So we were deluded over the issue of referees? More evidence

By Walter Broeckx

Only last week I found a comment on Untold that went like this: “The refs are not only unfair to Arsenal. If u check the record of refs in games of Chelsea, man city,lvpool, man utd and others this season , you wil find out that they are treated unfairly too. Everything just balances out. No ref is against Arsenal , city chel ,manu or anyone . Its just normal. Stop creating the “us against the world mentality”

Certainly the part Everything just balances out made me sigh and chuckle. I asked this person to come up with evidence for his opinion. Needless to say that I got no more reply from this one time poster.

It is just another example of how Untold Arsenal has done years of studying referees and as a result we are able to predict what and how referees work and how their performances are strange when you look at the laws of the games. We found an anti-Arsenal bias over the years.  We can back this up with numbers. And I once again will point out the fact that in the year when we did our reviews with referees who supported other clubs the anti-Arsenal bias was the biggest found.

For many years Untold Arsenal have said this. And many years we had people calling us fools. Deluded. Biased. But never has anyone came up with their own numbers. Actually one person did but more about that later in this article. We have shown by analysing the penalty numbers of different teams that something is strange. And we have shown the analysis of the yellow cards decisions how Arsenal players get yellow cards for breathing in the direction of opposite players while being kicked from left to right without cards being given to our opponents.

All this was shown by giving you the numbers of each and every referee decision we analysed and with facts. And based on these numbers and facts we have been asking the head of the head of the PGMO. That secret organisation that is hiding somewhere and only pops up from time to time but that was never really questioned. Mike Riley and Howard Webb came up with some numbers over the last seasons. But without any of the detail we provided. No, they just said that 99% of the decisions were correct and that we just had to take them on their word. Move along they said to the watching audience outside the crime scene. There is nothing to see, move along.

So we stood there on our own for most of the time. In front of the PGMO door shouting at them. Nobody came out to react of course as that is what secret organisations do when they are being questioned. And we got our abuse from people who said we were foolish to believe that there might be something wrong with the referees. And we just had to believe them on their word that it just balances out.

Our numbers showed it didn’t balance out. Certainly not for certain teams. And I want to point that other teams have suffered also from referee bias. Teams that got relegated after we found a strong bias against them. Not as strong as the bias against Arsenal but I remember Reading having a tough time with referees when they were in the PL last time and went down.

Anyway, this morning I saw a link to the blog of former head of the PGMO Keith Hackett.  So not an “Untold-lunatic” as we have been called. No, he should know what he is talking about. And my goodness he makes Untold look like a bunch of softies. If you don’t want to go to his article I  quote from his blog a few things:

The PGMOL is failing in its aim to DELIVER EXCELLENCE ON THE FIELD

“Here is a suggested list of action that needs to take place:-

  • Dispense with the services of the current PGMOL General Manager
  • Dispense with the services of Keren Barratt
  • Bin the Invigilators; this performance review procedure is not working
  • Appoint Headhunters to find a new general manager. Howard Webb, Peter Walton, Hugh Dallas, should be invited for interview
  • The PGMOL Management team would no longer require the attendance of Neale Barry, FA “Head of Senior Refereeing.” I suggest that he has failed to deliver a succession plan and few referees of any quality are coming through
  • Re-assert what is required from the manager of the National List. More National List referees need to be developed in the succession plan”

How about that for being critical about the PGMO?

And this is not an Arsenal supporting blog that is saying such things. No, this is a person that knows the ins and outs of the PGMO very well. I really suggest you read his whole article as a lot of what he is saying is the same what we have found in our numbers about some referees.

So it seems that Untold Arsenal is no longer on its own in asking for the head of the head. It seems that Untold was right in saying that something is and has for a long time been completely wrong with the referees in the PL and that it all went from bad to worse when Mike Riley became head of the PGMO. (Although Riley who might be a puppet on a string for someone else by the way).

Next time you come to Untold and want to be critical about us being critical about the referees I suggest you read the article from Keith Hackett again. Because it looks that Untold was right in being critical about the head of the PGMO all these years.  Maybe it is time that some realise that it is not Untold Arsenal that has to remove the blinkers but it is about time that people dare to question the PGMO and their head Mike Riley.

Can we use the words “told you so?” Well I think I just did. And if it is all right with you I will sit back this afternoon and enjoy the feeling about no longer being the lone voice (with the rest of the Untold gang of course) out there.

Classic Untold

How refs are fixing football matches

Media Rally to Stop Talk of Bent Refs

Untold Index



83 Replies to “So we were deluded over the issue of referees? More evidence”

  1. Walter,

    T,his blog has been at the forefront in terms of trying to uncover the conspiracy which has been going on. Keep up the great work.

  2. Vindication for the work you have done. My concern is that just removing the head won’t make any difference if indeed he is only a puppet whose strings are being pulled from elsewhere. As Deep Throat would say, follow the money.

  3. I was glad to see a report of Hackett’s blog, but the thought did quickly occur to me, ‘wouldn’t he have been the guy in charge at the time Riley was selected as just the man for the Old Trafford game back in 2004?’

    I’ll take any hope of things improving, but he would be a strange good guy.

    Surprised me the other day to see a fairly recent pic of Davd Ellery suggesting he had some involvement in the higher echelonns of refereeing. He was the last one I trusted to ref United properly

  4. @ Rich

    That thought had occured to me too. It also occured to me that the team that seemingly gained the most was the one that was the most marketable of footballing commodities with the manager being the one most revered (scared of) by referees.


    I couldn’t agree more. Money speaks very loudly. I concur that changing the head does not change the level of secrecy and the lack of accountability of which Walter talks so much.

    The PGMO should be accountable to the people who legitimately pay their wages.

  5. We are getting a slightly larger number than usual of people writing in saying, “You are wrong” in relation to our referee analyses.

    I would once again reiterate what Walter said in the article – if you want to show that our figures are wrong, please give some data. And not just a couple of incidents where (it is alleged) an Arsenal player gets away with a foul that is not called.

    I must say however that I do find it funny that we can have an article that points out that lots of people write in saying “you are wrong” without given any data, and then people write in and say “you are wrong” without giving any data.

    Or maybe that is just their little joke. If so, I’ve cracked that joke now.

  6. I have just read Hackett’s blog. The thing I noticed straight away was the list of referees he wants dropped, by coincidence, the ones that are not popular when in charge of Arsenal games? Of course, there are others as well, but if you pruned the lot they would have hardly anybody left.
    The wheels are turning …
    Great stuff

  7. Posted this on the previous blog – thought I would repost here (sorry Walter and Tony):

    When I had a chat with a recently retired PGMO ref, his comments were (paraphrasing) that Riley is an unpleasant bully whereas Hackett was supportive.

    As noted above, things really started to go downhill fast in 2009. Also, there was nothing like the current north/south refereeing disparity then as there is now. Even though Hackett is from Sheffield.

    You can be absolutely sure that Hackett has been talking to his former charges. Does anyone know whether the refs Hackett has criticised were appointed to PGMO before or after he retired?

  8. It is so simple to correct the PGMO. Let us get the FA to become transparent. It is the paymaster that funds the coal face of corruption. When the FA is cleansed then the officiating will become honest.

