Mark Dennis was always a bit of a bad boy. So much so that he had been sent oﬀ 10 times in a 10-year career by the time he'd reached the age of 26. But then he really started to test the authorities' patience.
First the QPR defender received the 11th red card of his pro career in 1987 after elbowing Ossie Ardiles in the face; he was given a 53-day ban. Then he was handed an oﬃcial warning by QPR after going on holiday to Spain without club approval while recovering from knife wounds received while out one night in Croydon. Having been told he had no more "second chances", he was then sent oﬀ for a 12th time in 1988 for spitting at Fulham's Leo Donnellan in a reserve match. Dennis was quietly oﬄoaded to Crystal Palace, his top- ﬂight career never to recover. SM Guardian
GUARDIAN/Paul Doyle - A season in statistics: the Premier League campaign in numbers
Jonás Gutiérrez was the most-fouled player in the top flight but hapless Liverpool claimed some unwanted records this term
Joey Barton doesn't need legal aid but we typical Guardian do-gooders are going to give him free advice anyway. When he appears in front of the FA Committee of Investigation into Sustained Attacks on All and Sundry following the misunderstanding in Manchester on Sunday, Barton might try to curry sympathy among the powers-that-be by pointing out that Opta statistics show that, despite incurring a record-equalling nine red cards, Queens Park Rangers were the most fouled team in the Premier League this season. And Barton was their most fouled player.Only eight players in the whole league suffered more than the 60 fouls that Barton had to endure, with Newcastle United's poor old Jonás Gutiérrez (86) being the most put-upon. True, Barton also copped 10 yellow cards, a tally beaten only by his successor at Newcastle, Cheik Tioté, but in terms of quantity, Barton was far from the most prolific fouler. That title, of course, normally goes to Kevin Davies but the decline of the barrel-chested Bolton battler has been stark this season: having been the busiest fouler in seven of the past eight Premier League campaigns, fewer appearances this term meant that Davies trundled in at a career-low sixth in the rankings, his 58 offences looking puny in comparison to the 88 of joint-winners Grant Holt and Marouane Fellaini.
It's a good thing that getting caught offside does not count as a foul, otherwise Tottenham Hotspur would be in trouble. Emmanuel Adebayor was the season's most prolific offender in that regard, reclaiming a crown that he previously won in 2008 and succeeding last year's most regular transgressor, Jermain Defoe, another two-times winner. In fairness, Darren Bent, another previous winner, was on course to challenge hard for this year's title until he fell victim to injury. But Bent's absence is only part of the reason why Aston Villa were the only team in the league not to score a single goal from a corner all season. They also scored fewer headers (three) than anyone else – while the only team to concede more headed goals than Villa (12) were Sunderland (13). West Bromwich Albion conceded the fewest (five). Villa's total of seven victories was their lowest in a season since 1890‑91, when there were only 12 teams in the league.
If Villa were harmless, then Liverpool were hapless. They struck the frame of the goal 33 times this season, the most ever recorded by one club in a season since Opta records began (Fulham were second this season with 24). Kenny Dalglish's men also hit more shots off target than any other team, missed more penalties than any other team (five) and misplaced more passes than anyone but Norwich City and Bolton. Chelsea (2816) misplaced the fewest. Stewart Downing, meanwhile, was the master of misplaced shots, firing off 72 this season without scoring. Even Liverpool's diving failed to hit the mark, as they were given more cards this season for simulation (four) than any other team.
There is a stat doing the rounds on Twitter that Liverpool allowed opponents to have fewer shots this season than any other team. Not true. Manchester City and Arsenal were the most frugal on that front.
While the statistical proof of Liverpool's wonkiness comes as no surprise, the top tacklers table may not meet popular perceptions. The two most successful tacklers in the league this season were players who have been widely acclaimed for their artistry but less so for their industry: so it is time to pile more praise on Yohan Cabaye (116 tackles) and Moussa Dembélé (113). The much-vaunted Scott Parker was not far behind them in terms of tackles and both he and Cabaye made exactly the same number of interceptions (89) but the Englishman was nowhere near as influential going forward: Cabaye produced 55 crosses (excluding corners), 40 shots and four goals to Parker's 15 crosses, 14 shots and no goals.
The first thing everyone says before they play Stoke City is that they will try to stop them winning throw-ins. Try and fail, apparently, as Stoke won far more throw-ins this season than anyone else. However, from the 980 deliveries from Rory Delap, Ryan Shotton et al, only two resulted in goals, fewer than were scored from throw-ins by Blackburn Rovers, Bolton and Manchester United. Perhaps Stoke aren't taking long enough preparing them any more: this season the ball was in play on average for 60 minutes during a Stoke match – still the lowest in the league but an increase on last season, when their matches only produced 58.52 minutes of actual play.
That trend was replicated throughout the league, which surely contributed to this season's excitement. Whereas last season the ball was in play for 62.39 minutes on average in Premier League matches, this season it rose to 64.42 – the most of any of the top five European leagues. Fulham (67.42min) offered the most action.
