There’s a debate going on about refs and bias, fomented no doubt by some evil southerner who hates all us northern, whippet-breeding (and maybe also horse punching but that’s not us) working-class, cloth-cap wearers. Or maybe it’s just someone who likes football and puts information and opinion on the web and invites comment, just as we do. (You can judge for yourself by visiting http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/30364)
I suspect it’s the latter and I’d say M Salut said as much, and although some of the material he used may have suggested he was biased, I know we try to be objective and fair, except when baiting Mags and fans from Coventry, Leeds, Cockney or sundry other clubs.
Visit https://safc.blog/?p=46095 to see some of the material M. Salut quoted, from which I’ll select
“We had a total of 264 wrong decisions in the 19 games we did with Sunderland. That is more than 13 wrong decisions per game. Dreadful in fact. Of those 264 wrong decisions we had 149 in their favour and 115 going against them. The difference is 34 decisions in favour of Sunderland. And that is almost 2 decisions in their favour on average.”
I’d agree that it’s not the level of refereeing I’d expect but I ‘d want to see a statistical test before I accepted the difference in for-and-against decisions meant anything. My first impression was that this difference could have come about by chance and I did do a quick chi-squared test of my own. I got a value (about 2.2 with 1 degree of freedom) that suggested the difference is not significant. I’m very rusty with such stats and confidence levels and I haven’t looked at the primary data or the methodology (and I probably never will) but I think anyone claiming these differences mean anything is talking bollocks.
Then there’s this:
There are a lot of referees from the north east in the PGMO ranks, and at its simplest level one might ask if this is good score by a team from that region a coincidence?”
A quick visit to the Statcat (what an excellent site) allowed me to produce the following table, which gives the name and location of every referee to have participated in a premiership match between Sunderland and Arsenal since the start of the premiership
|1996-7||Steve Dunn||Gloucs||Paul Danson||Leicester|
|1999-00||Uriah Rennie||S Yorks||Paul Alcock||Surrey|
|2000-01||Graham Barber||Herts||Steve Dunn||Gloucs|
|2001-2||Mike Riley||Yorks||Paul Durkin||Dorset|
|2002-3||Paul Durkin||Dorset||David Elleray||Middlesex|
|2005-6||Matt Messias||Yorks||Alan Wiley||Staffordshire|
|2007-8||Rob Styles||Hampshire||Keith Stroud||Hampshire|
|2008-9||Lee Mason||Lancs||Alan Wiley||Staffordshire|
|2009-10||Alan Wiley||Staffordshire||Steve Bennett||Kent|
|2010-11||Phil Dowd||Staffordshire||Anthony Taylor||Cheshire|
|2011-12||N Swarbrick||Lancs||Howard Webb||S Yorks|
|2012-13||Anthony Taylor||Cheshire||Chris Foy||Merseyside|
I’m assuming what we find with Sunderland-Arsenal won’t be too different from what we’d find with Sunderland-Anyone else. There’s no one there from the North East (no, Yorkshire isn’t in the North East, just ask any Yorkshireman or any Geordie). Six matches have had someone from the north officiating, six or seven someone from the Midlands – ie Staffordshire/Cheshire, and I’ll include Merseyside (all just about equidistant between the clubs), and 11 have had someone from the south. That is data from the last 20 years, and there may be more refs from the north now than earlier. We certainly do get our share of them these days, but none are from the North East.
And are these refs biased? Here’s a breakdown of results and refs by region for our 38 games last season:
|SAFC record, 2012-13|
…Methinks our southern friend is trying too hard.
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