Sunderland v Arsenal Sunday 24 April 2016 – The Match Officials. A point with this ref would be a miracle.

Sunderland v Arsenal Sunday 24 April 2016 – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

No new referee reviews since the last preview so

Table of Shame

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 1 44
Red Cards 2 16
Penalties 3 29
Goals 1 11
Total 7 100
Possible Cost in Points 0 27

Remember these figures are for the games up to West Ham, so 33 games.  An amazing bias against Arsenal averaging 3 wrong Important Decisions per match against Arsenal.  Breaking it down – on average our opponents should have had two players sent off every game, should have conceded one penalty per game and in every third game should have had a goal disallowed.

It is stretching credibility to suggest that this is merely the manifestation of poor refereeing.  Were that the case the number of decisions favouring Arsenal would be far greater than 7.  The bias figures in these decisions is 94/6% against Arsenal, outrageous but really not that dissimilar to the bias we see in all decisions every week.

Here is the Wall of Shame

Ref Game Weighted Score Bias against (h/a) Link to Ref Review
Craig Pawson Stoke v Arsenal 34 5/95 Stoke v Arsenal
Lee Mason Arsenal v Southampton 34 80/20 Arsenal v Southampton
Robert Madley Arsenal v Swansea 38 93/7 Arsenal – Swansea
Mike Dean Chelsea v Arsenal 41 5/95 Chelsea – Arsenal
Martin Atkinson Arsenal v Spurs 41 82/18 Arsenal – Tottenham
Craig Pawson West Ham v Arsenal 42 23/77 West Ham v Arsenal
Mark Clattenburg West Brom v Arsenal 42 9/91 West Brom v Arsenal
Mark Clattenburg Everton Arsenal 43 6/94 Everton v Arsenal
Anthony Taylor Arsenal v Newcastle 48 9/91 Arsenal – Newcastle
Jonathan Moss Southampton v Arsenal 49 22/78 Southampton v Arsenal

None of the referees on this list are newcomers, all are highly experienced in the Premier League and many are, either now or in the past, FIFA accredited.  Again to suggest that they are on the list by chance is stretching credulity to breaking point.  For so many experienced referees to disregard the laws of the game to this degree can only indicate that this is what they have been instructed to do.  Never in all the years of Untold doing referee reviews has there ever been a list such as this.

On to Sunday and as you probably all know by now our match officials are

Referee – Mike Dean

Assistants – S Long and M Salisbury

Fourth Official – Mike Jones

This will be Mr Dean’s fifth game in 8 days, three as referee and two as fourth official.  In this run he has had a hand in the following results.

Date Referee/Fourth Official Match Result
16 April R Chelsea – Man City 0 – 3
17 April F Arsenal – Palace 1 – 1
18 April F Stoke – Spurs 0 – 4
20 April R West Ham – Watford 3 – 1
24 April R Sunderland – Arsenal ?

Now as I didn’t watch any of the non-Arsenal games I cannot say how much influence he exerted in these five games but suffice it to say that all of our rivals got maximum points whilst Arsenal dropped two points largely to a not given penalty.

What is extraordinary is that any referee, let alone one with such a history against Arsenal, should be given this much opportunity to affect results of both us and teams directly above and below us in the table in such a short space of time.  I asked Walter, with all of his years of experience in European refereeing to confirm that it would be unheard of ‘sur le continent’ – here is his response:-.


I can’t imagine such a thing happening anywhere in the world.

Also the fact a ref has 3 matches in 8 days is somehow stupid. Certainly for a ref who is 47.
He can no longer have a FIFA badge (lost it 2 seasons ago due to age) and in other countries he would be on the down side of his career.

In many countries referees who lose their Fifa badge also stop being a ref and go in to other positions.

But for a man who is 47 doing so many high profile matches can lead to fatigue physical and also mental for being the 4th official and so lots of traveling and running around.

And a tired ref is a ref who makes mistakes.


I could write pages detailing how he has treated us in past games, but we all know that history.  For any newcomers just enter Mike Dean in the search here box in the header banner of the site and you will get page after page with all of the articles that we have published on him down the years.

He has refereed one Arsenal game this year and that resulted in more than 100,000 people signing a petition demanding that he never ever again be allowed to being charge of an Arsenal game.  A few Spurs supporters agitated for a Leicester based referee to be moved from their game on Monday and the PGMO/FA bend over backwards to accommodate that change.  The result of that game a 4 – 0 win for Spurs!

