BAD BOYS beware – today The Non-League Paper relaunches our Fair Play Table so the sinners as well as the saints are laid bare for all to see.
Now in its sixth season, we fuse honouring the great and the good of the game with naming and shaming the rebels who need a little reminder about the importance of Respect.
Our unique sportsmanship standings will give a regular update on the top dogs in Non-League football and those who must pull their socks up.
In a break from traditional fair play tables, The FA provide us with information which differentiates between the various yellow and red card offences.
Teams at Steps 1-4 are penalised for dissent (four points) and violent conduct and abusive language dismissals (12 points). Only league games count.
Of course, we reward the winner with a coveted National Game Award at our end of season celebration in May.
So with the season now in full flow, it’s our privilege to help the Bastions bask in their disciplined displays with excellent official-friendly performances – while sending out a clear message to the wrong-doers to clean up their act!
Tadcaster Albion lead the way after the first three months. They are one of 44 clubs yet to cross the line and top the table because of their overall card count. With just 48 penalty points accumulated so far, they are setting the standard.
Standards are high too at North Leigh, Potters Bar and Hereford – it seems Step 4 is the place to be. In fact the only club in the top 17 places not in Step 4 of the Pyramid are FA Cup heroes Spennymoor, with Ryman Premier Havant & Waterlooville the next well-placed club. Woking are the best behaved National League side so far.
At the other end it’s time to sort it out at Frome, who sit bottom. The managers at Margate, Bromley and Maidstone may want to have a conversation with their squad after an ill-disciplined start to the campaign. Last year’s winners Rugby Town, have 18 cautions and one red so far.
Mark Ives, the Football Association’s head of judicial services, said: “The FA are pleased to support The NLP in recognising fair play.
“The NLP are focusing on the behaviour that challenges respect of match officials and rewards the overall winner that demonstrates an excellent level of respect throughout the season.
“We are pleased to support this initiative and look forward to recognising the respectful clubs as the season progresses.”
Full Table: NLP Fair Play Table October 27