Manchester United are favoured by referees right? Err, no actually. Not at all.


Ryan Babel's tweet of Howard Webb in a United shirt is one of a never-ending number of snide references to referee bias towards United - despite the statistics saying otherwise

It is perhaps one of football’s most popular myths that Manchester United get help from referees, in the form of anything from the rub of the green to outright corruption. Not only will it be referenced several times throughout the season by rival fans, it has actually entered the mainstream media, with phrases like “you don’t get them at Old Trafford”, “if that was down the other end it was a pen” and “Fergie time” entering the common parlance of footballing punditry. But does it have any basis, either today, or historically, or both? The statistics would suggest neither.

This season, topping the league by four points after 27 games, through to the last 16 in Europe and the last eight in the FA Cup, Manchester United have been awarded 5 penalties in total – at Old Trafford against Liverpool in the FA Cup, at Old Trafford against Arsenal and West Ham in the Premier League and away at Fulham and Rangers in the Premier League and Champions League respectively. Three out of the five penalties were converted, meaning just 3.8% (3/80) of United’s goals have come from penalties this season. Of these penalties, just one, Dimitar Berbatov’s against Liverpool can be said to have been a dubious award.

Of United’s rivals, Arsenal have received a staggering 14 penalties, several dubious thanks mainly to the antics of Chamakh, almost three times as many as United. 10 of these were converted, meaning 11.8% (10/85) of Arsenal’s goals have come from penalty kicks. Chelsea have been awarded 9, converting 7, for a percentage of 9.5% (7/74). Manchester City have a very similar record to the Blues, having received 9 penalties and converting 7 for a percentage of 9.6% (7/75). Liverpool meanwhile have been awarded 8 penalties, converting 6 for a percentage of 11.8% (6/51).

To summarise the penalty statistics of 2010-11:

  • Arsenal – awarded 14, converted 11, 11.8% of goals have been penalties
  • Liverpool – awarded 8, converted 6, 11.8% of goals have been penalties
  • Manchester City – awarded 9, converted 7, 9.6% of goals have been penalties
  • Chelsea – awarded 9, converted 7, 9.5% of goals have been penalties
  • Manchester United – awarded 5, converted 3, 3.8% of goals have been penalties

As you can see, the statistics are fairly staggering, especially to those propogating that United are the most favoured by referees. Arsenal have been awarded almost three times as many penalties as United, with the rest a little less than twice as many. Even more interestingly, using penalties converted as a percentage of goals scored – useful as it determines both how helpful penalty awards have been and allowing more leeway for more attacking teams possibly receiving more penalties – penalties have accounted for much significantly less of the goals Manchester United have scored in comparison to their rivals. Rounding off, penalties have accounted for 12%, 12%, 10% and 10% of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea goals, but just 4% of Manchester United’s.

“Fine”, you say. “So United are having a bad year with penalties. But I’ve heard and seen them given enough penalties over the years to know that they’ve been favoured in this department.” Do the statistics back this up?

Again, no.

As of the turn of the year, the following were the figures for the top 10 teams in terms of converted penalty kicks in the Premier League since 2003, when such statistics started being kept:

  • Liverpool – 36
  • Arsenal – 35
  • Chelsea – 29
  • Aston Villa – 27
  • Fulham – 24
  • Tottenham – 23
  • Manchester United – 23
  • Blackburn – 22
  • Man City – 22
  • Everton – 21

As you can see, despite generally being the most attacking team in the league, Manchester United have scored significantly less penalties than their three main rivals of this period – Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. They’ve even scored less than Aston Villa, Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur. Penalties accounted for 5.1% of United’s total goals, with the equivalent figures for Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea being 9.1%, 7.5% and 6.6%.

United conceded 13 penalties in this period – broadly similar to Arsenal’s 17, Liverpool’s 15 and Chelsea’s 12. Penalties accounted for 7.2% of goals conceded by United, in comparison to 7.4% for Liverpool and 8.1% each for Chelsea and Arsenal.

If we compare the percentage of penalties as a total of goals scored and conceded, United (5.1% scored, 7.2% conceded, -2.1%) come out worse than Liverpool (9.1% scored, 7.4% conceded, +1.7%), Arsenal (7.5% scored, 8.1% conceded, -0.6%) and Chelsea (6.6% scored, 8.1% conceded, -1.5%).

