by Andrew Crawshaw
There have been 11 rounds of matches in the Premier League so far and the referees have been announced for matchweek 12- nearly a third of the way through the season giving a total of 110 games played.
The PGMO have used 18 referees so far so each one should have officiated in something like 120/18 matches say six or seven and whilst some teams might expect to have seen an odd referee more than once this should be the exception rather than the rule. How have the PGMO done then?
Table 1 – Matches refereed to date
Note the Pink shading shows referees who have done more than the average number of matches so far, the Blue shading shows those who have been under used and the three in green are those are about average.
Michael Oliver and Craig Pawson have only had two weeks without a game. Chris Kavanagh has only had to carry his whistle twice and Paul Tierney only three times so far so clearly not yet trusted to do what is required of them.
Have the PGMO done any better with regards to providing a variety of referees to each team?
|Team||Referees seen once||Referees seen twice||Referees seen Three times|
|Arsenal||Mike Dean, Andre Marriner, Neil Swarbrick, Anthony Taylor, Bobby Madley, Kevin Friend, Lee Mason||Michael Oliver,Craig Pawson, Mike Dean|
|Burnley||*||Martin Atkinson, Roger East|
|Bournemouth||*||Craig Pawson, Bobby Madley, Lee Probert|
|Chelsea||Michael Oliver, Mike Dean, Andre Marriner, Martin Atkinson, Lee Mason||Craig Pawson, Anthony Taylor,||Jonathan Moss|
|Crystal Palace||*||Andre Marriner, Bobby Madley, Kevin Friend,|
|Everton||*||Jonathan Moss, Andre Marriner, Graham Scott|
|Huddersfield||*||Jonathan Moss, Kevin Friend|
|Leicester||*||Michael Oliver, Mike Dean, Graham Scott|
|Liverpool||JonathanMoss, Andre Marriner, Neil Swarbrick, Martin Atkinson, Roger East||Craig Pawson, Anthony Taylor, Kevin Friend|
|Manchester City||Craig Pawson, Mike Dean, Jonathan Moss, Neil Swarbrick, Anthony Taylor, Bobby Madley, Martin Atkinson, Roger East, Mike Jones||Michael Oliver|
|Manchester United||Michael Oliver, Mike Dean, Andre Marriner, Neil Swarbrick, Anthony Taylor, Lee Mason||Craig Pawson, Jonathan Moss, Martin Atkinson|
|Newcastle||*||Andre Marriner, Stuart Attwell||Craig Pawson,|
|Spurs||Michael Oliver, Jonathan Moss, Neil Swarbrick, Anthony Taylor, Bobby Madley, Graham Scott, Kevin Friend, Lee Mason||Mike Dean, Andre Marriner|
|Southampton||*||Lee Probert||Mike Jones,|
|Swansea||*||Mike Dean, Lee Mason, Mike Jones|
|Watford||*||Michael Oliver, Anthony Taylor, Graham Scott|
|West Brom||*||Bobby Madley|
|West Ham||*||Neil Swarbrick, Martin Atkinson|
* In order to save myself some typing I have included the single visit referees only for the top six placed clubs.
In twelve weeks three Clubs – Chelsea, Newcastle and Southampton have seen a referee on three occasions – a quarter of their games supervised by a single person
Every single team in the PL had had at least one referee twice, many have had two referees for two games each. Half of all of the clubs – ten out of twenty – (Arsenal, Bournemouth, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Swansea and Watford) have each had repeat visits from three referees.
Whilst there is no direct evidence to suggest that this kind of scheduling with regards to match officials is in any way connected to match fixing, it is certainly a system that is open to exploitation. I would go as far as saying that if one wanted to design a system that could lead to Type 3 matchfixing (the type where Team A persuades a friendly referee to ensure that Team B doesn’t win a game against Team C – it is the hardest type of match fixing to spot) then one would probably end up with a system very similar to the one employed by the PGMO.
The referees who are not getting many matches will never improve if they aren’t given more and those that are being given matches every week will certainly start to suffer from burn-out if they aren’t given more rest.
Both Lee Probert and Roger East have only been allowed a whistle in five games this season. Two of Mr Probert’s have involved Southampton and two of MrEast’s five games have involved Burnley. Not a healthy state of affairs.
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