would realise that we do indeed watch City and have analysed numerous Man City games over the last few years.

    I do love comments like this. It takes us up the rankings a little each time, and reflects rather poorly on the writer and his/her chosen club.

  • Ah. the detailed argument Rolee. Thank you, and for the evidence you brought to the debate.

  • DRT = when speaking of Fulham Reserves, are you referring to Woolwich Arsenal and Henry Norris in 1910. If so, may I refer you to the book “Making the Arsenal”. It explores that situation in more depth, as does “Woolwich Arsenal The Club that Changed Football”.

    The author was, oh, who was it, someone remind me…

  • WalterBroeckx

    Just as Manchester United supporters in the past denied that they got any ref decisions in their favour it is now the turn for Manchester City supporters to do the same.
    The rest of the football world sees it but the supporters of the ‘favoured’ club deny it.
    And to do this they come up with but we didn’t get that decisions ‘insert example’.

    In the same way that United supporters did this for umpteen years. As for Untold Arsenal and the website referee decisions we have examined 3 seasons of PL football about referee decisions.
    And we have shown that in those 3 seasons MU got the majority and the important decisions in their favour.

    In fact you may find it difficult to believe but the title of when we looked at Manchester City in the year you won the title was : that you didn’t get it gifted by the refs.

    So all those years United supporters told us what idiots we were, ignoring our numbers calling us all kinds of names because in that match in the 7th minute they didn’t get ‘that decision’ in their favour and thus there was absolutely no bias at all in their favour and never has been, is or was.

    Ignoring the other decisions that went in their favour. 😉 Like I said it’s a funny funny world.

    And a bit tragic that City fans who suffered from the hands of wrong decisions against United on many occasions and moaning about it no suddenly have forgotten how things work in the football world when they suddenly are being branded the new favourites of the refs.

    Completely forgetting all they have said in the past of other teams… funny…

  • we got 3 very good signings in the summer and that has made the difference for us.

    You all go on about refs decisions going city’s way all the time is bollocks,yes liverpool’s goal and newcastles goal should have stood, suarez dived for his penalty if people say that was stone walled then city should have had 3 due to skirtel wanting Kompany’s shirt to take home with him.
    Yes we lost a couple of away and its just as well for you we did lose them game or you wouldn’t be sat at top of table you would be 8points behind and not in contention for the title

  • Med Kaye

    I hundred percent share this view. We will continue to render our relentless support to the Squad until Our Collective Dream Comes True. We should not allow the British media to rob Us of Victory. We must open our eyes and motivate the Squad to play without fear for every match.

  • Walter (@8.09am),

    I missed that Gord’s comment unfortunately. But that is quite damning. This is a big freaking deal. But the question remains that if Gord could unearth that piece of information, the media must or they are just grossly incompetent.

    Why isn’t that fact spread across The Sun’s front page?

    It’s still the media who by commission or omission perpetuates bad officiating in the league.

  • Lisa,

    Did you even read the piece? It tries to debunk or at least downplay what you are complaining about.

    Please read before commenting.

  • ChrisN

    I think that the Refs favour the ‘winners’ a little. When a team were as conclusive a winn

  • WalterBroeckx

    Bootoomee, sometimes you wonder about some…

  • Gaz

    If you watch city all the time then why select decisions that suit your argument? That’s called selective memory which is bias! If city lose the title I won’t be blaming referees it sounds like you are ready making up excuses? Referees make incorrect decisions but to suggest they all favour us is just paraniod.

  • Gaz

    Sorry! Already making excuses! Fat fingers on I-phone!

  • @babakrdaemi

    Best response “Not because of oil money but because of better players (oil money) playing better (oil money pays for managers as well).”

    I agree that refs are influenced by the media. I also feel we struggle with decisions. However I know from going to games that they contest more up north. That will also influence refs.

    We should try that.

  • Blueshy

    Al 2.0
    Remind me the name of your stadium again? Emirates by any chance! Isn’t that from the same country sheikh Mansour comes from? Filthy money you say?; two faced hypocrite twat! The same owners that sponsor your stadium. Oh no but that’s ok it’s fucking arsenal so we turn a blind eye and call it legit. I find it hilarious Nigerians gooners moaning about money lol

  • dom

    If you watch city games I am surprised you dont mention the offside villa goal, the assault on milner for sunderlands winner, or the decisions in the cardiff game which collectively EVENS OUT the decisions in our favour.
    Difference is city now get on with it instead of complaining at how hard done by we are.

  • Bottom line is this City will pick up trophey’s this season and next while you wont be picking up any.
    All the whinging and whining in the world will not change that fact.

  • Mandy Dodd

    City really are turning into Utd….especially some of their fans! Just need to new owner to make them play in red shirts and the transformation will be complete.
    There is corruption in this league and right the way up to the head of FIFA.
    Corruption from agents bookies criminals officials players managers inside traders the refs and authorities, anyone who cannot see that is living in some perfect bubble they have created somewhere. Whether city are the true beneficiaries of this is too early to say, but recent games are not encouraging.
    I am sure the media play a role…..there is also a natural tendency as mentioned in this well written article for the Brits to suck up to power and wealth….and ensure they stay powerful and wealthy.
    Corruption in football works on many levels, please may we not see another team favoured in the way Utd have been, though I fear the worst.

  • Med Kaye,

    Totally agree with you. We must continue to be defiant in our support for and faith in the team to succeed, against all odds.

  • Steve

    I think you guys are missing the point – it is not about Man U or Man C but about the city of Manchester itself.

    In my opinion the real issue is about BUSINESS promoting the SECOND city which I believe is a worldwide phenomenon.

    Man U will not be top dog this year but Man C are a good bet so why not give them a helping hand!

    As an Arsenal fan I have always wondered if the bias was Man U or Manchester itself – your article re-enforces the later!

    BTW, Liverpool (the THIRD city I think?) do not seem to get this preference.


  • You say City and officials are ruining the game i say it’s childish comments like the ones i have read and guilty as charged also posted.

    But answer me this, would you be bitching like you you are if you had the financial backing that city has?
    Truth be known would you balls

  • Stuart

    Of course you wont be blaming referees because they are helping you out not hindering you.

  • blacksheep63

    everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home. next topic?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The new fashionable colour choice for this season is blue. The EPL is not fixed they say .Okay with me .
    Watching the Chelski /Manure game ladt night, I almost (said almost !) felt pity for ManUre , but then sanity prevailed !Lost a $ 5 bet to my Chelski loving son – money well spent !
    In earlier days many of the decions would have gone their way .Probably yellow for Vidic and a pat on the back for their fullback for a two footed challenge !
    Was wondering aloud to him , where did John Terry pick up French ? (Smacks head) Mais oui ! It must have been those
    personal ‘lessons’ from the ex-Mrs.Wayne Bridge !

  • The font

    One of my good Nigerian friends called juma said to me there are dark and sinister places in Nigeria but none as as bad as the shite hole called
    Moss side you must be very proud.

  • DwayneDibbly

    City have had some dodgy decisions go there way and some dodgy against. This all stems from the Newcastle game though. Tiote’s goal should have been allowed yes. But having said that Negredo got flagged for offside when clean through wrongly, Cabaye should have been sent off, M’Biwa should have been sent off. As for the offside through them off their game said by someone earlier it did the opposite. It galvanised them and made them more of a threat. It also turned them into a bunch of dirty tacklers too though. Every team thinks the refs are against them. City have had some absolutely horrendous decisions against them this season and a couple go for… overall I think we’re still owed a few to be honest. It all works itself out in the end though. City are not the media darlings you’re making out here either… until this season the media have hated us and one bad story after another. This season we’re playing some sensational football and it’s great to watch.. there’s less controversy… of course we’re going to get more favourable media attention this year.

  • beefy

    What a waste of typing in the gloriously dragged out article. Poor old Arsenal getting the shifty end of the stick from media and refs.So hard done to all the time. Nobody gives you a chance etc etc. Conspiracy theories abound. Once you have taken your finger off the self pity button go and enjoy watching your team who happen to be top of the league. No pleasing some people.

  • Allan1340

    I don’t think Kevin means the referees are only against Arsenal but he talk about the matter that they do whatsoever to push oil club or clubs to reach what they are after, and in this matter there is no exception as we saw Liverpool lost the game against City because of bad refereeing or what ever we call that, this is true that Arsenal has not been the official’s favorite and what we see today nobody is able to go against bad decision by referees. Today talking about officials is the same you talk about Mohamad of Islam FA with slaughter everyone especially managers who talke about the matter freedom of speech has no place in football and if we think these officials are pure then we have to weak up and this is truth that media has big influence in both referees decisions or us. I am not try or will to try come with examples how officials kill the teams with their wrong or bad (or what we will call ) decisions but that will not stop until FIFA or FA doing their job and think about to do something if they want a fair game but until that happened we will see games which referee decide who win or lose and of course at the end of the day money talks.

  • Big Gun

    @Macky I agree with you. It is more than coincidence that City got away with murder against Newcastle, Liverpool and Arsenal. I watched all three of those games and it was appalling and blatantly obvious.

    Either way, I am proud to support a club like Arsenal, who don’t have to rely on the deep pockets of one man or the bottomless pit of oil money to be where they are to day. True honor and class – unlike City and Chelsea who without daddy warbux would be sh*te teams in the power league.

  • nicky

    What a lot of bile, obscenity and bigoted nonsense between football supporters.
    The only difference I see is that NOW Man City have joined the act.

  • Big Gun

    @Blueshy Arsenal are not owned by Emirates dipsh*t. They are only a sponsor. Arsenal is owned by Stan Kroenke who has nothing to do with Emirates. He has a self sustainability model firmly in place at Arsenal – which means our endorsement deals, media rights, stadium fee, basically our income ensure financial stability and exceed our expenses (the proper way of doing business).

    Where as Sheikh, who owns Man City, is also a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, WHO ALSO OWN ETIHAD AIRWAYS, who are City’s major sponsor. Sheikh has been channeling money through Etihad into Man City FC to pay off the millions and millions of debt they have accumulated over the years. This is how he has been able to find a loop hole in the FFP regulations and get away with it. A disgrace to the football industry, I would be ashamed to support such a corrupt club who basically will be ‘buying’ trophies if they win any.

  • Alan

    What a crook ov Shxte! City lost at villa and Sunderlad because of wrong calls by officials not to mention a Larson ‘horror tackle’ the medias take on it.. Liverpool got away with attempts at goal that were off side problem was they couldn’t put the ball away and three fouls by Skertal dragging Kompany about by his shirt and the goofy one constantly trying his con the ref trick. Now lets give arsenal 2 goals they think they should of defo had even though being forward of the defender is off side no matter how close or ‘tight’ it is (The useless Bentner) and ya still got beat!! Give Newcastle a goal that still divides opinion to if it was or not and they still got beat, remembering while righting that wrong (in some people’s eyes) you must right Mbilla’s? Sending off and Cabyee as well as Williamson’s second Yellows for any number of offenses of course the ref never sent them off cos he was favoring city! DOH. So lets right city wrong calls forgetting any that Arsenal have had and guess what? Arsenal are 3 points behind City! Wow those refs are clearly favoring city! Clown.

    I’ll tell you what league winners don’t do, get easily beat by their rivals not to mention the worse man Utd sent up for over 30 years! Oh and gettin beat at home to teams like villa’s not advisable either lol. City are the bookies sod the pundits favorites that should tell any simple Arsenal fans something, why? Just watch them!!

  • willble wollbe

    It is possible that the officials are being induced with oil money to favour Man City but unfortunately, there is no proof

    i think someone has had too many latte’s.

  • @bootoomee,

    I do think that the media influence both overtly and subliminally and thus I do think that referees will be influenced.
    I read an article here a couple of days ago about how the media go for the headline and story in the face of all evidence, piecing together anything they can that supports a claim and ignoring everything else. One only has to look at the Mirror today. The headline is ‘Boring Soaring Arsenal’ whilst City are positioned as ‘sexy’ in the sub headline. Basically, all of a sudden Arsenal are boring again. Interesting that it coincides with us challenging again. I guess the ‘pat on the head’ from the media relating to our style of football only persists when we don’t actually challenge for the title. Of course the fact that Arsenal are still playing great passing football in the face of teams parking the bus – and winning – is not much of a story.

    However, I think there is far more to referee cheating than the media. Whilst the media (unfortunately) creates the nations reality, I think behind the scenes their is a reality that the public is unaware of. The refs do seem to be cheating for Manchester City this year and I am not sure of the reasons why. What I do know is that after 20 years of biased refereeing towards Man Utd, all of a sudden it has stopped. Hmmm, I wonder why that is? The fact that bias seems to have been linked to Alex Ferguson and NOT Man Utd supports the view that individuals are more important to teams when it comes to cheating.

  • bjtgooner

    In the business world personal relationships become a factor in successful transactions and business development. Red Nose was reportedly very close to Rupert Murdoch – but now both of these characters have stepped down – minimising the MU direct line to a formerly media owning and controlling influence. The relationship between Riley and Red Nose is more obscure – but we did have it illustrated by Riley’s disgraceful performance preventing Invincible’s 50 – a performance as disgraceful as that of the MU players.

    It has been quite obvious for at least two years that the MU team was not a championship side – but until this season it was buoyed above its true station by biased ref decisions.

    The revelations by Gord could help explain the favoritism now shown towards City – but I suspect an additional factor based on man’s greed is also involved.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Good points Bjt – would not underestimate the role of their ex CEO, Gill who with supreme coincidence stepped down at the same time as Fergie.
    And for that matter, they did also have a certain Peter Kenyon a few years back before he left for Chelsea.
    I would imagine this lot enjoyed a very cosy relationship with the powers that be.
    I would imagine…or hope Moyes is pretty honest…and too young to be part of that old school systemic network, think he just wants to get on with his job rather than involve himself in that sort of thing. That may one day be a strength but it is not helping him today

  • GH

    half rubbish Man U got all the calls cause the reffs they were scared to be belted in the press by Ferguson Man C aren,t being favored and i,m an Arsenal fan and i still don,t think we will win i think City will beat us and Chealsea and we will at best get a draw at Chelsea so where do we make up the points on City

  • Tony Tango

    So let’s summarise this. There is a general conspiracy amongst referees to help Man City win matches because they are ‘media darlings’. They need to do this because without their help City are not good enough to win the League. This conspiracy is master minded by PGMOL head John Williams who presumably, due to having worked for City, has been paid by City’s owners to instruct referees to help the club win no matter what. In addition to this it now appears that Arsenal’s defeat at City would not have been possible without the aid of the officials. Have I got that right? If so I have a few questions. 1.How do you think Mr Williams has been enforcing his plan? Do you think he’s spread the cash about or just threatened the referees with demotion to the Championship if City don’t win? 2.How has the plan been communicated? Do you think it’s been by a series of text’s or phone calls or simply a secret meeting of all officials during the week, a bit like a referees ‘conspiracy and a curry night’? 3. Do you think Williams had much trouble convincing the referees to risk their integrity and career to carry out his plan and do you not think that some officials have gone to far in helping City score so many goals? 4. Do you think the officials that allowed City to lose those early away games had refused to be part of the plot or were just guilty of incompetence? 5. Lastly, Chelsea have also been accused of many biased decisions this season. Do you think this is because their wealthy owner has also been bribing the officials or simply that some of them are too stupid to recognise the different shade of blue and presumed they were helping City? I look forward to your answers to these questions as the conspiracy you have suggested clearly warrants further investigation and you appear to be the type of balanced, unbiased and level headed forum to do it.

  • Sammy The Snake

    What a polite bunch of nice people we have here from ManC!
    Showing their true colors… 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    Tony Tango,
    interesting questions and in fact the answer is already in the article if you had read it carefully.

    1. As the PGMOL is a secretive organisation we cannot answer this question. Untold Arsenal has for years now asked the PGMOL to open up and to show the world how they run their secret shop. But we have inside informations about the PGMOL and we have published about it in the past and let me say that the kingdom of Mr. Riley and company is a murky affair.
    As a ref I know the way the referee world works a bit and I have given evidence over this also in the past.

    2. Influence is the name of the game. The same influence that has been given decisions to United. Pleasing the boss (Riley and who knows Williams now) in order to get a Fifa badge, better matches, etc.. there are many ways to let refs know what to do. I do hope you have read the comments by Halsey, Poll and understood the message behind it? That was about United then. But the same can go for another team when the head changes.

    3. same as for 2. Refs know all too well who is in charge of them and who they might favour.

    4. The answer is in the article. At first MU was (and up to this weekend) was still regarded as a title favourite. So no point for the refs to change their old habits. They knew SAF was gone but at the start didn’t know that United would be to weak. Hence as stated in the article the soft penalties going in their favour once again as usual. Now they even get players send off in the PL. Unseen for years…. 😉

    5. Money talks of course. And if you would have followed Untold Arsenal over the last years and would have followed refereedecisions website you would have known that there are a few refs around who have a clearly soft spot for Chelsea. Atkinson maybe being the most known.

    In fact most questions has been answered on this blog before you mentioned them. Inside information, knowledge on how the referee world works, and lots of numbers from analysing matches by other refs has given us some good information over the last years.

    It is no coincidence that we can predict how refs will handle games before they are played. And most of the time we are rather spot on.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Yeah Sammy, and I admit on having removed a few comments who were waiting for moderation. But after a while I thought let them have the chance to profile themselves… 😉

  • Rick

    Wow. Just wow.

