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Conspiracy? Bias? Dumb luck? Why do LFC get shit decisions?

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jaffod

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Final word before the thread closes.

In the last 5 years we've mounted 2 serious challenges for the title. I hope I'm wrong but I think we'll come up short again this time. In both seasons I believe there have been 2 matches that can be isolated where Liverpool Football Club have been on the receiving end of totally inexplicable decisions that have and will ultimately cost us the title. That's on top of other matches where we haven't had the rub of the green, and our main competitor has benefitted from other inexplicable decisions.
Those 4 games were officiated by 4 referees who I had serious misgivings about before a ball was kicked. Mason, Webb, Taylor and Atkinson. All had either form or shouldn't have been near refereeing our matches in the first place.
To me it's too much of a coincidence. It goes beyond ineptness and incompetence. There is no balance. There are no examples where these blokes have reffed us and we've come away saying "fuck me, we got away with one there".
It's interesting to me that Mason and Webb are from Greater Manchester and Wythenshaw respectively. Webb is an ex-South Yorkshire policeman. Atkinson is also a Yorkshireman, nothing wrong with that in itself, but Steven Gerrard is on record as saying he is the one referee he couldn't stand.
Make of it all what you will but nothing will convince me these blokes refereed our games impartially.
 


EdWood

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I would become a manure supporter for one day. I can think of no greater sacrifice for the common wield
 

Quicksand

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People from both "sides" added to the toxicity, I'm pretty sure I created some myself, but how does the last sentence in your post help? Yes, we're meant to be supporting the same team but sometimes in this thread it's nothing like that. A lot of people who have posted in this thread have strongly held views, but at the end of the day we are all Liverpool fans.
The comment was aimed at @epsomred
 

Dane

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Final word before the thread closes.

In the last 5 years we've mounted 2 serious challenges for the title. I hope I'm wrong but I think we'll come up short again this time. In both seasons I believe there have been 2 matches that can be isolated where Liverpool Football Club have been on the receiving end of totally inexplicable decisions that have and will ultimately cost us the title. That's on top of other matches where we haven't had the rub of the green, and our main competitor has benefitted from other inexplicable decisions.
Those 4 games were officiated by 4 referees who I had serious misgivings about before a ball was kicked. Mason, Webb, Taylor and Atkinson. All had either form or shouldn't have been near refereeing our matches in the first place.
To me it's too much of a coincidence. It goes beyond ineptness and incompetence. There is no balance. There are no examples where these blokes have reffed us and we've come away saying "fuck me, we got away with one there".
It's interesting to me that Mason and Webb are from Greater Manchester and Wythenshaw respectively. Webb is an ex-South Yorkshire policeman. Atkinson is also a Yorkshireman, nothing wrong with that in itself, but Steven Gerrard is on record as saying he is the one referee he couldn't stand.
Make of it all what you will but nothing will convince me these blokes refereed our games impartially.
The part about this that sticks in my throat is the widespread lame acceptance of it.
 



Anfield rd Dreamer

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To summarize my beliefs before the lock.

1; There is wide spread corruption in our game. Whether that's accountants telling managers how to hide funds in bank accounts for their dogs, lawyers telling clubs how to exploit FFP loopholes forcing rule rewrites, agents/3rd party owners/parents helping clubs break recruitment rules, players betting on sporting outcomes within their control that come to pass or the possibility of referees taking bribes. It exists and it effects everyone including us. We shouldn't be adversely affected more than others though unless there is something sinister going on. I don't believe there is.

2; There is widespread incompetence amongst officials and yet again that effects everyone including us. Yet again this shouldn't adversely effect us more than others in the grand scheme of things.

3; Officials recently admitted in a BBC article that media impact on bad calls is one of their main worries/considerations. They also revealed that they have a kind of "self help group" group chat which they use to all discuss players, games, bad decisions and (presumably) reactions.

4; Officials (by their own admission) are fully aware that the size of the media reaction to bad calls can negatively affect their career.

