By Tony Attwood
The Telegraph has published an article, “Every Premier League referee ranked and rated by Keith Hackett”, so what I have done is taken the refs rankings by the Untold team and compared with the Telegraph rankings.
We’ve ranked refs in two ways – their major wrong decisions and their correct major decisions. The Telegraph gives refs a score and a very brief commentary although no real explanation.
Here’s a brief summary of their views before the comparison with ours – but before we go on I do think we should realise just what is happening here. For the first time, as far as I know, a national UK paper has done a review of referees. And not just that, the review found four of them lacking enough to warrant their removal.
As you will see I think their ranking system is gibberish, but this should not deter us from seeing progress in my view, for I really can’t believe that we could have got to this had Untold not be here. I think we need to give the fullest thanks to the team not just for all the work they have done, but for the impact of the ceaseless and tireless work of Walter across the years in bringing the issue of referees to the attention of everyone. Without Walter’s early work we would not have got to the point of a newspaper analysing referees, even though their analysis is bizarre. This is, I believe, stage one of a change.
Of course it could all fall away if none of the other papers follow up on this, and if the PGMO warns the Telegraph not to touch the subject again, and the Telegraph gives in. But I suspect the door has been opened and others will follow.
Remember when we started out the PGMO were telling us the 98% of referee decisions were correct and the media were quoting this without any word of doubt. Now we have something different.
Here’s the Telegraph’s table of marks for the refs…
- Clattenburg – 9 out of 10
- Atkinson – 7 out of 10
- Oliver 7 out of 10
- Dean: 7 out of 10
- Marriner: 6 out of 10
- Taylor: 6 out of 10
- Madley: 6 out of 10
- Swarbrick: 5 out of 10
- Friend: 5 out of 10
- Pawson: 4 out of 10
- Jones: no score – needs to be removed from PGMO
- Moss: no score – needs to be removed from PGMO
- Mason: no score – needs to be removed from PGMO
- East: no score – needs to be removed from PGMO
Now a comparison with our tables. First…
Major Wrong Decisions Made by Referees
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I have removed referees not covered in the Telegraph report
In our chart the worst referees are at the top (they make the most mistakes), and the best (in terms of the least number of disasters and cock-ups, at the bottom. The Telegraph and ourselves agree that East should be removed, but then give 7 out of 10 for Dean.
Now let us move on.
Correct Major Decisions Made by Referees
Again for simplicity I have only included the referees mentioned in the Telegraph report.
|Referee||Matches||2nd Yellow||Red Cards||Penalties||Total||Avg||Telegraph|
NOTE – THE *(ASTERISK) IS USED TO SHOW A DECISION OF HIGH DOUBT, WITH THE BENEFIT BEING GIVEN TO THE REFEREE.
There is a link here – Clattenburg gets the most decisions right and the Telegraph give him their highest score – but then they want to remove East who has the second highest average number of right scores.
Now pulling all this together. Our figures for the referees in terms of major wrong decisions, major right decisions, and the Telegraph score.
The average major wrong decisions are ranked with the ref with the LEAST major wrong decisions on average per game being ranked 1 and the ref with the MOST major wrong decisions being ranked 14.
The average major correct decisions are ranked with the ref with the MOST major correct decisions on average per game being ranged 1 and the ref with the LEAST major correct decisions being ranked 14.
So the perfect ref should be ranked 1 for average major wrong decisions and 1 for average major correct decisions. That is the fewest wrong and the most right decisions.
|Referee||Matches||Avg major wrong decisions||Rank||Avg major correct decisions||Rank||Combined||Telegraph|
|(Lower the better)||(Lower the better)||(Lower the better)||(Higher the better)|
We don’t have a ref with a score of 1 in each column (very few incorrects, but lots of corrects). But we do have two refs scoring under 10 – Swarbrick and Jones. But for the Telegraph Jones should be removed on the grounds that he is “too soft and inconsistent to be a referee at this level”. For Swarbrick the comment is that he is underrated and doesn’t get enough games. Which seems odd for a man only given 5/10.
So our top referees are
Mason, Dean, Madley, Pawson, Moss and Taylor
For the Telegraph Mason and Moss should be removed, Dean is fairly highly rated, Madley average, Pawson is poor, and Taylor average. There is no linkage.
One obvious reason for this is that the Telegraph gives, and probably has, no statistics. Everything is reduced to a three or four line comment, whereas we have given detailed statistics and evidence.
This makes me conclude that the whole piece in the Telegraph is done simply to jump on the fact that our constant referee analysis has found interest among readers. They want to get in on the act, and so, rather as I said to my fellow writers “would you like to give any awards for 2016?” (and thus far they have by and large ignored my plea) the Telegraph said, “let’s do a quickie on refs – and lets have some that ought to be removed.”
Now I think they put this last bit in, because a huge amount of the publicity we got for our original work criticising the PGMO came from their insane “98% correct” gibberish. So the Telegraph wanted to stay away from numbers.
Also we should note that their star man Clattenburg does get a lot of decisions right – so I think they have only focused on this, rather than on the horror show of the decisions that are wrong.
The PGMO won’t like the Telegraph report because it suggests a number of refs should be removed, but I suspect they will be relieved that nothing much that the Telegraph says or concludes has any relevance to the truth.