Referee Review 2012/13: how did the refs do when Swansea City played?

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 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 fourth team in our survey:  Swansea.

Last season we were able to do 13 games of Swansea and that is 34,21% of their total games in the PL.   Not that high a number so we have to be a bit more careful with the numbers we have – but still way above the normal sampling level that is used in this sort of research. But we will treat the numbers as if they are more or less valid for the 38 games. But we do of course keep in mind that we have to look at them with care.

swansea city

In the second column we see the type of decision. And in the column headed “favoured” we see how many decisions favoured Tottenham when we reviewed them. And in the column headed “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.

In the games we did when Swansea were playing we see that the majority of wrong decisions went against Swansea. 22 decisions in 13 games is more than one per game.

But there are a few decisions that show no bias. This are the decisions about goal kicks and offside – and also the penalty decisions.  And that is a more important type of decision.

But all the other decisions apart from throw ins show a negative bias against Swansea. In fact the bias in total is that Swansea faced almost two decisions going against them in each game they played. As this is an average number and I know that there also have been games when things went in favour of Swansea it could be that in the games it really went against them this number of 2 decisions will have been higher. If not much higher.

Swansea certainly was not the referee-favourite this season. Contrary to 2011-12 if I remember correct.

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