    There are basics that need to be addressed. Basics that pervert reality. The Associations that govern football are in need of cleansing in every country as they have allowed their parent to soak billions into the pockets of corruption. If football truly wants to become honest it needs to force transparency in every aspect of the game.

    We need people like many of the managers in the English game to start the ball rolling. They know there are crooked people involved in the game. They should blow the whistle & clear the decks. While they are doing that maybe we should also clear the decks in politics as the expenses scandal showed us crooks are everywhere.

  9. One of the problems is that to accept that referees are biased and/or corrupted blows away the entire edifice supporting professional football in this country. We all love football and none of us want to see one of our passions completely discredited.

    It is much easier to say things like “it all evens out in the end” and suchlike.

    But, as Walter and Tony say, where is the evidence that referees are NOT biased and/or corrupted? The statistical evidence is absolutely incontrovertible – and absolutely damning.

    As noted on the previous post, Italian football has sunk from Top League in Europe to 4th or 5th over the last 25 years or so. Corruption must be a big part of that reason.

  10. Just a thought Walter. Would it be possible to run an ongoing series of “Were you asleep, incompetent or ….??” prefaced by the name of the referee? This would require a link to the specific incident eg it could start with “Mike Riley….” followed by a link to the Ferdinand foul on Freddie Ljungberg when the 49ers went down. Atkinson.. the same with Cahill’s attempt to break Alexis’ leg. There are so many others involving other clubs that we could run at least a weekly series.
    Anyone with the technical gifts to pull the links?

  11. I went through the Select Referee list at Wikipedia, and then the history of that page about this time of year, to the beginning of records on that page, and extracted the referee table. I then evened up white space, and sorted the lines aphabetically. Different referees appear differing numbers of times. The year they were nominated to the select group should be constant. Some referees seem to have changed their county affiliation over the years.

    The first set of data, is alphabetically by surname. The first number, is the number of times their name showed up in my data, not the number of years they were in the select group. The second set of data, is by year of start, and then alphabetically. After those 2 lists, are another 2 lists. These are the referees listed as retired from the current Wikipedia Select group page. The first is alphametical by surname. The second is sorted by year started, then by year retired, then alphabetical on surname.

    Atwell appears in both sets of 2 lists.

    7 Martin Atkinson West Yorkshire 2005
    4 Stuart Attwell Warwickshire 2008
    2 Steve Bennett Kent 2001
    7 Mark Clattenburg County Durham/Tyne & Wear 2004
    7 Mike Dean Cheshire/Merseyside 2001
    7 Phil Dowd Staffordshire 2001
    2 Roger East Wiltshire 2013
    7 Chris Foy Merseyside 2001
    6 Kevin Friend Leicestershire 2009
    5 Mark Halsey Lancashire 2001
    7 Mike Jones Cheshire 2008
    2 Robert Madley West Yorkshire 2013
    7 Andre Marriner West Midlands 2005
    7 Lee Mason Lancashire 2006
    4 Jonathan Moss West Yorkshire 2011
    5 Michael Oliver Northumberland 2010
    2 Craig Pawson South Yorkshire 2013
    7 Lee Probert Wiltshire 2007
    1 Uriah Rennie South Yorkshire 2001
    1 Mike Riley West Yorkshire 2001
    2 Keith Stroud Hampshire 2007
    1 Rob Styles Hampshire 2001
    4 Neil Swarbrick Lancashire 2011
    2 Steve Tanner Avon 2007
    5 Anthony Taylor Cheshire/Greater Manchester/Manchester 2010
    4 Peter Walton Northamptonshire 2003
    6 Howard Webb South Yorkshire 2003
    2 Alan Wiley Staffordshire 2001

    2 Steve Bennett Kent 2001
    7 Mike Dean Cheshire/Merseyside 2001
    7 Phil Dowd Staffordshire 2001
    7 Chris Foy Merseyside 2001
    5 Mark Halsey Lancashire 2001
    1 Uriah Rennie South Yorkshire 2001
    1 Mike Riley West Yorkshire 2001
    1 Rob Styles Hampshire 2001
    2 Alan Wiley Staffordshire 2001

    4 Peter Walton Northamptonshire 2003
    6 Howard Webb South Yorkshire 2003

    7 Mark Clattenburg County Durham/Tyne & Wear 2004

    7 Martin Atkinson West Yorkshire 2005
    7 Andre Marriner West Midlands 2005

    7 Lee Mason Lancashire 2006

    7 Lee Probert Wiltshire 2007
    2 Keith Stroud Hampshire 2007
    2 Steve Tanner Avon 2007

    4 Stuart Attwell Warwickshire 2008
    7 Mike Jones Cheshire 2008

    6 Kevin Friend Leicestershire 2009

    5 Michael Oliver Northumberland 2010
    5 Anthony Taylor Cheshire/Greater Manchester/Manchester 2010

    4 Jonathan Moss West Yorkshire 2011
    4 Neil Swarbrick Lancashire 2011

    2 Roger East Wiltshire 2013
    2 Robert Madley West Yorkshire 2013
    2 Craig Pawson South Yorkshire 2013


    Stuart Attwell Warwickshire 2008 2012
    Graham Barber Hertfordshire 2001 2004
    Neale Barry Lincolnshire 2001 2005
    Steve Bennett Kent 2001 2010
    Steve Dunn Gloucestershire 2001 2006
    Paul Durkin Dorset 2001 2004
    Andy D’Urso Essex 2001 2005
    David Elleray Kent 2001 2003
    Dermot Gallagher Oxfordshire 2001 2007
    Mark Halsey Lancashire 2001 2013
    Peter Jones Leicestershire 2001 2002
    Barry Knight Kent 2001 2008
    Matt Messias Cheshire 2001 2006
    Graham Poll Hertfordshire 2001 2007
    Uriah Rennie South Yorkshire 2001 2009
    Mike Riley West Yorkshire 2001 2009
    Keith Stroud Dorset 2007 2009
    Rob Styles Hampshire 2001 2009
    Steve Tanner Somerset 2007 2009
    Peter Walton Northamptonshire 2003 2012
    Howard Webb South Yorkshire 2003 2014
    Alan Wiley Staffordshire 2001 2010
    Jeff Winter Lancashire 2001 2004

    Peter Jones Leicestershire 2001 2002

    David Elleray Kent 2001 2003

    Graham Barber Hertfordshire 2001 2004
    Paul Durkin Dorset 2001 2004
    Jeff Winter Lancashire 2001 2004

    Neale Barry Lincolnshire 2001 2005
    Andy D’Urso Essex 2001 2005

    Steve Dunn Gloucestershire 2001 2006
    Matt Messias Cheshire 2001 2006

    Dermot Gallagher Oxfordshire 2001 2007
    Graham Poll Hertfordshire 2001 2007

    Barry Knight Kent 2001 2008

    Uriah Rennie South Yorkshire 2001 2009
    Mike Riley West Yorkshire 2001 2009
    Rob Styles Hampshire 2001 2009

    Steve Bennett Kent 2001 2010
    Alan Wiley Staffordshire 2001 2010

    Mark Halsey Lancashire 2001 2013

    Peter Walton Northamptonshire 2003 2012
    Howard Webb South Yorkshire 2003 2014

    Keith Stroud Dorset 2007 2009
    Steve Tanner Somerset 2007 2009

    Stuart Attwell Warwickshire 2008 2012

  12. I’m shocked Anthony Taylor isn’t in the Hackette’s “referees who will(shall) not be required for next season” list…
    Seriously, that man is a disaster.

