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How four clubs commit fouls with impunity, while others constantly get punished

Below is the data analysing the fouls and cards awarded by referees.   The key findings are

Manchester City commit over three times the number of fouls as Arsenal for each yellow card they get.

Arsenal at home have had 22 yellow cards this season whilst Manchester City have just five  and Tottenham and Liverpool have seven each.

Liverpool’s minutes played under caution is totally out of step with the rest of the league.

Tottenham committed 36 fouls in two home games without a single caution.


 

First Half of the Season – Referee Analysis part 2 the fouls, cards and time played under caution

by Andrew Crawshaw

In part 1 of this review I looked at which referees have been busy and those who have been barely used.  I also looked at which referee has been to which club too often and the unevenness of the distribution of referees across the clubs.

Here I want to look at how fouls, cards etc have been allocated against clubs and check if there are any suspicious numbers lurking in the statistics.  Please note that I am doing this before the Southampton v West Ham game has taken place but I consider it unlikely that this one match will significantly change the overall numbers from the other 189.

In 189 matches there have been 2003 fouls called against home teams and 2032 against away teams.  At first glance his would indicate a lack of home/away bias, but this isn’t really borne out when I look at the detailed breakdown by clubs.  Here are the total number of fouls called by the referees to date for each club.  I have arranged the table in descending order of total number of fouls.

Team Fouls Called by Referees
At Home Away Total
Brighton 114 149 263
Man United 104 130 234
Wolverhampton W 125 108 233
Newcastle 114 111 225
Fulham 103 116 219
Arsenal 119 95 214
Everton 116 98 214
Watford 100 112 212
Huddersfield 101 110 211
Crystal Palace  86 119 205
Tottenham 83 121 204
Southampton 92 102 194
Burnley 93 97 190
Cardiff 103 83 186
Leicester 93 92 185
Liverpool 81 92 173
West Ham 97 75 172
Bournemouth 105 64 169
Chelsea 89 79 168
Manchester City 85 79 164

Brighton have been called for a total of 263 fouls 60% more than Man City but all clubs are well within a normal distribution curve so probably nothing too untoward even at this level of detail.

For fouls at home Wolves have been called the most at 125 whilst Liverpool have the least at 81.  Again these are within a normal distribution range so again nothing terribly strange in these numbers

Away from home Brighton have 149 and Bournemouth have 64.  Both these numbers are outside a normal distribution but not by much (I would expect an upper limit of 131 and a lower limit of 72) so again probably nothing to be getting terribly bothered about.

If I start looking at the data in still more detail by going to the match level the number of fouls conceded at home varies between 3 (Cardiff v Wolves under Andre Marriner) and 23 (Wolves v Watford under Lee Mason).  For the Away team the numbers are between 3 (5 matches) and 21 (Cardiff v Brighton under Martin Atkinson).  Again nothing particularly remarkable in these numbers on their own.

I now want to look at the numbers of cards and how they compare with the numbers of fouls.

There have only been 11 double yellow cards and 16 red cards in the league to date both of which are far too small to make any statistical analysis possible.  I will say that both of these numbers look very small compared with the 617 yellow cards that have been issued so far.  I suspect that all referees are given instructions not to send off players wherever this is possible regardless of he number of offences or severity of offences they commit.

Team Yellow Cards Issued by Referees
At Home Away Total
Southampton 20 20 40
Man United 15 23 38
Brighton 21 16 37
Burnley 16 20 36
Arsenal 22 13 35
West Ham 17 18 35
Wolves 16 17 33
Watford 16 17 33
Crystal Palace 10 23 33
Leicester 19 14 33
Fulham 14 18 32
Bournemouth 22 10 32
Huddersfield 10 19 29
Cardiff 19 10 29
Everton 10 18 28
Newcastle 14 13 27
Tottenham 7 19 26
Chelsea 12 14 26
Man City 5 13 18
Liverpool 7 10 17

So in this table Southampton have the largest total of cards at 40 whilst Liverpool have the fewest at 17.  I would expect a lower limit of 22 so both Man City and Liverpool have slightly too few cards

But looking only at cards to the home team both Arsenal and Bournemouth have 22 whilst Manchester City have just 5  and Tottenham and Liverpool have 7.  The upper and lower limits I would expect are 21 and 9 so the three lowest numbers all look decidedly fishy.

