Ref Review 2012-2013 : Wrong GOAL decisions a closer look

By Walter Broeckx

This article is part of the series of the Referee Review 2013. You can find links to earlier articles on the bottom of this article.


On this site we have published all kinds of reports over the season 2012-2013.

We have dealt with the different teams. We have looked  closely at the refs themselves leading to the best ref election of the season according to the views and based on the numbers found by our referee reviewers.

We then had another look at the bias from the refs with each team.

The next step is looking at the 4 most important decisions on the football field that could have the biggest impact on the final result of games.

We will examine the wrong decisions about second yellow cards, red cards, penalties and goals. And we will show not only which teams gained and how many times they gained, but also which teams suffered and how many times they suffered. Of course when the ref makes a mistake there is always a team that benefits but there is also a team that gains from the wrong decision. So it is important to have a look at both sides of the medal.

And to round things up we will also show which refs made which teams suffer or gain from their wrong decisions.

So let us now have a look at the teams that were favoured by the ref his decisions about goals. Goals the most important decision of them all of course. As it defines who gets the points and who not. So we should see no wrong decisions on this type of decisions. But we know that it goes wrong sometimes.Way too many times for my liking.

goal dec favoured

Now this is again an interesting table. Because in this table the team with the highest score behind their name is a team that got a few wrong goal decisions in their favour.  And if we go straight ahead to the teams with a high score we see that Man U was the most favoured team in the last season. The 8 means that they had 8 goal decisions in their favour that shouldn’t been given. Now of course when you win 5-0 and you get one wrong goal it will not really change the outcome of the game.  But what with a 1-0 win or a win with only one goal in it?

But if we look at the other teams we see that Chelsea, Man City, Tottenham AND Arsenal all had 5 goal decisions when they were favoured. So if we look at that we see that this is in fact the top 5 of the league. I know Arsenal is in it and was lucky on this but so were the other top teams. Is this where we see the ‘big-team bias’? If so then this is totally unfair for football and certainly for the smaller teams.

I have said it before and will say it again: I don’t want decisions favouring Arsenal (or any other team). I want correct decisions, for all.  Our numbers certainly indicate that this isn’t the case now.

But when teams are favoured by wrong decisions there are also teams that suffer. Let us have a closer look at those teams in the next table.

goal dec suffering

And now we see a different picture compared with the table in which we showed who was favoured.

In this table a high number behind your name is bad of course. And Arsenal is top of this table. With also 5 goals, the same number that we have seen in the table with favourable decisions. Does this means that we can say: it evens out?

NO! Because you have to look at the context of the match to see such things. If you get a favourable decision in one game and suffer from another in the same game, you could say that it evens out. But if it happens in different games there is no such evening out effect. Because to even out the favoured and suffering team needs to be the same of course. And certainly when you have different scores at the end of matches. A1-0 defeat with a wrongly awarded goal cannot be made up with the 3rd goal being wrongly given to you when you win 5-0.

What we do can see is that a team like Manchester United benefited from 8 wrongly awarded goals and suffered from 2 decisions going against them. So a bonus of 6 goals. Not that bad I would say. Well at least if you are involved with Manchester United.

In the next table we will show you the refs themselves and who made the mistakes and which teams were involved.

goal dec refs

And then we see that the ref who had most mistakes when it comes to goals is Martin Atkinson. 8 wrong goal decisions…that is a lot. And when we look at the teams that were favoured and suffered we see that Chelsea is the favoured team and that is no real surprise for most of us. On the other side we see that Arsenal is the team that suffered most from his wrong goal decisions.

The ref who then made most mistakes is Taylor with 6 wrongly awarded goals. We need to mention that he is the only ref to have made a hattrick of mistakes (assisted by his assistants of course) in one game.

Jones and Dean are also refs with a lot of wrong goal decisions goals last season.

And all in all 47 goals that were wrong… if we should believe the PGMOL boss Mike Riley and his 99% correct important decisions…this would mean that we would have 4700 goals in the PL last season.  Well there hasn’t been that many goals in the PL, I can assure you that.  That would have been more than 10 goals per match. Did you see them?

And to think we didn’t even  cover all the games….

This entry was posted in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Norwich City, QPR, Reading, Referee Reviews, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, WBA, West Ham United, Wigan. Bookmark the permalink.

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