The FA Cup semi-finals Sat 22 and Sun 23 April – The Match Officials. We need to take Pawson totally out of the picture.

By Andrew Crawshaw

On Saturday at 17:15 Chelsea take on Tottenham

  • Referee – Martin Atkinson  Age 45 from West Yorkshire FIFA Accredited
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Stuart Burt  from Northamptonshire FIFA Accredited
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Ian Hussin from Mersyside
  • Fourth Official – Neil Swarbrick  50 years old from Lancashire

This game is being shown live in the UK on BBC1

In the PL this year Martin Atkinson has been in charge of four Chelsea games and only two Tottenham games.  In Matchweek 20 he was in charge for the Spurs v Chelsea game which was a two nil home win.

The Chelsea games were

Matchweek Match Result Incidents
5 Chelsea v Liverpool 1 – 2 No Red Card Against Ivanovic (Min 9) – Ivanovic stamps Lallana’s foot twice and does it again when the ball goes out of play. [Ref – Martin Atkinson] Chelsea vs Liverpool Ivanovic Yellow Red
9 Chelsea v Man United 4 – 0 No Red Card Against David Luiz (Min 41) – High foot with studs making a strong stamping contact on Fellaini’s knee. Serious foul play. [Ref – Martin Atkinson] Chelsea vs Man Utd Luiz Red Chelsea vs Man Utd Luiz Red002

No Second Yellow Card Against Eric Bailly (Min 48) – Bailly committed two deliberate attack breaking fouls but was only booked for one. [Ref – Martin Atkinson] Chelsea vs Man Utd Bailly Yellow Chelsea vs Man Utd Bailly Yellow002 Chelsea vs Man Utd Bailly Second Yellow  Chelsea vs Man Utd Bailly Second Yellow002

20 Spurs v Chelsea 2 – 0
24 Chelsea v Arsenal 3 – 1

The Tottenham games were

Matchweek Match Result Incidents
1 Everton v Spurs 1 – 1 No Red Card Against Lamela (Spurs) – Serious injury inducing foul play by Lamela. [Ref – Martin Atkinson], Everton vs Spurs Lamela Poor Tackle on McCarthy No Red Card
20 Spurs v Chelsea 2 – 0

Please note that because of the enormousness of the project we only researched the video evidence for the first 160 games of the season.


From the perspective of Chelsea and Spurs he will probably make two wrong Important Decisions (second yellow cards, red card, penalties or goals) – almost certainly not sending off a player(s) who should be.

On Sunday 23 April at 15:00 Arsenal take on Manchester City

  • Referee – Craig Pawson  Age 37  from South Yorkshire and FIFA Accredited
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Simon Bennett  from Staffordshire and FIFA Accredited
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Steve Child  From Kent and FIFA Accredited
  • Fourth Official – Stuart Attwell  Age 33 from Warwickshire

This game is being shown live on BT Sport1

Craig Pawson has been the Man in Black for two Arsenal games this year and only one Manchester City game.

Matchweek Match Result Incidents
7 Burnley v Arsenal 0 – 1 No Penalty For Arsenal (Min 72) – Keane’s arms were in a stretched position and the ball hit him on the arm from a fair distance. [Ref – Craig Pawson] Burnley vs. Arsenal Keane Handball Penalty , Burnley vs. Arsenal Keane Handball Penalty002

No Red Card Against Vokes (Min 85) – Vokes swung an elbow in to the head of Mustafi, which led to bleeding. Clear use of excessive force. [Ref – Craig Pawson] Burnley vs Arsenal Vokes Red , Burnley vs Arsenal Vokes Red002

No Penalty For Arsenal (Min 90) – Keane deliberately moved his arm towards the ball and struck it away in the box. [Ref – Craig Pawson] Burnley vs Arsenal Keane Second Handball Penalty

14 West Ham v Arsenal 1 – 5 Wrong Goal Against West Ham (Min 86) – Sanchez was in an offside position when he received the pass and went on to score the goal. [Ref – Craig Pawson] West Ham vs Arsenal Sanchez Offside Goal
19 Liverpool v Man City 1 – 0

Here are the links to the full minute by minute reviews of the Arsenal games:-

Ref Review Burnley – Arsenal: at least he got that one right

38% Overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 14/86 and the three wrong important Decisions referenced in the table above.  A totally incompetent (or worse) example of refereeing.  That we won the game was little short of a miracle.

Ref Review: West Ham – Arsenal: an even bias score, miracles do happen

73% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 41/59 and just the one wrong Important Decision referenced above.  This was much better but still left a lot of room for improvement. We were really good on the day and left little scope for any referee to tilt the pitch.  Alexis’ third goal shouldn’t have counted as he was offside.

Last season we had him as referee on four occasions

Leicester v Arsenal (2 – 5)

Ref Review: Leicester – Arsenal, good performance from the ref

84% overall weighting, bias against the two teams of 20/80 and no wrong Important decisions.  Another good performance from Arsenal leaving no scope for the referee to affect the result.

Stoke v Arsenal (0 – 0)

Ref Review: Stoke – Arsenal: who is that voice whispering in my ear….?

34% overall weighting, bias against the two teams of 5/95 and 8 wrong Important Decisions.

  • Min 51 Arsenal should have had a penalty for a foul on Giroud,
  • Min 52 Wollscheid should have had a second yellow card and Arsenal a second penalty for a foul on Walcott,
  • Min 58 Shawcross should have had a second yellow card for a professionsl foul on Giroud,
  • Min 62 Pieters should have a second yellow card for a dive,
  • Min 71 Pieters again for a foul on Campbell, Ditto in Min 80 and again in Min 90+1.

