Sunday, 27 April 2008


My brief at the weekend was to cover the match at Manchester City where there was much talk of City having achieved their record points total for the Premier League. An impressive statistic which reflects well on Sven in his first year as manager. The achievement was widely reported in the papers and was also highlighted by City chairman Taksin Shinawatra in his column in the club programme.

But hang on a minute! How impressive is this tally of 55 points, really?

It is far from City's all-time best. It is not on a par with the 70 points they achieved under Peter Reid in 1992, never mind the equivalent of 84 points, converting from two-points-for-a-win, that they racked up when winning the old Football League in 1968. And that is taking account of the old format of 42 games in a season, compared to 38 today.

So why the fuss about the comparatively puny 55? Its only significance is as City's best tally since the formation of the Premier League in 1992 - and so is only of interest to those who run and publicise the Premier League itself. To anyone with a serious interest in football history City's record this season is, well, underwhelming.

I don't blame those who market and promote the Premier League for blowing their trumpets, but I do worry about the parading of meaningless stats as matters of historical importance.

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