  13. We must, of course, be careful what we wish for. If referees get dismissed in too great numbers football can’t take place.
    If they are genuinely finding it difficult to keep up with the speed of the game these days then lets help them with more and better technology.
    In my long lifetime cricket, tennis and rugby have embraced technology with gusto by comparison to football. I know goal line technology is in place but I don’t think I’ve seen it used more than once at Emirates this season. It’s a solution to a problem that hardly exists.
    Let’s make life easier for refs and fairer for everyone by having a (maybe limited) review system for key incidents and lets have a fixed penalty for fouls e.g. warning for the first, blue for the second, yellow for the third and red for the fourth. I noticed that the Wimbledon centre forward (strangely nicknamed The Beast) personally committed over ten fouls in the game and yet stayed on the pitch. Can you imagine Flamini getting such considerate treatment?
    Consistency is the key and then we can all feel that there is a level playing field.

  14. While the evidence is irrefutable that many referees display bias against Arsenal, I would like to see some proof of the benefit they receive due to their actions
    (or inaction in a number of cases).
    It cannot be merely a dislike of our great Club. It must be more than that.
    Surely somewhere along the line there is a whistle-blower.
    An honest referee who refused to toe the line. A disgruntled dishonest one whose benefit wasn’t as much as he expected.
    Do they receive money or kind? Or both?
    Sooner or later someone will provide vital evidence.
    It must be only a question of time.

  15. Might as well catch another couple of points from that big list.

    I believe there are 39 unique names on that list.

    As near as I can tell, the only one that isn’t caucasian is Uriah Rennie. In North America, I would call him African American. I am not sure how he would be classified in England.

    As near as I can tell, with 1 exception (2?), all of those referees are of English nationality and born in England. Gallagher is Irish, and born in Dublin. One might be Welsh?

    A few of the non-active referees still have pages at Andy D’Urso seems to have a unique page, in that the description of him is Lorem Ipsum. used to have a series on Men in Black, and Wikipedia sometimes references those articles. It wouldn’t surprise me, but I think those articles have been purged.

    In no particular order, it appears that the only people on thoses lists who were born a “significant distance” away from their listed county affiliation are: Kevin Friend, Mark Halsey, Jonathon Moss and Dermot Gallagher.

    I will leave it up to you, the north/south partitioning.

    Martin Atkinson West Yorkshire: Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, Caucasian
    Stuart Attwell Warwickshire: Nuneaton, England, Caucasian
    Steve Bennett Kent: Farnborough, Kent, England, Caucasian
    Mark Clattenburg County Durham/Tyne & Wear: Consett, County Durham, England, Caucasian
    Mike Dean Cheshire/Merseyside: Wirral, __, England, Caucasian
    Phil Dowd Staffordshire: Staffordshire, __, England, Caucasian
    Roger East Wiltshire: Wiltshire, England Caucasian
    Chris Foy Merseyside: St. Helens, Lancashire, England, Caucasian
    **Kevin Friend Leicestershire: Bristol, England, Caucasian
    **Mark Halsey Lancashire: Welwyn Garden City, Herfordshire, England, Caucasian
    Mike Jones Cheshire: Chester, Cheshire, England, Caucasian
    Robert Madley West Yorkshire: Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England, Caucasian
    Andre Marriner West Midlands: Birmingham, England, Caucasian
    Lee Mason Lancashire: Bolton, Greater Manchester, England, Caucasian
    **Jonathan Moss West Yorkshire: Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, England, Caucasian
    Michael Oliver Northumberland: Ashinton, Northumberland, England, Caucasian
    Craig Pawson South Yorkshire: South Yorkshire, England, Caucasian
    Lee Probert Wiltshire: South Gloucestershire, England, Caucasian
    Uriah Rennie South Yorkshire: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, African
    Mike Riley West Yorkshire: Leeds, England, Caucasian
    Keith Stroud Hampshire: Bournemouth, Hampshire, England, Caucasian
    Rob Styles Hampshire: Waterlooville, Hampshire, England, Caucasian
    Neil Swarbrick Lancashire: Preston, Lancashire, England, Caucasian
    Steve Tanner Avon: Somerset, England, Caucasian
    Anthony Taylor Cheshire/Greater Manchester/Manchester: Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, England, Caucasian
    Peter Walton Northamptonshire: Long Buckby, Northamptonshire, England, Caucasian
    Howard Webb South Yorkshire: Rotherham, West Yorkshre, England, Caucasian
    Alan Wiley Staffordshire: Burntwood, Staffordshire, England, Caucasian

    Graham Barber Hertfordshire: 2001 2004 Hertfordshire, England, Caucasian
    Neale Barry Lincolnshire: 2001 2005 Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England, Caucasian
    Steve Dunn Gloucestershire: 2001 2006 Gloucestershire, England, Caucasian
    Paul Durkin Dorset: 2001 2004 Dorset?, England Caucasian
    Andy D’Urso Essex: 2001 2005 Essex?, England Caucasian?
    David Elleray Kent: 2001 2003 Cover, Kent, England, Caucasian
    **Dermot Gallagher Oxfordshire: 2001 2007 Ringsend, Dublin, Ireland, Caucasian
    Peter Jones Leicestershire: 2001 2002 Loughborough, Leicestershire, England, Caucasian
    Barry Knight Kent: 2001 2008 Oprington, Kent, England, Caucasian?
    Matt Messias Cheshire: 2001 2006 Hertfordshire, England, Caucasian
    Graham Poll Hertfordshire: 2001 2007 Tring, Herfordshire, England, Caucasian
    Jeff Winter Lancashire: 2001 2004 Middlesbrough?, England Caucasian

    The Football Association suspended D’Urso for 28 days from 27 August 2004 when he failed to send off Blackburn Rovers captain Barry Ferguson after showing him two yellow cards.[3] D’Urso vowed to carry on with his refereeing career.[4] D’Urso appealed, successfully, against the decision to relegate him from the Select Group but he was not selected for a single Premiership match in the 2005–06 season.

  16. nicky

    For what it’s worth this is my take.

    1-The media set the agenda.

    2-The PGMOL and Referees follow the agenda.

    3-The PGMOL and Referees are judged by the media.

    4-The media make there judgements, not on how a Referee applies the laws of the game but by how well he treats the teams there agenda favours, and how badly he treats the ones they don’t.

    Some examples of how this is borne out:

    FA Cup Final. Apparently a fantastic Refereeing performance. Quite amazing considering what scant regard he had for the the laws of the game. Similar to last year against Villa, and this year against Chelsea and Stoke. All very biased against Arsenal, all very highly rated by the media. Contrast that to the continued negative press the ref is getting for disallowing Songs goal.

