Untold Arsenal has a team of qualified referees who have reviewed more than 40% of the EPL games from last season. The reviews themselves were based on full match video footage with the advantage of video technology features such as slow motion and pause.
By reviewing those 155 games we have made a database of more than 7000 decisions that have been judged by our panel of dedicated and qualified referees.
The numbers you will see are based on those decisions and those reviewed games.
Only two teams we have in the “other” regional-region. And this is rather interesting because it also are two teams who were new to the PL at the start of last season. So one could say “small” teams. And if the big-small team bias should be very visible it should be in this “region”. The team from Wales, Swansea was covered in 8 games and Norwich was covered in 11 games. Making it up to 25% of their games reviewed.
Once again if you think this is not enough and you are a ref or know a ref who wants to join us, please contact us and join our referee review team. So let us see how those two little (with all respect) teams were treated by the refs.
And the first numbers look rather good with higher correct decisions in their games compared to the league average. A very positive number in fact with more than 75% of the decisions correct. Let us take a look at how it is divided in the different decisions themselves.
So another great set of numbers at first sight. The goals decisions are the highest we have seen so far except for the North East. Offside decisions are spot on the league average almost. The other decisions are much better also.
The penalty decisions are also much better in this “region”. And even the red cards were better handed out. Or should I say not as bad as the rest? Because it still remains a bad score of course.
The only part where the score goes down a bit is in the yellow cards. but for the rest the scores are much better than the average league score. Let us see if there was any benefit to be seen.
And this is looking very nice for Swansea and Norwich. The home and away bias is almost the normal bias for them. And even when away they almost see no negative bias. This is referee dreamland if you ask me.
And if we move on to the weighted decisions we see that this is again almost the same as the league average. But in this case again no negative away bias for those teams involved. This is just heaven. Let us check the two teams and their score to see if we find anything abnormal.
Both teams have a positive bias but not a very big one. I don’t think their supporters will mind that outcome. Let us see what happens when we put weight on to the decisions.
And in this case we have a historical event one could say. Because Swansea in the 8 games we reviewed if we take the decisions with weight they could say ‘it evens out’. Of course we must keep in mind we didn’t review the other 30 games. But still this is a very remarkable score. The total bias score is zero. Amazing. Norwich has a “better” score as they go up from the non weighted numbers.
So there is a small bias in favour of those two teams but not a big one. Let us have a look at the refs.
And when we look at the refs we get a very mixed image. Peter Walton didn’t cover himself with glory it seems. The same goes for Anthony Taylor who showed a big bias in favour in his games and seemingly making a lot of mistakes. In this table I am a bit surprised with the position from Phil Dowd. It only was on one game he did with those teams but he showed a big bias in their favour it seemed.
We had 12 refs in total and 7 of them have a negative bias score and 5 a positive one. So it all is very close with these teams.
And if we put weight on the decisions we see almost the same picture. 5 refs with a positive bias number and 7 with a negative. Michael Jones takes the worst position when we put weight on it in the negative bias sense. Anthony Taylor wants to keep his top position in the positive bias swing and does this with a big score.
Nothing is perfect, and certainly not in the referee world but at times this felt as perfect.
This is a “region” with two new teams in the PL and I can see absolutely no signal that someone didn’t like them. It sure looked as if the referees wanted to show both teams that they were doing their games without wanting to harm them. Of course mistakes were made but it sure looks as if the refs didn’t completely mess up with those teams.
A warm welcome from the refs was my first thought when seeing these numbers. Would this be some kind of general policy from the FA and the PGMOL? We will find out as in the next article we will be having the third new team in last seasons PL.
Next article in this series: Is there any bias towards teams from London?