Looking only at the Away cards the numbers are in a much more normal range, Man U and Palace on 23 slightly above the ‘normal’ range limit of 22 but all are above the lower expected value of 11.

Combining the two tables to look at the average number of fouls teams make to get cards shows some more interesting figures:-

Team Average fouls called per Yellow Card Issued by Referees
At Home Away Total
Liverpool 11.6 9.2 10.2
Man City 17 6.1 9.1
Newcastle 8.1 8.5 8.3
Tottenham 11.9 6.4 7.8
Everton 11.6 5.4 7.6
Huddersfield 10.1 5.8 7.3
Brighton 5.4 9.3 7.1
Wolves 7.8 6.4 7.1
Fulham 7.4 5.6 6.5
Chelsea 7.4 5.6 6.5
Watford 6.3 6.6 6.4
Cardiff 5.4 8.3 6.4
Crystal Palace 8.6 5.2 6.2
Man United 6.9 5.7 6.2
Arsenal 5.4 7.3 6.1
Leicester 4.9 6.6 5.6
Bournemouth 4.8 6.4 5.3
Burnley 5.8 4.9 5.3
West Ham 5.7 4.2 4.9
Southampton 4.6 5.1 4.9

Here straight away we can see that Liverpool, Man City, Spurs and Everton are all being to ‘get away’ with far more fouls per card at home than any other team.  The figure of 17.0 for Man City is just over three times the 5.4 for Arsenal and nearly three times the number they have in their away games.

Liverpool have the fewest cards per foul away from home but the difference is nowhere near as large as for the home teams.

If we look at individual matches there are some very strange numbers indeed.  I have already mentioned the Spurs v Liverpool match where there were 33 fouls but no other sanctions at all.  As well as that match the following also stand out :-

Home team ‘oddities’

  • Spurs v Bournemouth – 4 home fouls and 2 yellow cards
  • Chelsea v Everton – 7 home fouls and 4 yellow cards
  • Watford v Bournemouth – 11 home fouls and 4 yellow and 1 double yellow card
  • Southampton v Chelsea – 13 home fouls and 6 yellow cards
  • Wolves v Watford – 23 home fouls and 3 yellow cards
  • Spurs v Chelsea – 19 home fouls and no cards
  • Arsenal v West Ham 16 home fouls and 1 home yellow card

So Spurs have managed two of the highest home foul totals without any further sanction – 19 against Chelsea and 17 against Liverpool – oh to be able to do likewise!

Taking the away teams

Of the 5 away teams only committing 3 fouls, Fulham are the only one picking up a single yellow card against Bournemouth

Man City v Huddersfield – 4 away fouls and 2 bookings

Cardiff v Brighton – 21 away fouls and one yellow and one red card

Everton v Southampton – 20 away fouls and 5 yellow cards

No-one comes close to Liverpool’s 16 away fouls without any other sanction.  Newcastle are second in the list with 13 away at Man City.

Finally I want to look at a measure as to how the referees decisions impact on the individual teams and I’m going to use the Minutes Played Under Caution.

This is a relatively simple measure and looks at the time when each team receives a yellow, double yellow, red card or penalty.  For each incident I have noted the time it was awarded and subtracted that from 90 to give the time remaining in the match.  A yellow card counts those remaining minutes, for a sending off or penalty I have counted double the time remaining.

Team Time played under Caution (mins)
At Home Away Total
Man United 705 1,017 1,722
Arsenal 989 664 1,653
Leicester 668 922 1,590
Watford 804 660 1,464
Brighton 824 635 1,459
Southampton 597 834 1,431
Huddersfield 701 708 1,409
West Ham 643 717 1,360
Burnley 598 718 1,316
Fulham 672 621 1,293
Everton 364 889 1,253
Crystal Palace 566 663 1,229
Spurs 155 984 1,139
Bournemouth 725 365 1,090
Cardiff 579 496 1,075
Man City 407 453 860
Newcastle 348 511 859
Chelsea 440 373 813
Wolves 465 324 789
Liverpool 176 310 486

So here Liverpool are the big winners.  The referee’s decisions have impacted on them by far the least.  They would appear to be the red hot favourites to win the league on these figures and it is easy to see why they are unbeaten so far this season.

