What’s the Right Result?
Hardly 90 minutes pass by before football fans are up in arms contesting one decision or the other made by a referee. Sometimes the referees get it right but sometimes they get it wrong as well. Sometimes it’s easily preventable – goal-line / offside errors. Other times it’s a judgment call (fouls). What’s undeniable is that wrong decisions cost points and distort the real result for the game in action.
Right Result tracks each and every game played in the English Premier League and uses contentious decisions made in each game to plot a more accurate league table. The result? Not the ‘right’ result but much closer to the truth than what you get in real life, and for our purposes, a potent reminder of how referees need technological help to stamp out the most basic of errors as well as broader support from the footballing community to help minimise season-changing mistakes.
The RightResult.net formula for judging decisions is not perfect but it is a long way ahead of what we’re doing currently – absolutely nothing.
Towards the end of the 2006/2007 season I profiled RightResult.net on Soccerlens, and the ‘results’ formed a compelling argument for footballing authorities giving referees more help in making the right decisions.
Seeing the review linked-to above will give you the full extent of how different the Premiership league table would have been for some teams – for example, Tottenham would have been 10th, not 5th, West Ham would have been relegated while Charlton would have survived, and Aston Villa have played the 07/08 season in Europe.
Bad refereeing decisions not only cost clubs their financial future but also their sporting future. The ‘what-if’ game is a dangerous one to play, but with RightResult we have one thing working in our favor – we have catalogued evidence showing that obvious mistakes made by referees are hurting clubs and their fans.
We tracked results again in the 2007/2008 season and not surprisingly, there was a change at the top with Arsenal moving to 2nd spot and Everton to 4th. Do you think life would change for Rafael Benitez and David Moyes if that had happened in real life?
Soccerlens will continue to host the Right Result Premiership League Table (below), which shows what ‘should have been’ as well as how the Premier League stands currently. It’s a good side-by-side comparison and at the very least it makes for an informed discussion.