Fair play surprise as Arsenal head table

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The Independent Online

Arsenal may be in the thick of disciplinary action with the Football Association, but the Gunners have also somehow made it to the top of the Premier League's Fair Play League table.

Their success seems extraordinary given that six players are facing misconduct charges after the scenes at Old Trafford, and that the club has been charged with failing to control its players. In addition, Sol Campbell was fined last week for retaliating against Eric Djemba-Djemba in the Community Shield.

The Fair Play League is based on the number of red and yellow cards, positive play, respect for opponents and the referee, and the behaviour of club officials. Points are awarded from reports made by the Premier League's referees assessors who attend each match.

The Premier League confirmed the table was correct. A spokesman said: "The Fair Play League is judged on a number of Uefa-set criteria other than red or yellow cards, for example positive play. Delegates, in conjunction with match officials, at every Premier League match assess the teams in each area from which an aggregate score is taken to form the Fair Play League table."

Prize money of £30,000 is on offer for the winning side. Arsenal are also third in the fans' fair play league - the team whose supporters finish top at the end of the season receive £20,000.

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