English football clubs have paid a staggering £1.3 million this season for referee abuse, with Arsenal leading the pack at £185,000 in FA fines.
Arsenal’s disappointing record
While Arsenal currently tops the Premier League table in terms of points, they also lead the league in fines for failing to control their players on four different occasions. Manager Mikel Arteta has faced criticism for his animated touchline behaviour, which some claim has influenced his players’ attitudes.
Manchester United (£137,000) and Everton (£115,000) hold the second and third spots, making them the only other clubs to pay a six-figure sum for abusive behaviour. Nobody talks about their managers or players being out of control.
The Premier League’s 15 punished sides have been fined a total of £932,500.
However, this number is expected to exceed £1 million once the FA passes judgement on Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and manager Marco Silva.
Impact on grassroots football
The FA has written to all clubs reminding them of their responsibility to treat referees and match officials with respect.
They stated that their behaviour is likely to influence grassroots football, where violence towards referees is a growing issue.
A spokesperson emphasised that inappropriate behaviour is unacceptable and that action will be taken against anyone in English football who fails to meet the standard of respect.
Are fines a real deterrent?
Although clubs like Arsenal are being fined for referee abuse, questions remain over whether these fines serve as a deterrent.
Some of the players in Arsenal’s squad earn more every single week than the club was fined for their abusive behaviour.
It remains to be seen if the FA’s reminders and fines will result in lasting changes in player and manager conduct on the field.
Premier League fine table
- Arsenal (£185,000)
- Manchester United (£137,000)
- Everton (£115,000)
- Manchester City (£75,000)
- Nottingham Forest (£73,000)
- Leeds (£70,000)
- Liverpool (£55,000)
- Crystal Palace (£55,000)
- Wolves (£45,000)
- Fulham (£27,500)
- Aston Villa (£20,000)
- Chelsea (£20,000)
- Tottenham (£20,000)
- West Ham (£20,000)
- Brighton (£15,000).