Awful refereeing with Mr Pawson deciding not to let Arsenal win the game.

West Ham v Arsenal (3 – 3)

REF REVIEW WEST HAM – ARSENAL: A new entry in the table of shame

42% overall, bias against the two teams of 23/77 and nine wrong Important Decisions.

  • Min 4 Carroll should have been given a red card for an assault on Koscielny (he was wrongly given a yellow card),
  • Min 14 Lanzini goal wrongly ruled out for offside,
  • Min 22 Lanzini should have had a red card for a two footed stamp on Bellerin,
  • Min 47 Carroll should have had a second yellow card for an elbow to Gabriel,
  • Min 54 Noble second yellow card for deliberately preventing Arsenal taking a free kick,
  • Min 63 Carroll red card for a foul on Ospina and
  • Min 71 Carroll red card for a foul on Gabriel and Gabriel should also have had a red card for retalliation,
  • Min 90+2 Reis second yellow card for foul on Alexis.  Another awful example of refereeing, Mr Pawson lost the plot in the fourth minute and never ever regained control of the game.

He was the one who decided the destination of the points.

Man United v Arsenal (3 – 2)

Ref Review: MU – Arsenal: again no penalty for Arsenal

64% overall weighting, bias against the two teams of 3/97 and 4 wrong Important Decisions.

  • Min 45+2 Rashford should have had a red card and Arsenal a penalty for deliberate handball,
  • Min 70 Hererra was given a yellow card but it should have been his second,
  • Min 75 Hererra should have had either a second yellow card or a straight red card for a two footed lunge on Alexis.

Again Mr Pawson decising who got the points.


  1. Mr Pawson has managed to earn FIFA Accreditation despite the evidence from our referee reviews that he isn’t terribly good.
  2. He won’t send off a City player no matter how much a challenge deserves one.
  3. He won’t award Arsenal a penalty.
  4. His wrong decisions will be strongly in favour of City
  5. The only way we will get a result is by playing so well that we take Mr Pawson completely out of the picture as we did this season against West Ham and last season against Leicester.  In a cagy contest we will find the pitch tilted to the point where it will be almost impossible for us to get a win.


PS: It is common for commentators who have not understood the depth of the analysis that Untold has put into referee decisions to seek to negate our views with an “all evens out” approach or a view that we are biased.   We’re happy to debate this, but would be grateful if contributors would first read these analyses.

This season the refereeing of 160 PL games was analysed in detail with video evidence. This is what we found.

The Untold Analysis of Refereeing in the first 16 weeks of the 2016/17 season – all matches

Only 18% of Premier League referees manage to get more major decisions right than wrong!

If the argument is that we are all Arsenal supporters and thus biased you might also like to look at  Referee Decisions web site

5 Replies to “The FA Cup semi-finals Sat 22 and Sun 23 April – The Match Officials. We need to take Pawson totally out of the picture.”

  1. Is the ref decision website meant to be considered neutral? When walter replies all the comments and the contributor list shows walter and dogface?

  2. Oh this is getting so silly Bash. As I have endlessly pointed out, to validate whether our work was reflective of what would be found if referees with no involvement in Arsenal were examining matches, Referee Decisions was set up and the site is still there.

  3. If we can produce the form we showed against Chelsea, at home last Summer,
    a place is assured in the Final. In spite of Pawson. 😉

  4. Depite the anti-Arsenal match referring which we the Arsenal supporters all know referee Mr Pawson too well to be referring against Arsenal in the immediate past, the 2 match assistants and himself could stiil referee against Arsenal again tomorrow. Therefore, Arsenal MUST strive by all means to beat Man City to win the FA Cup semifinal match taking place at Wembley tomorrow.

    The odds against Arsenal are two in numbers in my own thinking. One, is the anti-Arsenal referring Mr Pawson and his two linesmen may decide to do in this match to tilt the outcome of this important Cup match in favour of Man City. And two, as per the squad cost of the two teams of Arsenal and Man City, the Man City 1st team is thought to be more stars studded than the Arsenal 1st team is. But notwithstanding this, Arsenal have the combine telling world class quality players in Ozil and Sanchez who can negate whatever game quality threat Aguero and Sane could pose to Arsenal during this match. None the least, the Gunners MUST keep an eye on Kevin de Bruyne to close him down in his overlapping attacking excesses. And the samething should be applied to Gabriel Jesus whose attacking threat MUST be contained and be defused by the Gunners if the duo happens to play in this match. Yaya Toure’s passing accuracies in and from the midfield MUST be cutoff by the Gunners to render them ineffective In servicing the Man City attacking forwards. Least I forget, Man City service provider – Silver MUST be neutralized in his service assist by The Gunners. And lastly, the attacking excesses of Raheem Sterling from the right wing or from whatever MUST be taken out of content in this match by the Gunners to offset any Man City goalscoring threats.

  5. With Atkinson blowing the whistle Chelsea have the advantage & are worth a couple of quid to create an interest. It is natural for most Gooners to want a Chelsea victory but I’m sure there are many who would love to beat the spuds in the final.

    Personally I don’t care who we meet in the final because it is ours. Wenger will break the record & set the bar. The team need the atmosphere & the pitch to switch them on. They are just waiting for that whistle.

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