Premier League, still the best or are we being lied to? Part 3 – The downfall

By Walter Broeckx

The downfall? Why?

Against popular believe inspired by media propaganda we have shown that the PL has lost its glory in the last 5 season. You can read the numbers in the articles part 1 and part 2. But why did it came that far? Lets look at some possible explanations.

Money? Now in the period covered we have seen the rise of the money teams. And two of those money teams are from the PL. The other two only came above water in the last 2 season: PSG and Monaco. But as we have seen from our own money teams in the PL it takes years before it starts to pay off. So the rise of PSG or Monaco cannot already be a reason for the downfall of the PL teams in the CL.

Players? We hear nothing but how the PL brings the best players to England. But when we look at things like Player of the year or topscorer of the year we see that most of the awards go to players from other countries. I think Spanish teams win most of those awards. With Messi and Ronaldo sharing the main medals I think. And the odd German in between.

So what else could have an influence on the outcome of matches? Referees? Oh now you say it. Let us have a look at our table from the last article again and add one column.

2004-2005 PL TEAMS 2 2 1 1
2005-2006 PL TEAMS 1 1 1 0
2006-2007 PL TEAMS 3 3 1 0
2007-2008 PL TEAMS 4 3 2 1
2008-2009 PL TEAMS 4 3 1 0
TOTAL 14 12 6 2
AVERAGE 2.8 2.4 1.2 0.4
2009-2010 PL TEAMS 2 0 0 0
2010-2011 PL TEAMS 3 1 1 0
2011-2012 PL TEAMS 1 1 1 1
2012-2013 PL TEAMS 0 0 0 0
2013-2014 PL TEAMS 1 1 0 0
TOTAL 7 3 2 1
AVERAGE 1.4 0.6 0.4 0.2

I did nothing new. Apart from adding the seasons. Now I divided the 10 year period in two periods of 5 years. That seems logical. That seems the best way to see if there is any difference between two periods. Take the same number of years.

But by accident there is another event that we can add to that. Because in 2009 we had a change. Yes we had a change and regular readers of Untold will know what I am pointing at.

Yes in 2009 we got a new head of the referee department in the PL. That day Mr. Mike Riley went up the ladder and got his “well deserved promotion” for “offering his services to whoever called things and is still calling things”.

We have said that since that day things have changed drastically for Arsenal on the referee front. We can see that since Riley becoming head of the referees our yellow card numbers have changed so that whenever we make 3 fouls we get a card. Other teams can make up to 9 fouls without bookings. We have seen that since that period our penalty decisions for and against went very much against us. Against all stats and odds but it just happened.

We have analysed hundreds of matches in the PL and with referee reviewers supporting other clubs we have found that Arsenal is the team that is treated the worst when it comes to referee errors.

So we have said it before and asked the question before: has this anything to do with the appointment of Mike Riley? The numbers seem to suggest so that he has a bad influence on refereeing standards in Arsenal matches.

But now we see that this also may have a side affect on English football in total. Because the longer Mike Riley is in charge of the referees in the PL the worse PL teams do in Europe!

From our analyses we came to the conclusion that English referees fail miserable when it comes to awarding yellow and red cards interpreting the laws and instructions based on who the teams are on the field. Arsenal players= book them for nothing, other teams= let them get away with murder on Arsenal players.

But as a result we get a very mixed refereeing style. There is no “standard” refereeing because there seem to be a bias against some teams. And thus referees do not try to apply the laws of the game but try to apply the “laws of the PGMOL”. Secret laws of course but uncovered in our analysis.

So when those teams go to Europe and face the strict refereeing from Fifa/Uefa referees they suddenly seem to struggle a lot more than when playing under PGMOL rules.

I don’t know or think that this will be the only reason why the PL has gone down in European football. But I know that Untold will be the only one to link the bad refereeing standard with that downfall.

We might get called names again by the usual suspects. But I don’t care that much to be honest. I just would challenge them to give us other reasons why the PL teams don’t do as good as they did in the past. It’s easy to dismiss the influence of the referees and the influence of Mike Riley. You can do that in one word. But unless you can come up with something better it is very much something we must keep an eye on.

I am not saying that there might not be other reasons but it surely looks as if this IS too much coincidence that the downfall from PL teams started after the appointment of Mike Riley as head of the referees.

And in the light of the rumours that I hear lately about the position of Riley  coming from some sources it might be that others who have backed him all these years came to the same conclusion. My conclusion is that Riley is not just a disaster for Arsenal but also for the PL.

The boys at the top who decide on who takes which position will not mind Arsenal at all but they do will mind the position of the PL in world football. And they will do whatever it needs to remove him if they come to the same conclusion as I did.

