The combative attitude of English Premier League football players has cultivated a reputation for physicality and roughness that both fascinates and repulses the watching public. This article will name and shame the Premier League players who have received the most red cards in history.
Every Premier League season, referees brandish an average of 50 red cards in 380 matches (see table below). This equates to one red card every eight games. Football players can expect to be sent off every 167 appearances (1/167) with 22 players on the field. Unfortunately, some exceed this limit, accumulating red cards, influencing results, causing injury, destroying the sporting spirit, and tarnishing the image of the game.
Each of the top ten players will receive videos and statistics (where available). In contrast to other lists, the number of appearances made by the players is taken into account. The most important metric on this list is red cards per game, also known as red card rate. Only Premier League players with at least six red cards are eligible.
- Alan Smith (Red Cards: 6, Appearances: 285) Red Card Rate: 1/48 (1 red card every 48 appearances)
- Joey Barton (Red Cards: 6, Appearances: 269) (Red Card Rate: 1/45)
- Lee Cattermole (Red Cards: 7, Appearances: 271) (Red Card Rate: 1/39)
- Patrick Vieira (Red Cards: 8, Appearances: 307) (Red Card Rate: 1/38)
- Nemanja Vidic (Red Cards: 6, Appearances: 211) (Red Card Rate: 1/35)
- Duncan Ferguson (Red Cards: Red Cards: 8, Appearances: 269) (Red Card Rate: 1/34)
- Franck Queudrue (Red Cards: 6, Appearances: 201) (Red Card Rate: 1/34)
- Younes Kaboul (Red Cards: 6, Appearances: 197) (Red Card Rate: 1/33)
- Vinnie Jones (Red Cards: 6, Appearances: 184) (Red Card Rate: 1/31)
- John Hartson (Red Cards: 6, Appearances: 155) (Red Card Rate: 1/26)