In fact, of the four major teams, only Liverpool have benefitted from penalties since 2003, ironic considering they have been most vociferous in their complaints against United. I have also stumbled across statistics for these two clubs alone since 1999, which show that Liverpool have been awarded 53 penalties to United’s 46.

Since the Premier League began, Manchester United have been awarded 88 penalties – just 4.7 per season. They have converted 66, meaning just 4.7% (66/1415) of United’s goals since 1992 in the league have come from penalties. Comparing this 4.7% to this year’s figures of Arsenal (11.8%), Liverpool (11.8%), City (9.6%) and Chelsea (9.5%), we can conclude that Manchester United have benefitted very little from penalties since the inception of the Premier League, and certainly less than their rivals.

Now that the penalty myth regarding United has been disproven, I shall move onto general decision-making. This is harder to pinpoint, conveniently relying on strictly anecdotal evidence. However, we can discuss this in relation to the current season. I have heard several times that United are lucky to be top of the league because Gary Neville should have been sent off away to Stoke and West Brom, with a penalty that should have been rewarded as well in relation to the incident at West Brom.

Whilst this is true in terms of the West Brom case, what’s forgotten is that United should have had a penalty kick in that match as well, for a stonewall handball arising from a Fábio cross. Neville was regarded as lucky to stay on the pitch against Stoke as well, but what is forgotten in this instance is that his first yellow was incorrectly awarded, after he won the ball. The referee perhaps realised this given the severity of the United protests, and thus gave the benefit of the doubt for the second decision.

Of course, incidents like Lee Bowyer’s last-gasp equaliser against United, where four separate infringements occurred – two counts of climbing, a handball and an offside – are largely ignored and instantly forgotten.

Also forgotten are the incidents last season which it could certainly be argued cost United a record four-in-a-row – John Terry’s winner at Stamford Bridge where an offside Didier Drogba dragged Wes Brown to the ground allowing the ball to reach Terry, and Drogba’s winner at Old Trafford when he was about two yards offside.

I ask those crying corruption and conspiracy to show when refereeing decisions gave United as much towards winning a league than they gave towards losing it last season.

Refereeing decisions have also hurt United in the Champions League. Ferguson’s men were cruising through against Bayern last season until Rafael was booked twice for two challenges and sent off – the first foul occurring 2 seconds after a foul on Rafael went unnoticed. In 2003, a Paul Scholes goal was disallowed for offside when he was quite clearly onside, which would have put United two goals clear. Porto equalised in the last minute, going through on away goals and subsequently winning the competition.

In the Carling Cup last season, Manchester City were incorrectly awarded a penalty for a foul outside the box. Carlos Tévez scored it, but Manchester United went on to win the tie. So whilst City supporters still moan about the injury time awarded at Old Trafford in the league allowing Michael Owen to score the winner, the penalty incident in the Carling Cup has already been forgotten. Why? Because United didn’t allow it to affect them, forgot it, and got on with the job in hand – winning the tie. This in part explains why refereeing decisions involving United are only remembered when they don’t favour the opposition, United usually go on to win the game.

Fergie Time

One of the most commonly used inferences that referees favour United comes in the form of ‘Fergie Time’, or seemingly larger amounts of injury time played when United are not winning. Proponents of this theory will mainly point to two instances – when 7 minutes of injury time were played against Sheffield United in 1993 during which United scored twice and won 2-1, and the aforementioned incident when United scored 88 seconds after the 4 minutes of injury time that was announced against Manchester City in 2009. Ignoring the fact that that’s two instances in 16 years, both amounts of injury time were perfectly correct. In the Sheffield United game, the referee had to be replaced after suffering an injury, with the treatment and subsequent replacement lasting about 5 minutes, this on top of the usual injuries and substitutions.

In the Manchester derby, whilst (a minimum of) 4 minutes was announced, Manchester City scored after the time was awarded, and their subsequent celebration and the introduction of Michael Carrick to the game meant that the time awarded was absolutely correct. I would suggest the same not to be correct about the 5 minutes West Brom received to find an equaliser in United’s 2-1 win at the Hawthorns this season.

Success breeds jealousy, and jealousy breeds irrationality. Any inference that United receive favourability from referees is incorrect. As I have shown, United receive significantly less benefits from penalties as their rivals, whilst the inevitable beneficial decisions are hyped and remembered whilst the inevitable disadvantageous decisions are forgotten in an instant. Them’s are the ways of a team at the top. Liverpool supporters of a certain age should remember similar mutterings about Kenny Dalglish’s conquerers, the El Classico will tell you a similar tale from Spain, as will Bayern in Germany and the Old Firm in Scotland.

As long as they’re muttering dark words of conspiracy about United, Alex Ferguson can be content he’s doing a fine job. As Wilde once said “the only thing worst than being talked about, is not being talked about.”

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27 Comments on “Manchester United are favoured by referees right? Err, no actually. Not at all.”

  1. Abner Saha says:

    Hi there,
    Fantastically written and that too about a subject that so many have debated about for years and years! Great to see a proper defense from the United POV put into a single article like this; only one question: can you quote the sources/sites from which you have pulled the facts regarding penalties?

  2. Soumitra Saha says:

    It’s interesting to see the passion with which the English are going after the Pakistani cricket players for “corruption ” in cricket. Now lets stand back and look at the English Premier League. It does seem that there is a similar situation in the EPL. How can one think otherwise when one looks at the game changing refereeing decisions that are being dished out day after day in the EPL? This has been going on for years now. The funny part is that in the case of the Pakistani players the corruption did not lead to game changers, even if you stretch your imagination. However, in the EPL the referees are changing results, day in day out, year in year out, and no one is doing anything about it. It means that this is supported – means it is corruption! The strategy is to favor one club – Manchester United, so that no one has to guess any further!
    The greatest quality of a great sport is fairness – where each participant has an equal chance to win. Year after year this has been systematically chipped away to favour Man U, “the greatest club of all times”! You can go through the years and you will innumerable instances of a penalty given to Man U or not given against Man U. This goes for fouls, cards, free kicks close to the box, etc., etc – goal scoring chances. Please note I am not talking about a foul in the middle of the pitch – a player sent off/not sent off. Though such decisions alter the game they are not definites – we have seen many a ten man team holding off a eleven man team! The depth of this corruption can be understood when you see similar favours are granted to any team that is playing against a close competitor of Man U in that season. It could be Liverpool that suffers in one year, the next year it could be Arsenal, then Chelsea the following year. Therefore there is no clear trail of decisions against any one team, making it complex. However, if you watch closely it is the rival of MAN U in that year, which bears the brunt! Such game changing decisions are written off as human errors, part of the game, you win some – you loose some, yeah there are inconsistencies – part of life, a referee cannot have his eyes everywhere, etc. etc. However, for some strange reason Man U does not get the wrong end of the stick – especially if they are league contenders, or if they do they are three/four goals up already! If the “mistakes” were genuine “mistakes”, then some action needs to be taken (disciplinary or otherwise) against those who take a call on such game-changing decisions! A Pakistani cricketer, who made money by bowling a few no balls is banished from the sport for years – yet those who stop clubs from winning a fair game, kill the career of players and managers continue to do it with impunity – no punishment for the inefficiency because it is not an inefficiency but deep-rooted corruption. After all the FA admits that foreign players are needed to get the league global (and that they are far better then the English “rugbyish football” players) and that they don’t have an Englishman, good enough to coach the English Football (or Cricket) team – not that anyone can do much with the current bunch of footballers, but we’ll come to that later. So why not admit that there are not enough good (leave alone excellent) English referees around, and get some foreign referees to run the EPL. When the English gentleman refereed the World Cup Final (I was in the stadium that day) he could not take the whistle off his mouth – the standards are different there, they wanted Football on the field, not just kicking – he too must have noticed.
    Lets’ take a few instances of “mistakes” in the best league in the world – the great enthusiasm about the greatest soccer league of the world is almost a mockery!
    a) Last year Owen is a hero in the Man Derby scoring well after the extra time, this year the whistle blows when Everton were about to shoot!
    b) Last year Wenger was shown a red card because he kicked a water bottle – how many times has “Sir” Alex bad mouthed a linesman/referee – did you notice him the other day against Wolves when a Wolves player fouled a Man U player!
    c) Scholes scored a bizarre goal VS Totenham – Nani sat with the ball in his hand, gets up, passes and Scholes scores!
    d) Saha’s goal against Arsenal this year – off side by a mile!
    e) Tottenham gets a penalty against Fabregas but a replica – Arsenal VS Wigan (the defender jumps, raises his hand and handles) is not a penalty.
    f) Mikhel get a yellow card for just about touching a Liverpool player – Chelsea don’t get a penalty when their player is bundled over by Johnson – without intent to play the ball. (you must remember that this season Chelsea, not Liverpool, is a greater threat to Man U)!
    g) Handball by Liverpool inside the box is not a penalty – remember the Arsenal defender on the floor and Nani kicking the ball to his hand – not many would, because Rooney blasted it over!
    h) Noticed Rafael’s armed clearance, inside the box VS Wigan!