Man United and Arsenal are the biggest losers having been impacted a massive four times more.  In the case of Arsenal the home difference is far greater at over five times.  These two teams are also the only ones in the top six to be at this end of the table.  Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City are all in the bottom five and Spurs not much above these three.  It will be interesting to see if the change in manager at United has a significant impact on their numbers in the second half of the season.

The Spurs home numbers are even more staggering at less than one sixth of the Arsenal figure (although partly explainable by the variance in the number of their home and away matches).

Arsenal also stand out at having been impacted more at home than away.

If “Type III” matchfixing is happening in the league at the moment then I would suspect some clubs are targeting ourselves and Man United.  We’ll take another look at Type III in a subsequent article.

34 comments to How four clubs commit fouls with impunity, while others constantly get punished

  • Wolfgang

    I have been saying for years Arsenal have a mt to climb to win the epl.There are many instances. Lazareet shd have been given a penalty.
    In one game a ref did not give a spot kick though it was a 100% call.
    I cant wait for var but even then you cant trust the guys behind the decision making process.

  • Al

    That this league is bent is beyond any doubt, as your figures show here Andrew.

    I find it incredulous salah dived in two successive matches and wasn’t even sanctioned in both cases. It’s now being reported mane will not be punished as Oliver saw the incident and dealt with it.. come on, is throttling of a player now deemed an acceptable and punishable only by a free kick? This reminds me of the Howard Webb lies of having seen the Balotelli incident.

    There’s a serious lack of honesty in the English game, the notion that we’re British we don’t cheat is fallacy.. and frankly speaking we’re fools to follow this bullshit. As for me, I’m done with this nonsense.

  • Len

    Should start a campaign to have the FA conducting Investigation!

  • abhi

    THIS, Exactly what Al wrote

    Mane does not get penalized for grabbing a player by the neck
    Salah gets no penalty for diving, and is allowed to dive again
    And the other penalty is also a dive
    Meanwhile Lacazette gets hit toe to toe and that is somehow not a penalty
    Also the offsides. See the offsides in the game.

    It seems this year Liverpool are the ‘chosen ones’

  • Ade

    Considering Liverpool/Arsenal match, it’s evident that referee Olivier biased in his officiating. Olivier is always controversial and if u look at a number of them in epl they always have a team they favour and often times they always frustrate arsenal. Look at Mane incidence and Lacazette penalty but Olivier pretended as if nothing happened. Liverpool last match salah was accused of diving and against arsenal look at again and FA can’t investigate the accusation. To curb, AVR has to come in place and also the referee and his assistance should also be punished now particularly for such incidence of Mane bcos all of them can’t deny they don’t see it.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    @Al

    I sometimes think the League has all of the honesty of professional wrestling. A fine spectacle at its best and one that can get our adrenaline going but one which we all really know is fully choreographed. Rarely, if ever, an honest contest

  • But who would investigate it? The FA is funded by the English taxpayer.

  • As informed as you

    Mate its been happening for seasons and arsenal changing manager woild not suddenly change our fortunes as we still aint playing “the game” like they want.

    Until we sit at the right table with yhe cartel we will always ne allowed only fleeting joy and very little success until we do.

    Untold are on the right path but there is so much more going on then can be said or that may ever get uncovered.

    Omce that is realised and accepted resilts like liverpool dont get under my skin loke they used to when i was blissfully ignorant.

    Ps Untold should look into runming stats amd figires on km covered by certain teams who seem to suddenly improve and have yhe legs to run for days perhaps PEDS may be involved which woild make a difference tp how a previously struggling team can lets say match a big team and pull pff a result.

    Avid reader,some time poster.

