Referee review 2012/13: Southampton. It’s a miracle they survived.

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 sixth team in our survey:  Southampton.

We were only able to do 11 games of Southampton last season. And that is just under 30% of their games. So we have to be careful with these numbers. But the numbers are what they are and we can only show them as they were found.


In the second column we see the type of decision. And in the column “Favoured” we see how many decisions favoured Southampton when we reviewed them. And 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 91 wrong decisions in the 11 games we did with Southampton. That is more than 8 wrong decisions per game. Better than other teams to be honest so one could say that the decisions in general were rather fine.  Of those 91 wrong decisions we had 34 in their favour and 57 going against them. The difference is 23 decisions going against Southampton. And that is more than 2 decisions going against them on average.

If we first look at the decisions that went in their favour we see that this is about 2nd yellow cards and one penalty decision in their favour when we look at important decisions. When we look at the other decisions it is corners, goal kicks and throw ins that went their way.

The decisions that went against them are most of all the fouls/free kick decisions. When mistakes were made it went for more than 66% against them. One in three went in their favour but 2 out of 3 went against them. A very high number if you ask me.

And totally out of proportion with the other decisions which were rather close when looking at the difference between the two decisions.

Looking at those numbers I think it is more or less a miracle that they managed to keep themselves in the PL. They sure didn’t get much from the refs to stay in the PL.

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