When it comes to Arsenal I believe Mike Dean to be incapable of displaying anything like honesty.  Frankly he cheats, bending the rules to minimise every opportunity for Arsenal to progress.  He sends off our players, allows opposition players to commit assaults that would result in criminal charges if committed off the football pitch, uses the advantage rule to the benefit of our opponents but never Arsenal.  He will award ‘phantom‘ fouls against Arsenal and generally use every trick in the referee’s book to tilt the pitch to that of a ski slope.

If Arsenal get any points with this man in charge it will be a fabulous result, should we emerge with all three it will be little short of a miracle.


Footnote from the publisher:  I now am spending so much time each day answering people who write in and say that this data would only be of value if we analysed the results of other clubs, and had other referees doing the analyses, that I am going to stop publishing/answering such comments.  I have written 100 times before that we did exactly this for a year, used referees who supported lots of other PL clubs, and analysed the results of multiple matches not involving Arsenal, and put all the results on the internet on the Referees Decisions website.

We could only do it for one year because of the massive amount of energy and time involved, and the fact that of course we had no sponsor.  All further comments along these lines, will be not be published, because the point has been wrongly made and fully answered so many times before and the whole thing is getting far too boring.

Recent Posts

Untold Arsenal has published five books on Arsenal – all are available as paperback and three are now available on Kindle.  The books are

  • The Arsenal Yankee by Danny Karbassiyoon with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.
  • Arsenal: the long sleep 1953 – 1970; a view from the terrace.  By John Sowman with an introduction by Bob Wilson.
  • Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football.  By Tony Attwood, Andy Kelly and Mark Andrews.
  • Making the Arsenal: a novel by Tony Attwood.
  • The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal by Mark Andrews.

You can find details of all five on our new Arsenal Books page

27 Replies to “Sunderland v Arsenal Sunday 24 April 2016 – The Match Officials. A point with this ref would be a miracle.”

  1. Mike Dean + Arsenal FC (even inside Wenger’s bedroom) = injuries + loss of points for Arsenal

  2. Even with poor decisions by referees we still held our own this season. We collapsed in January and carried this collapse on in the coming months. Blame Wenger and the Board not referees.

  3. Walter’s comment tells us a lot. In many countries Mike Dean would not even be refereeing let alone playing a major part in so many matches that are decisive for how the top four or five end up.

    By any objective standards it is astonishing that after that petition we still have Mike Dean for this match, while Spurs’ referee was changed for such a petty reason.

    It is a pity all the moaning Arsenal fans do not have this article stuck in front of their faces in a possibly vain attempt to make them start to think a bit.

    By the way, I watched the Arsenal web site pre match interview with Arsene Wenger and straight after I watched the press conference. This really exposed the limited range and poor quality of the questions asked by the journalists at the press conference. Arsene Wenger tries to put some real information into his answers but he has his work cut out.

  4. Mr. A. Crawshaw, isn’t it amazing and pathetic to see the Pgmob and the FA continue to deploy a 47 year old referee Mike Dean as a Premier League referee. And also as PL 4th match official when he Ref’ M. Dean should have retired from active service in these 2 active match officiating assignments?

    You have revealed a not widely know revelation on Ref’ Mike Dean attainment of compulsory retirement age at 47 years old from refereeing in any Fifa and Ucl matches.

    As a consequent then, Ref’ M. Dean can’t be given anymore Fifa or Ucl match to referee. But why have the Pgmob and the FA continue to engage him for their official professional competions of their 3 domestic competitions? This is a question that is begging for a correct answer by the FA & the Pgmob.

    Nevertheless, irrespective of whatever traps the Pgmob & the FA might have set to trap Arsenal at the Stadium of Light, Arsenal will still ovecome Ref’ M. Dean’s craftyness and beat Sunderland to the collection of all the 3 points at stake on Sunday.

  5. It’s hard to look forward to a match in anything like the normal way with Dean in charge. Only Atkinson beats him for me.

    I think quite a few disagreed when I said East was surprisingly decent the other day, and as it goes I also thought Moss was.

    Admittedly, I may be judging them primarily against the worst. However, both those games really showed up the power a ref has to influence matters.

    In the first, we got two or three free kicks from very good positions- a real rarity- and scored directly from Welbeck’s winning the ball back in a way I expected him to be pinged for (not because it was a foul, just because it gave us the ball in a dangerous position.

    In the second, we scored from a free kick I wouldn’t expect to get from pgmol at their worst. Sanchez’s first, meanwhile, would probably have outwitted even Atkinson. He’d see the foul, and ignore it as it’d give us a dangerous freekick, and then too late realise Sanchez’s brilliant touch had given him a great chance to shoot.

    Scary to think those three good goals could easily have not come to pass with pgmol at their worst, as they are almost certain to be tomorrow.