    You actually, honestly believe this? This is worrying.

    Suggesting City are actually paying referee’s is not only paranoid, but I’d say a good case for libel or slander if they could actually be arsed reading this drivel.

    Let’s quickly look at your points to show how crazy you sound:

    Why not look at the cases you bring up, properly? They are selective to say the least.
    Sterling’s offside was an awful call, but would he have scored whilst the other players were still playing? You can’t say, Hart could have saved it.
    Giroud’s call was correct, and he shot well after the whistle when everybody had stopped playing, so not a disallowed goal. And where are the comments about the multiple chances Arsenal had in the first half that were offside but weren’t called?

    Tiote’s goal wasn’t crystal clear, the ref followed the rules – a section of the rules that only some of the media highlighted – where it says that it’s down to his interpretation. 2 lot’s of officials couldn’t agree after the game, despite multiple replays, so not exactly a clear cut decision, is it? And Pardew actually said that it gave his team extra drive, and it was their best performance, so it certainly didn’t benefit City as much as you claim. If anything it gave Newcastle a license to foul a bit more. City even lost a player due to a horrendous tackle that went unpunished, because the ref lost control, so much so he was suspended the next week which already makes your theory seem crazy.

    Let’s look at the cases you don’t bring up:

    Negredo’s onside goal against Newcastle at home, chalked off for offside, when it wasn’t.
    Bardsley’s winning goal away at Sunderland, elbowed Milner in the back of the head and pulled his shirt.
    Larsson’s unpunished potential leg breaker on Garcia. Not even a yellow.
    Villa’s offside goal that lead to defeat at Villa Park.
    Cardiff’s offside goal that led to defeat at Cardiff.
    Bony’s offside equaliser at Swansea.

    This isn’t me claiming that City are getting punished by the refs, this is me saying that every team gets favourable calls in the season. Because refs make mistakes. I’m not going to do a Fergie and say that it balances itself out over the season, because that’s gibberish, just like your article… the article that I seem to have spent a while responding to.

    Oh well, good luck Mr Crazy.

  • menace

    @Lisa, who is top of the league?

    How big was the loss at Blue Moon club for the last 5 years?

    How much do you earn in a year as a percentage of the lowest paid player in your team earns in a week?

    Do you think that a trophy is worth such a huge investment or is the entertainment whilst competing worth the money?

    Do you think that Arsenal fans would really want a trophy bought with biased (corrupt) officials?

    I have watched football for over 50 years on 4 continents and never seen the beautiful game played better than by Arsenal. Wenger is a dream coach and the UK media detest the fact that he is French. I love everything about the mans approach to the game; his dedication; his economics; his morals; his lifestyle; his humour; his humility; and his inconquerable spirit.

    PGMOL, the FA, EUFA, and FIFA are corrupt to the core. The game has lost its sporting beauty. They have all become wealthy beyond their intelligence by corrupt practice. In spite of all this, Arsenal (the only top level EPL club still shareholder owned) has been able to excel and win in a sporting fashion.

    Enjoy the football you watch and keep supporting the team that was yours.

  • jayramfootball,

    I agree with you pal. The role that the English media clowns play in the corruption of the English game is grossly under-appreciated. I have my suspicion of monetary corruption but I have no proof. I don’t think there is a bigger proof of media’s influence on referees than on how the refs have all of a sudden stopped favouring Man United. It’s almost a 180 degrees turn! But that is only because the media have now started covering Man United like a team of losers.

    Also, the vehemence with which the media deny ALL wrongdoings of the officials is concerning. They use verbal gymnastics to contort themselves into various ugly shapes just to excuse bad officiating. The most annoying of all their cop out phrases is: “It all evens out in the end”. I wonder what happened to “two wrongs don’t make a right”.

  • LookOutThey'reBehindYou

    I don’t know if any of you have noticed but the corner flags at the Etihad often stir in the wind. This is inspite of the fact the height and shape of the stadium means it is impossible for there to be any wind at pitch level.

    Also Negredo’s goal against Newcastle, he knew exactly where to stand so the ball would ricochet off him toward Krull’s goal. How did he know?

    Questions need to be asked and answers sought!

  • Blue Banana

    Tony Tango

    Best post by a mile.

    I would guess most gooners would have stopped reading half way through as truth hurts.

    Paranoia and conspiracy theories is what Arsenal fans excell at

  • Cityboy

    Christ these comments are painful to read. The whole article and comments are just wrong! Firstly, John Williams was at City for less than two years maybe not even that, and now he’s joined PGMOL that makes them corrupt towards City? Did he really generate that much of an affection towards City when he was there to even think about corrupting the officials? One of City’s ambassadors Paul Lake, who worked with City’s academy, recently left to work with more academies round the Premier League, does that mean he’s going to poach all of the other academies’ players for City? No, both of these men have simply moved jobs!

    In terms of the actual decisions, you asked for evidence for poor refereeing against City well here are a few examples:

    1. Offside goal for Aston Villa making the game 1-1.
    2. Clear foul on James Milner for Sunderland’s goal making it 1-0.
    3. A tackle on Javi Garcia by Seb Larsson in the same game that should have received a red.
    4. The fouls on Vincent Kompany by Martin Skrtel in the Liverpool game at home. You can see even when Kompany scored Skrtel was still wrestling him to the ground.
    5. Yohan Cabaye should have received a second yellow card and Yanga-Mbiwa possibly a red as Newcastle gained an imaginary license to kick the shit out of our players because the Tiote disallowed goal. All 3 of our subs were from injuries sustained from Newcastle players kicking us off the park.
    6. Cardiff at home after a mere 30 seconds we should have had a penalty for a foul on Edin Dzeko, a possible red card as well if it was given.

    And as for the Arsenal game, Giroud’s offside decision was given about 3 seconds before he scored, Vincent Kompany the man who was marking him stopped playing altogether. Bendtner’s goal was clearly onside and should have stood. I’ve seen many Arsenal fans including my friends admit that even though Arsenal were begrudged a decision, City were the better team and deserved the win. Also in the Liverpool game and the Sterling offside, there wasn’t a 100% chance he was going to score! He was one-on-one with Joe Hart who could have stopped the potential goal.

    Decisions even themselves out and recently just because City have benefited from a couple of high profile decisions, we’re being accused of corruption? Whereas the decisions I pointed out above in lesser games go unnoticed. Corruption? Total bollocks.

  • philo

    to you all City supporters i think you are all being emitional hear.Walter was talking abt the media and how they ignores simple blatant errors or bias when City is playing.Lisa you think Arsenal FC is top of the league with shit players.if shit players give us more points than quality players then we will rather stick with those.wether Arsenal is going to win or not win the league is not here or there.we proud to be on top right now without buying success.we have won the league so many times more than City.that is success Lisa.we gona still win it in your lifetime with no oil money.Hard earned success my bro or dont wory abt City winning the league this year you are still very very far from what Arsenal have achieved in its History

  • I agree with the disgruntled Man City fans here who claim that they are doing well because of the quality of their players. This is emphatically true. But that is why I think that they shouldn’t have any sense of insecurity that will result in excusing unfair advantage from officials. Unlike many Gooners, I don’t really begrudge a team their good fortune. We got ours the day we signed Arsene Wenger (it’s different, I know but it’s good fortune all the same). I also don’t think that it is Man City’s fault that the media have ‘crowned’ them winners and the referees are, in cahoots, pushing to make this a reality.

    I hope the Man City fans visiting here understand this. My beef is with the media and their sucking; both at their jobs and to the rich and powerful. My article actually tried to dispel the notion that Man City are buying decisions or influencing them in any provable way.

    I want to believe that what all fans want is justice and fairness and of course, for the best performing team, not the richest or the most beloved of the press, to win.

  • Max

    I have recently begun my second era of going to watch AFC, having supported them regularly in the era of Brady, Rix, O’Leary, Sunderland et al. I love the experience now as profoundly as I did back then: the shared cause; seeing my favourite players try their socks off; the swell of noise as your team surge onto the attack; the liberating roar as the goal is scored. I don’t all that much care what the result is (I had already resigned myself at the Cardiff game to either a draw or a late breakaway by the visitors, but was still loving every minute). I really enjoyed watching the Man City/Arsenal game at the pub. I was frustrated that Arsenal defensive errors made City’s task easier, and felt that two disallowed goals might have stood (surely the linesman’s error, not the referee’s?), but reluctantly acknowledged that some of City’s play was superb.

    I think the work Untold has done in highlighting an issue with Man U is excellent (e.g. The one penalty in ten years at OT statistic), but would like to repeat a caveat I gave in response to another article a few weeks ago, which was not replied to at the time: whilst analysing other teams’ relationships with refereeing decisions can be very helpful, as soon as you start bemoaning Arsenal’s standing with the press or PGMOL, it looks like special pleading, whinging, and whining. And if it appeared down the line as if Arsenal were suddenly getting favourable treatment from referees at other teams’ expense, how would you manage your crusade then?

    I enjoyed Tony Tango’s gentle critique.

    I also thought Lee Probert had a jolly good game on Saturday, but I’m probably wrong!

  • swing

    One of the worst aspects of professional sport is the two faced nature of its fans, for instance there was no huge outcry from man city fans when yaya toure made a horror challenge on giroud however on the flipside they make reference to the nasri incident (newcastle) to defend their team. This is not just a man city issue it goes right across the league from arsenal fans all the way down to brighton hove fans. I just think fairness has been sacrificed for allegiance and the first change must come from us the fans before the referees, the managers, the players, and the clubs can follow.

  • menace

    @Tony Tango I like your approach. Firstly the PGMOL officials only officiate in the EPL and the odd official gets invited to officiate internationally. The head of any organisation does not have to fund strategy. The owners of Man City do not need profit nor money from their football team. They spend without having to earn it (hence a bottom line that shows a loss that brings tears to my eyes). Incidentally the Glazers must have tears in their eyes too. Their loans will soon be untenable. The Moon that saw the city supporter standing alone knows that the club belongs to the revenue from oil.

    As for allowing City to lose!!! LOL they were just awful and lost. Arsenal were also awful and lost to City, in spite of the visually impaired officials. Have you seen the ‘off side’ goals in the Arsenal match? and whilst I’m on the subject , How many goals did Man U & RVP score last season to give them 3 points? They would not have won the EPL if those decisions were correct. Yes, and my Aunt would have been my Uncle.

  • Tony Tango

    WalterBroeckx When I asked why the officials allowed us to lose at Villa and Sunderland (both directly due to offside goals) you basically said the conspiracy wasn’t in place then as United were the title favourites. As City were then seen as United’s main rivals were we actually the victim of the ‘media favourites plot’ and subsequently robbed of 2 points? Why didn’t the officials do more to help United in those early weeks, why haven’t they hindered Chelsea more and why did they allow that soft penalty for Suarez on Sunday? The biggest question of all is why haven’t the officials done more to stop Arsenal? Everyone at Arsenal claims they are the best team in the county so why haven’t the oil-purchased officials done something about it? I haven’t followed this blog for ‘the last couple of years’ as I’m a City fan so some direct answers would be appreciated.

  • swing,

    Good point. Fans should hold up their hands and admit so when their team get the advantage of a bad call. It does not take anything away from our team. At least there is no retrospective remedies for refs failings on the pitch. We rub salt into the injury when we call the victims of calls that benefited us “cry babies” and other nonsense. It is to every fan’s benefit that officials apply the rules of games consistently at all times.

  • menace

    @max @swing This is not an Arsenal crusade. It is trying to level the playing field. Trying to get all pitches level and all officials fair & consistent.

    What a beautiful game that would be, if skillful players were able to grow in England without being kicked and bullied. So many give up the game to avoid being crippled.

  • Cityboy

    I thought my comment might have been removed. Any reason why?

  • Rantetta

    Good article Boo.

  • Cityboy

    Ah I see it hasn’t it is just being moderated. My bad…

  • swing


    ‘It all evens out in the end.’ Lets say for arguments sake that this statement is closer to the truth. Does it even out over 10 games 1 season or 3 seasons, what if I get relegated does this extend to the championship, will I get promoted unfairly over some other team because of something that happened in the premiership 2 seasons ago.

    And what about the referee’s, do they consciously even things out or is it divine intervention. To put it another way does Mike Riley convene a meeting each week discussing the atkinson mistake for norwich against sunderland & how dowd is going to make it right for sunderland in the next game vs Cardiff. If so how do they keep track of this, is there a scoreboard.

    Do referees even it out for players as well as clubs, lets say wayne rooney (highly unlikely) is being denied stonewall penalties and being hacked every game whilst playing for Man Utd he then moves to West Brom, will Riley around his round table decide we (the refs) gave him such a torrid time at Man Utd that we should help him at West Brom, if this happens wouldn’t it be detrimental to Man Utd and beneficial to West Brom, how would riley then balance this out.

    Seems like an awful lot of equations to be balancing out.

  • TommieGun

    @ Brickfields – at what age did he turn on you? (I want to know when do I have to start being afraid…)

  • Stuart

    The usual claim is it evens out over the course of a season.

  • Gooner S


    I don’t think City are influencing situations in the same way that United under Ferguson appeared to. Yes, we can point to the away match at City and say we were hard done by with some of the decisions but we also defended rather poorly. Yes we can look at how they are funded and sneer at that – personally I don’t; I have some friends who are City fans and boy have they suffered over the years, I hope they are enjoyinging themselves presently as long as ultimately it is not at our expense (fingers crossed). City are a mighty fine team and are where they are because they are playing excellent football, with an excellent squad, that has a lot of depth.

    The issues of officials is different. There is a wealth of analysis done by Untold that would support the view that something is not right with match officials and their performances across the board, and I write that as somebody that was initially somewhat sceptical. I am perturbed that our TV coverage is ignoring it.

    I’m delighted with Arsenal this season. Before the season started I tipped City to win the league.I hope my prediction is very much wrong in favour of Arsenal!We’ll see!

  • Rick Before you accuse us of libel or slander (and really before you mention them you really ought to know the difference) it would be worth looking at the evidence that we draw upon. There’s a list of some of the articles that we have published at the end of – there have been some since, but that will get you going.

    The point is that these articles are written by referees and our reviews are undertaken by referees. Might be worth doing your research before accusing us.

  • Cityboy

    Just repeating the mantra Decisions even themselves out does not make it true. There is a whole website (Referee Decisions) that shows that this is not so, plus all the work on this site. Just go back and look at some of the articles. The reason we review referees and the reason why the BBC and others quote our work is because we have proven that this mantra is untrue.

  • Cityboy


    I know it is a weak statement and isn’t necessarily true. My point was that City have received bad decisions this season as well as benefited from them. It’s just the ones against us haven’t been as documented as the ones for us.

  • Sammy The Snake

    I must confess, I like the style of ManC football whereas I detest Chelsea’s negative kickball.

    I’d be very happy if ManC were crowned 2nd, they really deserve it. Of course, Arsenal would be first in my mind.

  • Parsnip

    OMG! Arsenal fans are hilarious!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Be interesting to see if any City fans deny that Fergies Utd have been seriously looked after.
    Once you accept that…if indeed one does, that is a start in realising something is seriously wrong in this league…and with the game in general. The case for City receiving any sort of bias or anything more is in its early days, and unproven. Certainly cannot recall them getting any big favours on a consistant level before this year What happened with Utd is a different matter. Things never evened themselves out with Fergie.
    If it happened once, it could happen again, at the start of the season, I personally thought Chelsea were more likely to get favours in the absence of Utd, not City. Just a gut feeling, along of course with following this site.
    But the way this league is run certainly demands vigilance, since the mainstream media will not go there, it is left to Untold play a big part in this vigilance.
    Any City fans doubting the work of this site should start to take a look at the ref previews before our games, many of them are uncanny predictors.

  • Gord

    There was no great effort on my part, I just happened to be reading the BBC/Sport/Football page late enough. What I don’t understand, is why no BBC employee thought that this story is as simple as they wrote it. Running a football club is a much bigger deal than running a referee association. And nobody is concerned about conflict of interest?

    The BBC story from yesterday references a BBC story from a year ago, when he became CEO of PGMOL.

    No concerns raised there. Article written in such a manner that it is perfectly reasonable for a former team CEO to say:

    > “My involvement will primarily be at a strategic level but I expect to have some tactical engagement with the wider stakeholders groups involved in refereeing.”

    Looking around in Google News, there isn’t a single article which thinks it is unusual for someone who is used to running a football team, from running the small company that assigns referees to games.

    Nobody even seems to be wondering who is going to become the new CEO of PGMOL. Who knows, maybe SAF is going to become head of PGMOL?

    Apparently Southampton had a list it was considering:
    > a list which reportedly includes Christian Purslow and Derek Llambias, former managing directors of Liverpool and Newcastle respectively.

    Does that mean Purslow and Llambias are going to be considered for PGMOL?

  • Parsnip – not as funny as the Man City fans who comment without actually checking on the mountains of detail on referees and ref bias on this site. It seems to me a bit like a man who picks up the Financial Times and writes in to complain that they haven’t listed the football results.

    I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a group of fans like the Man City fans for piling in with criticism without bothering to understand what sort of data is on this site in terms of referees. And we’ve been doing it for several years.

  • ChrisN

    I think that refs f our the favorites if that makes sense. We’ve got away with some hard tackling and professional fouling this
    Season that would have got us carded last year.

