BetVictor assesses Twitter sentiment for refs

  • Mike Dean is the most talked about referee this season, averaging 278 pots per game
  • 70% of those posts are negative, with one in five showing signs of anger
  • 91% of posts about Chris Kavanagh are negative, the highest of any referee
  • Michael Oliver fares among the best with 43% of posts positive towards him

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mike Dean was the most discussed referee by fans this season according to a new study by BetVictor.

The Referee’s A… found that Dean has encouraged fans to jump straight onto social media, with 235 posts per game being about him, with 70% of those being negative.

The campaign analysed the volume of tweets each Premier League referee has inspired over the 2019/20 season, with the sentiment and emotion of each broken down. And it’s bad news for Chris Kavanagh.

91% of posts about the Manchester-based referee were negative across his 26 games with the whistle this season, the highest of any official and even 15% higher than the sentiment towards VAR! 28% of tweets showing emotion towards Kavanagh were also that of anger, with only Lee Mason (31%) having a higher percentage.

Martin Atkinson was also among the most talked about officials this season, with around 157 tweets about him per game, 84% of those being negative.

Michael Oliver, one of the league’s elite referees, generally fared well when it came to fans discussing his performances, with 43% of tweets towards him positive, while Peter Bankes had the best record at 61% positivity, although he only officiated 11 games in the division.

Surprise was the most common emotion shown by fans on social media across the season, while Anthony Taylor incited the most disgust (17%) and Jonathan Moss the highest percentage of sadness (19%). Interestingly almost a third of tweets about the performances of Peter Bankes and Andy Madley showed an emotion of joy.

When it came to technology, there were well over a million tweets about VAR, with 73% being negative and 48% showing an emotion of anger.

You can view the full study at:

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