    i) Chelsea do not get a penalty VS Liverpool when a player is bundled down but Newcastle get two VS Arsenal – see them again! I would rather not speak about Fletchers charge on Arshavin last year!
    j) Mikhel’s yellow card is for barely touching a Liverpool player – Barton, with his background and history, goes for Diaby not even a foul! In fact he was to get a yellow card for an earlier challenge – this should have been red!
    k) Diaby gets a red card for raising his hand on Barton and Nolan – but not even a yellow for what the pair do to the Arsenal Goalkeeper after the first penalty!
    l) Scholes scores VS Wolves with his hand and gets only a yellow – Giggs kicks out at a Wolves player off the ball – no card?
    m) Neville’s challenge V WBA before he retired!
    I guess I made my point – compare this against the soft decisions that go for Arsenal and Chelsea and you will get the Maths. Each of these decisions impacted or could impact the final result – that Rooney blasted the penalty kick over the bar is another matter. Even David Moyes plays his part to see how he can contribute to the Man U welfare fund – I heard Fabregas saying something disgusting – cant say it but I can b____h about it! Get him banned, if not for this match atleast for the next match!
    The Arsenal-Newcastle match was a match of two halves – the first half there was football and the winners were clear. The second half there was refereeing and not much of football – joint winners, but the winners of that half were clear too! During the break, Newcastle team was told to show passion, pride, the killer (instinct), go for it, kick something atleast – if not the ball at least the man – playing football as it is played in most part of the world was never a part of the strategy. Newcastle came out firing! They were told to needle Arsenal, go for leg breaking challenges – you give away a penalty or get a red card – no worries, after all we are down 4-0, how much worse can it get. Newcastle gambled in getting it right “went for the challenge, touched the ball and the momentum did the rest”. As the coach said it was “a honest tackle and he got the ball”. What he failed to see was that Barton got the ball because Diaby took his leg away – three leg breaks in three years would be a record of sorts! The result was as discussed in the dressing room – break a leg or similar and Arsenal will react! React they did! I don’t know what the referee was given to drink – he seemed to see the red of Arsenal and the angelic white of Newcastle. That shows all that is wrong with English Football. England play a different brand of football, closer to rugby – the rest of the world does not play it. England can get anyone as the coach but as long as they want to play the Newcastle way (not to mention the cheering and chest beating with pride watching that brand of football) – and that’s how England currently play it will not go anywhere in World Football. They have not had anything noticeable since 1966 – lets not get into how that was achieved! The English team had all the God’s of EPL over the years – all that they have had are a few freak wins but those were and will continue to be accidental without any degree of consistency. Besides, the physicality is just not allowed in this sport outside that tiny country, love to see Joe Barton challenging Fabregas or Tores in the World Cup in the same manner as he challenged Diaby. Therefore if England feels that Arsenal must go play basketball in the EPL, England has to learn to play that same brand of basketball outside of England. With the current brand of football that the English like playing (and an average English spectator dies to watch) even a place in the Semis in Euro and Quarters in the World Cup could be a dream – even if Jose Mourinho takes over as coach!
    What I wrote above holds true for Man U too – great club, great players but within that small island! Scrutinize their records outside that small island – not much to show (Champions League1968, 1999 and 2008). This club, the greatest in the World, which has been the chief contributor to the National Team of England and Wales provides players that cannot perform at the World Stage for certain clear reasons. “Sir” Alex knows the limitations – the technical limitations of the players as well as the absence of numerical superiority – 14 V 11 in EPL with the Officials VS 11 VS 11 outside the tiny island. Therefore he says that MAN U is not focused on the Champions League – neither does he want to be the National Coach of England. Can you think of another reason for him to refuse to be the coach of the country that has given him so much, even the ultimate respect – “Sir” – I cant and probably he cant too! As for Chelsea and Arsenal – sorry you will have fourteen players, (of which 11 will play “rugbyish football” and the other three will guide them to your goal), to contend with if you are playing with another English Club, while outside England some of the teams playing against you just play better football – such as Bayern, Barcelona, Real Madrid. The Owner of Chelsea is right – concentrate on the Champions League – you don’t have a hope in hell to win the EPL – winning consistently VS 14 with 11 is impossible. It reminds me of a cricket series that India played in Pakistan and got thrashed. These were the days before umpires were from neutral countries. For some reason anything that touched the leg of an Indian batsman was considered an LBW! Mohinder Amarnath played very well in that series. However he did say that it is impossible to play if you got to stop the ball from touching your WICKET and your PADS!
    The FA must investigate this corruption – it has been there for years and is growing with impunity – all said and done this is very much a public funded sport and it is important to be honest and transparent with your real supporters. If you assure us that there is no corruption then please demonstrate that you take steps – punitive or otherwise, against the inefficient referees – they are fined and ultimately thrown out of the EPL if their “inefficiency” continues. Let’s not talk of Fair Play where it does not exist or is not allowed to exist!
    An Update – the Arsenal-Sunderland match on March 5! Different rules for a penalty or an off side. One mistake by a referee in the Chelsea Man U match is now rectified by two on the following day – because Alex had barked after the Chealsea Match – referee changed the game, what a soft penalty – my God!