    To summarise, the media is the piper, the PGMOL and the referees just dance to there tune.

    I have said many times, if Wenger left and darli ‘Arry took over we would soon as not see an uptown in our standing in the media swiftly followed by an upturn in our officiating fortunes.

  17. Another very interesting article.

    In my experience of dealing with cover ups the more complete and sophisticated the cover up the greater the initial indiscretion.

    I remember a particular gentleman who was extremely arrogant and aggressive to his staff. This could have been for a number of reasons but the real reason was that he had his fingers in the till & thought by keeping his staff at a distance he was less likely to be caught.

    There is no doubt that refereeing standards are unacceptable, that has been the case for some time and there is no sign of improvement. For Arsenal, this has meant a continued leakage of points through boneheaded decisions by the refs – so much so that a campaign against Arsenal could be argued.

    Given the secrecy of the PGMO, the reluctance to introduce technology and refusal to explain their after match analysis or even training it is hard not to consider something is being hidden by the PGMO and possibly by its employers.

  18. It reminds me of the great denials of the use of performance enhancing drugs in cycling, and to a lesser extent athletics, before we found out about Lance Armstrong, Marian Jones, Ben Johnson, etc. Before that everyone tried to keep up the facade that cyclists were clean, all was well, Lance was just a freak of nature, etc. No one would possibly believe that the great Tour de France could ever be tainted by doping, etc.

    All it took was one person to speak up. Then another. And another, until it all came crashing down. Hopefully we are seeing the same in football.

  19. Nicky, imagine this scenario.

    A team that is going for the league title and has unlimited financial resources draws up a list of say 3 teams that could beat it to the title. So they say to certain refs, look if you get team X, do us a favour.

    So these are not matches involving the club that is doing the fixing, but the club they want to make sure lose a few matches en route.

    Now supposing such a club that is being nominated to be done down is itself in touch with refs and saying, “we know the system, and there will be a little something extra for you if you say, ‘sorry guys, but the situation didn’t occur…”

    It gets complex and confusing but could leave one or two clubs with refs against them, and no counter measure, and one or two clubs with refs against them and being paid to nullify that negative.

    You can work out the result.

    And if that sounds like tin hat land, that’s how it worked in Italy. There were at least five clubs involved in the corruption.

  20. @Tony,
    So it looks like money from clubs to referees….
    For whatever reason.
    That means cash, not cheques, so accountants at clubs are part of the corruption, together with their books. And perhaps the auditors.
    I await the day when a sacked accountant decides to tell all.

  21. Gord – I vaguely recall a referee of Asian origin refereeing at the top level – but this might have been prior to PGMO.

  22. I am the guy that posted the comment about everything balancing out. i dont have any stats to parade but i know that am saying the truth. I am not saying that the refs are not biased, but you make it look as if the whole refs are out to get Arsenal and only Arsenal down by all means. You make it look like it is a campaign against Arsenal. I am a diehard Arsenal fan and i will say the truth when i see it .The only reason it looks like the refs are against Arsenal is because to be sincere , Arsenal is underperforming. We are expected to be fighting for the title and we should not use the refs as the 100% excuse for not perfoming well. In almost every match involving the other title rivals, they always get decisions against them but they still perform well and that is why Nobody is talking about the decisions against them. We should not use the refs as our excuse for perfoming badly in matches. I believe we should focus on how to make the team better rather than moan about decisions not going our way.
    If you must come to the conclusion that the refs are very very very biased against us, you have to publish the ref report for 2014 of our main title rivals. Lets compare it with ours and lets see wether we are exxagerating or not.
    I will be glad if we compare the stats. Then we can believe that “everyone is out for us” or not.
    I am not an AAA.
    Don’T mind my spelling errors.

  23. @Josh
    Walter has the proof derived from the results of his extensive ref reviews. They prove conclusively that things do not balance out. You do not have, by your own admission, a single stat to back up your claim that things do even out. That is the truth you say. The truth based on what?
    You can check all Walters claims yourself and then make a more informed judgement.

  24. Incredible statements from Hackett, and this website and it’s authors should be very proud of the work they have done on this down the years. Please continue your crime-scene vigil!

  25. All am saying is let walters post the 2014 ref reviews of our main rivals.lets compare it and then we can all be sure that there is a campaign against us.

  26. You cant say the refs are “more”against you when you are only using ur own stats of injustice. You have to produce your stats and that of other clubs . Then we will compare them and come to conclusions. You cant just jump to conclusions based on what is happening to you. You have to compare it with what is happening to others before concluding that we get the worst decisions.

  27. Josh

    Lets put aside the referee reviews for a moment then.

    How do you explain the statistics produced here that show:

    -Over a prolonged period of time we get more cards per foul than ANY other team.

    -We get a terrible return on penalties given for and against compared to almost every other team, especially when you compare to our top 4 opponents.

    These are 2 irrefutable facts that are directly attributed to how we are refereed.

    Your thoughts?

  28. @Josh
    It is not only the Arsenal games that have been reviewed, all the other teams have been reviewed as well.
    If you are going to come on here rubbishing Walters and others efforts then at least base your arguments on solid facts.

  29. Josh – Your points about whether or not the team is underperforming are not relevant to this debate. As Jambug notes, there is OBJECTIVE statistical proof around penalties and cards. Regarding the penalties, we are losing out on around net 4 goals per season since 2009. That is probably 3 or 4 points. Like it or not, this is a fact. It is harder to quantify the effect of the card disparity, but it is likely to be more points. And then the general refereeing errors – not absolutely objective – but close to – will be costing more.

    Full referee reviews were not conducted in 2013/14, but a very good range of games were covered by, in general, non Arsenal supporting refs, in 2012/13 and extensive analysis was published of the outcomes which details the degree of bias (in a statistical sense) for and against every team. All this are in the site archives.

  30. I want you to post the card per foul stats of all teams and penalties for and against of all things . You will also post style of play of each team and the average reaction to being disposessed of all teams . Lets start comparing. I just want us to sort things out and start seeing posts about positive happeings in our club instead of moaning after moaning nd negetivities. Lets stop posing as victims. Anyway start parading the stats lets see.

  31. Pte.

    It is possible that I missed someone, I went as far back in Wikipedia as I could, which isn’t as far back as PGMO goes. But the caucasian, born in England, live in the north tendency is strong. Although, I am still waiting for someone to go through those 39 names, and tag them N/S.

  32. Okay you win . The whole world is against us. What good do you think it will do for the team by moaning everyday. Lets start seeing posts about the recent “positive” things happening in our club so that we can share our views instead of focusing mainly on People that are for or against us. Am not saying we shouldnt talk about the refs. We should but lets focus more on our team and club issues (positive ones). if we keep on talking mainly about refs then there is no difference between us and the AAA.

  33. Okay you win . The whole world is against us. What good do you think it will do for the team by moaning everyday. Lets start seeing posts about the recent “positive” things happening in our club so that we can share our views instead of focusing mainly on People that are for or against us. Am not saying we shouldnt talk about the refs. We should but lets focus more on our team and club issues (positive ones). if we keep on talking mainly about refs then there is no difference between us and the AAA. The only diff is wenger and refs.

