After the 21st round of the Barclay’s Premier League, Anthony Taylor (everyone’s “favourite” referee) leads in total bookings with 74, followed by Martin Atkinson and Phil Dowd at 72 and 67, respectively. It should be noted that Taylor and Atkinson each worked 17 matches (the most by any ref), while Dowd was in charge of only 15.
Since not all referees lead the same amount of games in a season, who are the most card-happy referees in the Premier League?
As shown in the table below, Andre Marriner is the most prolific card-producer at a rate of 4.50 warnings and dismissals through 8 matches. He has not shown the red card out of 36 times so far, which is certainly below the league-average red-to-yellow ratio of 5.48%.
On the other end of the spectrum, Lee Mason and Chris Foy flashed either card much less often then the league-average 3.938 per match, however, they are apparently much more likely to send a player off when they do. As shown below, both Mason and Foy have a red-to-yellow ratio of 11.1% and 13.5% respectively – significantly more than any other referee active in the Barclay’s Premier League.
Of course, these stats only measure the direct results of, and not the accuracy of referee decisions – something vitally much more important and another topic worth discussing, especially when a lack of card production fails to prevent catastrophic player injuries. That said, as with any sport, it always pays to know the tendencies of the person officiating your game.
**14 Jan: Figures adjusted to reflect actual cards shown during Barclay’s Premier League matches played between 16 Aug 14 through 11 Jan 15. For some reason the tally for referees on the Barclay’s Premier League site, which was used for the original article, didn’t match player discipline data. Any affected statistics have been corrected in the above text and graphic.by