The sports science department at Portsmouth Uni have been doing a very interesting study. They have been analysing the refereeing decisions made during premiership games over the last ten years, and made a series of graphs that measure whether the correct decision was made (according to the majority decision of a panel of amateur ref's who support all Premiership teams watching the games without commentary). The aim is to see whether some teams enjoy good or bad luck regards refereeing decisions. Unsurprisingly to anyone who has watched Liverpool recently, and seen the array of dreadful decisions normally in their favour, Liverpool come out as offically the "luckiest" team in the premiership; and by some margin. They were measured as a staggering 11.8% "luckier" than other teams who have competed in the premiership.
Isn't science brilliant?!
This of course puts Benitez' rants into perspective. Rafa doesn't need to moan about poor refereeing decisions as much as other managers- because his side are more often than not at the fortunate end of the poor decisions!
For your interest most the luck is pretty evenly spread among the other teams. With the so called Big 4 on avergage about 3.7% more fortunate than the lesser gods. Within the margin of error. this did however rise to significant 5.2% for hoime fixtures. Read the results as you will.
Relegated teams were about 0.5% unluckier than those that survied the season, which goes to prove that the fickle lady luck does have a big say on our fortunes after all.
and who were unluckiest teams- both Sheffield United and Ipswich Town came off badly- 4% worse off than their rivals (on average) the seasons they were relegated.
Whether the results of this study will be taken at all seriously by the sport's governing bodies remains to be seen.