Arsenal v Everton: How the elite group of referees always favour the home teams

It all depends on the referee

By Bulldog Drummond

One of the most curious factors that arise in matches at the moment is the different chance there is of a home win, compared to an away win, or a draw, depending on the referee in charge.

We have of course known about this for some time, but it is only now that we are starting to understand just how much of a difference there is between the results of games under highly experienced referees (the guys who have already taken 15 Premier League games this season) and the less experienced referees.

Indeed there is a group of five of the top six referees working in the Premier League who oversee far more home wins than the rest of the referees.  In short these referees constantly have a home bias.

And yet these are the men who are working almost every weekend on a match, and who by and large have been around for a long time, and thus one might assume that they feel they know what is going on.

Obviously, this bias might be unconscious – and if so the most likely scenario is this.  Being expert referees they must be aware of all the research that shows just how much referees are influenced by the home crowds.

But these referees have been around a long time, and perhaps feel that they are above such influences.  The crowd never influences them, they feel.   So they ignore the research that shows just how much a crowd can influence the referee, and carry on regardless – and as a result show significant home bias.

Thus although one might also hope that they are the referees who would be least affected by crowd noise (it being crowd noise, as research has repeatedly shown, which influences referees in favour of one team and against another) this is not at all true.   The big clubs must always be delighted when for a home game they get one of the regular PGMO men – because it means their chances of a home win are greatly increased!

Here is the table of the results under the six PGMO referees who have overseen more games this season in the Premier League than anyone else.   The interesting reading comes with the final rows which shows the season average for all Premier League matches and below that the average for the elite group of referees.


Referee Games HomeWin% AwayWin% Draw%
Simon Hooper 17 70.6 5.9 23.5
Robert Jones 15 60.0 26.7 13.3
Stuart Attwell 17 58.8 17.6 23.5
Michael Oliver 19 52.6 31.6 15.8
Paul Tierney 20 50.0 40.0 10.0
Andy Madley 16 43.8 18.8 37.5
Season average 46% 30% 24%
Elite group average  56.0% 23.4% 20.6%


The “season average” row shows the percentage of results of each category in the Premier League so far this season (as of noon, 28 February).

The “Elite Group average” shows the percentage of results of each category in the Premier League so far this season when one of these top referees is in charge.

In short, when one of the elite group of referees gets a game the home team gets a boost of 10% in terms of its chances of getting a win!!!   The away team sees its chances of getting a draw drop by 6.6% before a ball is kicked while the chances of a draw drops by 3.4%.

And this cannot possibly be right.

All this of course comes in addition to the wild variation in results between one referee and another.  Simon Hooper is seeing 70% of his matches end as home wins; so any team getting him at home must really be happy.  Away teams getting Hooper might as well not bother turning up.

And it is not only the home or away bias of referees that is worrying.   For as we can see the percentage of home wins for these referees, ranges from 70.6% down to 43.8%.

In short, when a club gets one of the most used Premier League referees they are more likely to get a home win, than if they have one of the less regularly used referees.   Because most of the time with one of the most regularly used referees there is a clear bias toward the home win.

Now of course this could be PGMO selecting these most used referees for matches involving clubs that mostly get home wins, but why would they do that?  That would after all be a most convoluted piece of thinking.  PGMO most certainly should not be selecting referees according to anything other than their ability to control a match fairly, and this analysis shows that they are not doing that.

3 Replies to “Arsenal v Everton: How the elite group of referees always favour the home teams”

  1. It’s called gambling. Lot’s of money involved BD and none of the authorities are concerned.

  2. Really?Now every Arsenal score will be subject to var
    review.Saka was brought down but var didmt bother to ask the ref to have a look
    As for Saka and the other others like Odeggard ,etc will
    I believe be subject to rough tackles.And when they
    retaliate,will be sent off due to the indifference of the ref.
    I hope I am wrong

  3. if I recall rightly was it not our game that is the only one Simon Hooper has had to give as an away win? Possibly Villa? until then I believe he had 0 away wins in 16 games refereed. Someone here at untold will know

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