The ref who can get 2 out of every 3 decisions wrong. Burnley v Arsenal, 26 November 2017.

by Andrew Crawshaw

I do a heart exercise class every Friday morning (I had a heart attack just over 4 years ago) and one of the other people in the class is a Spurs supporter.

Last Friday I said I was worried about the effect Mr Dean was likely to have on the match as I was sure that he would ‘cock it up’ somehow in Spurs favour.  This week he barely spoke to me claiming that our win was entirely due to Mr Dean being biased in our favour.  Two friends with a differing perspective on the events over a 90 minute window.

I’m still quite convinced that Mr Dean got three important decisions wrong in Spurs favour, and he is sure that neither goal should have stood.  Until video refereeing is introduced in a way that can be universally accepted there is probably no way of satisfying people on these issues I guess.

On to Sunday and we travel up North to the Lancashire City of Burnley for a game against a team that seem to be massively outperforming their supporters expectations and the xGoal statistic.  According to some xGoal stats they should have conceded something like 19 goals so far this season but have only let in 9 goals.  They do this by having a very high number of blocks on goalbound shots so it will be interesting to see if that continues on Sunday.  Certainly if we play tippy tappy like we did against Cologne it is hard to see us getting anything out of the game.

Our Officials are :-

  • Referee – Lee Mason  Age 45 from Lancashire
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Harry Lennard  from East Sussex
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Matthew Wilkes  from the West Midlands
  • Fourth Official – Jonathan Moss  Age 46 from West Yorkshire

This is the second time this season we will have had Mr Mason as he was in charge for our 2 – 1 home win against Swansea a month ago.  On that occasion he was assisted by Mr Lennard and Derek Eaton.  Then despite Mr Mason’s best efforts we overturned a 0 – 1 half time deficit into a 2 – 1 full time win thanks to goals from Kolasinac and Ramsey.  As usual, Mr Mason ignored fouls on out players and refused to give us proper advantages when he did give fouls thereby enabling Swansea to regroup.

This was my preview for that game and, frankly I saw nothing in the Swansea game to make me change my mind.

Last Season 2017-17 we only had Mr Mason on one occasion – our 3 – 1 home victory over Stoke.

He got an overall score of 73%, just about acceptable but his bias in that game was 100/0 yes every single wrong decision was in our visitors favour.  Surprisingly he only made one wrong Important Decision when he failed to give a red card to Adams for a stamp on Alexis.  He actually had very few decisions to make but that didn’t stop him making a fool of himself at times particularly calling back a dropped ball which he has no power to do. The decisions in red underlined text lead to video clips.

 For those of you who don’t understand what biased refereeing looks like then please look at our review and from it you can access the video clips of the more important decisions and confirm for yourselves what we said.   

Ref Review Arsenal – Stoke: the match in which the ref shocked up by making up his own new rule

The previous season 2015-16 we had him on three occasions

16 August Crystal Palace v Arsenal (1 – 2) 66% overall score, bias against the two teams of 10/90 and two wrong Important Decisions, both not given penalties – Min 7 foul on Sanchez by Puncheon and Min 84 Delaney on Giroud

Ref Review Crystal Palace v Arsenal

24 October Arsenal v Everton (2 – 1) 58% overall score, bias against the two teams of 78/28 and two wrong Important Decisions, Min 77 Deulofeu should have had a second yellow card for a second dive and Min 82 Lirallas should have had a straight red card for a foul on Bellerin.

Ref Review – Arsenal v Everton

2 February Arsenal v Southampton (0 – 0) 34% overall score (THIS MEANS THAT EFFECTIVELY TWO OUT OF EVERY THREE DECISIONS WERE WRONG AN ASTONISHINGLY TERRIBLE PERFORMANCE), bias against the two teams was 80/20 and there were six wrong Important Decisions (all favouring Southampton)  Min 56 Tadic should have conceded a penalty and been given a second yellow card for a foul onCampbell, Min 66 Tadic should again have had another yellow card for deliberately kicking the ball away following a stoppage.  Min  68 and again in Min 70 Fonte should have given away a penalty for a foul on Giroud, Min 71 Bertrand should have given away a penalty for a foul on Koscielny.