  34. Josh it is not up to an self proclaimed Arsenal site to carry out the work necessary to prove the referring bias against all football clubs.
    Its job (should have been the media) is to do what untold has done and prove a bias excists against Arsenal.
    So what I am saying it’s up to the supporters of clubs like Reading to carry out the work done on untold.
    For which I am very grateful Because it proves I wasn’t insane all these years.

  35. By the way Josh you could always start the work you are asking to be done yourself.

  36. Am tired of arguing with you all.This is the best arsenal blog but i just wanted to make a point i believe is right.

  37. Hey Josh, don’t be lazy now, its up to YOU to do the research you want to support your arguments and then post it so we can see whether it holds up.

  38. Tony, Michael Calvin had an article in The Guardian, also highlighting the deficiencies in certain referees.

    Mike Riley is bound to be one of the officials, who selects which match officials, will officiate each EPL games. Dean, I would suggest, picks and chooses.

    Certainly, each club in the EPL, will have the best televised coverage from a variety of angles.

    If one joins the club (EPL), one has to obey the rules of that club.

    Fortunately, Walter and his band of merry truth seekers, do NOT.

    Continue to pursue a lonely trail, in highlighting the mistakes.

  39. Josh
    Read the ref reviews for last season when we were doing well. Then decide either you accept or provide evidence to counter them.
    Unsubstantiated statements are pointless.

  40. I have alredy accepted defeat. I watch other matches and i see unjust decisions against other teams. Thats why i brought it up. Lets just bury it and concentrate on the team. we have been seeing various ref posts after posts . Lets deviate from that a little and talk more about the team, pontential transfers, perfomances etc for now.

  41. Josh.

    I believe the cards part, has been twice in the last year. I think Jambug did the latest one, but it was only a month or so ago. I don’t remember about a penalties analysis. The cards analysis did not have style of play, or if it did, I missed it. But we are all volunteers here, if you can’t do the work yourself, it is a bit much to demand someone else do it. It may be possible for you to pay someone to do it.

    But really, card and penalty analysis is suspect, if based on the number of cards and penalties issued by PGMO. If they are giving (or not giving) cards or penalties depending on circumstance, you are analysing some mixed effect, and issues will get muddied.

  42. @Walter & Tony,
    Thank you for all of the work you do on UA! You guys have been well ahead of the curve!


    The stats you requested are easily available online at footstats

    Breakdown of the expected Top 4-5 clubs for you

    Arsenal 44 YC 2 RC 210 Total Fouls 4.77 Fouls/card

    Chelsea 38 YC 2 RC 205 Total Fouls 5.39 Fouls/Card

    United 36 YC 3 RC 236 Total 6.56 fouls/card

    City 44 YC 2 RC 244 Total Fouls 5.55 fouls / card

    Arsenal are tied for the 2nd highest amount of yellow cards (44), while committing the 5th LOWEST amount of fouls in the league (tied for 5th)! So 14 teams have committed MORE fouls than Arsenal but only 1 team has received more cards!

  43. @Josh,

    The penalty stats are a little more time consuming, but interesting,

    Liverpool: 3 For, 1 Against

    Arsenal: 4 For, 2 Against

    Chelsea: 2 For, 1 Against

    United: 0 For, 4 Against

    City: 5 For, 3 Against

    Interesting parts:
    Liverpool received 2 penalties in their 2-2 draw against Leicester

    Arsenal had a penalty for and against them vs QPR and 1 penalty was in the 88′ of our 4-1 against Newcastle

    Chelsea’s penalties were against Arsenal (2-0) and in the 75th min in their 2-1 win against QPR

    United had 2 against them in the Leicester 5-3 loss

    City got 3 PK (scoring 2) and 1 Against (missed) in the 4-1 win against Tottenham and received 1 in their 1-0 win against Everton

    You are more than welcome to do the other 15 teams

  44. “I know goal line technology is in place but I don’t think I’ve seen it used more than once at Emirates this season. It’s a solution to a problem that hardly exists.”
    Goal line technology does solve a big problem: it’s how to perfume a great stench. The answer: Throw technology that doesn’t solve the real problem (rotten/bent intentions) and tell the fans that hey, we’re committed to fair play and our expenditures prove it. That shuts up fandumb for quite a while, because fandumb has no spine and want the appearance of being listened to without the substance (which requires a lot more of a push-back than goal line technology). And, in addition, some entity gets the goal-line technology contracts: to test, build, install and monitor play game after game. So the perfumers smile all the way to the bank, and fandumb gets the appearance of being heard, and those who want a level playing field get to gnash their teeth at seeing through it to no avail. The real question is: what is to be done.

  45. Josh/Jerry,

    A link to the penalty analysis…

    This season seems a little better to date. Strangely, all our penalties have come in the last month. One was awarded in a 2nd half when 3 down. One was awarded at the very end when two up. The West Ham and QPR penalties were both at 0-0 in the first half – but were blatant.

  46. I have noticed in the last few games that Arsenal did not get the usual force of negative decisions that we are used to, i fact, i saw things Arsenal players did as they got fed up and started to fight back, that normally would have gotten us punishment. For some reason, the refs were much different.

    Sad thing is, the same policies of politics is present in everything that has anything to do with lots of money as football does, hell, in our entire lives.

  47. Sorry, noticed my name was truncated.

    I have noticed in the last few games that Arsenal did not get the usual force of negative decisions that we are used to, i fact, i saw things Arsenal players did as they got fed up and started to fight back, that normally would have gotten us punishment. For some reason, the refs were much different.

    Sad thing is, the same policies of politics is present in everything that has anything to do with lots of money as football does, hell, in our entire lives.

  48. Other people might not understand your journey.
    That’s ok, it’s not theirs.
    Kate Spencer.

  49. Of course things don’t balance out, that would be impossible. I’ve said it on numerous occasions that reffing has been poor and that’s in relation to most teams this season, not just Arsenal. So it’s no surprise Hackett says what he says though one wonders what took him so long.

    As for bias against us I see that City have more yellow cards than us this season and yet no shouts of bias against them, perhaps because they’re genuine title contenders. Also in the top 20 yellow card offenders this season we have only one player, Chambers. Chelsea have three and Newcastle have four.

    I’ve yet to hear one sensible reason why refs have been instructed to be bias against us, that in itself would be a logistical nightmare even for the evil Crowley-like figure of Riley. And would this be to stop us winning the league? Why, when we neither have a good or fit enough squad to do so?

  50. Gord – Uriah Rennie was a decent referee. He red carded Alan Shearer -Englands Captain in a league match totally correctly & was banished off the face of football in UK.

    Three of the initial biased cheats were Riley, Wiley & Bennett. I hated the bastards & still do because of their blatant cheating & I believe covert racism.

    I could go back through matches & pick out incidents that led to my conclusions. I saw most of the matches live at Highbury and observed their behaviour in particular. It was annoying to the point where I showed fellow spectators what was happening. ‘It all balances out in the end’ was often the response, though all of them could not believe what they saw because they were watching football rather than observing human behaviour.

