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.
Next ref in our series that are done in alphabetical order we have ref Chris Foy. A few seasons ago he was confused with Chris Hoy the bicycle athlete but is Foy as much on top in the ref hierarchy as Hoy is or was (I’m not really up to date with his performances to be honest).
Foy did 21 games in the PL last season. And we reviewed 13 games of those 21. That is 61.90 % of the games he did. So a rather high number of games and we should have some conclusions ready I think.
Let us first have a look at his total decisions and how much he was correct or not.
Ref Foy had to make 1943 decisions in those 13 games and 1595 of the decisions he took were judged correct by our panel of referee reviewers. That is 82,09% of correct decisions in total.
Of course by now you know that judging them as correct is not the same as being correct completely. When we can’t judge a call or when we are not 100% sure he made a mistake we call the decision correct. But it might be that when we would have other angles to see that the call could have been incorrect.So in general the numbers could be even flattering the refs but this goes for all the refs and not just the ref we are looking at today.
Now I must say that the score going to 82% when around 50% of the decisions cannot be really judged is not really that good I think. But what we can’t check, we cannot comment on. So we will move on to the important decisions as those are the calls we usually could check better.
And with the table of important decisions we see a big drop in the numbers. Foy had to make 895 important decisions in the games we could review and 584 of his decisions were judged correct by the panel of referee reviewers. That is only 65.25% correct decisions. In other words let him have 10 important decisions and he will make at least 3 wrong calls. This goes at least for the foul/free kick decisions with both percentages below 70% and that is really not a great number.
It gets even worse if we look at his penalty decisions with not even 1 in 4 correct. It looks as if he was afraid to take the correct decisions in the penalty box.
And his disciplinary numbers are also terrible. A ref that is clearly afraid to send players off be it with a second yellow or with a straight red card. If you don’t have the guts, then leave it I would say. The distribution of yellow cards is also very poor. A ref that has problems with giving the fouls and also with giving any disciplinary sanction.
And amongst those poor numbers we suddenly see that despite all that ref Foy is the ref with one of the highest correct goal scores. Only 1 goal in the games we reviewed was wrong. Giving him a score of 97,30% correct goal decisions.
Amazing how he can get low numbers on many decisions but yet he can be good when it came to judging the goals.
Let us now take a look at his bias. In other words who was favoured when he made his mistakes and who was suffering. You can see this in the next table.
If we look at the teams with a very low bias we see that we have Manchester City and Reading with that very small negative bias score. We have one team that can say it evens out – that is with Tottenham.
We also have a few teams with a very small positive bias. Manchester United, and QPR are those teams. The teams with the biggest bias in favour are Sunderland, West Ham United, Stoke and West Bromwich Albion.
On the bad end of the table where no team likes to sit we find three teams with a rather big negative bias. Chelsea is one of them. And the teams that suffered most from the mistakes of Foy are Norwich and Arsenal. There is not much difference in between these two teams in terms of the figures.
Going back to Hoy the cyclist you could see that Arsenal have just beaten them on the finish line. Not that those teams wanted to be there to finish first in this table I can imagine.
FINAL CONCLUSION: If we look at the weighted table we see that his numbers were even slightly worse than last years numbers. We then said that his numbers were too low to be acceptable for the PL and the PGMOL. This years numbers confirm our conclusion. I wonder if the fact that Foy is one of the oldest refs in the PL can have something to do with this. Sometimes it is time to go but you hang on to it and at the end you sometimes have to realise that you are getting too old to do it. Can this be the case for Foy?