On an average weekend in the Premier League, we see a host of yellow cards being pulled out of the pockets of referees. And sometimes we see the red card pulled from the top pocket. But have you ever stopped to consider which Premier League club has amassed the most yellow cards and red cards since the Premier League began in 1992?
Thanks to excellent research by My Football Facts, we took their comprehensive research and then calculated some averages. First, we added up the yellow cards and averaged that number by the number of seasons each current Premier League club has been in the league. Blackpool skews a low average because it’s their first season in the Premier League and they have yet to complete it yet. Several clubs, of course, have been in the league for 19 seasons since it kicked off in 1992.
Second, we added up all of the red cards and calculated an average based on the number of seasons played.
Third, and lastly, we took the number of red cards for each club and multiplied that by two (one red card is the equivalent of two yellow cards). We then took that points total for each club and added one point for each yellow card. We were able to generate a “Total points scored” based on that. Then, we took an average total points scored based on the number of seasons played. Thus, we ended up with a method of determining which are the dirtiest (and cleanest) teams in the Premier League.
One final note before I share the results. The data is based on yellow cards and red cards awarded, not fouls committed. But we believe that yellow cards and red cards are the best indication of whether a team is playing dirty (or making silly mistakes) or not.
Here are the findings:
And, after combining the yellow cards and red cards together to produce a points total and then dividing that points total by the number of seasons each club played, here are the findings:
There are many observations that can be made from this data. And also many theories. Is it a coincidence that the Big Four clubs are in the bottom half of the table (i.e. do referees give them preferential treatment or not?)
What are some of the interesting observations you see in this data? Share your opinions in the comments section below.