    The English cricket team should now go under a scanner too – the way they lost to Ireland and snatched a “tie” from the Jaws of victory against India. Against India they could have even tried for a second run on the last ball. One run would have been there anyway, why not turn for the second one, even if one gets run ou1! If it was Pakistan then you all would have got after the Pakistan team!

    • antifa says:

      well written, very true.

    • FOS says:

      please get a life! you mentioned a lot of examples of refs favoring United. it happens, just like Chelsea , Arsenal, Liverpool and others get help. if i were to write those situations (just mentioning Chelsea) my article would be bigger and more boring then yours. But, I’m not an angry fan who writes down his own imaginary conspiracy theories so i could feel better in my own angry world. Look at your team and stop finding stupid excuses like typical English fan. And as for United not being good in Europe i could just say – 3 CL finals in last 4 years and always in the CLs top with 2 titles during Ferguson era not good enough? I would like to see your club doing that.

    • Dado says:

      Well written and 100% true Soumitra Saha. We all know that Epl is joke, that Manchester United controls english FA and have many referees in their pocket or on payroll. Let me contribute with, perhaps the BEST example of referees heavily favoring Manchester United to the point of being it completely ridiculous.

      Game : Chelsea – Manchester United (this was few years ago when both team were fighting for first place) ….. Man. Utd defender Evans , went in with real flying carate kick – right in the middle of D. Drogba’s chest , Drogba falls down in great pain – so what happened you ask ? Instead of strait red card to Evans – referee (I am not sure but I think it was h. webb) GIVES YELLOW CARD to Drogba ??? Yes, it is very hard to believe- but there is video evidence – if you do little search you will find it , no problem.

      Referees who are definatelly in Man. United pocket or on payroll:
      - howard webb
      - Phil Dowd
      - Chris Foy
      - Martin Atckinson

      there are many more but these refs above – NO doubt whatsoever

      • ggu says:

        ” We all know that Epl is joke, that Manchester United controls english FA and have many referees in their pocket or on payroll.”

        Who is we?

        How do “we all” know these things?

        If we all know it, why do some of us deny it?

        Why don’t you make any sense?

    • ggu says:

      “I guess I made my point – compare this against the soft decisions that go for Arsenal and Chelsea and you will get the Mathss.”

      What maths? You haven’t given any maths, wheras the article does. If it’s so obvious, then show your figures! If it’s so obvious, then why don’t you dispute the points made in the article?

      No, instead you offer personally remembered anecdotes and construct a “corruption” theory. Who is corrupt? Who pays the referees to make decisions in Utd’s favour?

      Are you familiar with the concept of evidence?

    • Jake says:

      Very very intelligent comment Soumitra, thumbs up…you have put into words the injustice shamelessly clamped to other title contenders seasons after seasons by the Pro United system FA, REferees & MEDias, maybe the English people have a way of choosing their Champions with their own rules and we need not bother…But fact is their patronising only one Club shows in International Football where England always fare poorly..

