Last season a group of qualified referees reviewed more than 40% of the EPL games. 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.
Below is the review we published in the summer on Fulham and the refs. We are publishing it again because we hope to attract more referees who are willing to monitor what the refs in the Premier League get up to. If you would like to help us please have a look at our post which gives the full details.
So here we go with our review of Fulham last season…
Fulham is another team of which we managed to review 10 games. This represents one in 4 games of their season. It is a good number in a way but if you find this should be higher and better you and if you are a ref you can always try and join our team. It would result in being able to do more games and make these surveys more complete.
Let us see how the refs in general did in the Fulham games.
Well this sure doesn’t look good at all. This is a bad result for the referees in general. I would say this is an unacceptable result. We don’t want a score below 70% in general decisions. This is more than 7% worse than the league average which itself is already a very low number.
Does any team in the league has to be satisfied when refs in their games make one mistake in every 3 decisions they have to make? I will repeat it to make sure you get the picture: 1 in 3 decisions was wrong.
Let us see how these numbers look when we dig deeper in to the different type of decisions.
The goal difference is lower than the already too low league average. This is a really bad number I think.
The offside decisions are almost the same as the league average. Just under 90%. So 10% short of what the PGMOL claimed earlier this year.
The other decisions is with just under 66% some 6% lower than the league average. I think anything below 70% is not acceptable in the PL. That might be acceptable in a pub competition but not in the PL.
The penalty decisions are looking ridiculous. With only 33%. Compare this with the already unacceptable 62% of the league average and you see that this is a number that must get higher.
The only number that is better than the league average is the red cards decisions. But again do we have to accept 33% as good enough? Not in my book.
The yellow cards are close to 50%. Again I ask would it change a lot if we would throw up a coin to decide if we give a yellow card or not?
These numbers are a big shamble and a disgrace. And something that we should not accept in the PL.Regardless of who is playing in these games: this is too low. Up to now we don’t know if there is anything wrong with these numbers apart from the fact that they are disgraceful.
The next thing to do is to see if there was someone who benefited from this?
Well obviously someone did benefit. The normal (non-existing according to Mike Riley) negative away bias turns in to a positive bias for Fulham when playing away from home. Granted this was only done on 4 away games of the 19 but still a remarkable result.
And the home bias is almost 3 times the normal home bias! This leads to a positive bias overall of more than 3.600 bias points for Fulham. This was the result of doing almost 1 in 3 home games from Fulham.
If we put weight on the decisions we see that the normal negative away bias of -2.619 changes in a positive bias for Fulham of 1.500. That is a positive swing of 4.119 bias points away from home.
And the home bias is also very high in their favour. That is also almost 3 times what you normally could expect at home as an overall average.
The final outcome gives a positive bias swing of some 4.800 points in favour of Fulham.
Let us see which refs are involved in this farce of refereeing?
We had 7 refs in the Fulham games. Two had a negative bias result. Michael Oliver with a rather big negative swing and Howard Webb also had a bad score.
Mark Halsey had a zero score, so that is good for a ref who rarely gets a zero bias score in his games.
Kevin Friend had a moderate positive bias in favour of Fulham. And Mark Clattenburg enters the zone where I start to get an uneasy feeling.
Mike Dean had two games and a big positive bias for Fulham. But the master of Fulham when it comes to refereeing was Lee Probert. I think one of the biggest biased numbers in total I have seen this season.
If we put weight on it than we see almost the same numbers. This time 3 referees with a negative bias. The numbers going up (or down of course in case of a negative bias) and Mark Halsey joining the negative numbers but not with a high score. Kevin Friend and Mark Clattenburg also have a higher number. Mike Dean also rises to a very high positive bias.
Lee Probert goes off like a rocket and ends up with a score of 30 bias points. Unacceptable numbers.
In this graphic we can clearly see the influence of the refs on their results. When the ref was clearly in their favour they got extra points.
One game they could complain about and clearly dropped points, shows how important it is to have the ref in your favour.
We can ask ourselves what was the matter in some of those games?
What is the matter with the referees when they did Fulham games? This is one of those unexpected results from doing this referee review all season long.
I know that their chairman complained when he was entitled to complain after a bad decision going against them. But I didn’t hear him in all those games when they had the refs clearly on their side.
The refs were very very poor in the Fulham games in general and they clearly favoured Fulham. This is a very bad example on how it shouldn’t be done.