Sixty-one Premier League players have been booked for dissent this season amid the worrying trend of rising abuse towards referees.
Two grassroots officials bravely opened up to Mail Sport’s It’s All Kicking Off podcast this week about some shocking incidents they have been involved in over the years.
Both aged 25, one revealed he was threatened with a knife, while the other suffered a broken jaw after sending someone off in a five-a-side match.
Podcast co-hosts Ian Ladyman and Chris Sutton were stunned by the revelations, and agreed that football needs to take responsibility, with former Premier League winner Sutton insisting that change has to come from the very top of the game.
But this season’s top flight statistics make for concerning reading, with 61 players shown a yellow card for dissent once.
Mail Sport has heard stories from grassroots officials about the abuse they receive, and Premier League players are also showing dissent towards referees regularly
Fulham have been responsible for 11 yellow cards for dissent in their opening 12 matches
West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta has picked up three yellow cards this season for dissent
|Team||Cards for dissent|
|West Ham United||7|
|Brighton and Hove Albion||5|
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There have been 88 bookings in total for dissent in 2023-24, and Fulham sit top of the ‘Hall of Shame’ table, having had 11 yellow cards for dissent in their opening 12 league matches.
They are followed by Newcastle and Tottenham (8 apiece), with West Ham and Wolves just behind them (both 7).
At the other end of the spectrum, Manchester City and Everton have only picked up one booking each for dissent.
When it comes to individual players, West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta, Chelsea’s Nicolas Jackson and Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff have all received three bookings for this reason.
There are then nine different players, including Bruno Fernandes and James Maddison, that have all been booked twice for talking back to match officials.
It is not just players that are guilty of crossing the line when it comes to speaking to referees.
Erik ten Hag has been booked three times this season for dissent and is set to serve a ban
Fulham’s Marco Silva is the only other manager to have been booked three times for dissent
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and Fulham’s Marco Silva have been booked three times for challenging refereeing decisions.
Ten Hag is set to serve a ban for United’s first game back after the international break against Everton.
Meanwhile, five other managers on a list that includes Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta and Mauricio Pochettino have been shown two yellow cards each.
Arteta and Pochettino were involved in high-profile spats with referees earlier this month, with the Arsenal boss labelling the decision to allow Anthony Gordon’s goal in Newcastle’s 1-0 win against his side ‘a disgrace’. He has been charged by the FA for his comments.
Pochettino had to be held back at the end of Chelsea’s 4-4 draw with Manchester City in the final game before the international break after storming onto the pitch to complain about the amount of added time at the end of the match.
Mikel Arteta was furious after Newcastle’s goal was allowed to stand against his side
Mauricio Pochettino stormed onto the pitch to complain to the referee after Chelsea’s 4-4 draw with Man City
Jurgen Klopp has also been carded for protesting against refereeing decisions
Jurgen Klopp and Ange Postecoglou have also received cards for their touchline behaviour.
Premier League referee Peter Bankes has shown double the number of yellow cards (16) for dissent than any of his peers.
He took charge of Tottenham’s chaotic late comeback win over Sheffield United in September, which saw 12 yellow cards and one red card handed out, although these were not all for dissent.
Next on the list is Rob Jones with eight, one clear of Stuart Atwell who has dished out seven.
Peter Bankes (pictured) has shown 16 yellow cards or dissent so far this season