  51. You are aware that City received the same amount of yellow cards as Arsenal, but committed 34 MORE fouls than us? Maybe that’s why they don’t complain

  52. Rupert,
    I have given you one but you just didn’t read it in the past or ignored it: The fifa badge. The holy grail in referee land.
    Being flown all over the world in first class, super class hotels wherever you go, and getting paid around 5000euro to do a match of football as a ref. People have killed for less….. let alone “make a few mistakes”

  53. To continue: how on earth could Taylor and Probert ever been given a Fifa badge. Given by Riley by the way. As Probert finished in the bottom two of the referee merit table for many years. Taylor as terrible as Probert also got one from Riley.
    Maybe it is time you answer us why Riley gave it to them in the first place?

  54. Rupert Cook

    “I’ve yet to hear one sensible reason why refs have been instructed to be bias against us,”

    I think this from Mark on a different thread was a good stab at explaining what MIGHT be behind it.


    January 7, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    One of the questions that come up is who is benefiting from the manipulation of the games by the refs? It does not seem to be the gamblers because there would be unusual betting patterns that would call attention to the manipulation. So it seems to me that the manipulation is most likely benefiting some clubs. This was most clear in the Sir Alex’s final season. Clearly the manipulation was to allow Sir Alex to step into retirement as the league winner. Recently the beneficiary of the manipulation seems less clear but it might involve the media who want certain teams to be in the top four and this includes big money teams. Because big money team produce more headlines and drama. Also this season and last there does seem to be a clear effort to keep Arsenal from winning and from a top four finish. This also might be for the media. The media makes a lot of money by bashing Arsenal and making every thing that happens a crisis. They media would like to see Wenger sacked because managers changing is good for the media. Stability at a club is not a good thing for the media. Liverpool is more to the liking of the media because the go up and down the table quickly, they unexpectedly win and then lose. They are constantly buying lots of players and all of this creates ‘news’ that the media like. Because the EPL is being manipulated by the way the officiating is done, it becomes less interesting and enjoyable.””

    I have stated on here many times that I don’t think it has anything to do with gambling.

    I have stated on here many times that I believe it is MEDIA driven, for many of the reasons stated by Mark.

    Of course at the root of it is money, but money through ‘vested interests’ rather than direct ‘match fixing’ or ‘instructions’ as it where.

    This is my reasoning as to how it works:

    I believe the Referees are held to account by one thing, and it ain’t PGMOL, but the Media. Referees are accused, judged and sentenced by SKY sports, BT Sport, Talksport, the Sun, the Mirror, etc etc.

    In reality the PGMOL do not give a shit how the referee ACTUALLY performs, BUT they care enormously about how he is REPORTED to of performed.

    Yesterday I drew attention to 4 matches, though there are more, that specifically show how this works.

    I don’t think anyone in there right mind can suggest that the Referee in the FA Cup final had a good, even average game, in actuality, yet as far as the media where concerned he had a blinder, despite missing 2 stone wall and 2 more very good penalty shouts for Arsenal. The fact is the only thing he was taken to task on was the wrongly awarded corner that lead to our equaliser.

    That Refereeing performance was so bad, failing to apply the laws of the game throughout, that surely if PGMOL where seriously judging there Referees he would of been suspended. BUT NOTHING.

    You have to ask your self why?

    Because he was assessed, judged and found innocent, all over the media.

    I state this without hesitation, that had those penalty calls been for Hull the media would have slaughtered him and dutifully intern so would of the PGMOL.

    The other 3 games I mentioned where the notorious Villa game. The games at Chelsea and at Stoke. All contained some diabolical refereeing favouring our opponents. All judged in the media to be ‘good’ Refereeing performances. All Relevant Referees suffering no consequences. Nothing to see here, lets move on to the next game.

    The PGMOL and in turn the Referees are just puppets dancing to the medias tune and as long as they continue to do so they are in essence ‘doing well’.

    The Referees are effectively just following the path of least resistance, looking after themselves. They know, stick your head above the parapet and fail to stick to what is expected of you and you are in trouble, hence the numerous problems incurred by Referees who dared to cross Sir Alex.

    But it is not written down. It is not organised in darkened rooms, it is just known that ‘that is how it is’ ‘that is what is expected of you’ and ‘woe betide you rock the boat’

    I have also stated that I believe if, for whatever reason, we where suddenly in favour with the media we would instantly see an up turn in our refereeing fortunes.

    As I have also said before, it is perhaps not quite so easy to pinpoint the exact reasons as to WHY we are so hated by the media. It could just be a Wenger thing, as has been well documented on here many times. It is almost certainly money motivated. Lets face it, what isn’t.

    So in conclusion, and in response to your statement above, I don’t think the Referees have been ‘instructed’ they just KNOW what is expect and I feel Mark has had as good a stab as any at explaining why.

  55. It would be interesting to investigate whether any PGMO referees sustain a lifestyle, or hold assets, that are unsupported by their income… surely this would be something that any investigative journalist worth their salt would want to take on?

    I recall that Swedish referee who is an independent multi-millionaire. I always feel somewhat reassured when he is in the middle for a game (unsure if he has ever reffed Arsenal?).

  56. pete

    Don’t forget these referees get very well paid in any event.

    The fact is it is an income well worth preserving by whatever means, and if that means just ‘towing the line’ why not?

    Why rock the boat? Do what is expected of you and move on to the next game.

    As above, see what happened when they rocked the United boat and upset Fergie?

    Just towing the line doesn’t require bungs or bribes or any other incentive other than that of just keeping your job.

  57. Great article Walter.

    For me there is no doubt that an agenda exists to oust Arsene Wenger. I see the media and referees as tools used by the powerful to aid them to that end.

    As for the media’s part in all of this I mean let’s face it journalists (if we can call them that) answer to editors and editors answer to owners.

    The only question I have is who are these wealthy, powerful people who want to see the back of Arsene? And why?

  58. Jambug – If, as is apparently the case, 100s of millions of pounds, or even billions, are wagered on a single PL game do you honestly think that it has never crossed the mind of a crooked punter or bookmaker to approach a ref – and for a ref to consider accepting a potentially life changing amount of money? Stash it away offshore somewhere until the ref has retired…

  59. @ AAA Cook

    “I’ve yet to hear one sensible reason why refs have been instructed to be bias against us, that in itself would be a logistical nightmare…”

    Matches were fixed in Italy Serie A! Nothing nightmarish about those logistics. Also, no one owes you the “reason” why refs are biased. All we know is that they are indeed biased, based on data published by UA. You have yet to publish any sort of data to support your position

    I’ve yet to hear one sensible thing out of you.

  60. @ josh

    Would love to be you. Just wake up one morning and start issuing out orders and instructions to people I don’t agree with.

    UA data is there for anyone to scrutinize, while yours is, well, non existent

  61. pete

    I’m not saying it doesn’t involve gambling. I’m just saying I don’t think it does, or at least I don’t think it’s the prime reason behind why Arsenal get a rough deal from referees.

    I also agree with those that suggest if it was to do with gambling it would of been highlighted by betting patterns more than it has. Yes there are examples, but when you consider the poor treatment at the hands of refs has been going on for ten years you would of thought the house of cards would of collapsed by now.