  • Parsnip

    Cityboy the decisions against city have actually cost them points, with the exception of Liverpool the ones for city haven’t. In fact they made no difference and to argue otherwise is simply conjecture, could have would have, if’s and buts. In the pool game the ref and liners were constantly poor, letting offside chances pass for pool as well as taking one away. So what if the pool players didn’t miss their offside chances? The goals would have stood 100% then what would these fools be saying? They are still wrong! These things do not and never have evened themselves out if they do city will be given 3 points taken from them Villa game by poor decisions. This lot are just loons well with the exception of the odd few.

  • ChrisN

    I’ve also seen many clear cut penalties not given to City just as they have not been given to ourselves perhaps on the basis of Refs attempting to clamp down on diving. We’ve maybe got kicked more, but we’ve been playing at a slower pace than city, so tend to get mired on opposition defenders.

  • Parsnip

    Tony, your mountains of detail are just that ‘YOURS’ LOL

  • Gooner S,

    Like you, I give Man City their dues and I don’t believe that they are influencing the refs. That is what the whole article tries to dispel.

    I think that the refs get their cues from the media and try to favour the media anointed teams.

    Man City have done nothing wrong. I refuse to blame Man City or any club for that matter (even Man United) for the incompetence/bias of the officials. I hope their fans understand this and stop being overly defensive about wrong calls that benefit their team.

  • bob

    “now both of these characters have stepped down”
    Has Murdoch stepped down as in relinquished control of his medja? Where?

  • Parsnip

    Bootoomee, how do you explain the calls against City then. You know the ones you won’t know much about as the apparently City loving media don’t make a fuss out of them? If they love us so much why didn’t they make a fuss? Why is it the City loving media did make a fuss out of the Liverpool offside and Tiote goal you’d have thought they’d want to play them down no? Utter nonsense!

  • WalterBroeckx

    So we were wrong two seasons ago in saying that the refs tried to help United to win the title?

  • bob

    “Tony, your mountains of detail are just that ‘YOURS’ LOL”
    Kudos, you really got one in here, didn’t you? Do you really write your own one-liners? Does this stuff work down at your local? Get you through first grade?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Meanwhile we get a new ref for the FA cup match. Robert Madley who has been promoted to the top flight this season.
    Oh to stay in the PGMOL tradition he is from the North of course. Still no refs from London or the South allowed in the PL…

  • AL

    I read the comments section about halfway down and couldn’t bother reading the rest, just picked out the ones from people I know talk sense. Too much nonsense.

    I agree 100% with you Bootoomee. Brilliant article. The media, like jayram said, subliminally influence what people’s thoughts are everyday before they go to bed, when they wake up, or going about their day. If you look at the downright dismissal of Arsenal’s chances by those in the media from day one up to this weekend, would you blame the refs for thinking hang on, this is the team that is favourite in everyone’s eyes and is supposed to win it this year, when reffing city games, thereby influencing their thinking. A ref with that mentality would rather give a decision for, rather than against such a team.

    Walter raised a very interesting point about an ‘ex’ city exec who now sits on the PGMOL board, and again you will find the media are to blame as they’re complicit in this by failing to talk about this conflict of interest. City fans are showing their true class, only last year they were getting hard done by the officials and the media never really took a shine to Mancini. Now that they’re getting all the decisions(in big games; if a team gets a bad decision against the likes of Cardiff it always has a chance of recovering) they have forgotten how rubbish the epl refs are. In a perverse sort of way, I would love a situation where by ferguson comes out of retirement and utd starts getting all those dodgy decisions again, and see what they will have to say.

  • marcus

    fascinating that this article has caused so much uproar.

    Point is, as Football IS fixed alludes to, football is a neo hyper-reality.

    I.E. The football authorities can (and do) operate in anyway they choose, and it doesn’t matter a jot, because this is not real life. This is just some mindless entertainment to distract people while …(insert appropriate text)…. they are losing their jobs, not being paid in line with the 10% inflation the govt denies, losing their pensions, etc etc etc etc

    When you watch JP Morgan being finned billions consistently for all their various crimes, but nobody really gives a toss, (e.g. Jamie Dimon isn’t sacked, the Bank isn’t forced to close) you have to realize that football is in the greater scheme of things piss in wind.

    To cut a lot of crap, Tony could put up 10 crazy facts about the EPL at the head of the blog, just to stop the lunatics coming on here talking about ‘conspiracy theories’.

    Crazy Fact 1) Arsenal went a whole season without getting penalty in the EPL

    2) The PGMOL is not audited or inspected by any outside body

    3) Various bodies are run or have directors with very clear club affiliations

    etc etc etc.

  • Parsnip

    Walterbreckx, yes you were wrong!
    Fergie will have tried his utmost to gain the advantage with them but that is what he always did and as far as it goes. No stupid conspiracy theories here I’m afraid, I’ll leave that to you lot!

    Bob, why use two words when one will suffice? What an intellectual you are!

  • WalterBroeckx

    So how did he do this then Parsnip? How did he tried to gain advantage?

  • bob

    Right: arsehole. (Intellectual enough?)

  • Parsnip

    Walterbroeckx, he did it berating them in his post match interviews which many do, pretty similar to what players actuality do in front of the cameras on the pitch hence the terrible performance of Mike Jones in the Newcastle game after he disallowed the goal, he could of sent three off he should have at least sent one off, why didn’t he? Was it the media or pressure from players and Manager? From that decision every decision went Newcastle’s way, was that Fergie or the media as well?

  • Parsnip

    Nah Bob I’d say simpleton sling it ya goon(er) lol

  • bob

    Agreed. It’s a faux life, because control over the real one demands distraction.

  • marcus


    Parsnip doesn’t live in the real world Walter. I wouldn’t bother engaging.

    He finds facts hilarious, and calls people who face engage with those facts, “conspiracy theorists”

    Football is just a diversion, but those like him who take it so seriously that they call other people with differing views ‘loons’, are clearly totally detached from reality.

  • Alan

    Bob and Marcus, why if you two see the conspiracy are you both following the ‘faux’ PMSL distraction that is Arsenal? You couldn’t make this stuff up! Don’t let football distract you the truth is out there!

  • bob

    Ver-ry good, lad. That’s three (3) whole syllables. I sensed there was some hope that the taxpayers didn’t get totally fleeced by ya. Now work on making sense and doing your homework. You might start with this:
    click on Referee Decisions there in the list to the left of the UA home page (it’s easy if you try), and read any one (if not 3) of Walter Broeckx’s (note the spelling) summations of last seasons refshite. That way, you see, you won’t have to repeat your (embarrasing and tax-wasting) moment of victory over Tony’s argument by telling him (the world) that the problem is that the data is Yours! (Tony’s) Really, mate, do a bit of homework if you dare and come back with a counter-argument to that evidence. (If this is wrote too intellectual, I’ll do it over again in single syllables. 🙂

  • bob

    Thanks for the advice. Some of us can do more than one thing at the same time, and with eyes wide open.

  • bob

    …oh, and we (you and I) live in that duality. And that, mate, is why some of us watch the medja as it spins the web that would ensnares. N’est-ce pas?

  • marcus


    It’s a very reasonable question. I really enjoy certain sports, and football is one.

    Some teams I enjoy watching a lot, e.g. Man City and Arsenal. I have a sentimental attachment to Arsenal because the first two matches (of three) I have ever watched in person (as a 6 year old), on the shoulders of my grandfather, were Chelsea V Arsenal. Frank McClintock buried a goal in one match and I can still visualize the ball nestling by the post to this day.

    To date, my disdain for the way the game is run does not yet outweigh my enjoyment of the game.

    However, I have no passion for the game, more a kind of light pleasure.

    Sort of like going to the beach at sunset.

  • Mike

    I have read this article and the comments with much confusion….is it saying that the premiership title winners are supported by referee decisions rather than being the best team….
    if that is the case then obviously Arsenal must have done something to really upset them since they haven’t won anything in 8 years!
    Arsenal are playing well but City are playing better football. The title will be decided between three teams…Chelsea are winning but not necessary with style…Arsenal play with style but not goal-scoring flare and City play with style and goal-scoring flare.
    All of this has little to do with referees….decisions, both good and bad, happen to all teams….facts need proof not opinions….the goal at Newcastle might have been given by some refs and not others…was it a mistake, possibly, was the ‘offside player’ active…well if he had been inactive the ball would have hit him instead of going straight into the goal.
    Stop the paranoia, enjoy your football and welcome a possible title decider between Arsenal and City in March….although I think it will be over by then….come on you blues!

  • bob

    An admittedly feeble attempt to imagine what John Lennon might have sung were he ever a Gooner (at least in spirit) or have read Walter’s lifting of the veil reports:

    Imagine there’s no refshite.
    It’s so very hard to do.
    No Riley nor Don Fergus, no Dean nor Taylor too.
    Imagine all the Oilers, just hoarding all their fees,
    You and Me…
    You may think that I’m a Screamer,
    But ya know I’m not the only one,
    And some day you may join us,
    And the League be rightly won.

  • Alan

    Funny that Bob you don’t use a capital at the start of ‘world’ then wrongly use one in ‘Yours’. You fail to close opened brackets, then go on to use a mathematical term ‘summation’, you could try ‘summery’ instead, just a thought though. You then have the delusional cheek to say someone else has been ’embarrassing and tax wasting’! Not that I’m some sort of grammar Nazi like yourself mind, what a fail! Like I said you couldn’t make this stuff up!

  • marcus

    Also Alan, I regard football as being quite a strong social force. Footballers are role models (apparently). So I watch it as part of the world around me.

    One tendency I have found very destructive is the complete lack of authority the referee has in the modern game. Having been brought up to respect authority, (whether or not I agreed with it), I find the way players swear and bully the officials as socially destructive.

    I noticed this trend seemed to start, or gathered a lot of steam, in the MU 90’s era, were the MU players seemed to have sense of entitlement, ( or should I say enTITLEment), which translated into barracking, badgering, badmouthing, bullying and berating of the referees.

    I think this is a horrible trend, and a horrible example to young people. The fruits of this are evident in today’s society, although obviously there are other contributory factors involved.

  • bob

    That’s all ya got?
    Huh? Grammar Nazi? Were I to follow your lead, grammar Nazi (really cute, your usage), that spelling would be “summary”. (Note the period at the end of the sentence.) Anyway, way off topic and off each other’s radars. A total failure to communicate. In fairness to the writer, let’s spare the topic of the day from our further mutual contempt and agree to disagree another day. Hmm?

  • Yassin

    Its pride we are lacking, we are not proud of what our team has done, we are scared of losing the league to City and then we become losers….
    No damn no, when all this money, bias, difficulties Arsenal has faced, if they fall in the last moments to City, the fans shall applaud this team like champions in the last game at Emirates, those players shall stand with full pride of what they achieved, that is if we fall.
    And wait come may, we will be there like men. When the h**k is city game, hope we are not killed with fixture s*** just to show who.doubts what are those warriors on the field. If other teams cant make City lose points, we will. But please refs, stay out of it this time.

  • Edu

    i’ve always smelt a rat when fergusons united played..referees always had a hand in their wins somehow if the game was tight..if arsenal are playing clean and not inducing anyone with their wallet which they could if they wanted,they should go out on the pitch and belt out convincing wins..

  • This article is nonsense. Look at the stats – City on average have more players booked per game than their opponents, despite having more possession.

  • Alan

    As I said Bob you’re the one making yourself out to be some sort intellectual not me or Parsnip! Shit Grammar Nazi u!

    Marcus I agree about the lack of authority Refs have in a game but surely that’s down to sites like as well as TV pundits giving it out that ‘this was wrong, that was wrong’ after they’ve seen it from 10 different angles and slow mo 10 different times! The reality is the ref’s decision final, he’s there to ref the game as he sees it not the media. I watched a game from 76′ the other day and the commentator said ‘Lee doesn’t like that decision one bit, well he’ll have to lump it’ Lee was right!! But never the less, it’s how the ref sees it, end of. When refs are treated like that again then and only then well they get respect that they should already have! To get that back ban any player questioning him except captains with no exception, ban and fine Managers from berating them at any time, give them back the respect they should have already. Refs do not cheat, they do not play to favor those deemed by any old so and so who suddenly decides the media are favoring a team. It’s total nonsense!

  • menace

    @Parsnip, take this from me, I’m Indian – in English the word ‘could’ is not followed by ‘of’ but by ‘have’. So the phrase is ‘could have’ not ‘could of’. It will be really worth your while learning English before you try to comment on the quality of this blog.

  • David Dukes

    And the counter argument:

    In other words, it’s nonsense. City have had just as many bad decisions against as for, it’s just that the media focuses on those ‘for’ because they happened in big games.

  • WalterBroeckx


    you said: he did it berating them in his post match interviews which many do.

    Yes many do. So why on earth would it make any difference then when Fergie did it?

  • Passing

    City fans should read properly before commenting. The article is more about how media influences the referees’ bias and denied that City bribed the referees because before these City never get any favours from referees. Only when the media started to hype City and stop loving Utd that City gets favorable big decisions. Like that disallowed Newcastle goal, I’m certain that hundreds of goals have scored like that with an offside player near the keeper and allowed to stand, but suddenly the ref decided to question the goal and disallows it even when the linesmen told him it is not offside. Why did he do that? Usually as long as it crossed the goal line and the linesmen doesn’t declare it is offside (even if it is a wrong call) the goal will stood. But this time the ref seems determined to find fault with the goal. That is a very strange action by the ref that day.

    And it is a worrying fact that an ex-CEO of Man City who just retired 12 months ago now is in PGMOL. A professional organization like PGMOL must always be seen as independent in mind and appearance and this appointment does not shows PGMOL as that. In fact PGMOL should not hired anyone that has worked in a football club or at least set that the person has not involved in any football club for at least 3 or 5 years. For an organization that holds so much power in a football match PGMOL should be more transparent and accountable in their workings.

  • Jem

    This is indeed sad, although I do agree with some. Yes the media has practically handed the league to City, something which has been helped by other premier league managers (mourinho most prominent) only too happy to pile on the pressure at City. I can assure you the only ones who spread rubbish of walking away with the league and quadruples (when we haven’t even play Barcalona yet) are ALL NON CITY FANS. But yes it is true, the media have decided to push this crap (which again I point out does not do City any favours). As for bias refs, I really don’t want to go there but feel obliged to after so many people going on about particularly the Newcastle decision and the Liverpool match. Bigots never see anything but what they want to see. In Liverpool match the offside was a mile onside, however you fail to mention the 3 PENALTIES City should have had for Skrtel swinging out of Kompany, one of those times Kompany still managed to put the ball in the net. As for Newcastle 3 players standing in 6 yard box one jumps out of way to avoid the ball DEFINITE OFFSIDE, & it’s not City or the refs fault that non of you seem to understand the offside rule. If you want another recent precedent , this weekend, Roma v Livorno, Roma scored, shot from outside the box, Roma player, stepped out of the way from offside position, ball in net, DISSALLOWED. And that was only 1 player offside, Newcastle had 3 in 6 yard box. My family (on my wifes side) are all Roma mad, and agreed it was offside. However Roma were winning 3-0 at the time so I’m not so sure it would have been the same if it was a tight game. Youre playing well (Arsenal) youre top of the league, and you are still fucking complaining. You are truly a sad bastard.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    TommieGun @ 20th.Jan 1:22pm. -It was the 2nd season of Moanrhino’s 1st coming ! But just like the apples don’t fall too far from the tree , he’s obsessed with Arsenal !
    Whatever Chelski does or don’t do , he always says, “Arsenal should this or that ,AW should this or that !”
    Its at puberty that the young cub thinks he knows all (very flawed thinking !) and contemplates challenging the old lion !
    Its a standing joke that he has had seen more managers at Chelski than I ‘ve seen at Arsenal since 1971 !
    Why , he has had more managers than years of support !
    My older son follows ManUre and used to wonder why I kept saying that the EPL is fixed .Reality is a runway train heading for him !

  • bob

    “The reality is the ref’s decision final.”
    DER REALITY! (Now who’s the Nazi?)

  • bob

    So sorry, Parsnip, my above is meant for Sir Alan’s eyes only. (Sorry, I’m wasting taxpayer dollars on my inability to read who’s who.)

  • bob

    oh, Alan,
    I can’t stand anti-intellectuals, ‘specially when they wear it as a badge of honor. It’s the ideas that count, mate. Full stop.


    Bootoomee, Well written article. Anyone who thinks that the media cannot influence football is delusional. The media fixes much bigger things such as elections and other world events. They can get their agenda across by over-saturating the airwaves with half truths and innuendos or completely ignoring the obvious. I commented on Untold Arsenal when the Alex Ferguson and the referees contacting one another story came out. I said if this happened over here in the States the media would be scrambling over each other to be the first to do a hard hitting expose on the stinking fetid mess. Such as the Pete Rose betting on Baseball story that seemed to go on forever over here. I boldly predicted that the cowardly British media would sweep the whole thing under the rug. I kept waiting for the story to break to no avail. NIL, NADA, NEIN, ZERO, ZILCH, NOTHING. I guess it wouldn’t do to have one of the Nation’s footballing Icons exposed for what he really was. A FUCKING CHEAT. I don’t wanna hear the media can’t influence anything, It’s the complete opposite. The media influences everything that they choose to.


    Thanks for the kind words. You completely get the point that the article is all about. It is sad that Man City fans feel that it slights their club when my grudge is with the media. I also try to dispel some of the suspicion of oil money influence that some Gooners have.