    By the way, dean’s overuse this week is mostly down to 10 or so of our officials having been away on a Uefa coaching course overseen by Collina.

    Who knows, maybe his influence, and escaping Riley world, can briefly help some of those who attended, though alas that doesn’t include tomorrow’s ref.

  6. As a followup to my just posted comment, The Boss’ starts for this match are the starts that should finally decide the outcome of this our away match to Sunderland to totally favour Arsenal despite the envisaged opposition to Arsenal by the Pgmob’s agent – Ref’ M. Dean, sent to deny Arsenal from collecting all the valuable 3 points in this match. Or not to allow AFC to even get a point in the match.

    Therefore, the starts Boss’ MUST be very strong, pacy and audacious in skills. Now that the Boss has built up stamina Ramsey back to take charge of the deep lying MF position temporarily vacated by Santi Cazorla. The Boss should allow Coquelin to partner Ramsey as d Gunners anchor man at d Gunners MF base while Elneny is dropped to the bench. For their pace, both Walcott & De Abreu should be started. Giroud wasn’t impressive in his start in d WBA match.

    My starts from right to left:

  7. You can accept a Ring of Power or a FUFA badge from your Dark Lord & Master, and no l Never get banned from going to concerts, and get more then two PL games to officiate in a season, but then you will descend into Shadow.

  8. *ahem* spectacular typo and autocorrect there. Outfoxed by the smart phone yet again. *sighs* i never blame my tools. Not me. Nope.


    You can accept a Ring of Power or a FUFA badge from your Dark Lord & Master, and not find yourself banned and binned and smeared for going to a concert, and get more then two PL games to officiate in a season, but then you will descend into Shadow.

  9. Dean? Oh NO!!!!!!!!

    Yet, AW must start with the same team, and replace the tired or ineffective at 1/2 time or so.


    They must have some agenda, hence the limited scope of the questions. My take is, they are trying to cause some form of controversy by asking certain questions and expecting a certain reaction to fuelit it further. AW rarely needs to reply with a sharp reprimand and usually fends them off with a carefully disarming answer and a smile.

  10. the Newcastle result at An field has a great implication on the way the game goes. if they get a point ant Anfield expect Sunderland to have it either way

  11. I think the Powers that Be do not want both ‘big’ NE clubs to go down.

  12. Ok so I will ask same question again which no one ever attempts to answer if all referees are corrupt and 100% bias against Arsenal and also help every other team to hurt Arsenal you can’t serious expect anyone to believe AFC including the manager are not fully aware of this corruption that being the case and since you insist it’s been going on since 2009 at least why are we not doing something about it ? And please don’t tell me we must be working behind closed doors because you are saying it’s got worse this season so as far as I can tell if you are correct that’s saying that AFC are complicit with and part of the corruption I for one do not believe that wenger would have anything to do with that at all so I can not accept that the corruption and cheating you suggest is true without concrete and undeniable evidence

  13. Tom quinn, if it is true you have asked the question before, I suspect none of us has bothered to answer because it is so silly. No one here has ever said referees are 100% against Arsenal. Far from it. There must be hundreds of articles on this site where Type III match fixing is discussed – and you have either not bothered to read any of them, or have not understood.

    Really, you could at least do us the courtesy of reading what we write before launching a half-baked attack.

  14. Josif, thanks for that. Not the first Liverpool player to be involved in dubious drugs matters. Kolo Touré was banned for six months for taking a fat-burning diet pill in 2011. The current thinking is that Sakho will ask for the B test sample to be examined. He’s not yet banned by Liverpool!!! are withdrawing him for the moment.

  15. Man City are leapfrogging Arsenal in table at halftime at the Etihad in their home match against toothless Stoke City.

    Even if they finally leapfrogged us at fulltime, I can’t foresee any problem happening to Arsenal in the table as they too will most certainly re-leapfrogged Man City again in the table after they’ve beaten Sunderland tomorrow in this battle of leapfrogging supremacy in the table between Arsenal and Man City for a direct Ucl spot.

  16. Good to see that the Bet365 Stoke yer Bookies team are doing their bit to uphold the league’s integrity and respectability.

    PgMOB Rules Football: it is almost as strange and predictable as a dysphoric Groaner going onto a site that supports Arsenal Football Club and giving themselves RSI by clicking ‘like’ upon their own comments, talking to itself, etc. perfectly normal behaviour, not odd at all! And that’s why we can trust such profound judgment and unsubstantiated opinion and conjecture when it comes to the footy too *coughs*

  17. To be fair to Abu Dhabi City they are very good team when their best players are fit. As all lovers of he game can see there are not just similarities between the two squads and players who’ve played for both managers but both managers themselves, AW and MP have many similarities.