5; The most accessible (and some of the most popular) sources of coverage in the media are controlled or owned or influenced by Murdoch. This is an unscrupulous individual with a personal grudge against our city, people and club. Sky, Talk sport, The S*n and The Times cover a large chunk of coverage catered to nearly all. I don't think he sits people down and insists they write their stories in negative ways. I do however believe a culture has been created in these businesses that view and cast us slightly more negatively than should be. This can never be proven and will only ever be opinion.

6; Media influences itself and media narratives strike up. Editors don't care about reporting on things evenly they want to focus on "the story"! Due to my beliefs covered in 5 this can lead to extremely harmful media narratives being created that can effect us. Such as the one recently that the whole country would, overwhelmingly, prefer to see City win the league than us when a poll showed this wasn't true with opinion slanted in our favour (still not anywhere near as pro LFC as it should be when considering reasons to dislike City and what they and their owners are doing), "referees are weak at Anfield", "Salah is a diver" without ever diving or that Aguero has no such reputation despite numerous dives. Referees are aware of these narratives and they will effect them, playing on their mind subconsciously.

7; There has been some or a lot of prejudice across the UK aimed at Scousers and Liverpool socially. The 70s, 80s and 90s were worse than now. But officials aren't usually young. I can't think of any under 30 off the top of my head. Their social "roadmaps" and understandings were formed in the 90s at the latest and probably the 80s when they were growing up. Look how often older people have their racism explained by "they're a product of their times" and similar sayings.

8; Unconscious bias exists. And it is a science despite not being able to generate the kind of hard and fast evidence that people seem to crave in here. It can only ever reveal that something is definitely there with a specific circumstance repeated over and over with subtle changes in a controlled setting. Football decisions don't and will never have that. So unconscious bias is understood and accepted to exist in football (as it effects the decision making of all human beings) but can never be proven. Even with a bias as obvious and accepted as racism.

9; Unconscious bias is a social group phenomena leading to effects on social groups. This is accepted as being evident in sporting groups and geography as well as race and sex. Unconscious bias is accepted affect the decision making of officials in sports. Usual levels of unconscious bias shouldn't negatively effect LFC. Actually it's the opposite. Bigger clubs would usually see a positive slant on decisions going in their favour. I believe the limited evidence available does support the theory smaller clubs suffer more and larger clubs benefit more in general.

10; There is limited evidence to show what clubs are most effected by incorrect decisions. Going back to editors chasing the story and the on going media narrative instead of fair, even reporting. What evidence has been found shows LFC suffering more than would usually be expected (a hell of a lot more) in 80% of the available measures. This is shocking. A one off could be accepted but as a bigger club LFC should see more poor decisions going in their favour than against them so the sheer number is concerning.

11; The above points to me suggest a strong probability that unconscious bias effects LFC at an abnormal level. The reasons for how it could have been created are unique to this city, its people and this club. It's not normal unconscious bias that would effect other clubs. The effects seem to be there from the limited evidence available. Until someone can produce more evidence to show the effects aren't as bad as they seem I will continue to believe this. Other theories I've seen put forward could explain a game here or there. But I've yet to see something other than an unusual level of unconscious bias against us that fits the bill of effecting multiple games, over multiple seasons and under multiple managers.
 

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@Anfield rd Dreamer 's post above is the kind of summary I was wishing for before the thread closes. Nobody needs to agree entirely with the above points, but they are put forward in a clear and understandable way. It's the kind of post I wish we'd see more in this thread (also more generally on this forum), and less of these pointless point-scoring posts / borderline personal insults we have seen in here.

The thread remains open until 10.00 AM BST, and will then be closed.
 

Dane

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@Anfield rd Dreamer 's post above is the kind of summary I was wishing for before the thread closes. Nobody needs to agree entirely with the above points, but they are put forward in a clear and understandable way. It's the kind of post I wish we'd see more in this thread (also more generally on this forum), and less of these pointless point-scoring posts / borderline personal insults we have seen in here.

The thread remains open until 10.00 AM BST, and will then be closed.
Agreed.
Unfortunately many responses to his (and others) well researched and constructed posts were responded to with one liner "ah but" responses.
Roll on 1000.
 

sms1986

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To summarise what I believe, I agree that there is some bias against us but I also believe that there is bias for us as well as for/against every other team to varying degrees. Like most who have posted in this thread, I don't believe there is a conspiracy against us in any way. I agree there is corruption, as it exists in all powerful organisations to some extent.

Do we get decisions going wrongfully against us? Yes, but we also get these wrong decisions ourselves sometimes. Whilst I agree that referees are going to be influenced by conscious and unconscious bias, I believe most of their incorrect decisions are due to incompetence and lack of training more than malice or bias.

Were we unlucky last season? Yes, although I still maintain that Stoke were far worse off as they were relegated from the Premier League whilst we would have been second instead of fourth.

As for the media and pundits, they have to draw attention to what they're saying and social media is a big part of that which is why they often say controversial things - I've seen way too many football fans actually sit there and listen to pundits when the best thing to do is ignore them. I agree that Murdoch hates us and he's known for being a bigoted old dinosaur, I don't believe that he's actively attempting to stop us winning the league though I agree there is a media culture that is generally anti-working class which includes Liverpool as a city.

I feel that with Klopp at the helm, and with us improving each and every season, we'll see success soon enough. VAR being introduced next year should hopefully help stop some of the incorrect decisions whilst City won't last forever.
 

SBYM

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My final point would be that for all the discussion of bias, and I'm pretty sure I've read the entire thread, there is a very stark lack of introspection and/or thought given to the role of confirmation bias.

Peace out. Let's all kiss and make up with a double.
 



Quicksand

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@Anfi
To summarize my beliefs before the lock.

1; There is wide spread corruption in our game. Whether that's accountants telling managers how to hide funds in bank accounts for their dogs, lawyers telling clubs how to exploit FFP loopholes forcing rule rewrites, agents/3rd party owners/parents helping clubs break recruitment rules, players betting on sporting outcomes within their control that come to pass or the possibility of referees taking bribes. It exists and it effects everyone including us. We shouldn't be adversely affected more than others though unless there is something sinister going on. I don't believe there is.

2; There is widespread incompetence amongst officials and yet again that effects everyone including us. Yet again this shouldn't adversely effect us more than others in the grand scheme of things.

3; Officials recently admitted in a BBC article that media impact on bad calls is one of their main worries/considerations. They also revealed that they have a kind of "self help group" group chat which they use to all discuss players, games, bad decisions and (presumably) reactions.

4; Officials (by their own admission) are fully aware that the size of the media reaction to bad calls can negatively affect their career.

5; The most accessible (and some of the most popular) sources of coverage in the media are controlled or owned or influenced by Murdoch. This is an unscrupulous individual with a personal grudge against our city, people and club. Sky, Talk sport, The S*n and The Times cover a large chunk of coverage catered to nearly all. I don't think he sits people down and insists they write their stories in negative ways. I do however believe a culture has been created in these businesses that view and cast us slightly more negatively than should be. This can never be proven and will only ever be opinion.

6; Media influences itself and media narratives strike up. Editors don't care about reporting on things evenly they want to focus on "the story"! Due to my beliefs covered in 5 this can lead to extremely harmful media narratives being created that can effect us. Such as the one recently that the whole country would, overwhelmingly, prefer to see City win the league than us when a poll showed this wasn't true with opinion slanted in our favour (still not anywhere near as pro LFC as it should be when considering reasons to dislike City and what they and their owners are doing), "referees are weak at Anfield", "Salah is a diver" without ever diving or that Aguero has no such reputation despite numerous dives. Referees are aware of these narratives and they will effect them, playing on their mind subconsciously.

7; There has been some or a lot of prejudice across the UK aimed at Scousers and Liverpool socially. The 70s, 80s and 90s were worse than now. But officials aren't usually young. I can't think of any under 30 off the top of my head. Their social "roadmaps" and understandings were formed in the 90s at the latest and probably the 80s when they were growing up. Look how often older people have their racism explained by "they're a product of their times" and similar sayings.

