Catch Me If You Can: Referee-Team Relationships and Disciplinary Cautions in Football
Hlasny, V., & Kolaric, S. (2017) Catch Me If You Can: Referee–Team Relationships and Disciplinary Cautions in Football. Journal of Sports Economics 18(6):560-591.
46 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2013 Last revised: 26 Jul 2018
Date Written: July 24, 2014
The central hypothesis of this study is that relationships develop systematically between referees and teams, and affect referees’ decisions. Referees’ travel distance to respective stadiums and count of matches refereed for respective teams are used to measure long-term relationships. We find some evidence that the count of referee-team interactions affects disciplinary cautions in Divisions 2 and 3 of the English Football League. This is less evident in the Premier League and in Division 1 where, however, geographic distances between referees’ hometowns and stadiums appear to play a role. Referees’ perception of the distance appears to further increase with the extent of referees’ experience with the teams. The effect of the relative distance on team advantage is stronger the higher the team’s relative stake in the game.
Keywords: English football, soccer, Premier League, yellow cards, referee bias, home advantage, favoritism, regulatory capture
JEL Classification: L83, L14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation