Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Alex Ferguson and referee selection: too many coincidences?



It is a well known fact that human behaviour is modified by rewards and punishments, therefore in order to have a fair system of refereeing it is vital that all referees are treated equally and objectively when it comes to assessing their performances.  It is also vital that for a referee selection process to be free from bias, it has to be pretty random and free from outside influence.  Unfortunately the PGMO's referee selection and assessment process, run by Mike Riley, is flawed, subjective and highly  subject to outside influence.  Mike Riley's own objectivity and bias has been called into question by managers in the past.

Yet another blatant example of Sir Alex Ferguson having an obvious influence on referee selection has reared its ugly head this week.  Chris Foy, who refereed Manu's defeat to Tottenham, has been bizarrely demoted to a League 2 game this weekend, his first League 2 game since 2006.  Obviously our friends at the FA deny  this is a 'demotion' and claim it is just part of his normal refereeing rota.  Alex Ferguson insulted the refereeing after the game and should have been charged by the FA, instead Alex Ferguson appears to have got his own way yet again.

If one looks back at referees who have dared allow Manchester United to lose games in recent years, there is a clear trend of great concern after these Manu defeats.  Alan Wiley refereed United’s 4-1 loss to Liverpool in 2009 and in that game, he gave both United and Liverpool penalties and sent off Nemanja Vidic. All 3 decisions were reasonable and Wiley was praised by Sky TV co-commentator Andy Gray for his performance; not even Ferguson complained.  Later that year, Wiley was given another United game to referee and despite sending off Kieran Richardson of Sunderland, Wiley was lambasted by Ferguson for being “fat and unfit”. The game ended 2-2.  That would be the end of Wiley’s refereeing career. Wiley, it says cryptically on his Wikipedia page, “agreed to retire” at the end of that season. Agreed with whom? No one knows.

Last season, Manchester City romped to a 6-1 win at Old Trafford, inflicting on their rivals their biggest embarrassment under Ferguson. The referee on that day was Mark Clattenburg. He sent Johnny Evans off in the second half for a clear professional foul.  There have been 34 Man United league games since that day and Clattenberg has not refereed a single one of them. The same absence of United fixtures after refereeing a United defeat is common to Martin Atkinson and Chris Foy as well.  There are also some other remarkable coincidences after the refereeing of United defeats.  

Whether there is rank corruption or just biased decision making as a result of dodgy processes is open to question, however what is clear is that the referee selection procedure and system is far too open to influence and consequently bias.  Untold Arsenal's statistical analysis of referee performances show this is now beyond significant doubt.  Manchester United have far too much influence within the game and on referee selection, and this is consequently giving them an unfair advantage over their competitors.  Referees like Howard Webb know that it is career dynamite to be favourable to Manu with one's decisions making, while it is career death to dare to upset Sir Alex with a defeat.

The PGMO is not fit for purpose, it is simply not good enough that the richest league in the whole of the world has such a hidden and subjective method of selecting referees for games.  We have seen in many other countries including in Italy how just a bit of influence on this process can result in massive bias, this appears to be happening under our very noses in the Premier League.  The silence of the media is one of the most worrying aspects of this, journalists are either scared of the ability of Ferguson and Manu to end their careers, or they are more involved than we know, either way the world's 'greatest' league is beginning to stink of corruption.

7 comments:

roy mah said...

a very good insight to why man u has always been awarded very dubious decisions especially in key matches or towards the end of the season. doesnt help that one of their key shareholder is one of the major media companies in the world.

Wealthycrown said...

As an individual i've always asked why referee's decision in favour of man utd has never been questioned. the most recent of this obvious trend is their 2-1 win against liverpool where Shelvy was red carded for a fifty-fifty tackle with which he went in with the side of his foot and then when robin van persie launched into a tackle with studs up he wasn't even yellow carded and then came the decider of the match when Valencia dubiously went down under a relatively soft challenge and was awarded a penalty. I also remember a man utd match against tottenham i think where goalkeeper caroll pushed out a ball that had gone half way into the post and the referee and assistants all denied seeing it. FA should look into this trend and stop this injustice in a league that is so famous for its thrills and exciting matches.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

maybe the rest of the premier league clubs are realizing what we have been saying for years is true. One rule for them, one for everyone else......Nice to see our Academy in North London is doing so well by the way.....COME ON CITY - #CHAMP16NS

Michael said...

Have Arsenal fans caught the scouse illness of "blame everybody else" and whinge as its far easier than putting some effort into it. Talk about cry babies.....

Suraj said...

Excellent article mate..as a Chelsea fan today's game just made me sick

city said...

thanks for sharing.