Ref Review – Arsenal v Southampton

So three games all below our minimum acceptable score of 70% and one where he got 2 out of every three decisions wrong.  In any other area of life he would not continue to be employed in a senior capacity without complete re-training.

Going back one more season and we had him twice

13 December Arsenal v Newcastle (4 – 1)  76% overall score, bias against the two teams of 100/0 and three wrong Important Decisions.  Min 8 Tiote should have had a straight red card for a studs up chest high challenge on Alexis which made full contact, Min 15 Wellbeck goal was ruled out for a non-existent foul and Min 87 Dummet should have had a second yellow card for bringing down Wellbeck in the  penalty area.  For once the penalty was given.

4 May Hull v Arsenal (1- 3)  We have no referee review for this game”


  1. I can see no reason for Mr Mason to have been appointed to this game a month after his last game – It is actually only 3 matchweeks!  It is also strange that a referee based in Lancashire is allowed to referee a match involving a Lancashire team.  The PGMO could easily have appointed any of the 15 referees not based in Lancashire to officiate in the match as there at least six who we haven’t yet seen at all so far this season.
  2. Mr Mason really isn’t a very good referee – even on a good day.  On a bad day he can be bad on an biblical scale.  It takes real dedication to get an overall score of 34%!
  3. Mr Mason can always be relied on to deliver a one-eyed performance, to get a bias score of 100% against a team takes some believing, to do so twice in five games stretches credulity to breaking point.
  4. He has been known to award Arsenal a penalty, but has denied far more so I would suggest one in this match is unlikely.
  5. Second yellow cards are also rare as are red cards so Burnley are likely to get away with a fair amount in terms of challenges.
  6. He is also  a proponent of the old ‘phantom foul’ routine so that is another thing to look out for.
  7. Where he does accept that a foul has been committed on an Arsenal Player he will almost certainly not apply a proper advantage and will try to stop play to enable Burnley to regroup

As ever, if we get a quick start with a couple of early goals, Mr Mason will be unable to significantly influence  the game to deny us three points.


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10 Replies to “The ref who can get 2 out of every 3 decisions wrong. Burnley v Arsenal, 26 November 2017.”

  1. Thanks Andrew.

    As I mentioned in the other thread today, the U18 won against the Tottenspud (6-0). The only twit about this, was the final score.

    Over at Wembley, I see that the Tottenspud conceeded an early goal to WBA.

  2. Shoot, the Tottenspud tie it up at 74 minutes. Come on WBA!

    The “referee” (Mike Jones) has given WBA 4 yellows, to 1 to the Tottenspud. Three of them after the Tottenspud yellow, and 2 of them after Kane equalised.

  3. Watford get a yellow after time ends. Stuart Attwell gives Swansea 4 yellow to 2 to Bournemouth. Tottenspud must have started late. Maybe they couldn’t find their dressing room? Oh well, game ends in a draw, so they drop 2 points. ManU still squeaking out wins, I suppose they parked the bus (at home) for the big 1:0 win.

    Mike Jones issued a card for time wasting in the last 10 minutes. Gibbs apparently had a good game against the Tottenspuds.

    Come on Chelsea, tie up that game.

  4. It’s all set up for us to take advantage tomorrow. Lee Mason is a poor referee and always wear a smug look as if to disguise his cluelessness. All we need to do is get a couple of early goals, silence their crowd and pick them off as they seek a come back route. COYG!

  5. The points that were dropped at London Stadium today’s afternoon and this evening at Anfield must have been dropped for Arsenal to capitalize ion them and go 4th in the PL table by surpassing Tottenham Hotspur and close the gap to 1 point on Chelsea at the final close of proceedings in the Premier League on Sunday.

    Therefore, Arsenal MUST capitalized on the failings in the table today by two of their PL Title rivals by seizing the initiative earnestly to beat the stubborn in defending Burnley team tomorrow at Turf Moor.

