Statistics reveal the worst referee in the Premier League

A new study has highlighted the number of key match mistakes in the English top-flight

Premier League referee John Moss.
Moss dross John Moss has faced heavy criticism Image Getty

Refereeing standards in the Premier League are in dire need of improvement according to a new study highlighting the number of costly mistakes in the English top-flight.

According to new research conducted by, 84 fundamental mistakes were made across 333 matches running up to April 22nd.

That equates to an average of one mistake in every four games and displays just why the likes of Ian Wright and, to a lesser degree, Alan Shearer continue to spit feathers when it comes to referees on Match Of The Day.

With match officials under increasing focus from programmes like Sky Sports Monday Night Football, the figures make for damning reading and are only likely to increase calls for video replays to become part of the game.

Premier League referee John Moss.
Moss mayhem John Moss awarded two penalties and sent off a player in a recent game. Image Dan Mullan/Getty Images

John Moss came under particular scrutiny after giving away two controversial penalties and a red card during Leicester City’s 2-2 draw with West Ham a few weeks back.

And things look set to get a whole lot worse for Moss before they get better, with the study showing that Moss made more key errors than any other referee in the Premier League.

In total, Moss made 13 key match errors at a rate of one every game and a half.

It is not all bad news for Premier League referees though with Anthony Taylor identified as the best performing referee according to the study.

Anthony Taylor is a Premier League referee.
Taylor has it made The best referee in the Premier League? Image Julian Finney/Getty Images

Taylor made just one error every nine games at a rate 0.11 per game with Michael Oliver and Mike Atkinson also faring well as part of a wider picture of consistency among the Premier League’s refereeing contingent.

“It is clear that standards have slipped across the board.”

Commenting on the study, former general manager of Professional Game Match Officials, Keith Hackett, said: “There is no question that the Premier League has some outstanding referees. The problem is that there are not enough of them.

“I have great respect for the referees shown to be consistently good by our survey. But it is clear that standards have slipped across the board.

“Those referees letting the side down should be helped to improve for the benefit of the group as a whole – and all the stakeholders in the game.”

Moss is next in action in Everton’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth this Saturday, where his performance could come under even more scrutiny.

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