  • Steve Vallins

    Are the referees looking at the number of fouls an individual player is committing , the type of foul he is committing or in some instances making an example of him .
    I don’t think the players know what is a booking anymore as they are too discretionary between the referees from one game to the next .
    Getting a card in the first 5 minutes of a game changes how the player has to play for the rest of the game compared to the last 5 , with a low number of booking for a team in a game always leaves them with a chance of taking one for the team .
    Your figures certainly show who is going to win the league as much as the penalty count helped Leicester .

  • Babatunde Akanbi

    This is the reason why English clubs don’t do well in Uefa competitions because English referees are die fans of some English clubs.

  • Mikey

    It’s also worth noting that in the game where the Spuds committed 19 fouls for no cards, one player comitted 5 of those fouls. At what point does the concept of “persistent fouling” come in to play? Can any of you referees shed any light on that one?

  • insideright

    Obviously the more a team is in possession of the ball the fewer fouls it should commit – other, of course, from diving! Maybe those stats could be included in the analysis?
    I have suggested before that all fouls be punished with a card – blue for the first, yellow for the second and red for the third. Maybe a sin-bin to make the punishment both immediate and beneficial to the team sinned against rather than the one played next week might also help? I can see that this might encourage more faking of offences so it needs more work.
    As Arsenal fans we cannot praise the inclusion of players ‘who like a tackle’ and then complain if they give away fouls. With hindsight a player like Mertesacker who could combine both ‘ruggedness’ and a remarkably low card count should get great praise.
    My main complaint of late is that we get cards for non-dangerous things like arguing. Don’t do it!

  • Finsbury

    Thank you Andrew.

    Fairly conclusive simple objective information and data here for the general public and especially Arsenal supporters to appreciative. It is what it is.

    “You can dress a turd up with bells and indeed even whistles,
    but it is still going to stink”

    Roll up, roll up. Place yer bets.

  • markyb

    Their habit of only giving yellows to opposition for nailed on red card challenges and making it up as they go along really is astounding. Then there is the media machine on hand to condone and confirm it. Sickening

  • markyb

    There is a reason why we have had so many serious injuries and it aint holdong onto the ball too long

  • Gord

    Spuds v Bournemouth

    Does anybody think that the Spuds would completely change how they behave on the field, a significant way through a game?

    To look at the final game statistics, the 5 to Spuds and 8 to Bournemouth is comparable to other games the Spuds have played.

    The time of the Spuds first foul in that game was 73m! So, somehow they fouled 5 times in 17m. And they want you to believe that they committed no fouls in the first 17m, even though Bournemouth required two treatments before that time.

    If instead, they were fouling at the same rate during the entire game, they should have finished the game with 26 fouls. Perhaps they were really fouling at the rate of 3 fouls in 17 minutes, and so the total for the game is more like 16?

    There is some question as to whether the second treatment to Francis in that game was the result of contact, but in any event that game was the last time Francis is apparently playing this season. ACL rupture. Some claims that it was self-inflicted.

  • WalterBroeckx

    As informed as you, maybe the blood packets from Spain are delivered at Liverpool this season and not at Man City? 😉

  • markyb

    I think they have been going there maybe for a while now.

  • it may be simply that because Man$ity retain so much possession, they do not have the opportunity or need to foul the opposition.

    Yet, on the other hand, when they lose possession, do they not operate the high pressing to get the ball back, which surely must mean that they will incur fouls?

    In the Times this morning, their “northern football correspondent” says, “Contact constituted a foul in all 3 instances (to include the Salah dive against Southampton), meaning the award of a penalty was the correct decision. This was not Liverpool indulging in the dark arts or cheating, but it could be construed as players ensuring that referees could not interpret the incidents in any other way”.

    Seems to me he is saying that contact is enough for a foul and hence a penalty, and the fact the player then goes down, not as a result of the contact, is to make it clear to the referee that there has been contact and that he should give a foul.

    So he is suggesting that it is correct for a player to cheat in order to make it clear to the ref that he has been fouled.

    So if contact constitutes a foul, then there should be a penalty at every corner and any free kick played into the box.

    How many times have we heard about players, like St Kane “inviting the foul”?

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Yep, Leicesterpool|! are odds on favourites for the title!

  • Gord

    Going to my inverse Treatments league data, these are treatments inflicted on opposition. How often does the team in possession, inflict a treatment on opposition?

