We recently had a paper published by the International Journal of Sport Finance which considers the question of Fergie Time. Our paper analysed referee decision making relating to the allocation of additional time for 1,515 English Premier League matches from 2009 to 2013. Using this large number of games, over four consecutive seasons, we were able to test if Fergie Time actually exists.
Despite what may fans might think, we found only limited evidence of a bias towards “big” clubs; what might be called Fergie Time. However, an examination of close matches finds no evidence of Fergie Time, suggesting its ability to alter tight matches is negligible.
We also report no evidence of home favoritism by referees in the English Premier League. On balance, when it comes to allocating additional time, the men in the middle are doing a very good job. A link to the full paper can be found here.