    You are absolutely right about how things would be in the US concerning the referees. Say what you may about you Americans but you don’t tolerate cheating. At least not in your sports. And you Americans don’t take it as an indictment of your country when corrupt people are exposed, whether in politics or sports. I think the British media personalise their football obsessively and because of their over-the-top coverage of scandals involving foreigners, they seem to be so scared of their greatest export being shown to run in a fraudulent way. That is why they all always leap to the league officials’ defence whenever they screw up.

    I don’t think it is monetary corruption; I think it is blind patriotism and fear of being shown up to not being “all that”.

  • marcus

    If we were having a reasoned discussion with the Man city crew, (assuming that is who they are, and not some schills delegated to defend the honour of the EPL), I would say this

    1) Man City are a good club who play good football. Its not the score or outcome of the league that is the issue. i.e. if they had beaten us 7-6 at the Etihad, so be it. Likewise if they won the league on an even playing field, good for them

    2) The jury is not yet in on the ‘manky mantle’. – which is to say, have they inherited the Man U ‘most favoured status’. Maybe they too have had some injustices…a thorough analysis of the season by Walter’s team will give a professional answer to that question when they come to analyze the whole season.

  • Alan

    Bon you’re Intellectual in your own mind i truly think you thick that! As most conspiracist types seem to even though they’re really nothing but head cases! Lol, I thought u were leaving the grammar Nazi stuff out, couldn’t resist pointing out a typos from an iPhone eh? I was making a point that basically those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stone, u Sir seem to be throwing many!

    Marcus I don’t know if u noticed but that berating is now very much part and parcel of the game, just like players rolling around as if they’ve been shot after being touched to make it more obvious to the ref. From Pulis to fergie they all do it, some to a lesser extent. It’s starting to be a requirement of the job, the main reason Utd hired Moyes IMO. Just ask Wenger he’s a time served master at it!

    Pick the bone outa that Bob

  • Alan

    Last post was to Walter not the conspiracist nutter

  • marcus

    Your lack of knowledge means you need to learn things before you shoot your mouth off Alan.

    The term conspiracy theory was invented by the CIA to hide their own handiwork. Oswald was never tried in any court.

    Nixon and John Connally, Us President and US treasury secretary shot alongside Kennedy) both attributed the murder of JFK to the same person…..

    Lyndon B Johnson

    They, (Nixon and Connally), are your conspiracy types…or is that caricatures.

    The pattern of incumbent assassinating his predecessor in a coup d’etat is a familiar one through history. Shakespeare knew it well.

    Only the CIA would have the brass balls to label those familiar and knowledgeable with the affairs of man , the human heart, and the patterns of history….’conspiracy types’.

  • It's Grim Oop North

    Hello Gooners,

    it’s been a long time since I last joined in your madness on Untold, as I got frankly sick of the way you present your statistics on referee performance as “significant”.

    Your findings last season showed absolutely no bias in favour of any football team apart from Man United, and showed no bias against any football teams at all, and that includes Riley in regards to the Arsenal.

    In brief, you took wins and losses as your “proof”, whilst neglecting to look at how draws also count to the final points tally over a season.

    I did, however, take them into consideration, and I did share my results with you.

    All your efforts proved, was there was no statistical significance whatsoever for or against any team by any referee or by the PGMOL, apart from the aforementioned bias overall for Man United.

    the Arsenal are not targeted by the referees, and have not been last season for sure (according to your stats).

    I am afraid for all the data you have collated, you simply do not know how to properly analyse it – I told you this last season, and you still have not addressed the critical errors you made.

    Unless you take into account the draws under the referees, then the conclusions you come to will always be miles out, as draws can be the difference between statistical significance, and random chance – when I put the points in from draws, there was nothing significant in your data, apart from Man United.

    I hope you’ve amended your flawed analysis this season, but going on this article and it’s tin foil hat paranoia, I fear the worst.

    Of course you’ve gone fishing again to annoy City fans, which is fair enough, but don’t be slagging me off because as you know, I have spent many an hour attempting to get you lot back down to planet Earth.

    Might I say, you should be enjoying the fruits of your big spending so far this season, but I predict you will tail off towards the end of the season as your squad is not deep enough to see off City and Chelsea, as I pointed out at the start of the season, your business was done too late, with not enough new faces.

    It’s a shame you are all so fixated on these conspiracy theories and cannot seem to engage in real football discussion, it just makes you out as mean spirited and snobbish.

    Nothing seems to have changed much, which I think ought to make you look at your status as football fans – do you really enjoy this fatalistic worldview you have adopted?

    Anyhow, I’ll go back to watching City playing the best football I’ve ever seen, averaging over 4 goals a game at home, presumably some of those scorchers have been from the very boots of the men in black according to you lot!!

  • marcus

    Your lack of knowledge means you need to learn things before you shoot your mouth off Alan.
    The term conspiracy theory was invented by the CIA to hide their own handiwork. Oswald was never tried in any court.
    Nixon and John Connally, Us President and US treasury secretary shot alongside Kennedy) both attributed the murder of JFK to the same person…..
    Lyndon B Johnson
    They, (Nixon and Connally), are your conspiracy types…or is that caricatures.
    The pattern of incumbent assassinating his predecessor in a coup d’etat is a familiar one through history. Shakespeare knew it well.
    Only the CIA would have the brass balls to label those familiar and knowledgeable with the affairs of man , the human heart, and the patterns of history….’conspiracy types’.

  • Tony Tango

    Just one final question I have for those who support this theory. Would you say that at any time over the last 20 years Arsenal have been the beneficiary’s of such help from the officials? In the past you have met the criteria laid out by the author of this blog – best players, media darlings, League favourites etc. So, has this applied to Arsenal and if you win the League will this bias be transferred to you next season?

  • manonthemoon

    Go tell it to the pigeons… CTID

  • marcus

    If it does Tony, UA will probably be the first to break the story

  • AL

    I have yet to see any team getting dismissed after having topped their domestic table for that long the way Arsenal have been dismissed (since September, a good 5 months now. Not like Liverpool who’ve only led for hrs only. Or City who have also led for hrs only). And who’s to blame for that, the media of course.

    Even in Spain, where a suggestion that anyone other than Barcelona or R Madrid could win the title is more likely to result in one getting sectioned in a psychiatric unit, Atletico Madrid are being rated as very possible title winners this season. And this is despite playing second fiddle to Barca for most of the season so far. Why, one might ask, do the journos over there see in a team that last won the la liga title nearly 20 years ago. A club that lost its only world class striker who helped bring them back to competing again with the best last season, while their already strong rivals each strengthened by buying what might be deemed future ballon d’or winners(well, in Neymar’s case, that is, the other will always be famous for that ridiculous price tag). Because the Spanish media are looking at the evidence at hand, and not past reputations. The English media sometimes make me laugh. Actually let me rephrase that, ‘most of the times make me laugh’ 🙂

  • Alan

    Marcus, Always in football club owners have invested and those who did the most and wisest usually won. But that changed in 93′ people got greedy, they could see the potential of making the few rich, by giving those few the money that used to go to the many. Is this the way of making a true level playing field? I think not!. I think you’ll find it’s those that benefited from the lopsided payments year after year getting stronger and stronger that were winning on a totally uneven playing field but acting as if the pile of money they were given to spend has nothing to do with it,,comical! Problem was business men started to notice this uneven playing field and thought I’ll have a bit of that, the greedy ones at the top of that playing field didn’t like it at all and decided to stop the investment at other clubs calling it ‘fair’ lol they got rid of what had always gone on in football to varying degrees to defend the own grubby, greedy little pockets they needed that investment to stop to help keep them where they were. Where’s your theory on that? No conspiracy there eh?

  • Alan

    Marcus you’re not well!

  • marcus

    ewwwww, that hurts Alan!

  • OlegYch

    Walter, there were no wrongly disallowed goals in that match
    Giroud made a shot after the game was stopped and Bendtner scored from offside

  • TJ

    City fans.

    Please do not believe for one second that this is what 99% of Arsenal supporters believe. Have a look through the comments and you will see it is the same 20 people commenting commenting the same rubbish over and over again. The comments from some people on this site purportedly representing Arsenal fans are based on opinion and speculation (from a deluded Arsenal perspective)- There is not one shred of proof.

    I hope you know that any Arsenal fan here who dares to say anything negative about the club, or question anything about Monsieur Wenger is put into an imaginary anti- Arsenal organisation called the AAA. Arsene has never been wrong you know. And if you think he is you are not allowed voice your opinion on it or you are anti- Arsenal and the Untold sheriff the infallible Bootoomee and his team of deputies will reprimand you.

    Bootoomee at 12.24 you say “I have my suspicion of monetary corruption but I have no proof”, but at 2.27 you say ” I refuse to blame Man City or any club for that matter (even Man United). So are you actually suggesting the media are part of the !monetary corruption” you speak of? Or who are you suggesting are paying off the refs?


    Bootoomee, I always look forward to your articles and comments on Untold Arsenal. You are what we Yanks like to say, ” Not afraid to tell it like it is ” I wonder if all those Man. City supporters even bothered to finish reading your article before posting their ridiculous comments. I know that the Arsenal have benefited from a few dubious decisions in the past 40 something years that I have followed the team. I also don’t feel the need to comment on all the wrong calls that went against us like these City fans have done in response to your article. By the way, No team has suffered more than Arsenal in the past decade in the wrong decision debate. That is factual thanks to the work of Walter and the boys on Untold Arsenal. You are correct to say us Americans don’t tolerate cheating in our sports. We don’t like it in our everyday life also. Our media has toppled Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, Governors, Mayors and financial institutions such as Enron and Banking Giants. I watch all sports over here and the Networks replay every dubious call over and over. The announcers give their opinions on if the ref or umpire made the right decision or the wrong one. From what I understand from your recent comments is that your networks don’t show replays of wrong offsides decisions anymore. How do you guys put up with that Fucking Bullshit. That wouldn’t be tolerated over here for one second. One of the Chief Justices on our Supreme Court once said that ” Sunlight is the best disinfectant ” He was so right. The Cowardly British Media are just of bunch of sweep it under the rug Motherfuckers. THAT IS JUST SO SHAMEFULL

  • Paul

    Paranoia paranoia everyone’s trying to get me…….

  • Alan

    TJ that explains a lot it’s like a mental ward, for a minute I thought some sort of virus was spreading in North London and dreading it hitting Manchester lol. Site full of nutters, ya just a site full ov nutters!

  • Billy big boots

    I do fear for the bloggers sanity. We often hear the term ” history ” when arguing with our neighbours, as in ” you don’t have history ” my reply to this would be ” but we have a future, what’s more important? ” now it’s all a conspiracy, my answer to this would be ” your already making excuses for your short comings, and that’s also coming from Stamford bridge.

    So basically it’s a case of all cockneys start using silly reasons as an excuse for being Bottlers and losers


  • mcfcok

    any championships arsenal have ever won since the first world war should not be recognised, you still have never been promoted. Henry Norris and the highest ticket prices in the league is all you need to know about Arsenal and their mythical we do everything the right way stance.

  • andy bishop

    @ TJ beware of the untold police that will now track your every word. lol

  • Joey

    Away at Villa early on in the season City lost 3-2. Villa’s first was offside and their second came from a free-kick won via a dive.

    Away at Sunderland in October, City lost 1-0. Phil Bardsley shoved over James Milner en route to scoring and then Larsson should have been sent off for a malicious tackle on Garcia.

    Against Liverpool, Raheem Sterling scored a perfectly good goal that was ruled out for offside. City were lucky. Martin Skrtel in the same game, consistently fouled Vincent Kompany from every City corner, which was alluded to on MOTD. City were unlucky. Those decisions balanced themselves out.

    Away at Swansea on New Year’s Day, Bony equalised for Swansea. He was offside. City won the game anyway which probably would have happened in the Newcastle game, had Tiote’s goal counted.

    As for the 6-3, Giroud was wrongly called offside then scored 3 seconds later, after everyone else had stopped. If everyone hadn’t have stopped he wouldn’t have had the time to turn and shoot.

    Stop talking complete and utter nonsense, you biased little man.

  • TJ,

    My old nemesis, it’s been a very long time!

    I’m glad that you have new friends in City fans to play with. I can see that you are still a mental midget seeking relevance and intellectual acceptance. Hope you are no longer a voyeur though.

    You are welcome back to Untold!

  • Monkeyspanker


    I don’t usually feel the need to reply to a post that panders to conspiracy theories but I would like to make some points.

    Over the last 15 yrs Arsenal have without doubt played a brand of attacking football second to none, until City’s recent money, acquisitions and attacking flair came into effect to challenge that. Yes we have bought expensive players on ludicrous salaries (several from Arsenal who willingly took the oil money every season to balance the books of your stadium financing). No fan will turn their back on investment that betters the club they love and breathe. In short Arsenal were a selling club for a few seasons but this season have stabilised their defence and kept a settled team playing good (sometimes great) football as well as investing in the team. Arsenal being ignored regularly on MOTD as serious title candidates is as you say ludicrous. You are top of the league and there on merit. City have had a couple of decisions go there way recently in the Liverpool & Newcastle games but they were in the first half hour on both occasions and Liverpool scored very soon after before retreating into a we are 1 nil up shut up shop mode then tried playing again once 2-1 down. The decisions were dubious but not influenced by money or power. We don’t surround referees regularly unlike some (Man U/chelski/jack Wilshire) and are playing a brand of football that cannot be ignored. Let us enjoy it for a while as we have lived in the shadows for decades whilst everybody pitied us due to Utd’s success. Arsenal are very well respected but our hearts can only bleed so long at such ramblings.

  • bottom line is who takes a team like arsenal seriously A TEAM THAT CHANGES THE RULES OF FOOTBALL TO SUIT [corrupt end of]city should of scored 14 against the voyeurs.

  • TJ


    As per usual, you avoid answering anything you are asked directly- so I ask again, based on your previous comments and posts, and suspicions of monetary corruption admittedly with no proof, who are you suggesting are paying off the refs?

  • MCFCTrick

    So…through ‘oil money’ and dodgy deals with refs and the media, City are winning games uh? It’s drivel at best, but considering that Arsenal the club that does things the ”right way” bought themselves into the top tier in the first place, it reeks of hypocrisy. And of all clubs to talk of ‘fixing’, Arsenal should be the last….

  • marcus

    It’s a good piece Bootoome, I am surprised at the amount of invective it has drawn, but I guess we are experiencing the social media version of the Posnan; multitudes of Man City fans bearing their arse as one.

    The collective arse has produced a lot of hot air….now where were we.

  • The Beast

    Thank god for TJ and Gooner S rare voices of North London sanity ! Fellow Blues I wouldn’t bother engaging with Walter and his band of paranoid fuckwits it is an entirely pointless exercise. Attempted to myself after the match in December when they were bleating on about 2 marginal offside calls being further evidence of an evil conspiracy against Arsenal. By the way Walt still waiting for you to explain how that dodgy promotion was entirly innocent and above board…

  • marcus

    It’s a good piece Bootoome, I am surprised at the amount of invective (and gratuitous insults) it has drawn, but I guess we are experiencing the social media version of the Posnan; multitudes of Man City fans bearing their arse as one.

    The collective arse has produced a lot of hot air….now where were we.

  • chris, city fan

    Bootoomee makes two points which I think would surprise most fair minded City fans:

    “Are the refs favouring Man City? I believe so based on strings of bad officiating in games involving them but with the victims of the bad calls always being their opponents.”


    “There is no doubt in my mind that Man City are being favoured but, in my opinion, it is because they are the new anointed team of the media. Of course, I could be wrong but I can at least back up my notion in terms of the coronation-like coverage of Man City compared to Arsenal and even Chelsea. ”

    I do not think I am the only City fan who has visited the Untold Referees site before. In fact, many of its conclusions were essentially the same as City fans had reached as regards previous seasons – that City actually suffered more than their fair share of wrong game-changing decisions from referees, that certain referees (Lee Mason for instance) were a lot more anti-City than others, and that United gained hugely from incorrect refereeing calls,far more than any other team.

    But there are two problems with the first point I quoted: Your own research for all seasons up to this one is completely inconsistent with the idea that City actually benefit from referee bias (conscious or unconscious) and as I understand it very little has been done in terms of referee reviews in recent times due to the personal circumstances of the main contributors (as to which,my sympathies). So assuming you are not a match-going regular at the Etihad it is difficult to see on what you base your conclusion that City gain decision after decision unfairly, other than on the basis of media coverage. The sense that media reportage has influenced the first point I quote is heightened by the lack of actual examples you give – Tiote’s goal (which was done to death in the media) and two disallowed goals against Arsenal (one of which was plainly a correct call). It is telling that none of the other examples given by other posters in the thread are decisions which were not equally highlighted by the media – e.g. the Liverpool offside decision.

    The problem with that approach is that media coverage is entirely selective. Witness Saturday’s game against Cardiff. In the first 30 seconds David Silva put Dzeko clear through on goal about 15 yards out. His legs were taken from behind as he prepared to shoot. Clear penalty and clear red card. How much media attention was devoted to that? Virtually none whatsoever. So it is not paraded alongside the litany of decisions which appear to favour City. Likewise the Nasri tackle in the Newcastle game. How much attention was given to the obvious red card challenge which has put Nasri out of the game for 2 months but was deemed only a yellow? Almost None. Even less was given to whether three other Newcastle players on yellow cards might have received second yellow cards for tackles which would usually warrant yellow cards but which were not given by the referee who was already under pressure for denying Newcastle (controversially but correctly) the Tiote goal. The suggestion that City get decision after decision in their favour is absurd to those who actually spend their time watching City games. As you can neither point (I assume) to a long list of City games you have attended this season, or to an up to date sequence of impartial reviews, it is not easy to see how you can possibly be justified in making the first point I quoted. I do not blame anyone for being misled by a media that highlights some decisions but not others, but it is a flimsy basis for you to base a theory on that referees are suckered by media fawning into giving City the benefit of every dubious decision and never their opponents.

    The second point I have quoted seems to me to be completely contradictory to the first. I cannot see how or why referees would favour City consciously or unconsciously based on media representation because in the last couple of months media coverage of refereeing decisions featuring City has been overwhelmingly to focus on controversial decisions City have benefitted from and to ignore ones which have gone against us. Going back to the Dzeko penalty incident against Cardiff, it is difficult to understand why the media ignored an obvious penalty and red card if City are the new media darlings but less difficult to understand when you remember that a certain Mr Suarez had shall we say ‘engineered’ a penalty which gave the media plenty to fill their column inches and airtime. Likewise the Newcastle game of which much has been made. If City were the media darlings, why was the focus of punditland on the disallowed goal and the offside rule, rather than on the fact that Newcastle kicked lumps out of City for the next hour and got away with it completely? Many of the above posts list a series of wrong and game changing decisions which have gone against City this season. I am not surprised most Arsenal fans do not know of these instances because the ‘fawning’ media has been largely silent about them. Odd, really, if the article has any validity whatever.

    There has been a lot of media comment to the effect that City are playing some incredible football and are likely to win the league, but does anyone seriously think that this is because the media has after 5 years woken up to the fact that City is one of the richest clubs on the planet (perhaps they missed the Robinho purchase in 2008), or is it perhaps because we now regularly put 4,5 or 6 and even 7 past visiting teams? If it is simply sucking up to money it is difficult to understand why the media has suddenly changed its tune in the last three months, and it is an amazing coincidence that the media’s volte-face about City is simultaneous with City now playing such sumptuous football.

    On the other hand, it is not difficult to see why a journalist thinks that a team whose average home result is a 4-1 win is quite likely to win the league. Out of interest, and without cheating by looking it up, can any Arsenal poster reply with how many times City have scored 3 or more times this season? A clue is that City have played 34 matches in all competitions this season (in which 103 goals have been scored).

    Finally, those who judging from the above posts look down their noses at City’s recent success coming as a direct result of huge financial investment, try learning some of your own history. The Hill-Wood family comes from our part of the world, as some of you may know, and his investment in Arsenal (in terms of its timing in Arsenal’s development and its effects) is in fact rather well known amongst City fans, as was his first foray into football many years before his involvement with Arsenal. Huddersfield is not a million miles away from Manchester, so the dismantling of that team and its removal to the South to Arsenal;’s benefit is also well known. In recent times, Arsenal’s role in promoting the Premier League and Champions League cartels is well documented. The clubs who have been powerful in Europe over the last 20 years have shamelessly created an environment where their dominance cannot be challenged by anyone from outside the cartel unless investment of the sort seen at City, PSG, Chelsea and so on is made. Those Arsenal fans ( a small proportion I would hope) who choose to sneer, try reflecting on your own traditions and conduct before passing judgment on clubs whose benefactors came along later.

  • TJ

    @Alan and @the Beast

    This site has NOTHING to do with North London.

  • TJ,

    I chose to ignore your question as it makes little sense other than you trying to be smart by half with your snide comments.

    I have suspicion of monetary corruption BUT I HAVE NO PROOF. Your question about who is “paying off the refs” is therefore unanswerable as I had clearly stated and you, funny enough, have quoted. I wrote the piece specifically to dispel the notion among some Gooners that Man City are buying the favourable decisions.

    It appears that the only people who are either incapable of seeing this in the piece or understanding its meaning are you and your Man City supporting friends.

  • It's Grim Oop North

    Not one reply to my rebuttal of Untold’s evidence and interpretation of the same?

    what does that tell you?

    you would rather the nasty City fans called you names than engage in sensible debate I suppose, don’t like it when one of us has actually read all the “refshite” articles, and found the conclusions to be fundamentally flawed.

    I will explain for those who haven’t got several weeks to plough thru the historical articles –

    Untold take victories and defeats under a referee, and deduce from that whether that referee is biased in some way.

    they do not take into account the draws under that referee, which is the fundamental flaw – when one does add in the draws, you find there is no statistical significance – that is to say, the fluctuations which were so vivid become flatter – so Mike Riley who is pilloried under the Untold interpretation as biased against the Arsenal, suddenly his statistics look perfectly normal given the incidence of draws when he is in charge – he has less wins but more draws when he refs the Arsenal.

    However, whatever amuses you and keeps your prejudices alive, then fill your boots, just don’t be surprised when everybody else thinks you’re mental 🙂

  • The Beast

    I’m glad about that TJ as I lived in the area for a few years in the mid nineties and have fond memories.

  • TJ


    The only person on the web allowed to contradict himself because he is infallible….

    You say you wrote a ‘piece’ specifically to dispel the notion among some Gooners that Man City are buying the favourable decision. Then you comment, and I quote you

    “I have my suspicion of monetary corruption but I have no proof”.

    So, you just wrote to dispel the notion among some Gooners that Man City are buying the favourable decision and then suggest in your comments that someone is buying them. D’oh. And you have the arrogance to call me a ‘mental midget’. The irony.

  • TJ,

    It also says a lot about your character that because you and I had a fallout and a couple of other regulars told you that you were wrong, you have now returned with unveiled vendetta against Untold. Other than our spat, I can’t recall you having problem with the blog, so why all of a sudden did you become so belligerent and anti-everything that the blog does?

    I recall your last post was a homage to Tony and Walter, while making clear that you were going to change your username because of me. What has changed since then? Why the sudden anti-Untold posts?

    Anyway, I have moved on. You need to do the same. I know you loved this blog and enjoyed commenting here. Please don’t change your online personality just to spite me and the very few who spoke out against you.

  • manchesterblue

    Self entitled, ill informed, painfully spoilt, laughingly inaccurate bollocks… should be filed under second year comprehensive school essays…’The day I went to The Etihad’

  • TJ


    AHA. So you cannot addresasanything in my post? Quite telling really Einstein

  • TJ,

    I have the suspicion that you are a Martian but I have no proof 🙂 . Suspicions are just suspicions. They mean nothing without proof. I have a lot of suspicions about a lot of things but without proof, there is no point in making allegations. I tried to dispel ALLEGATIONS being made by some of oil money buying decisions.

    Talking about “monetary corruption”, ever heard of the calciopoli? If money was used to induce results in Italy, it is not beyond reason to “suspect” that it could happen in England. Suspecting that it could happen and believing that it is happening are 2 totally different things. I suspect that it could be happen but I don’t believe it is.

    I hope that I have cleared that up.

  • Blue blue electric blue

    What a load of RUBBISH. We should have had men sent off in a load of matches including when we saw you off 6-3 and against newcastle. This is just making an excuse for the Tarquins when the league is lost

  • TJ,

    Yes, I’m so intimidated by your haranguing. You need to be patient in online forums; some of us like to think before we post.

  • The font

    It’s. GRim up north
    I too am enjoying city’s game this year all the goals the star studded players the hype from the media you have it all you beat us 6-3 and due to your forwards being on fire I would say you just about deserved it but on another day you could also have lost. You still have to come to us which will be a toss of a coin who wins giroud santi and especially ozil have not got anywhere near there peak yet but with playing the same amount of games as you we are still 1 point in front of you. With Ramsey coming back along with ox we are capable of beating all in front of us. I genuinely hope you finish in front of chelsea but do not take it for granted we are going to collapse I can honestly say outside 1 or 2 games we have not hit our stride yet and when we do you better be ready

  • marcus

    @Chris – cityfan

    Lots of sensible points.

    The money question is convoluted….something the authorities either need to manage or otherwise.
    Cartels…didn’t know about this

    I’ve watched 3 games recently on Sky featuring Man C, and all had some oddities. Time will tell if these are anomalies or normalities….

    Particularly odd was Monreal being 2 yards onside against Man C and being called offside. Soon after Walcott also was called offside incorrectly . At that point I switched off the game.

    I don’t know if Walter has any Man City refs on his team, but you could lobby for some. He is interested in impartial documenting of the reffing. I’ve read many of his reports and I think his team does an excellent job. You should PM him.

  • TJ


    You can think about it all night, but no amount of thinking can change the fact that you admittedly wrote an article to “dispel the notion among some Gooners that Man City are buying the favourable decisions”, later suggest in your comments your “suspicion of monetary corruption”, and then wonder why City fans are quite annoyed when they are blowing teams apart and scoring an average of 4-5 goals per game.

  • bjtgooner

    Bootoomee – a well written and reasoned article. I am not surprised some Man City fans may feel aggrieved that some of their success this season is questioned. City are a fine side and deserved to win most of their matches so far this season, but the reality is that when ref decisions/bias are seen to tip the scales in their favor that in itself detracts from their achievement.

    It is however disappointing to note some so called Arsenal fans using this article to try and settle old scores – having made fools of themselves previously they feel the need to repeat the performance.

  • tublu

    some truly hilarious stuff on here – (WalterBroeckx/bootoomee is your shit prescription or street?)
    Move over Lipoo fans , there’s a new leader in the art of pathetic whining.

    I actually think the pgmol have used the goal line technology (invented by a city board member in a previous role) to take remote control of the ball whilst in flight. The 4th officials real job now is to take wobbly miss-hits from the very poor sergio aguero and ensure they end up rifling in the top corner. He does that with yaya free kicks as well and also ensures that the ball moves away just before giroud/podolski/bender hit it, That’s why they hardly EVER SCORE (defo not because they are ‘not quite as good’). the remote control is a modified xbox controller built into the big electronic board he carries so that no-one will notice what’s going on. When you think about it it’s really bloody obvious. How do they get away with it ?

  • TJ,

    Okay, you won. I am the most inconsistent writer EVER. And a hypocrite too. Thanks for pointing it out with your erudite observation.

    Can you now let it go, please?

  • bjtgooner,

    Thanks man.

    I hope you have not set off another bout of tantrums though. The you-know-who is still smarting from the other months old disagreement.

  • marcus

    your prepubescent drivel is not in the hilarious category

  • Pete

    180 comments! Is this a record?

    Couple of quick points.

    Unfortunately, as we aren’t having referee reviews this season is is harder to prove anything. I can therefore accept that there is the possibility that Man City’s perceived good fortune could have been arrived at through random chance. Say within a couple of standard deviations.

    By contrast, the prior bias towards Man Utd has been clearly demonstrated over a long period and is beyond argument.


    @It’s Grim Oop North

    You state – authoritatively – that the referee reviews of last season only demonstrate a bias in favour of Man Utd and no significant bias against anyone else including Arsenal. I dispute this. Strongly. Can you please set out your statistical reasoning/methodology behind your assertion?

    Thank you.

  • Mahdain

    In other news we “randomly” got Lee Mason once again.. we are seeing him far too much for my liking

  • Mahdain

    Excellent article bootoomee. The media really do influence the referees and how they ref the games though i would say they are not the biggest problem. Thats Mike Riley. Its no wonder how the refereeing standards have dropped since he became PGMOL’s chief because truth is he was a useless, biased and bent referee and i cant help but feel he got where he is thanks to that 50th game. He ensured somebody got what they wanted and in return they gave him the post. As long as Riley is in charge unbiased and competent refereeing is a distant dream

  • TheTruth101

    I can think of at least 15 major decisions that have gone against City this season just for starters but hey don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.

    And FYI offside decisions where a player puts the ball into the net after everybody has stopped are not disallowed goals they are simply decisions that may have lead to goal which is a big difference many of you seem to have difficulty comprehending.

    Stop crying like little b!tches Arsenal fans & just accept that it’ll be 10 yrs next year.

  • It's Grim Oop North


    I did explain why there was a critical flaw in the interpretation in the data from last season, and again in both my posts – it’s all to do with the omission of draws when judging whether a ref is biased or not.

    I pointed this out with my interpretation of the data with draws included at the time on several of walter’s articles last season, and he did say I had a point and would consider this for the next season.

    However, it is such an important flaw that he should have amended last season’s work and conclusions if he had time, or perhaps inclination.

    If he had done so he would have had some apologising to do to several top referees and their association mind you 🙂

  • Mike

    Against Cardiff City had a penalty turned down in the first minutes which should also have resulted in a red. In the Man City Arsenal game Walcott’s goal was offside – don’t hear the author of this drivel complaining. He’s not interested in fairness he’s interested in what it takes to help Arsenal win a trophy after 9 years of winning nothing.

    Arsenal fans forget they were hammered by Man City protesting that they should have had a goal once the whistle had gone for offside and Giroud put the ball in the net after the City defence had long stopped. Excuses excuses from Arsenal fans that can’t take it that City battered your side. Grow up

  • Cyril

    “coronation-like coverage of Man City compared to Arsenal” City have been sensational and are the best side to watch this season in the country why should Arsenal get more plaudits. Arsenal never scored two goals because the whistle had gone and City’s defence had stopped. You say these mistakes cost you but ignore all the wrong offside calls against City in the same game, the fact Walcott’s goal was offside, and the fact that you were well and truly outclassed.

    Was the ref favouring City when Kompany was sent off for a brilliant tackle on your diving lying cheating Wilshere? You Arsenal fans are so full of it it’s ridiculous.

    Champions might lose a random game away to villa away but not at home. Keep hoping the ref favours your side at the emirates yet again this season. Who you going to get unfairly sent off this time? Same old Arsenal…..mard arses that can never admit to being bettered and never give praise where it’s due just like Wenger.

  • Pete

    @It’s Grim Oop North

    Thanks. I’m afraid I can’t recall your comments last season. Sorry.

    Walter – what is you take? Keen to get to an objective truth.

    To me, the key statistics are the number of incorrect decisions – particularly key decisions – and how they are weighted in favour of one team or the other. I can’t quite see the connection between this and the match results – draws in particular?

  • OMGArsenal

    It amazes me that the tribalism filtering into this post is like sewer water polluting an otherwise pristine pond. But that aside, I fail to see why City fans would come here to diss the article and then say THEIr team is being discriminated against, Not just AFC. Yet neither group are intelligent enough to see the real issue:

    1) Whether City or AFC are being victimized by poor officiating and bad calls, the fundamental concern here is that IT IS contin uously happening, for what ever reason!

    2)Following on that, the article is really saying that such voluntary or involuntary bias, whether for or against any Club is simply anti-Football and WRONG!

    3)This malaise corrupting Football is a tragedy that overshadows any short-sighted partisan whining. If the PGMOL continue to escape public scrutiny and the subsequent investigation of their incompetence and unprofessional performances, then the GAME itself will fail, and we’ll ALL be screwed.

  • Phil

    No silverware for 8 long years – must be the referees’ personal biases that are the root cause of such a long trophy drought, correct?

    Farsenal fans are the biggest pikers around, as they pay by far the highest season card and ticket prices, but simply cannot win anything, not even the final of a Capital One Cup against a terrible side. The real cause of your trophy drought, which will be extended by yet another season of relative futility, is that the club is controlled by an owner, Kroenke, who specializes in making money off of lame pro sports franchises. For a perfect example of this, see how poorly the personnel side of his NBA Denver Nuggets franchise has functioned in recent seasons. It is the complacency of Kroenke and his chief enablers, Gazidis and Wenger, that has resulted in the lack of investment in the squad over the last decade. Heck, you even sold off RVP to…UNITED, for chrissakes.

    For all the protestations coming out of the Farsenal club about how unfair it is that it is outspent by City and Chelsea each and every season, you managed to somehow pay a staggering 42 million for Mesut Ozil, a great but one-way player who was bounced out of Real because he couldn’t stop partying long enough to take care of his body, thanks to his almost canine affection for the Madrid night life. Investing big money in the terminally underskilled Podolski and failing to rebuild the central midfield, left devoid of any defensive presence after Song went to Barca, has also cost your club dearly. You have a threadbare squad, little presence in central midfield, and mediocre finishers at the striker position, and these are the real reasons you will fall to third (or fifth below Spurts and Neverton) by season’s end.

    The first step in personal growth processes is to honestly admit one’s own weaknesses/failings. Until Farsenal fans stop blaming imaginary referee conspiracies and actually take a cold hard look at the management of their
    club, there is ZERO chance that Farsenal will improve enough to be a real contender again. After all, only pathetic Farsenal fans could turn a 6-3 drubbing of their club into a 9-6 or 12-6 victory, as some on here have attempted to do already. Could you lot possibly be any more deluded?!

  • Micheal Ram

    EPL referees –

    From F-Word pocket,
    To Russian roulette,

    From Russian roulette,
    To F-Word pocket,

    From F-Word pocket,
    To Harry totthole,

    From Harry totthole,
    To F-Word pocket,

    From F-Word pocket,
    To Seikh oil,

    From Seikh oil,
    To F-Word pocket,

    From F-Word pocket,
    To new Ginger pocket,

    Drop from new Ginger pocket,
    All the way below sea level,
    To be French toasted,
    With e=mc2…

    I hope you guys get it…

  • mk

    Man City fans, you have been on the wrong end of it for so long and by all rights would have been complaining when United got dodgy penalties and other dubious calls in their favor season after season.

    The author is stating that it appears that Man City are becoming the beneficiaries of the terrible state of refereeing in the country (not that you have been all season, hence some bad decisions against you earlier in the season).

    The referee’s should never be influenced by the media (if that is what is happening), while it could easily be argued that the team gaining the most at the moment appears to be you, it could easily change to one of your competitors in the future.

    It is an article attacking the refereeing not specifically your club and it would be hypocritical for you to have been complaining about it when Utd were benefiting but now pretending it isn’t happening just because it is your team.

  • AL

    For anyone saying the media ain’t to blame, why is it that the FA seem to only take retrospective action about something if there’s an outcry in the media. Take the stamp aimed at Monreal by bentlab, the media never said a word of it afterwards and the FA didn’t deem it necessary to do anything about it. Rosicky (a foreigner) had his nose broken in two places by an Englishman and the media again thought nothing of it (I’ve not heard of an elbow being labelled accidental before) and, surprise surprise, so did the FA. Jack raised his middle finger, and the rest is history. Rooney swears at the refs, and the media thinks nothing of it.

    The Anelka saga was dying a natural death(rightly or wrongly), till someone in the media decided to stir the pot again, and the FA decided to ‘revisit’ the case again with the possibility he will get banned today. And West Bromwich lose their shirt sponsorship deal. All this coming several weeks after the incident, when the incident had almost been forgotten. Shows how much the media sets the agenda in England, and everyone follows.

    Is it any wonder then that since city have been getting some positive reporting (probably for the first time in 5 yrs) it coincides with some favourable decisions going for them on the pitch.

  • AL

    mk 6:52
    You made your post while I was typing mine, but that’s exactly the point I was trying to make 🙂 Don’t see why city fans are up in arms about something which should be so obvious. They are fools to think their new love in with the media will last. They must enjoy it while the blip in the other half of Manchester continues, and then the refs and media will revert to their default behaviour. Then, we will have the pleasure of saying told you so.

  • marcus

    Why whine about a penalty not given at Cardiff Mike, and then tell people here to stop whining and grow up?
    Completely inconsistent.

    I think Bootoome has uncovered a painful truth, and that is that the people Man City apparently hate with a tribal ferocity unparalleled south of Hadrian’s Wall, are the people they are now becoming, since if Man City are morphing into Man United, Man City fans are now Man United fans in sky blue.

    This is what is riling Man City fans so much, and causing so many of them to come on here and spew so much undigested trash. They don’t like being compared directly to Man U. It is the ultimate tribal insult to them.

    Somewhat sad that there is so much hatred in that city.

  • mk

    @Al glad someone else agrees 🙂

    In fairness to Man City (in my opinion at least) they are a good team currently getting a bit of help from referees, unlike United who this season have conclusively proven themselves to have been a mediocre team (that used to be) getting a lot of help.

  • AL

    The cynic in me also suspects city wouldn’t be getting so much positive reviews in the media if Arsenal wasn’t doing so well. Or in other words, if the battle at the top was between just the two of them with Chelsea. Of course this is just a sneaky feeling I have, nothing much should be read out of that.

  • AL

    Seconded. I don’t think City need the favours the refs seem to be too eager to do them. It’ll just sour their victory if they do win the title.

  • WalterBroeckx

    It’s Grim up North;

    First of all. I do have other things to do outside writing and reading articles for Untold. I do have to work and I cannot comment each and every second of the day.

    At first I had no idea what you were talking about but then I remembered that you have taken 1 little thing from the whole referee review system and turned that in to the most important thing. That thing in my opinion was just a little statistical exercise. In fact I don’t think it was published in the referee reviews themselves. It was the comparing of the win/draw/lost % in general of a club with the win/draw/lost % under a certain ref. That was based on the stats you can find of refs on other sides.

    But that had nothing to do with the reviewing of the matches that was done by referees.

    So using something that had nothing to do with the reviewing of matches to discredit that reviewing….is a bit disappointing don’t you think.

    Unless you are talking about something else but forgive me for not remembering all and every comment after almost 4000 articles on this site and more than 122.763 different comments.

  • Phil the answer to your question is within the hundreds of reviews of referee performances analysed by referees on this site, and on Why don’t you look and answer your own question?

  • Manchester Blue, thank you for your intellectual reply to the debate

  • Mcfok – actually you ought to read the newspaper reports of the time. Tottenham H admitted that there was no precedent set for expanding the league, and everyone knew that there was no precedent set for dealing with the match fixing scandal between Man U and Liverpool. In a just society Man U and Liverpool would have been excluded from the league, but the league bottled that, and an election was held.

    If you are really interested there is a full article with extracts from relevant documents on
    There is an offer of a £100 reward to anyone who comes up with any evidence that there was anything untoward going on, other than the failure of the league to deal with the match fixing scandal.

  • Black Hei

    I think parts of this piece is inflammatory, if not read on its whole. Thus the reaction of the City fans.

    Firstly, the author has made it clear that the biasness is not due to City influencing results with $$, in anyway. Which is a nice position to take.

    Secondly, he states that big decisions are going City’s way. In a way yes, but as the Newcastle game went, 2 big decisions were made. 1 went with City, the other went against.

    Thirdly, until Untold finish their ref report, we wouldn’t know score for this year. I know that last year, City did not have the favour of the refs, according to the Untold review. Maybe if Untold came out and actually STATED it, they will have more credibility.

    Fourthly, I don’t think Untold are bias. If they are, they wouldn’t have reviewed that the hated S*purs are also on the wrong end of refs decisions.

    Personally, as an Arsenal fan, I think City did a fantastic job this season. No matter how you cut it, Pellegrini did not go out and buy popular choices. He spent a lot of $$, but he didn’t do it like S*purs, whose chairman was trying to please the fans rather than buy someone they need. Their transition speed from defence to attack is breath taking. The hammering we got at home shows that. Yes we tried to come back and we did a decent job but the way they cut us apart with their direct passing was incredible. Hats out to that. End of the day, no amount of $$ can disguise the fact that their boss did one hell of a coaching job.

  • marcus

    I think MC fans are miffed that they feel the inference is that their team is not quality team. Au contraire.
    But that is not the purpose of the site. The site aims to deal with the PGMOL ‘stuff’
    Were we talking about Chelsea, then it is indeed hard to conceive of how you can have players like Mata, Oscar, Hazard, Willian and Torres, and then contrive to play such a sterile grinding style of football. Ah, but I digress, how can that possibly be so when the MOTD pundits who know best tell us that Maureenio is the best manager in the EPL.

    As I said before, the MC fans are smarting mainly because they hate being directly linked to MU. Perhaps they should take their gripe up with Riley and the Powers That Be

  • Pete


    Quite a rant!

    I could reply at length but would just advise you to check the current League table. A bit embarrassing that the team you support are actually behind that dreadfully managed club, Arsenal, no?

  • At the time of writing this piece, I never knew that it would unleash so much fury from Man City fans. Maybe because the club’s name appears in the title, many were able to see it on the news aggregators. But this is not really about City. It is about the media and how their coverage influence the referees.

    I wrote this because of some comments being made by some that Man city are “buying it”. I don’t think so and that is what I tried to dispel. Considering that Calciopoli happened in a first world country, it isn’t crazy to suspect that money could be influencing decisions here. But the evidence that I see point more towards the media influencing officials by playing favourites.

    The media love the idea of kingmaking. They do it in politics all the time and they’ve been doing it in football for a long time. Man United used to be the media’s anointed team, but with their fall from grace, they need another team to trump up. Man City is the new choice.

    The referees know that bad calls against the media’s choice would be given endless coverage while those in their favour would be glossed over with the idiotic “it all evens out in the end” cop out, if they give it any coverage at all.

    At the moment, that media darling is Man City. This article would have had Chelsea, Liverpool or even Tottenham in its title if either of these teams were being given the ‘coronation type’ coverage that Man City is currently getting from the media.

    Man City fans,

    You have a great team that is playing very well and scoring for fun. It is a 3 horse race and your team has as much chance as either of Arsenal or Chelsea to win the league. Whether you agree or not, your team has had some dicey calls in their favour in high profile matches. Those matter. For team as expensive as yours, you can’t be blaming calls against you in matches against Sunderland or Cardiff City for your losses. It should be beneath you. Calls in higher profile matches involving other top teams and rivals are more significant.

    Finally, I NEVER blamed Man City for the refs decisions, whether by inducements or otherwise. I have actually tried to counter the allegations of such against the club. It is not the club’s fault that the media believe that City is going to win the league. But the referees, as they did when Man United were favourites, are consciously or unconsciously working to make the predictions of the media to come to pass.

    It is interesting that not one single Man United fan has come on here to complain about my ‘unfairness’ to their club. Very strange indeed and makes one wonder if the City fans have not become those they hate the most, as previously inferred on this thread by Marcus.

  • andy bishop

    The media set the agendas…only if you take what they say seriously. Bit of advice for Man City fans next time they read a Bootoomee article. He does not represent all Arsenal fans as indeed I or no other person does

  • Black Hei & marcus,

    We’ve been telling them but they wouldn’t listen. I’m getting pretty bored of repeating the obvious.

  • Andy bishop,

    A little correction:

    Bit of advice for ANYBODY who ever reads ANYTHING written by Bootoomee; he does not represent all Arsenal fans and no other person does.

  • Passing

    To me in the league there are two levels of bad officiating:

    1) ‘Accepted’ level of bad officiating
    This is bad officiating that every team benefits or suffered for it and pretty much tolerated by everyone even if it means the team dropped points for it. Rotation fouls, one wrong offside call in the game, bad tackles that goes unpunished and the common mistakes that referees always do in every games. So City fans claims that they also suffer from bad officiating is true; so is every team in the league. That’s just how bad the refereeing standard in the league.

    2) ‘Extraordinary’ level of bad officiating / clear bias
    This is for referees making bad decisions so extraordinary that it can be suspected that the ref is bias against/for the team. The Aston Villa game at home, how Rooney pretty much free to kick everyone in the league even if the ball is metres away from the player like in Cardiff game, that Ramires penalty in the West Brom game, how everything always offside against City in Etihad (3 wrong offside decisions at the same match is simply not acceptable) and now the disallowed Newcastle goal.

    The Secret Footballer also said how his referee friend had told him that in the end of the referee meeting the head referee reminded them that it is their duty to protect the ‘brand’ of the Premier League. So it is no wonder how Man United always got away with many dubious calls and their players hardly got send off because before this Man United is the ‘brand’ of the Premier League, Rooney can’t be red carded because he was the face of the league worldwide. But now that they have fallen, the new ‘brand’ of the Premier League are Man City and Chelsea. That’s why Chelsea players are now free to kick and tackle badly other players like in Arsenal and Liverpool game and City starting to get controversial decisions in their way. It’s all a part of protecting the Premier League brand.

  • It's Grim Oop North

    i do appreciate the time and effort you put in with the examination of referee performances, and the subsequent articles, and I do not dispute the way the referees are judged, mainly because I accept you have to trust the observer’s findings, which is ironic as you do not trust the referees in question!
    However, the data is useless if it is interpreted wrongly, which i believe I pointed out several times was the case.

    I do not believe you can make a conclusion on whether a referee has an impact on a team over a season without including the significance of draws on the league table, which is how you presented the data (again, I have no issue with the raw data).

    A referee who presides over a high number of losses compared to wins can look biased in the extreme – and this is the case with Mike Riley and Lee Mason (if memory serves me correctly from last season’s articles) – but if you include the points accrued thru draws under those two refs, you find they presided over a high number of draws too, which brought the average points tally right up.
    If those two refs were truly bent against the Arse, then they would have made sure draws were turned into losses.

    All in, of all the case study articles last season looking at individual teams and individual referees, only Man United’s results stuck out like a sore thumb, everyone else’s were in a middle band as you would expect, even the Arsenal.

    I am no professional statistician, but then neither are you guys apparently, and you really need to involve one before slandering individuals, and indeed professional body’s, as I can quite believe that the Man U findings are probably statistically within range as well (I did do a couple of terms on stats in social sciences at Uni many years ago, so I have the basics, but not enough to properly claim any significance in your data, empirically speaking).

    So in summary, your very own data shows there is no bias for or against any football team in the premiership, by any individual or group of referees, aside from the possibility of Man U as of last season, so it’s about time you moved on from this collective paranoia.

    Bootoomee certainly “feels” City have bought the favours of the referees, but states he has no proof – this is of course like a red rag to a blue bull, so you cannot be surprised when you get a load of angry responses, especially when you can’t prove any of what you claim under scrutiny.

    All football fans “feel” there are certain refs who are biased against there team, and some think that of all of them – just look at other teams fan forums and this will be obvious – in fact please visit Bluemoon, there you will find plenty of City fans ranting about certain refs – it is a fact of being a football fan that you will look for someone to blame for just about everything – the difference is you have collected sufficient data to disprove all these rose-tinted conspiracy theories if you interpret the raw data correctly.

    Banter is one thing, accusations of corruption entirely another, and what makes it so weird is your team is top of the league – for God’s sake try to enjoy the experience while it lasts 🙂

  • Passing, Good points. The objective appears to be protection of the ‘brand’ at all costs. But that protection is what is undermining the said brand. All that we ask for is for fairness to prevail. The brand will take care of itself.

    Your point about 2 levels of bad officiating is spot on.

  • WalterBroeckx

    It’s Grim up North,

    I do think we are talking of different things.

    In the referee reviews we only look at decisions (each decision) and from those decisions (right or wrong) we get our numbers and we see how things have ‘evened out’ for each team over a season.

    But that is something completely different from what you are talking about. I admit I had almost forgotten those other articles to be honest.

    On the statistical side of the things about W/L/D % one could also wonder how many of those draws were first wins but turned in to draws of course.

    In a way to make those statistical articles more correct you should need to review each game and look at the decisions. But we don’t have the man power to do this. Would be a nice exercise I admit and would love to take it on. Now let me see….when can I retire from work? Too long I’m afraid…. 😉

  • chris, city fan

    Again Bootoomee makes points he cannot substantiate, and is surprised that City fans react. In his post at 10.58 he says this:

    “Whether you agree or not, your team has had some dicey calls in their favour in high profile matches.”

    I have now (God help me) read this thread from top to bottom, from the original article to Its Grim’s post at 11.18.

    The sum total of the evidence that City get dubious calls in their favour and never against is this:

    The disallowed Tiote goal in the Newcastle game

    The disallowed Sterling goal and a Suarez penalty appeal turned down in the Liverpool game

    A number of decisions which Arsenal fans have complained about in a single game, namely the 6-3 game at the Etihad.

    That is it.

    There are no other examples given in either the article or the 200+ replies to it of bias in favour of City. Not one. None.

    The original article suggested that City were never the victim of dodgy calls, only ever the beneficiary. That has been conclusively demonstrated to be untrue, as many examples have been provided of goals for wrongly disallowed for offside, clear penalties not given, goals against not disallowed for offside when they should have been, yellow cards being issued when reds should have been, and no card showing when a second yellow should have been and so on. The fact is, errors against City have rarely made the headlines because in a game that City won 4-0 the point that they had a fifth wrongly disallowed for offside is not exactly front page news.

    So let’s look at the evidence that suggests City get dodgy calls.

    The Newcastle goal was correctly disallowed for offside, because three players were in an offside position and in the opinion of the referee (which is the only thing in the rules which counts) at least one of them was ‘active’. Many referees would have disagreed with that call, but others would not. In a game where the referee followed that incident by failing to protect City’s players from the furious kicking they got from Newcastle players (all three City substitutions were forced by injuries to their players caused by Newcastle tackes/fouls) it is ludicrous to suggest that the referee favoured City consciously or unconsciously.

    Just think about how absurd the suggestion is. The referee favoured City by leaving all 11 Newcastle players on the field when at least 4 could have been dismissed. The referee protected City so well that three of their players were forced from the field of play through injury, one of whom is now out for two months.

    Okay, on to the Liverpool game. Suarez had his shirt pulled at a corner but didn’t get the decision. The only thing that would have been surprising would have been if the referee had given it, because the same thing happened to Kompany throughout the game and no penalty was awarded to City.

    Sterling got a poor offside decision, as to which there is no dispute. Why? Well, you can assume that it is because the liner favoured the “media darlings” if you want, but that doesn’t explain why the liner didn’t flag two other three other occasions when a Liverpool player got in behind City in the same period of the game. In fact, the reason is probably that the crowd was getting on his back whenever he didn’t raise his flag (even though some of his earlier calls were correct). He was under pressure from the crowd, and he raised his flag when he shouldn’t have done. That has everything to do with home team advantage which every big team – Arsenal included – enjoys and nothing at all to do with bias in favour of the media’s favourites.

    Which leaves us with the arsenal game.

    Surely even Arsenal fans can accept that they are in difficulties when trying to be objective about decisions given against their team? Because for every argument an Arsenal fan has raised about the decisions in that game, a City fan has raised a counter argument. Bendtner’s goal should have stood because he wasn’t offside, but Walcott’s second should not because he was. Giroud’s goal was disallowed correctly because he was offside, but whether he was or he wasn’t everyone in the stadium knew before he took his shot that the game had stopped, Giroud Hart and Kompany included. Walcott got some poor offside calls against him, he also got away with some. On another day the Zabaleta handball might have been given against him, but your left back (sorry can’t remember his name) was involved in a similar incident at home against Cardiff and got the benefit of the doubt just like Zabaleta.

    So the arguments from each side are equally subjective. Ultimately, any football fan who looks at decisions given against their team and sees that without more as being evidence of systematic bias in favour of the opposition needs their head examining. You cannot be objective about your own team, as this thread shows. It is one of the reasons why I myself rate Untold’s reviews about games not involving Arsenal (or Tottenham).

    So what else is there, beyond the decisions Arsenal fans complain about because their team didn’t get the benefit of them? When you look at the evidence in support of this supposed bias beyond the Arsenal game what does it come to? Absolutely nothing.

    Yet Bootoomee has created for himself a universe where City get dodgy decision after dodgy decision in their favour, and never is a poor decision given against. It is simply not borne out by the facts.

    A number of posters have made the point that these things do not even themselves out. Absolutely right – City have suffered from far more wrong game-affecting decisions against them so far this season than they have benefitted from wrong decisions in their favour. For things to even themselves out over the course of a season, City would have to get another four or five really dodgy calls in their favour.

  • Pat

    Bootoomee, you’re right. Arsenal fans need to keep believing as much as our players do, and not be swayed by the persistent negativity of the media.

    Horrifying to discover that former Man City figure is now chair of PGMOL. This body should not even be a company with the potential for corporate influence that entails.

  • WalterBroeckx

    For those Man city fans waffling around about us would you care to take a look at the hard work that has been done. Look at this for instance: or this

    I think for 95% of them it is lost as they will not understand it anyway. But for those 5% of sensible people enjoy it and then come back and say that we are against City. (However after reading some and some of the not published comments…I only disliked the way they are sponsored but I feel a change…)

  • WalterBroeckx

    Or this link from the title winning season:

    I don’t know why I bother to be honest but well that is just me… The title of the article about Man City in that year was: “REF REVIEW 2012: Manchester City – they didn’t win the league with referee assistance”

    But then again why do I bother…many if not most of them are just United fans dressed in blue…

  • Brickfields Gunners

    226 comments ? WOW !
    From what I gather from reading this , there is nothing to worry about, and the EPL is NOT fixed – it may be a tad skewered , slightly akimbo and awkwardly bent but not fixed !
    The English referees are honest and above board , after all, FIFA has endorsed them . They consistently get 99 % of their decisions right .Phew !That’s a relief ! Herr Septic Bladder would never lie to you, kinder .
    Move along people , apparently there’s nothing to see here , get on with your lives .Apparently all the patient research on UA is useless and only fit to line bird cages !
    You loonies remind me of these people whose priorities
    may be questionable at the best ! What’s a tad ?

  • Jem

    Ony reason City fans are on here miffed (myself included) is because any person who makes, lets face it, outrageous accusations like you have really needs to get their stats/facts bang on the money. Our gripe is not “being compared to Man Utd” as someone suggested but the fact that you have chosen, either through blatant mischief to stir the shit (successfully, congratulations)or you are blinded by inner bigotry and don’t see it, ignoring the very bad decisions that have gone against City. Only you know why you do this. Still thanks for the entertainment, last time I was this interested in anything Arsenal we were blowing you out of the water, due to some woeful Arsenal defending and not as you suggest corrupt officials.

  • marcus

    I eagerly anticipate Bootoome’s second article, in mid-April….”String Theory and Sky Blue Thinking”

    We will see Chris if the ‘string of decisions’ is something consequential

  • GooneressNo1

    For me the idea that corruption has somehow by passed football is hilarious, it permeates every level of life imaginable. The media who in my opinion are not worth a dam distract us with rumours of sordid affairs and hoofs in petty cash but the real news is left to others to uncover while most of us remain blind and deaf to the reality.

    I believe there was some kind of pact between man utd and the English football powers where not only would man utd be advantaged but their opponents disadvantaged. This pact ran for a period of time – that time it appears has elapsed… I say appears because I’m not totally convinced it’s completely over. Perhaps this is one of the reasons Ferguson chose this time to retire.

    The media I do no believe set the agenda regarding referees, they just follow orders; referees are just following orders, orders dictated by those in power.

    At some point during that pact it was decided that all things Arsenal and Arsene Wenger were to be attacked, ridiculed and generally disrespected and the media duly obliged.

    On Saturday I heard one media person after the other ask the question ‘Do Arsenal players really believe they can win the title?’

    Now for me the question is why would a media who laughingly claim to be free and independent all ask the same question on the same day? Is it because they all think alike? Or is there an agenda?

  • chris, city fan

    @ Marcus


    I will return at the same time with a hyperlink to the Bluemoon piece ‘Why Mike Dean was right to send off 7 of the Arsenal team during the pre-match warm up’

  • marcus


    “”The Secret Footballer also said how his referee friend had told him that in the end of the referee meeting the head referee reminded them that it is their duty to protect the ‘brand’ of the Premier League””

    I can entirely believe this. The question is what is the brand of the EPL?

    Historically, the brand of the EPL might have been seen as MU.

    One suspects that about a month ago MU was jettisoned as ‘The Brand’, and another took their place.

    But I concur with you on this, I don’t believe the refs are media lead; I suspect there is a very clear and unambiguous agenda at work, similar to what Passing as suggested.

    Brands are defined as something where you always get a consistent high level of quality.

  • Blue Mancunian

    Oh what a load of rubbish. We should have had THREE penalties against Cardiff last Saturday although only one incident was shown on MOTD
    And against Arsenal at the Etihad, Walcotts second goal should have been given offside but it wasn’t.
    Us getting better treatment from referees ??? Garbage

  • GooneressNo1

    I also remember after playing Liverpool in the Champions League Arsene said the referee came into the changing room and announced to all gathered that Arsenal would not be allowed to win the game.

    The media to my recollection spoke on the subject… not at all. Not even surprisingly to attack Arsene Wenger.

    Continual denial of the reality only helps those in power stay there and continue business as usual.

  • It's Grim Oop North


    those articles last season are beginning to come back to my memory now, and they were, as I recall, designed to highlight which individual referees, if any, were significantly above or below the average for points gained over a number of seasons.

    So, each team had an average number of points over a number of seasons – say 1.5 per game.

    then, each referee had the number of points the team accrued divided by the number of games, but only wins were taken into account – so for example the Arsenal might have averaged 2 points per game under all other refs, but only 1 point per game under Mike Riley (not actual figures, just an example for the readers).

    Therefore you came to the conclusion that Mike Riley was obviously biased against the Arsenal over a number of seasons, as he cost you points.

    However, you failed to include points from draws in this analysis (the raw data was there, and I used it to show how this helped to bring up or down referees to the average) – so, when a point for a draw was included, it was more often found that “biased” refs, such as Riley and Mason, in fact officiated in higher than average draws in games involving the Arsenal, which brought their personal averages back up to within an acceptable degree of deviation from the average.

    So, over a number of Premiership seasons, 5 as I recall, only Man Utd had certain referees averaging much higher points per game than any other team scrutinesed by your articles, and I am fairly certain a professional statistician would rule that this was statistically to be expected.

    Certainly the Arsenal were not victims of statistical bias from the referees studied, including Mr Riley, which I’m sure isn’t what this particular website wants to hear, but your own data shows it to be so.

    I have tried to find these articles, particularly the Arsenal one, but so far come up short, as I’d like to revisit my comments and interpretations, and maybe others could too to see what I’m on about – this is quite crucial because I’m basically questioning everything this forum holds true, and calling paranoia on a massive scale.

    I suspect I am probably wasting my time again ‘tho 🙁

  • marcus

    “”I’m basically questioning everything this forum holds true, and calling paranoia on a massive scale””

    (This is a blog, not a forum). You mean the 10,000,000 visits this site gets annually, are the paranoiac fringe?

    Paranoia is an acute psychosis. Personally I am quite mentally stable, lol. But I can’t speak for all
    Arsenal fans.

    Now, as one of the 10 million paranoiacs, I need to go unplug the internet in case they are watching me….oh wait, they are. Damn!

  • It's Grim Oop North


    I’m watching, you crackpot 🙂

  • marcus

    lol. Nothing would surprise me.

    One of the ref team is a PHD in statistics Grim, so you’ll have your work cut out in that dept.

  • Pete

    Given that the ref reviews have ceased this season, it is not possible to statistically prove, to a high degree of confidence, that Man C have been the net beneficiary of bad refereeing decisions.

    Clearly the MC fans here have numerous counter-examples. But, frankly, all the evidence both ways is anecdotal not statistical.

    I still maintain that Arsenal were robbed in the 6-3 (in addition to the decisions costing Arsenal goals, the MC penalty was soft to put it mildly as was the foul on Nasri preceding another goal) – while acknowledging MC were the better team on the day, but am prepared to give MC the benefit of the doubt over the season as a whole.

    However, the evidence suggesting that over the previous several seasons – in particular last season – Man Utd were favoured and Arsenal the reverse is overwhelming. A high proportion of PL games were reviewed by qualified referees supporting neither of the teams involved. This showed that there was a major skew in refereeing errors far beyond what could be explained by statistical fluctuation.

    I challenge anyone to prove that the skewing of the errors, over the course of the season, could conceivably be the result of random variation – even accepting that the absolute level of errors is, of itself, unacceptable for top level referees elsewhere in Europe.

  • It's Grim Oop North

    it’s quite frustrating that Bootoomee has decided to throw out into the cyber ether a theory that besmirches City’s history making season, when we City fans just want to bask in the glory of scoring a shedload of goals every game – this is quite novel for us over the last thirty odd years overall.

    I’m posting this at half time of the West Hham game, where we’re 8-0 up on aggregate, about to set another record, and find it difficult to swallow that an Arsenal fan reckons we’re getting assistance from the officials, either due to media bias, or thru bribery (which he suspects but cannot prove) – of all teams, surely the one which scores so many goals doesn’t need this help – if we were winning by the odd goal here and there, then I might just entertain the notion, but the evidence all points towards the fact that City are media darlings at the moment because of the very obvious – we are breaking goal scoring records left, right and centre, playing wonderful flowing football all the while.

    Did the Invincibles get this kind of official propping up? I didn’t think so at the time, why would they need it?

    This article, and the whole conspiracy on which it is built, is just sour grapes, and does the Arsenal no credit, especially when the data is properly interpreted – so bring on this pro statistician Pete, let’s see what he/she has to say about the referee articles I referred to – Walter should be able to point him in the right direction, and I’ll be pleased to clear up any points if my previous comments on these articles have been deleted.

    Second half started now, off to enjoy the goal fest some more 🙂

  • Stuart

    It’s Grim Oop North,

    No, that’s not what happened at all. What Walter actually did was coordinate a group of qualified referees to review the games and mark the referees performance. The findings were then summarised and published. Walter and various others took some of the data and analysed it in different ways looking for trends and patterns and the expected / unexpected. The trouble is, as with anything, with one way of presenting data, you usually overlook another way so it will never please everybody. The bad bit is the people who read the articles and criticised, some insulted, when they were freely able to provide their own analysis and form a perfectly logical argument. Have a look at the comment from Blue Mancunian for an example : or for a perfect example, you can see the comment from Jem, it’s a real gem (sorry) :

    Now I may not agree with some of the ways in which Walter has presented his data (and in fact he has stopped mentioning 1 fact due to my constant voicing that it is not valid) however, I have been able to offer a constructive argument or my own analysis, I’ve even written my own article on occasion but what Walter is doing is presenting / summarising findings which anyone can dispute with contradicting data, including those mentioned above.

  • WalterBroeckx

    It’s Grim up North,
    I didn’t want to bring this up but as our stat man who was also the person to do all things like programming and getting something from the numbers lost his wife while doing all the numbers I do not intend to call away from the more important things in his life like taking care of his two young children and trying to be a father and a mother for them. I don’t blame you for not knowing this. We did publish it on the site at the time it happened but I can imagine that you missed that part.

    It is one reason why we stopped the review. The reason why I had to stop with the reviews is also mentioned in an article about the referee reviews. It is not as dramatic as the loss of my friend. Yet. But unfortunately I have to attend to more important things in my family life.

    I don’t know if we ever will find the time to start again, silently I hope we do, and I find it very sad that as this season we might see new patterns how this would have panned out in the reviews.

    But unless I win the lottery I don’t think I will be able to find the time to set up a reviewing system about this season. To my big regret as it would be very interesting…. very interesting…

  • Pete

    Grim – I wish I was a professional statistician! I do have a scientific background and learnt a fair amount of stats – but all a long time ago and I don’t have the time to relearn the relevant stuff and then undertake any further analysis.

    What I would love someone to do is to calculate the likelihoods of the demonstrated outcomes for last season to have arisen by chance. So, to take an imaginary example, if Man City experienced, say, 300 key decisions (goals, penalties, cards etc) last season but 50 were wrong. But of those 50 errors, 35 went in favour of the opposition and only 15 to Man City, what is the likelihood that that arose by chance?

    I recall some of (one of?) the games highlighted in the ref previews where EVERY SINGLE error made was in favour of one of the teams. The likelihood of that happening by chance is absolutely tiny!

    Gord – perhaps you would like to take a break from your analysis of 92/93 and have a look at this? I suggest the methodology would be to take the total population of key decisions and the number of errors. Then you should be able to break down biases by club, referee etc. Best to use 2012/13 as many of the experimental weaknesses (e.g. non-neutral reviewing referees) had been ironed out by then.

    I wish I could remember how to do it! And wish I had the time…

    The other use of this analysis would be to go to the media and state something like

    “The likelihood of these errors in favour of Man Utd arising purely by chance is < 0.0000001%".

    The problem with the media is that they are generally innumerate. For example current commentary on the title race / top four is nuts. The likelihood of any team not in the current top 3 winning the title is probably about 1%. To overcome a gap of at least 6 points in 16 games – to THREE teams – is tiny. Jose gets it – but the press (and Brendan Rogers) don't seem to. As for MU, must be about 0.001%! In fact, by a similar reasoning, their chance of getting in the top 4 must be < 10%. The only reason that it is that high is that the reliability of Liv/Tot/Eve at picking up points is a little lower than for Ars/MC/Che – and MU do have the capability of winning a string of games once their front two (lovely people, both…) return.

    Enough for now…

  • Pete

    And, to show no hard feelings (my sister-in-law, my nephew, my best mate’s wife and several other friends are all City fans), many congrats on getting to the final tonight. If you end up playing your neighbours, I hope you embarrass them too (although suspect this would be MU’s best chance of qualifying for Europe next season – might be quite fun watching them play on Spursdays…).

  • It's Grim Oop North

    I realise there is a huge body of research on referee errors etc..which I have no problem with, the series of articles I took issue with concentrated on all referees over a certain time period and how they may or may not have strayed from the average of points accrued – Walter will certainly remember and explain the aims more clearly as he wrote the pieces in question.

    I leave the judging of referee performance to those kind volunteers who took the time to do so, I’m not really interested in the why’s and wherefore’s of individual decisions, rather the statistical significance on the season overall – and as I said before – there is no evidence of bias apart from MUFC, and even that is a tricky one to prove – I think Pete knows where I’m coming from here? Some people enjoy debating the offside rule, I put my trust in the good faith of our fallible officials to generally put in an honest performance.

    I am sorry to hear of your friend’s circumstances, football is not as important as your family, and should be fun, not a chore, I hope he has good fortune going forwards, it puts our petty squabbles into perspective.

    like I said, lets enjoy the good times and wonderful football our respective teams are playing, it might not last forever 😉

  • Russell

    Spursdays! Why have I not thought or heard that before. Brilliant

  • Pete

    Russell – Thought that was in quite wide circulation? Clearly not! Glad I have added something to the sum total of North London banter!

  • Gord


    I think the problem is bigger than you expect it is. As far as the referees goes, Walter and the others who have reviewed games are at least as professional as Riley’s employees. What is most likely, is that they would be harder on Arsenal than the other teams.

    But I will copy your note to my TODO, and if something occurs to me, I’ll try.

    In my Linux news today, was a pointer to using R for fantasy football. They are talking american gridiron, not our game.

    If you at one time did know this stuff, having the tools in R may help. R is free, and its available for pretty much any OS. The storehouse of user donated packages for working in R is called CRAN (Comprehensive R Archive Network). There are a number of packages there for our kind of football.

    I’ve mostly been employed Monte Carlo methods in my work here, because I haven’t a clue what kind of probability distributions I am working with. But, I’ve got a couple of other statistics projects that pushed there way into my life.

  • TJ

    GooneressNo1 at 5:42 pm

    “after playing Liverpool in the Champions League Arsene said the referee came into the changing room and announced to all gathered that Arsenal would not be allowed to win the game.”

    Please tell me more about this? I had never heard this before. Has anyone else?

  • marcus


    from your comments, I think you see what you would prefer to see, rather than what is actually there.

    It is very hard to discuss these matters without spilling into libel, but I agree, it is an even greater travesty if a team that doesn’t need much help is getting helped, as opposed to a team that was pretty mediocre after Ronaldo left, but yet still appeared to have been propelled to several titles.

    But the fact that Man City don’t need help, and probably don’t want it either, doesn’t alter the fact it could be happening. Simply trusting in the good faith of people doesn’t cut it with me.

    But look, I’ll agree with you on these points if you like.