    • Darren says:

      WHO IS THIS PERSON TALKING AGAIN? ALL PRO UNITED…NOW THAT EVEN NON ABU’s are speaking against united…..the fact is can any united fan ANSWER ME? WHY AFTER A UNITED LOSS? THE REFS DO NOT GET PREMIER LEAGUE MATCH FOR A PERIOD OF TIME? SOME EVEN BETTER….BCOS OF FERGIE COMPLAIN….PLS CHECK THAT OUT B4 writing…thanks…the numbers are there…UNITED FANS….

  3. Seef says:

    Thanks, Soumitra Saha, for telling it like it is. The author clearly thinks we’re stupid, expecting us to believe manu doesn’t get a helping hand. Of course the cheating need not happen in their games, that would be too obvious. But even in their games, it’s pretty clear that the definition of a foul changes, depending on which shirt the player is wearing.
    I came here because of a link that was posted on the Untold Arsenal blog, where you can see great volumes of evidence to the contrary of what this author has written.

  4. walter says:

    I could point at tottenham a few seasons ago when they were leading 0-2 at OT and Howard Webbe came to the rescue with an non existing foul from Gomes to help Utd back in the game.

    Or the not awarded penalty from Dean in Utd-Arsenal last season with the score 0-0. A blatant double foul (tackle not on the ball and then handle the ball)

    Or the push from Fletcher against Webb this season which should always be punished with a red card at 0-0 against Arsenal. And in the same game the insane kung-fu kick from Ferdinand on Sagna which was not given even as a foul an of course Webb not even gave the well deserved red card.

    And the Blackpool game when at 2-0 a clear push in the bck on a Blackpool player was not given the penalty that should have been given.

    Or the two penalties that could and should have been given for Everton a few weeks ago. And the fact that Everton was on their way to score the 4-3 this season at their home and the ref made suddenly an end to the game when EVerton had scored 2 goals in extra time but he didn’t give any extra time for that.

    So I’m affraid your list is a bit short and left some things out that counter your argument.

  5. Paul says:

    Soumitra Saha, you are a legend! Amazing article, shows that you know what you are writiing abou. Well done! I criticized the oroiginal article on untold as well because it doesn’t prove anything concerning the luck of Man u!

  6. what is it with people who don’t believe THE FACTS ,it’s in black and white,it’s in the history books-something the scousers love referring to

  7. Matthew says:

    Basically, this is a load of old tosh, of course United get favourable decisions! Nobody has ever said “United get more penalties than anyone else” so the entire first half of this article is just irrelevant. The point is that United get away with things that other teams wouldn’t; you cited the Gary Neville challenges, if Lee Cattermole had have done something similar, the red card would have been just? This is what people mean by “you wouldn’t get them at Old Trafford” – you have done nothing to dispel this myth. Eight penalties given against United at Old Trafford in the last 20 years says something! Secondly, all the fouls against United players are entirely your opinion that they were fouls – the Rafael one – for example, I do not remember it, yet how am I supposed to form an opinion on it when all I have is a United fan citing a bunch of “fouls” on United players, I suspect most of them were soft and rightly not given. Finally, and on a similar note to how I ended my last point, who are you to say which penalties given to United were dubious, am I to believe you that only one was dubious, yet almost all of Arsenal’s were? Seriously, you have wasted your time writing this drivel. Rant over!

    • ggu says:

      United are better than your team. They have more shots, they are in the opponent’s box more often, they are more often on the attack.

      Wouldn’t you expect the best teams to give away less penalties at home? Forget that it’s man utd for a moment, if you can. Wouldn’t you expect the best team to play like that?

      Citing one incident is meaningless. If you want to make an empirical claim e.g referees favour man utd, then simply ranting about it proves nothing but your own resentment.

  8. Jake says:

    the comments here are very interesting, the article is basically written by a Manchester United die hard and not surprisingly have tried his best to make it look like MUFC have not received any favor at all. But it is all there for every neutral football lovers to see every week how things are happening in the English Premier League, one very effective point Soumitra points out methinks very correct is the Team which threatened MUFC always suffer and this season 2011-2012 it is City and previous years Chelsea, Liverpool under Benitez were effectively smothered by RE-FA-MEDI (Referees, FA & MEDIas)…these pro-MUFC element thinks the Global Audience are stupid as they shamelessly favors United seasons after seasons….their achievement under neutral Competition like UCL clearly shows their true color 19 domestics against only 2 UCL titles…

    • Randall says:

      LOL, somebody cant count.The article is based on facts.Once again ranting and generalization means absolutely nothing.I take it you are a liverpool supporter. 0 Premeirship titles.

