Premier League referees are perhaps the worst around, when compared to their counterparts throughout other elite level leagues in Europe.
Many supporters often complain at the amount of penalties given to certain clubs, but it’s statistically more likely for better teams to be awarded more spot-kicks.
To put it simple – the best teams find themselves in opposition boxes more often and are more prone to be fouled.
Well respected Liverpool writer Paul Tomkins has looked for potential bias from Premier League referees and his findings make for very interesting reading. (All “quotes” taken from his article).
The first point he makes is how commentators describe fouls resulting in penalties, with Jamie Vardy often said to be “entitled to go down” whereas Mo Salah “goes to ground too easily.”
While this can mean simultaneously nothing and everything, Paul explained how he doesn’t think there is widespread anti-LFC bias – but there are concerns with Martin Atkinson.
Going back to 2015, when it was noted Steven Gerrard said he “can’t stand” the referee in his new book, the writer thinks this is the moment the Atkinson changed his tune on the Reds.
Tomkins suggests the referee isn’t fit to officiate Liverpool games because of an obvious bias, with the champions being denied over ten “stonewall” penalties last season.
Case a point – Atkinson has awarded the Reds just one spot-kick in his last 23 games (since 2015), but his league average is to give 10-14 per season.
It’s too much of a gap for it to be a coincidence, with even relegated sides expected to pick up at least a couple of penalties per season.