By Tony Attwood
Apologies if you were unable to get onto Untold for a while on 25 January. There was a technical fault, but it’s all sorted now.
Our desire, so often expressed on this site, is that no referee should ever oversee more than two games per club in a season. So we thought it would be worth asking the question is, is PGMO taking any note of our continuing campaign, or is it not?
The first thing to note is the wide range in the number of games each referee gets involving a Premier League club.
According to Sports Mole, who must be thanked for taking on the task of recording referees in Premier League games, match by match, here is the list of referees this season, with the number of games they have taken. These include League, League Cup and FA Cup matches.
A referee working on every match day would so far have a maximum of between 20 and 24 league games (a variation because a referee might be selected for one of the many games which have been postponed this season), plus one FA Cup match and up to five league cup games. Here is the total.
- Paul Tierney: 17 games
- Michael Oliver: 15 games
- Jon Moss: 15 games
- Anthony Taylor: 15 games
- Mike Dean: 15 games
- Craig Pawson: 14 games
- Martin Atkinson: 14 games
- David Coote: 13 games
- Stuart Attwell: 12 games
- Andre Marriner: 11 games
- Chris Kavanagh: 10 games
- Andy Madley: 9 games
- Darren England: 9 games
- Kevin Friend: 8 games
- Simon Hooper: 8 games
- Graham Scott: 7 games
- Peter Bankes: 7 games
- Robert Jones: 7 games
- Jarred Gillett: 4 games
- Michael Salisbury: 2 games
- John Brooks: 2 games
- Tony Harrington: 1 game
It is of course quite reasonable for some referees new to PL matches only to have had one or two games as they move up from the Championship to take on PL matches, continuing at first to have the majority of their games in the Championship.
But the key question is, are we still going to get some referees overseeing four Arsenal league and cup games a season – or even more – rather than the two we suggest? Here we can see how close we are getting to this.
Nov 7, 2021: Arsenal 1-0 Watford
Dec 26, 2021: Norwich 0-5 Arsenal
Dec 21, 2021: Arsenal 5-1 Sunderland
And those without…
- Chris Kavanagh 0 games
- Andy Madley 0 games
- Darren England 0 games
- Simon Hooper 0 games
- Peter Banks: 0 games
So we have five qualified Premier League referees who are getting games in the League, but not games involving Arsenal, while on the other hand we have one referee who has overseen Arsenal five times and another who has controlled three Arsenal games.
This seems very imbalanced – as does having Michael Oliver have Arsenal v Liverpool twice in one season.
And to be quite clear I am not saying Mr Oliver is biased or incompetent, but rather that given the history of referee corruption across Europe, and the fact that two years ago Uefa issued a warning saying that it could no longer control match-fixing on its own and needed help from outside agencies, it would just be sensible to limit the number of games each referee could oversee involving one club, to a maximum of two per season.
As we can see five Premier League referees have not been involved in a single Arsenal game so far while two referees have already gone past our suggested maximum of two Arsenal matches in a campaign.
And there is still a lot of the season left to run.
And one can only ask, “Why is it like this? What is the benefit to anyone of arranging refereeing in this manner?”
And maybe, why does the media take no interest in this?
The proof that something is seriously wrong with football refereeing and reporting
- The curious case of how the media treats Man C and how it treats Arsenal
- How one journalist decided to turn the truth about Arsenal upside down.
- Arsenal’s results are on track for top four finishes – from next season.
- This is Arsenal’s worst position for over a quarter of a century
- If the media lie and bully about the news, what do you think they do about football?
- Arsenal’s financial woes and the media’s call for more spending.