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Tuesday 04 June 2013

Arsene Wenger 'proud' at Arsenal winning Fair Play League

Arsenal top league ahead of Spurs, while Norwich City win fans' award for second year

  • Norwich fans' good behaviour have won their club another award

  • Respect towards opponents was one of the criteria used when judging teams

As well as finishing the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League season on a high with the 1-0 victory away to Newcastle United that guaranteed them fourth place and a chance to qualify for the UEFA Champions League Arsenal also claimed a significant award. Arsene Wenger's team finished on top of the Fair Play League for the Barclays Premier League for the season, edging out Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.

"We are pleased to be recognised with this award"
Arsene Wenger

To promote positive behaviour, the Football Association established a Fair Play competition, with all Barclays Premier League matches being assessed by delegates.

Teams are assessed in five categories, with a further category relating to the behaviour of the public. The five categories are:

  • red and yellow cards
  • positive play (e.g. showing attacking intent, speeding up the game, no time-wasting)
  • respect towards opponents
  • respect towards the referee
  • behaviour of the team officials.

For further explanation on how points are awarded, click here.

The funding for the awards is provided by the FA Charity Committee and Arsenal will be awarded £30,000 that can be used towards its community or youth projects.

"As a club, Arsenal prides itself on values of fair competition and positive behaviour both on and off the pitch," Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, said. "We are pleased to be recognised with this award and look forward to using the funding to further support our important work with young people in the local community."

Delegates in the Barclays Premier League also assess the behaviour of fans at matches with points being awarded for positive verbal support and recognition of outstanding play by the opposition, as well as respect for match officials and opposing fans. For the second season running, the award for the best fans has gone to Norwich City, who will receive £20,000 from the FA Charity Committee.

"Norwich's ‘Yellow Army’ is a credit to their football club"
David McNally

Norwich finished above Southampton, who were second, and Reading, Everton and Fulham, who were joint-third.

"The club is very proud of its supporters for winning this award for the second consecutive year," David McNally, the Norwich City chief executive, said. "Our support home and away has been, as ever, fantastic this season and the 'Yellow Army' is a credit to their football club."

In past years, the highest-placed club in the Fair Play League who have not qualified for a UEFA competition have had the chance to enter the UEFA Europa League when the national association is in the top-three ranking of  the UEFA Respect Fair Play Ranking, which based on all UEFA competition matches played at both club and national team level. This season this was not the case.

2012/13 Fair Play League table

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Key Points

  • Arsenal win Fair Play League for the 2012/13 season
  • Fair Play competition established to promote positive behaviour
  • Norwich City's fans win the club the award for the best fans for the second consecutive season