    The median number of treatments inflicted to the end of GameDay 20 is 20, with a MAD of 2. Man$ity has inflicted 16 treatments, so are 2 MAD below the median. This should not be statistically significant.

    The median number of substitutions needed by opposition due to having a treatment inflicted on them is 4.5 with a MAD of 1.5. Man$ity opposition have had to substitute players 4 times due to treatment infliction by Man$ity. This is the median behavior.

    The amount of time that a team plays short-handed while their player is receiving treatment has some long treatment times in it. Leicester has an exceptionally small amount of short-handed time it’s opposition have played under (13 minutes). Burnley, StateAid and Newcastle opposition have played short-handed for 53 minutes, and CPalace for 63 minutes. Most of the data is “in the middle” with a median of 32 and a MAD of 4. Man$ity are sitting 10 below the median, so about 2.5 MAD.

    If I remove the 5 extreme values as outliers, I find a median of 31 and a MAD of 3, putting Man$ity at 3 MAD below the median.

    By none of these measures is Man$ity does Man$ity inflict fewer treatments on opposition than the median team behavior of the EPL.

    So, if they have so much possession, why do they still inflict the same amount of treatments on opposition?

  • Gord

    Strictly speaking, the only contact that is allowed is shoulder to shoulder contact when the ball is within playing distance. Anything else should be a foul.

    In a tackle, the only thing that is allowed to trip a player, is the ball. If the tackling player’s leg also makes contact, strictly speaking it is a foul.

    Supposedly, “common sense” says that a referee cannot call every foul that is observed. Hence, players are “allowed to get away with” fouling. “Common sense” also says that if players know that they can “get away with” fouling, they will do so deliberately.

    At one time (previous years), there was data for all situations where the referee had to stop play because a player was down. There were running totals for all treatments, and there was (usually in one source) more explicit notice of players needing more substantial treatment (they needed to be removed from play, and subsequently needed the referee’s permission to re-enter the field of play). On GameDay3 of this season, the running totals disappeared. Only the more serious treatments continued to be documented.

    Most of the treatment times are 4 minutes or less. Only a small number of treatments result in a card being issued, and there does not seem to be any obvious pattern to treatment time, the need for a substitution and the issuing of a card. Cards are issued for ordinary fouls that require no treatment, why the hesitation to issue cards for fouls that require treatment?

    I just switched from treatment to foul. Not every need for treatment is the result of a foul. In some circumstances, the player needing treatment inflicted the need for treatment on themselves. Some of the treatments that have no card associated with them, have meant the player receiving treatment was seriously injured, involved considerable rehab time.

    How can that be? Do these PGMO clowns seriously believe that their ignoring nearly all of the treatments as situations where a card should be issued as accurate? Fair?

  • Gord

    German labor study on referee bias from 2015. Lots of references.

    http://ftp.iza.org/dp8857.pdf

    I would say this study confirms that there are many sources of bias by referees, a significant chunk of which are statistically valid; but the sum total of all this bias has little real effect. There are lots of kinds of bias, that isn’t looked for. Some of the data comes from the EPL.

    One particular point is about how much stoppage time is added. Some researchers go to great pains to discover a bias of a couple of tens of seconds that is statistically significant. Excuse me? A 45 minute half only has 35 minutes of play, and you are finding a bias of 20 seconds or so?