Manchester City know the importance of time. Their late strikes on Sunday brought their total of stoppage‑time goals for the season to 10. Arsenal were next best with six. In keeping with a season in which their last few matches were a pointless formality, Wolverhampton Wanderers scored no goals in time added on" Guardian
15 May 2012
Premier League announces 2011/12 broadcast payments
Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City are top earning club with £60.6m
Manchester City celebrate their title win
The dramatic moments of an unforgettable season have been broadcast around the world
The Premier League has announced the value of broadcast payments made to its 20 clubs for the 2011/12 season.
Newly crowned Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City received the highest total payment of £60.6m, the highest broadcast payment any winner has received in the Premier League's history.
"The differences between teams have become smaller and the quality is higher"
- Arsene Wenger
Manchester United, who were pipped to the title by City, received over £60.3m - down slightly on last season when they were the top earning club.
The Founder Members' Agreement of the Premier League sees the revenue from UK broadcast rights distributed in the following ways:
50% split equally between the 20 clubs
25% paid in merit payments (depending on where a club finishes in the final League table)
25% paid in facility fees each time a club's matches are on TV in the UK.
Each club is guaranteed a minimum of 10 facility fee payments, while
all international broadcast revenue is split equally amongst the 20 clubs and worth nearly £18.8m each for the 2011/12 season.
The Premier League sells broadcast rights in three-season agreements and the current deals cover the 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons.
Over £968m was paid out in total to Premier League clubs this season - an increase of more than £15m on last season.
Including payments made to clubs that have dropped out of the top flight the total is over £1.1 billion.
Prior to the final weekend of the season, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he believes the way broadcast payments are distributed helps keep the Barclays Premier League competitive.
"I think it has been a very interesting season because it was very unpredictable and every game was difficult," he said.
"The way we distribute broadcast income plays a part in allowing each club to compete"
- Richard Scudamore
"The differences between teams have become smaller and that is why maybe the quality is higher. There are less financial differences apart from two or three teams because the international television rights have gone up tremendously compared to the domestic rights.
"They are shared equally in the Premier League and the financial differences are smaller. Therefore the Premier League is more levelled out and there is less difference."
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore added: "The Premier League's income distribution mechanism rewards sporting success in the League while also guaranteeing a significant amount of broadcast revenue to each club in order that they can plan from one season to the next.
"It has been a fantastic season, arguably the best of all the 20 Premier League seasons, and the clubs deserve huge credit for the quality of football on show throughout 2011/12.
"We believe the way we distribute broadcast income plays a part in allowing each club to compete at the highest level."
Broadcast Payments for 2011/2012 season
Arsenal - £56,223,505
Aston Villa - £42,104,709
Blackburn Rovers - £40,317,633
Bolton Wanderers - £40,594,585
Chelsea - £54,436,429
Everton - £48,900,267
Fulham - £47,390,143
Liverpool - £54,360,635
Manchester City - £60,602,289
Manchester United - £60,325,337
Newcastle United - £54,235,271
Norwich City - £45,603,067
QPR - £43,262,087
Stoke City - £43,614,833
Sunderland - £44,369,895
Swansea City - £45,880,019
Tottenham Hotspur - £57,380,883
West Brom - £46,635,081
Wigan Athletic - £42,859,771
Wolves - £39,084,461
Championship teams receiving parachute payments
Birmingham City - £15,475,005
Blackpool - £15,475,005
Burnley - £12,219,732
Hull City - £12,219,732
Middlesbrough - £4,081,548
Portsmouth - £12,219,732
West Ham United - £15,475,005 Premier League
Posted on: Tue 15 May 2012
Clint Hill has capped a remarkable season by scooping both the Player's Player and Supporters' Player of the Year awards.
The versatile defender, who was sent off on the opening day of the season against Bolton Wanderers and then spent time on loan in the Championship at Nottingham Forest, returned to make 22 outings in the Barclays Premier League for the R's, as well as three FA Cup appearances.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, a delighted Hill said: "It's amazing - I'm lost for words to be honest.
"To play a part in keeping this Club in the Premier League is all I ever dreamed of - but getting these awards is the icing on the cake.
"I'm very surprised I've won both awards to be honest, but I'm absolutely delighted.
"I just give my best in every game - that's the minimum any professional should do.
"I'm delighted that I've been rewarded for my efforts by the fans and my fellow professionals."
Hill pipped Jamie Mackie to the Supporters' Player of the Year award, with Shaun Derry and Anton Ferdinand also featuring prominently in the fans vote.
R's talisman Adel Taarabt scooped the Supporters' Young Player of the Year award, narrowly ahead of Samba Diakite, as well as winning the Goal of the Season crown for his stunning solo effort against Arsenal at Loftus Road.
Loyal R's fan Clive Whittingham clinched the Supporter of the Year award, whilst Mackie was named Junior Hoop Player of the Year.
Roll of Honour ...
Supporters' Player of the Year - Clint Hill
Supporters' Player of the Year (Runner up) - Jamie Mackie
Ray Jones Player's Player of the Year - Clint Hill
Daphne Biggs Supporters' Young Player of the Year - Adel Taarabt
Kiyan Prince Goal of the Season - Adel Taarabt
Supporter of the Year - Clive Whittingham
Junior Hoop Player of the Year - Jamie Mackie
*An exclusive interview with Clint Hill will be available for QPR Player subscribers in due course.