The footballing adage goes: ‘the best referees are the ones you don’t even notice’ – a feat that is proving impossible for Premier League referee, Jonathan Moss.
The under-fire official has come under further scrutiny following the publication of a report which details the number of errors made by Premier League referees.
The 45-year-old ref’s credentials came under scrutiny for the manner in which he handled Leicester City’s 2-2 draw against West Ham United; Moss awarded a red card to Jamie Vardy for diving in the penalty area and gave two contentious late penalties.
In a damning study, Moss has been found to have made more ‘game-changing’ mistakes than any other top-flight referee this season, with 13 errors in just 22 games.
Glenn Turner of YouAreTheRef.com, formerly a World Cup assistant referee, recorded a total of 84 “fundamental” errors in the 333 Premier League matches played up to 22 April.
Incorrect decisions on goals awarded, penalties and sendings off were included once identified by both Turner and YouAreTheRef’s ‘Ref Show’ panel.
The study revealed Moss makes, on average, makes a mistake which could potentially influence the final result every 1.69 games:
By comparison, the league’s least error-prone referee Anthony Taylor, only makes a potentially match-altering, incorrect decision every nine games, with an impressive record of a mere three mistakes in his 27 games in charge this season.
YouAreTheRef’s study does not specify examples of incorrect decisions and draws no correlation from the results to Moss’ performance in the potentially title deciding fixture between Leicester and West Ham.
Keith Hackett, a former general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board remarked:
“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.