Referee Review 2012/13: Everton. A slight bias in favour… but only in the middle.

By Walter Broeckx

This article is part of the series of the Referee Review 2013. Other articles to this subject can be found on this site. Including reviews of games, reports on teams and reports on refs


In this part of the series we have a look at each team and see how the bias panned out for each team. This is based on the decisions themselves without putting any weight on each decision. A total table will be published at the end of this series and then you can compare each team with the other teams.

And it will be an interesting table I can assure you of that.

First we are providing a table for each team highlighting each type of decision. This gives the totals as for when the team in the article got a favourable decision and when they got it against them.

If the traditional mantra, “it all evens out at the end of the season” is true it should show in these statistics – and indeed for some clubs we have already reviewed, that is the case.

But as I said, in the table we just show the decisions as a decision and we didn’t put any weight on the decisions. That is something for later on. Now we just take each decision at the same value, which is of course not saying all because a wrong penalty call is a bit more important than a wrong throw in decision.

But now let us move to the next team in our survey: Everton

We did 22 games of Everton and that is 57,89%  of their games. So unless the complete opposite of what we saw happened in those 16 other games we can think that this should be the pattern for the whole season.



n the second column we see the type of decision. And in the column “Favoured” we see how many decisions favoured this team when we reviewed them.  In the column “Penalised” we see how many times a wrong decision went against them.  The total swing is the difference between the favoured decisions and the penalised decisions.

A negative number in this column means that the total was against the team and a positive number means that the total decisions was in their favour.

In the last column we see the average swing per game, based on the games we reviewed. And this gives an indication on how many decisions went against a team or were in favour of a team. The lower the number the lower number of decisions that were wrong. And a positive number indicates that in each game they get some decisions in their favour and a negative indicates how many decisions the team has to overcome.

We had a total of 288 wrong decisions in the 22 games we did with Everton.  That is around 13 wrong decisions per game. Again this is too high to be good.   But more importantly now is to see what impact those wrong decisions had.

Of those 288 wrong decisions we had 155 in their favour and 133 going against them. The difference is 22 decisions going in favour of Everton in total. This is a bias in their favour.

When we look at the decisions we see that they got some benefit from the advantage, goal kick and corner of the smaller decisions. And we also notice that the fouls/free kick decisions went very much in their favour. So one could say in the outfield play in the middle of the field they had a lot going their way last season in the games we reviewed. Of course they also had such decisions going against them but in general this looks rather good. If you look at it from a Everton perspective. But is it all good and rosy for Everton? Hell no.

If we look at the decisions going against them we see that the penalty decisions went very much against them.5 times they were on the good end of an error of the refs leading to them being awarded a incorrect penalty or not given one against them. But on the other hand they had 10 penalty decisions going against them in the whole season. This could have been penalties given against them when it wasn’t a penalty. Or penalties not given to them when it should have been a penalty. Leading to a total of 5 penalty decisions in total against Everton.

The other important decisions going against Everton were second yellow cards and one red card decision in total. So also rather important decisions if you ask my opinion.

So what looked to be a good result at first suddenly turns a bit bad because the decisions we are talking about are very important decisions. It looks as if there were two sets of rules for Everton last season. The first rule involved giving  them all and sundry outside the penalty area and the second rule gave them nothing in the penalty area.

Strange findings about Everton I must say.   I don’t think we’ve seen another club analysis like this over the years.

Editorial note: if you want to comment it is perhaps worth having a look at some of the background to this research in the articles below, if you have not come across Referee Decisions before.  We have had situations in which supporters of various teams have not done this, and made comments which, in retrospect they maybe wish they hadn’t.

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