I think that if we would get an improvement and less bias from referees it will benefit Arsenal a lot as we are in general the hardest hit by the bias and mistakes from referees. So if Riley would get the sack because of the bad standard in refereeing (as we have declared for years) and that bad standard leading to PL teams losing ground in Europe it might bring benefit for Arsenal too in the end.

But let us not sell the skin of the bear before we have shot him. But there is something rumbling in the PL/PGMOL and the rumble is more and more about the management of the referees and we all know that this is where Riley his responsibility is lying.

Untold will keep an eye on it of course. Just as we will on matters of referees and on who PL teams do in Europe.

26 Replies to “Premier League, still the best or are we being lied to? Part 3 – The downfall”

  1. Walter,
    If you’d allow a grace note: Judging from this, the MLS surely has better taste than the “exalted” EPL: have a look and a smile at who graces the front page (not just the sports page) of today’s NY Times:
    (Indeed, our classiest has got his side on a serious running to a possible league championship and has turned B. Wright-Phillips into a 30 goal scorer.)

  2. Very incisive. The PL has definitely lost some of its edge. Money swathing amongst the so called ‘elite’ has had a demoralising effect on many teams. As for referees – and the decline of respect and fair treatment toward Arsenal – where do you start? From Arshavin’s ridiculously called offside goal v Sunderland at home, the farcical nightmare of decisions in that never talked about 4-4 with Newcastle, the Naismith offside against Everton, the incredible offside v Anderlecht, the swan dive of Rooney in THAT game, the outrageous penalty against Toure in C League at Anfield…Truly a book could be written on these and dozens of other unbelievable decisions. Mike Riley…take a bow son, take a bow!

  3. Excellent post Walter. But can there be a link between Riley and the downward spiral of the Three Lions? I believe there is and I’ve been a firm believer for like ages, though I cannot really put a coherent argument forward as you obviously have. But there is a link somewhere and it’s waiting for someone to find it and expose it. That man’s (mis-)rule of the PGMOL for this long coincides with a steady decline in the fortunes of the English National Team. You can’t rubbish someone else’s hard work thru’ subterfuge and bare-faced roberry time and again, and not pay steeply in other areas. What goes round, comes round you know.

  4. I think it is a little bit of a stretch to blame the PL’s relative decline on refereeing, although would hypothesise:

    1. The “it’s a man’s game” approach, symbolised by the almost exclusive appointment of northern refs (as opposed to more technical southern refs) and the higher foul/card threshold means that English teams struggle a little with the stricter refereeing standards applied elsewhere. It would be interesting to know if the number of cards/fouls awarded against English teams in the CL exceeds that of the PL? In any event, some adaptation is required.

    2. The lenient approach in England means that more players get injured. Again, it would be interesting to compare English injury rates against continental injury rates.

    Non-referee related causes could be that English TV money is more fairly distributed than elsewhere. So while Bayern, Barca and Real Madrid are right up there in terms of global revenues, there is a much steeper drop off. It would be interesting to compare the 10th placed English team against their continental opposite numbers, ditto the 18th. Obviously, these teams do not compete in Europe.

    The Europa League is not taken very seriously in England so that is not a great comparison (is it taken seriously – i.e. picking 1st choice XIs – elsewhere?).

  5. Good read Walter.

    But I’m not so sure how much power Mike Riley wields as the head of the PGMOL.

    Getting rid of Mike Riley might prove beneficial to Arsenal’s plight from officialdom but I somehow think the “new man” will carry out the orders with the same aplomb.

    Can we be sure that Mike Riley is the kingpin here? or is it those people employing the likes of Mike Riley?

    For My money Riley is no more than a puppet, paid to do as he is told.

  6. Excellent Walter. Think man city this week were the victims of ….amongst other things, thinking they can get away with things in the ECL that they do in PL matches.
    I would add though, the refs we get in Europe are as bad as the ones we get at home!
    Riley is just a scudamore stooge. A weak puppet. Head of the refs, who are clearly in crisis in their management, lack of leadership, and performances. Yet we never hear a peep out of him. Leadership indeed.
    Has Howard Webb been bought in as a replacement? Is Webb being kept quiet for a reason? One manc sympathiser bought in for another chosen by a king maker manc sympathiser?
    If there is a power struggle in the pgmol, those after change are most probably trading carefully, Riley may be a complete fcukwit, but he probably knows where a hell of a lot of bones are buried. Might cost more than fifty grand to keep him quiet if he is ousted.

  7. Wenga sh’ld h’ve b’ght Balotelli 😉 Well that is what they said on september first…

    And apparently Chelsea players cannot commit handball in their penalty area…New in the laws of the PGMOL

  8. Was there much difference with Ramires hand to face and Yaya second yellow in the CL game?

  9. Check out these “The Ref Show” shows.
    The start of Ref Show 11 reviewing the past week games.
    “There are some serious questions to raise about the current standard of refereeing in the Premiere League. Keith Hackett and Mark Halsey our experts here……..where to start clear penalties not given, maybe half a dozen….and Red Card offences, numbering several go unpunished, that’s not mentioning Joe Hart, who goes head-to-head with the Referee and escapes any punishment what so ever….”

  10. Right Mandy – PGMOLovic playing their part in keeping Chelsea ahead. Two keepers at the same time always been standard for Chelsea. JT was allowed to keep goal ahead of Chek before, now it’s Cahill’s rurn. Let’s see what MOTD say. It wont change the result.

  11. @ Walter Excellent trio of posts. The PGMOL effect is basically due to the number of injuries to PL players. This can be shown in the stats (not my forte). I just use logical conclusions. If PL players are not available for ECL then teams will not perform to standard. PGMOL have impacted PL teams big time with their avoidance of Laws of the Game. There are some nasty tackles being allowed and several ‘kicks to regularise play’ that were obvious in our meeting with Chelsea.

  12. Walter, an excellent series of articles.

    It is a subjective exercise to compare leagues and try to decide which league is the “best” – in terms of strongest league, most entertaining, containing the best players, containing the strongest team or even best at developing players.

    What is apparent in any sector is that if an enterprise stands still it will be left behind since most competitors will be making every effort to progress.

    In the EPL, Walter has rightly highlighted the correlation between Riley taking charge at the PGMOL and the fall off in the performance by EPL clubs in Europe. We could postulate that the incompetent closed shop run by Riley has distorted class and in some cases restricted player and team development within the EPL and further, it elevated teams to the top who then enjoyed a position above their ability.

    Considering the lack of coaches and indeed the apparent absence of an overall coaching system/strategy at junior/youth levels – we can see that both ends of the game suffer unnecessary restrictions re development. We are standing still or worse – probably worse given the overall incompetence of the FA.

    Will the problem be solved – not until those incompetent members of the unreal world are removed from their unearned positions of authority.

  13. Yes, Anthony Taylor indeed. For years, it was Utd, a couple seasons ago, it was city, last season, Liverpool, now it is Chelsea. Cannot recall a decision going against them all season.
    Would love to know, have these refs been bought, pressurised…..and why Chelsea? The media may love him, but do the authorities really worship Chelsea and their manager so much? if they do cannot think why.
    These refs and their,puppet masters will kill the game.

  14. Now, mike dean doing himself for city. QPR have had two goals disallowed in a few seconds, and a strong pen appeal turned down

  15. Posted a long time ago regarding EPL referees interpreting the laws of the game differently to anyother country which IMO is detremental to all the UK associations and clubs playing in europe.
    Just been watching GUNZs link to YOU TUBE Referee decisions show , Walter we need you on there they are debateing all the subjects/areas of refereeing you are questioning on Untold

  16. Legendary post, Walter.

    @Steven Vallins
    Whats this about a Referee Decisions youtube show? Who runs it? Are they biased?

  17. I noticed the pattern in that Liverpool vs Chelsea game.

    The method for Chelsea’s intimidation of opposition teams in the league, with the collusion of the match officials, seems to be two-fold. On the one hand, Chelsea kick and push and shove in face (Ramires on Sterling, he clearly did it on purpose to hurt him) and whilst Chelsea do not get fouls called against them, the opposition has every advantage taken from them and their general morale and play disrupted. Second, Chelsea players will run across opposition players and fall over (Chambers yellow against Arsenal this season; yellow against Balotelli look the same last night – please do correct me if I am wrong though). The tripping over seems to have been introduced to Chelsea’s bag of dirty tricks, as introduced by their current manager in his previous stint.

    When Liverpool cannot get a fairly refereed match at Anfield, then you just know Chelsea are the ‘chosen’ ones this season. League is fixed. Taylor is a piece of faeces and pile of moral ineptitude, to say it politely.

  18. @Tasos

    Of course, you are right. Mike Riley is nothing more than a pawn who answers to those with real power. However, I think that the more attention is drawn to EPL referee standards lowered = less money, the more the power brokers will pay attention, as money is their only concern. We have to talk their language.

  19. @ Sav
    Harrard has a habit of putting a ieg across an opponent Chambers also done the same thing in a recent game against QPR won a penalty which won the game . Hazzard was going nowhere so the defender should not give him the opportunity to do this all said part of Maureen tactics to win at all cost
    If refs do their job correctly Chelsea should start losing players through accumulation of bookings

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