Chelsea broke the record for the most cards in a Premier League season in 2023-24. We look at the stats surrounding an unwanted record for the Blues.

There aren’t many records that Chelsea broke in 2023-24, their first season under Mauricio Pochettino, but their penultimate game of the season saw them break an all-time Premier League record.

In a win at Brighton, yellow cards for Moisés Caicedo and Raheem Sterling were followed by a Reece James red, taking Chelsea to 107 cards in total this season – 103 yellows, four reds. This set a new Premier League record for the most cards given to a team in a single Premier League campaign, previously set by Leeds United in 2021-22 (104).

They’d already equalled Leeds’ record from 2021-22 a game earlier, when Nicolas Jackson completed a turnaround against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday evening.

By jumping into the crowd to embrace the Chelsea fans after his header put Chelsea 3-2 in front, having been behind just eight minutes earlier, Jackson was given a yellow card for excessive celebration by referee Chris Kavanagh.

On the final day of the season, they added two more yellows to take their record-breaking total to 109.

Most Cards by Teams in a Premier League Season

Chelsea in 2023-24 – 109 cards: 105 yellows, 4 reds
Leeds United in 2021-22 – 104 cards: 101 yellows, 3 reds
Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2023-24 – 104 cards: 100 yellows, 4 reds
Sheffield United in 2023-24 – 100 cards: 95 yellows, 5 reds
Derby County in 1999-00 – 97 cards: 93 yellows, 4 reds
Sunderland in 2014-15 – 96 cards: 94 yellows, 2 reds
Everton in 1998-99 – 96 cards: 91 yellows, 5 reds

Wolves are another club to have broken the 100-card barrier, and they also did so in 2023-24, picking up 100 yellows and four reds to total 104 cards.

Sheffield United conceded a record 104 goals in the Premier League in 2023-24, and also made it to three figures for cards received. Their five red cards were only fewer than Burnley (7).

Nicolas Jackson Yellow Cards

Chelsea forward Jackson was given 10 of Chelsea’s cards, all of which have been cautions. Rather comically, just one of those cards was for a foul. Six were for dissent or arguing with match officials, one was for entering the pitch without prior approval from the match referee and one was for failing to retreat from an opposition free-kick, before that yellow for jumping into the crowd to celebrate a goal.

Jackson isn’t the only Chelsea player to reach double figures for Premier League cards in 2023-24, though. Moisés Caicedo was also given 11 yellows and Marc Cucurella made it to 10 with his final one on the last day of the season.

None of these players joined the list of players to have been given at least 14 cards (yellow and red combined) in a Premier League season, however.

Most Cards by Players in a Premier League Season

Étienne Capoue for Watford in 2018-19: 15 cards – 14 yellows, 1 red
Mark Hughes for Southampton in 1998-99: 14 cards – 14 yellow, 0 red
Olivier Dacourt for Everton in 1998-99: 14 cards – 13 yellow, 1 red
Robbie Savage for Leicester in 2001-02: 14 cards – 14 yellow, 0 red
Cheick Tioté for Newcastle in 2010-11: 14 cards – 14 yellow, 0 red
Lee Cattermole for Sunderland in 2014-15: 14 cards – 14 yellow, 0 red
José Holebas for Watford in 2016-17:  14 cards – 14 yellow, 0 red
João Palhinha for Fulham in 2022-23: 14 cards – 14 yellow, 0 red

The 2023-24 season saw a record tally of 1602 yellow cards at the time of writing – 196 more than any other Premier League season and 228 more than last season. Red cards haven’t followed suit, with the tally of 58 in 2023-24 still 15 fewer than the Premier League record of 73 in 2002-03, but nearly double last season’s tally of 30.

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