Leicester City v Arsenal: the (revised) question of the referee



By Bulldog Drummond

For reasons that will most certainly not become clear at this time, the Untold “team” (hardly the right word as it turns out) reversed the location of this fixture and so prepared a nonsense report on what the referee might get up to.

We did (I think) get the referee right however, and it is Craig Pawson, who as we said before is quite simply “Mr Away Win”.  And now we can say that instead of that being a disaster for Arsenal, it turns out to be rather good news!!!

Craig Pawson’s basic figures are in the first table below… as we said before


Referee Games Fouls pg Fouls/Tackles Pen pg Yel pg
Craig Pawson 14 23.36 0.63 0.29 4.21
Home 14 11.36 0.58 0.14 2.36
Away 14 12.00 0.69 0.14 1.86


The next bit of our original report remains as true now as it was before…

At first sight it looks like the away team is worse off than the home team – the away side get an average of 12 fouls against them per game – a little more than the 11.36 average for the home team.

And they also get awarded more fouls against them per tackle.  And yet despite that the home team on average gets 27% more yellow cards than the away team.   So, to get this clear, the away team commits more fouls, generally, and more of their tackles are considered to be fouls than for the home teams.

Indeed going further both the home and away teams are equally treated in the number of penalties.  So this looks like a decent and fair referee.  But then, in these circumstances why is the home team likely to get 27% more yellow cards than the away?

Of course that might just be one of those funny quirks of statistics, and not to be worried about.  Except… only 28.6% of Pawson’s games end up as home wins.  Just over a quarter – and that combination of statistics deserves an enquiry – and then some..

Referee GAMES HomeWin% AwayWin% Draw%
1.Simon Hooper 17 70.6 5.9 23.5
18.Craig Pawson 14 28.6 42.9 28.6
20.Jarred Gillett 11 18.2 45.5 36.4


So let’s now compare this with the historic figures, our referee for this match gives 35% of the points to the home team and 65% to the away team.

Here are the national Premier League figures season by season, reflecting the regular home bias of referees except in the season when there were no crowds, and away bias came in to play..  


Season Home percentage of points Away percentage of points
2018/19 57% 43%
2019/20 58% 42%
2020/21 44% 56%
2021/22 54% 46%
2022/23 58% 42%
Pawson 35% 65%


Mr Pawson has not just carried on the approach of 2020/21 when many games were played without crowds, but he has gone further as if he is on a solo mission to give away teams more and more points.

This does not mean Leicester are going to lose, but it does mean that if the referee appears as he normally does, Leicester are going to have to beat both the opposition and the referee to get anything out of this game.

Certainly this is beyond doubt one of the worst possible referees there is in the league in terms of his results.  But this time, if he performs as normal (and there is no more away-biased referee in the league than this one) Arsenal could benefit.

So how did this happen?   First, it could be pure chance, second it could be a deliberate anti-Leicester ploy influenced by PGMO on another club.  Obviously, we have no evidence at all of the latter, so let us take it that it is pure chance.  Exactly as it was pure chance that we had the home-favouring referee for the Villa game.  That is just the way it goes.

Again our apologies for miswriting this report originally.  I hope this version helps clarify the situation.  We are open to all offers from anyone who can write a pre-match commentary for each and every Arsenal match and get it to us by the day before the game.  If you feel you could do that please email Tony@schools.co.uk and write Untold Arsenal in the subject line.


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