Is Mike Dean really the most trigger happy with cards? And who gave out the most cards on average last season? Hint it was Bobby Madley!

Team vs Ref finally answers the key questions and highlights the real bias of referees across the last 5 seasons of English Premier League data to determine which referees are the most consistent and whether there are any clubs that are considered “teacher’s pet”.

The results may surprise you, and more likely anger you. Fuel yourself with the knowledge so that you really can call the referee a $%&£@*.

About the Data

Data was sourced through and cross referenced against official match reports for accuracy. Penalty Data was sourced through Transfermarkt and again cross referenced against official match reports for accuracy.

What is the Affinity Score?

Put simply, the higher the percentage the more a referee has made decisions in favour of the team you are comparing them against.

The Affinity Score represents all refereeing decisions in matches where the selected team and ref met in the last 5 seasons. The decisions were then graded in terms of severity.

The table below each “Team vs Ref” pairing displays stats for the selected referee and the selected team. These stats, in addition to the stats for the opposing team’s, forms the Affinity Score.

The data was then represented as a percentage to obtain a mid-point (or neutral point).

The data ranges from 30% to 90%:

Essentially anything higher than 66% means a ref has been positively biased towards the selected team, below 54% and the ref has been negatively biased towards the team.

So for example:

G Scott vs Aston Villa shows a 39% Affinity Score. This means Graham Scott has been negatively biased against Aston Villa in the matches he has been the referee in.

L Probert Vs Leicester shows a 77% Affinity Score. This means L Probert has been positively favourable towards Leicester in the matches he was refereeing.

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