The Penalty Myth
Football today is dominated by different thought processes and myths regarding fair play and whether certain teams get certain advantages from referees and officials with decisions.There have been so many to name but one that always creeps into the frame is the complete myth that Manchester United get more penalties and decisions going their way more than any other team.Another is the belief that Manchester United get more injury time added on for them if they are losing or drawing or just generally need a goal named “Fergie” time.
The Myth i wanted to look at is the Penalty claim that United get more and that referees are partial towards them than any other team and after looking at the statistics for the past 10 years of premiership football i have found that the results are very interesting.
One thing i always find is that people always believe what they want to believe if it defends or promotes the fact that they’re team are always hard done by or are victimized against certain clubs.Wherever i am i have heard the same old story that United win because of the referees and the penalties they are given, do people actually believe that Manchester United the biggest club in Britain have only won they’re titles by having penalties given for them? if they do then they have to look at the facts and stop looking for answers and reasons to blame bigger clubs for their own clubs downfalls because the statistics and evidence do not back up they’re claims.
If we look at the statistics Manchester United over the last ten years are not the highest penalty earners and that Arsenal are the leaders in penalties awarded with 57 and then Liverpool with 56 and United with 55, but even then there are teams that are similar with 50+ .This shows that no team has been shown preferential treatment as the figures are generally quite close and United aren’t even in the top two teams.
Some people and rightly so would say that the myth has only really begun to surface over the last 3 seasons so maybe over 10 years that information could be irrelevant but i just wanted to show that people’s made up figures shouldn’t be taken as fact.With that in thought I looked for the statistics over the last 3 premiership seasons and these are the figures.
Manchester City 21
Manchester United 17
This shows that over the last three seasons Chelsea Football Club have had the most penalties awarded followed by Manchester City with United,Arsenal and Liverpool only 2 goals the difference between them.Again there is no evidence to suggest that United are getting preferential treatment through penalties from referees in which i find ironic due to the fact that it was Patrick Vieira of Manchester City who today claimed that Manchester United were given special treatment from referees, an ex pro who is now heavily involved at Manchester City although this can be chalked off to mind games and itself trying to sway decisions of referees by outlining a thought of doubt in officials minds in future United games given the closeness of the table positions.
Another interesting point about penalties after looking for patterns in the statistic tables is that if you look at the penalties given and then at how many were given at home and away, the majority of the penalties given to all teams in the premiership have been awarded at home.I have heard the theory before that penalty decisions are more generous when at home for any club and the evidence does back that for every club on average,it doesn’t happen for every single club stat but it does have evidence to support it.
The Myth that Manchester United are given preferential treatment is an urban legend as it is proven that they don’t get anywhere near as many penalties at home or away as other clubs in fact in the 2010/11 season they are in 8th place, in the 2009/10 season they are in 4th place and in 2008/09 season they languish in 12th position for penalties awarded and in fact last season they had more penalties given against them then they were given.
Because of this I find it hard to comprehend anyone who would use myths without evidence to blame other clubs for their own clubs failings although i do understand the theory that rivals will always find a reason to explain a loss which doesn’t involve slandering their own and the very fact that Manchester United have dominated British football for so long, it makes them an easy target,Liverpool had the same treatment and then Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea with Roman Abramovich’s ever swelling wallet.Despite all of this it seems that there is an underlying culture among the footballing world in Britain to be anti-United without any proof, without any facts and without any evidence to back up their claims when in fact and the conclusion of these cultural opinions is that they all stem from jealousy and bitterness towards successful clubs.I shall leave you with this for thought . . .
STATISTICS DON’T LIE