By Walter Broeckx
If you have been reading Untold for quite a while you might remember I have in the past been a regular writer on the Untold website. Then my life changed, very much for the better I should add, and I just couldn’t find the time to write anymore. I went from being an Untold writer to an Untold reader.
So as a reminder for old-timers, and as an introduction for more recent joiners, I’d just like to introduce me as a (now) retired referee who for getting on for ten years wrote a number of articles on Untold for a good 10 years, on all matters concerning referees.
In those years I looked at and analysed some amazing things. Analyzing referee performances in Arsenal matches on my own. Analyzing referee performances in Arsenal matches with a few other Arsenal supporting referees. And then analyzing the majority of matches in one season with the help from referees who didn’t support Arsenal.
And finally we analysed half of the matches in one season using a VAR system years before the PGMO and Mike Riley would have it. That set of reviews, known as the 160 games is still on this website, and constitutes a major part the evidence that has been gathered which shows that all is not well with PGMO.
One of the results we found was that according to our research (complete with video evidence) the referees only got something between 60 – 70 % of the important decisions correct.
At that time Mike Riley told anyone willing to listen that the referees under his guidance got around 98% of all decisions correct. And the media just printed it as The Truth. Nobody in the media questioned it. Except those of us writing with Untold; we expressed our doubt based on our findings.
Our numbers was based on detailed analyses of matches. The numbers from Riley were based on what he said without any evidence given. So no one could check what he said.
So you can imagine how surprised I was when I read this on the BBC website:
Premier League officials believe the introduction of VAR meant there was 95% accuracy in “key match incidents” last season compared to 82% the year before.
So suddenly in the big media they now suddenly said that the referees only got an accuracy of 82% in the season 2018-2019. As that was the year before VAR was introduced. Remember that was the times when Riley said it was achieving a rate of 98% correct decision making.
Now we would like to know which number is the truth? Was it the 98% announced by Riley in the past? Or the 82% announced by…. well yes, announced by whom?
Because as usual the numbers from the PGMO are just given without any evidence to back them up.
Untold has always based its numbers on reviews that could be argued and disputed. Out in the open one could say. But PGMO and “doing things in the open” are just impossible bedfellows it seems.
But we also must highlight the fact that the media are still just acting as a mouthpiece of the PGMO and are not doing anything themselves to check the PGMO and the referees in a serious way.
They have the money and the staff to dig in to this if they only wished to do this. But they are like the three monkeys: “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” when it comes to referees and the PGMO.
I have always said that the first rule on the way to improve anything is to admit that it isn’t perfect and can be improved. But this seems to be something that never applied to the PGMO and the referees.
It is also very strange that nobody in the media is remembering the very obviously fake numbers from Mike Riley.
Refereeing is based on honesty and truth. So how can we not be concerned if we don’t raise the issue that the head of the referees has been forgetful in this matter. Or has been, as they say, “economical with the truth”?
How come the media don’t ask the question and confront Mike Riley concerning these figures? Because that is what they should do. Or do we just have to accept that in one season the accuracy of the Premier League referees went from 98% accuracy (announced previously) down to only 82% in the next season? And that without anyone noticing it? Are the media really that bad when it comes to watching football? Well based on the articles on the media on Untold… that might be also the case.
Anyway I am sure that the numbers from Riley have been “misleading”. But still the PGMO and Riley get away with it and nobody in the media is saying a word about it.
- Fulham v Arsenal: how the journalists got it wrong. Part 2
- Why football journalism is both misleading and making no sense at all.
- How Fulham 0 Arsenal 3 was a total disaster… for journalists
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton: their problems with fouls and cards, and the team
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton: the club that gets cards at over twice the rate of Arsenal
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers: where will each team finish?
- Arsenal v Lens: what we found, what we felt, what they did
- Arsenal v Lens: the team, the home/away form and the strange coincidences