    1) Man City are an excellent team
    2) If they won the title unassisted, it would be deserved

    This blog has over several years questioned the integrity of the EPL. In this respect it aligns with what AFC supporters see week in week out. In particular for the last 10 years, a massive perceived bias for MU, ( as evidenced by players like Vidic not being able to be sent off, penalties galore, etc etc etc) and a massive bias against AFC (e.g. no penalties for one entire season, the ability of opponents to kick shit out of the team without redress, etc etc etc – Walter will fill you in on the types of things, e.g. no advantage played at key times).

    Furthermore, PGMOL is an opaque organization which answers ostensibly to no-one. Refereeing standards are demonstrably awful. The opacity of the PGMOL, (e.g. Halsey offered £50k hush money not to spill the beans) in itself is incriminating.

    The fact that MC are extremely pissed off to be dragged into this charade should really be a good thing. If and when you win the title, at least we can say a good team won it – unlike the last few years. But the fact a shadow hangs over proceedings, a shadow which is quite probably none of your doing, should actually be a catalyst for change.

    If Man C and AFC supporters are unanimous in wanting decent refs, then its a good step forward. However, if you honestly feel that the EPL is beyond reproach, then there isn’t likely to be much dialogue….

    One thing AFC fans do find peculiar is that only 1 EPL ref lives south of Stockport…(or something to that effect)

  • Mike

    Marcus, what an ignorant comparison to make between City and United. I’m a 31 year old mancunian and have seen my club go through 4 relegations, how does that compare with your 31 year old United fans? Do you know anything of the history of the club at all? Claims like that show you aren’t very smart.

    Pointing out that City had a blatant penalty turned down against Cardiff (and red card) was to illustrate that unlike Man United we have examples of decisions not going our way that are as recent as our last league outing. Not whining at all, just defending my club against the misinformed diatribes of rival supporters that want misfortune to befall my club. Fools like this author are scurrilous suggesting that we are favoured to gain an advantage for themselves. Of course you don’t know about the decisions that don’t go for City you don’t look for them and they are often ignored so how could you know they happened. That is why I’m informing you about them. I’m simply making the point that the decisions that go against us are dismissed, Arsenal fans are not alone in feeling this whatever you might think.

    Bootoomee your article is specious nonsense attempting to influence referees to favour Arsenal and simultaneously deny City fair calls in some misguided sense of evening things up. You write like you have proof about the unconscious desires of referees and how because they see and hear pundits backing City they purposely endeavour to ensure City win. Get it together man, You are writing crap. As for your posts, they are so biased it’s unreal. You talk about how the media influence decisions and I agree somewhat but your double standards are appalling while you witter on about bias.

    “Man United used to be the media’s anointed team, but with their fall from grace, they need another team to trump up. Man City is the new choice”

    Where is your evidence that a “choice” has been made to make City the “media’s anointed team”? What are you smoking? DMT? Have you reflected that City have broken records while scoring a ton of goals and have played the most thrilling football in the division? Should the media ignore that? Get real.

    You say “For team as expensive as yours, you can’t be blaming calls against you in matches against Sunderland or Cardiff City for your losses. It should be beneath you” –

    So City fans can’t highlight incorrect calls because of the teams value? LOL So when City are done over by an offside goal away at Villa or Bardsley blatantly elbowing and fouling Milner to score the winner at Sunderland we should accept it as fair and correct because pointing it out is beneath us? Do you know what double standards are? If those calls directly influenced the result City fans have as much right as any fan to highlight them when the media dont.

    “It is not the club’s fault that the media believe that City is going to win the league” Have you been living in a bubble this season? City have been outstanding – might that have something to do with the pundits in the media (and the bookies) believing that we will win it? Or are you just expressing your envy?

    Passing – “how everything always offside against City in Etihad (3 wrong offside decisions at the same match is simply not acceptable) and now the disallowed Newcastle goal”.

    The Newcastle call was correct. For all the bigging up about untold Arsenal I have read isn’t it shameful that it’s readers are people that don’t understand the offside rule? Staggering ignorance. 3 players were offside, one had to duck and move out of the way of the balls trajectory. I can understand why Newcastle fans felt aggrieved at the time, however, like Arsenal fans bemoaning it – please read the rules of the game.

    Secondly you mention that everything was offside at the Etihad. Who do you mean? Theo Walcott’s goal WAS offside but was given incorrectly as a goal for Arsenal. does that not matter to you guys? Why are all you delusional conspiracy merchants not complaining about that call? That makes you hypocrites. Giroud was offside and kicked the ball into the net 3 seconds after the whistle and the entire City defence had stopped and you call that a disallowed goal? There was one definite bad call made where you were denied a Bentner goal but then you had one you shouldn’t have had. The linesman failed to raise his flag for several offside Arsenal attacks in the first half. You cant have your cake and eat it lads.

    Pete – “I still maintain that Arsenal were robbed in the 6-3 (in addition to the decisions costing Arsenal goals, the MC penalty was soft to put it mildly as was the foul on Nasri preceding another goal) – while acknowledging MC were the better team”. Total garbage acknowledgement, if City were the better team how on earth were Arsenal robbed? Bentner’s goal was all you were robbed of. City conceded an offside goal – did you like all these other geniuses miss that one as well?

    Chris the city fan – your post is class mate and their evidence is either non existent or based on disproportionate media coverage they speciously suggest they study – I doubt they will understand your clear rebuttal, they are too busy trying to influence favour for them by falsely accusing their nearest rival for the title while vehemently pretending they want things to be evened up. Delusional hypocrites.

    Were any of you Arsenal fans bothered during David Dein’s dual role as director of Arsenal and as a senior member of the Football Association’s executive?

    Pontificate about your methodology as much as you want. Whether decisions are correct or incorrect is entirely subjective. Articles like this simply reinforce the writers fundamental flaw – selective bias.

  • Gord


    I had to go to the store, and let my mind wander a bit. In the old days, people solved everything using tables, and just about everywhere you look in the problem is zero mean, additive Gaussian error. If the problem was Poisson, people did what they could to get the mean to be large so that they could assume that the Poisson was Gaussian, so they could use the tables.

    Today, I would do Monte Carlo, so that I can avoid tables and Gaussian distributions. Let’s ignore that calls that aren’t made. A call is made by a referee blowing his whistle, raising an arm to indicate advantage or indicating throw-in direction, corner kick or goal kick correctly.

    Let’s say that 20 calls were made, 11 for 1 team and 9 for the other team. We’ll say that 12 calls were made correctly,
    8 correct for the team that had 9 calls and 4 correct for the team that had 11. We’ll pretend all the calls for team 1 (11 calls) were made and then the 9 calls for team 2.

    We can do a single iteration with a uniform (0-1) RNG. If we are simulating a fair coin, if the deviate is below 0.5 we call it 0 and above we call it 1.

    Okay, we generate 20 uniform deviates, representing our 20 calls. We then go through all the values. If a value is below 0.6, we say in the unbiased referee model, that call was successful. So, we store a 1 on a stack (of 20), otherwise we store a 0. If that same value is less than 4/11, we store a 1 on a stack of 11, otherwise a 0. When we have done 11 of the 20 values, we now use our second comparison value of 8/9. If the number of successes (1) in the stack of 20 is 12, we increment a counter for null successes. If the number of successes in the stack of 11 is 4 and the number of successes in the stack of 9 is 8, we increment a counter for biased successes. It is likely, that neither success counter gets incremented.

    And we do this lots of times. I am going to say that for this scenario, the null counter will be the lower total. But, a person wants to do this until both counters are over 10,000, in order to say that the ratio of null to biased is probably accurate to something on the order of a couple of percent. We are interested in the total number of trials as that tells us how long similar situations will run. But it is the ratio of null to biased (fair to biased?) that you are interested in.

    Too many people writing libraries for user programs, will do something stupid if someone needs a random number. The OS usually has a really good random number generator, which is supposed to be used for cryptographically important applications, like keeping your computer safe. And these idiot programmers will use that cryptographic source for something like I’ve outlined above. And then you run a program like outlined above, and completely deplete the entropy for your computer, and now the IP sequence numbers become predictable, and someone hacks your machine.

    I do much of this in Perl. Among the RNG Perl has, is a Mersenne Twister. It can generate random sequences of length 10^6004, and it can replace the standard RNG in libc which Perl would normally use, and doesn’t have a period anywhere near that long.

    If you decide to look into using R, I am sure that R has good ways to make random numbers.

  • Gord


    Oh, considering calls that weren’t made, at least doubles how complex things are.

  • Black Hei

    Looking at Mike’s comments, in future, you need to structure your writings a little bit better.
    Like it or not, people don’t read. They read a little, they get angry, then they stop reading and start skimming for pointers.
    It’s human nature.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Don’t get mad , just get screwed !

    The Farmer’s Interview

    In a rural program for farmers, a female TV reporter seeking the main cause of Mad Cow disease, arranged for an interview with a farmer who might have some theories on the matter.

    This “TRUE” interview went as follows:
    The lady reporter: “I am here to collect information on the possible sources of Mad Cow Disease. Can you offer any reason for this disease?”


    The farmer stared at the reporter and said: “Did you know that a bull mounts a cow only once a year?”

    Reporter: (obviously embarrassed): “Well, sir, that’s a new piece of information but what’s the relation between this phenomenon and Mad Cow disease?”

    Farmer: “Miss, did you know that we milk a cow twice a day?”

    Reporter: “Sir, this is really valuable information, but what about getting to the point?”

    Farmer: “I am getting to the point, Miss.” “Just imagine, if I was playing with your tits twice a day… and only screwing you once a year, wouldn’t YOU get mad?”


  • marcus

    @Mike… what comparison? you’ve lost me

  • marcus

    @Mike, you are splitting hairs. Get with the big picture

  • WalterBroeckx

    To summarize : when we get a decision our way we can always point at a decision going against us. And if we get a few too many we point at other teams and say they got more.
    And if we have a former director being head of the PGMOL we point at another person who had an important role somewhere sometime in football.
    That last part of course is interesting as in fact it is saying: we know that people can play an important role and can influence things behind the scenes.

    but of course our team doesn’t do such things. No, we are virgins when it comes to that.

    In short: not us, always the others. 😉

    But can we agree on the fact that MU had some influence over the past 15-20 years? Fergie-time, years without penalties/red cards against them, getting penalties for diving around, getting penalties for nothing,… ?

  • WalterBroeckx

    And I do hope City will win the league cup. Just look at what happened with the other winners in the last seasons after winning it… 😉

  • marcus

    lol. I don’t think MC fans are any different from MU fans.

    They seem incapable of coping with any kind of scrutiny of officialdom. Perhaps that goes some way to explaining why the Etihad stadium passed into Man city’s ownership so seamlessly.

    Saying that the present MC team are better than the MU team of recent years seems to send Mike into a histrionic fit.

  • Black Hei,

    I am not a journalist. I have a different profession. I write because of my love for the art so my writing can always be better and I always welcome constructive and non-insulting/abusive criticisms. So, I agree with you that the structuring of my writing can be better.

    Having said that, I don’t think that even the perfectly structured writing can cure the malaise that you mentioned. I have read articles by Pulitzer prize winners only get to get to the comments section and see people complain about the opposites of the authors’ points. What some readers do is read articles, pick out the part that upsets them and then beat the author to death over it.

    I had thought that debunking the notion that a team is using ‘oil money’ to buy decisions would trump admission that same team had benefited from some bad officiating. I have never been more wrong. The fact that my article actually argues against Gooners who think that Man City is using money to influence officials is glossed over (despite several repetitions of same by myself and others like you in the comments). The only thing that they all picked out of the article is the statement that their club has been beneficiary of bad decisions in strings of important games.

    Well, so much for trying to be fair. It appears, from complaints from City fans about their games against teams that they ought to be blowing out of the water, that the only injustice that matters are those committed against them.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mike 1.48 am, good post. Being an Arsenal fan I’m disappointed that so many of my fellow gooners can’t just enjoy the exciting football City play. There’s always excessive moaning and griping just because City have spent big money on a great strike force. If Arsenal wanted they could spend a lot more too but we’d rather hoard money every season, for example we chose to spend only about half of what we could have in the summer. “I’d rather have players on the field than money in the bank”, as some manager once said.

    Envy is mostly what motivates a lot of these conspiracy theorists. Last year it was the evil PGMOL that kept us from winning anything despite the fact that we weren’t good enough. This year it’s the media that is to blame.

    Well if the media is kingmakers then perhaps they were when we won our league titles all those years ago. After all I remember the media fawning over our squad when it contained a richness of world class players like Pires, Vieira, Bergkamp and Henry. Of course though when we won the league it wasn’t fixed at all! If people believe that Manu, City and Chelsea won the league due to underhand practices then I don’t see why they should dismiss the claim that we cheated too. It works both ways.

    City are top because they have the best squad. They beat us, no, destroyed us, because they were quicker, stronger and more efficient in front of goal.

    And as much as some on here go on about UA’s findings about bias refs we only have the word of Walter and Tony on this, for all any of us know they could have made all these statistics up. Their “evidence” wouldn’t stand up in court.

  • marcus

    What kind of court case are we talking about here Rupert?

  • GooneressNo1

    Rupert Cook your words ‘Being an Arsenal fan I’m disappointed that so many of my fellow gooners can’t just enjoy the exciting football City play’ made me laugh.

    I don’t know quite what it is but I suspect that the one thing you’re not is an Arsenal fan.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Gooneress, yes I am actually but I’m objective enough to enjoy good football when I see it.

    @Marcus, the one that this site should be considering with all its slanderous comments about refs. There’s actually no proof that any of these refs’ analysis are correct, we only have Walter’s word that any of them were even done. If this were a Liverpool blog no doubt scores of Arsenal fans would claim that the whole thing is made up.

  • TJ

    @Mike 1.48 am, I fully agree with the majority of your post. While few could argue that Arsenal have consistently played the ‘prettiest’ football in the PL, even during this infamous ‘drought’,this season City are the rational football lovers entertainers outside their own club- and rightly so in my opinion. I am looking forward to the spectacle that will be the two legs against Barca and the cup final against the red half (likely)- the oft misused expression ‘mouth watering ties’ I use for those.

    Bootoomee is correct in that the media and society love to follow winners (just look at the amount of reds in Surrey!), and indeed City are looking like winners. I wouldn’t begrudge it to ye having been to Maine Road many moons ago!

    However, we are up there with you for the very reason that we have compromised a bit of the style for a bit of grit and an improved as a unit- that is why I think we could go the distance with ye. I cant see a collapse, it’s going to be interesting.

    I fully agree that City eventually overpowered us in Madchester, but bear in mind that we had a Wednesday night game in Napoli while you were busy spanking Bayern! But seriously, I think the 24 hours and the fact that the Arsenal players did not get home until 6 on the Thursday morning from Italy showed in the Saturday morning away kick off for us, when you overpowered us in the last 25 minutes. In fairness before that City were mostly on top but it was a cracking game of football that could have went anyway, I thought.

    I look forward to the return fixture at Hornsey Road in March when we will see the two best footballing teams in Europe go head to head in what will surely be a title defining couple of hours. Hopefully the media will respectfully not nominate who they believe are favorites and we will get a fair ref!!!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Rupert 11.02 , need to correct you there, as things stand, City are not top

  • bjtgooner

    It is not unexpected (but it is regrettable) that the xenophobe from the underworld has returned to repeat his subtle but vile attack on Walter’s integrity, to eulogize about the Oilers and to still try to attain creditability on this site by pretending to be an Arsenal supporter and an objective one at that!

  • marcus


    I can’t really see what kind of case you are suggesting. All Walter and the team do is to point out the referees’ defects. They are a kind of surrogate PGMOL standards agency.

    But there is nothing to stand up in court, because nothing is going to court. Unless bias is a criminal offence, I dunno Rupert, you are so smart, you tell me.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mandy, well let’s hope they won’t be at the end of May as well.

    @Marcus, I have no gripe with people pointing out ref’s defects but none of us know if any of these ref analysis are real or not. They could just be made up. Which is what any opposing fan would say. And as you are well aware Walter and some others go much further than bias, they are claiming that the bias is driven by corruption, not just the odd ref who happens to dislike Arsenal. Officiating is poor, I think we all agree on that, was there ever a time when it wasn’t?

    The trouble with this site is that is changes the goalposts to suit its agenda. Basically any club that dares to win the league that isn’t called Arsenal has achieved success by corrupt means.

    Imagine if Kronke suddenly got seriously ambitious and told Wenger to spend 150 million on top players. Fans of other teams would then aim the same jealous criticism of Arsenal that we deliver to them when they have the audacity to outspend and outperform us.

  • Mike

    Arsenal have a week to recover before playing City at the Emirates. City will have a manchester derby on the 25th giving City 3 days recovery time. How fair do you think that is Arsenal fans. Obvious bias in favour of City again. Hypocrites

  • Bent Prem.

    Four Games – with highly questionable refereeing (Lineman) decisions all in favour of City.

    City Vs Arsenal – 2 x disallowed goals, 4 x ridiculous off-sides and City gifted a penalty.
    City Vs Liverpool – Very dubious offside decision – denying a goal scoring opportunity.
    Newcastle Vs City – Goal disallowed for off-side. when player clearly not interfering
    Tottenham Vs City – Sending off and penalty awarded incorrectly – and goal disallowed for Tottenham for dubious offside.

    The game has become a farce. City appear to be buying more than players. the fact that these incidents are rarely mentioned in the media, removed from highlights only confirms the situation to me.