Six years since the ground-breaking Dave Warner home-town umpiring analysis I’ve gone through the figures again to see if there is still any bias in AFL UMPIRING favouring Home Teams. Look up my old blog and you’ll see my figures then showed pronounced home town bias especially against non-Victorian teams playing away from home.  In summary for 2009, games between neutral teams (ie: teams from the same city playing one another) were evenly umpired: home teams got 51% of free kicks.  Vic teams hosting interstate teams got 54% of frees – a substantial number, as did Non-Vic Teams hosting Non-Vic Teams.  Non-Vic Teams hosting Vic teams got around 51%, very little advantage.   Importantly the games where there was a SIGNIFICANT difference between frees paid to teams (ie: a big imbalance) showed a huge bias to home-teams, especially against Non-Vic Teams playing away.

So here at the half-way point of 2015 I have run the numbers to see if anything’s changed. Answer – a little.  Neutral games (ie games between teams from the same city) are at 50.5 % for the Home team. No real bias.   When Vic teams host Non-Vic Teams this jumps to 53.4% and is almost identical to when Non-Vic Teams host Vic Teams 53.3%.   Once again the teams most disadvantaged are those Non-Vic Teams playing away against other Non-Vic teams. they get only 45.6% of frees compared to the host’s 54.4%.  Significant games – games where one side gets 58% of frees or more, continue the bias. In Vic Home v Non Vic Away, games are running 7-3 in favour of the Home Vic teams.  In Non Vic Home v Non Vic Away significant games run 4-0 in favour of the Home Team. In Non-Vic Teams hosting Vic Teams it’s 6-1 in favour of the Home Teams. All of these numbers suggest strong home-town bias.

IN SUMMARY: HOME TOWN BIAS IN UMPIRING IS REAL. Comparing this year to 6 years ago the major difference is that visiting Vic teams are worse off than were then but the most picked on, deprived teams are still those Non-Vic teams travelling to a Non-Vic location.  We can speculate on why this might be – less away fans at the ground to pressure the umps, a subconscious knowledge of umps that they umpired against the home team when they were last travelling etc.

So maybe umpiring is getting worse – but at least it’s getting worse more evenly which should be some comfort to Non-Vic teams (and doesn’t Eddy belly-ache and moan when Vic teams cop the same treatment non-Vic teams have endured for years!). Mind you I will be very interested to see if this trend continues to the end of the year.  In the last few rounds the bias to Home Vic teams has been very strong and leads one to suspect that things may be reverting to where they were. Time will tell but you’ll find the truth here not with those hacks who need to sell papers to Collingwood fans to survive.


book sweeps into broome – Community Newspaper Group online story



Hi all – Dave’s WA Demolition is almost here (Sat Hotel Charles) so for those planning to come here’s some basic info:   Kick-Off  8.30 pm approx. with line-up of Phil Bailey, Lloyd Gyi, Tony Durant and myself – songs will include some rare gems like Spooks in the Dark.    Next line-up will feature early-Suburbs songs like Bicton Breezes. Haydn aka Scapa Flow is promising the sleeveless red shirt and John Dennison will join too.   Then comes a bracket of Pus songs with Dick Haynes doing his brilliant best, culminating in an almighty Throbbing Knob.  Finally we call up Howie Johnstone and power through some of those hard rocking classics like Yella in Me, Kangaroo Hop and Joey Black.   A very special Mugs Game will finish. Tickets are via Ticket Master or the Charles Hotel.

For those attending the book launch at 11 am Orient Hotel, see you there – we will do a couple of acoustic style numbers and I’ll read a little bit from Before It Breaks.

While I will attend the Derby on Monday and likely perform a song post-match with the Dice Men it is only one song.  Until then ….


We’re only 9 days away from the big gig at The Charles now and the band is sounding great in the rehearsal room – John Dennison’s sound was always integral to the Suburbs and it’s fabulous to have him back.   If you are iffy about going to this gig – don’t be, DON’T miss it – skip some later gig of mine or better still forego the next U2 tour – this is rock history and we may never be able to assemble such a clan again. Believe me you do not want to miss Dick Haynes doing Pus, Howie pounding out Yella in Me and Tony and Haydn hitting Bicton Breezes.


Every year I look at the East Fremantle players in the AFL and construct a team based on them.  I wish this made me feel better that East, the greatest club in true football history, have not won a WAFL flag since 98. It doesn’t, but at least it reiterates our strength and undercuts those who claim WAFL flags by aligning themselves with Dockers and Eagles, or by salary cap cheating.

East Fremantle 2015 AFL TEAM

B     Sheppard        McPharlin       Hooker

HB  Johannisen     Taylor              Ibbotson

C     Yeo                  DSwallow        PCripps

HF   JCripps              Kennedy          Fasolo

F      Ryder               Clark             Palmer

R     Sandilands  ASwallow  Masten

I      Paparone Griffin Lucas Duffy

The team boasts a magnificent backline and a powerful and diverse forward line.  The midfield, the powerhouse of the team over the last decade is a bit thinner but there’s a lot of promise for years to come.   When one considers the players who East  have contributed to the AFL since the usurping of the natural order  – Kerr, Cousins, Woewodin, Cassissi, McManus, Carr, Mainwairing, Chick, Brennan et al, there can be little doubt that without national intrusion, the Blue and Whites premiership flags would stretch the length of Moss St.


The newest range of Warner t-shirts are ready for the big gig Sat May 30 Hotel Charles.  A special PUS tee, printed front and back  to celebrate what may have been Aus’ first punk band and a Wimbledon special with a favourite Warner lyric inscribed on the front.IMG_1429IMG_1428IMG_1427


beforeitbreakslaunch   SAT MAY 30 is going to be a very busy day for me . Not only do I have the massive Suburbs WA DAY DEMOLITION that night at the Charles Hotel but at 11 AM I’ll be launching my new crime novel BEFORE IT BREAKS (FREMANTLE PRESS) at Freo’s Orient Hotel.  The very urbane GEOFF HUTCHISON from the ABC 720 Morning Program will launch the book which will be available in physical copy and e-book.  If you are in Freo please pop in. A few of the guys from the band have generously put up their hands to do a couple of tunes with me to enliven proceedings, so if you have that twenty-fifth wedding anniversary preventing you from attending the big gig at the Charles you can get a glimpse of what you’ll be missing.  New Edition Bookshop will be selling the book.  I’m happy to sign any albums or books you already have.  See you there or at the Charles!