Stat Attack 90 Minute cynic

90 Minute Cynic Stat Attack | Howard Webb | A Manchester United Bias?

In the second of 90 Minute Cynic’s Stat Attacks, Cynic Chris Boud looks at Howard Webb and his relationship to Manchester United. Is the former policeman biased in favour of the Red Devils or is the Yorkshireman unfairly treated by the envious rival fans of the EPL’s contemporary dominant  force?

Howard Webb, a controversial figure. Considered by Fifa as one of the world’s top referees and by others, including myself, to be a rather poor official. When some vaunted his World cup final as a success I was confused as I had clearly seen things quite differently. One of the most common points raised when discussing Webb is his perceived bias in favour of Manchester United. Below I consider Howard Webb’s key impacts on Manchester United games. Looking at sending offs, penalties and match win/draw/loss rates. There are of course other factors which impact the beautiful game which the man in the middle can influence, however these where the easiest factors to quantify.

Please let us know what you think by commenting or tweeting us. You can find Chris on twitter here – @TheChrisBoud  and the 90 Minute Cynic team here – @90minutecynic

Figures compare Webb to the five referees that have officiated most Manchester United games. Figured include all games not just Premiership ties. Data accurate as of Sunday 21st October 2012 and sourced from the fantastic

click image to enlarge

Howard Webb a Manchester United bias? Man U


All in all it appears Howard Webb isn’t particularly biased towards Manchester United, in fact their loss rate is at it’s highest when he is officiating. He does seem keen to give penalties Manchester United’s way but as an attacking side it’s always likely that the nineteen times first division/Premier League champions are going to earn infractions in the box. However the smaller decisions in a match, which are much harder to quantify, can accumulate to suggest bias also. The label of Manchester United’s twelfth man is one that’s stuck and unlikely to go away anytime soon for the Fifa listed Referee.

Let us know what you think by Commenting Below or tweet us at – @90minutecynic and @TheChrisBoud


Christopher is a Celtic supporter, vegan and general purveyor of misery. Interests include Scottish, Italian and German football, pretending he can make a difference and film; both watching and making. You can find him on twitter @TheChrisBoud.

'90 Minute Cynic Stat Attack | Howard Webb | A Manchester United Bias?' have 2 comments

  1. May 5, 2013 @ 4:57 pm Michael Perry

    Rediculous, the loss rate is higher when he officialates because he gets the big games, i would had thought that was obvious, but nice attempt to brush the bias under the carpet. If you actually had any intention to properly discuss it, perhpas you should highlight the incredible list of contentious decisions, where imaginary fouls for united pens etc occured. Or that amazing instance where somebodyg ot sent off against united for asking the ref calmly, ‘whats happening’?
    Yes the bias is all an illusion, that’s why theres hundreds of sites dedicated to his bias.


  2. May 5, 2013 @ 4:59 pm Michael Perry

    Oh then there is having a united member david gill on the fa board, which is clearly illegal, an ‘fergie time’ an his ability to get away with absolute MURDER with thigns he says week upon week without being reprimanded while everybodye lse is treated differently. Why no other comments? i presume it is ebcause there are similar comments to my own.


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