    It’s been a shame for lovers of the beautiful game that City’s best players (especially the one that the Specialist in signing players from Special Agents offloaded from Chelsea in order so that he could buy more overpriced tat off his mates, as he gutted what was an amazing squad in 2024. Hehehehe!) like the Hammers’ (Payet also clogged off the park) like the Arsenal’s players, they received relatively very little protection this season (not just this season for AFC!).

  18. 2014 > 2024

    Looking forward to the exclusive articles on Mourinho’s gutting of Gazprom. I could be waiting for a while, but that doesn’t reduce the amusement at what happened to a squad that could’ve been challenging the Munchens etc. It’s such a funny story. Not a squeak on it from the funny papers.

    “The gutting of Gazprom.”

    Have the Groaners taken the specialist in signing players from special agents off their list? You’d hope so! Considering all the time and effort spent hehe. Into the same bin as Coyle, Moyes, etc?

  19. WRT Sahko, it looks like fat burning pills again.

    Some officiating news, from my side of the pond. The NFL (National Gridiron Football League) and the CFL (Canadian Gridiron Football League) have announced that some NFL officials will be involved in preseason and some regular season games (up to the start of the NFL season) CFL games. It looks like in return, Canadian officials will get access to NFL training.

    To me, this would be vaguely like having some gaelic football officials showing up to work at an EPL game. There are some serious differences between the 2 games.

  20. Game plan:
    A Player (could be anyone, but preferably someone who is already injured) punches out Dean’s lights in minute 1.
    We lose one player for ?many years maybe forever (I’d do it but I’m not signed) but we get the rest of the game w/o Gollum.

  21. Tom Quinn…..for the umpteenth time, here are some answers you seek:

    1)We NEVER maintained that Arsenal have 100% of the calls going against us….we simply maintain that there is a provable and discernible bias against AFC by many PIGMOB officials, which other EPL teams don’t seem to suffer. IF you have solid proof to the contrary please provide it….or shut-up!

    2) I do believe that AFC AND other clubs are aware of the irregularities going on in the EPL BUT are powerless to change it as the PIGMOB is fully supported by the FA and the EPL and the media refuses to look into this curiously skewed officiating for fear that it might sully the English game! Why don’t you contact the above authorities since you are such an expert witness to whether corruption exists or not! Be prepared to be ridiculed!

    3) There are a few website that provide the same facts we do: Football is is a very powerful one. Try following them for awhile. They are rather anti-Arsenal BUT still come to the conclusion that the Gunners have been ill-treated consistently over the last few seasons. Even one newspaper said that had Arsenal been awarded all the points they deserved from biased officiating, they would have won the league at least once over the last few years.

    4) I agree that Wenger would never tolerate such corruption, BUT he has the same problem every manager or team administrator has….finding undeniable and irrefutable proof of corruption. Unlike you, he is NO fool and will NOT risk his reputation making accusations without the backing of the Club AND undeniable evidence of said corruption.

    5)We have tried to raise this issue with the media, the authorities, the supporters and the politicians BUT, like you, far too many are complacent in their refusal to accept our thorough analysis and compelling research, preferring to stick their collective heads up their posteriors and believe all is well with English Football and officials.

    6) It is obvious that you have NEVER officiated at a high level (if at all) and therefore have no idea about how officials can influence the results of a game so subtlety and unequivocably but our archives have articles from Usama, Walter and myself showing clearly how easy it is to do!

    Do your due diligence before coming on here and spewing your stupidity!

  22. Unfortunately despite Sunderlands position in the table, they will come to the Wenger Stadium looking for a draw. Obviously any team that comes to defend can have a wonder-goal scored against them (Alexis maybe) but if they defend well enough then a goal on the break is a possibility, especially with Defoe on the pitch.
    Add Blind Mike Dean to the equation and we could have a real bad day…

    Obviously the fifa 16 managers will say we could also try to play on the break but it would end up with neither team getting into the opposition third and Fat Sam achieving his main aim. As a big club we don’t go out for a draw, we go to win… but clearly don’t get that result often enough!

    Side issue, which Sunderland player will not get a Red card when they should have?
    which of their team will finish the game without even getting a card despite consistent petty fouling?
    I’ll go for M’vila and Cattermole (although Larsson and Kaboul could manage it instead!).

  23. Sunderland is a different beast and if Arsenal are not focused sharp and deadly we could end up with egg on our faces, again.

    They apecialise in winning with little possession lately so Arsenal beware of tiring yourselves out too early with all the possession unless we make it count.

Comments are closed.