FIGURES just released by the FAW Disciplinary Department show a worrying increase in yellow and red cards over the season just gone.
The FAW Fairplay Table for the Welsh Premier League sees The New Saints top the table with four red cards and 38 yellows just ahead of Bala Town on 2/46 – just ten penalty points behind.
Newtown and Airbus come third and fourth respectively, with hometown club Carmarthen Town coming a respectable halfway.
Interestingly the four clubs representing Wales in UEFA club competitions are also the top four in the fair-play table, suggesting that the teams below are resorting to dark arts to stop their superior opponents from playing.
At the other end Rhyl are bottom with the worst record points-wise with 410 for nine reds and 78 yellows. Druids hit double figures in reds with ten.
The red cards per-match-ratio of 0.38 is the highest ever recorded since stats began in 1994. That’s a red card every three matches.
Likewise the per-match-ratio for yellow cards is 3.95 touching on four bookings per match – again the highest on record.
The importance of disciplinary improvement is highlighted by the rewards possible for overall good behaviour.
UEFA give three Europa League places to the three nations with the best record over the season. This takes in national team (all ages) behaviour, clubs in European competition, fans behaviour etc. These three nations are allowed then to enter the highest placed club in their own Fair-play table that is not already qualified for UEFA competition.
This year England submitted West Ham United, Holland’s representatives are Go Ahead Eagles Deventer and University College Dublin will be representing the Republic of Ireland.
Wales were 19th in the UEFA Fairplay Ranking but had it hit the top three then Aberystwyth Town would have been playing in the Europa League.