8; Unconscious bias exists. And it is a science despite not being able to generate the kind of hard and fast evidence that people seem to crave in here. It can only ever reveal that something is definitely there with a specific circumstance repeated over and over with subtle changes in a controlled setting. Football decisions don't and will never have that. So unconscious bias is understood and accepted to exist in football (as it effects the decision making of all human beings) but can never be proven. Even with a bias as obvious and accepted as racism.

9; Unconscious bias is a social group phenomena leading to effects on social groups. This is accepted as being evident in sporting groups and geography as well as race and sex. Unconscious bias is accepted affect the decision making of officials in sports. Usual levels of unconscious bias shouldn't negatively effect LFC. Actually it's the opposite. Bigger clubs would usually see a positive slant on decisions going in their favour. I believe the limited evidence available does support the theory smaller clubs suffer more and larger clubs benefit more in general.

10; There is limited evidence to show what clubs are most effected by incorrect decisions. Going back to editors chasing the story and the on going media narrative instead of fair, even reporting. What evidence has been found shows LFC suffering more than would usually be expected (a hell of a lot more) in 80% of the available measures. This is shocking. A one off could be accepted but as a bigger club LFC should see more poor decisions going in their favour than against them so the sheer number is concerning.

11; The above points to me suggest a strong probability that unconscious bias effects LFC at an abnormal level. The reasons for how it could have been created are unique to this city, its people and this club. It's not normal unconscious bias that would effect other clubs. The effects seem to be there from the limited evidence available. Until someone can produce more evidence to show the effects aren't as bad as they seem I will continue to believe this. Other theories I've seen put forward could explain a game here or there. But I've yet to see something other than an unusual level of unconscious bias against us that fits the bill of effecting multiple games, over multiple seasons and under multiple managers.
Unquestionably post of the year, in an important thread that is about to be closed.

There isnt much more to say on this. It is a pity that the thread is closing, because it is a useful vehicle to discuss what is written above.
Negative reaction always occurs, particularly when posters request evidence and summarily dismiss whats produced.

When we get poor decisions, and we will, and one of us attempts to discuss them in post match threads etc, will the "conspiracy tin foil hat theorists" jokes start again. Yes.
Will people react. Yes.
Will the Mods complain about threads being littered with "petty" squabbles. Yes.
Is this thread therefore neccessary. Yes.

Why close it?
 

Quicksand

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My final point would be that for all the discussion of bias, and I'm pretty sure I've read the entire thread, there is a very stark lack of introspection and/or thought given to the role of confirmation bias.

Peace out. Let's all kiss and make up with a double.
Make it a double. Agreed.
And you had 60 odd pages to introduce introspection and the role of confirmation bias.
But I guess, for clarity
Peace out.
 

SBYM

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That we perceive bias is a result of our own biases.

And I'm sorry, but not a single person on here is able to step back from those biases and make a disinterested conclusion based on the 'evidence'...
Make it a double. Agreed.
And you had 60 odd pages to introduce introspection and the role of confirmation bias.
But I guess, for clarity
Peace out.
Good try, but I made the point on page 5...

The thread went where it went and I contributed when I wanted.

Was more a comment on other posters.

Perhaps your desperate need to score points against those you disagree with is symptomatic of the broader reasons behind the thread being closed...
 

Quicksand

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Good try, but I made the point on page 5...

The thread went where it went and I contributed when I wanted.

Was more a comment on other posters.

Perhaps your desperate need to score points against those you disagree with is symptomatic of the broader reasons behind the thread being closed...
To be honest I really dont want to "score points". Genuinely.
Peace out.
 

Kopstar

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Good try, but I made the point on page 5...

The thread went where it went and I contributed when I wanted.

Was more a comment on other posters.

Perhaps your desperate need to score points against those you disagree with is symptomatic of the broader reasons behind the thread being closed...
At least 50 pages of this thread are posters, on all sides, repeating what they've said because they feel that the other side of the debate hasn't understood.

It would be a lot easier and save a lot of time if everyone would just agree with me from the beginning...

IBTL
 









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