Monday, 2 April 2012

Mike Riley has openly lied on refereeing bias?

Mike Riley, the head of the refereeing body the PGMO, was recently interviewed on the BBC and he openly stated that:

" 'all the evidence' doesn't support there being any bias present in refereeing decision making"

I summarised the interview in two articles at the time.  There are numerous problems with refereeing in the Premier League and it now abundantly clear that the workings of the PGMO are completely hidden from the view of the media and the public.  However ignoring all the major problems with refereeing (like the lack of objective referee assessment, the lack of an open and transparent system of referee selection, and the massive potential for corruption by clubs influencing the referee selection process) for one minute, let us just analyse Riley's comments on refereeing bias.

We have numerous scientific studies that prove Mike Riley to be an idiot or a liar, either is not promising for the PL's refereeing system.  Statistical reviews have shown a systematic home bias in the decisions of referees (1):

"We can confirm a systematic home bias of referees."

Excellent research in Italy proved the subconscious and conscious bias in refereeing decisions (2).  The systematic home bias has also been demonstrated in Spanish football (3,4) and recently in English football by Professor Steven Dobson (5,6).

There is simply no doubt to anyone of sound mind who has read up on this issue, referees are inherently biased.  At best this is just a subconscious bias in favour of home sides, but at worst if the PGMO's referee selection process is subject to influence by the clubs then the amount of bias affecting the results of games could be huge.  We simply don't know because the PGMO and Premier League persistently refuse to release any meaningful information about referee assessment and selection, at the moment we are simply expected to trust that what goes on behind closed doors is perfectly fair.

Whatever the real truth behind the referee selection process in the Premier League, it is clear that Mike Riley's comments are at best ignorant and wrong, and at worst designed to hide a corrupt network of dodgy refereeing.  I have very little faith in Mike Riley, the PGMO and the Premier League, there is so much money and so many vested interests at work here.  Trusting  these people as the vast majority of the mainstream media do appears extremely foolish and naive.


1. M Sutter and M Kochler.  Favoritism of agents – The case of referees' home bias. Journal of Economic Psychology. Volume 25. Issue 4. August 2004. Pages 461-9.
3. Andrés Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco Gónzalez-Gómez & Jorge Guardiola Wanden-Berghe, 2011.
"Referee home bias due to social pressure. Evidence from Spanish football,"
Working Papers 1119, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
4. Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco González-Gómez & Jorge Guardiola, 2011.
"The importance of time in referee home bias due to social pressure. Evidence from Spanish football,"
FEG Working Paper Series 03/11, Faculty of Economics and Business (University of Granada).
5.  DAWSON, P, DOBSON, S., GODDARD, J.A. and WILSON, J., 2007. Are football referees really biased and inconsistent? Evidence from the English Premier League. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 170 (1), pp. 231-250. 
6.  The influence of social pressure and nationality on individual decisions: evidence from the behaviour of referees, Journal of Economic Psychology (2010) Vol. 31 No.2 pp 181–191 (with P Dawson).


Anonymous said...

You bet there is bias. And who can ever believe anything from Mr. Cheat himself Mike Riley.
The one that single handedly ended our unbeaten run at Old Trafford after the most appalling and biased ref performances off all times.

Great article. I could point you at Untold Arsenal blog or the debatable decision website of the football is fixed blog to know that there is something very strange going on behind the closed doors of the PGMOL.

True Gooner said...

Mate you need to drop it, Arsenal were shit and you cannot use the refs to excuse that. They are the elite at what they do and the blame lands solely with them. GET A LIFE FAKE GOONER!!

Anonymous said...

True Gooner,

you are not the brighest are you?

This article is irrelevant to what you talk of, your aggressive attacks just show your own inadequacy.

Should you wish to make a comment on the referee selection process or anything in the article, fine, feel free.

Should you just want to come here and thrown around insults in a wanton manner, then with respect, sod off.

1979 gooner

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should do some research regarding confirmation and selection bias, realize you're trying to blame Wenger's inadequacies on those 'closet United refs', and go back to blogging about WTC7.

Anonymous said...

anon 0017

maybe you should bother posting something of some relevance to the article

your random and irrelevant rambling just shows you up I'm afraid

what on earth is the relevance of this to refereeing bias?

nothing else better to do at midnight?


Anonymous said...

the anons above really amuse me but dont get disheartened by them mr blogger we get the similar type on Untold Arsenal..the deniers of any wrongdoings and any refereeing bias aka the AAA(copyright Tony Attwood of Untold Arsenal)..would really suggest you take a look at untold`s refereeing index as there are many kind of articles which try to show just how biased and bent the referees are

JoGonner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JoGonner said...

Hey, just wanted to say great blog

How did you get hold of that paper on referee bias. Everywhere i look requires me to have an Athens login, which i don't. Could you possibly help me out?