Well we have all had our doubts about Clattenbung and co but now we have the statistical proof that bad refereeing decisions cost us more points than any other club last season! Tim Long has analysed 713 "significant" officiating decisions in the 2010-11 season and West Ham were robbed of 7 points - more than any other club. And that, presumably, does not include the failure to send off Vidic at Upton Park!
The final points total of 40 would still have seen us relegated if all other adjustments were made, but this takes no account of psychology. Imagine, for example, if we had held on to the three points from the game against the Mancs at Upton Park; would we have gone down? I doubt it!
The evidence suggests that the most important quality for a manager is that he is lucky. Blackpool and Birmingham were both wrongly relegated according to this research - the clubs who should have gone down with us were Wigan and Wolves. The sickening thing, of course, is that the introduction of "referrals" as in cricket could put an end to all this. Give each manager three referrals in a game where a fourth official is able to confirm or reverse a decision and it is job done. How easy is that? Too complicated for FIFA apparently!