  • AKH

    The written laws of the game still have to be observed and interpreted on the field by individuals called referees, that one hopes are fit for purpose. In the UK, the PGMOL is the officiating body responsible for the training and the monitoring of Premier League referee performance. Who is responsible for monitoring the PGMOL performance and hence its transparency? How are Premier referees chosen to become match officials? – by gender; by race; by social status and class; by county representation; by age etc etc. One might expect the FA to monitor the behaviour of the PGMOL on such issues as well as on funding issues, but then who monitors the behaviour of the FA? Since it receives much of its funding from from UK tax revenue, one might expect the FA to be monitored by government that provides it with money. But, who monitors the UK government? One might expect government to be monitored by Parliament! But……..(there’s a hole in my bucket dear Lisa, dear Lisa)
    Even the UK media do not question the transparency of the PGMOL nor its funding body the FA. Occasionally the UK media might comment upon the transparency of FIFA or UEFA but rarely is there anything wrong in the state of UK with respect to the nature of such officiating bodies.
    Who monitors the nature of the betting cartels that now dominate the sporting industry? Indeed, gambling companies even own football clubs……(Really!)
    Still, no doubt the UK football status quo will be allowed to maintain its control through its invisibility on a National scale. Some Premier football club managers will still report that UK referees are the best in the world and should not be criticised, especially once VAR operates! The FA will still be organised and officiated by white middle class men. The government will still threaten to cut the funding of the FA but do nothing.
    Am I an old ‘fuddy-duddy’ or merely a pathetic old man pissed off with life. Perhaps so!
    But I do enjoy reading Untold Arsenal and its history equivalent, along with the comments of you fellow UA readers. Thank you Tony, Walter, Andrew et el. A very happy new year to you all.

  • WalterBroeckx

    jjgsol, but they keep on saying that footbaal is a contact sport? Contact is not enough to give a penalty. A foul is what should result in a penalty eg: kicking against the foot of an opponent running towards you. Lacazette anyone….

  • Aziz

    I thought untold had always told us man utd and mourinho were darlings of the press, fa, pgmo, Fifa etc. How come you’re now saying mourinho man utd alongside arsenal are suspected targets of type3 match fixing?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Great work, articulates what we,have been seeing, the Top 3 are protected species, and Liverpool really are getting favoured, allowed to cheat with impunity as well. I expect them to exceed the unfeasible amount of pens Leicester, and Brendan Rogers Liverpool received when they blew the title.
    Got to give the illusion City won’t have it all their way over the next few years though Liverpool now matching their spending, with suspiciously few injuries.
    Perhaps the media will pick up on all this, ha ha .
    Was hoping our new “football people” at the club would be a bit more on the ball with this stuff than Ivan and Co, but no evidence as yet, if anything, things are getting worse.

  • Walter.

    I agree completely with you. The writer of the article I referred to, their “northern correspondent” has clearly shown his bias by suggesting that contact is sufficient for a foul and that it is acceptable to fall down, even if the contact did not warrant it, merely to make it clear to the ref that there has been contact.

    If he did not seem to be serious one might have thought that it was an early April Fool joke.

  • Wolfgang

    Our Swiss defender could have died following Sane’s chokehold on him.What would the FA have done?
    I tell you what. They will probably ban Sane for 3 matches.
    That is the most you can expect from a body of old farts serving the interests of the established order.
    Their motto: Don’t rock the boat that gives us the good life.

  • Gord

    Musing on statistics

    I have a set of data, just raring to go. And I am waffling on how to organize it. Largely because I don’t know what I am looking for. I’m on a “fishing expedition”.

    Most people analyzing football, are looking for a way to predict winners, losers, scores and so on. I’m trying to predict who is going to get screwed, and for how much.

    Sir Rednose didn’t seem to get bothered much by the officials. My suspicion is that he knew where skeletons were buried, El Moaninho was a despicable human bean, and it didn’t surprise me that they would get caution this season. But will things change with super-sub in the temporary management role?

    Man$ity has whinged about players getting hurt, and seems to be getting preferential treatment. CPalace (of all teams) has done similar, and it seems to be paying off for them. Liverpool and Newcastle also seem to be deriving a lot of benefit from something, I’ve no idea if whinging was involved.

    It doesn’t seem to matter if Arsenal whinge or not, we get whacked and carded (for getting whacked). We have more cards for breathing on opposition than any other team. I’ve looked, it’s not in the Laws of the Game. You are allowed to breathe on opponents.

    —-

    A way to go on a fishing trip, is to do something often called a Principal Components Analysis (at least by the stats people). Where I came from, it is called Singular Value Decomposition. Which is probably the most accurate and slowest way to invert a matrix, amongst other uses.

    But if I take all this data and look for the eigenvalues and eigenvectors (yet another name for the same thing), what does it get me? It says I should make a new variable that is 38% Caution in the prior game, 17% wind speed and 6.13% cost of beer at the stadium. What am I supposed to call this variable, Fred? (Pun on an atmospheric aurora phenomenon called STEVE.)

    I don’t want to do arbitrary rotations in N space to mix variables (another way to describe SVD is doing). In a well made science experiment, they know what the variables are and they know the physics and chemistry. Often there are only one or two models which may describe the experiment. Everything is well controlled.

    Here, we have Top-N versus Rest Of The Pack (ROTP). We have north/south issues within England. We have xenophobia and ethnicity issues (there is a paper which was talking about the probablility of fouls (penalties?) based on the ethnicity of the referee and the players in question. There are money issues (Man$ity, Chel$ea, …).

    So, we are not running 1 experiment under good control, where are running N experiments with N>1 but we have little idea what N is or if anything is under good control. We only have the “word” of 😈 Mike Riley that they are getting 98% (of the calls that they are concerned with) correct.

    Yet another name for Principal Components Analysis (or something related to it) is K-Means. This at least seems to be capable of telling me how many clusters of data I have. Then the typical problem of football usually comes in, there isn’t enough data to decide if there is something going on or not.

    It may be that Walter is right, and that police doing wire taps and recording all kinds of things is the way forward. But, how does one arrest every council member of The (sweet) FA, the management and some staff of PGMO, probably some management and staff of The Premier League; and then have a season? 🙂

    Nearly all of the studies of bias in football (most sports), assumes that everything is on the up-and-up, and that the only pressures on officials are the social pressure from the fans. They don’t want to analyse bribery. There are studies of Calciopole (sp?), but I haven’t read one yet. Manipulating the intrinsic bias in your stabled of referees to tilt games? I’ve seen nothing that might follow that route, but I have no time to devote to reading everything. At some point, I need to find a way for this farm to provide food and income for my Mom and I, and a start on satisfying my intellectual curiosity. Becoming rich would be nice, I doubt it will happen.

  • Type 3 match fixing is not organised by the press FA Fifa PGMO etc.

  • This post is from AKH, but technical problems meant it could not be published.

    The written laws of the game still have to be observed and interpreted on the field by individuals called referees, that one hopes are fit for purpose. In the UK, the PGMOL is the officiating body responsible for the training and the monitoring of Premier League referee performance. Who is responsible for monitoring the PGMOL performance and hence its transparency? How are Premier referees chosen to become match officials? – by gender; by race; by social status and class; by county representation; by age etc etc. One might expect the FA to monitor the behaviour of the PGMOL on such issues as well as on funding issues, but then who monitors the behaviour of the FA? Since it receives much of its funding from from UK tax revenue, one might expect the FA to be monitored by government that provides it with money. But, who monitors the UK government? One might expect government to be monitored by Parliament! But……..(there’s a hole in my bucket dear Lisa, dear Lisa)
    Even the UK media do not question the transparency of the PGMOL nor its funding body the FA. Occasionally the UK media might comment upon the transparency of FIFA or UEFA but rarely is there anything wrong in the state of UK with respect to the nature of such officiating bodies.
    Who monitors the nature of the betting cartels that now dominate the sporting industry? Indeed, gambling companies even own football clubs……(Really!)
    Still, no doubt the UK football status quo will be allowed to maintain its control through its invisibility on a National scale. Some Premier football club managers will still report that UK referees are the best in the world and should not be criticised, especially once VAR operates! The FA will still be organised and officiated by white middle class men. The government will still threaten to cut the funding of the FA but do nothing.
    Am I an old ‘fuddy-duddy’ or merely a pathetic old man pissed off with life. Perhaps so!
    But I do enjoy reading Untold Arsenal and its history equivalent, along with the comments of you fellow UA readers. Thank you Tony, Walter, Andrew et el. A very happy new year to you all.

  • jjgsol

    The times reports today that Warnock has told his players not to breath on the direction of scum players in the box today.

    Is trying to say something significant here or us it something everyone knows already?

    Remembering how shearer, in his pomp, used to get away with amazing assaults against opposing defenders, undoubtedly because he was English and an important international, the same goes for st.harry and holy deli, as well as their son.

  • jjgsol

    Apologies for the typos in the last post.

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