  9. Salford says:

    This is ridiculous

    Have people forgotten how offside Drogba was he scored the decisive goal at Old Trafford back in the 09/10 season? Or the dubious Newcastle penalty given last season which took away 2 points of us, in a season where goal difference was the decider of the championship? Or how offside Henry was back in 02/03 when he scored the goal at Highbury to make it 2-1 to Arsenal? (We didn’t let that affect us, almost immediately scoring the equalizer to gain a crucial 2-2 draw that contributed to the title.)

    Ask any United fan what caused us to lose the league last season, and we’ll most likely say its the Everton 4-4 draw and how badly we conceded that lead, instead of us harping on and on about the Newcastle penalty or Johnny Evans getting sent off at the 1-6 lost.

    Here’s my point. United don’t go on and on about bad decisions made against us. Not as much as you lot anyway, because more times than not, we force a good result anyway, consigning that bad decision to history, never to be brought up again.

    So you tinfoil hats people keep seething over unsubstantiated claims of corruption, while the rest of us sit back and enjoy the football.

    Never understood why people who claim corruption still watch football. I know some people who stopped watching wrestling when they realised it was scripted. Get out more, read a few good books, take up a new hobby or something instead of wallowing in your bitterness.

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  11. matt says:

    2011/2012 season man utd rooney scores 17 0f the 19 pens he take 2012/13 season man utd have had 12 pens for them, 0 against. there fans complain about ref decisions such aqs nani red against RM and P Cisse offside even through rules state the refs where right or complain about decisions from .like 4years ago . 14/04/13

  12. Jonathan says:

    Being subjective and taking sides due to factors that arise in tense situations is within human nature. Your blog is nonsensical and your view is narrow and subjective. You mention that United have few penalties and a poor conversion rate this season and go on to show that they are low positioned in a table of converted penalties over the years, failing to take into account that they had the most penalties and a poor conversion rate (compared to other clubs on the list besides Liverpool) last year. What about the South Korea WC? Bribe-taking officials from the Italian League to the UCL? Your blog about penalties fits poorly within the context of your title, Referee Favouritism. Your article is boosted by a lot of facts and good writing/structure but only deserves a poor rating as you fail to evaluate or support your statements on the real issue you began with.

  13. bello tolu says:

    Alex fergie is a great man D english fa make him greater. what can u say about d match against cfc @ stamford bridge?is that also human error?

  14. BRENDAN says:

    Good the way you use your stats but the fact is there was a period 10 to 12 years since a penalty was scored at old trafford .It was back in 90′s some time when some one missed a penalty at old trafford and the commentator stated that fact . Also there is no stats for penalties not given no stats for the thousands of free kicks outside the box for and against . No of this matters anyway moyes is going to sink the rat infested ship

    • Shac says:

      Yeah the ref certainly make mu great in epl.
      2 cl only for such a huge team is a joke..even more considering that both wins was so lucky. .how many times have mu dominated a big team in Europe? They occasionally get a lucky win scoring from corners and etc but really hv they ever dominated an inform big team in europe? Really funny considering mu is said to be the biggest team in the world.
      Without the fa giving favourable schedule to keep mu fresh for europe and the ref protecting their players from getting injured, I doubt they could even have won those 2 lucky c league titles

  15. Martin Kelly says:

    You pointed out in your article only two instances of “Fergie Time”. Every QPR supporter will tell you that you need to add a game played at Loftus Road in March 1996 to that list. United came into the game on the back of 10 straight wins in League and Cup against a QPR team trying to avoid the drop. Rangers were leading 1-0 going into injury time when four minutes were signalled. Four minutes came and went with Rangers still holding on to their lead. Inexplicably referee Robbie Hart didn’t blow his whistle and must have played for at least another two minutes with Rangers under unyielding pressure when the inevitable happened and Eric Cantona equalised. There was only time for the re-start before the final whistle blew. I was in the ground that day and I have NEVER seen anger like that in QPR supporters who were convinced that referee Hart was just waiting for United to score. He needed a police escort to leave the pitch.


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