Ref Review 2012/13 : The best ref in the PL was….

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.



After having dealt with the different teams and after having examined all the refs we now are bringing it all together. In the last article in this series we have shown the competency tables of the refs and if you missed it you can have a look over here.

And then we have added their bias to it. If you missed that one you can have a look here.

And now all we have to do is put those two things together and we will be able to announce who was the best ref in the PL.

So in the table we will show you in this article we will show you the final merit table of the referees. Not just based on their competence but also based on the fact that the lower the impact was of their errors on the different teams the better a ref you are. We can accept errors up to a certain way. But what we cannot accept is that errors always go in favour of one team or against one team.

So my dear readers and referees of the PL I will no longer leave you in tension and show you the final outcome of the Referee review 2012/2013 and here we go with the final table of this years review.

Who was the best ref of the season 2012/2013 according to our reviews:

Final referee table 2012 2013

THE best ref of the season was Jonathan Moss. He was the best ref in the competency table but also was the ref with the best general bias score. In fact he managed to make no team really suffer very very badly when he was around. And combining this with a high score in his decision making it is a remarkable achievement.

I had to praise him a lot in his report for his decision making and somehow a good ref is usually a ref with a low bias against teams. Jonathan Moss is 42 years old now and only has been in the PL since 2011. Last year we only reviewed a few games so we couldn’t take him in to the tables but also then in the games we reviewed we noticed high scores and low bias scores. Now when doing him more games we found the same things.

If only he would have been younger than he should be give a Fifa badge. And if you look at the distance between him and the rest it is fair to say that he was sticking out with head and shoulders compared to the rest.

In second place taking in to account not only the competence but also the bias we find Mark Clattenburg. The winner of the ref of the season 2011/2012. Despite having a bad competence score, Clattenburg managed to save his season by showing just as last season that he is a ref who has an excellent bias score.  He only finished in 5th place in the competency but was in second place in the bias table. And that took him to the all round second place last season. I hope that Clattenburg can shake off what happened to him last season and which had a clear influence on his performances.

To complete the top 3 we have ref Andre Marriner.  His competency score was also the third best but he dropped some points in the bias table.  But he still could keep his third place by a small margin in front of Martin Atkinson.  Martin Atkinson who had a great score in the bias table and that saved his total score as he only finished 10th in the competency table.

A ref that was not expected to be so high was Lee Mason I think. With position 8 in the competency table he managed to move higher in the final table with his bias score.

The ref in 6th place needs a special mention. Kevin Friend was the ref with the second highest competency score but he dropped a lot of points when we look at the bias numbers.  He only came in 10th place. So an example on how even a rather competent ref still can be a bad ref. It was as if when he made mistakes it were big ones and made too many teams suffer. If this ref could bring some balance in to his game he might become a good ref. A thing to keep in mind is maybe having a look if there is some home bias in to his game. This might be a reason but I must admit I didn’t have the time to look in to that yet.

The next ref is Howard Webb. Last time he was the referee who did the world cup final. But in our final table he only comes in 7th place. The position he occupied in both competency and bias tables.

Michael Jones finished in 8th place just in front of Phil Dowd. A ref that finished higher the season before but couldn’t keep up his standard in the last season. Maybe his age is catching up on him?

In 10th place we find the Arsenal bogey ref Mike Dean. He had mediocre numbers in competency and bias and so a 10th place is all he can get.

Chris Foy finished in 11th place. And people who remember the competency table will remember him finishing last in this table. But he then showed that despite making a lot of mistakes his mistakes were rather evenly spread amongst the teams he did.  He was the 5th best referee in the bias table. And this indicates that when he makes mistakes he is rather fine in splitting them between the teams.

Neil Swarbrick finished in 12th place. This is a surprise as he finished 4th in the competency table. But when he made mistakes it all went one way and some teams suffered (and other benefited) in an extreme way. And it cost him lots of places in the table. Be more even is my advice.

In 13th place we find the ex-referee that refuses to keep his mouth shut and didn’t accept the silence money.  Keep on telling us things is my advice to Mark Halsey.

Then we have Lee Probert and Anthony Taylor. And they deserve their low ranking. No need to say any more.

And then we also have Michael Oliver who has scored very low.  The youngest referee in the PL and carrier of a Fifa badge. But such a low score. I must say that is or a bad move from the PGMOL to give him a Fifa badge before he really could establish himself in the PL and gain more experience. On the other hand FIFA forcing the local FA to give Fifa badged at an early age to refs that maybe are not ready for this. But that is another story.

I would advice to not take notice of Roger East. With only 2 games done it would be highly unfair to draw conclusions but I did mention him in the tables because otherwise we wouldn’t have taken all the games and all the refs we reviewed in to this article where we looked at the numbers.

There are more angles we will try to look at in the next days. And we will try to use the data of two seasons and try to come up with long term conclusions. We could try to see if things even out over more than one season. So still lots of interesting things to look forward too.

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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