Fergie Time and the Allocation of Additional Time: Evidence from the English Premier League 2009 to 2013

Robbie Butler and David Butler

This paper examines the impartiality of referee decision making when applying Law 7 of FIFA’s Laws of the Game. We investigate decision making relating to the allocation of additional time for 1,515 English Premier League matches from 2009 to 2013. The research finds no evidence of home favoritism and limited evidence of a bias towards “big” clubs, a phenomenon commonly known as Fergie Time. However, an examination of close matches finds Fergie Time is not present, suggesting its ability to alter tight matches is negligible.