    But, of course it COULD be, because money corrupts and as they say, everybody has a price.

    The Media thing is just my take on it, that’s all. I firmly believe it, but it’s just an opinion, and I always try to explain why I have that opinion.

  62. @Walter, seriously you think refs will get a FIFA badge if they penalize Arsenal? What the hell for? What are they trying to stop Arsenal doing? Winning the league? Well no that won’t happen because we never have a first eleven fit enough to last half a season and we still lack a few players in key areas anyway. You think Riley would jeopardize his career and all the other refs too just to victimize one club? As my wife would say, that’s hatstand.

    @jambug, Mark is entitled to his opinion but he seems to be suggesting that the media are now dictating how refs police games. Quite bizarre. How exactly do the media make a lot of money by bashing Arsenal? Proof? Stopping us from a top four finish, well if they really wanted to I’m sure they could but they haven’t. I don’t suppose injuries or lack of strengthening in key areas has anything to do with our failure to win the league. I’m sure the media may find Arsenal boring compared to Liverpool or Manu, I can empathize with them but I doubt they want the manager sacked because of it.

    @Wengerson, that’s right mate, I can tell you’re a grown up when you start using the stupid AAA moniker to precede your point. Comparing corruption in Italy, where it is endemic in virtually every walk of life, to England is too crazy to even bother with.

  63. wengerson @ 7:40

    I feel I put up a very reasonable argument (Jambug @ 1:27) to counter his statement.

    I contested it isn’t necessarily a direct INSTRUCTION that the Referees are working to, rather they are just behaving in a way that is expected of them as laid down in the media.

    Ie. We (the media) treat Arsenal like shit and we expect you to do like wise, and woe betide if you don’t.

    The 1:27 post expands on this theory in detail, with the use of a very good post from Mark (Thanks).

    He has yet to respond.

  64. Rupert,
    How has Riley cheating in match 50 jeopardize his career in any way? I will link you to a short summary to some of the main events

    This was the ultimate cheating. And yet this ref could just continue without any problem. And this person could become head of the refs even.

    No he got rewarded for what he did in match 50.

    And that is the blueprint shown to all the refs. Do like Riley and look at the reward you get.

    If you really can’t understand this….then it is a hopeless case for me to try to explain how the referee world works.

    But to be honest I think you know all too well what I mean but you refuse to accept it. And then you repeat that nobody gives you the reason all over again. And the reason is there but well you refuse to accept the inside information I have given all these years.

  65. Oh and it’s those bloody foreigners (Italians this time) that cheat. Not the English. Never. A bit of stereotyping of foreigners. All French eat garlic I suppose?

  66. AAA Cook

    “Comparing corruption in Italy, where it is endemic in virtually every walk of life, to England is too crazy to even bother with.”

    Oh yes, I forgot, there is no corruption/cheating in our mighty squeaky clean England! That settles it then. You’re so sensible

  67. @ Jambug

    My point is:
    The reasons for the refs bias are irrelevant! The fact is that the data clearly indicates there is bias, which is what we’ve been saying for a long time. Also, it’s funny how the (not so sensible) AAA uses the lack of “sensible” reasons for ref shite as a counter argument.

  68. @Walter, I’m livid with you and your errant conclusions. Firstly corruption in Italy permeates society at every level but that doesn’t mean I don’t think there isn’t corruption in England. Of course there is. What we don’t have in this country is a mafia which has poisoned Italy for a hundred years. But yes we have corrupt politicians but we have never had a clown like Berlusconi running our country who makes the law up so as he can evade it. Thankfully that shameful excuse for a human being is out of power, for the moment.

    You seem to be implying that I’m a racist with your idiotic remarks about all French people eating garlic. I don’t go around saying bloody foreigners to anyone, in fact the sight of Nigel Farage and his covert racism angers and incenses me. Don’t make judgments about people whom you know nothing about. I love London and one of the main reasons is the fabulous array of different cultures that thrive in this city. The more foreigners the merrier.

    As for match 50 I think you’re obsessed with it. Get over it. And are you telling me that Riley’s mismanagement of that game ensured his promotion? Perhaps his reffing of other games were taken into account too or does a ref get promoted on officiating just one game? Really, that one game is shown to all refs as a blueprint is it? What about all the other games he reffed badly or was it just Arsenal? A game that happened ten years ago is shown to all refs as how to ref. Are you serious?

  69. Rupert,
    Are you just pretending or are you real?
    Because I think you are a rather smart person.
    How come you act so dumb and you clearly refuse to understand what most of the other people on Untold can understand.

    I really think it us useless to try to explain something to you as you clearly cannot understand it. (in fact I think you just refuse to understand it).

    I suggest you become a ref and walk around in the referee world for a few years. Then you might understand. If you want to understand of course. Smart people know well enough how to get promotion. SMART PEOPLE!
    Smart people understand how to please their bosses and lick whatever needs to be licked to get a promotion. Bosses don’t need to tell this to smart people.
    But that is the last I will say about it to you. I will no longer waste my time on you.

    And to speak about the Italians: …and in the end Berlusconi was convicted Rupert…. not maybe as you and I would have liked it but he was found guilty by the Italian justice department. Just as happened with Calciopoli.

    At least the Italians went on the search for strange things. And when digging deep they found evidence about what people in Italy were saying that there was something strange in referee land. People who will have been told by the Italian Rupert Coock the same questions you are asking me.

    Oh one final remark: most refs are rather intelligent you know…. 😉

  70. Rupert

    Don’t bother try and debate on this site. They have a statistic to prove bias, corruption, conspiracy at their finger tips. It’s their playground-let them believe what they want. For every moment of supposed anti-Arsenal bias you can find an example that proves there isn’t I’m just happy that Howard Webb didn’t award Liverpool an obvious penalty when The Ox took down Suarez in the box during our FA Cup 1/4 final tie. That the PK wasn’t given probably had something to do with Suarez’s image a as “diver” but that wouldn’t fit the anti-Arsenal agenda. I guess they had to make us win something, a little something, just to keep the inquisitive minds off their fiendish plot.

  71. @ Walter

    The blueprint on how to beat Arsenal wasn’t designed by Riley, it was designed by managers who had to come up with a plan to beat a very impressive Arsenal team. But acknowledging that might imply that Wenger has been bettered by other managers, that maybe he has made tactical errors and poor decisions that have led to Arsenal experiencing a rather long trophy drought. Most sane people think that’s exactly what happened not that their is some media controlled anti-Arsenal agenda with the refs doing their dirty work.

  72. @Walter, of course you won’t waste your time with me because your intelligence, which you allude to, has been pricked into life by a few remarks that you care to ignore. If for instance I suggested that Wenger didn’t do tactics in the dressing room you’d leap on me like a forty ton kangaroo, and rightly so. But when you suggest that game 50 is a blueprint for all refs to follow you casually throw it out as a fact with no proof provided. That is why your thinking is so flawed, shown also by the immediate assumption that because I dare to suggest that levels of corruption in Italy exceed those in England you claim I think there is no corruption in England. You leap to conclusions with the facts still lagging behind on terra firma.

    I’ll furnish you with this information, I have no time for countries or the segregation of peoples by race or colour. In fact I would prefer a world where countries and religion did not exist and people were judged solely on their behaviour towards others. So I take great offence at your veiled accusation of racism on my part.

    I have no idea how the ref world works but I will inform you that some smart people get promotion because they often are the hardest and most capable workers. I use my wife’s jobs as examples where she has never licked anything or pleased her boss just to ensure promotion, she is merely an exemplary worker and has been rewarded without kowtowing. I can also declare the same for my father when he worked on the metal exchange. Again with your assumptions, believing all form of elevation at work is through the suppression of one’s pride or principles.

    If Arsenal had a squad equal to Chelsea or City and were still languishing in sixth then I’d have some sympathy for your views but it’s obvious to any football fan who embraces objectivity that our squad is inferior partly due to the fact that many of our best players miss huge chunks of the season. Nobody expects a full season out of Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott or Diaby, the latter barely plays six games a season. So there is absolutely no need for some conspiracy to stop Arsenal winning the league, the problems lie closer to home. If Riley and his cohorts are that foolish to waste their time on nobbling Arsenal, who are basically a fourth placed team with pretensions, then they’re exceedingly stupid. Even Wenger has implied we won’t win the league until 2017.

    @RedandDread, I agree, this place sometimes appears to be an outpost untouched by sanity. Strange too because there are some intelligent posters on here among the outright fanatics.

  73. There is a dead body lying on the bed. Dozens of bullets entered the body. A hammer still sticks out of the skull.

    I come on the crime scene and say: This person is murdered.

    Rupert comes to the crime scene and says: unless someone cal tell me WHY someone would do something like this there is no evidence that something is suspicious about the dead of this person.

    And we (I and some 10 other referees) have analysed more than 50.000 decisions over the years to reach our conclusions.
    I think Rupert it is time that you show me your evidence to support that our conclusions from our numbers are wrong.

    Maybe you could tell us how Riley got appointed. Was there an open job offer published in the newspapers at the time? Or was it all done and deciced in some backroom? And who decided. And on which grounds? Was there more than one candidate? Did any job interviews take place?

    Come on Rupert why don’t you prove us wrong and show us that it was all done in the open and that the PGMO and the PL and FA are an open house. It should be no problem to find this if you are so sure about us being wrong.

    Oh and if you would have studied Calciopoli a bit you would know that not all the fixed appointments lead to the desired results.

  74. I just heard that Talksport mentioned the Untold referees numbers in relation to the Mike Riley numbers from someone.
    Don’t know how and what was said but rather interesting wouldn’t you think?

  75. Walter, TalkSport do keep an eye on us – you might remember I had a part in their two hour history of Arsenal show, a couple of years back, and the recording of that (which took quite a few hours, involved a fair amount of off-microphone chat about Untold, and it was clear that they knew what we were up to.

  76. I remember being contacted when we did the Untold referee website by them. They asked if they could use our data in a Saturday morning show. I said we could talk about it but then they never came back to it

  77. I am willing to work whatever rules you have.

    I went through engineering, which typically has the “let’s patent everything” mindset.

    I grew up with UNIX, comp.sources on Usenet, Linux, Free Software, Open Source, Creative Commons, Open Hardware. I religiously visited Groklaw when it was running, and was sad to see it go. I don’t do security type programming, but I still try to keep track of who has broken what. Snowden will continue to change things in the future. My inclination is to avoid Intellectual Property issues in anything I develop for myself.

    Lots of people go through life, with their finger on the ownership button. Of all the things that Untold Arsenal has done that I am aware of, Referee Decisions was likely the only thing I thought had a chance of being commercial. But who would pay for it? There are for profit companies who are analyzing everything in sport. The Premier League and PGMO buy their services, as do many teams. Nobody polices them, they are supposedly experts who don’t make mistakes. The big market for this generic analysis of sports is the betting industry. They need numbers to analyse, to generate odds. And I would imagine the dollars spent on betting dwarfs everything. I would imagine Arsenal is up there, in terms of what data they are looking for, what they do with it and how much they pay for it.

    I think in a perfect world, FIFA would step up to the plate, and get Walter (and any others) doing this on their own together. The world needs the accessors to be independent, and the results probably to be public.

    The accessors PGMO (and others) are using now, have to tailor their product to who is paying the bills, the betting industry. And I think this is the source of where their screwball numbers comes from. PGMO hasn’t a clue as to how many events could posssibly influence a game. All they know, is that the betting industry feels it may have 3 events per minute on average, which might influence betting. So that is what they are working with.

    There are people refereeing. Yes, they need training, and better training than they have been getting.

    What people (referees) apparently prefer, is the accessor sitting in the stands, watching the game, and after the game getting the 15, 30, 60, … whatever minute accessment. That accessor in the stands is getting all the feedback from the fans as well as watching the game in general. But that person doesn’t have a hope in catching everything. And as accessors are typically retired referees, still wanting to contribute to the officiating of football, they are older and between degradations in eyesight and hearing, they can’t do as good a job as they would like to (I’m about to turn 55, I understand).

    If there are 13 video feeds at a game, you need 14 accessors at the field. One accessor on each feed, marking times of interest. And one accessor in the stands, taking the whole thing in. Sure, the accessor in the stands can meet the officials after the game for a preliminary talk, but referees should never regard this as “the assessment”.

    Really, between humans and algorithms, you need the game broken down and analysed by early Monday morning (assuming weekend games). Referees show up at the office for their assessment. The referee is standing in one simulator, and each of the assistant referees are standing in their own simulator. The accessor is in the control room. And they go through the game. The 3 referees don’t have to move, the simulations move according to how they moved on the field (probably better if they were sitting to keep from falling over involuntary reactions). In a game, they cannot look everywhere. In the simulation, they can look where ever they want to. Have them wearing headphones keyed into which direction they are facing. Just playing the game back without comments a time or two, will make them far more aware of the game as it developed, than being in the game did. Then go through the assessment. Show them the details of what they got right, this time seeing everything that is happening around them. And then go through what they missed.

    There are 10 games on a weekend. We could have some of those referees officiating again on Tuesday in Champion’s League. They go through first. Some officials could be officiating on Wednesday, they go through next. Eurpoa League is on Thursday, they go through next. And then whoever is left over.

    You may need 2 or 3 sets of simulation chambers (more?, multiple locations of simulators?), in order to get all of the referees through on Monday. And the simulations need to be stored, because a referee may want to revisit a game in the future. The assessment is to better the referee. If they want to re-live a match 38 times, they should be allowed to.

    For me, the data needs to be public. So researchers can analyze things. If we can get inquiries into serious injuries onboard, it must be posssible for injury review to go through the simulations from the points of view of the 3 officials, but also from other points of view. These simulations can be quite involved, trying to duplicate speeds and forces going into a serious injury.

    If FIFA can get its head out of its own ass, they should start this. And they start with internationals (friendly or otherwise) and World Cup. And hopefully the associations realize they need to follow suit, so UEFA and others jump on. And then the larger national associations. And pretty soon, we have accessment independent of FA done in public.

    And I have rambled far too long. Sorry.

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