    This kind of opportunity to make ground in the Premier League table rarely comes in a season campaign. Therefore, I implore the Arsenal 1 not to allow this golden opportunity to fly past them as it’s currently flying. But they should seize this golden chance with their both hands and hold on to it tightly as if their lives depend on it to function.

    My Arsenal 3-4-2-1 starts and 7 man bench.

    Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
    Bellerin Ramsey Xhaka Kolasinac
    Ozil Sanchez

    Ospina Holding ElNeny Coquelin Welbeck Iwobi Giroud.

    All my 7 man bench for this match played the Europa League match away to Klon last Thursday night. But they must forsake being game fatigued when Le Prof brings any of them on in this match and perform very well for Arsenal by either converting any chance that falls to them in the game or give assist to score during the time they appear on the field and just appear for formality for Arsenal.

    Sorry! I have nothing against Jack Wilshere as I omitted him on my bench. It’s just after he played the full 90 minutes in the Klon match, I decides to rest him for this difficult Burnley match that could get physical. But I’ll have him in my plans for Huddesfield. But am I Le Prof?

  6. Nothing like working on two completely different math problems at the same time.

    Football – the Perfect Perverse season.

    The team that finishes in 1st place wins every game they play (and gets 114 points). The team that finishes in second, wins all games except the ones they lose to the team in first (and gets 6 points less or 108 points) and so on, all the way down. The team in 20th place gets no points at all. The relegation line is at 13 points. The number of points issued is the most possible, 1140.

    The other Perfect Perverse season.

    The top 6 do the same thing as above. The remaining 14 teams only tie each other. As above the team in 4th (there is no trophy for 4th place) will have 96 points and the team in 6th will have 84 points. Every other team finishes with 26 points.

    And how does the EPL determine which 3 get relegated?

    In any event, the Top 6 split 594 points among themselves in both versions. The rest of the pack split 364 points, for a league issuance of 958 points. So 82 points are lost in all the draws.

  7. From the Daily Mail:
    > I’ll dish out the Cristiano Ronaldo treatment to Arsenal …

    Johann Gudmundsson:
    > ‘Ronaldo was angry he knew he we’d played well. We were unbelievable defensively, what was he expecting? That we would come out guns blazing trying to play football,’ …

    There are, and have been, lots of teams which can play defensive. And that is not a problem, per se.

    What is a problem is that many (most?) of those teams playing defensively, do so by breaking the rules. That is what they are coached into and that is how they prepare for the game. And the referees let it go.

    Yes, if you break a bone or tear a muscle/tendon/ligament of an opponent, they probably won’t play well. That kind of play should not be allowed, but often is. Especially in England.

    But there are lots of other kinds of fouling, which probably won’t send players to the hospital, are knowingly practised because they are “useful” and in (at lest some jurisdictions) not punished.

    These kinds of fouls, were always meant to be addressed by the persistent infringement booking. But this doesn’t work when the fouling is rotational. And perhaps the IFAB will at some point address this. Or, it could work in today’s environment. If the referee sees rotational fouling on the 2nd or 3rd (or early) occurrence, and calls over the captain and warns him; it should be possible for persistent infringement to be called after that. But when does that happen?

    But to go back to Gudmundsson’s quote. Is he saying that Iceland came out to a football game, to _NOT_ play football? If so, they were in the wrong. And the referees were in the wrong.

    With respect to the game Sunday against Burley, it sounds like Gudmundsson has given the PGMO notice of how he intends to _NOT_ play football. And the PGMO will duly instruct their peons to ignore infractions by Burnley on Arsenal.

    Same old, same old.

  8. funny that Guardian did a piece on spuds defender Sanchez, propping him up to high heaven, (a day later he defended poorly against the wba goal) and really make a point that the free kick for arsenal agianst him in his duel with arsenal sanchez was not a foul. The guardian wrote practically a whole piece about an alleged wrong decision against spuds. This is getting tedious.

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