Mike Dean awards more penalties to every big-six club other than Arsenal, with the exception of Liverpool, who he hardly ever referees.
Dean has taken charge of just three Liverpool matches in the last 15 years. He was removed from their matches in 2006 because he’s from Wirral, though he doesn’t support the Reds.
Last season the FA overturned that decision and he took charge of the Merseyside derby.
However, he hasn’t awarded any penalties for or against Liverpool, so I’ve excluded them from the below statistics.
None of the big-six receive a penalty more often than every three games, so the data on the Merseyside club is insignificant.
Penalties award to your club
With that said, here are the totals for penalties Mike Dean has awarded to each of the other big-six clubs (stats via transfermarkt):
- Manchester United – 16 penalties in 61 matches, one every 3.81 games.
- Chelsea – 12 penalties in 65 matches, one every 5.42 games.
- Manchester City – 11 penalties in 63 matches, one every 5.73 games.
- Tottenham Hotspur – 10 penalties in 58 matches, one every 5.80 games.
- Arsenal – Three penalties in 64 matches, one every 21.33 games.
As you can see, the results are ridiculously stacked against the Gunners.
Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur all receive a similar number of penalties – an average, if you will, that Arsenal should also be enjoying. Manchester United are fairly significantly ahead, but then they’ve been a better team on average throughout Dean’s career. It makes some sense they’d win more penalties.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are miles behind. The average number of games per penalty for the other four teams combined is 5.04. The Gunners are more than four times higher, at 21.33. That’s very difficult to explain using purely football-based reasoning.
In fact, every club Dean’s refereed more than 40 times has won more penalties than the North London side. Even the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland.
Arsenal’s New Year’s Eve opponents, West Brom, win one penalty every 5.63 games under the official.
Penalties awarded to opponents
On the other hand, the statistics on penalties awarded by Mike Dean for opposing teams are more favourable to Arsenal:
- Arsenal – Seven penalties in 65 matches, one every 9.23 games.
- Manchester City – Nine penalties in 63 matches, one every 7.00 games.
- Manchester United – Nine penalties in 61 matches, one every 6.78 games.
- Tottenham Hotspur – Nine penalties in 58 matches, one every 6.44 games.
- Chelsea – 10 penalties in 64 matches, one every 6.40 games.
Clearly Arsenal have a slight advantage here. It doesn’t go close to addressing the imbalance of penalties for, but it’s still significant. Maybe Dean just doesn’t like giving penalties to anyone when the Gunners are involved.
Either way, if I were looking at these statistics from a truly neutral perspective, I can’t see why I’d keep Dean refereeing Arsenal games.
The club don’t play that differently to every other team he regularly referees and we can all think of many clear penalties denied under the official. This could be somewhat tolerable if other teams were being affected similarly.
As you can see clearly, they are not.