Whether you like it or not, fouls are a part of sport and can be particularly frustrating when your team is involved. However, they can be crucial in winning. Tactical fouls have become increasingly popular in recent years, and doing them well can slow the game down and prevent a goal-scoring opportunity.
In the Premier League, a foul can be anything from a dangerous tackle to time-wasting or kicking the ball out of play. Here at Betsperts, we’ve used our expertise in sports betting to find out which Premier League teams and players have made the most fouls, and are most at risk of being carded by the referee.
To find this out, we looked at the last five seasons and totaled the number of fouls for each team and each player.
Most Fouls in the Premier League by Team
We looked at the number of fouls per team across the last five seasons to discover which Premier League team committed the most fouls.
1. Everton – 2492 fouls committed
Incredibly, we have two teams with the same total of fouls over the last five seasons in the Premier League. Everton are one of the teams who take joint top spot with a total of 2492 fouls committed. Despite being on the brink of relegation last season, Everton committed fewer fouls than they did in the four seasons before.
2. Southampton – 2492 fouls committed
Southampton joins Everton with the most fouls committed over the past five seasons. Interestingly, Southampton’s highest number of fouls came in the 2019/20 season, which was also their highest Premier League finish in the last five seasons. The Saints finished 11th whilst committing 526 fouls in the process – 20 fouls higher than their second highest points finish the season after.
3. Brighton & Hove Albion – 2477 fouls committed
In joint third place is Brighton & Hove Albion who were just 16 fouls away from taking top spot. Last season was the Seagulls’ best season since their promotion in 2017, finishing 9th to break into the top half of the table for the first time. Unlike Southampton, last season’s total was their second lowest number of fouls, with 468.
4. Manchester United – 2477 fouls committed
Manchester United have committed the most fouls compared to the traditional ‘big six’, and joins Brighton in third with 2477 fouls. One of the Red Devils’ best seasons was during 2020/21 when they finished second, and it was during this season that they committed the most fouls with 533 – 25 higher than their second highest.
Who is the Most Fouled Player in the Premier League?
We’ve looked at teams, now let’s look at the players who have committed the most fouls in the last five seasons. Our list only includes players who have played in each of the last five seasons.
1. Wilfred Ndidi – 292 fouls committed
Wilfred Ndidi takes our top spot as the player who has committed the most fouls in the Premier League. Ndidi joined Leicester City in January 2017 and has since asserted himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the league, despite his huge tally of fouls.
2. Luka Milivojevic – 284 fouls committed
Crystal Palace’s Luka Milivojevic takes second place in our list, having made 284 fouls in the last five seasons. Like Ndidi, Milivojevic joined the Premier League in January 2017 on deadline day from Olympiacos and became the Eagles’ captain in 2018.
3. Granit Xhaka – 279 fouls committed
Granit Xhaka completes a top three of defensive midfielders, committing 279 fouls. In fact, eight of our top ten are all defensive midfielders. The Swiss international has certainly built up a reputation since his North London arrival as a bit of a liability defensively. Despite some good moments in an Arsenal shirt, his frustrations have sneaked through at times, having earned 52 yellow cards, and four red cards in his six years at the club.
Who is the Most Fouled Player in Premier League History?
We looked into Premier League history to find the all-time list of players with the most fouls.
1. Gareth Barry – 633 fouls committed
Gareth Barry tops our list with 633 fouls committed. It is no surprise that the former England international has recorded the most fouls, considering he has the most Premier League appearances. Incredibly though, Barry almost averages one foul a game, having made 653 appearances across 23 seasons and four different clubs: Aston Villa; Manchester City; Everton; and West Bromwich Albion.
2. Kevin Davies – 605 fouls committed
Kevin Davies takes second place with 605 fouls committed. Davies played in the Premier League for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, and Bolton Wanderers across 15 different seasons, with the majority of time spent at the latter club. Incredibly, Davies made just 444 in the top flight of English football, meaning he averaged 1.36 fouls a game!
3. Marouane Fellaini – 588 fouls committed
Marouane Fellaini completes our top three with 588 fouls committed in the Premier League. His iconic afro was adored by Everton fans prior to his move to Manchester United where he didn’t quite hit the ground running. What is incredible about this Belgian midfielder is that he made just 260 appearances in the Premier League, which averages about 2.26 fouls per game.
What are Most Expensive Premier League Fines?
1. John Terry – £220,000
John Terry was forced to pay the most expensive fine in Premier League history after being found guilty of racist abuse against Anthony Ferdinand in 2011.
2. Alan Pardew – £160,000
Alan Pardew takes second place with a £160,000 fine. When managing Newcastle United, Pardew headbutted David Meyler and was sent off immediately after. He was banned for seven games and handed a £60,000 fine from the FA, on top of a £100,000 fine from the club for his actions.
3. Roy Keane – £150,000
Before his punditry days, where he has become loved for his no-nonsense approach to the game, Keane was a fearsome and aggressive captain of Manchester United. However in this case it was taken too far. In the Manchester Derby, Keane was sent off for a malicious tackle which left Alf-Inge Haaland injured. In a game four years prior to this incident, Keane went down after sprinting alongside Haaland. Keane ruptured his ACL, however, this didn’t stop the Norweigan from accusing the midfielder of play-acting. Keane admitted to purposefully trying to hurt Haaland in the Manchester derby in his autobiography, and his comments resulted in a £150,000 and a five-match ban.
To discover the teams and players with the most fouls, we used FBref. We looked at the past five seasons, from 2017/18 to 2021/22, to find the players with the most fouls and the teams with the most fouls.
For the players, we only included players who had played in each of the past five seasons.
Our most expensive fines were retrieved by Give Me Sport.